Remember the movie Fever Pitch? You know the underrated sports/love story/comedy with Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore. Okay, anyways, chances are slim, but we move on. Jimmy's character Ben inherited his uncle's season tickets for the Red Sox and at the beginning of every season, he and his boys get together to check out the schedule release and call dibs on tickets. Well for some that is the same feeling when the NBA releases its upcoming schedule.
With a bevy of off-season movement taking place this summer, alongside the annual incoming class of rookies, the 2017-18 season has a number of self written stories waiting to be told. Two books that yet to have an ending include where will Kyrie Irving and Carmelo Anthony end up? Will they play a disgruntled season in with their current team or will they end up joining a team just on the fringe of being a championship contender (really who are we kidding, the trophy is staying in Oakland folks). Whatever your reason for watching and whomever you cheer for, be it a player or a team, the 2017-18 season has a full slate of must see games.
15 Cavaliers vs. Celtics - October 17, 2017
Danny Ainge may have put together his best team since the Big 3 of KG, PP and Jesus Shuttlesworth. Adding to All-Stars Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford are Gordon Hayward and rookie Jayson Tatum. And those are just the big names. Sure they lost Avery Bradley (which could hurt in the long run) and Kelly Olynyk, but this is a crew set to dethrone King James and take over as the Eastern Conference champions.
14 Wizards vs. Sixers - October 18, 2017
The Wizards are in a position to battle for a top four seed in the Eastern Conference this season, possibly even a top two spot depending on how the drama in Cleveland unfolds. The Sixers on the other hand are still trusting in the process. If everything goes according to plan, Philadelphia will trot out a healthy lineup for the first time in years.
13 Cavaliers vs. Knicks - October 29, 2017
On paper this game is pretty lopsi....actually it doesn't really matter what it is on, paper, screen, court, the game will be one sided no matter what. However, the story leading up to this game over the next couple of months is where Kyrie Irving and Carmelo Anthony will be playing?
12 Lakers vs. Sixers - November 15, 2017
In the classic, "did we make the right choice" matchup between the first and second pick of June's rookie draft, the 76'ers bring their young point guard Markelle Fultz, along with last year's top pick Ben Simmons and hopefully Joel Embiid into LA, to battle the young Lakers and their newest addition, Lonzo Ball.
11 Lakers vs. Kings - November 22, 2017
Think back to when the Lakers and Kings battled for the Western Conference supremacy. Long time ago eh? Well, this game isn't going to have even half of the intensity and hype that those classic playoff series had, but what it will give fans is a one-on-one matchup of two young and exciting point guards, something that alone makes this clash must-watch.
10 Thunder vs. Warriors - November 22, 2017
Any time you get Russell Westbrook going against Kevin Durant, there is going to be a story about the former teammates, but this year it's a story worth following because of the components involved. No longer will Westbrook be a one man show for the Thunder as the addition of Paul George now makes this matchup a little more balanced.
9 Pacers vs. Thunder - December 13, 2017
For as far back as one can remember, there really hasn't been a reason for the average NBA fan to mark this matchup on their calendar. All that has changed this season as Paul George will return to Indiana for the first time and not wearing a Pacers jersey.
8 Warriors vs. Cavaliers - December 25, 2017
Last season fans were waiting with baited breath for the Christmas day game between these same two teams as a rematch of the NBA Finals. This year the story remains the same, except for the fact that since the actual championship series was such a dud, Christmas may feel a little less exciting.
7 Timberwolves vs. Lakers - December 25, 2017
For fans on the West Coast, this will be the perfect after dinner game to cap off the night. For East Coast fans, well, you may regret going to bed early. On paper, this is a lopsided game as the once young Timberwolves now bring a veteran lineup to the fight, whereas the Lakers are in a place that Minnesota once occupied.
6 Clippers vs. Rockets - January 15, 2018
The Lob City experiment was fun while it lasted, but for all the hype, the furthest the team reached was the Western Conference Semi-Finals. Sure that is nothing to sneeze at and a number of teams in the league would be happy to call that a successful season, but with all the firepower, talent and leadership, expectations certainly fell short.
5 Bulls vs. Timberwolves - February 9, 2018
A tale of two teams heading in completely different directions. At one point not too long ago, the Chicago Bulls were among the top seeded teams in the Eastern Conference and the Timberwolves were floating in the Western basement. Man oh man how times have changed since then.
4 Lakers vs. Cavaliers - March 11, 2018
At this point in the season, fans will be left wondering if LeBron will pull a DNP-Rest or if he will actually suit up. Chances are being that this game is in Hollywood, James will play. But there might be an alliterative motive behind his performance as it has been long rumored that LA may be the next place of interest for James to rest his head.
3 Sixers vs. Timberwolves - March 24, 2018
Okay, at what point did you think you would see both the Sixers and Timberwolves on a 'Must See" list? Seriously, we're talking about two teams that could hardly muster 30 wins last season (Sixers 28 & Wolves 31).
2 Jazz vs. Celtics - March 28, 2018
After years of building their roster piece-by-piece, it looked as though the Utah Jazz were ready to break through to the top tier of the Western Conference this season (thanks to some help by other teams and off season movement).
1 Wizards vs. Celtics - April 10, 2018
There are but a few rivalries left in the NBA that appear to be genuine and not forced by the media. Washington and Boston fall into the category of self made enemies. After a regular season slate of games highlighted by the "funeral game", the two Eastern Conference teams certainly share no love lost.
With a slew of flagrant fouls, technical fouls, trash talking and skirmishes from their regular season and playoff series last year, the final home game for the Wizards of the 17/18 schedule welcomes the Celtics to what is sure to be a hostile Capital One Arena. If you love a good old rivalry with some serious edge to it, this is a must-see game for you the viewer.
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