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The four must-watch games of the 2016-17 NBA season

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The NBA has officially released the schedule for the hugely anticipated 2016-17 season and, as usual, it has thrown up some mouth-watering clashes for fans to look forward to.

The outcome of the free agency period already created a number of sub-plots and there are several games which have already been marked in calendars ahead of the upcoming campaign.

Here are the four best games to look out for...

Golden State Warriors @ Cleveland Cavaliers, Christmas Day

This match-up really doesn't need selling. It is the best team in the west against the best team in the east and a rematch of both the 2015 and 2016 finals.

The Cavs secured their first championship in franchise history by beating the Warriors and becoming the first team to overturn a 3-1 finals deficit.

The addition of Kevin Durant to the Dubs roster makes the Bay Area franchise the favourites to reclaim the Larry O'Brien trophy, with a third successive finals series against the Cavs a real possibility.

Golden State Warriors Introduce Kevin Durant

So a first preview of the expected 2017 finals, with KD as a Warrior, will be intriguing, especially as it will come against LeBron James.

Despite finally fulfilling a lifelong dream of bringing a title to his hometown, the King will not want to relinquish his crown without a fight. This is the new rivalry in the NBA.

Golden State Warriors @ Oklahoma City Thunder, February 11, 2017

The return of Durant. To the surprise of many, the 2014 MVP opted to depart the franchise where he spent his first nine years in the league and join OKC's main rivals in the Western Conference.

His decision split opinion among former players, analysts and fans, but he only has eyes for winning and by creating a 'big four' with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, he has given himself the best possible opportunity of doing just that.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Golden State Warriors - Game Seven

Despite nine great years in Oklahoma City, his former fans were understandably angered by his decision, with the customary jersey burning taking place among some.

Russell Westbrook's decision to re-sign with the Thunder and the revelation of the apparent breakdown in his relationship with KD has added more fuel to this fixture. It is the most anticipated match-up of the upcoming season for sure.

Chicago Bulls @ Miami Heat, November 10

This fixture sees another return, Dwyane Wade's first game back in Miami. The three-time champion's departure from South Beach was arguably the biggest shock of the summer as he said goodbye to the place he's called home throughout his 13 years in the league.

Unlike Durant, however, Wade will receive a hero's welcome at the American Airlines Arena after he opted to return to his hometown team in Chicago.

Chicago Bulls Introduce Dwyane Wade

Contract negotiations went sour with the Heat and the fans' blame lays firmly at the door of president Pat Riley and not the 12-time All-Star.

He may have moved on, but the place he left will forever be known as Wade County as the veteran guard gave the Florida faithful so many good years and memories. This game will be worth watching for the tribute to the Heat legend.

Chicago Bulls @ New York Knicks, November 4

The Bulls made the first big move of the offseason when they decided to trade hometown point guard and 2011 MVP Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks.

The trade may have surprised some, but it made sense for both parties. After becoming the youngest MVP in league history, things went from bad to worse for Rose as he suffered multiple knee injuries and struggled to get back to his high level.

Chicago Bulls v Miami Heat

A power struggle ensued with All-Star shooting guard Jimmy Butler who had emerged as the new leader of the team and the franchise had no doubts as to who they wanted to take the team forward.

Along with Rose, center Joakim Noah, who had spent all of his nine years in the NBA with the Bulls, decided to join forces with his close friend once again in his hometown of New York.

The return of the popular duo to the United Center should be met with a warm reception as they gave everything to the team whenever they stepped out onto the floor.

But the pair will have a point to prove to their former employers and will certainly make this game one to watch.

The NBA has officially released the schedule for the hugely anticipated 2016-17 season and, as usual, it has thrown up some mouth-watering clashes for fans to look forward to.

 

The outcome of the free agency period already created a number of sub-plots and there are several games which have already been marked in calendars ahead of the upcoming campaign.

 

Here are the four best games to look out for...

 

Golden State Warriors @ Cleveland Cavaliers, Christmas Day

 

This match-up really doesn't need selling. It is the best team in the west against the best team in the east and a rematch of both the 2015 and 2016 Finals.

 

The Cavs secured their first championship in franchise history by beating the Warriors and becoming the first team to overturn a 3-1 Finals deficit.

 

The addition of Kevin Durant to the Dubs roster makes the Bay Area franchise the favourites to reclaim the Larry O'Brien trophy, with a third successive Finals series against the Cavs a real possibility.

 

So a first preview of the expected 2017 Finals, with KD as a Warrior, will be intriguing, especially as it will come against LeBron James.

 

Despite finally fulfilling a lifelong dream of bringing a title to his hometown, the King will not want to relinquish his crown without a fight. This is the new rivalry in the NBA.

 

Golden State Warriors @ Oklahoma City Thunder, February 11, 2017

 

The return of Durant. To the surprise of many, the 2014 MVP opted to depart the franchise where he spent his first nine years in the league and join OKC's main rivals in the Western Conference.

 

His decision split opinion among former players, analysts and fans, but he only has eyes for winning and by creating a 'big four' with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, he has given himself the best possible opportunity of doing just that.

 

Despite nine great years in Oklahoma City, his former fans were understandably angered by his decision, with the customary jersey burning taking place among some.

 

Russell Westbrook's decision to re-sign with the Thunder and the revelation of the apparent breakdown in his relationship with KD has added more fuel to this fixture. It is the most anticipated match-up of the upcoming season for sure.

 

Chicago Bulls @ Miami Heat, November 10

 

This fixture sees another return, Dwyane Wade's first game back in Miami. The three-time champion's departure from South Beach was arguably the biggest shock of the summer as he said goodbye to the place he's called home throughout his 13 years in the league.

 

Unlike Durant, however, Wade will receive a hero's welcome at the American Airlines Arena after he opted to return to his hometown team in Chicago. Contract negotiations went sour with the Heat and the fans' blame lays firmly at the door of president Pat Riley and not the 12-time All-Star.

 

He may have moved on, but the place he left will forever be known as Wade County as the veteran guard gave the Florida faithful so many good years and memories. This game will be worth watching for the tribute to the Heat legend.

 

Chicago Bulls @ New York Knicks, November 4

 

The Bulls made the first big move of the offseason when they decided to trade hometown point guard and 2011 MVP Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks. The trade may have surprised some, but it made sense for both parties.

 

After becoming the youngest MVP in league history, things went from bad to worse for Rose as he suffered multiple knee injuries and struggled to get back to his high level.

 

A power struggle ensued with All-Star shooting guard Jimmy Butler who had emerged as the new leader of the team and the franchise had no doubts as to who they wanted to take the team forward.

 

Along with Rose, center Joakim Noah, who had spent all of his nine years in the NBA with the Bulls, decided to join forces with his close friend once again in his hometown of New York.

 

The return of the popular duo to the United Center should be met with a warm reception as they gave everything to the team whenever they stepped out onto the floor. But the pair will have a point to prove to their former employers and will certainly make this game one to watch.

Topics:
Eastern Conference
NBA
Stephen Curry
Golden State Warriors
Pacific Division
Western Conference
LeBron James
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division

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