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10 games to watch in the 2019-20 NBA season

NBA, NBA Schedule

Believe it or not, the NBA Finals ended two months ago, and the 2019-20 campaign is now just two months way. So, as fast as the time between now and the previous finals went, that’s as quickly as next season will arrive.

On Monday, the NBA released the schedule for next year, and while we basically know how many times each team will play one another (for the most part), that doesn’t mean we can’t still circle important dates on the calendar.

So, here are 10 games to watch for the upcoming 2019-20 NBA season.

10. Utah Jazz vs. Denver Nuggets

Date: January 30

Ordinarily, Jazz vs. Nuggets is not a game people would flock to watch, and it still might not be, which is why I feel need to tell you about it.

While the Lakers and Clippers are getting all the press, Utah and Denver could end up being two of the top four teams in the Western Conference, as the Jazz made some big offseason additions like Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic and the Nuggets are returning the same impressive, young squad from this past year, plus Jerami Grant and possibly Michael Porter if he can stay healthy.

It’s entirely possible one of these two clubs could ruin a potential Lakers-Clippers conference finals, and because they appear to be so evenly matched, this will be a great matchup to watch.

Kemba Walker, Kyrie Irving

9. Brooklyn Nets vs. Boston Celtics

Date: November 27

Kyrie Irving did not exactly end on good terms with the Celtics, so his return to Boston will be interesting, to say the least.

It’s not like Irving was with the C’s for very long. He was only a member of the team for two years, and he didn’t even participate in the 2018 playoffs due to knee surgery, but his short tenure was certainly tumultuous, to say the least.

Guys such as Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown surely want to stick it to Kyrie, as he left largely because of his sputtering relationship with the youngsters, and Irving will also likely want to show that he wasn’t the main problem in Boston.

8. Indiana Pacers vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Date: February 12

Victor Oladipo is out until at least December as he recovers from surgery to repair a torn quad muscle, which is why the first meeting between the Pacers and Bucks is not the one to watch.

Should Oladipo return healthy, Indiana is a legitimate threat to win the Eastern Conference, and Milwaukee will surely have a thing or two to say about that after winning 60 games and making it to the conference finals this past season.

Malcolm Brogdon, Pacers

These two clubs are also division rivals, so they will play four times throughout the year. While the Bucks and 76ers are getting most of the attention, don’t discount the Pacers: a healthy Indy squad can absolutely make it to the finals.

Let’s also keep in mind that Malcolm Brogdon left the Bucks for the Pacers this summer.

7. Houston Rockets vs. Golden State Warriors,

Date: December 25

With Kevin Durant leaving and Klay Thompson out for most of next season as he recovers from a torn ACL, this rivalry isn’t quite the same, but perhaps Houston’s addition of Russell Westbrook can inject new life into it.

The difference is that this time around, the Rockets should have a real chance of being better than the Warriors, as Golden State may end up lacking firepower with Thompson sidelined. Of course, the Dubs also added D’Angelo Russell, so it will be interesting to see how he fits in.

Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Rockets

Regardless, these two teams have met in the playoffs four times since 2015, so you can’t not be somewhat intrigued to check this game out on Christmas Day.

6. Milwaukee Bucks vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Date: December 25

The general consensus is that the Bucks and 76ers are the two best teams in the East and will be vying for a berth in the finals next season, so, of course, their Christmas Day matchup is going to warrant some attention.

Let’s also remember that Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid don’t seem to be all that fond of one another, especially after Embiid declared himself the most dominant player in the NBA this past season, which rubbed Antetokounmpo the wrong way.

Joel Embiid Giannis Antetokounmpo

Plus, there was that moment late in the season when Giannis backed Ben Simmons down, dunked on him, drew the foul and then screamed in his face before yelling “he’s a (expletive) baby!”

So, yeah. This game could have some fireworks.

5. Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics

Date: January 20

This historic rivalry has been laying dormant for the last six years because, well, the Lakers have stunk, but now that Los Angeles has added Anthony Davis (whom the Celtics were also pursuing) to put alongside of LeBron James, things just got interesting again.

Of course, Boston saw a mass exodus occur on its roster this summer, as it lost Irving, Al Horford, Terry Rozier and Marcus Morris to free agency while also trading away Aron Baynes, but the C’s pivoted nicely by signing Kemba Walker and bringing in Enes Kanter.

Celtics, Jayson Tatum, Lakers, LeBron James

The fact that the Lakers-Celtics rivalry might somewhat be rekindled this coming season is more than enough for the matchup to warrant a spot on this list, even if an NBA Finals meeting is fairly unlikely.

4. Milwaukee Bucks vs. Los Angeles Clippers

Date: November 6

Kawhi Leonard took it to Giannis in the Eastern Conference Finals as a member of the Toronto Raptors this past spring, and now, he could potentially meet Antetokounmpo in the 2020 NBA Finals as a member of the Clippers.

This matchup has “finals preview” written all over it, with the new-look Clippers looking primed to win their first NBA championship and the Bucks trying to add on to their success from the 2018-19 campaign.

While Los Angeles unquestionably looks like the better all-around team, this should still be a fun game to watch, and Kawhi vs. Giannis always makes for great theater.

Warriors, Stephen Curry, LeBron James

3. Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors

Date: November 13

The Warriors have haunted LeBron for years, and now, he will get the chance to go into a matchup against Stephen Curry and Co. as the favorite for the first time since his days with the Miami Heat.

As stated earlier, the Dubs are not quite the same anymore, and the Lakers are absolutely better thanks to their blockbuster offseason.

Still, the rivalry between James and Golden State remains strong for the upcoming NBA season, so this will always be an attractive matchup. Plus, in 2020-21 when Thompson is fully recovered from his knee injury and Russell has a year in the Bay under his belt, the Warriors could be a title threat yet again, so we may not have seen the last of LeBron-Warriors playoff matchups.

Stephen Curry, Kawhi Leonard

2. Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State Warriors

Date: October 24

Since the Warriors took over the NBA in 2015, they have been living rent-free in the Clippers heads.

Golden State has repeatedly smashed Los Angeles over the years, and even though the Clips pushed them to six games in the first round this past postseason, the Dubs still prevailed.

But now, with Kawhi and Paul George in LA, the Clippers have the upper hand, and a role reversal may end up occurring here.

Especially considering Leonard just beat the Warriors in the finals as a member of the Raptors, it will be interesting to see if the Clippers end up sending a message to Golden State in their first meeting.

NBA, LeBron James, Anthonhy Davis, lakers, paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Clippers

1. Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers

Date: Oct. 22

There has never been a time in the history of the Lakers and Clippers franchises where both teams were title contenders at the same time, which is what makes this upcoming opening-night matchup all the more tantalizing.

Indeed, both Los Angeles clubs are championship contenders going into 2019-20, with the Clippers being the general favorite. There has never really been a true rivalry here, as the two squads have never met in the playoffs, but that could all change next season.

And Kawhi vs. LeBron in the process? How can you beat that? The NBA schedule is full of excitement this season.

The post 10 games to watch in the 2019-20 NBA season appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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