10 days to circle on the NBA schedule

We’ve done without NBA action since the stunning Finals series where Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks made LeBron James and “the Heatles” look ordinary back in June.

It’s been a long time. One of the best presents for all of Spurs Nation under our collective Christmas trees will be the return of NBA action again.

Here are 10 red-letter dates to circle of key games across the league. We can all hardly wait.

  • Dec. 25 — Christmas Day and the NBA is always a special time. But this with being opening day and the delicious matchup of Miami at Dallas, it should be even more interesting. Toss in the fact that James and the Heat will be watching the Mavericks raise their championship banner and it should be a fantastic return for the league.
  • Dec. 29 — Dallas makes its first visit of the season to Oklahoma City in a rematch of the Western Finals. We’ll see how much closer Kevin Durant and Co. are to toppling the defending champions.
  • Jan. 10 — The best playoff game last season came when Oklahoma City overcame Memphis in an classically exhausting triple-overtime Game 4 victory. We’ll see if Lionel Hollins can get the Thunder in regulation this time around with Rudy Gay finally healthy.
  • Jan. 16 — Two brawls occurred last season when the Lakers and Dallas tangled. And you’ve got to know that the Lakers’ unceremonious playoff departure stuck with Kobe Bryant during thousands of practice jumpers over the summer.
  • Jan. 28 — Jimmermania returns to wild and crazy Utah when Jimmer Fredette and Sacramento visits the Jazz.
  • Feb. 5 — Most of the nation will be waiting for Super Bowl XLVI later in the day. But Memphis’ trip to Boston earlier in the day will provide a tantalizing appetizer on America’s biggest sports day.
  • Feb. 8 — The season is six weeks old before Sunshine State rivals Miami and Orlando meet in the regular season. Stan Van Gundy always has his team ready to play the Heat. But will he have Dwight Howard this time around?  
  • March 4 — Miami’s trip to the Lakers will prove why the best basketball being played on NCAA Selection Sunday clearly is in the NBA.
  • March 11 — The Lakers-Celtics rivalry has endured through three generations of players. And it’s as bitter as ever now, as will be evidenced in this game at the Staples Center.
  • April 11 — The Spurs will have played everybody else in the league before finally stirring up hostilities with the Lakers for the first time with only 16 days left in the season. It will be their first of three games in nine days with Bryant’s team in a prelude to what could be a playoff opponent for the Silver and Black.  

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