The NBA season is just under two months away, and it is shaping up to be an incredibly exciting year.
With so many things happening, let's break down the dates everyone should know.
This is the kickoff of the season! Some interesting games will be played on this night, like the LA vs. Dallas matchup, but this is where the chase for the trophy begins.
October 30 will mark the first real NBA basketball on our TV's since June 21. It's probably the most exciting date just for that reason alone.
I personally have this date marked with stars, glitter and a whole bunch of basketball stickers.
This date marks the first meeting between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Considering that both these teams are predicted to be somewhere near the top of the Western Conference, this game carries some playoff hype.
They are without a doubt the two best teams in the West on paper, but who would win in a seven-game series? While one game can't give that away, it can certainly give some clues.
This also provides a rematch of last year's second-round playoff meeting between the two teams. While the Thunder easily took the series in five games, the Lakers have much different plans this year.
Christmas Day always has some of the biggest games of the year scheduled, and this season is no different.
This will be the first time these teams meet since the Thunder were knocked out of the Finals in just five games. The headlines write themselves, and this is without a doubt the most hyped-up game of the 2012-13 season.
No matter how good the game actually is, everyone will be watching.
The 17th will mark the first meeting between the Miami Heat and the Lakers. Miami vs. LA is what a lot of people have predicted as the 2013 NBA Finals, and this game should have playoff-like intensity.
Both teams have something to prove in this game. The Heat need to prove they are just as tough as they were last year, and the Lakers need to show they are legitimate championship threats.
The only reason this game is not on Christmas is because Thunder vs. Heat is a Finals rematch.
This will mark the first time Steve Nash enters US Airways Center wearing a Lakers jersey. It will be an emotional moment for everyone in Phoenix, and a surreal moment for NBA fans.
No matter who you root for, it will be a surreal moment to watch Nash enter his city wearing the colors of its biggest rival.
As a Suns fan, this will be a very hard thing for me to watch.
Take the weekend off here.
The All-Star break is one of the most exciting, but also relaxing, times of the season. Nothing has too much meaning, as playoff spots are not at stake and the biggest rivals team up on the same team.
Overall, it provides great entertainment and an excuse to spend a few nights in front of the TV.
Less than a week after the fun of the All-Star break, we get the NBA trade deadline.
Every hour is a different rumor, multiple sources with conflicting reports and just a general sense of chaos. It does help to know that after the 21st, the teams are pretty much set in stone.
It gets a bit insane for a few hours, but when the dust settles we can get back to basketball with less-off court distractions.
This is the date fans wait for the entire season. We finally get to see some playoff basketball, and the real chase for the title begins.
16 teams start out, and only one walks away with the trophy. It's hard not to make the NBA Playoffs sound epic.
Every fan gets their gear out, orders some pizza and crashes on the couch ready to scream at the refs.
The two dates above are the possible start dates of the NBA Finals. The best teams in the league meet for a seven-game series and the best basketball of the season.
This is what the players live for and the fans cheer for. Last season, the Miami Heat raised the trophy while the Oklahoma City Thunder walked back to the locker room in silence.
Which two teams will fill those spots this year?
While the NBA Draft technically could transition us to next year, it still falls under 2013's schedule.
This will come about a week after the Finals, which is very appropriate. With the Championship series still fresh in everyone's minds, teams need to figure out a way to somehow get in there.
14 teams will need to find a way to even contend, while the other 16 will just need to figure out a way to break out .
The Draft also provides a nice little insight about where exactly a team is headed—whether it is up the ladder or down to the very bottom.
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