The NBA season would not even be a month old at this point if it had started on time. Most sports fans are still enjoying enough football to miss basketball yet. However, there is a lot of great NBA action that the fans have already missed out on. The Dallas Mavericks have not had their opening night ring ceremony, rookies like Jimmer Fredette are pretty much forgotten for the time being, and new coaches have had no time to implement their systems. Here are some of the top NBA games that have already been lost to the lockout.
Wednesday November 2 – Thunder at Lakers
This was supposed to be opening night at Staples Center. The stubborn, supposedly fading star Kobe Bryant would begin his quest back to the top against the young, timid star Kevin Durant. Durant has been lighting up courts across the country during the lockout and recently even lit up the field in a flag football game. It was also going to be the debut of new Lakers coach Mike Brown. This would have been a great game to showcase the NBA for the start of the 2011-12 season.
Friday November 4 – Mavs at Spurs
Last season, the Mavs finally got over the hump to claim the NBA championship. Meanwhile, the Spurs faded in the first round to the Memphis Grizzlies. That makes this Texas showdown all the more interesting. The Spurs greatness might be behind them but they could have enough young talent to make one last run. This early matchup could have had strong playoff implications.
Tuesday November 8 – Thunder at Knicks
As noted earlier, Thunder star Durant has been lighting up courts throughout the summer. Perhaps the most notable offseason performance was a 66 point effort in a game at New York’s famous Rucker Park. If you don’t miss the NBA yet, just watch a few YouTube videos from this game to realize what everyone’s missing. One could only imagine what the new face of the NBA would have done on basketball’s biggest stage: Madison Square Garden.
Sunday November 13 – Bulls at Wizards
This does not seem like much of a matchup but it could have been the most entertaining game of the young NBA season. Wizards point guard John Wall is supposed to be the next elite guard. He will have to prove it against the current best, Derrick Rose. Coming off an MVP season, Rose will try to continue his improvement and lead the Bulls further into the postseason. The Bulls would win this game easily but watching the two speedy point guards operate would have provided plenty of entertainment.
Monday November 21 – Nuggets at Clippers
Is it weird that the Clippers are featured in a piece about the top games in the NBA? Not so much anymore. The Clippers are not going to compete for a championship but could be in a fight for a playoff spot if they can stay healthy. Most importantly, they have Blake Griffin to ensure at least a few highlights every night. The Nuggets begin their first full season without Carmelo Anthony and they do it with a talented roster of young players. This game would have offered plenty of fast break highlights in what likely would have been a close game at Staples Center.