There will be plenty of games to be excited about this coming season. But some games will have an extra kick due to the grudge nature of a rematch.
Several surprises occurred last season in the playoffs that will make a handful of games next season much more enjoyable and intense.
Here are the top five rematch games to look out for this coming season.
Do not forget to leave your opinion down in the comments section and let everyone know which games you're excited about!
Date: November 10th
Time: 7:00PM ET
TV: NBA League Pass
This is a rematch of the Eastern Conference first round seven-game series between the overachieving Milwaukee Bucks and the underachieving Atlanta Hawks.
Many factors made this match-up special during the first round of the playoffs. After the losing Andrew Bogut, the Milwaukee Bucks were looked at by many as an easy out for the Hawks. Not only did the Bucks put up a strong fight after falling down two games and losing by a combined 20 points, they came back and blew out the Hawks in game three and grinded out wins in games four and five to go up three games to two.
The Milwaukee Bucks had fans all over the city with banners reading “Fear the Dear”. But good times ended there. The Atlanta Hawks got their act together and blew out the Bucks in games six and seven to win the series.
Injuries limited the Bucks during this series, and they were still able to put up a strong fight and almost the big upset. With a healthy roster, a beefed up frontcourt with Drew Gooden and Larry Sanders, an additional scorer in Corey Maggette, and Michael Redd back from injury, this team will put up much more than just a fight.
Expect the Bucks to come out firing on all cylinders, playing hard nose defense, and taking this first match-up with the Hawks and winning it big.
Date: December 25th
Time: 2:30PM ET
In the 2009 playoffs, the Orlando Magic bullied the Boston Celtics to a seventh game win. Many counted the Celtics out, pointing out their defensive deficiencies against a player like Howard, and how their age had closed their window for another NBA title.
All that changed in 2010. Boston had an easy win against Miami in the first round, but were expected to be man-handled by Orlando in the second. In their respect, pretty much every team except Cleveland was considered to be an inferior opponent for Orlando.
The Celtics came out firing and were able to beat the Orlando Magic in the first two games, right in front of thousands of Magic fans. Down two games, there was still hope the Magic could bounce back. It did not happen. The Orlando Magic were embarrassed in game three and beaten by 23 points. The player supposed to dominate the Celtics, Dwight Howard, finished with seven points and seven rebounds.
Then came games four and five, where the Magic were able to finally exploit the Celtics defense and use Howard effectively. Howard had amazing games and the Magic took both games by a comfortable margin. It only delayed the inevitable.
The Celtics adapted their defense and made everyone else in the Magic beat them. The game plan worked to perfection and the Celtics won game six at home by double figures even with Howard having a dominant game across the board.
Neither team has changed much since the off-season started. All the core pieces have stayed in place and only a few role players have moved around. This game will be ugly. Magic fans will not tolerate a loss in their home court. A win for Boston will further prove them worthy of another championship run. The game will be physical and referees will have their hands full with hard fouls and player taunting.
At the end of the day, the team with most composure will take the victory, and it will NOT be a close game. This is just what the two clubs need to battle it out again twice in less than 6 weeks with meetings January 17th and February 6th.
Date: November 26th
Time: 8:30PM ET
TV: NBA League Pass
How can another Dallas Mavericks versus in-state rival San Antonio Spurs game be exciting? Well, consider that the Mavericks grinded out win after win to secure the second seed in the Western Conference. Then they were bounced by the supposed to be “soon-to-be-closed-window” Spurs in the first round. Also consider that the Mavericks also bounced the Spurs out of the playoffs in the first round in similar fashion the year before.
Yes, the rivalry is there. Both teams have made upgrades to their frontcourt while keeping their backcourt intact. San Antonio tied for the last spot in the playoffs last season, and will have a tougher time proving themselves playoff contenders this coming season than Dallas. Dallas will come out with a mission to prove they are the Texas team to beat.
This will be a close game. Very close, to say the least. We will see each team’s superstar bring out their absolute best and play like it is game seven in the playoffs.
This will be a good one, guys. Don’t miss it. Anything can happen. It will be a pure toss-up. Although this game will not be nationally televised, their next two match-ups on December 30th and January 14th will be aired in in TNT and ESPN, respectively.
Date: October 26th
Time: 7:30PM ET
This is much more than just about the Miami Heat losing in the first round against the Boston Celtics. This is about Dwayne Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh. Wade got bounced in the first round. LeBron got bounced in the second. Bosh got swept by Boston. They all have their own reasons to come back strong against this team.
One can only speculate if the signing of Shaquille O'Neal adds more fire to the already heated equation, being former teammate of both LeBron James and Dwayne Wade.
This game is an opportunity for Miami to come out of the gate strong and prove that their newly assembled core works and is able to beat the former Eastern Conference Champions.
Although there is plenty to gain, there is plenty of more to lose. If Miami loses this game, Wade and Bosh will take a hit for not being able to elevate their game against the champions and LeBron will be the main target of criticism for weeks. LeBron will be featured in plenty of articles with the words “Loser”, “Karma”, “Cursed”, among others.
The Miami Heat cannot afford to lose this game. Not in opening night. Not with so much to lose.
And I don’t expect them to. The Heat will have three hungry superstars looking for blood. This will be LeBron’s first step towards redemption and the Heat’s first step toward dominance.
Date: January 30th
Time: 3:30PM ET
Where to start with this rematch? The franchises have been battling each other from across the United Sates for the past 50 years. They have more championships combined than the rest of the NBA teams put together.
Last season, the NBA season ended with an ugly game seven full of bad decisions, missed shots, and hard fouls. It also featured heroics by certain players that kept the game close to the last minute.
Many Celtics fans argue that losing Kendrick Perkins cost them the championship. And they might just be correct. Now they have a chance to prove it. And they have more than Perkins this time around with both Jermaine and Shaquille O’Neal in town.
The Lakers, on the other hand, are still considered the team to beat. They know they are the best and will not take anybody’s opinion indicating the opposite. They, as well, have to prove they can handle a full power Boston team and establish some distance between them and the rest of the NBA.
Prepare for a blockbuster in national television!