Blog Entry

2011-12 schedule breakdown: 21 can't-miss games

Posted on: December 6, 2011 8:21 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2011 12:47 pm
Posted by Royce Young

When you have a season, you have to have a schedule. That's how it works, right?

Though it's abbreviated and not every city will see every team, the NBA put out its 66-game schedule Tuesday night.

And as it typically goes, within each schedules there your usual dregs and ho-hum matchups and there are big, storyline-filled mega showdowns. So let's get to it. What are the can't-miss games for this NBA season? Here are 21 you need to clear the calendar for, excluding the obvious can't-miss slate of Christmas games:

Dec. 26: Memphis at San Antonio:
It was stunning at the time, but after watching the Grizzlies rip through the Spurs before bowing out to the Thunder in seven-game, it felt like we should've seen this coming. And this was with the Grizzlies missing their best scorer in Rudy Gay.

Dec. 26: Los Angeles Lakers at Sacramento Kings
Jimmer Mania will finally get off to its NBA start and the league was kind enough to let it begin at home. You can be sure Sacto will be buzzing with the hated Lakers coming to town and Jimmer's debut, but there could be more to the hype than that. There could be a little optimism for the Kings are Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins and company might have a little something brewing this season.

Dec. 26: Oklahoma City at Minnesota
Before there was Jimmer Mania, there was Rubio Fever. We've just had to wait a while for it. Anctipation! Kevin Love will finally be able to believe what he sees as the floppy-haired Spaniard takes the floor with the Timberwolves for the first time against Durant, Westbrook and the Thunder.

Dec. 27: Boston at Miami
The first meeting between the Heat and Celtics since last season's playoff series. It's no secret that LeBron and Wade don't really get along well with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. The more teams don't like each other, the better.

Dec. 29: New York at Los Angeles Lakers
Maybe the two most visible franchises in the league with two rosters full of stars. Amar'e Stoudemire head-to-head against Pau Gasol is an awesome matchup, but if we're lucky, it'll be iso battles between Melo and Kobe for the last couple minutes of the game.

Dec. 29: Dallas at Oklahoma City
The first Thunder opportunity for payback and redemption would've come almost two months into the old season, but now it gets to happen right away. You can be sure the Arena Formerly Known As The Ford Center will be amped about this one. The last time the Mavericks were in Oklahoma City, they broke the Thunder’s heart with that ridiculous 15-point comeback. No way Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Thunder fans have forgotten.

Jan. 1: Cleveland at New Jersey
Top pick Kyrie Irving will have a handful of games under his belt by the time he heads to New Jersey, but this will be his first game against an elite point guard. How will he hold up against Deron Williams? This could be a quick welcome-to-the-NBA moment for the Cavs new franchise kid.

Jan. 5: Dallas at San Antonio
The old champs versus the new ones provides a new twist to an old rivalry. These two Texas titans have never gotten along and have had some pretty awesome games over the past decade or so. You can be sure that for once, Dirk and the Mavs will have a bit more swagger in Dallas as the Mavs take the floor against Tim Duncan and the Spurs. Funny how a ring can do that.

Jan. 13: Chicago at Boston
It's the Thibodeau Bowl. The Celtics might be aging but you know they aren't going to just hand the East over. The Bulls are rising and you know they want to rub last year's triumph over the Celtics in the regular season in their face.

Jan. 14: Lakers "at" Clippers
By no means have the Clippers caught up to the Lakers, but there is a chance that this team could be pretty decent. After a horrific start to last season, the Clippers put together a solid last four months of the season. Some might be looking at this game as a changing-of-the-guard type of affair -- which it's not -- but the Clippers could definitely raise some eyebrows.

Jan. 14: New Jersey at Utah
It'll certainly be more unceremonious as LeBron's return to Cleveland, but Deron Williams coming back to Utah will definitely have the attention of Jazz fans. There's some that still blame Jerry Sloan's retirement on Williams and that whole situation didn't sit well in Salt Lake. Williams will likely feel some anger from Jazz fans, even if it's not entirely deserved.

Jan. 19: Los Angeles Lakers at Miami
I'm not totally sure, but I think Kobe is still in American Airlines Center shooting. Kobe loves beating LeBron and you know the feeling is mutual. Two of the league's biggest, most visible teams with the two biggest, most visible stars. If you aren't watching, I have to wonder what the heck you could possibly be doing.

Jan. 20: Los Angeles Lakers at Orlando
The first time the Lakers visit the Magic. The question is, will Dwight Howard be playing home, or away?

Jan. 29: Chicago at Miami
A rematch of the Eastern Finals. Derrick Rose's last memory of the Heat is LeBron and Wade storming back in Chicago and stealing Game 5 when the Bulls had it all but won. These two teams will likely be the class of the East and with this being the first meeting of the season, somebody's going to make a statement.

Feb. 9: Los Angeles Lakers at Boston
It's the league's best rivalry, maybe sports' best rivalry. Every Celtics-Lakers game is an event. I don't think I even need to give you reasons why this game is huge.

Feb. 17: Miami at Cleveland
LeBron returns, again. It's the third time he's played in Cleveland since "The Decision" and some of the sting certainly has worn off, at least in that fans won't be buying tickets ONLY to yell at LeBron. But you can be sure that an unusual amount of Maverick blue will be littered throughout Quicken Loans Arena.

Feb. 17: New Orleans at New York
Take a good look at Chris Paul and wish, Knicks fans, assuming CP3 still is in NOLA. You know he's a free agent in 2012 and you know he'd look pretty nice alongside Amar'e and Melo. But he's on the other side right now and there's a pretty good chance he's going to drive you crazy, at least on this night.

Feb. 23: Lakers at Oklahoma City
The Lakers always bring out the best in Thunder fans, and that's saying something. Kobe, Durant, Westbrook, Bynum, Gasol, Harden, Perkins -- the names are there and the games are always good.

March 25: Miami at Oklahoma City
LeBron and Kevin Durant. Two of basketballs most enjoyable, explosive talents that are always easy on the eye. The Thunder have always been painted as the anti-Heat, but the young kids from OKC don't care about making a statement for the little guy. There may be a good storyline, but it's more about a really good Eastern team versus a really good Western team.

April 1: Miami at Boston
LeBron and Wade return to the scene of one of their greatest crimes. The Heat opened the season in Boston and took an embarrassing, humbling loss at the hands of the Celtics but got revenge in the postseason, besting the Celtics in five with the final game coming on the parquet. It's not exactly a rivalry, but again, the Heat don't enjoy the Celtics and the Celtics certainly don't enjoy the Heat.

April 15: Miami at New York
The two supposed "super" teams meeting in Madison Square Garden with potential Eastern seeding implications? Yes, please. LeBron against Melo is good stuff no matter what, but you can be sure the Knicks will be trying to push the Heat with a stronger roster by this point.

Since: Oct 5, 2006
Posted on: December 9, 2011 5:06 am

2011-12 schedule breakdown: 21 can't-miss games

I on the other hand haven't cared about the NBA for a very long (years) time.

But I post because the NBA was the lead story at the time on this website.  I read the sports pages.  I react.  there is just as much validity in reacting to what doesn't interest me, and more importantly why, as to note interest.  Also in wearing an Arbitron meter what my eyes are glued to counts.

In any case, others than the two of us reacted in similar fashion.  College basketball more entertaining and compelling.  The strike and off season antics pushed some over the edge of disinterest.  The migration of players to "super teams" screwing the fans...  across the spectrum of pro sports I do not like free agency...  and the by-laws in the NBA have to be the most worst in this regard...  lost fans last year.

But go ahead and enjoy the abbreviated season.  As you know, nearly everyone will make the play-offs.

Since: May 26, 2009
Posted on: December 7, 2011 10:16 pm

2011-12 schedule breakdown: 21 can't-miss games

Nobody cares if these 2 clowns below me are not going to watch the games and don't have interest in the NBA. How about this, why not spend time posting about topics your interested in, instead of intentionally trolling about something you don't care about? You don't see me posting again and again in the NHL forum about how pathetic that league is. If you arnt interested in this, post in areas where you ARE interested. What a radical concept.

If you took the time to actually READ my comments, I said that this fan is ON STRIKE this season against the NBA.  I would wager I have watched many more (and attended too) games than you ever have and probably ever will.  I USED to be interested in the NBA, I USED to care about the NBA.  Even last year, I enjoyed seeing Miami lose in the finals, I enjoyed watching the "new" Nuggets play better team basketball.

After the krap that went on in the offseason, I hope they play in half empty stadiums, T.V. rating fall and players maybe, just maybe the players will be a little more humble.

So don't say I'm not interested and call people clowns when you have no idea of what you are saying!

Since: Nov 6, 2006
Posted on: December 7, 2011 5:47 pm

2011-12 schedule breakdown: 21 can't-miss games

That's why billions of dollars are wagered on the games

A fool and his money are soon parted.

I forgot all sports are rigged

No, just the ones with Tim Donaghy officiating.

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: December 7, 2011 4:41 pm

2011-12 schedule breakdown: 21 can't-miss games

oh yeah right I forgot all sports are rigged. That's why billions of dollars are wagered on the games. 

Are you one of those guys who believes in the Rapture? Run for the hills you lunatic.  

Since: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: December 7, 2011 3:52 pm

2011-12 schedule breakdown: 21 can't-miss games

With all the back to backs and back to back to backs, I will gladly miss most or all games. You ask for the same money to watch tired athletes, sorry, I'm out.

Since: Nov 6, 2006
Posted on: December 7, 2011 3:35 pm

2011-12 schedule breakdown: 21 can't-miss games

so Bryant, Nowitzki, and Duncan aren't competitors? Nash, Paul, and Pierce don't know to compete?
They are "entertainers" just like The Rock, Hulk Hogan and Andre The Giant.

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: December 7, 2011 3:12 pm

2011-12 schedule breakdown: 21 can't-miss games

These players today aren't competitors.  They aren't winners like Jordan, Bird, Magic, Russell, Erving, Thomas... et al.  Guys that would sooner rip their opponants arm off than quit a team and go play with their enemy to steal a ring.

so Bryant, Nowitzki, and Duncan aren't competitors? Nash, Paul, and Pierce don't know to compete? Durant, both Gasols, 

You've obviously never competed in anything in your life much less played basketball. 
It was a lockout not a strike get a clue dude. Go occupy some bank parking lot.  

Since: Nov 28, 2007
Posted on: December 7, 2011 3:10 pm

2011-12 schedule breakdown: 21 can't-miss games

"Can't Miss"?  Sounds like a challenge I will gladly accept!


Since: Jul 30, 2008
Posted on: December 7, 2011 1:43 pm

2011-12 schedule breakdown: 21 can't-miss games

As we get ready for the NBA pleae remember this, It's gonna be Quick and Fast and

the teams must win so they won't try and just get through the first half of the game They will have

to give it their all all the time...I think the shortened schedule is Better and should be that way all the time.

However  as with everything in America  "Money Talks". So let's enjoy a Quickened Season this year!

Go Heat! 


Since: Dec 4, 2008
Posted on: December 7, 2011 12:41 pm

2011-12 schedule breakdown: 21 can't-miss games

somebody really likes Miami, 7 of 21 games....

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