The NBA season is finally upon us. There was no off-season this year as major trades happened during the summer. Opening night has been moved up and with all the moves this summer we were blessed by the basketball GODS to have the Boston Celtics visiting the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first game of the new season.
Usually opening night is an afterthought for NBA fans but tonight is a tad bit different. After three years, three trips to the NBA Finals and a shot that will live on in NBA history; Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland and wanted to get away from LeBron James. LeBron only addressed the trade during media day but Kyrie made waves recently with his shade towards Cleveland. When the trade took place I thought he would get some cheers on his return but now he will hear nothing but boos from the Cleveland fans. It will be interesting to see if James and Irving greet each other and everyone will be watching to see what other interactions they have on the court.
On the other side the Celtics lost their leader in Isaiah Thomas, two reliable defenders in Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley and game 7 savior Kelly Olynyk. Sure they added Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward but that is a lot of depth that went missing. We still never seen Kyrie excel without LeBron and now he finally has his shot. Defense will be the key this season and that isn’t exactly his strong point.
Just think the defending champs the Golden State Warriors are having their banner raised and they might win 70 games this season and they are probably the fourth most interesting team on opening night. The new look Houston Rockets will challenge the champs tonight and they have plenty of questions.
We all wonder how Chris Paul and James Harden will play together. What will happen during late game situations, who has the ball, who takes the shot? I think they will be fine on and off the floor. With both guys on the floor they will be able to get open shots all game. In the preseason they took over 40 3-pointers in each game. This team will launch 3s at an incredible rate. When teams adjust to that I think Cp3 will be able to go back to his mid-range game. They finished 18th in defensive rating last season and with the new additions they could be better on defense.
The Warriors are the favorites once again and they might be even better this season. Only a handful of teams will actually challenge them in games but they are fun team to watch. They added depth with Omri Casspi, Nick Young and even rookie Jordan Bell might see some time. Patrick McCaw will have a more important role which might mean less time for Shaun Livingston.
It’s only the first night of the season but it should be a great year with interesting storylines throughout. Here’s hoping everyone stays healthy.