In his first non-preseason game since the 2019 NBA Finals, Kevin Durant will get to face his old team, as he looks to lead the Brooklyn Nets to a good start against the Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors, on the other hand, will welcome the return of Stephen Curry, who’s poised to show why he is still arguably the best point guard in the NBA today.
Catch this game live on Wednesday, Dec. 23, at 8 AM, Manila time.
HOME TEAM: Brooklyn Nets (0-0, 0-0 at home)
At last, the Nets are going to enjoy a season with both of their superstars healthy. Kyrie Irving was limited to only 20 games last season, while Durant missed the entire 2019-20 campaign to recover from a devastating Achilles injury.
And if there’s one thing the preseason proved to us about Durant, it’s that he’s still going to be a problem. Durant played in two games and averaged 20.0 points on 50.0 percent shooting from the floor. Irving, on the other hand, put up 17.5 points and shot 55.6 percent from deep. Those are small sample sizes, but it tells a lot how ready these two are ahead of their game against the Warriors.
That Nets frontcourt with Durant, DeAndre Jordan, and Jarrett Allen should be an advantage against Golden State, which is pegged to parade a rookie as their starting center. Brooklyn’s supporting cast remains solid as well, with Spencer Dinwiddie, Joe Harris, and Caris LeVert providing perfect secondary scoring options behind Durant and Irving.
Take note that the Nets are 3-0 against the spread in their last three games against Golden State at home.
ROAD TEAM: Golden State Warriors (0-0, 0-0 on the road)
In a perfect world, we would be seeing the return of the Splash Brothers Show this season, but with Klay Thompson sustaining a serious injury over the season, Stephen Curry will have to do it alone in the backfield.
Well, sort of. For one, Curry, who appeared in just five games last season, will still have a capable running mate in the form of Andrew Wiggins. The former No. 1 overall pick doesn’t have the range of Thompson, but he can find his own buckets. Wiggins played 12 games for the Warriors last season (all without Curry) and averaged 19.4 points.
Kelly Oubre Jr. arrives in the Bay Area to provide two-way play for Golden State, who gave up 115.0 points per game last season (24th overall in the NBA).
The Warriors are also about to see what they have in rookie James Wiseman. The team hopes that Wiseman will blossom into a star, and he’s going to get a chance to play extra minutes because Draymond Green will not be playing in the opener.
The Warriors have covered the spread in seven of their last 10 trips away from home.
Kyrie Irving and Steph Curry will put on a show in this game, but Kevin Durant will have the top performance, as he dominates his old team. The Nets come away with a 110-103 win here.