The 2013 NBA regular season is further away than it is near, but that hardly offsets the current level of excitement. With the Summer League behind us and the preseason still lengths away, the only thing we have to question is what we have to look forward to during the upcoming regular season.
To answer that question, we provide you with the rumored games we can't wait to see.
The official schedule has yet to be announced, but that hasn't stopped the rumor mill from running rampant. From potential holiday games to superstars returning from injuries, news has begun to break on which games we need to see.
The question is, what should we be looking forward to?
NBA 2013-14 Schedule Release
Date: Tuesday, August 6
Time: 6 p.m. ET
TV: NBA TV
Chicago Bulls at Miami Heat, Oct. 29, 2013
According to HoopsHype.com, Derrick Rose will "definitely" play in the Chicago Bulls' 2012-13 regular-season opener. While many are taking the "I'll believe it when I see it, " approach, we can't help but wonder when that return will be.
Rose will lead the Bulls into enemy territory, as they play the Miami Heat in both teams' season opener. This would not only mean D-Rose and LeBron James will go toe-to-toe, but it would also mean something significant regarding how this game will transpire.
The Bulls will be forced to watch their archrivals accept their 2013 NBA championship rings in person.
With or without Rose, we know this will be a close game that's played as physically as any we'll see all season. Such was evident throughout the course of the regular season and 2013 NBA playoffs.
Rose's return simply adds fuel to the fire.
Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors, Dec. 25, 2013
During the 2012-13 NBA regular season, the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers each returned to prominence. Both squads became postseason contenders, and in the months since, they have built up their roster to the point where title dreams are some form of a reality.
More importantly, they developed one of the best rivalries in the NBA, a rivalry that will continue on Christmas Day according to Zach Harper of CBS Sports.
Sources: Clippers will play Christmas game at Golden State. Final schedule will be released on Tuesday on NBATV.— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) August 1, 2013
Presents will not be exchanged in this one.
As two of the forgotten California teams, both have an underdog mentality heading into any game they play. During their 2012-13 regular-season clashes, we saw just how intense that can make their rivalry.
On December 25, we'll be granted with a bit of the holiday spirit as each team looks to give their fanbase a gift. With their rivalry budding, there isn't much higher on a Clippers or Warriors fan's wish list than a win over the opposing side.
We can't wait to see this one play out.
Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Lakers, Feb. 19
Just in case you've been living under a rock for the past month, Dwight Howard has signed with the Houston Rockets. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year spurned the Los Angeles Lakers in the process, leaving many with a sour taste in their mouths.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Lakers Nation will have the opportunity to tell D-12 how they feel when L.A. hosts the Rockets on Feb. 19.
This won't be the first time the Lakers play the Rockets, as the two teams are set to clash on November 7 in Houston. With that being said, the focus isn't when they play, it's when they meet in Los Angeles.
Something tells us the crowd will let Howard know how they feel every time he touches the ball.
Beyond Howard's return, this game will have intriguing positional matchups with Kobe Bryant taking on James Harden and D-12 facing Pau Gasol. Those clashes will not only decide the game but also offer us a fair share of highlights.
So who's ready to see D-12 attempt some free throws?