The NBA schedule is here, and it’s great, and we love it, and we can’t wait for a season loaded with rising teams, stars, rivalries, and storylines. But there are a few notable holes in the league’s national broadcast schedule, announced Thursday, so here are five games that we think should be shown to the masses that won’t be:
Orlando Magic at Oklahoma City Thunder: Sunday, November 13
Like much great beef, this showdown gets its seasoning from a multi-player trade. Serge Ibaka was sent to the Magic in June for a return of Victor Oladipo and Ersan Ilyasova, as well as the draft rights to Domantas Sabonis. When you consider the likely emboldened state of Westbrook and the Durant-spurned Thunder, plus the athleticism of Orlando’s Aaron Gordon and all the chips on all the shoulders in this one, it’s easy to see things getting explosive quickly.
Golden State Warriors at Utah Jazz: Thursday, December 8
One curious team has been talked about as a possibly potent Warriors antidote this offseason: the Jazz. Utah will be longer at every position than basketball’s newest super team, and with their unusual amount of mobile size upfront, in particular, they are uniquely positioned to capitalize on the Warriors’ relatively weak center position. They also added much-needed veteran presence in the persons of George Hill, Boris Diaw, and Joe Johnson this summer. Whether it happens this season or not, the Jazz-Warriors alchemy eventually promises to be an NBA main event.