NBA Lockout: 10 Best Games That Have Already Been Lost

Joe Acampado@@AwesomepadoCorrespondent IOctober 19, 2011

NBA Lockout: 10 Best Games That Have Already Been Lost

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    So far, we've lost two weeks and at least 90 NBA games.  Looking over the schedule, I can say a good amount of decent games have been lost.

    The renewal of old rivalries has been postponed, as well as the birth of new ones.  Games between great, competitive teams have also been lost.

    This all because a couple of millionaires and billionaires can't decide on what to do with several million dollars.

    So, here are the 10 best NBA games that we've lost so far, listed by the date they should've been played.

November 1st: Chicago Bulls vs. Dallas Mavericks

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    We start with what would've been the season opener, and what a season opener it would've been.

    The defending champion Dallas Mavericks up against one of the best, if not the best, teams in the Eastern Conference, even the entire league.

    You have the NBA's old guard in Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd going up against Derrick Rose's young Bulls.

    Then you have a matchup of respected coaches in Rick Carlisle versus Tom Thibodeau.

    This game would've set the tone for the season, and it's a shame that we won't get to see it.

November 1st: Oklahoma City vs. Los Angeles Lakers

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    Here we have another matchup of old versus new.  This would've been the first test Kobe Bryant's Lakers had to pass if they were to still be considered a serious contender for the championship.

    Being swept by the Mavericks in the playoffs raised questions about the Lakers.  Winning this game would've answered any questions critics had, for now.

    The Lakers were nearly beaten by Kevin Durant's Thunder two playoffs ago.  Kobe and his Lakers were taken to a surprising Game 6.

    Now, Durant's team is older, more experienced and even better.

    This game would have set the tone for the season in the Western Conference.

November 2nd: Miami Heat vs. New York Knicks

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    Talk about a matchup for the ages.

    This would've been both teams' first games since they were handed humiliating defeats in the playoffs.

    Both Miami and New York have something to prove this season (if there's a season).

    Miami, especially LeBron, has to prove that combining three of the top players in the league can get you championships.

    New York followed that model and has to show why pairing Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire together was worth the future of the franchise.

    It would've been a clash of stars, the first of many for sure, but games like this can't be replaced.

November 2nd: Chicago Bulls vs. New Orleans Hornets

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    Here we have a matchup of two dynamic, yet very different point guards.

    Derrick Rose relies on speed, athleticism and his explosiveness to beat his opponents.

    Chris Paul depends on his passing skills, court vision and abilities as a floor general to get his team in the best position to win.

    Both of these teams rely heavily on their point guards to win.

    It's also a rarity to have two point guards of this caliber go head-to-head.

November 3rd: Orlando Magic vs. Miami Heat

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    The first true rivalry game of the season.  

    Orlando and Miami clearly don't like each other, especially with the additions Miami made in the summer of 2010.

    Both teams want to be Florida's team, but it's going to be a struggle to claim that title.

    Dwight Howard has to prove that he can lead his team to a championship, that is, if he stays.

    LeBron still has to prove his critics wrong, but he won't really do that until he wins a championship ring.  In the meantime, he'll have to settle for beating playoff-worthy teams in the regular season.

November 4th: Boston Celtics vs. Atlanta Hawks

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    The Celtics have to be mentioned if only because they're the Celtics.

    This game would've shown how much is really left in the tank for Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.

    The Hawks' trio of Joe Johnson, Josh Smith and Al Horford would've put them through their first real grind of the season.  Sure, those three have been stuck in perpetual playoff limbo without making the NBA Finals, but they still make a good team.

    The Celtics' age started to show last season, and until they quiet the critics, people are going to question how many games this current Celtics team has.

November 5th: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Dallas Mavericks

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    Here, we have a rematch of the 2011 Western Conference Finals, where Dirk Nowitzki's Mavericks took down Kevin Durant's Thunder, 4-1.

    Another year has made both teams older, but the aging will hurt Dallas more than the Thunder.

    Age will eventually catch up to Nowitzki and company, whereas Durant and his team will only grow wiser and more experienced for the next few years.

    You can bet Durant's itching for a chance to get back at Dallas for that defeat in the playoffs and show what he's learned since then.

    You can also bet that Nowitzki's ready to show people he's not done winning championships just yet.

November 6th: New Orleans Hornets vs. Los Angeles Lakers

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    Here's another matchup from the 2011 playoffs.

    The start of the Lakers' decline and fall happened when Chris Paul nearly single-handedly destroyed them.

    The questions started coming after Chris Paul's Hornets proved they can play ball with the best.

    Even after beating the Hornets in six games, there were still questions and doubts about the Lakers team.

    Kobe wants to get back at the Hornets for that without a doubt, and I'm sure Chris Paul would've been more than happy to accept his challenge. 

November 9th: San Antonio Spurs vs. Los Angeles Lakers

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    Tim Duncan's not ready to call it quits after last year's surprising grab of the No. 1 seed in the west.

    Gregg Popovich's team still had what it took last year to climb to the top, and there's no doubt they want to prove they can do it again this year.

    The Lakers are another team with aging stars and many questions, especially since Phil Jackson won't be back to coach.

    Would the Lakers be the same without their zen master coach to lead them?

    One way to find out would've been to see how they fared against the team that took the No. 1 seed from them last season.

November 10th: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Chicago Bulls

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    The last noteworthy game that was cancelled would've been between two young, rising teams led by two young, rising superstars.

    Both Durant and Rose are leaders.  Their teams rise and fall with their success and failure.

    This would've been an exciting game—to watch two young, talented teams show what they had, possibly creating a new rivalry in the process.

    Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the Bulls and Thunder look to factor in the playoffs for many upcoming seasons, and they may even meet each other in the NBA Finals one day.

    Too bad we've got two weeks and counting of cancelled professional basketball.