It’s going to be a treat for Kentucky fans to watch the most recent crop of players begin their NBA careers. The six players drafted are extremely talented and all have a chance to find an immediate niche at the next level. Adding those six players to the already lengthy list of Calipari players in the NBA provides a ton of great games for fans of the blue and white. The 2012-13 NBA schedule was just released and I’m going to give you the five must watch games for Wildcat fans of the first-half of the season.
1. New Orleans at Chicago, November 3rd– Within the first five days of the season, Anthony Davis is going home to Chicago to play Marquis Teague and the Bulls. Teague could get a ton of minutes with Derrick Rose out until March, but the real story here is Davis. What better way to show the NBA world that you are going to be a force for the next decade than a coming out party at the United Center. Training with the Olympic team will have Davis ready for the NBA competition from day one. Plus, he’ll be guarded by Carlos Boozer. Boozer hasn’t played defense since ’08. #Lunchtime
2. Houston at Portland, November 3rd– Both Davis and Terrence Jones will return to their hometowns early in the season. Jones has been an absolute beast in the summer league and I expect that to continue into the regular season. Assuming that Orlando doesn’t receive Houston’s entire roster in a Dwight Howard deal, this could be an “I’m here” moment for Jones as well.
3. Charlotte at New Orleans, November 9th– This isn’t a marquee matchup yet, unless you’re a Cats fan. Davis vs. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist- Part I should have all of Big Blue Nation tuning in. No doubt these two talented kids are going to go at each other whenever possible and with MKG having the green light on a bad Charlotte team, why not try to dunk on your best pal. Don’t forget about Darius Miller, either. He could find himself guarding his former teammate at some point in the game.
4. Sacramento at Los Angeles, November 11th – There’s no telling where Dwight Howard will end up; he might even be playing in this game. Odds are better than Andrew Bynum will still be in a Laker uniform and with DeMarcus Cousins making his mark as one of the best centers in the game this should be an excellent matchup. Boogie should have a chip on his shoulder the entire season after being spurned by the Jerry Colangelo and the Olympic team.
5. Detroit at Washington, December 21st; Washington at Detroit, December 22nd– Both John Wall and Brandon Knight will be faced with pressure to improve on their 2011-12 campaigns. Washington’s front office has retooled the entire roster for Wall. He’s surrounded by better talent in the starting five and more depth on the bench. Detroit is forming a nice young nucleus of players for Knight too. In a rare, and kind of weird bit of scheduling, these former Kentucky point guards will duke it out on back-to-back nights — a stretch that could be the difference between a eighth seed and watching the playoffs from home.