The 2018-2019 regular season will begin Tuesday, October 16th with the Philadelphia Sixers visiting the Boston Celtics. The two teams met in the Eastern Conference Semifinals where the Celtics won in 5 games, and we will see if Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid have a response for the team that knocked them out last season. After that game, the Oklahoma City Thunder will play the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena. The Thunder have brought back Paul George for another season, and it will be interesting to see he and Russell Westbrook give another shot at a deep playoff run. Maybe we will see them hungry as ever for a championship and catch the Warriors off guard on opening night. After all, during last season’s opening night, the Houston Rockets shocked the Warriors with a 122-121 win at Oracle.
NBA fans will be able to see a rematch between the Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors four times during the regular season (November 15th, January 3rd, February 23rd, and March 13th). The two teams met in the Western Conference Finals last season where the Warriors prevailed in seven games. Both teams have kept their key players. The Rockets still have the Paul-Harden-Capela trio while the Warriors have added DeMarcus Cousins to its roster to complement Curry, Durant, Green, and Thompson.
LeBron James moving to the West means that the Warriors will see him more often this regular season. Like the Rockets, the Warriors will play the Los Angeles Lakers four times during the regular season (December 25th, January 21st, February 2nd, and April 4th). In particular, the Lakers visiting the Warriors on Christmas day might be one of the best gifts the NBA could give its fans. That game will feel like a Finals rematch, for LeBron will get a chance to beat the team that swept him in June.
Of course, there are plenty of other games to look out for during the regular season. For starters, opening week will feature a battle between the Toronto Raptors and the Boston Celtics (October 19th), likely the top two teams in the East this season.
For now, we must wait and see what surprises the 2018-2019 season will have in store. Which teams will perform below and above expectations? Which players will have a breakout season? Who will win the MVP? Also, which teams will be affected the most by injuries?