The NBA is back! Months of player movement, trade requests, training camp and preseason are over and now the wins and losses start to count on Tuesday night. The season tips off with the reigning champion Denver Nuggets taking on the Los Angeles Lakers, a rematch of the Western Conference finals. The Nuggets will be getting their rings and raising a banner, while the Lakers will be trying to send a message that this isn't the same team that got swept in the West finals a season ago.
Ahead of the first game of the season here's everything you need to know:
Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Lakers
- Date: Tuesday, Oct. 24 | Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Ball Arena -- Denver
- TV channel: ESPN
Nuggets: This is where Denver starts its title defense. The roster remains largely unchanged aside from losing Bruce Brown and Jeff Green, but the nucleus is the same. Nikola Jokic should once again be considered an MVP contender, while Jamal Murray will be entering the season with a lot more respect than he's received over the course of his career. The same goes for Aaron Gordon who proved integral in the team's title run. The Nuggets are in a great position to repeat as champions, but with a target on their back it won't be as easy to fly under the radar as they have been. We'll have to see if that success from last season carries over, or if a little championship hangover impacts the Nuggets Tuesday night.
Lakers: L.A. is motivated to knock the Nuggets off on opening night, with Anthony Davis and LeBron James both sending messages suggesting that they want to exact their revenge on the defending champs. L.A.'s conference finals run was fueled by moves made after the trade deadline, and now with a full training camp under their belts, the chemistry should be even higher for the Lakers. There's also Austin Reaves fresh off a strong showing for Team USA at the World Cup this summer, ready to show that he's more than just a fan favorite on the Lakers.
I think the Nuggets will get out to a slow start, but ultimately will pull it off on ring ceremony night. The Lakers will keep it close, but per usual Jokic will be too much to handle for L.A. Pick: Nuggets