After waiting since June, the NBA is back! For basketball fans, this season couldn’t be better. The Warriors aren’t favorites, it’s all about duos and not three or four headed monsters that ruin the NBA for everyone else (Warriors and Cavs). Theres balance in the force people and I’ve got a feeling that this will be the best and most unpredictable NBA season we’ve seen in a while .
Without further ado, allow me to preview tonights matchups between Pelicans at Raptors and Lakers at Clippers (is this even a road game).
Pelicans @ Raptors
After winning the championship and ending the Warriors dynasty (for now), the Raptors begin their Championship defense against the Pelicans on banner night. Now without Kawhi, Siakim has to step up and play like he’s worth the huge contract he got. This is still a good Raptors team, but theres no real scoring option. This new look Raptors team will be a scrappy team. We’ll see if there’s a championship hangover.
As for the Pelicans, they too lost a superstar over the summer to a team in Los Angeles. Anthony Davis to the Lakers meant the Pelicans were given Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first-round picks. Not to mention, they added Zion (out with knee surgery).
Ball, Ingram, Hart, and Jrue Holiday look to pick up the scoring slack; as well as newly acquired JJ Redick for shooting. With Zion, this team will go as he goes but unfortunately we won’t see that play out until late December most likely. Shame.
I think it’ll be a close game but the scrappiest team wins. Lowry vs Ball is a matchup to lookout for alongside Siakam vs Ingram.
Lakers vs Clippers
This is the battle of a potential Western Conference preview.
With LeBron turning 35 in December, do the Lakers keep a close eye on his minutes this early in the season? And can Anthony Davis attempt to make a LeBron team play defense and not just offense? Plus, Dwight Howard is somewhat relevant again! Just kidding. But it’ll be interesting to see how LeBron does with Danny Green as a 3-point weapon and having someone infinitely better than Kevin Love is as a big man.
As for the Clippers, they’ll have Kawhi and Paul George leading the way with scoring and defense. Patrick Beverley, the tough and nasty perimeter defender will try and prevent shooters from being open and will definitely be a nuisance on a national TV game.
Kawhi and LeBron will be a matchup to watch, as well has Montrezl Harrell and Anthony Davis; can he keep Davis off the glass despite his size?