With the 2018-19 season rapidly approaching, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s opening night, Christmas, and Martin Luther King Day games have been announced by the NBA. As expected, there will be no shortage of drama in the marquee match-ups.
Let’s get straight to it.
@ Golden State Warriors
Time: 9:30 PM CT
The Story Line: I mean, this is pretty obvious — Kevin Durant and his Warriors in the first game of the new season. It doesn’t get much more dramatic than that, does it? Well, when you consider the Dubs will be receiving their championship rings prior to tip-off… whew boy. Russell Westbrook’s blood should reach its boiling point long before the ball is ever tossed into the air at the opening tip.
Despite their recent run of dominance, the Warriors have lost each of their last two opening night games (Spurs in 2016-17, Rockets last season), so there’s a chance they’ll come out flat yet again. However, given the history between the two teams, it’s probably safe to assume KD & Co. will come prepared. DeMarcus Cousins is expected to still be recovering from his achilles injury at this point, so it won’t be a clear look at the entire Golden State roster.
@ Houston Rockets
Time: 2:30 PM CT
The Story Line: Rivalry game on Christmas day? Facing Carmelo Anthony and his new squad? The last two MVP’s going head-to-head? This place has everything!
These two teams met on Christmas day last season, with the Thunder taking a 112-107 victory behind 31 points, 11 assists, and 6 rebounds from Russell Westbrook. This one would be noteworthy even without Melo switching sides over the summer, but that little detail makes it even more interesting. We could very well be looking at the two teams best equipped to make a run at joining the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals.
@ New York Knicks
TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma
The Story Line: Not much of one here, as the game failed to pick up a national broadcast. However, we do get Enes Kanter vs Steven Adams, Kristaps Porzingis should be back from his ACL injury, and Kevin Knox looks like a potential Rookie of the Year candidate. It’s the least appealing of the match-ups revealed today, but facing the Knicks in Madison Square Garden is always worth taking note of.
With a few of the marquee dates revealed, we now turn our attention to the full schedule. Per the Thunder, that announcement should be coming sometime later this week.