After seeing an NBA champion crowned back on Oct.11, the NBA season is set to tip-off tonight with high expectations for another thrilling season.
Two games will headline tonight’s season opener beginning with Golden State Warriors and Brooklyn Nets squaring off at 7 p.m. eastern time in New York. Faces that missed basically all of last season due to injury will be back in the starting lineups looking to show that they are still not the ones to mess with. Those faces include point guards Stephen Curry, and Kyrie Irving, along with superstar forward Kevin Durant.
The preseason showed that these three guys are all healthy and ready to go for the new season. Curry will be without his fellow splash brother Klay Thompson this season so he will need to be in MVP form for the Warriors to make some noise in the west. Irving and Durant showed that they already have great chemistry and will not have a problem competing with the eastern conference’s best teams. ESPN says that the Nets have a 69.2 percent chance of winning round one of the season series.
Game two of the TNT doubleheader will feature the battle of L.A. that fans were expecting to have in the Western Conference Finals, but after blowing a 3-1 lead to the Denver Nuggets, fans will get to see if the Clippers can compete with the Lakers or perhaps beat them in a seven-game series when the postseason comes around.
The star-studded duos are back for another season with fans having high hopes for both teams this season. Forwards LeBron James and Anthony Davis are coming off a championship run in the bubble that has them primed for another title run after signing extensions to stay with the franchise. ESPN is giving the Lakers a 62.2 percent chance of taking the season opener after getting their championship rings before tip-off which takes place at 10 p.m. tonight.
The rest of the season however is shaping up to be a good one all across the board. Fans will see familiar faces in new uniforms. This offseason, fans got to see point guard Russell Westbrook get traded to the Washington Wizards for point guard John Wall. We’ll also get to see center DeMarcus Cousins rock a Houston Rockets uniform for the season.
There’s a lot of speculation around Rockets guard James Harden saying that he will be traded at some point during the season. For right now, he’s there to stay. The Rockets will now have a big three for the time being that can make some noise in the West.
The Phoenix Suns made offseason moves that could put them in the playoffs this season depending on the health of their players. Coming off an 8-0 run in the bubble, the Suns went out and added star point guard Chris Paul to the roster along with shooting guard Devin Booker, and center DeAndre Ayton.
The Portland Trail Blazers and the Denver Nuggets made moves to keep their core players this season so they will have another year of coming together and developing chemistry to be able to compete in the playoffs.
The reigning most valuable player Giannis Antetokunompo is back with the Milwaukee Bucks after signing a max extension to stay with his team. After the disappointing 4-1 loss to the Miami Heat in the second round, he’ll look to take his team to the Finals this season.
The Boston Celtics core of Jayson Tatum and guards Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown are back for another season after the disappointing 4-2 series loss to the Miami Heat in the Conference Finals. Looking for a run to the finals, another season of improving their chemistry could get them to the finals this season. They will, however, be without forward Gordon Hayward after he signed to Charlotte Hornets in the offseason.
Out in Dallas, there is one guy that ESPN is predicting to win the MVP award in 2021, guard Luka Doncic. Coming off a season where he averaged almost 29 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, having star forward Kristaps Porzingis, could be just what he needs to perhaps make a semifinals appearance perhaps even more in 2021.
The Utah Jazz signed their two star players guard Donovan Mitchell and center Rudy Gobert to max extensions. Coming off a first round exit in the playoffs after blowing a 3-1 lead to the Nuggets, in a tough western conference the team has put themselves in position to get back to the postseason this season.
The rookie class this season will look bright all across the board. The Hornets drafted point guard LaMelo Ball who showed during the preseason that he will be making highlight passes and plays like his brother New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball. The Minnesota Timberwolves will add another piece to the team that could help them produce more wins in shooting guard Anthony Edwards. Obi Toppin will look to throw down some monster dunks in Madison Square Garden for the Knicks.
Second-year players have one year of playing in the NBA under their belt. They may come back even better than last season, just look at Doncic and point guard Trae Young who was able to average 29.6 points and 9.3 assists in year two. This go-round, forward Zion Williamson and guard Ja Morant will look to come back with new elements added to their games and dominate for their teams.
There is a lot of excitement around the league, this was just a sneak peek of what to expect in the upcoming 2020-2021 season. Fans grab your popcorn, and your drinks and get ready to enjoy some more NBA basketball. With COVID-19 going on there is the uncertainty of whether or not the season will be able to be completed but for now, as mentioned before the NBA is back.