The Eastern Conference will be excluded from opening night to begin the 2023-2024 NBA Season.
The schedule for the 2023-2024 NBA season has been released. It will include four of the greatest teams in the Western Conference on Oct. 24. According to Shams Charania, the reigning champion Denver Nuggets will face the Los Angeles Lakers in a repeat of the Western Conference Finals, while the Suns and Warriors will square off.
NBA 2023-2024 Season: Wembanyama’s Debut, Jokic’s Championship Celebration, and Lakers’ Rematch
According to Marc Stein, No. 1 overall choice Victor Wembanyama will make his formal debut for the San Antonio Spurs the next night, Oct. 25, against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks.
Nikola Jokic was not selected MVP last season. Still, he received the ultimate prize when he guided the Nuggets to their first championship in team history and was awarded Finals MVP. On opening night, he will get his first ring and witness the flag being lifted to the rafters of Ball Arena with his teammates. Then, after sweeping the Lakers out of the playoffs last season, he’ll aim to beat them again.
Knowing Nikola Jokic, he won’t like the pomp and ceremony of ring night, but it will be a memorable occasion for him, the franchise, and the city. Before last season, the Nuggets had not had a player like Jokic or won a title since 1967. It will be their final opportunity to enjoy their achievement together before beginning their championship defense.
Chris Paul’s Warriors Debut, Suns vs. Warriors West Showdown, and Season Expectations
Experienced point player Chris Paul will dominate the other game. After three seasons with the Suns, Paul was dealt to the Washington Wizards in the Bradley Beal blockbuster this summer, then re-routed to the Warriors in exchange for Jordan Poole. This game will serve as his Warriors debut and his first opportunity to get revenge on the Suns.
It will be an opportunity for both teams to demonstrate where they stand in the West after shorter playoff campaigns than expected and significant offseason adjustments. Can the Suns make the perimeter-heavy combination of Durant, Booker, and Beal work with their limited depth? And how will the Warriors, who are all a year older now, incorporate Paul as they strive to hang on to their title?
Another intriguing part of opening night is the absence of Eastern Conference teams. The reigning champion is always in play, although the league usually divides the night into two showcase games, one for each conference. The insecurity surrounding the defending Eastern Conference champions, the Miami Heat, is to blame. It would be a no-brainer if they had already acquired Damian Lillard, but that hasn’t occurred yet, and the league isn’t happy with how the whole process is going. Regardless, the absence of an East team seems unusual.
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