Chris Paul and the Rockets Top Off NBA Opening Night Action with Battle Against Golden State Warriors
The second game of NBA opening night’s double header might be shadowed by Kyrie Irving’s early return to Cleveland with the Boston Celtics, but the NBA knows the world wants to see the reigning champion Golden State Warriors. However, I don’t think this matchup should go unnoticed.
The Rockets are one of the top projected western teams coming into the season. They made the playoffs last year as the third seed behind the Warriors and Spurs. They defeated the Thunder in the first round (4-1), only to get knocked out by the Spurs in the conference semi-finals (4-2).
Now that I think about it, I would rather have seen the Thunder play the Warriors on opening night. We saw the dramatic intensity of Kevin Durant’s return to OKC last year. Could you imagine piling that drama on top of the Thunder’s star-studded lineup with the addition of Paul George and Carmelo Anthony? Man, that would have been a great way to start the season, but I digress.
As the 2017-2018 season gets underway, the talk of the town is that the Golden State Warriors are the heavy favorites. I have to agree with that. Besides picking up Nick Young, yet another long baller, they are really the only top contender from last year that didn’t undergo major adjustments to their lineup. Here’s what their starting five looks like right now:
Golden State Warriors (ESPN)
- Stephen Curry (9th year / PG)
- Klay Thompson (7th year / SG)
- Kevin Durant (11th year / SF)
- Draymond Green (6th year / PF)
- Zaza Pachulia (15th year / C)
So, pretty much the same as last year. Just to make things worse for their opponents, according to the Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr, Stephen Curry is “at his absolute peak right now” (Bleacher Report). Now that is a scary thought. You mean, he wasn’t at his peak when he hit 402 three-pointers in a season, breaking his own previous records of 272, 286, and 324 (Wikipedia)? Opponents are in trouble.
Here’s what the Warriors are going up against in the NBA season opener:
Houston Rockets (ESPN)
- Chris Paul (13th year / PG)
- James Harden (9th year / SG)
- Trevor Ariza (14th year / SF)
- Ryan Anderson (10th year / PF)
- Clint Capela (4th year / C)
With a former champion in Trevor Ariza (2009 Lakers), and two highly productive MVP runner-ups Chris Paul and James Harden, the Rockets could give the Warriors a run for their money on opening night.
All I know is that I will be glued to the TV from about 5PM-11PM (7PM ET-1AM ET).
The Houston Rockets take on the Golden State Warriors at 10:30PM ET, with the championship ring ceremony beforehand.
Be sure to check out my summary of the Celtics/Cavs matchup that will be taking place before the Rockets/Warriors game.