Last year the San Antonio Spurs season ended in the Western Conference semi-finals with a four game sweep brought on by the Phoenix Suns. Since then, Spurs fans have been eager to get the 2010-2011 season underway.
So whether you are heading out to the AT&T Center, your favorite sports bar or going to gather up the family and friends to catch a game on TV from the comfort of your own home, here are a few key games to watch from each month.
In November the Spurs play three key games to watch:
- 14th at Oklahoma City
- 22nd vs. Orlando
- 26th vs. Dallas
On November 14th the Spurs hit the road against the young, up-and-coming Oklahoma City Thunder led by MVP candidate hopeful Kevin Durant.
In 2009-2010, the Spurs went a impressive 3-1 against the Thunder with their three wins coming by a combined total of 12 points and the one loss only being by three points.
While the Miami Heat made the most noise this offseason, the Orlando Magic are still a powerhouse team in the east and when these two teams meet up, it’s always a great game to watch. This will be an early test for the Spurs to see how they fair against one of the best teams in the league.
The game against the Dallas Mavericks just adds yet another chapter to this great in-state rivalry. You don’t want to miss the first time these two teams meet up, especially since the Mavericks have nothing but revenge on their minds after being sent home in the first round by the Spurs last year.
In December the Spurs play four key games to watch:
- 12th vs. Portland
- 23rd at Orlando
- 28th vs. L.A. Lakers
- 30th at Dallas
The Portland Trailblazers are also a young, up-and-coming team much like the Thunder however, in the 2009-2010 season, the Spurs were winless against the Trailblazers. The Spurs went 0-3 against Portland losing twice on the Trailblazers' home court and once in the Alamo City. The Spurs are looking to rebound from the beatings the Blazers handed out last year so this is a must watch game.
Also in this month is round two of the Spurs-Magic heavyweight bout, except this time the game takes place in Florida.
The Spurs will get their first crack at the back-to-back defending champions Los Angeles Lakers team on the 28th in San Antonio. These two teams split the four games they played last season with each team winning on the opposing teams floor.
The game against the Mavericks goes without saying as a must watch game. Round two of this battle for Texas takes place two days before the end of the year.
In January the Spurs play four key games to watch:
- 1st vs. Oklahoma City
- 5th at Boston
- 14th vs. Dallas
- 29th vs. Houston
The Spurs kick off the new year with a home game against the Thunder. This is going to be a tough task seeing as how most teams will be in full swing by this point in the season and the Thunder will be extremely dangerous during this time. This will give us more of a idea of the kind of season the Spurs are in for when these two teams meet to start off 2011.
A few days later the Spurs will go on the road to face the defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics. The Celtics have added the O’Neal boys (Shaquille and Jermaine) to their roster to overcome the loss of Kendrick Perkins. Despite what everyone may say about Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and company, the Celtics are the team to beat in the east and they proved that last season when they made it back to the finals for the second time in three years.
Round three of the Spurs-Mavericks is set for the 14th of this month and it will be the last time Dallas plays in San Antonio during the regular season.
The game against the Houston Rockets on the 29th is the second time these teams meet in the season, however, Houston typically does not get going until mid to late season, so this is what makes this game a must see.
In February the Spurs play three key games to watch along with the annual rodeo road trip*:
- 1st at Portland
- 3rd at L.A. Lakers
- 23rd vs. Oklahoma City
Every year the Spurs go on the “Rodeo Road Trip” during the month of February and have done so since 1999. This year kicks off with two tough games back to back against Portland and the Lakers. Luckily these are the only two Western Conference playoff teams from the 2009-2010 season that the Spurs will play in this years road trip.
The remaining games on the road trip are against the Sacramento Kings, Detroit Pistons, Toronto Raptors, Philadelphia 76ers, Washington Wizards, New Jersey Nets and Chicago Bulls. The Spurs will then come home and play against the Thunder on the 23rd. After the long road trip the Spurs will be in need of some home cooking and Durant will not make it a easy homecoming.
Last year the Spurs came home from the Rodeo Road Trip to play the Thunder and were able to get a win 95-87 and stopped Durant’s scoring of 30 or more points per game streak. This should be another classic match up that will take place just days after the NBA All-Star break.
*Rodeo road trip is from February 1st through the 17th and includes nine games.
In March the Spurs play eight key games to watch:
- 4th vs. Miami
- 6th vs. L.A. Lakers
- 12th at Houston
- 14th at Miami
- 18th at Dallas
- 25th at Portland
- 28th vs. Portland
- 31st vs. Boston
The Spurs will have to wait until late in the season before they get their match up against the newly rebuilt Heat. The Heat made the biggest noise this off season with the signings of LeBron James and Chris Bosh. Every team has circled their calendar when they play Miami and with good reason. The Heat are considered to be the favorites to come out of the East and possibly even win the NBA trophy. The Spurs get to play them twice in this month, once in San Antonio and again near the middle of the month in Miami.
The Spurs also play Portland twice in this month along with playing the two teams from last years finals, Lakers and Boston Celtics.
The conclusion of the Spurs-Mavericks rivalry is also featured during this month and the Spurs will travel to Houston on the 12th to play against the other part of the “Texas Triangle.”
In April the Spurs play two key games to watch:
- 1st at Houston
- 12th at Lakers
The Spurs will travel to Houston to play the fourth and final game against the Rockets during the regular season. The Rockets may be battling to get a playoff spot and the Spurs would love nothing more than to set them back on their playoff plans.
On their second to last game of the season the Spurs will travel to Los Angeles to play the Lakers for the final time of the regular season. With the West coming down to the last game of the regular season to determine seeding, this may end up being a huge game if the Spurs are jockeying for position in the west.
These are the games that stand out to me before the season starts, as you well know, teams get “hot” during different times of the season which would in turn create more games to watch.