The NBA season bounces back into action on October 30 with a marquee matchup as the Boston Celtics travel to Miami to take on the defending champion Heat. This will be part of three games scheduled to kick off the season with the others being the Washington Wizards versus the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Dallas Mavericks taking on the Lakers in Los Angeles.
Adding to the drama of the Miami-Boston game is the fact that it will be Ray Allen’s first time playing against his former team. Allen, who won a championship in 2008 with Boston, left the Celtics after five seasons to join the Heat during the off-season.
For opening night’s final game, it will be a new look Lakers team taking the floor. All-Star center Dwight Howard was acquired by the team in the off-season as part of a four team trade. Also, joining Howard will be fellow All-Star Steve Nash, who was acquired during the off-season as part of a sign-and-trade deal with the Phoenix Suns. Howard and Nash will be looking to help Kobe Bryant win his sixth NBA championship with the Lakers. It should be a tough test for the Lakers as they take on Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks. Both teams made the playoffs last season, but will be looking to improve since they were eliminated in the first round.
The excitement doesn’t stop after day one, NBA fans are in store for a thrilling first week of basketball.
The New Orleans Hornets debut first overall draft pick Anthony Davis on Halloween night against the San Antonio Spurs. Davis won a NCAA title with the University of Kentucky Wildcats as a freshman last year before entering the draft, and was even part of the gold medal winning men’s USA basketball team at the 2012 London Olympics.
Orlando starts its season on November 2 against the Denver Nuggets. It was a tumultuous off-season for the Magic who saw their old head coach, Stan Van Gundy and general manager, Otis Smith fired in May. This move was made in order to try and please Dwight Howard so he would remain with the team. However, once Howard made it apparent that he would not stay past the season he was dealt to the Lakers. The Magic have brought in former player and first time head coach Jacque Vaughn to fill Van Gundy’s position.
The New York Knicks open up their season against the team formerly known as the New Jersey Nets. The Brooklyn Nets left their old home at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey and will now be playing in Brooklyn at the brand new Barclays Center.
It was a busy off-season for the Knicks. While they lost point guard Jeremy Lin to the Houston Rockets, the team was able to bring in veteran players Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby, Kurt Thomas, and Rasheed Wallace. While the Nets did not make any major off-season moves it should still be a tough game for the Knicks having to stop All-Star point guard Deron Williams and center Brook Lopez.
Those looking for NBA action now can enjoy the preseason which kicked off last week. NBA teams are playing games all over the globe in countries like Italy, Spain, Mexico, and Canada, as well as a few neutral site games in the United States.
Individual game tickets have already gone on sale for most teams for those who want to enjoy regular season action.
With the preseason already in action NBA fans will finally get to see how off-season storylines will play out on the court. In three weeks the regular season will begin and all 30 NBA teams will have 82 games to reach the post-season and decide their fate.