10 Games to Circle on 2017-18 NBA Schedule

Matthew Jordan

Monday, August 14, 2017 10:32 PM UTC

Monday, Aug. 14, 2017 10:32 PM UTC

Are you ready for some basketball? The NBA released its full 2017-18 regular-season schedule, and the Association is back in only around two months!  Here are 10 must-watch games on the slate in chronological order.

Oct. 17: Boston Celtics at Cleveland Cavaliers

The first game of the season is a TNT national showcase and a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics might be able to win the East this season with the addition of Jazz free agent Gordon Hayward and No. 3 overall pick Jayson Tatum, who looked great in the Summer League. It’s the Cleveland debut of Derrick Rose and could be the last season opener for LeBron James in a Cavs uniform. Cleveland is +500 at 5Dimes to win the NBA title and the field is -700.

Oct. 17: Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors

Also a TNT game and you can’t have an opening night without the reigning NBA champions raising their title banner as the Warriors will do here. 5Dimes lists the Dubs at -159 to win a third championship in four years and the rest of the NBA as a +168 underdog. That’s how ridiculously good this team is. It’s the Houston debut of Chris Paul … and maybe Carmelo Anthony?

Nov. 1: Houston Rockets at New York Knicks

Will Anthony be wearing a Rockets or Knicks uniform in this game? I still think it will be Houston. The teams recently re-engaged on a potential trade, but a third team likely will need to be involved.

Nov. 15: Philadelphia 76ers at L.A. Lakers

Markelle Fultz, Ben Simmons & Joel Embiid against Lonzo Ball? Yes please! The “Process” is officially over in the Philadelphia as the Sixers should make the playoffs in the weak East. They are -265 to do so on BetOnline NBA odds. The Lakers are +800 long shots to make the playoffs in the much tougher West. Ball, though, is the +175 Rookie of the Year favorite.

Dec. 13: Oklahoma City Thunder at Indiana Pacers

I highly doubt that Pacers fans cheer when All-Star forward Paul George makes his only visit to Indianapolis. Most around the NBA thought Indiana got robbed in that offseason trade with the Thunder, only getting Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.

Dec. 25: Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors

The highlight of the Christmas schedule. These two have played in three straight NBA Finals and probably will make it a fourth next June – whether the Cavaliers trade All-Star guard Kyrie Irving or not. Cleveland hosted Golden State on Christmas a season ago and it was one of the games of the year with the Cavs winning 109-108 on an Irving jumper over Klay Thompson with 3.4 seconds left. Cleveland trailed by 14 early in the fourth quarter. The Warriors will visit Cleveland on Jan. 15.

Jan. 15: Houston Rockets at L.A. Clippers

Paul plays his first game back in Los Angeles, and you hear rumors that Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan weren’t exactly sad to see Paul go. He also reportedly said some backstabbing things about Coach Doc Rivers on the way out the door.

Feb. 6: Oklahoma City Thunder at Golden State Warriors

It’s the first visit of the season to Oakland for George and Russell Westbrook. The Thunder couldn’t quite surpass the Warriors with Westbrook and Durant. Can they now beat Durant with the addition of George? Golden State manhandled OKC in the 2016-17 regular season.

Feb. 9: Minnesota Timberwolves at Chicago Bulls

Minnesota looks to be one of the NBA’s most improved teams – it has a win total of 46.5 at SBR’s top-rated sportsbooks -- after the big trade for Bulls All-Star Jimmy Butler, and this will be his only trip back to the Windy City. The Chicago faithful probably will cheer Butler as he never asked to leave town.

March 28: Boston Celtics at Utah Jazz

Don’t expect much of a warm welcome for the normally nice folks in Salt Lake City for Hayward as he makes his only visit to Utah. The Jazz were building a potential contender but now likely take a step back in the West. The NBA betting win total is just 38.5.

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