Games to watch in the 2004 preseason
Preseason Primer

While everyone's counting down for the regular season to start, there are plenty of exciting matchups to watch this preseason. From the Kings and Rockets squaring off in China to the Bobcats setting foot on the hardwood for the first time, here's a look at some key preseason games to check out this October.

Sunday, Oct. 10: Miami Heat vs. Houston Rockets (8:30 p.m. ET)
Shaq squares off with Yao in the first game of the preseason. And not only is it the Big Aristotle's Heat debut, it's also a chance to check out T-Mac in his new Texas home.

Thursday, Oct. 14: Sacramento Kings vs. Houston Rockets (7:30 a.m. ET, ESPN)
Yao goes back to China, or Shanghai to be more exact, in the first matchup of the 2004 China Games.

Thursday, Oct. 14: Washington Wizards vs. Charlotte Bobcats (7 p.m. ET)
The Wizards' new go-to guy, and UNC alum, Antawn Jamison returns to N.C. in the first NBA game played in the history of the Charlotte Bobcats franchise.

J-Mac visits J-Will in the first game at Memphis' new FedExForum.
Chris Covatta, Joe Murphy
NBAE/Getty Images
Thursday, Oct. 14: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Memphis Grizzlies
(8 p.m. ET)

LeBron against J-Will and Pau? Not a bad way to open the doors on the brand, spankin' new FedExForum.

Sunday, Oct. 17: Houston Rockets vs. Sacramento Kings (12:01 a.m. ET, ESPN)
Game 2 of the 2004 China Games goes down in Beijing, where Kings camp invitee Liu Wei will get another chance to strut his stuff in front of the home fans.

Wednesday, Oct. 20: Benetton Treviso vs. Toronto Raptors (7 p.m. ET)
The Raptors welcome Italian League champions -- and Euroleague semifinalists -- Benetton Treviso to Toronto in what should be a high-scoring shootout North of the border.

Friday, Oct. 22: Miami Heat vs. Atlanta Hawks (8 p.m. ET, TNT)
Will Al and Antoine be able to handle D-Wade and the Big Diesel? Tune in to TNT to find out.

Friday, Oct. 22: L.A. Clippers vs. L.A. Lakers (10:30 p.m. ET, TNT)
Coveted rook Shaun Livingston should get some burn for the "visiting" Clips, while Kobe and L.O. look to sharpen what they hope to be a long and prosperous 1-2 punch.

Saturday, Oct. 23: Houston Rockets vs. Orlando Magic (7 p.m. ET)
He asked to be traded. No word on whether he asked to come home this soon, though. Such is the plight of T-Mac when he returns to Orlando to face his former squad.

Friday, Oct. 29: Detroit Pistons vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (8 p.m. ET, ESPN)
A Finals preview? Even if you do think otherwise, we dare you to tell that to Big Ben and KG. The front end of an ESPN doubleheader.

Friday, Oct. 29: Phoenix Suns vs. Sacramento Kings (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
The last game of the preseason finds Steve Nash and Q trekking from AZ up to NorCal to take on C-Webb, Peja and the Kings.