Biggest NBA games of 2023

    The NBA season has entered a New Year, and many fascinating storylines are already developing as the Golden State Warriors face numerous challenges in the West and the Brooklyn Nets look like they might finally be able to fulfill their potential. 

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    Looking ahead to the remainder of the season, players, fans, and bettors have a long way to go. The schedule is among the many factors that bookmakers and betting fans have to consider, along with the NBA starting lineups and the relative strengths of the teams in the competition. 

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    With so much pressure on the top players, load management has become an ever-present influence throughout the NBA season. Whether you are betting on your team to win the next game or to make the playoffs, getting a handle on which games your team will be prioritizing has become essential. 

    This year’s schedule has reduced the amount of traveling that teams will have to do, including fewer back-to-back games. ‘Rivals Week’ later this month is an exciting innovation worth watching. 

    Here are some of the biggest regular season games we can look forward to this year:

    Detroit Pistons vs. Chicago Bulls, January 19th

    Detroit Pistons vs Chicago Bulls

    Okay, this rivalry may not be what it was back in the 1980s, but there is still a level of intensity associated with this matchup that will never change, no matter the fortunes of the two franchises. 

    The Bulls had a blowout win 132-118 at United Center at the end of December, but this is a good opportunity for the young trio of Saddiq Bey and Jaden Ivey to show what they can do against a highly-rated Bulls team that has made a poor start. 

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    This is likely to be a transitional season for the Pistons as their young stars grow into their potential. Still, this game is an excellent opportunity to level the score against the Bulls, who are struggling to back up their 2021/22 performance when they finished sixth in the East. 

    Phoenix Suns vs. Dallas Mavericks, January 26th

    Rivals Week is an exciting idea, and clearly, the NBA is hoping it will add a bit extra interest to the regular season. There are a few fascinating matchups in this batch of games, and this clash in Phoenix on January 26th is potentially one of the best. 

    Have the Suns missed their Championship window? In an ultra-competitive Western Conference, they’ve stood still this summer or possibly even gone backward, given the controversies surrounding Deandre Ayton, Jae Crowder, and owner Robert Sarver. 

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    There are few such doubts surrounding the Mavericks, and they are well placed in the West to repeat or even exceed their Conference Final spot from last season. They aren’t a one-man team, but Luka Doncic is a box office player, a potential MVP, and should excel in this nationally televised game. 

    Brooklyn Nets vs. New York Knicks, January 28th

    It has been a long time since New York has been relevant in the NBA, and while the New York Knicks are not genuine contenders to go any further than the first round of the playoffs, they look more like the 2020/21 Knicks than last year’s version, at least based on what we’ve seen so far. 

    If the Nets had continued this season in the same way they have performed over the last three, then the Knicks might have a shot of being the top dogs in New York. Unfortunately for the Knicks fans, the Nets are determined to show up this year. 

    Kevin Durant has been hitting his usual elite heights, while Kyrie Irving – with a new contract on the line – has been able to turn up to work regularly. There have been significant contributions from others in the lineup, including three-time All-Star – Ben Simmons.

    The Nets won 112-5 in the first clash of the season, so this is an ideal opportunity for the Knicks to fire back in front of a national audience – mainly as it seems likely that Kevin Durant may miss this one

    Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics, February 14th

    Underestimating the Milwaukee Bucks has become a national pastime for NBA fans and experts. Once again, Giannis Antetokounmpo and his teammates are being overlooked as everyone raves about the resurgent Nets, Jayson Tatum, and the Celtics. 

    That’s not to say that the Celtics aren’t worthy of attention. After reaching the NBA Finals last season, they have come through the controversy surrounding Ime Udoka. Under Joe Mazzulla, they are back on top of the East, with Tatum running for the MVP award and Giannis. 

    Last season’s epic Eastern Conference final between these two franchises seemed like it could be the beginning of a gripping modern rivalry. After the Celtics won their opening encounter this season on Christmas Day, this is a chance for the Bucks to remind the East of their credentials. 

    Memphis Grizzlies vs. Golden State Warriors, March 9th

    Last season, the Memphis Grizzlies got to the Western Conference final, powered by the genius of Ja Morant. The dazzling point guard is again setting an example in 2022-23, as the Grizzlies are firmly in contention at the top of the Conference standings. 

    You must go a little further down the standings, almost halfway, before you find the reigning champions. The Warriors, impacted by injuries and perhaps adapting to their roster changes from the summer, have made a steady but unremarkable start to their title defense. 

    This will be the third time the Grizzlies will take on the Warriors this season, but the first at FedEx Forum. This gives Morant and his teammates a great chance to make a statement ahead of a potential meeting between the Warriors and the Grizzlies in the playoffs. 

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