The 2022-23 NBA campaign tips off tonight and features some exciting clashes in the opening games of the season scheduled on Wednesday. Here’s what to expect in some of the matchups slated for tonight.
Pelicans Open Season At Nets
The New Orleans Pelicans and Brooklyn Nets meet for their first game of the season tonight at Barclay Center. New Orleans finished third in the Southwest Division with a 36-46 record and has high expectations for this season.
They’ll also see the return of Zion Williamson to the lineup tonight after he missed the entire season with a foot injury. They had some postseason success after beating the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers in the play-in tournament before losing to the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference quarterfinals.
The Nets would like to improve after last season’s playoff disappointment. They started the season as one of the favorites to take the NBA title last season but were swept in the first round by the Boston Celtics.
Kevin Durant has mended his relationship with the front office and returns this season with Kyrie Irving. Ben Simmons will make his first appearance for the Nets tonight and will play his first game since the 2021 playoffs. However, they’ll be shorthanded as Joe Harris and Seth Curry will be out of the lineup with ankle injuries tonight.
Brooklyn gets a close win at home.
Chicago To Face Heat in Miami
The Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat open the season at FTX Arena on Wednesday night. Chicago finished second in the Central Division with a 46-36 record last season and made a disappointing short appearance in the playoffs, losing in the first round to the Milwaukee Bucks in five games. They’ll be returning most of the same lineup from last season, with the addition of center Andre Drummond to help bolster their inside game.
The Heat won the Southeast Division last season with a 53-29 record, but couldn’t duplicate their 2020 season when they made it to the NBA Finals. They came up just short of reaching that goal, losing to the Boston Celtics in seven games in the Conference Finals.
They kept the same core of players as last season, with Caleb Martin moving into the starting lineup to replace the departed P.J. Tucker. Victor Oladipo will miss tonight’s game for Miami with a sore knee.
Miami wins for its fifth straight over Chicago.
Mavericks Meet Suns In Season Opener
The Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns continue their rivalry tonight at Footprint Center. Dallas surprised everyone last season when they made it to the Western Conference Finals, where they eventually lost to the champion Golden State Warriors.
Luka Doncic is the key to this team, averaging 31.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 6.4 assists last season. Dallas added Christian Wood in the offseason, hoping he can become the legitimate big man the team has been searching for.
The Suns look like a team on the way down. They lost in the NBA Finals as favorites two seasons ago and were one of the favorites to win the title last season. However, they were stretched to seven games by the Mavericks in the Western Conference semifinals, where they were blown out 123-90 to end their season.
This team has enough talent to finish the regular season at the top of the conference but is dealing with Deandre Ayton not being happy after signing an extension. Chris Paul isn’t getting any younger. They have won nine straight games against Dallas in the regular season.
The Suns win convincingly at home.