NBA Opening Night – From LeBron James to the Lakers Fab Five

The 2012-2013 NBA season opens with three games, with two of them grabbing most of the spotlight. The champions Miami Heat host their biggest rivals in the East, the Boston Celtics, as Ray Allen gets his first chance to play against his former team before the old Dallas Mavericks play the old Los Angeles Lakers although Dirk Nowitzki won’t be playing and Kobe Bryant might not be showing up as well.

After the NBA started on Christmas day last year, some have begun to speculate that a shorter NBA season, something along the lines of last year with 65-70 games with a bit more spacing between the games in comparison with last year would do the league, the interest in it and the level of play a world of good. Of course, that would hurt the income of the owners and from there the salaries of the players, so no one involved in the league actually wants to do something that makes sense for the sport, but not for the finances.

In Cleveland, it was supposed to be the interesting matchup of two number one draft picks squaring off, but Kyrie Irving, the rookie of the year from 2012, averaging 18.5 points, 5.4 assists and 3.7 rebounds, won’t have an injured John Wall facing him. Wall, who disappointed many with the lack of upgrade to his game last season will be out from the game, along with starting Center Nene, which means it’ll probably be A.J. Price to start at point guard, while new arrivals Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor will feature in the Wizards’ starting lineup.

For the Cavs, it’s about trying to put the 40-108 record since the departure of LeBron James behind them, and hope that along with the growth and development of Kyrie Irving, they’ll see Tristan Thompson take on more (8.2 points, 6.5 rebounds) for himself while rookies Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller make and immediate impact.

In Miami, it’ll be the most interesting game of the night, with a lot of bad blood and hate between the two teams. Boston have never been affecionaite towards LeBron James, and even more over the last couple of seasons, when he’s actually managed to beat them, including last season in a rough 7 game series in the Eastern Conference Finals.

The focus, even from before tip off, we’ll be watching Ray Allen and his interactions with the players on the Celtics. Kevin Garnett has said he hasn’t spoken to Allen ever since he decided to sign with the NBA champions, and there’s also the Rajon Rondo and Doc Rivers angle, although Allen has tried to downplay the whole thing, hopefully taking the edge off.

And in Los Angeles, the Dallas Mavericks, with eight new players on the roster, arrive without Dirk Nowitzki who’ll be out for at least the first 10 games of the season. The Lakers aren’t quite sure if Kobe Bryant will be ready to play, but most of the interest in them is seeing how Steve Nash and Dwight Howard look on their official debuts for the team. Both the Lakers and Dallas have a lot of gelling and getting in sync to be doing, but it seems that the potential for future success this season is much greater for the Lakers, who swept the Mavs last season in their four meetings.

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