NBA Schedule 2023-24 | Top 10 Games To Watch

Pat Pickens
Last Updated: Aug 18, 2023

The NBA off-season has had its fair share of drama. But the regular season is now on the horizon.

The league announced its regular-season schedule Thursday after the format and schedule for the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament trickled out earlier in the week.

Here’s a look at 10 regular-season games I can’t wait to watch.

Top 10 NBA Games to Watch This Season

1. Golden State Warriors @ Sacramento Kings

Golden 1 Center, Friday, Oct. 27 (10 p.m. ET; ESPN)

Separated by just 88 miles and on the heels of their classic seven-game first-round series this past spring, the NoCal rivals will renew acquaintances in Sacramento’s home opener.

Given the intensity Kings fans bring and the fact these teams should both be highly competitive again with Golden State adding guard Chris Paul, this should be one of the early season’s must-watch games.

2. Miami Heat @ Milwaukee Bucks

Fiserv Forum, Monday, Oct. 30 (8 p.m. ET; NBA League Pass)

You can bet Bucks fans circled this one from the minute the schedule was unveiled. Jimmy Butler and Miami memorably shocked top-seeded Milwaukee, who was without superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo due to injury.

Miami, which used the upset first-round win to reach the Finals, could be even better this season. But with Antetokounmpo back healthy and Bucks fans undoubtedly coming for vengeance, the atmosphere should be electric.

3. San Antonio Spurs @ Denver Nuggets

Ball Arena, Sunday, Nov. 26 (8 p.m. ET; NBA League Pass)

The hype surrounding Victor Wembanyama is enormous, but we’ll see how he fares against the consensus best big man in the game, Nikola Jokić.

Wembanyama and the Spurs will surely need time to grow before they can challenge the likes of the defending NBA champs. But it’ll be fun to see how they match up.

4. Denver Nuggets @ Phoenix Suns

Footprint Center, Friday, Dec. 1 (10 p.m. ET; ESPN)

Speaking of tests, the Suns spent the entire offseason loading up to unseat the Nuggets. Phoenix added Bradley Beal to their star-studded lineup, including Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Deandre Ayton, with Frank Vogel as coach.

But Denver’s depth won out over Phoenix’s star power in the six-game second-round playoff series in the spring. Add the drama of Jokić shoving Suns owner Mat Ishbia during Game 4 of that postseason series, and these are two teams that don’t seem to like each other.

I can’t wait to see whether Denver still holds an advantage over Phoenix or if the Suns can take over as the best in the West.

5. NBA Cup Championship: Teams TBD

T-Mobile Arena, Saturday, Dec. 9 (Time & Broadcast Schedule TBD)

The inaugural in-season tournament has me curious.

How will coaches manage their rosters, knowing the tournament games will also count towards their regular-season records?

How will the travel to Las Vegas for the semifinals and championship affect teams from the East? What will the celebration be like for the team that wins?

It should be fascinating and could revolutionize North American sports. Personally, I’m rooting for an upstart from one conference — someone like Charlotte, Houston, San Antonio, Washington, or the like — to meet up against a titan from the other conference like Phoenix, Boston, Miami, Denver, Milwaukee, or Golden State.

6. Golden State Warriors @ Denver Nuggets

Ball Arena, Monday, Dec. 25 (2:30 p.m. ET; ABC/ESPN)

This matchup will be the second of a five-game Christmas slate. Although Celtics-Lakers is in the marquee TV window, I think Dubs-Nuggets will be the most competitive game.

These are arguably the two best teams in the West. This contest features the two most recent Western Conference champs and two multi-time MVP winners in Jokić and Stephen Curry, making this an enticing appetizer before Christmas dinner.

7. Miami Heat @ Portland Trail Blazers

Moda Center, Tuesday, Feb. 27 (10 p.m. ET; TNT)

TNT picked this game up due to the potential for it to be Damian Lillard’s return to Portland. Lillard requested a trade from the Blazers and has reportedly told Portland management his preferred destination is South Florida.

If Lillard ultimately lands with Butler and the Heat, they’ll be must-watch TV most nights. But this game will get all the attention, especially to see how the Portland fans receive the long-time superstar’s return.

8. Los Angeles Lakers @ Los Angeles Clippers Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 28 (10 p.m. ET; ESPN)

These teams should be two of the best in the Western Conference yet again, and the all-LA matchups are always extremely entertaining.

But barring a playoff meeting between these teams, this will be the last time the Lakers and Clippers square off as cohabitants at the arena formerly known as Staples Center. The Clips are getting set to move into the Intuit Dome in Inglewood for the 2024-25 season, marking the end of the clubs’ 24-year tenure as roommates.

9. Boston Celtics @ Phoenix Suns

Footprint Center, Saturday, March 9 (8:30 p.m. ET; ABC)

These teams will meet twice in less than a week in what should be a pair of potential NBA Finals previews.

Boston, the preseason favorite in the NBA Eastern Conference betting odds, came a single game shy of winning the East in 2023, and Phoenix has the second-shortest NBA Western Conference betting odds and is loaded entering the 2023-24 season.

I’ll have my sights set on both games, but the affair in Phoenix will be on national TV and falls on the last Saturday of the dead of winter — the week before NCAA conference tournaments heat up — making it a slightly more compelling draw.

10. Los Angeles Clippers @ Philadelphia 76ers

Wells Fargo Center, Wednesday, March 27 (7:30 p.m. ET; ESPN)

Given the likelihood James Harden is still ultimately traded to the Clippers, this is poised to be his first game back in Philadelphia in a visiting uniform.

Sixers fans are Philadelphia sports fans, and they are infamous for their vitriol toward rival players. That holds especially true for ex-Philadelphia players — if you aren’t sure, just ask Ben Simmons how he was treated in his return to Wells Fargo Center.

If Harden is dealt elsewhere, this matchup could simply be an NBA Finals preview featuring Joel Embiid against Kawhi Leonard and Co., which would still make it must-see TV.


Pat Pickens

Pat Pickens is a seasoned sportswriter who has covered the NHL since 2013 for various websites, including The New York Times,,, USA Today, the Associated Press and many others. His debut book, titled "The Whalers" about the history of the NHL's Hartford Whalers, was released in October 2021.

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