The 2019-2020 NBA started off with a bang earlier this month at the Staples Center with a Los Angeles duel between the Clippers and the Lakers. With the game being heavily anticipated due to the new superstar additions for both teams, the game did not disappoint. Kawhi Leonard made his debut for the Clippers and picked up right where he left off after winning Finals MVP with the Toronto Raptors last year. He finished with 30 points and provided even further justification for why fans and media outlets rank him as a top 3 player in the world. Anthony Davis also made his debut for the Lakers and recorded a dominant double-double in the points and rebounds categories. The star-studded matchup featured a renewed sense of rivalry between the two teams. Davis looked comfortable with his new team and his friendship with LeBron James was apparent from their great chemistry on the floor. The Lakers still need a bit more depth, but the impending return of Kyle Kuzma should help. The Clippers won 112-102.
The Clippers opened the season as one of the title favorites and even though they had an 8 point loss to the Phoenix Suns, they have not disappointed so far. Their defensive prowess and seemingly endless depth were on display from the opening tip-off. This is also without last season’s MVP candidate Paul George. The team can go 10 players deep on any night and they seem like they will have the upper hand in most defensive matchups. Their bench is loaded and is run by one of the best bench scorers ever in Lou Williams. It seems like all of the players have bought into Steve Balmer’s overarching vision for the future of the organization as well as the desire to take the city from the Lakers.
Over the summer, many teams made franchise-altering trades and free-agent signings. Due to this, the league is as competitive as it has been in years and there has been massive excitement among fans for this season. There has been much excitement around the Rockets this season due to their trade for Russel Westbrook and the questions about how he and James Harden will mesh on the court. The two are both former league MVP’s and are close friends from their time playing in Oklahoma City at the beginning of the decade. The team is off to a strong start and can continue to build camaraderie and seriously contend in the West. Other notable changes in the league are Jimmy Butler joining the Miami Heat and Kemba Walker joining the Boston Celtics. Both will most likely make the All-Star team this year and lead their respective franchises to a strong playoff berth. Kyrie Irving also set the tone for the beginning of his tenure with the Brooklyn Nets by scoring 50 points with 0 turnovers in the team’s first game of the season.
The NBA season is off to a strong start and will continue to get even more interesting as the season progresses.