The NBA season kicks off tonight with three games on the docket. The first game of the night pits the new look Heat paying a visit to the Boston Celtics. The next two games are both West Coast affairs with the Champion Los Angeles Lakers (on ring night) taking on the Houston Rockets, while the Phoenix Suns visit the Portland to take on the Trail Blazers. Let’s take a look at these games.
Miami Heat @ Boston Celtics – The original Big 3, get to see the new Big 3. We all know the principles here, LBJ, Wade and Bosh for the Heat and KG, Pierce, and Allen for the Celtics. Let’s say for kicks that each Big 3 plays each other even. The difference in this game will come down to the next tier of players. Rajon Rondo going up against Carlos Arroyo and the Big Leprechaun playing against Joel Anthony/Ilgauskas are definitely the match ups that the Celtic hope to exploit. Both benches have their pluses and minuses, but I guess I have to go with the Celtics. Yes, Game 1 for the Heat is an ‘L’. Winner – Celtics.
Houston Rockets @ Los Angeles Lakers – Ring Night!!! Can’t wait to see the rock they get. Is it me or are these rings starting to cost the GDP of a small country? Back to basketball, with Kobe playing limited minutes, we’ll see how good some of that bench is. No Luke Walton or Bynum, so Odom should start seeing extended minutes at the 4 with Gasol manning the 5 until Bynum gets back. The Lakers are stacked so it shouldn’t be an issue and guys like Artest can play 2-4 or Barnes can play 2-3, and the Lakers always have clutch shooter/performer Derek Fisher. Tonight is the return of a healthy (we’ll see how long that lasts) Yao Ming. Can Trevor Ariza make his old team pay for letting him walk? I doubt it. Winner – Lakers.
Phoenix Suns @ Portland Trail Blazers – What does it say for your chances to win when your star player is pretty pissed with the team that you have around him? Ask Steve Nash. The Suns and all of their forwards (how many do they have on this team) go to Portland and play against another forward-laden team (mostly due to injury). This will be Game 1 of the post-Stoudamire regime for the Suns and I think they will actually be ok. They were able to pick up some pieces that will essentially replace Stoudamire (although it’ll take about 2 ½ people). The Trail Blazers have one of the best backcourts in the game with Miller and Roy, but you have to hope that they can play nice with each other. I’m going out on a limb on this one and I’m picking the Suns. Winner – Suns.
Who you got? Can the Lakers win it all again this year? Are the Heat for real? Can the Celtics get another year out of KG and possibly win it all?