NBA / Aug 4, 2010 / 12:15 pm

The Marquee NBA Games Nobody Is Talking About

Brandon Roy (photo. Aaron Hewitt)

In the least-surprising turn of events since the backlash against Barack Obama for not instantly fixing a broken system, the NBA announced it will put Heat/Lakers on center stage as its Christmas Day main event, as well as put the Heat, Lakers and Celtics on display for Opening Night in October.

The League announced a lot of other marquee national-TV games last night, too, most of which aren’t being talked about much this morning. Here are some of the hidden gems just in opening week:

Chicago at Oklahoma City (Oct. 27, ESPN) — Don’t be surprised if this is an NBA Finals matchup within the next five years. Derrick Rose and Kevin Durant are the League’s two best 21-or-under stars, and aren’t too far from being the game’s best players at their respective positions. Rose will go head-to-head with USA Basketball teammate Russell Westbrook, while Durant will have his hands full with new Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau‘s defensive schemes. This also marks the debut of the “Chicago Jazz” lineup, featuring Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer.

Portland at L.A. Clippers (Oct. 27, ESPN) — Two fan bases alternating between high optimism and constant fear. Greg Oden and Blake Griffin will take the court for the first time in months and (hopefully) stay intact the entire time for their playoff-hopeful teams. Intriguing matchups all over the floor in this one: Brandon Roy vs. Eric Gordon, ‘Dre Miller vs. Baron Davis, Oden vs. Chris Kaman, Blake vs. LaMarcus Aldridge, plus L.A. Lottery pick Al-Farouq Aminu makes his official pro debut.

Phoenix at Utah (Oct. 28, TNT) — As interested as I am in seeing Deron Williams vs. Steve Nash, I’m more interested in seeing how the Suns are going to deal with Utah’s revamped front line. I envision Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap devouring Hakim Warrick like two lions picking over the carcass of an impala, while Mehmet Okur serves Robin Lopez an eyeful of jumpers.

Orlando at Miami (Oct. 29, ESPN) — Although the rest of the schedule hasn’t been released, I’m thinking this will be the home debut of the Super-Friends. This will also be the first meeting in what should be a fierce cross-state rivalry for the next decade. Dwight Howard has been working on his post moves with Hakeem Olajuwon this summer, and will try to break some out against the team that’s hi-jacked all of his hype in the state of Florida. Dwight and Chris Bosh have always had a competitive, high-scoring rivalry, and LeBron has his own scores to settle with the Magic.

Utah at Oklahoma City (Oct. 31, NBA TV) — The last time these teams met up, Deron hit a game-winner with one second left in overtime, capping a shootout where he dropped 42 points and Durant put up 45. There was also some controversy at the end, when KD was fouled on his game-winning attempt but there was no call. I’ve never seen Durant more angry than he was that night, and he definitely hasn’t forgotten about it. This is also Eric Maynor‘s next chance to light up the team that traded him for a discount pack of socks.

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  • BlazersBabyBri

    I’m pretty sure my whole city is praying to the basketball gods that Greg stays healthy this year. I know I am.

  • easy yeezy

    OKC and Chicago have two very young and talented squads. I’m pumped to see Durant win himself an MVP and for Rose to potentially leapfrog D-Will and CP3. The fact that this dude managed to score 20 with every team in the league focusing their D on him and hand out 6 dimes on the most offensively inefficient team in the league makes me wonder what he could do with some real weapons, a balanced O and a real coach.

  • http://richjanitorreviewed.org BV

    Chicago @ OKC is gonna be wicked sick. The greatest young PG versus the greatest young player. Should be amazin’

  • jryu

    great list. i like the first and last ones the most. that utah/okc game last year was awesome. would’ve been fun to see them matched up in the playoffs this year.

    and i think you guys talked about this game in your smack this morning, but can’t wait for mj team #1 to face mj team #2. rose vs wall should be awesome. hopefully chicago’s advantage at the other positions doesn’t make the pg battle less interesting..

  • Roman

    Portland @ Clippers- gotta see that one! Utah @ Phoenix had me cracking up.

  • Lol

    How will Okur be delivering jumpshots whiles he’s out until after the all star break

  • brado

    Way excited for the UT vs. OKC and CHI vs. OKC. I think those three teams are going to reek havoc this year.

  • JAX

    I’m SOOOOO glad to hear about the “SuperFriends” et al. Why? Because, quietly, no one is talking Lakers, which is a good thing for us. Just like Jordan had to do, Bean and the crew need some internal motivation to keep their drive alive or else the league would bore them to death. Kobe’s resting. Bynum’s resting. The new arrivals are silently being groomed into the fold. ssshhhhh..here we come….

  • John

    I don’t think the backlash is against Obama for not immediately fixing a system. I believe the backlash is because he is making a system worse. Also, it has something to do with voters voting based on “change” and having no idea on actual issues. I am disappointed Dime.

  • Baller

    First of all i have to laugh at the person who said Derrick rose is the best PG. Sorry thats just too funny. Not even Close
    The Jazz, OKC and the Bulls are gunna thrash this year.
    I’m especially excited to see the new Jazz lineup. Al Jefferson is going to become an All-Star with D-will leading him. I don’t think Boozer is going to be the PF he was in Utah with a scoring Pg like Rose, his numbers are going to fall hard with Rose and Noah doing his thing and he is going to regret leaving Utah really fast

  • MadSammyboy

    “August 4th, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    John says:

    I don’t think the backlash is against Obama for not immediately fixing a system. I believe the backlash is because he is making a system worse. Also, it has something to do with voters voting based on ‘change’ and having no idea on actual issues. I am disappointed Dime.”

    +1

  • WinDelRoj

    -1

    Like blaming Donnie for what Isiah did.

    I’ll give you this list and raise you Denver in Madison Square Garden. Melo gets the Lebron treatment and resumes to drop 60 on his possible future teammates.

    late comment but…

  • Beez

    Um, you realize Robin Lopez/Frye would be watching Al Jefferson and Turkoglu/Warrick would be watching Memo, right? Use your head dummy.

  • http://www.kicksbar.com cheap jordan

    i like the first one more than the last one. that utah/okc game last year was awesome.