NBA Narratives: Tuesday Oct. 17th Opening Night

Finally.  After one of the craziest off-seasons in NBA history, the NBA regular season is here!

To quickly (I’ll try, I promise) recap all of the craziness of this NBA off-season (and I think it’s probably the craziest of my lifetime), here’s what went down:

Indiana gives away Paul George to OKC for Oldadipo (owed 50+ million still) and Sabonis, with rumors swirling of a 99.9% completed but voided at last minute draft-day trade that would have sent PG13 AND Melo to Cleveland!

L.A. Lakers drafted Lonzo Ball / Lavar Ball and holy hell Lavar is as crazy as advertised!

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The Knicks fired The Zenmaster, dropping the triangle!

Boston signs Gordon Hayward away from Utah as a Free Agent!

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Rockets trade for CP3!

Cleveland signs D. Rose!

Minnesota / Coach Thibs trade for Jimmy Butler Minutes!

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Detroit let Aaron Baynes walk, which means Boban time is back again!

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OKC extends Westbrook for 5 years at approximately eleventy billion dollars, signing the contract on KD’s birthday!

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Knicks finally, mercifully, trade Melo to OKC for Kanter (end of the Stache Bros) and Dougie McBuckets. For those counting at home, that’s both PG13 and Melo teaming up with Westy!

Kevin Durant has one of the weirdest off-seasons ever! After winning his first NBA Title along with Finals MVP, KD spent the off-season repeatedly saying how much he didn’t care about the haters…… then released shoes with cupcakes on them dissing Westy and OKC fans, AND another pair of shoes with a bunch of “hater” phrases on the bottoms.

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He also apparently has a bunch of twitter burner accounts to argue with the haters and support himself. The fuck?!

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Joel Embiid signs a $150 million extension, and is still the undefeated social media champion of the world after repeatedly roasting KD and calling Hassan Whiteside “Softy”!

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Chicago buys out Dwyane Wade, who promptly signs for the vet minimum with Cleveland and his buddy LeBron.

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And, with ALL of that happening, the biggest blockbuster of the off-season is that Kyrie Irving apparently asked for a trade shortly after the end of the Finals, and the Cavaliers (and their brand new GM Koby Altman) ended up trading him to Boston, the 1 seed in the East last year! To say that a blockbuster trade between two teams who finished 1st and 2nd in their conference the year before is rare is an understatement.

In the trade Boston sends Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the Nets unprotected first round pick in the upcoming draft to Cleveland. Cleveland sends Kyrie to Boston. And to make it even crazier, after Cleveland got a chance to give IT2 a physical, the whole trade almost fell through and Boston ended up adding Miami’s 2020 2nd round pick to sweeten the pot. Without going too in-depth, I think this trade makes a ton of sense for both teams, even if some think Boston overpaid. Boston gets a young flat-earth superstar with a couple of years left on his deal, and Cleveland gets a ton of roster flexibility moving forward while still surrounding LeBron with a quality team to make a run at a title this season. I think Cleveland is better overall for this year’s playoffs (Isaiah’s contract is up after this year, and I can’t see Cleveland giving him a max), but more importantly have flexibility for the future to try to keep LeBron in Cleveland after the season with the Nets unprotected pick.

What an off-season. NBA2k18 couldn’t even figure it out, having to change Kyrie’s jersey after releasing the cover with him in a Cavs uniform. Pure craziness.

Now, with all of that said, let’s take a look at the opening night schedule and HOLY SHIT BOSTON @ CLEVELAND GAME 1 OF THE NBA REGULAR SEASON, WITH HOUSTON @ GOLDEN STATE THE NIGHTCAP!

We are truly living in the golden age of #NBANarratives.

Opening Night:

8pm  Boston Celtics @ Cleveland Cavaliers

(Odds as of writing this article: Cleveland -3.5, 212.5)

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First, the game should be a very good one, with both teams looking to make an early statement about superiority in the East.

With the amount of shade Kyrie and LeBron threw at each other in the off-season, I have a feeling there will also be some words exchanged. Kyrie is going to get booed because of some thinly veiled shots at Cleveland, saying it was nice to be in a “real live sports town” now that he’s in Boston. Kyrie is also going to try to absolutely murder Cleveland.

LeBron, questionable with an ankle injury, is going to try to absolutely murder Kyrie and the Celtics. Jae Crowder is going to be starting at the 4, K Love at the 5, and I think that means Cleveland is going to try to beat teams 125-120 all season.

IT2 will not dress for this game (or any other until around Christmas), but I’m sure he wishes he could after telling Danny Ainge to never talk to him or his son again.

And lastly I would love to know the conversation between Jae and J.R. Swish about that spinning backfist a few years ago (after Lunchlady Olynyk ripped K Love’s arm off)….

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Earl, he’s on our squad now

10:30pm Houston Rockets @ Golden State Warriors

(Odds as of writing this article: GS – 9.5, 230.5)

Anybody who says the NBA doesn’t give the fans what it wants needs to take a look at the 2nd game of opening night. After treating us to Boston @ Cleveland (scheduled in advance of the Kyrie / IT2 trade to be fair), they give us Houston @ Golden State.

Houston adds CP3, still one of the best defensive point guards in the league, instantly making them one of the best back courts in the NBA (maybe the only one better being the team they play on opening night…).  They also signed PJ Tucker, Luc Mbah a Moute, and Tarik Black, giving them excellent depth and some quality defenders.

Golden State on the other hand used the off-season to re-sign Kevin Durant well below market value, re-sign Andre Iguadola, let Klay Thompson find himself in China and not trade him (I think his name came up 50 times in trade rumors), drafted Jordan Bell in the 2nd round (a perfect fit for that scheme), re-signed Zaza the Destroyer of Ankles, signed Swaggy F’n P (seriously!) who also fits that scheme perfectly, grabbed Omri Casspi to bolster the bench, re-signed Shaun Livingston, and super-maxed Steph Curry. And, after all that, they get to raise a banner on opening night to celebrate their 2nd Championship in 3 years.

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The NBA arms race stops for no team. In what should be an insanely high pace 2nd game of opening night, in which both teams will play “mid-range is lava” and chuck threes with reckless abandon, this will be a fun game to watch and should be a goldmine for DFS.

It’s taken one of the craziest 3 months in NBA history for us to get here, but the NBA is back and better than ever. Enjoy opening night everybody.

As always catch us on twitter @nbanarratives and let us know what we missed or what you liked (or didn’t like), and you can catch me @OhioUBobcats.

-J Ward

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