COMMENTARY | The Golden State Warriors will have plenty of big contests during their 2013-14 regular season schedule featuring 17 nationally televised games. Some of these matchups are more important and significant than others because of what took place last season or the events happening during the offseason.
Here are the Warriors' top 10 must-see games of the 2013-14 regular season:
10. Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, Friday, March 14, 2014, 7:30 p.m. PT, CSN Bay Area
Jarrett Jack, a key contributor to last season's success, is now a member of the Cavaliers. In his only visit to the Bay Area, Jack plays alongside a young, talented cast similar to what he experienced last season on the Warriors. Cleveland boasts a roster featuring Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, Andrew Bynum, Tristan Thompson, and No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett, making them a very intriguing team this season.
9. Warriors vs. Houston Rockets, Friday, December 13, 2013, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
Prized free agent center Dwight Howard decided to take his talents to Houston. In the Rockets' first visit to the Bay Area, Warriors fans in attendance will get their first opportunity to greet and jeer a player who will not be welcomed at Oracle Arena. That being said, the Rockets boast a formidable roster with James Harden, Chandler Parsons, and Jeremy Lin and are competing with the Warriors for the title of most-promising rising team in the West.
8. Warriors vs. Brooklyn Nets, Saturday, February 22, 2014, 7:30 p.m., NBATV
This game marks the lone appearance of Oakland native and legend Jason Kidd to the Bay Area. A local high school star at St. Joseph Notre Dame in Alameda, Calif. and a collegiate star at California, Kidd comes to Oakland as a rookie head coach featuring an expensive and aging roster featuring new faces such as Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry, and Andrei Kirilenko.
7. Warriors vs. Sacramento Kings, Saturday, November 2, 2013, 7:30 p.m., CSN Bay Area
The team's third game of the season will be against their Northern California rivals who are apparently plucking any resource they can from the Warriors. Vivek Ranadive, previously a Warriors minority owner, is now the majority owner in Sacramento. Michael Malone, the top assistant for Mark Jackson over the past two seasons, is now the team's head coach. Carl Landry, who like Jack was another big contributor to the Warriors last season, returns to the Kings on a four-year contract. The rivalry between Golden State and Sacramento intensifies with this early-season matchup.
6. Warriors vs. Indiana Pacers, Monday, January 20, 2014, 7:30 p.m., TNT
The Warriors once again host a game on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, this time against one of the top teams in the East. These two contenders face off for the first time since Roy Hibbert was ejected from a game for tussling with David Lee and Stephen Curry. This holiday matchup should be one of the most intriguing games of MLK Day.
5. Warriors at San Antonio Spurs, Friday, November 8, 2013, 5:30 p.m., CSN Bay Area
The Warriors and Spurs had an intense six-game Western Conference Semifinal series in the playoffs last season. The competition between the two teams continues in early November, as this game will be one of the Warriors' first big road tests. Golden State will play 14 of its first 22 games on the road.
4. Warriors at Miami Heat, Thursday, January 2, 2014, 4:30 p.m., CSN Bay Area
Last season, the Warriors earned an unlikely road win in Miami thanks to a last second Draymond Green layup. For their first game of 2014, Golden State will play in South Beach against the back-to-back NBA champions. Could this game against LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh once again serve as a launching point for the Warriors' success this season?
3. Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers, Wednesday, October 30, 2013, 7:30 p.m., NBATV
Opening night for the Warriors can't get much bigger than a game against the Lakers. While Los Angeles may be without Kobe Bryant for this game, this marquee matchup between rivals will be an exciting way to start the Warriors' season of high expectations, especially if it begins with a blowout.
2. Warriors vs. Los Angeles Clippers, Wednesday, December 25, 2013, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
The Warriors will once again meet the Clippers on Christmas in the team's 23rd Christmas Day game in franchise history. A rematch of their December 25 matchup in 2011, the Warriors and Clippers will be top contenders battling for the Pacific Division crown. This game will serve as the perfect cap for families on this holiday.
1. Warriors at New York Knicks, Friday, February 28, 5:00 p.m., ESPN
Exactly a year and a day after Curry's career-high 54 points in Madison Square Garden, the Warriors return to New York. Given the near-perfect timing of his historic performance, all eyes will be on this game as spectators watch and see whether Curry can follow up his memorable record-setting scoring spectacle.
Austin Chang is a San Francisco Bay Area-based sports writer covering the Golden State Warriors for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. He is the Associate Editor of Sports Out West and an intern for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Follow this contributor on Twitter @_austinchang.
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