NBA Season Tip-Off
The NBA has gifted us with a great slate of games to tip-off the season. Three games will be played on opening night, Tuesday, October 29th. The first regular season game starts off with a bang, with former IU guard Victor Oladipo set to make his regular season debut against the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers look to build on the success they experienced last year, while the Magic seek to find an identity and continue their rebuilding effort.
The second game will feature the reigning champion Miami Heat, led by four-time MVP LeBron James, as they get set to take on the Chicago Bulls. With our last image of Derek Rose still imbedded into our minds, with him lying on the floor, and the words “holding onto his knee and down” coming out of the mouth of basketball announcer Kevin Harlan. ,Derrick Rose has returned to the court during the preseason, but this will be his first true test since returning.
The Clippers will take on the Lakers in the battle for Los Angeles. Both teams have made some significant changes. How will the Lakers fare with the departure of Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace? After suffering an Achilles injury in April, it would be quite impressive if Kobe could take the court on opening night. The Clippers managed to re-sign point guard Chris Paul, while acquiring several notable players such as J.J. Redick, Jared Dudley and Darren Collison. These moves add more depth to an already loaded Clippers team, but perhaps the best move was adding head coach Doc Rivers. Rivers brings a wealth of post-season experience, due to his time in Boston.
Many other teams have made moves that shift the power in the league. Golden State, for instance, has added veteran swingman Andre Iguodala. After spending one season in Los Angeles, three-time Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard landed in Houston to play alongside James Harden. The Pacers continue to fly under the radar, quietly adding depth by acquiring players such as Luis Scola, Chris Copeland and C.J. Watson. Frustrated with the lack of recent success, the Detroit Pistons traded for point guard Brandon Jennings and signed free agent Josh Smith. The Brooklyn Nets made the most noise by trading for future Hall-of-Famers Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett while securing their new sixth man Jason Terry. Refusing to just let the competition pass them, the Miami Heat made low-risk high-reward moves by adding center Greg Oden and troubled, but extremely talented, forward Michael Beasley.
It will be fun to see how the up-and-comers like Victor Oladipo perform on the highest level and how this season plays out. It will also be interesting to see how the legacies of the current stars such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose will be shaped.