What a day to start doing these rankings. The NBA gods have blessed us with 12 wonderful games tonight, but this list is taking a different approach at these games. Instead of looking at how the players in the uniforms will do, let’s rank how each matchup will look on your TV screen. All images are attributed to Lockervision.
12-Phoenix Suns at Miami Heat
This may not be the most egregious looking game you’ve ever seen, but I personally can’t stand these Heat jerseys. The court may be even worse. The Suns can look fine depending on who they’re playing, but this matchup just doesn’t do it for me. The lack of white for Miami makes the white basketball on the Suns jerseys stand out even more, and that is my least favorite aspect of the Suns’ new uniform set. Overall, it may not be as objectively bad as the next game, but it definitely is worse to me.
11-Utah Jazz at Brooklyn Nets
What am I even looking at here? I’ve seen reports that these highlighter Utah Jazz Icon jerseys have been retired for the year but changing them to white doesn’t change my opinion much. This game is everything that is wrong with modern NBA uniforms. It’s a good thing these teams are both mediocre at best so I can keep my eyes as far away from this game as possible.
10-LA Clippers at Cleveland Cavaliers
I am actually one of the defenders of this Clippers uniform set. I like the blue letters over the red numbers and how the stripes on the side are also blue on one side and red on the other. That being said, they’re not that good, and they definitely don’t save the game from what Cleveland is bringing. I like the colors, but “The Land?” Offset numbers? They were trying to do too much with these, and it comes off as a jumbled mess.
9-Orlando Magic at Dallas Mavericks
Both these teams need a refresh. Currently, they both wear bland, inoffensive sets that are mediocre at best. But they both have way better jerseys they could be wearing. This year’s Magic Classic jerseys may be my favorite in the league this year. And I love when the Mavs throw it back to the pre-2001 set. As for this game, though, it’s exactly what you come to expect from these teams: meh.
8-Milwaukee Bucks at Denver Nuggets
As you’ll come to see with these rankings, I am not the biggest fan of navy blue. You’d think growing up as a Mavs fan that I’d develop the taste for it, but I never did. Which is why this game is ranked where it is. Both teams are wearing fine jerseys, but nothing spectacular. Eight feels like the perfect spot for this potential Finals preview.
7-Washington Wizards at San Antonio Spurs
Ditto what I just said, but with better uniforms. I prefer the Wizards jerseys to the Nuggets, and I prefer the Spurs jerseys to the Bucks. Still a game I would label as ‘meh,’ but a very slightly higher ‘meh.’
6-Los Angeles Lakers at Houston Rockets
From two boring games to one that is anything but. I am a sucker for color-on-color games, but this one is a little too much on the wild side. Both teams have better jerseys in these colors in their history, and this Ketchup vs Mustard game would’ve looked way better in the early ’90s. As things currently stand, though, it is a perfectly serviceable change of pace to the usual NBA uniform matchup.
5-Sacramento Kings at Memphis Grizzlies
And we’re back to navy. What makes this game higher than the others is the wonderful cursive script of the new Kings jerseys. I can take or leave Memphis’ set, but the Kings definitely raise this game for me.
4-New York Knicks at Charlotte Hornets
We’re starting to get into the really good matchups for the day. On their own, I love both of these uniforms. The Knicks uniforms may be plain to some, but I am personally a huge fan of Orange, so I’m a fan. And the Hornets’ teal is only some more purple being added from being one of the best uniforms in the entire league. Together, they don’t quite mesh, but it’s still really pleasing to the eye.
3-New Orleans Pelicans at Boston Celtics
You may me wondering what makes this navy vs white matchup different. It may be as simple as this: this is the only traditional away vs home jersey matchup of the whole day. I do really like the Pelicans uniform set, and the Celtics uniforms are iconic. But what makes this game for me is the throwback aspect of this game, which is unique for a team that began in 2002.
2-Minnesota Timberwolves at Oklahoma City Thunder
I went into these rankings fully expecting this to be my number one. I love the Thunder jerseys more than the vast majority of NBA fans, but the real gem of this game is the incredible Timberwolves throwbacks. It just so happens that one game ended up being ever so slightly better. Just because this game didn’t end up at one doesn’t mean it absolutely still isn’t an S-tier game visually, though.
1-Philadelphia 76ers at Portland Trail Blazers
I did say I love color vs color. Blue vs Red is one of the best color-on-color matchups you can have, and both teams are bringing great jerseys to the game. We may not see the MVP candidate Joel Embiid, but at least the game will be pleasing to the eye for those watching.