October 10,2019 at 8:00 PM
10/22/2019 8:00 PM
Raptors Host Pelicans in NBA Opener
The Toronto Raptors play host to the New Orleans Pelicans at ScotiaBank Arena on Tuesday. The Pelicans looked poised for big things when Anthony Davis developed into a superstar player but that era is now over. The crazy thing about that is the fact that this team may be better without him. While they did lose arguably the most talented player in the NBA, New Orleans added an abundance of young talent. The most notable piece is Zion Williamson. The top pick out of Duke has all the potential in the world and preseason results would indicate that we're in for a special season. Unfortunately, he's now dealing with a knee issue and won't be available for the first couple of weeks. The good news is that they added more than just him. In the Davis trade, the Pelicans acquired Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Brandon Ingram as well. Those are some very good young players and it doesn't even take into consideration that they signed Derrick Favors and J.J. Redick too. This whole new roster will look to gel around Jrue Holiday, as he's the man who runs the show. This should be one of the most dynamic teams to watch this season and it's exciting to see what they put out there without AD. The Raptors had one of the most miraculous title runs in recent memory. Beating the Bucks after trailing 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals was impressive enough but handing the Golden State Warriors a defeat in the NBA Finals was the icing on the cake. Unfortunately, the star of that show is now gone, with Kawhi Leonard taking his talent to Los Angeles to play with the Clippers. The team remains relatively unchanged aside from that but this will be an uphill battle to repeat. The strength of this club is in their frontcourt though, with Pascal Siakam breaking out and Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka holding down the paint. They'll need a lot our of those guys and a resurgent season from Kyle Lowry to make another miraculous run. Despite splitting their two matchups last season, Toronto has now won seven of their last eight games against New Orleans and 13 of their last 16 meetings in total.
October 10,2019 at 10:30 PM
10/22/2019 10:30 PM
Clippers Host Lakers in Battle of Los Angeles
The Los Angeles Clippers play host to the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on Tuesday. The Lakers made a big splash by signing LeBron James last season and the puzzle pieces are finally falling into place. While they missed the playoffs last year, they made some huge additions this offseason. Most notably, that of Anthony Davis. The superstar big man was demanding a trade from the Pelicans for the majority of last season and he finally got his wish by landing with the Lakers. Los Angeles had to give up quite the haul though, sending Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart to New Orleans. The good news is that they got to keep Kyle Kuzma and even saved up some money for other players. The Lakers signed guys like Avery Bradley, Danny Green and Dwight Howard, as those veterans are expected to give this team depth and a much needed defensive presence. This is probably the greatest Lakers roster since the Kobe Bryant era and fans can't wait to see what they do this season. The Clippers made an even bigger splash than the Lakers this offseason, as they're likely the most improved team in the NBA. Adding Kawhi Leonard would have been impressive enough but pulling off a Paul George trade minutes after that signing was a true bombshell on the league. That's two of the best wings in the league and it makes this team one of the favorites for an NBA title. Where it really makes them scary is on the defensive end, with those wings pairing up with Patrick Beverley. That's three of the best defensive players in the league and it's going to drive opponents batty all season long. Unfortunately, George is expected to miss some time at the beginning of the season. The superstar small forward has been dealing with shoulder issues throughout his career and the Clippers don't want to send him out there until he's 100 percent healthy. That means he'll be out the first 10 games or so and it will be on Leonard to run the show in his absence. The funny thing about these matchups is the fact that homecourt really doesn't matter. They both play at Staples Center and that was clear when the road team won all four meetings between these clubs last season. Prior to that, the Clippers won 17 of their previous 18 games over the Lakers.