The Thunder's season doesn't get underway until Wednesday, but the NBA starts tonight, with a number of marquee matchups. Here's my take:
Boston vs. Cleveland - People will be looking to this game to see whether the Celtics are still young and powerful enough to be considered contenders in the East, and whether Shaq will seriously help out the Cavaliers. Personally, I believe it will take some time for Shaq to get adjusted. Boston in a squeaker.
Washington vs. Dallas - The New Look Wizards, stocked with a healthy Arenas, Randy Foye, and Mike Miller, take on the aging but still solid Mavericks. The Wizards haven't played together very much yet, and the Mavericks have the talent to be a top seed when their roster is well rested and healthy. So, I'll go with Dallas.
Houston vs. Portland - The injury-laden First round playoff matchup of last year makes a return in the first game of the season, but the teams are very different. The Rockets are now without Yao, McGrady, Motumbo, and Artest, leaving them with a very average looking lineup. The Blazers, however have been stocking up with talent, and, quite simply, have the best 10 man rotation in the league. But hell, the Rockets have won without their superstars before, and I think they can run circles around the Blazers and small ball their way to victory here. Upset special, Houston wins.
Clippers vs. Lakers - The All-Los Angeles matchup looks lame to most of the nation, but Oklahomans should be excited because it's the debut of the much heralded Blake Griffin. We'll get to see how he fares against the fierce front line of Gasol, Bynum, and Odom. Also, we'll get to see if the Clippers talent-laden roster can finally put it together this year. Nonetheless, the Clippers are going to take time to find their stride, and there's no way Blake Griffin will have a good game against the best front line in basketball. Lakers in a landslide.
An exciting night to be alive, that's for sure. What game will you be watching? Who's gonna win? Drop a comment and let us know!