Ever notice how the most dramatic NBA match-ups always seem to happen on December 25?
Turns out it's not a coincidence, nor is it a Christmas miracle. The Association has gotten pretty good about figuring out which games we want the most, and it ensures us the chance to see them through a meticulously planned schedule—a schedule released just in time to ease the transitional boredom between Summer League and training camps.
There will be rematches of epic proportions and the awkward moments we all live for—when longtime stars like Paul Pierce return "home"...and when short-term rentals like Dwight Howard return to places that only temporarily felt like home.
This season can't start soon enough, but we can finally start marking our calendars. Circle these dates first.