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The biggest games of the 2017-2018 NBA regular season

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The NBA released the full schedule for the 2017-2018 regular season, giving both fans and players plenty of time to circle their calendars for big games. 

It's been another season of big change across the NBA, with a few wounds that still sting from last year even. That's going to make for a handful of marquee matchups that are must-watch, and thankfully everyone can start preparing for those key moments now. 

Gordon Hayward returning to Utah, Chris Paul and James Harden descending upon Los Angeles and Kevin Durant lining up against the new-look Thunder in Oklahoma City are just a few of the must-watch games of the season. 

We've gone up and down the new NBA schedule and picked out five of the biggest games that you won't want to miss when the NBA gets rolling again. The list could go well beyond that, with plenty of intrigue across the league. Without further adieu, here's our picks for five of the best matchups of the season. 

Cavaliers at Warriors - Christmas Day - 12/25/17

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors going to battle is always going to be must-watch, but making them the heart of the NBA's Christmas Day showcase makes the event even bigger.

When you put Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving (pending trade situation) on the court, all eyes should be diverted to the game immediately. That won't be a problem when they meet for the holidays. 

2017 NBA Finals - Game Five

Thunder at Pacers - 12/13/17

When a star player finds a new home the first set of game against his previous team is always amped up. When said player is the visiting player at his old stomping grounds, all bets are off. Paul George returning to Indiana mid-December is going to be something to behold.

Indiana fans sat through months of rumors about George being unwilling to commit long term to the Pacers, heard nothing but how their star player they watched grow wants to be a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, then watched his trade value plummet until the team took a package of Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. 

Expect a hostile crowd while PG and Russell Westbrook try to slice through the energy in the air. 

Oklahoma City Thunder v Indiana Pacers

Rockets at Clippers - MLK Jr. Day - 1/15/18

In the same vein as above, Chris Paul returning to Los Angeles is going to be a big event. This won't be the first time the teams meet, but it will be the first time Paul returns to STAPLES Center against his former team.

Toss in the fact that it's part of the NBA's Martin Luther King Jr. Day slate, and this is one you won't want to miss. 

76ers at Lakers - 11/15/17

There's no special date or return here, just a meeting between two young teams filled with draft lottery talent. This marks the first time Markelle Fultz and Lozno Ball line up against each other, pitting the top two picks from the 2017 NBA Draft in a must-watch event. 

The two should be something akin to distant rivals as two highly-regarded young point guards, and their teams are both seemingly on the rise. This should be a great showcase for not only both franchises, but the entire league. 

2017 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot

Celtics at Cavaliers - Opening Day - 10/17/17

There's nothing quite like opening night for the NBA, and the season is tipping off with a marquee matchup that everyone wants to see. The Boston Celtics reloaded to make another run at the Eastern Conference championship, bringing Gordon Hayward in to take them to the next level.

They'll have to get through LeBron and company, though, and we'll get to see how this matchup looks while the thrill of the NBA finally returning is rushing. Not a bad way to start a fresh campaign at all. 

Topics:
LA Lakers
Pacific Division
Western Conference
NBA
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Eastern Conference
Golden State Warriors
Oklahoma City Thunder
Northwest Division
Stephen Curry
Kevin Durant
LeBron James

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