There is something about that time of the off-season when the NBA decide to release the upcoming NBA Schedule. It’s like an early Christmas present and it makes the season appear “not so far” away. The off-season is always full of trade rumors, free agent signings, summer league, rookies etc but when THAT day comes and you can start circling dates on your calendar, you just brace yourself because “The NBA Season is Coming”.
Thunderous Intentions writer JM Van Sant has already had a brilliant look at Key Matchups for the Thunder this season, so before you continue reading, go and check out those. Amazing is going to happen right there. Those games are highlighted because they are flat out important, interesting or exciting (what Thunder game isn’t – am I right!)
Obviously, the season opener against Portland will be huge and then the Clippers the next night. Also, the first Thunder home game is one not to be missed. But, outside of the important and key matchups, there are games that I just love to watch.
Here is my list of games that as a Thunder fan, I just can’t wait to sink my teeth in to.
November 16th – Oklahoma City Thunder host the Houston Rockets
Call me old fashioned, but I still love a good rivalry and the Thunder vs Rockets is never going to get old for me. Not as long as they have James Harden. Watching former teammates battle it out is always fun and let’s face it, seeing Perk frustrate Dwight Howard is a guilty pleasure. Add to that the Russ vs Beverley deal and we have a blockbuster.
December 11th – Oklahoma City Thunder welcome the new look Cleveland Cavaliers to town
This will be the Thunder’s first look at the new and improved Cleveland Cavaliers unit that features LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and “at this time not confirmed but will likely be the case after August 23rd” Kevin Love. The ESPN forecast had the Cavs holding the best record in the East while it had the Thunder holding the best record in the West. This matchup will have KD vs LBJ, Russ vs Kyrie, Ibaka vs Love. A can’t miss occasion.
December 25th – Oklahoma City Thunder travel to San Antonio in a Christmas special
I know its been covered by my man JM Van Sant, but this is an epic. What more could you ask for on Christmas Day than for two powerhouses of the Western Conference and last year’s Western Conference finalists battling it out. After both teams will have had nearly two months to get into rhythm and find their form, this promises to be another epic. Serge Ibaka and Reggie Jackson will have huge roles to play in this one, while watching Durant vs Leonard is an NBA fans dream. Parker vs Russ is icing on the cake. Will the Thunder hold sway as they have during the regular seasons past or can the Spurs be the grinch that stole a Christmas Day win?
January 18th – Oklahoma City Thunder vs Orlando Magic
Seriously? This game? On your list of “must see” games for the new NBA season? Yes indeed. I’ll tell you why. I am still reeling from that last second drop in the bucket from Tobias Harris. The Thunder only lost 23 games last season and that one still irks me. OKC should have wiped the floor with that Magic squad, but they didn’t and Orlando stole that one. I want it back. With interest. I will be watching and waiting for the Thunder to mercilessly beat down the Magic until they surrender and play the bench for the last 5 minutes of the fourth. See what I mean about irking me!!!
March 5th – Oklahoma City Thunder head to the Windy City vs Chicago Bulls
Cannot believe I have to wait this long to see my favorite battle at the PG spot. Russell Westbrook vs Derrick Rose. We have been robbed of this for a couple of seasons now, but when at full flight, watching these two go about their business is just inspiring. Two of the best, fastest and most athletic guards in the league, both with huge desire to win – and we reap the benefits. This time around, we also get to witness FIBA teammates Serge Ibaka and Pau Gasol go head to head, and we get to see someone try and guard Kevin Durant. While I can’t believe I have to wait five months for it, getting a re-match just days later on March 15th softens the blow.
So there you have it – my “can’t miss” blockbuster specials. What about you Thunder fans? What games are you circling on the calendar already?