Sometimes it’s best not to over complicate things. Clearly, the NBA’s schedulers got that memo. When the full-length 2012-13 season tips off on Tuesday, October 30th, we’ll be treated to a predictably-delectable National TV opener: the Boston Celtics will be in Miami to watch LeBron James and company hoist a banner… an event which figures to be awfully awkward for one Walter Ray Allen. Then, on Thursday, TNT’s coverage will resume as the Knicks and the Nets battle for superiority in the City of Gotham (I just watched Batman). ESPN has its first slate of games on Friday, when the Heat will visit Madison Square in an undercard bout leading up to the battle of LA.
So, the NBA’s given you four must-see match ups in the first four nights. Throw in the debuts of Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Thomas Robinson along with Jeremy Lin’s return to New York, Steve Nash’s return to Phoenix, and Carmelo Anthony’s return to Denver (no, he still hasn’t been back) and you’ve got the obligatory “top ten must-see games” piece that every blog on the net has whipped up in the past few hours.
I sat down in front of my computer this evening to construct a post like that myself. Then I realized the choices were so goddamn predictable that reading it wasn’t even going to be worth your time. So, I asked Twitter to suggest an alternative, and Twitter delivered. What we’ve got here is a list of 10 games you can probably nap through; ten “must-not-see” games, if you will. Shout out to my good friend @thedescender for the awesome idea.
#10: San Antonio @ Minnesota, Mar. 12th, 8 PM: This game represents the meat of a three-game, four-day sandwich for the Spurs. Coach Pop and company will battle the Thunder at home on the 11th before heading up north, only to return to Texas for a duel with Dallas on the 14th. If you thought you were gonna see Tim Duncan face off with Kevin Love… you thought wrong. Enjoy your supersized portion of Tiago Splitter.
#9: Orlando @ Chicago, Nov. 6th, 8 PM: With or without Dwight Howard, who won’t even want to be on the floor, the Magic don’t present a whole lot of entertainment value. Here they are playing the Rose-less Bulls in what will probably be more of an offensive struggle than a defensive battle. No thanks.
#8: Houston @ Chicago, Dec. 25th, 8 PM: Again, Derrick Rose figures to be out until the spring. With all due respect to Jeremy Lin and Jeff Teague’s little brother, I’ll watch the Christmas Story.
#7: Houston @ Toronto, Dec. 16th, 1 PM: How can we make a bad Western Conference team look even worse? Hmmm…….. OH, I know! Let’s schedule them to play on the road at what would be 12 noon in their time zone! Fantastic f@cking idea, schedulers. Jeremy Lin will probably set a turnover record as he sleepwalks up and down the floor.
#6: Philadelphia @ Toronto, Nov. 10th, 7 PM: On the second night of a back-to-back Kwame Brown and the Sixers travel to Toronto to take on Andrea Bargnani and the Raptors. Also, there’s the presence of Spencer Hawes as well as the obligatory Andre Iguodala airball. You aren’t setting your DVR for this one.
#5: Atlanta @ New York, Jan. 27th, 6:30 PM: Josh Smith… the main man… at The Garden… on ESPN… Sunday evening… prime time. I’m saying three airballs, bare minimum.
#4: Philadelphia @ New York, Nov. 4th, 12 PM: Not only do they have these dudes playing in New York City at noontime, but it’s only the sixth day of the goddamn season. I’ll be very surprised if either team shoots over 40%. I feel rusty just thinking about it.
#3: Golden State @ Portland, Apr. 17th, 10:30 PM: Ladies and gentlemen, the final National TV game of your 2012/13 NBA regular season! Seriously though, what are the odds that either of these teams will have more than five or six healthy players come April 17th? Yeah… this one definitely gets the nod for “game Mikki Moore is most likely to appear in.”
#2: Charlotte @ Detroit, Apr. 12th, 7:30 PM: April 12th is about the time when bad teams go ahead and start five D-Leaguers. I suppose this could turn into a Ben Gordon revenge game, but the potential excitement there is negated by the possibility of a Corey Maggette sighting.
#1: Washington @ Cleveland, Oct. 30th, 7 PM: I love Kyrie Irving as much as the next man, but this sh!t’s gonna overlap with Miami’s banner ceremony. Debuts of Bradley Beal and Dion Waiters be damned, this one’s gonna have to be placed on the back burner.