NBA Opening Night Preview and Predictions
NBA Opening Night
Knicks @ Cavaliers – 6:30 P.M. CT on TNT
The defending champs open up their season with a home game against the East Coast super team.
The Cavaliers will look to pick up where they left off last season against the Warriors. Their offense was clicking through the entire playoffs, and their defense was as good as it had been all season.
You know what you are going to get from LeBron each and every night, so he is not the key for the Cavaliers to win this game.
Instead it is Kevin Love. If Love can continue to find his spot within the offense and crash the glass like he did in Minnesota, the Cavaliers are almost impossible to beat.
On the opposite side, we will finally get to see how the Knicks new look squad mesh in a real test.
Carmelo Anthony has not only been solidified as a leader off the court, but may have found his on court leadership with the Olympics.
This should bode well for the Knicks who need someone to be the voice that unites these new players.
Kristaps Porzingis will be a huge factor in whether this team takes that next step this year. He showed glimpses of what he was capable of last year, but his shooting consistency leaves much to be desired.
The real factor for tonight’s game will be how Derrick Rose plays. If he can contribute 15 points and 8 assists it will be beneficial to the Knicks in trying to knock off the defending champs.
Prediction- Cavaliers 105- Knicks 96
Jazz @ Trail Blazers- 9:00 P.M CT
This will be an interesting game. Both of these teams are trying to make names for themselves in the Western Conference.
The Trail Blazers are trying to prove they are more than just what Damian Lillard does for them. While the Jazz are trying to break into playoff relevancy.
The Jazz will be without their top player, Gordon Hayward, not only tonight but possibly the first week or two. This will require the rest of the team to step up.
The key to the Jazz having a chance to win is how their new players contribute, mainly Joe Johnson and George Hill. They provide great veteran presence but also viable scoring options.
On the other side, the Trail Blazers look to have their potential MVP Lillard guide them.
Lillard is one of the most consistent players in the game and so is not a real key to winning. However, it is the other guard, C.J. McCollum who is the key. He put up the best season of his career as a first year starter, and they hope he can build on that again this year.
Prediction- Trail Blazers 98- Jazz 93
Spurs @ Warriors- 9:30 P.M. CT on TNT
The top two teams in the Western Conference start their season facing off against each other. They did not face each other until January last season.
This night marks the start of a new ear for both of these teams.
The Spurs play their first season without Tim Duncan. Officially making this Kawhi Leonard’s team.
The Warriors on the other hand, begin the era of the super team.
The Spurs have been having a lot of people counting them as a lesser part of the Western Conference race, and frankly it doesn’t make sense. They still have most of the same pieces. They still have Greg Popovich. They mainly lost Tim Duncan, and replaced him with a fully capable Pau Gasol. This is still a 60-win team.
The Warriors on the other side are coming off of one of the most fulfilling and yet disappointing seasons ever.
The addition of Kevin Durant raised a lot of questions as to how they would mesh as a unit. If the preseason is any indication, there seem to be no issues for them. This could partially be because of Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green all playing in the Olympics together.
This game is the most fitting way for opening night to finish.
Prediction- Warriors 115- Spurs 104