Ten To Watch
Posted Oct 3 2006 12:36PM
What to watch in '06-07
The NBA schedule is pretty big, huh? There's a lot of things to look for, so before you go digging through all 1230 games, check out our 10 Key Dates of the season. Mark them on your calendar, cancel all appointments, order up your League Pass and make sure your lucky t-shirt still fits. Just for you, we've included a special bonus Key Date and we'll let you figure out which one it is.
Chicago @ Miami, 8 p.m. ET, TNT
Phoenix @ LA Lakers, 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT
The second is one that gave us quite a few thrills back in April and May. The Lakers and Suns went the distance, including two overtime thrillers and a bit of bad blood. This will also mark Amare Stoudemire's return to regular season action, so stop listening to what others are saying about his comeback. Tune in and determine it for yourself.
Toronto @ New Jersey, 7:30 p.m. ET, League PassThe No. 1 pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, Andrea Bargnani plays his first regular season game at the Meadowlands before taking on last year's top selection (Andrew Bogut) two nights later at home. Several other rookies, including Adam Morrison, LaMarcus Aldridge, Shelden Williams, Randy Foye, Brandon Roy, Rudy Gay and J.J. Redick, make their debuts on Wednesday as well. If you like rookies, get your League Pass early.
Washington @ Cleveland, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
LA Clippers @ Phoenix, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
ESPN's coverage tips off with another first-round rematch as Gilbert Arenas and the Wizards look for a bit of redemption against LeBron James and the Cavs. We know for a fact that Gilbert has been working on his free throws. The double-header continues with the Clippers and Suns, another rematch of a classic series from this past spring.
San Antonio @ Dallas, 8 p.m. ET, TNTAs the Spurs and Mavs battled for the top seed in the West and homecourt advantage last season, every matchup meant so much. They then gave us a classic seven-game series in the Conference Semfinals, as the Mavs pulled out a thrilling victory on their way to their first NBA Finals. This time around, the division rivals open their seasons against each other at the American Airlines Center as part of the season premiere of TNT Thursday. All four Spurs-Mavs matchups will be broadcast nationally this season.
Denver @ LA Clippers, 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT
The TNT double-header continues as the Nuggets open their season at the Staples Center in one more playoff rematch.
November 4 - Rookie Watch, Part I
Minnesota @ Portland, 10 p.m. ET, League PassWe know what you're thinking. Minnesota and Portland? Yep. Let's take you back to draft night ... Brandon Roy and Randy Foye were considered by many to be the two prospects who were most ready to contribute right away. Roy was drafted at No. 6 by the Timberwolves. A few minutes later, Foye was drafted at No. 7 by the Celtics. After Boston shipped Foye to Portland, the two were dealt for each other straight up. Add to that the fact that their names are eerily similar, and these two rookies will be forever compared to one another.
They already have people talking after their performances in the Vegas Summer League and they face off for the first time for real on the first Saturday of the season. Other Foye-Roy matchups take place on Nov. 14, Jan. 24 and March 25. Who's your Rookie of the Year?
Houston @ New Orleans/Oklahoma City, 7 p.m. ET, NBA TVThe Hornets play their home opener at home ... the New Orleans Arena. Chris Paul, Peja Stojakovic and company will play six of their 41 home games in New Orleans this season, before returning back to Louisiana full-time in 2007-08.
Charlotte @ Orlando, 7 p.m. ET, League PassAdam Morrison and J.J. Redick went head-to-head for the NCAA scoring title and Player of the Year honors all of last season, but they never actually went head-to-head. They get their first shot as pros on November 18th, as Morrison's Bobcats visit Redick's Magic in Orlando. Other Morrison-Redick nights take place on Dec. 14, Jan. 5 and March 12.
Phoenix @ Orlando, 7 p.m. ET, League PassAmare Stoudemire is back. Dwight Howard is on the come-up. When it comes to big men in the NBA, these guys are the future ... and the present. The two physical specimens meet twice this season, in Orlando on Dec. 11 and in Phoenix on Jan. 13. Tune in and get out of the way.
LA Lakers @ Miami, 2:30 p.m. ET, ABCIt's always an event when Kobe and Shaq get together and there's no better place to spend Christmas than the snow-covered beaches of Miami. Make sure Mom schedules dinner appropriately ... or just eat in front of the TV. It's the first of 19 regular season games on ABC and these two teams will also meet on Martin Luther King Day (Jan. 15) at 10:30 p.m. ET on TNT.
January 21 - REEEEMAAAATCH!!
Dallas @ Miami, 1 p.m. ET, ABCForty-one minutes into Game 3, the Mavs were on their way to a sweep. We who were covering the Finals would be going home early and not be spending our weekend in South Beach. Then something happened. Dwyane Wade put on his cape and the Heat turned Game 3 around, took Games 4 and 5 at home and won their first NBA Championship in Dallas.
The Mavs have retooled their bench and will be out for revenge in the first of two Finals rematches. The second takes place in Dallas on Feb. 22 on TNT. The game in Miami is the start of a string of 12 straight Sundays of NBA action on ABC, running through the conclusion of the regular season.
Cleveland @ Miami, 8 p.m. ET, TNTWho's your man? LeBron has the size, the hype and weight of a city on his shoulders. D Wade has the drive, the big fella and most importantly, a championship. All four head-to-head matchups between The King and The Ring will air on national TV, starting with February 1 on TNT.
Chicago @ Detroit, 1 p.m. ET, ABCHe was the heart of the team that won an NBA Championship, made two straight trips to the Finals and recorded the best regular season record in six years. He was the biggest name in free agency this summer, but nobody expected him to leave. Well ... he did.
The Bulls and Pistons meet for the first time in Chicago on Jan. 6, but Ben Wallace doesn't return to The Palace until Sunday, February 25. It should be quite an interesting atmosphere in Auburn Hills.