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NBA Games to Watch: October 25-31

The first week of the NBA season has arrived! Here are some of the best games to watch during that stretch.

Charlotte Hornets v Boston Celtics Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

I am assuming you all are going to watch Clippers games, and we are gonna have much more in-depth previews of those in the coming days anyway. Instead, this is a look at a few games that should be interesting to watch that don’t involve the Clippers, including contests on both national television and league pass. Let’s start with the games that all of you should be able to watch: those on ESPN and TNT.

Nationally televised games:

Tuesday, October 25: Spurs at Warriors, 7:30 PM on TNT- Yes, yes, I know it’s the Warriors. Regardless of how Clippers fans feel about the Dubs (not well), the first few games of the new-look Warriors should be fascinating, especially observing how exactly Steve Kerr manages rotations and staggers his stars. This game is even more intriguing because the Spurs are one of the few teams in the NBA that has a chance against the Warriors on a given night, especially early in the season while the Warriors might be figuring some things out. Coach Popovich probably won’t have any super complex strategies to combat the Warriors yet, but this game could be a testing ground for him to trot out different lineups and plays to see what might work against them. It would also be fun if the Warriors lost their first game of the season.

Friday, October 28: Cavaliers at Raptors, 4:00 PM on ESPN- This is a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference Finals, and should just be a well-played game between two excellent teams. The Cavaliers are everyone’s favorite choice to knock off the Warriors, but the Raptors are one of a couple teams that might stand in their path to a third straight NBA Finals appearance. If DeMarre Carroll is healthy and a couple of the Raptors’ prospects become rotation level players, the Raptors should be able to give the Cavs a good fight. LeBron might actually try in this one too, and that’s always exciting to watch.

Sunday, October 30: Wizards at Grizzlies, 5:00 PM on NBATV- Mike Conley and John Wall are great point guards who don’t always get their due, and their battles are ferocious. The Grizzlies have a new coach, and are going smaller with Zach Randolph on the bench— it’s going to be interesting to see how they handle a playing style different from what made them such a force over the past half-decade. The Wizards disappointed last year, but Scott Brooks is an upgrade at coach, and they have a lot of talent on their roster. This game should be a grind-it-out defensive brawl, and a contest I would much rather watch than yet another awful NFL outing.

League Pass games:

Friday, October 28: Suns at Thunder, 5:00 PM- This game is a bit lower in quality than the games mentioned above. The Suns are going to be a lottery team this year, and the Thunder are probably just a middling playoff team. On the other hand, the Thunder deploy an unleashed Russell Westbrook, and he has the potential to explode in every single game he plays. The Suns have lots of young talent, and watching them try to matchup against a superior Thunder team should make for an exciting game. Expect lots of points to be scored in this one.

Saturday, October 29: Celtics at Hornets, 4:00 PM- The Celtics made a large offseason splash by signing Al Horford to a max deal, a significant addition to an already 48 win team. The Hornets won the exact same number of games last year, but lost several key contributors over the summer. Kemba Walker and Isaiah Thomas are two lightning-quick point guards with a penchant for scoring, and seeing them go back and forth should be a treat. Both teams also feature terrific defenses, and points should be hard to come by. Michael Kidd Gilchrist is an oft-forgotten player in the NBA, but is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league; it will be intriguing to see which Celtics’ players he guards and when. Brad Stevens and Steve Clifford are both great coaches as well, and their chess moves are going to be a fun side-game to watch.