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7 Anticipated NBA Matchups for the 2013-14 Season

by Photo of Scott Davis

The 2013-14 NBA schedule will be announced tonight and we’re already anticipating these seven games.

7 Anticipated NBA Matchups for the 2013-14 Season

The 2013-14 NBA season is still a long way off, but it will feel just slightly closer tonight when the full schedule is released. The NBA Finals only ended about a month-and-a-half ago, but they already feel like a distant memory. Unfortunately, training camp usually doesn't begin until early October, so we've hit the point of the year where, with major free agent moves out of the way, the NBA is basically dormant until the fall.

However, when the schedule is released tonight, we can officially marking our calendars for the marquee matchups of the season. For NBA junkies (like myself), most NBA games are schedule-changers -- the type of nights where you tell your friends, "I'll catch up with you later." However, there are always games that catch the national eye, that get even casual fans to stay inside and watch some intense, competitive basketball. Games with superstar power, old rivals, the return of ex-players on a new team -- these are all the types of games we salivate for.

Here's a look at the games we're already dreaming about:

1.) Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs

The Finals rematch, of course, tops the list. Though during the regular season, East-West games don't mean much, the taste of these two teams' epic Finals battle still lingers. The Spurs were seconds from pulling out the fifth title in Tim Duncan's career before an improbable Heat comeback forced an intense Game 7 that the Heat went on to win. Both teams pretty much stood pat on last year's rosters, and even in more competitive conferences, they're both still considered favorites to make it back to the Finals.

2.) New York Knicks vs. Brooklyn Nets

The Nets had one of the noisiest offseasons, acquiring Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett along with some solid additional pieces to surround their Deron Williams-Joe Johnson-Brook Lopez core. The Knicks have a deep, motley crew of a team that bested the Nets in the division and conference last year. Both teams, particularly the Nets, can be considered legitimate threats in the East, and now, there seems to be real flames under this boiling rivalry. Last year's games produced some NBA classics, and this year, with more on the line, the New York rivalry could be really competitive.

3.) Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers

A rematch of last year's Eastern Conference Finals figures to be another rivalry heating up in the NBA. The two teams battled for seven games before the experience of the Heat bested the young Pacers. Now, Indiana has bolstered its bench, adding the likes of C.J. Watson, Luis Scola, and Chris Copeland, while also getting back Danny Granger this season. As mentioned, the Heat didn't do much this offseason but cut Mike Miller and add Greg Oden. A deeper, more experienced Pacers team could legitimately be considered favorites in the East, but until they're knocked off, the Heat are the kings. These games will be such a bloody, brilliant brawl.

4.) Houston Rockets vs. Golden State Warriors

These two teams don't have any personal rivalries or playoff history going, but they'll be a marquee matchup simply because they're the young, talented, rising teams in the Western Conference. The West have five or six teams that could seriously fight for the championship and the Rockets, with their young talent surrounding James Harden and Dwight Howard, and the Warriors, with their multitude of depth surround Stephen Curry, are the newest additions. Harden and Curry are both turning into must-watch, young superstars, but guys like David Lee, Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson, and Harrison Barnes (for the Dubs) and Jeremy Lin and Chandler Parsons (for the Rockets) will make these games totally competitive, all-out sprints.

5.) Chicago Bulls vs. Miami Heat

Yes, the two-time champions, complete with LeBron James become must-watch TV against certain opponents. The Heat get three of our best games, but deservedly so -- their showdowns with the Chicago Bulls have been competitive since the Big 3 formed in Miami. The two teams have met twice in the playoffs in the last three years and their regular season matches -- especially the Bulls stopping Miami's 27-game win streak last season -- have made this a budding rivalry. All fingers are crossed that Derrick Rose will return to his awesome self, and if so, we'll have plenty of star-power and the usual physicality that'll make these games among the best of the season.

6.) Los Angeles Clippers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

No playoff history between these two teams, either, but they've had some great regular season duels the last two years. The Thunder have been among the West's elite the last three years, and the Clippers have been knocking on the door. While the Thunder pretty much stood pat this offseason, the Clippers fetched Doc Rivers to steer the ship, while also adding J.J. Redick, Jared Dudley, and Darren Collison to surround the core of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. If healthy, both teams should be top four, if not the top two teams in the West. Some intense battles could get a rivalry between these two teams underway.

7.) New York Knicks vs. Indiana Pacers

This was a toss-up between the above matchup and Nets-Heat, but I'm a Knicks fan and didn't want to give those teams any more credit than I already had to. The Knicks and Pacers have a long history of playoff battles and they reunited this past season in the second round, with the Pacers eliminating the Knicks in six games. The Pacers had a better offseason, but New York's moves looked absolutely geared to combat the problems they had when facing the Pacers. In addition, Pacers-Knicks games will pit Metta World Peace against his former team when he was at the height of his game and his insanity. Chris Copeland is a Knicks expatriate, too. These games figure to be competitive, intense, and physical.

Runners-Up:

- Miami Heat-Brooklyn Nets: see above

- Houston Rockets-Oklahoma City Thunder: Beefed up Rockets playing the team that ousted them last season

- Brooklyn Nets-Boston Celtics: Return of KG and Pierce to Boston

- Memphis Grizzlies-Los Angeles Clippers: Met in the playoffs back-to-back years; both will fight for West supremacy

Let CHARGED.fm get you NBA tickets all season long!


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