The NBA released the 2013-2014 regular season schedule earlier this week. This certainly is a welcome sight to the San Antonio Spurs and their fans, who now have something to look forward to after the disappointing end to the 2012-2013 season. After a thrilling run to the NBA Finals, the NBA has rightfully decided to feature the Spurs in some marquee matchups this upcoming season. Here’s a look at a handful of the most intriguing matchups the Spurs have next season.
The very first game of intrigue is the very first game on the Spurs’ schedule, the season opener at home against the Memphis Grizzlies in a rematch of last season’s Western Conference Finals. Neither team has made significant changes to their roster, but it will likely be a physical, grind-it-out affair between two teams that have become rivals over the past few seasons. Also, Grizzlies rookie Jamaal Franklin will have the chance to go up against fellow SDSU alum Kawhi Leonard.
Over the past few seasons, the top two teams in the West have consistently been the Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder are not as good as they once were after losing James Harden and even his replacement Kevin Martin, but Spurs-Thunder games, the first on November 27, are always thrilling matchups between the Western Conference elites.
Be sure to mark down on your calendar December 4, 2013 when the Spurs play the Minnesota Timberwolves. Now this game is not necessarily intriguing because of the matchup, although I think the Timberwolves will be a much improved team next year. It is on this list because of that fact that it will be the first regular season NBA game played outside of the United States or Canada. The game will be played in Mexico City as part of the NBA’s Global Games initiative. Tune in to witness history and watch what could also be a very interesting game.
The Spurs are going to be featured during the holidays this season, and perhaps the game I am most excited for on the entire schedule is their Christmas Day matchup versus the Houston Rockets. It remains to be seen if the Rockets with Dwight Howard can join the Spurs in the West elite, but either way this match up will have a ton of star power and is a must watch. The Spurs also play a few days later on New Year’s Eve against the new look Brooklyn Nets, another must watch matchup.
Last but not least comes the Spurs’ NBA Finals rematches against the Miami Heat in Miami on January 26 and then in San Antonio on March 6. I don’t need to explain why these will be must watch TV, even if they don’t end up being quite as thrilling as their epic seven game Finals series from last season.
So there you have it. I don’t expect most of you will watch all 82 Spurs games the way diehards like myself do, but do yourself a favor and at least tune in to these games that promise to be intriguing on many levels.