Basketball Is Back: The Minimally Informed Man’s Guide to the 2018-19 NBA Season

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Summer season’s over, and which means it’s time for the 2018-19 NBA season to tip off. After an offseason filled with drama, commerce calls for, superstars altering groups, main shifts from one convention to a different, and LeBron James organising store in Los Angeles, the players are finally ready to hit the court.

The Golden State Warriors are coming again after a dominant efficiency within the NBA Finals in opposition to the Cleveland Cavaliers, whereas groups just like the Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets, Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, Philadelphia 76ers, Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder, and the Los Angeles Lakers—sure, LeBron’s Lakers—might be trying to take that subsequent main step in opposition to Steph Curry and Kevin Durant’s squad.

 

 

Right here’s every thing you should know to prepare for the 2018-19 NBA season. Try all the NBA season schedule on NBA.com.

The Season Schedule

NBA Tip-Off 2018 begins on TNT with two marquee video games on the schedule, with the Boston Celtics going through off in opposition to the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Golden State Warriors enjoying the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder on October 16.

Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors celebrates after scoring a three-point basket against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half of their NBA preseason basketball game at SAP Center on October 12, 2018 in San Jose, California.
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Photos

Listed here are another essential dates to keep watch over for the season:

Mexico Metropolis Video games: December 13: Orlando Magic vs. Chicago Bulls
December 15: Orlando Magic vs. Utah Jazz

January 17: NBA London Sport 2019 – New York Knicks vs. Washington Wizards (London)
February 7: NBA Commerce Deadline (three p.m. ET)
February 15-17: NBA All-Star 2019 Weekend in Charlotte, NC
April 10: Common Season ends

April 13: NBA Playoffs 2019 begin

Could 30: NBA Finals 2019 begin

The Opening Week

NBA Tip-Off 2018: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics eight p.m.
Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder vs. Golden State Warriors 10:30 p.m.

Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors shoots a three-point shot against the Phoenix Suns during an NBA basketball game at ORACLE Arena on October 8, 2018 in Oakland, California.
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Photos

Following the primary slate of video games, the nationwide TV schedule for the primary week has numerous notable matchups. Right here’s a take a look at the slate for Week 1:

Wed., 10/17: New Orleans Pelicans vs. Houston Rockets – eight p.m. ESPN
Wed., 10/17: Dallas Mavericks vs. Phoenix Suns – 10:30 p.m. ESPN
Thu., 10/18: Chicago Bulls – Philadelphia 76ers – eight p.m. TNT
Thu., 10/18: L.A. Lakers vs. Portland Path Blazers – 10:30 p.m. TNT
Fri., 10/19: Boston Celtics vs. Toronto Raptors – eight p.m. ESPN
Fri., 10/19: Golden State Warriors vs. Utah Jazz – 10:30 p.m. ESPN
Sat., 10/20: Toronto Raptors vs. Washington Wizards – 7 p.m. – NBA TV
Sat., 10/20: Houston Rockets vs. L.A. Lakers – 10:30 p.m. ESPN
Solar., 10/21: Houston Rockets vs. LA Clippers – 9:00 p.m. – NBA TV

LeBron James in Los Angeles

It’s showtime for LeBron James. After returning to Cleveland and fulfilling his promise to deliver a championship to the Cavaliers, James took his abilities to Los Angeles.

LeBron James #23 and Lance Stephenson #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrate after James made a shot against the Golden State Warriors and was fouled during their preseason game at T-Mobile Arena on October 10, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Lakers defeated the Warriors 123-113.
Ethan Miller/Getty Photos

James signed a four-year cope with the Lakers, and he now has the prospect to play with a younger core that features gifted gamers like Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, and Brandon Ingram, together with veterans like Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, and JaVale McGee. Whereas James’s streak of going to eight-straight finals may finish, issues in Los Angeles must be very entertaining.

The Jap Convention Contenders

Boston Celtics: If the staff has Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward wholesome after they handled accidents final season, it’s doubtless the Celtics’ convention to lose. The staff received 55 video games final season and brings again a veteran core that’s able to make a run with LeBron James now within the West.

From left, Boston Celtics' Jayson Taytum, Jaylen Brown, Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford pose for a team photo on Boston Celtics media day in Canton, MA on Sep. 24, 2018. (Photo by Michael Swensen for The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Michael Swensen for The Boston Globe by way of Getty Photos

Toronto Raptors: After profitable the Jap Convention in 2018, the Raptors made an enormous transfer by buying and selling for Kawhi Leonard. If Leonard is wholesome and may play at his All-NBA stage, there’s an opportunity that the Raptors can problem the Celtics within the East.

Philadelphia 76ers: Regardless that the Sixers didn’t signal LeBron James, the staff has as a lot expertise as anybody within the league. The duo of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid helped the 76ers win 52 video games final season, their most in over a decade, whereas the event of 2017 No.1-overall decide Markelle Fultz may assist put the staff excessive.

Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo proved final season that he’s the way forward for the NBA after averaging a career-best 26.9 factors and 10 rebounds per sport. If Antetokounmpo continues to take one other step ahead, the Bucks may breakthrough into the elite a part of the East.

The Western Convention Contenders

Golden State Warriors: This roster comes again with Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Inexperienced, and Andre Iguodala—and the staff additionally added All-Star DeMarcus Cousins to the squad. That is the staff to beat, and until one thing loopy occurs, it might be a shock to not see the Warriors within the finals.

James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets shakes hands with Carmelo Anthony #7 against the Indiana Pacers at Toyota Center on October 4, 2018 in Houston, Texas.
Bob Levey/Getty Photos

Houston Rockets: The Rockets had been constructed throughout the 2017-18 to problem the Warriors—and so they virtually beat them. Adding Chris Paul was an enormous success, and till his playoff harm, it seemed like NBA MVP James Harden and firm had been going to get previous the Warriors. That didn’t occur, and now the staff has added Carmelo Anthony to attempt to get excessive.

Utah Jazz: After making the playoffs and profitable 48 video games in 2017-18, the Jazz need to take yet another step in the direction of the Warriors this season. The staff has a gifted roster with star-in-the-making Donovan Mitchell in addition to Rudy Gobert, Ricky Rubio, and rookie Grayson Allen.

Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder: Having a trio of Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Steven Adams means you at all times have an opportunity. The West is extraordinarily tough, however the dynamic Westbrook may also help the Thunder make some noise within the convention.

Los Angeles Lakers: Certain, it’s going to be a troublesome hill to climb for LeBron James and his younger roster of Lakers to get previous the Warriors, however during the last decade, it’s been a idiot’s errand to doubt what LeBron can do. If there’s one participant that may get a staff to the playoffs and lead a run, it’s LeBron.

Gamers to Watch

Kawhi Leonard, Toronto Raptors: After orchestrating his departure from the San Antonio Spurs, everyone seems to be questioning if Leonard can return wholesome from his qad harm final season and play at an All-NBA stage once more.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks: With a brand new coach in Mike Budenholzer, the Bucks doubtless will push the tempo greater than final season, which may imply extra unbelievable dunks and much more factors for All-Star Antetokounmpo.

Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors dribbles the ball past Jarrett Allen #31 of the Brooklyn Nets during the pre-season NBA game at the Bell Centre on October 10, 2018 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Toronto Raptors defeated the Brooklyn Nets 118-91.
Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Photos

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers: The most important story of the offseason—and perhaps of the previous couple of years within the NBA—is James coming to LA. The staff hasn’t been good since Kobe Bryant left, and James will attempt to add to his legacy by resurrecting the Lakers.

Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks: After enjoying professional ball in Europe, Doncic was thought of to be one of many most secure picks within the NBA Draft. The Mavs tanked final season to get a excessive decide, and now they’ve one of the crucial intriguing prospects within the league.

Skilled Stars

Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks poses for a portrait during the Dallas Mavericks Media Day held at American Airlines Center on September 21, 2018 in Dallas, Texas., Vince Carter #15 of the Atlanta Hawks poses for portraits during media day at Emory Sports Medicine Complex on September 24, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia
L: Tom Pennington/Getty Photos, R: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Picture

Vince Carter of the Atlanta Hawks and Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks are the elder statesmen of the NBA.

As soon as the season begins, each Carter and Nowitzki will tie the NBA report with most seasons performed within the league at 21 years, alongside names like Kevin Garnett, Robert Parish, and Kevin Willis. On prime of that, Nowitzki will set a brand new report by enjoying in his 21st season with the identical staff.

Can the Warriors Three-Peat?

Kevin Durant #35, Draymond Green #23, Stephen Curry #30, Klay Thompson #11, and DeMarcus Cousins #0 of the Golden State Warriors pose for a group picture during the Golden State Warriors media day on September 24, 2018 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Photos

The Warriors have received three of the final 4 championships, and now will attempt to full the “Three-Peat” for the primary time because the Los Angeles Lakers did it from 2000-2002. The staff added extra expertise in DeMarcus Cousins, and whereas each staff might be focusing on the Warriors, thus far nobody has been in a position to knock them off their perch.



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