On October 18, the Boston Celtics face off against the Philadelphia 76ers and the Golden State Warriors play the Los Angeles Lakers to open up the NBA season. Here’s an NBA opening night preview.
Celtics and 76ers
Tipping off at 7:30 pm EST, the Boston Celtics will host the Philadelphia 76ers in a 2020 first-round playoff rematch. In 2020, the Celtics swept the 76ers, with three of the four wins being decided by a margin of eight or more. This October, the 76ers look to redeem themselves and prove that they are a contender this year.
A quick look at the Celtics roster reveals a busy offseason. They picked up Malcolm Brogdon from the Indiana Pacers, who notched an impressive 19.1 points per game last season as a point guard. The 29-year-old will be joining the Celtics along with another important roster addition in Danilo Gallinari. The 34-year-old veteran brings experience and leadership to a young Celtics squad. Gallinari averaged 11.7 points per game last season for the Atlanta Hawks.
The 76ers had a more quiet offseason, with their main pickup being 37-year-old 2021 NBA champion P.J. Tucker. While Tucker only averaged 7.6 points per game for the Miami Heat last season, he brings playoff experience and a reliable defensive option to the 76ers. It will be exciting to see what James Harden brings to the table as well, as we didn’t get to see much from him last year.
Overall, the Celtics-76ers matchup will be one where both teams have much to prove, with Boston looking to redeem themselves after a finals loss to the Golden State Warriors last season, and the 76ers eager to jump-start what could be a big season for them.
Lakers at Warriors
Chase Center will host two of the most well-known figures in basketball on opening night, as LeBron James and Stephen Curry will face off in what will likely be a hard-fought battle. The stars have met in 22 finals games, with Curry taking home three of the four championships. This year, the Lakers seek to redeem themselves after a disappointing 33-49 season, and the Warriors look to uphold their name as NBA champs.
On the Warriors, we’ll get to see three main new additions. Donte DiVincenzo, JaMychal Green and Mac McClung are all new Warriors this year. It will be exciting to see how these new additions fit into the Warriors’ rotation. DiVincenzo comes from the Sacramento Kings, where he averaged 10.3 points per game last season. While Green only notched 6.4 points per game last season with the Nuggets, he did so with an effective field goal percentage of 54%. McClung played for the Lakers last season and proved himself this year in the Summer League, earning a spot on the Warriors roster.
The Lakers have made some significant moves this offseason as well. 23-year-old Lonnie Walker IV averaged 12.1 points per game, 2.6 rebounds per game, and 2.2 assists per game last season for the San Antonio Spurs. He adds both youth and reliable scoring to the Lakers’ roster this year. Juan Toscano-Anderson is another addition to the Lakers. Like McClung, Toscano-Anderson will be facing his old team this October, having averaged 4.1 points per game last season with the Warriors.
Opening night this year will be an exciting one for NBA fans. Both NBA Finals contestants from last year along with two hopeful teams will make for two hard-fought, star-studded games.
Stay tuned for more breaking NBA content, including preseason moves, contract updates and more news from every team.
Featured image courtesy of Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
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