Marquee Matchups For 2012-13 NBA Season

On Thursday night, the NBA released its regular season schedule for the upcoming 2012-13 season.

The timing was impeccable as this was released on the night before the Olympics Opening Ceremony. The only time fans will be focusing on basketball is during Team USA’s run at another gold medal.

The NBA announced its Opening night and Christmas Day schedules, the lineups that fans care about.

Now considering it has been a couple of days, there should be no need to reveal who’s playing who.

For what it’s worth, neither lineup make me say “Wowzers!” or anything else out of the ordinary. There’s only one out of the eight total that catch my attention. In fact, let’s get to the top five games on my radar. Maybe you’ll agree or care to disagree.

5.) Nets vs Knicks
With the Nets enticing Deron Williams to stay, as well as their acquisition of Joe Johnson, Brooklyn appears to be a playoff team. Because the Knicks receive all the attention, the pressure will be on them to remain top dog in New York. Besides, the Knicks are vastly overrated. Sometimes, the feeling is that the Knicks are entitled to something that they don’t have – and that can be whatever the fans want it to be.

4.) Heat vs Cavs
Perhaps a bit of surprise isn’t it? For this to be intriguing, the game has to be in Cleveland. With LeBron capturing his first championship, it is likely evident Cavs fans (and Dan Gilbert) are full of jealousy. I’m just wondering how and if LeBron finds a way to rub it in.

3.) Spurs vs Hornets
This happens to be the game of choice because it is the debut of prized draft picks Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers. The irony of this is Davis has been compared to Tim Duncan. He’s given the opportunity to make his first impression against the Big Fundamental.

2.) Thunder vs Heat
This matchup is the only game between Christmas Day and Opening night that has value to me. The last two times the runner-up lost in the finals and won on Christmas Day, that team won the championship. The Heat did so last season, actually. The Thunder should use that as any indication.

1.) Heat vs Lakers
I could never get tired of Kobe vs LeBron. The best is brought out of them. With the Heat now NBA Champions, this has to drive Kobe insane – especially knowing that analysts are now saying it is LeBron’s league now. And with Kevin Durant on his heels, these last two years or so will be Kobe’s last stand. He responds well to challenges; I don’t expect any different.

If there is anything constant with this list, it’s that more than half of it consists of Heat games. Because of this, fans will try to conclude I’m some Heat fan or bandwagoner. How about none of the above?

With the Heat becoming champions, there are quite a bit of juicy story lines included. Some even missed the list, like, for example, the Celtics and Heat. I’ll be looking forward to that matchup tenfold once the playoffs start.

This list will change if Dwight Howard gets traded, which at this rate is too much ask for. But as of now, I’m quite content without watching any NBA games. I’ll be sitting back, enjoying the Olympics, and anticipating football season to begin.