NBA teams are just getting warmed up, as are the courts beneath their feet. There are a couple of games on tap for today that are going to be interesting to follow, especially given some of the new talent still trying to make a good first impression. As the squads begin to settle into their grooves, expect some tight action and some possible upsets.
The Phoenix Suns are in California to take on the Sacramento Kings and have already started to show that they have some skills. The team took out the Minnesota Timberwolves in its first preseason game and is looking for another win tonight. It’s very possible, given that the Kings lost two back-to-back games against the Indiana Pacers already. Those games were played in Mumbai, India, part of the NBA’s test of how well basketball might be accepted in the country, and the Kings are having to deal with a 12-hour time difference as they adjust after returning only a couple of days ago.
The Suns have a little difficulty, though. Their first game was punctuated by a massive 29 turnovers, a trait they hope not to repeat. The team has to get used to each other, but the talent on the squad is going to prove to vicious, as long as the $19-million man Tyler Johnson doesn’t have any more horrible performances like he did Tuesday. No points, no rebounds and no assists in 15 minutes of floor time won’t make the Suns proud to have invested so much into the player. Still, the Suns are the best candidates to capture the victory tonight.
The Golden State Warriors will host the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight and have a lot of work to do. A lot of fresh talent on the team means there is a lot of miscommunication and this showed when they took on the LA Lakers to open their preseason schedule. They ended up losing 123-101 and were outscored in three of the four periods. However, part of the reason the preseason games exist, apart from building up fan excitement, is to let the teams figure out where they need help before things get serious.
The Timberwolves aren’t the Lakers, and that’s good for the Warriors. It will give players like D’Angelo Russell the opportunity to build his self-confidence and improve his game and Alfonzo McKinnie to show whether or not he has enough moves to be a permanent member of the squad. Marquese Chris was on fire against the Lakers, scoring eight points on 4-6 shooting and tacking on six rebounds and four assists, and he plans on bringing the heat tonight to prove his past NBA performances were atypical. Expect the Warriors to secure their first victory tonight.
California is busy with NBA preseason action today, with all three games taking place in the state. The third pits the Denver Nuggets against the LA Clippers and the Clippers are off to a relatively good start. They faltered against the Houston Rockets, but that shouldn’t be counted against them. However, the Nuggets are going to prove to be a strong force. They had a great season last year and have retained some of that same top talent, giving them a slight edge. With several key players not expected to take to the court for the Clippers tonight, the Nuggets are likely to walk away with the win as they set themselves up for another spectacular year.