We are officially 1 sleep away from NBA Opening Day!
The Denver Nuggets get their first banner raised on opening night to celebrate last season’s NBA Championship with a match up against the Los Angeles Lakers on opening night.
Denver and the Lakers get the ball rolling only to be followed by another mouth-watering contest at the Chase Center, with the Golden State Warriors hosting the Phoenix Suns.
Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray both skipped the World Championships after a gruelling NBA Season leading to their first ever title, so the two Nuggets stars will be refreshed and ready to repeat their maiden title this season.
LeBron and Anthony Davis may have other plans after coming up short last season. The Lakers still exceeded expectations in the playoffs, finishing with the 7 seed (going through the Play-In Tournament) and making it all the way to the Western Conference Finals.
The Lakers were swept by the Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals last season, but the contest was a lot closer than the finals series score, and with the Nuggets losing Bruce Brown (who was huge all playoffs/finals last season) this one will be good to watch!
Denver will hope that Christian Braun can fill the big shoes of Brown off the bench this season, as well as hoping Jokic and Murray can continue to be as dominant as they were on their way to winning their first NBA Championship.
Chris Paul goes up against his old team in the 2nd game on opening night, with his replacement Bradley Beal looking to make it well known he’s in Phoenix to win a title.
CP3 lines up alongside Steph Curry for the first time in his career, and the two definitely had running battles in his days with the Clippers and Rockets. Paul will be huge for a young Golden State line up off the bench if he is to lead the way for them there, getting the best out of Kuminga and Moses Moody, with Kuminga a huge chance for the Most Improved Award.
Phoenix will lean on their stars Kevin Durant and Devin Booker to get them back into Championship contention, as well as bringing in Beal as a 3 headed offensive monster.
This team is going to put on some serious points this season, and may very well try to outscore everyone in big fashion to win a lot of games. Their depth will also cause teams a lot of issues, bringing in Grayson Allen and Eric Gordon for more offence off the pine!
Thursday gives us our first look at the new Boston Celtics, with Jrue Holiday coming in to lead the way in place of Marcus Smart this season. Boston are a clear 1-2 in the Eastern Conference with the Milwaukee Bucks (who get their season underway Friday v Philly).
Boston face off against the Knicks on Thursday (ESPN 10am Sydney time), and this match always brings about plenty of spice. Holiday matching up against Knicks standout last season Jalen Brunson will go a long way in deciding this contest.
Jaylen Brown was PAID in the off season, and the Celtics will want to hope he’s fixed a few issues of his own up, most notably the left hand dribble, as he along with Jayson Tatum still lead a star studded Celtics starting line-up.
We also get our first look at the San Antonio Spurs with Wemby on Thursday, as they face off against the Dallas Mavericks at 12.30pm (ESPN). The excitement has the same if not more level to it than when Zion came into the league with the Pels, and NBA Fans are going to be in for a show in this contest, with the hope Luka Doncic is ready to go!
Friday gives us our first look of Damian Lillard in a Bucks singlet, with Milwaukee fans (as well as Dame fans) having clear Championship expectations this season. Milwaukee are the favourites to take home the title this season, as we finally get to see what it’s like for Dame to be surrounded with a Superstar like Giannis. Giannis will have acres of space this season, with defenders not having the ability to clamp down on Giannis in the paint, as it would gift the likes of Lillard to fire from range.
NBA Finals and Awards Predictions:
Phoenix v Milwaukee – Phoenix in 7
MVP/Scoring Title – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Most Improved – Tyrese Maxey
Rookie of the Year – Victor Wembanyama
What a season it’s going to be! Bring on week 1 of the NBA Season and here’s hoping we get some fireworks early.