by Marcel Mutoni

Last night was, largely, for hype. Sure, basketball was played, but the evening was more about re-introducing the League’s biggest stars to the mass market, and wetting our appetites for the seven month-long marathon. Save for Blazers supporters, the night was a rousing success.

Tonight, though, the NBA season really jumps off, with 12 games on tap. Let’s take a quick look at the matchups you should keep an eye on…

Toronto @ Philly
: Elton Brand makes his home debut. Philly sports fans, though, might have to be excused for having other things on their nervous minds.

New Orleans @ Golden State: The sure-to-be disastrous Warriors season kicks off. And as Al Harrington and Don Nelson sumo wrestle at mid-court, no one will bat an eyelash.

Miami @ New York: The new-look Heat invade The Garden, facing off against the same-look Knicks. Hope you like hearing boos, Mike D’Antoni.

Milwaukee @ OKC: This will be weird, and sparsely watched.

Memphis @ Houston
: Arguably the game of the night, as the freakishly athletic Grizzlies take on Ron-Ron and the Rockets. The evil genius who created League Pass did so with games like this in mind.