October 27th Preview:
26 of a possible 30 teams are playing tonight(league pass ftw tonight), here are the matchups:
MIA@PHI 7 PM– MIA is coming off a back to back where they got shown they cant be there game 1 like Boston was when they first got their big 3. It’s obviously going to take some time and it hurt they were missing Chalmers and Miller especially last night. Chalmers is likely to be back tonight in a backup role…why Arroyo is starting nobody knows. The Heat need to start House or Chalmers to spread the floor as shown in last nights 1st qtr. In any case, expect Bosh and Wade to have monster games and for this to be a blowout by the mid 3rd qtr. They’ll show how scary they can be tonight.
BOS@CLE 7PM– The Cavs are going to have to come out blazing from the outside and pound the offensive glass to have a chance in this one. They do have the fact Bostons on a back to back and it’s their season opener so it should be sold out and loud on their side. Should be a close game throughout with Boston puling away late. JJ Hickson watch is on!!!
DET@NJ 7PM-Both teams arent very good, the only thing to really look out for is Brook Lopez’ progression and how NJ looks as a unit, because they do have some decent pieces this year, but really their season relies on Brook turning into a top level player…but it’ll obviously help if his supporting cast proves they can produce in a bigger role(Morrow/Outlaw starting, Farmar/Williams off bench). For the Pistons watch for Austin Daye and his progression as he’s starting at PF now, not Charlie.
SAC@MIN 8PM– One of the things I’m most looking forward to this year is seeing where Tyrekes game goes from his amazing rookie season of 20 5 and 5. Hes got all the skills and tools to become the next superstar, and his team improved in the offseason around him. The Kings could surprise a lot of teams this year with their very good young players and overall depth. For Minnesota, look for Kevin Love to become the focal point, and possibly lead the league in rebounds in a starting role.
ATL@MEM 8PM– Probably the 2nd best game of the night. Will MEM be able to bring it all together this year with their incredibly strong starting 5? They have all the makings of being the next great young team, but its just a matter of chemistry and D now. And for ATL theyll be displaying their motion offence, but we’ll see how long that lasts until it becomes ISO JJ every possession again. This and the next game I’m going to talk about will be the games I turn to with my friends during Raptors game commercials/halftime:
CHI@OKC 8 PM ESPN- Game of the night. Durant vs a healthy Deng should be a very exciting matchup to watch as Deng is a very good defender. Rose vs Westbrook is definately the matchup of the night. The Thunder need to show progression with their halfcourt game if they want to do anything big this year. Without Boozer its hard to see CHI winning this one barring miracle games from Rose and Noah. I’m interested to see who starts at C for OKC, as Aldrich had a terrible pre season and Krstic apparently has a shoulder injury. And also how the Rose/Brewer backcourt works on offence with limited spacing(though Deng looks like he improved his 3 pt shot bigtime judging from pre season). Ibaka needs to turn into the smaller Mutombo for them this year for them to seriously contend with the team as constructed. They’re gonna have to trade Green eventually though.
MIL@NOH 8PM-One of the more intriguing things going in to game 1 for me was seeing how the hell Skiles is going to make Jennings/Salmons/Maggette work. Will he start both Salmons/Maggette, or balance out his lineup with Delfino in the starting 5, and will that cause bad things in the locker room and on the court for the player who goes to a bench role. For NOH, they’re living on a prayer for the playoffs this year that involves Marcus Thornton turning into one of the better sgs in the league and Bayless breaking out off the bench, and obviously Paul playing like God. Crazy how Thornton lost his starting spot after having such a great rookie year. Decent game to watch in surfing.
CHA@DAL 8:30 PM– Dallas is going to start off the year with a slight change to the starting 5, with Terry starting, and Marion off the bench. They’re going to miss Beaubois for the first month, and I’m guessing when he returns he’ll be starting at SG. Terry starting with Kidd didnt work before so I dont think it’ll work well now. For CHA, they need to play more uptempo this year because their halfcourt offence sucks, and Augustin needs to play well in a starting role. Expect a sloppy boring game with a good finish.
IND@SAS 8:30 PM– SAS comes back in 2010 with more depth and more young players. The thing I wonder going in to this game is the starting 5 and how much Splitter plays off the bench. Blair should be starting this season beside TD. For IND, they’re terrible. They need Collison to break out like most think he will, and then have a huge offseason next year. Expect a blowout tonight.
UTA@DEN 9 PM– UTA comes back into 2010 with more depth but a question of whether it was just adding quantity over quality. Both teams are without key pieces with KMart and Okur out. DEN needs to control the damage inside with both Millsap and Jefferson now playing together in the starting 5. I like the look of Utahs team this year overall especially when Okur is back. I like Utah winning tonight as well, too much quality size, DEN wont be able to matchup with them on the interior, they’ll have to win with perimeter shooting.
HOU@GSW 10:30 PM– Probably one of the worst back to backs you can get in the NBA after losing a painful game the night before if you have a team with not much depth, but luckily Houston does so they should be fine. The backcourts should explode vs one another with Ellis/Curry vs Brooks/Martin, should be a very exciting matchup and a very fun game to watch.
POR@LAC 10:30 PM– Blake Griffin gets a very good test out of the gates going against one of the better defensive frontcourts in the NBA even without Oden and Pryzbilla. POR is coming off a back to back so I expect Roy to be a little more involved this game. Clippers do have a much better team on paper this year vs last but we all know that doesnt mean much. Should be a great matchup in the frontcourt, and backcourt if B Davis decides to show up.