The Cleveland Cavaliers opening night matchup has yet to be announced, but reports are that the Bulls will play host to the Cavs as Chicago’s season-opening game. With this news coming to light, we compiled a list of the top five opening night matchups that we, as fans of the NBA, want to see in late October.
5. San Antonio Spurs @ Cleveland Cavaliers
After losing in the NBA Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers became the instant favorites to be hailed as the next champs. Albeit coming off a heartbreaking and energy sapping series loss, the high regard for the Cavs were just right as the team will be welcoming a number of key players back to their fold. While the Cavaliers further solidify their claim to the East’s throne, LeBron James’ old rivals in the San Antonio Spurs underwent a major upgrade when they lured All Star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge to team up with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Kawhi Leonard. Not only that, extra muscle was added to the Spurs when David West agreed to a cheap contract. As aged as the Spurs are, their matchups with LeBron James will never get old.
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4. Los Angeles Lakers @ Cleveland Cavaliers
Kobe Bryant has already signified that this season could be his last. Thus, his matchups against LeBron James will be treasured by basketball fans now more than ever. Outside of the Kobe-LeBron showdown, this shouldn’t be much of a contest with how the Cavaliers are built. But don’t sleep on the Lakers yet as they were still able to sign a couple of solid big men to compliment their triumvirate of young and talented players in Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle. This game would also be D’Angelo Russell’s first game back in Ohio after playing with the Ohio State Buckeyes last year. Flying under the radar is the fact that Lakers coach Byron Scott will be coaching against his old boys in Kyrie Irving and, once he re-signs, Tristan Thompson.
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3. Houston Rockets @ Golden State Warriors
The Rockets will be looking for payback after the Warriors humiliated them in last year’s conference finals and they have bolstered their backcourt in hopes of making league MVP Stephen Curry work for his money. After securing the services of rugged defender Patrick Beverley for more years, Houston traded for, or stole, arguably the Denver Nuggets` top dog in Ty Lawson. James Harden is also coming off the best season of his career which saw him play bridesmaid to Curry in the MVP race and he himself has some unfinished business left on his list. This will be nothing but an explosive showdown between two of the wild west`s top tier teams.
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2. Cleveland Cavaliers @ Miami Heat
Yes, their common denominator is obviously LeBron James but aside from that, the showdown between James and Dwyane Wade, who are also best buddies, is probably one of the most awaited head-to-head matchups in the entire NBA. The Heat suffered through adjustment and injuries from last year but they will barge into the new season a complete team. Miami is still an East heavyweight especially with Wade and Chris Bosh leading the way together with Luol Deng, Goran Dragic, and Hassan Whiteside. But as good as the Heat’s starting lineup is, Cleveland still owns one of the best, if not the best, five-man crew in the league so there’s already a lot of pride in that area alone.
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1. Los Angeles Clippers @ Dallas Mavericks
Dallas deserves another shot at DeAndre Jordan and what better way to hold this date than through a Los Angeles visit to the American Airlines Center in Texas. The highly-publicized change of heart by Jordan is set to haunt Dallas fans every time they see their team helpless in the paint. Their “Big D-Date” is expected to break the decibel meter as the whole dirty dictionary is about to be thrown out on that night and the broadcast team better be cautious of anything that could echo live on air. This high-octane matchup will also feature two point guards from the 2005 draft class in Chris Paul, one of the league’s best, and Deron Williams, who is looking to rejuvenate his career back home in Dallas.