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As a latest season nears, 2 tantalizing matchups mark NBA opening night


Jayson Tatum and the Celtics tackle Joel Embiid and the 76ers to mark the first game of the 2022-23 season.

It’s been 4 months for the reason that Golden State Warriors clinched the 2022 NBA title. Since then, we’ve seen the championship parade, a latest generation of players enter the league within the draft, some key free-agency signings, loads of trade rumors, a trio of All-Stars traded to latest teams, young talent showcasing their game at Summer League, some off the court drama, training camps and preseason motion.

Now it’s finally time to get back on the court for an additional full season of motion. And all of it gets began on Tuesday, October 18 with an opening-night doubleheader on TNT.

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics

(7:30 p.m. ET, TNT)

The primary game of the 2022-23 regular season features reigning scoring champion Joel Embiid leading the Philadelphia 76ers into Boston to tackle the defending Eastern Conference-champion Boston Celtics.

Boston’s first attempt at title No. 18 got here up two wins short against the Warriors last June. The Celtics begin their quest to return to the NBA Finals with a latest coach on the sidelines (Joe Mazzulla) and a latest guard within the rotation (Malcolm Brogdon).

Tuesday will mark the coaching debut of Mazzulla, because the 34-year-old was named interim coach following the season-long suspension of coach Ime Udoka on Sept. 22.

Injuries and replacements have shaken up the reigning East champs, but should that change their outlook?

This game may also mark the debut of the Celtics’ tribute to the late Bill Russell because the legendary center’s No. 6 has been added to the paint of the famous parquet floor at TD Garden. Every player within the NBA will wear a black No. 6 patch on his jersey throughout the upcoming season to honor Russell and have a good time his impact each on and off the court.

Russell can be the primary player to have his number retired across the NBA as his No. 6 won’t be issued again by any NBA team to any player. Nevertheless, players who currently wear No. 6 have been grandfathered in and can be the ultimate group of players to ever wear the number in an NBA game.

That list is headlined by LeBron James — who can be featured within the second game of the opening night doubleheader. James is joined by 14 other players which can be currently on NBA rosters with the No. 6. Nevertheless, rosters for the 2022-23 season can be finalized on Oct. 17 — the eve of opening night — so this list may get smaller before opening night.

  • Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Utah Jazz)
  • Moses Brown (LA Clippers)
  • Alex Caruso (Chicago Bulls)
  • Hamidou Diallo (Detroit Pistons)
  • David Duke Jr. (Brooklyn Nets)
  • Quentin Grimes (Latest York Knicks)
  • LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers)
  • Keon Johnson (Portland Trail Blazers)
  • DeAndre Jordan (Denver Nuggets)
  • Kenneth Lofton Jr. (Memphis Grizzlies)
  • Kenyon Martin Jr. (Houston Rockets)
  • Jalen McDaniels (Charlotte Hornets)
  • Jordan McLaughlin (Minnesota Timberwolves)
  • Kristaps Porziņgis (Washington Wizards)
  • Jaylin Williams (Oklahoma City Thunder)

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors

(10 p.m. ET, TNT)

Stephen Curry and the Warriors host the Lakers on ring night in San Francisco.

It’s ring night in San Francisco because the 2021-22 NBA champion Golden State Warriors have a good time their fourth championship in eight seasons before starting their title defense against LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers.

This can be the primary time the Warriors have received their championship rings and unveiled a latest championship banner at Chase Center, which opened in September 2019. The primary three titles of this Warriors run were celebrated at Golden State’s former home arena, Oracle Arena in Oakland.

The Warriors may have their full squad available for the celebration as Draymond Green’s time away from the team has come to an end following an altercation with teammate Jordan Poole at a preseason rehearsal. Green was fined by the team for his actions, but won’t serve a suspension.

It’s hard to upgrade after a title run, but Golden State could possibly be deeper and higher than last season.

The Warriors quartet for four-time champions — Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and Green — will face a well-recognized opponent in James, who met the Warriors within the NBA Finals 4 straight postseasons during his last run with the Cleveland Cavaliers (2014-18) before joining the Lakers for the 2018-19 season.

This game marks the beginning of LeBron’s twentieth NBA season — a mark that only eight players have ever reached in league history: Vince Carter (22 seasons); Robert Parish, Kevin Willis, Kevin Garnett and Dirk Nowitzki (21 seasons), Kobe Bryant, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Jamal Crawford (20 seasons).

It also marks the countdown of LeBron’s pursuit of Kareem’s record because the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. LeBron enters the season 1,326 points away from passing Kareem as the highest scorer within the history of the sport. Based on his profession scoring average of 27.1 points per game, LeBron would want 49 games to interrupt the record. Nevertheless, LeBron is coming off a season through which he averaged 30.3 points per game — the second-highest mark of his profession — so he may do it even faster than expected.

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