After an eventful summer of rumors, trades, and Brian Windhorst pointing to the sky, the NBA is finally back!
To kick off the NBA season, we’ll see both Finals teams once again as they look to repeat last year’s championship series. To start we’ll see Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics take on the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Celtics have been mired in controversy with their head coach, Ime Udoka, suspended for the season. How will the Celtics look after everything that’s happened? The other thing to consider is that they also lost lead assistant Will Hardy to the Utah Jazz. The interim role now falls to Joe Mazzula. Will the Celtics be the same, or will there be some sort of dip in production? It’ll be fascinating to watch.
DraftKings apparently doesn’t think that will affect the odds of them beating the Sixers on opening night. As of writing this, they currently have the Celtics favored by 2. Maybe they don’t believe there will be much change with Mazzulla, or maybe it’s because they’re playing in Boston, maybe both.
The Sixers come into this season having re-signed James Harden after a huge let-down with the trade to Brooklyn. Harden looked terrible after the trade and the biggest question for the Sixers is what version of Harden they get this year. Will he look more like the former MVP or will he look like the washed, out-of-shape player from last season? If they get something close to the MVP from before, they’ll have a chance to be really good because we know what Joel Embiid brings to the table. The other player to watch for the Sixers is Tyrese Maxey. Maxey has improved exponentially in his last two seasons and another leap in his play could propel the Sixers to another level. Will it be enough on opening night?
Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve seen the video of Draymond Green punching Jordan Poole. The Warriors are obviously trying to smooth that over, but we won’t know how that plays out until we watch the games. Then there’s the Lakers and the return of Russell Westbrook after his disastrous season last year. Darvin Ham has already started having Westbrook come off the bench, something that didn’t happen last year. Will that transform the Lakers or will it be a small adjustment that doesn’t affect much other than that Westbrook will not be on the floor as long?
DraftKings has the Warriors favored by 6, but that seems pretty generous to the Lakers. This game is in the Chase Center in San Francisco and you can bet the crowd, and the team, will come out on fire. With the amount of bad press Draymond Green has received, the safest bet is he’ll come out ready to stick it to ... well ... everyone.
This is must watch TV with some fascinating storylines that will follow these two teams all season long.
The NBA is back, and I can’t wait to see how this season unfolds.