Although preseason games do not count, these matchups always give us a sneak peek of what to expect when they do count.
They’re like teasers, only preseason games are live action that has room for unexpected moments. Here are some of the games you should watch out for.
Los Angeles Lakers vs Brooklyn Nets (October 4)
A lot of playoff prediction brackets had these two teams in the last finals. But those predictions couldn’t have been more wrong, thanks to the other plans of the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns.
A beefed-up Lakers and a healthy Nets team will have another go at it, with the hopes that the predictions are accurate this time around. We probably won’t see much of the superstars for this early preseason matchup but we’ll have a glimpse of these two teams’ depth—which we know by now is important for the postseason.
Brooklyn Nets vs Milwaukee Bucks (October 9)
If the Brooklyn Nets were indeed only inches away from the finals last season, then the Milwaukee Bucks have the whole season to prove they weren’t. The first chance they’ll get is as early as the preseason.
The Bucks lost an elite defender in PJ Tucker, who likes to spend most of his time hounding Kevin Durant, but they have all the motivation they need to run it back.
Speaking of motivation, a healthy and complete Nets who lost in a Game 7 to the Bucks will be gunning for it.
Phoenix Suns vs Portland Trail Blazers (October 14)
Damian Lillard and Devin Booker exchanging buckets will always be a good watch regardless of the premise. Preseason, regular season, All-Star Game, playoffs—doesn’t matter.
Dame and DBook are two elite bucket-getters out to destroy defenses. There are a few changes in their team’s respective rosters, and it’s exciting to see how competitive they can still be in a tough Western Conference.
New York Knicks vs Boston Celtics (October 21)
Two former Celtics—Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier—are now playing for the orange and blue. Both weren’t as successful as they expected in Boston but now they have a shot at redemption.
New York was enjoying a new wave of success before flaming out against the Atlanta Hawks. Walker and Fournier should be able to add the much-needed offense that New York desperately needed last season.
Atlanta Hawks vs Dallas Mavericks (October 22)
Trae Young versus Luka Doncic in a no-stakes environment will always be fun. Remember Luka’s halfcourt heave over Trae at the 2020 Rising Stars Game?