Tomorrow: NBA Opening Night
The defending NBA champs will open against their most bitter rival, the Boston Celtics. The intensity grew once Ray Allen left the Celtics and apparently ignored their calls to sign with the Miami Heat in the offseason. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce refuse to comment on their former teammate and Garnett even took it so far as to say he won't talk to Ray anymore.
But that is neither here nor there. There are larger variables at play with LeBron James, the MVP and Finals MVP will attempt to lead his high powered offense and active defense back into the Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics, having fallen short for yet another year in 2011-2012, have retooled and reloaded their roster adding crucial pieces that will have them competing to the bitter end.
Jeff Green returning from heart surgery last season is an integral piece to this team, as is newly acquired Jason Terry, Courtney Lee and Leandro Barbosa. On the flip side, the Heat also added Rashard Lewis to help Allen expand the court for the penetrating James and Dwyane Wade. This matchup should be exciting, combining all the talent on both rosters on the floor at once will be a sight to see.
On to the the next game: The Lakers begin their title quest s they broke the bank to acquire Steve Nash and Dwight Howard to make a run at a title as Kobe Bryant's career is approaching its end. Speaking of Kobe, his lingering foot issue may keep him from playing on opening night. However, with Dwight healthy and the Lakers increased depth (Jordan Hill, Antawn Jamison, Jodie Meeks), the Lakers will be hard pressed not to reach the Conference finals on talent alone.
The Mavericks lost out on their prized offseason target, Deron Williams, and scrambled to put a squad together. They settled on signing amnestied Elton Brand, Chris Kaman, O.J. Mayo and trading for Darren Collison. Dirk Nowitzki will miss the opening six weeks due to knee surgery, so this team will need some time to gel and comprehend each other on the court to be successful. The Mavs will almost assuredly not contend beyond the sixth seed.