NBA Opening Night

The NBA opens for business this evening with two match-ups that should have fans excited. The early game on TNT has a marquee matchup between the reigning NBA champs and the Celtics at home with a ring ceremony. Lebron James comes off his MVP season, MVP Finals, and a Gold Medal; a feat only achieved by Jordan in ’92. James and his big three will try to perpetuate a seemingly inevitable dynasty tonight and the competition couldn’t be any more fierce in the Eastern Conference. The Boston Celtics enter the game with a totally revamped bench that’s one of the deepest in the league. Doc Rivers saw his team put up one heck of a fight in their 7-game exit from last year’s playoffs, which convinced him and GM Danny Ainge to keep Garnett and build on a team that was up 3-2 going home before they lost 2 straight to the eventual champs.

The Heat will roll out the same team as last year and with an impressive 5-game romping of the Thunder coach Erik Spoelstra doesn’t have to change much. The only thing that could derail the Heat is injury, and that is why it’s so important for them to keep a good rotation going. Spoelstra knows the importance of going into the spring with a full squad and that’s why the regular season is somewhat formulaic for teams that know they will make a playoff run in any event.

The other drama unfolding tonight is Ray Allen’s participation as a member of the Heat. He was not resigned by the Celtics and was picked up was by the Heat and so has the dubious pleasure of watching his new teammates get their rings in front of his former team mates. But there’s no love lost between Allen and his old organization.

The late game of the night is Dallas versus the new-look Lakers who traded for Dwight Howard and Steve Nash after being ignominiously swept out of last year’s playoffs. Mike Brown returns for his second season as coach and he has an all-star roster at almost every position. There’s a distinct possibility of a dream matchup between Kobe and Lebron in the Finals. Dallas, who won the title 2 years ago, is looking to rebound after a disappointing season when they were swept by the Thunder on their way to a Western Conference title.

Both match-ups showcase plenty of stars and story lines for both conferences.

Posing with teammates Tyson Chandler, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Andre Igoudala