Opening Weekend is now officially here and there are some key match ups to get the juices flowing!
Friday gives us a potential Western Conference Finals preview, with the battle of LA kicking off at 11am.
The Clippers will be missing 2 huge pieces to their offence, with Lou Williams out the opening 2 games, as well as Montrezl Harrell, who may not be available till after the first week of bubble play.
That’s a good 36-40 points per game missing, and against a Lakers squad wanting to get one back on their LA rivals, it may be too much to overcome.
Regardless, a Kawhi v LeBron matchup is what we all want to see!
Saturday gives us 3 key games that will shape the run into the playoffs.
If you’re an early riser, Memphis v Portland at 6am is definitely one to watch. This is a must win game for a Portland team hoping to force a play in to make the playoffs. Lose this, and this Blazers team may mail it in, particularly with their run home.
Portland gets back 2 big pieces to a team that needs to hit the go button from the get go in the bubble. Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins return to a blazers front court, which will only benefit the likes of Dame and CJ. Watch this space on this team.
Milwaukee v Boston, a potential Eastern Conference Preview, tips off at 8.30am on Saturday morning and this has star power written all over it.
Giannis (soon to be named back to back MVP) will be looking to make a little statement from opening tip. He’s also been working on that 3 ball in the bubble. He may be near impossible to guard if that goes down at a decent enough clip.
Boston will be no push overs in this one, with the likes of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker more than ready to show everyone they’ll be right there with the boys from Milwaukee when all is said and done.
Finally to wrap up a big Saturday of hoops, the battle of Texas begins at 11am with the Rockets facing off against the Mavs.
Harden and Westbrook v Luka and KP. Expect the scoreboard attendant to be very busy in this one, with both teams amongst the most explosive offences in the league.
Harden has come out in these scrimmage games playing with a massive chip on his shoulder, and will be looking for a huge game against their division rivals.
It’s a big game for playoff seeding’s, with only 1.5 games separating the teams.
Sunday gives us some cracking contests across the board.
For the early risers (or those who can’t sleep at all), Miami face off against Denver at 3am. Bol Bol anyone?!?
Miami will be looking to lock up a top 4 finish out East (one of the surprise packets of the league this year). Bam Adebayo matching up against Nikola Jokic has some of us big men salivating!
New Orleans face off against the Clippers at 8am. Zion may be making his debut Friday (entering the bubble later than everyone else), but you get the feeling he will have his legs under him a little more in this one.
This will be a big one for the Pelicans. We will get to see how far they’ve really come, and they’ll need every win they can get also trying to force that play in game!
The Reigning NBA Champs kick their campaign off against the competition favourites at 10.30am (Lakers).
Toronto would’ve loved this rest. An aging roster that is now primed for a big playoff run, with Pascal Siakam ready to show the world he can carry this team deep into the playoffs with the help of Kyle Lowry!
Bring on opening weekend!