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NBA schedule features “Rivals Week” games in 2022-23

There are 11 games on the schedule from Jan. 24-28 that will be featured as rivalry games. We take a look at break it down.

LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers rebounds the ball during the game against the LA Clippers on March 3, 2022 at Crypto.Com Arena in Los Angeles, California.  Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

The 2022-23 NBA schedule was released at 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday afternoon and we got a few surprises. One of them is the implementation of “Rivals Week”, which will be 11 games during the week of January 24-28. Take a look at the full list of games below:

Some of these are really grasping at straws. Lonzo Ball vs. LaMelo Ball is less of a rivalry game and more narrative with the two bros. playing each other. The Los Angeles Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers is the most intriguing one with Kawhi Leonard expected to be back this season. Brooklyn Nets vs. Philadelphia 76ers would be the other polarizing matchup. We don’t know if it’ll be Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving vs. James Harden and Joel Embiid or will Ben Simmons decide to return and face his old team.

Of course, New York Knicks vs. the Nets is on there. Lakers-Celtics more historic than recent. The peculiar rivalry games include the Golden State Warriors vs. the Memphis Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors. Neither of those teams are rivals to the Dubs really. Nikola Jokic vs. Embiid isn’t a rivalry, really just two of the top centers in the NBA. Embiid could feel snubbed of MVP while Jokic has won in back-to-back seasons. Phoenix Suns vs. Dallas Mavericks also not a rivalry. The Mavs just toasted the Suns in the second round of the playoffs last season.

For some reason, the NBA ignored the biggest rivalry: Paolo Banchero vs. Dejounte Murray. So we don’t get Orlando Magic vs. Atlanta Hawks during “Rivals Week” unfortunately.