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What to expect on Opening Night

Published by Yoshi on 23rd October - 15:12 (CET)
October 25th marks the start of the 2016-2017 NBA season, and the schedule planners have made sure that the hungry fans get a proper three course meal to start this year off. Let's take a look at what the trio of games has to offer.

Pre course - New York Knicks @ Cleveland Cavaliers - 8.00PM ET

Ooooh, I love me some appetizers! We get to start off the season by adding another page to the chapter of Lebron vs Melo, a surprisingly tight saga with Lebron's teams leading all-time matchups by 14-12. Ehm, playoffs excluded, obviously. Though there is an ocean between them when it comes to individual and team success, their careers have been intertwined ever since the Draft in '03, and their head-to-head matchups have been very entertaining. Ehm, playoffs excluded, obviously. Can we hope for a repeat of the 2010 showdown where Melo went for 40/6/7 and Lebron dropped a cool 43/13/15 as the Nuggets won in overtime? No, no we can't, because this will be a 2016 matchup between the Cavs and the Knicks, but still, a boy can dream...

...But wait, there's more! Not only are we getting above-mentioned marquee matchup, we are also getting our first look at Madison Square Garden's newest flower, the fragile Derrick Rose. While not always ever being very media-friendly, D-Rose was for many years a fan favorite due to his humble approach and underdog attitude. It turns out, however, that a highly publicized gang rape case can change that rather quickly. As anything I could say about Rose outside of basketball would be pure speculation at this point, let's just hope that justice will prevail and that Rose in the meantime focuses on shutting the hell up and getting back to being that beastly player we all loved to watch get crushed by Lebron.

Main course - Utah Jazz @ Portland Trail Blazers - 10.00PM ET

Yes, I agree, for a main course, this is pretty.. unmain in comparison to the rest of the menu, but there are some parts of this dish that might provide a delightful tickle to your taste buds if you know where to look. For instance we get to see how Terry Stotts intends to juggle the most expensive backcourt in the league as Damian Lillard ($24,3M), CJ McCollum ($24.0M from '17-'18), Allan Crabbe ($18,5M), and Evan Turner ($16,4M) all attempt to deserve their newly inked deals while sharing the guard spot minutes.

While we won't get to see Gordon Hayward in action due to a broken finger, the Utah Jazz can still provide some.. excitement... You know what, I just looked through the Jazz roster and I'm not excited about anything here. I was going to write that we will finally see Dante Exum play, but apparently he played 82 games in '14-'15 - who knew? Then I was going to write that at least we'll get to see Exum finally start, but nope, looks like George "Meh" Hill will be getting the honors. There is literally nothing about the Utah Jazz that I look forward to seeing.

Moving on...

The dessert - San Antonio Spurs @ Golden State Warriors - 10.30PM ET

Now we're talking! This is just the kind of juicy treat we need to get that boring taste of the main dish out of our mouths and memories forever. The schedule planners of course knew this as they even scheduled this fantastic matchup to start 30 minutes into the Jazz - Blazers game which gives fans just enough time to remember that Dante Exum exists (yes, I do have Aussie fever) but not so much that they want to kill themselves of boredom.

The Spurs and Warriors are the clear-cut favorites for the WCF this year, and we don't have to wait long to get our first taste of these amazing neo-retro rosters going at it. While we will have some new bodies on each team, the biggest change to adjust to might be the old body that's going to be wearing street clothes from now on - the greatest PF of all time, Tim Duncan. With LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol in the fold, the Spurs are set to make another smooth transition of bigs á la David Robinson to Timmy, and continue their seemingly eternal domination in the West. Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Pop are all still around to keep making Kawhi Leonard smile internally as the face of the franchise, and we can't wait to see what he does with another off-season preparation under his belt.

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! When you thought 73-9 and one win away from back-to-back championships would mean "stay put", the Warriors went hard in free agency and did the unthinkable; they signed Zaza Pachulia! I don't know about you, but I've been pacing back and forth ever since the news broke in anticipation of his first flop, trip or hold as a Warrior, and the all-mighty schedule makers clearly heard my cries and made sure my wait is not prolonged. The Warriors also picked up some other guys in the off-season, but this article is already too long to waste time on some nobodies.

Opening night, October 25th - make sure you set your TiVo and leave with a full stomach!

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