Tonight is opening night of the NBA. Here is what I am predicting will happen with the teams that will face off tonight.
New York Knicks vs Cleveland Cavaliers
This will be the preview we have been waiting to see since the Knicks have made all these moves during the off season to make themselves a title contender since they would either have to beat the Cavaliers or the Warriors if they were to make it to the finals. Today the Knicks will have to beat a very emotional Lebron and Cavaliers team for bringing home the first ever championship banner for this organization. I expect the Cavaliers to win but if the Knicks want to be able to stop the party in Cleveland, they will need to do the following.
The Knicks bench will have to come out to play. In fact, if you look at their back up point guard and shooting guard, they use to be former stars in this league. Most people don’t remember much from Brandon Jennings back when he played with the Bucks that he did have a superstar stamp on his forehead before he disappeared from the NBA superstar radar. If Brandon Jennings can come out to play, then the Knick shouldn’t have a problem with being able to compete with the Cavaliers. At the same time, Sasha Vujacic already knows the triangle offense that the Knicks are going to be using because that is what Phil Jackson knows and loves. If these two can work together when coming off the bench, the Knicks should be able to stop the party in Cleveland.
Cleveland will win in a landslide unless the Knicks understand how the Triangle offense works
Utah Jazz vs Portland Trailblazers
This game I don’t think will be a good one. I believe that Utah is still in a rebuilding mode and still hasn’t been able to find their superstar yet. I understand that they do have Joe Johnson but he is old. They did pick up Boris Diaw but he does better these days when he is able to pass the ball instead of carrying the load for the team.
Portland’s one two punch
I know for a fact that Damian Lillard is one huge piece for this team, and continue to perfrom very game that he is able to. I do believe that their chances can go up for being a threat in the West if Mason Plumlee. I believe that this year if he is involved in more pick and rolls with Lillard that he could be a double double player this season. The key for Plumlee will be that he needs to be able to make the mid range shot in order for the pick and roll offense to work well. I believe that this will make the Trail Blazers and winning team this season.
Expect Portland to win this game tonight.
Golden State Warriors vs San Antonio Spurs
This was the match up that everyone was expecting to see last year in the West Conference finals. However, that didn’t happen and now we have a post Tim Duncan era for the Spurs. This match up is really even all across the board. So I will break this one down on how either of these teams could walk away with a victory.
The Spurs bench will have to be on tonight. I think that the Spurs have the advantage when it comes to the bench, but Golden State makes it up with their starters. I also believe that the Spurs will have to take advantage of the fact that they most likely have the better team when it comes to rebounding the ball. However, that will determine based off if the Spurs won’t be tired out by all the running that they will most likely have to do with the Warriors. Spurs also will have to be playing defense the entire night which means that they will even have to be guarding the three point line all the way to half court with Curry and Durant when they are on the floor. The Spurs will also have to be able to make three pointers when they have the chance to shoot. Turn overs will have to be controlled as well since that is what caused them to lose to the Warriors last year.
As was discussed with the Spurs is that the Warriors will have to move the ball a lot. If they move the ball a lot I don’t think teams have a chance at beating them. Warriors will have great spacing out on the floor. Rebounding might be an issue but that will only be a problem if they are not making their shoots from three point land and if they are not having ball movement on and off the ball. I also think that a zone might be needed in order to stop the big man plays from the Spurs since the Spurs do have big men that can pass and shoot the ball. Since the Spurs don’t usually take that many shoots at three point land, it would be best for the Warriors to do a zone to control the big men on the Spurs. If they do start making three’s, the the Warriors will have to do man to man switches so that the Warriors can control the pace of the game.
Verdict for this game I think the Warriors will win by one point and it will be a close game the entire time.