Even binge-watching can get old.
While sheltering in place you started to rewatch Breaking Bad, which led into Better Call Saul. Next, you rewatched the best episodes of The Office. You sat with your loved one and worked through the highlights of the Marvel Comics Universe films again so your significant other would finally fully understand Endgame. You even tried Peaky Blinders.
Now it’s time to bring basketball back into your life.
The NBA may be on hiatus but it has opened up League Pass to everyone for streaming during the break. Our own Dan Feldman has found the best way to access all the content is to go to this schedule, click the box score of your desired game, then “NBA LEAGUE PASS” to the right of the quarterly scores. Then click “Watch” in the upper middle of the next page. The league also has posted sixty-five classic games that you can watch here.
What games should you watch? Here are my 10 suggestions:
Chicago at Cleveland
May 7, 1989, a 101-100 Bulls win
Michael Jordan, at his peak, hits “the shot” over Craig Elho in one of the iconic MJ moments. Jordan had 44 points and dominated the game, although Elho had 24 off the bench and the Cavs would not have been in the game without his play. (The Bulls would go on to lose in the Eastern Conference Finals to the Bad Boy Pistons, that happened for a few years in a row.)
Toronto at LA Lakers
Jan. 22, 2006, a 122-104 Lakers win
Kobe Bryant’s 81-point game. What people tend to forget about this game is Kobe had to go off to give these Lakers — who started Smush Parker, Kwame Brown, and Chris Mihm — a chance some nights. The Lakers were sluggish and down 14 at the half, but Kobe took over and won the Lakers the game with one of his iconic performances.
Cleveland at Golden State
June 19, 2016, a 93-89 Cavaliers win
This was the culmination of the 3-1 Cleveland comeback in these NBA Finals, the game where Kyrie Irving hit the game-winning three, Kevin Love played good defense when it mattered, and LeBron James secured his legacy. A lot of the great Warriors Finals games are available to stream, too, but the emotion and epic plays in this game make it an all-time classic.
Oklahoma City at Portland
April 23, 2019, a 118-115 Trail Blazers win
Damian Lillard sparks a 15-point Trail Blazer comeback in the final eight minutes (CJ McCollum had a lot to do with that, too) then ends the Russell Westbrook era in OKC with a shot from the logo as time expires. Then he waves goodbye. It was Lillard’s iconic moment and an intense game worth watching again.
GAMES FROM THIS SEASON
LA Lakers vs. LA Clippers:
Christmas Day, a 111-106 Clippers win
March 8, a 112-103 Lakers win
These are two of the three best teams in the NBA (Milwaukee has its hat in the ring, too), and their meetings have been some of the best games this season. On Christmas Day Kawhi Leonard looked every bit the Finals MVP, getting to his spots and dropping 35, then the Clippers held on late with a defensive stand where Patrick Beverley knocked the ball out of LeBron James’ hands. Then on March 8, LeBron made his MVP case with a masterful game and Anthony Davis stepped up with a huge night. Whatever format the NBA playoffs ultimately take this season, we need these to teams facing off.
LA Clippers at Boston
Feb. 13, 2020, a 141-133 2OT Celtics win
A double-overtime thriller that was maybe the most entertaining game of this season, this was Jayson Tatum‘s breakout game. Tatum went mano a mano with Kawhi Leonard and was the better player that day, scoring 39 points on 14-for-23 shooting.
Philadelphia at Miami
Dec. 28, 2019, a 117-116 OT Heat win
Jimmy Butler — wearing those awesome Miami Vice throwbacks — taking on his former team in the 76ers was one of the season’s classics. Joel Embiid was the best player on the court, scoring 35 and pulling down 11 boards, but a balanced Miami attack with seven players in double figures played too much. Butler himself hit the dagger free throws in OT.
Brooklyn at Memphis
Oct. 27, 2019, a 134-133 Grizzlies win
Ja Morant is going to win Rookie of the Year (Zion didn’t play in enough games, sorry, availability is still the best ability), and this was his breakout game. He scored 17 points in the fourth quarter and then blocked Kyrie Irving’s attempt at a game winner. Morant has been special this season and deserves the ROY trophy.
Portland at New Orleans
Feb. 11, 2020, a 138-117 Pelicans win
Zion Williamson came into the NBA with unreasonable expectations — then exceeded them. He instantly became must-watch television. Check out arguably his best game, a 31 point, nine rebound, five assist performance (in fewer than 28 minutes), as he sparks a dominant third quarter and comeback win for the Pelicans.