|Derrick Rose's first game back with Chicago could be the season opener against the Miami Heat. (fullcourtpumps.com)|
The NBA may be in the heart of the offseason, but with the 2013-14 schedule released last night, teams and fans can start looking ahead and circling games on their calendars.
The first days everyone looks for when the schedule finally comes out is the season opener and Christmas Day, and the NBA has made sure neither day will disappoint. In terms of storylines, the first night of the season, Oct. 29, couldn't get much better. The Miami Heat will welcome Chicago in what should be Derrick Rose's first game back in more than a year. A healthy Chicago squad has been thought of the past few years as one of the best changes of ending Miami's reign as champions. That night will also feature a completely upside down rivalry when Doc Rivers makes his coaching debut with the Los Angeles Clippers against the Lakers, who has a completely new lineup, except for Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.
Basketball fans will have a feast of five games on Christmas Day and while Chicago will face the new-look Brooklyn Nets, Oklahoma City will play the New York Knicks, Miami will travel to LA to take on the Lakers and Dwight Howard's Houston Rockets will challenge San Antonio, the most exciting game on the schedule could be the night cap, where the Clippers travel to Golden State. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin versus Stephen Curry and the young-but-talented Warriors should be a high-tempo, high-scoring contest that will be fun to watch.
Obviously these are just two days on a very busy 82-game schedule for teams, and every team has a few games worthy of mention here. Dwight Howard's return to Los Angeles and Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett's return to Boston are just two that will bring national attention. If you're just interested in finding your favorite team's schedule, Dan Devine at Yahoo! Sports compiled links to every team's schedule on the Ball Don't Lie blog for your enjoyment.
Follow @BeatsDimesDrive on Twitter
Like Beats Dimes and Drives on Facebook