The number of back-to-back games has been reduced and teams will no longer play four games in five nights. Get $60 worth of FREE premium member picks. It wouldn't be a surprising turn of events if LeBron is indeed not available to play tonight.
The Golden State Warriors have controlled the Western Conference for the past three seasons, but this year, the Houston Rockets look like they could challenge the current NBA Champions at the top of the conference.
Now three years removed from a 60-win season, the Atlanta Hawks have embraced youth and low-priced veterans, which prompted this not-so-subtly coded language from new general manager Travis Schlenk, per the Associated Press (via USA Today): "These are scrappy guys, these are competitive guys, these are prideful guys".
There is no shortage of story lines in today's match-ups as the the defending National Basketball Association champion Warriors face the new-look Rockets, who acquired former Los Angeles Clippers ace Chris Paul during the offseson.
However, there's a Houston Rockets team that has gotten better from last season, and in a very strong Western Conference now, they look like they'll be the second best team in the West this season. The Rockets grabbed Chris Paul in exchange for sending Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley, Montrezl Harrell and Sam Dekker to the Los Angeles Clippers. The Rockets are showcasing one of the most-improved rosters with Paul, and their three-point shooting should keep them in games with anyone.
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While the Celtics will need to conduct a series of medical tests, it would be surprising if he returns this season. Hayward was diagnosed with a fractured left ankle, which could sideline him the entire season.
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It will be interesting to see how Harden and Paul co-exist as Harden is already the ball-handler of the team and CP3 has made a name for himself over the years as one of the NBA's most prolific passers.
Iguodala averaged 7.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 3.4 assists for the Warriors during the regular season in 2016-17.
In the West, Oklahoma is portrayed as the "big threat" with a first-rate trio.
Golden State is in another stratosphere right now, although somehow the Western Conference is even more stacked this season to make their life more hard. We'll get a sneak preview of the possibilities on opening night.