Of course this is the game to watch. It could be the first spark in a stunning epoch that defines our generation and dominates our run as basketball fans. This is the most important game of the night, this will be the most entertaining game of the night, and we will learn more from this game than any of the other two.
But please pay attention to this game.
The one that has the Rockets playing in Los Angeles. Because, as we step away from the all-consuming mania that surrounds the current version of the Miami Heat, this game ticks all our boxes.
Yao Ming(notes). The triangle offense. Interesting rookies, and pickups about to spend their first full season in a new uniform. Pau Gasol(notes) passing the ball to Kobe Bryant(notes), and vice versa. The Heat and the Celtics may run the best, most important game Tuesday night, but man are we looking forward to the Rockets playing the Lakers.
There's also this, from Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register:
With the players wearing special warmups with satin patches commemorating 16 championship banners on their backs, the Lakers will receive their new championship rings.
It will be a unique ceremony, with a format meant to reflect the deeper bonds that go into being back-to-back NBA champions. After Lakers coach Phil Jackson receives his championship ring, he will take the Staples Center public-address microphone and do a brief, self-scripted introduction of the first Lakers player. Each player will come forward to receive his ring -- and then perform his own individual introduction for the next player.
Sounds like a ceremony that could be rife with drama, unintentional hilarity, and copious retellings full of basketball knowledge. Kind of like the season itself. We'll be sure to try to document it the entire way.