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From De Lion’s Mouth: JC’s Top 10 NBA Games To Watch This Season

We are less than a week away from the start of another NBA season! Basketball is
my favorite sport, was my first love before movies, and is a topic I could go on and on
about. These editorials will happen from time to time from me, and if there are ever any
topics you’d like me to write about or engage in a discussion, please feel free to let me

For now, I am going to offer up a small preview with a few predictions and a look at
which games I’m going to mark on my calendar, and maybe you should too.
There are 2,460 games in an NBA season, and these are the 10 that I’m most looking
forward to. They’re mostly debuts of faces in new places, but a few of them have some
juicy subplots.


10. November 3rd – Brooklyn Nets at Orlando Magic

This is a weird one right? Well, admittedly my agenda with putting a Nets game this
early in the season on this list was to get a chance to see the new-look Nets. Paul
Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and new coach Jason Kidd are all making their Nets debut on
this night. But, J.C., why isn’t Jason Kidd making his debut on October 30th when the
Nets open the season? Well that is because Jason Kidd will be serving a two game
suspension to start the season due to pleading no contest to a drunk driving charge.

Despite that ominous beginning to their season, The Nets are still a team to pay
attention to.


9. October 29th – Chicago Bulls at Miami Heat

The first game of the season is obviously a must see game. There is so much
happening in this game beyond the opening of a new season it’s insane. The Heat get
their new Championship Rings, unveil a new Championship banner, LeBron begins
another season of domination. Truthfully though, as happy as all of those things make
me, this is the day that Derrick Rose makes his comeback from a devastating ACL
injury that had him miss all of last season. D Rose is one of my favorite players in the
league and I’m happy to see him back. He’s the only player in the last 5 years who has
won an MVP award who wasn’t already named LeBron James. Welcome back D Rose!










8. October 30th – Houston Rockets vs. Charlotte Bobcats

Dwight Howard put us through a lot of turmoil over the last few years and it finally came
to a head when he signed with Houston. Finally, we would be granted some momentary
peace from the drama that is the happiness level of Dwight Howard. But after all of that
trouble, yeah, he is the best center in the league and I am curious to see how he’ll play
in Houston. Now that he’s once again playing with the best shooting guard in the league
in James Harden (yeah, I just said that) he should be a happy camper.


7. February 19th – Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Lakers

At this point in the season, we should know how good Houston will be with Dwight
Howard. None of that will matter on the night that Dwight makes his return to Lala land,
and it will not be a happy one. The usually complacent Laker crowd will no doubt be a
rabid one as they try to make Dwight’s night a living hell.











6. December 10th – Miami Heat at Indiana Pacers

Indiana nearly had the Heat’s number a few months ago, and if they’d have been at
full strength who knows what could have happened? Indiana and Chicago are the two
teams in the Eastern Conference that can match up well, and even advantageously with
The Heat. This early in the season, the result might not mean much, but it might just tell
us everything we need to know, too.


5. December 30th – Miami Heat at Denver Nuggets

For those of you who don’t know this (And really, why would you?) December 30th is
my birthday, oh but it’s also LeBron James’ birthday as well. Yeah, we share a birthday,
wanna fight about it? The reason I’m so excited to see LeBron play on our birthday, is
because LeBron is always excited to play on his birthday. For his career, when he plays
on his birthday he averages 40 minutes/game, shoots 56% from the field, and puts up
35 pts/8 rebounds/6 assists. It’s always a show from LeBron on New Years Eve Eve
a.k.a. our birthday.











4. October 29th – Los Angeles Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers

Opening night of the NBA season is a big night, and the second big game of that night
belongs to The Staples Center. The two L.A. teams will play each other, and this will
be the debut of new look Clippers, who are my pick to win the West, and the disastrous
Lakers who will be bad enough to miss the playoffs, but good enough to miss out on
a decent chance of drafting Andrew Wiggins, the freshman out of Kansas. Doc Rivers
and his hard nosed approach to playing will do a finesse team like the Clippers well this
season on their way to becoming without a doubt in anyone’s mind, the best team in
Los Angeles.


3. November 1st – Miami Heat at Brooklyn Nets

I promise I tried not to include so many Heat games on this list, but Kevin Garnett
and Paul Pierce started this one. First, there was Kevin Garnett taking exception to
comments made by LeBron wondering why KG gave Ray Allen the cold shoulder for
leaving the Celtics when the very next season, both Garnett and Pierce would do the
same thing. Then, in a preseason game a few nights ago, Pierce sent LeBron and the
rest of the league “a message” by placing a hard foul on the reigning MVP that these
Nets don’t lay down.

What was the most heated rivalry between The Heat and The Celtics is now between
The Heat and The Nets, though the players are still the same. This night in Brooklyn,
should be a very tough night for defending champs.


2. November 8th – Golden State Warriors at San Antonio Spurs

Who would’ve thought that that most fun team to watch this year would be The Golden
State Warriors? Believe it or not, they are #1 on my list of most fun teams to watch. The
Splash Brothers, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are a dynamic duo only topped by a
certain duo out of Miami. These two don’t dunk though, instead they can cross you over
and shoot a 3 right in your face while you helplessly try to get back to your feet. They
were closer than it looked on paper to defeating the Spurs in the Playoffs last year, and
this is their first rematch with the Spurs this year.












1. ???

The answer as to the 10th game I’m most looking forward to is whenever Kobe Bryant
comes back from the devastating Achilles rupture just 6 months ago. I know I’ve gone
on record about my dislike of the guy, but I’m not heartless and I can recognize and
even appreciate his greatness. You never wish bad luck on anyone, especially injury.

Although I personally doubt he’ll get back to where he was as a player, if he does, it’ll
be the greatest recovery from an injury ever seen. Even greater than Adrian Peterson’s
recent recovery. And that, my friends will be a game worth watching.



So those are my 10 games to watch this year. Like I said, most of them are early, but I
believe that they will set the tone for how this season goes.

Speaking of how this season will go, I’ve got a few predictions as to how this season will
play out.


MVP – LeBron James

Who could take it from him? – Derrick Rose, provided the Bulls take the #1 spot in the
east. You’d think it would be someone else’s time to shine, and I’ve been thinking Kevin
Durant is gonna snatch this award from LeBron’s hand soon. I just don’t buy his tough
guy routine, and I think KD is still a few years away from owning this league the way
LeBron does. That, and OKC isn’t even going to be a #3 seed in the West. More on this


Defensive Player of the Year – LeBron James

I know what you’re thinking, and yes LeBron is my favorite player, but he came in
second in voting on this award last year. Getting that close and seeing how upset he
was about it, this year defense is going to be a focus for him. That new facet of his
game will propel him to another MVP award.




1. Clippers

2. Rockets

3. Warriors

4. Thunder

5. Spurs

6. Grizzlies

7. Nuggets

8. Trailblazers


1. Heat

2. Bulls

3. Pacers

4. Nets

5. Knicks

6. Cavaliers

7. Pistons

8. Hawks











The West is loaded once again, and when you look at those 8 teams, it’s hard to imagine The Lakers being better than any of those teams. It’s also hard to imagine The Spurs being that low, but if The Rockets are that good, there’s simply no room at the top for both Texas teams.

All season long, I will be talking basketball on my twitter feed @jcdeleon1 so feel free to chime in!