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NBA schedule 2016: Which of the Warriors’ 2016-17 marquee matchups are you most looking forward to?

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A couple of the Warriors’ marquee matchups for the 2016-17 season have already been announced, with the label “rivalry game” being thrown around for both. But with the Warriors’ newfound success, who do you think is their biggest rival?

Chicago Bulls v Oklahoma City Thunder Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors will get their first taste of the Oklahoma City Thunder on November 3 and the hype machine is already gearing up for overdrive as the NBA has released its official schedule for the 2016-17 schedule today.

The November 3 meeting will be the first of at least three during the season, as first reported by Erik Horne of the Oklahoman on Monday. As widely rumored over the last few days, Kevin Durant’s first visit to Oklahoma City will be on February 11, as first reported by Marc Stein on Monday.

Date

Location

TV

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Oakland, CA

TNT

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Oklahoma City, OK

ABC Saturday Showcase

Monday, March 20, 2017

Oklahoma City, OK

???

Tentative schedule for Warriors vs. Thunder during the 2016-17 season.

People are already playing this up as the biggest rivalry in the league, but it’s hard to see that from the perspective of a Warriors fan. Although it’s probably true nationally that "Russell Westbrook's August 4 re-signing with OKC lends a palpable realism to the "good vs. evil" motif surrounding each franchise-defining talent", as described by Joshua Broom of Welcome To Loud City, it’s not like Warriors fans have exactly forgotten about the L.A. Clippers (or the NorCal-SoCal rivalry generally), who they mercilessly swept last season after Curry just embarrassed their attempt at defense the season before. As described by Adithya of Clips Nation, the Warriors-Clippers rivalry has arguably been the most heated of any in the league over the last two years.

If they don’t open against the Thunder (as many anticipate), it makes a lot of sense to see Golden State play their first game against the Clippers. We get a potential WCF preview and the rekindling of a rivalry that’s been the fiercest in the NBA for the past few years. The wind has gone out of those sails recently as the Warriors have taken 7 of 8 the last two years, but the record doesn’t show how competitive many of those games have been.

As long as Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, and Doc Rivers are leading the Clippers, they’ll be easy to continue hating on and I, for one, will continue to participate in that.

Then, of course, you have the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have met the Warriors in the past two NBA Finals and have definitely engaged in a public war of words during that time no matter how well Kyrie Irving is getting along with Durant, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson in Rio.

The Warriors’ first meeting with the Cavs will be on Christmas Day for the second consecutive year, as reported by Marc Stein, though this year’s game will take place in Cleveland.

It’s highly likely that the highest rated game will be one of those first two games that Durant faces his old team, given the national promotion and dates of the games. But biggest rival right now? It’s hard not to go with the natural geographic rival or the one that took the title from the Warriors this summer.