The NBA regular-season schedule is out and we’ve already gone over the highlights and major dates in the Utah Jazz’s slate for the 2023-24 season.
Now it’s time to take a look around the league. So here are five non-Jazz games that will be absolute must-watch TV.
Victor Wembanyama vs. anyone
Whether the No. 1 overall French phenom is going against Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, the Golden State Warriors, the Los Angeles Lakers, or even if it’s the Orlando Magic or fellow countryman Rudy Gobert in Minnesota, I can not wait to watch Wembanyama play NBA basketball.
Even if he’s not that great at first and even if he does look a bit like Bambi trying to find his footing, I want to watch the journey and see where it ends up.
It is unfortunate that Wemby’s first game will be played at the same time as the Jazz’s opening game of the season. But if you have a way to watch one and record the other, it might not be a bad decision. The San Antonio Spurs take on Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks at 7:30 MDT on ESPN on Oct. 25.
Otherwise, you’ll have at least 81 other options to choose from when it comes to watching Wembanyama.
A Finals rematch is always one to circle on an NBA calendar, and with the way that the Denver Nuggets seemed to win with ease led by Jokic, who made triple-doubles in the playoffs look like light work, there’s no doubt that Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat will be looking to get some payback and prove themselves more than they did in June.
The first bout between the Heat and Nuggets comes on Leap Day, Feb. 29, at 8 p.m. MST on TNT.
Northern California face-off
There’s no doubt that the first-round matchup between the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings was riveting from the opening minutes of Game 1 until the conclusion of a wild Game 7.
There’s also no doubt that the Kings have been chomping at the bit all summer, waiting for the schedule so they can start circling dates on the calendar. Well, they won’t have to wait long. The Kings host the Warriors on Oct. 27 MDT at 8 p.m. on ESPN.
Cavs vs. Knicks rematch
Donovan Mitchell is not a person that forgives and forgets in short order, so being knocked out of the playoffs in the first round in a gentlemen’s sweep by the New York Knicks is probably been eating away at him this offseason.
The NBA schedule makers wasted no time getting a rematch on the books. The Cleveland Cavaliers will host the Knicks on Halloween night, Oct. 31, at 5:30 p.m. MDT on TNT. And, it was a matchup so nice, they’ll do it twice, and on a back-to-back no less. For those with NBA League Pass, you can catch the Knicks hosting the Cavs on Nov. 1 at 5:30 p.m.
Ja Morant’s return
The Memphis Grizzlies star, Ja Morant, will be serving a 25-game suspension to start the season for conduct detrimental to the league. The first game he’ll be eligible to play in will be on Dec. 19 when the Grizzlies face the New Orleans Pelicans.
There’s going to be a lot of interest in the Grizzlies before, during and after this point. After trading with the Boston Celtics to bring on Marcus Smart, will the Grizzlies have maintained their position as a Western Conference contender? Will Morant be the same when he returns? We’ll find out.