The NBA regular season started on Tuesday night. Only four teams have yet to play in their first game. That ends tonight. The Chicago Bulls, Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Clippers, and Atlanta Hawks are all making their season debut on Thursday night, as noted by Heavy. Things are about to kick into full gear in the National Basketball Association.
Washington Wizards vs Atlanta Hawks
Over the summer, John Wall and Bradley Beal created headlines when they revealed that they simply do not get along as teammates. NBA fans will be keeping a closer eye on the Washington Wizards starting back court because the spotlight has been shined on their relationship. Without adding too much talent in free agency, the Wizards need Wall and Beal to mesh together.
Things have changed a bit for the Atlanta Hawks. Gone are Jeff Teague and Al Horford. Replacing them are former backup Dennis Schroder and free agent acquisition Dwight Howard. It might take some time for the Hawks to build chemistry, but head coach Mike Budenholzer has a good system in place. Plus, Atlanta still has a silent star in Paul Millsap, whose versatility will make life hard on Washington Wizards defenders.
Los Angeles Clippers vs Portland Trail Blazers
Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan are being given another season together to see if they can get past the Golden State Warriors and make it to the NBA Finals. Team president and head coach Doc Rivers added veterans in Raymond Felton, Brandon Bass, and Marreese Speights to a solid bench that already includes Jamal Crawford and Paul Pierce. The depth will be needed to counter the youth of the Portland Trailblazers.
Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are still one of the best back courts in the NBA. Lillard and Chris Paul should produce quite the duel during the game. The Los Angeles Clippers will need to find a solution for McCollum. Free agent additions Evan Turner and Festus Ezeli need to provide the bench with a boost because the Clippers have all those veterans in the second unit.
Boston Celtics vs Chicago Bulls
With the addition of Al Horford in free agency, the Boston Celtics have been the talk of the NBA. Fans will get to see if the All-Star center can take a tight-knit group of overachievers to the next level. Horford added a three-point shot to his arsenal of weapons last season, so he will need to use that to lure Robin Lopez, a center that prefers protecting the basket, to the outside so that the guards and forwards can work their magic.
The Chicago Bulls have a brand new look coming into the season. Just out of curiosity, NBA fans will be tuning in tonight to see if Jimmy Butler can mesh with Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade. None of the three perimeters are considered threats from the three-point line, so Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg is going to have to be especially creative with his offensive scheme. Expect the Boston Celtics to clog the paint with defenders.
San Antonio Spurs vs Sacramento Kings
On opening night in the NBA, the San Antonio Spurs shocked a lot of people when they soundly defeated the stacked Golden State Warriors. Head coach Gregg Popovich still remains one of the best around, so the loss of Tim Duncan should not hurt the franchise too much. Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge are better than any combination that the Sacramento Kings can throw out on the court.
It’s another new season for the Sacramento Kings, and there’s a new head coach in Dave Joerger. Unfortunately, though, it is hard for the franchise to shake the stigma that they are one of the worst operated teams in the league. There is plenty of talent on the roster, but it is hard to imagine the Kings putting together enough of a team effort to beat a veteran team like the San Antonio Spurs tonight.
[Featured Image by Kevin C Cox/Getty Images]