This Thursday was the first preseason game for the NBA. The game was the Dallas Mavericks playing the Minnesota Timberwolves. The next games are going to be the Mavericks and Timberwolves again with the addition of the Golden State Warriors playing against the Los Angeles Lakers.
For this preseason, the NBA has made a deal with Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, and agreed to let the Mavericks and Timberwolves, the teams, play in the Etihad Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi will only consist of two games between the Timberwolves and the Mavericks. This will give the NBA more exposure after the first year they played these games in 2022.
The Lakers and Warriors is a highly anticipated game because this gives players on the team an opportunity to move up in the lineup. If players perform well in the preseason then, they will likely get more playing minutes throughout the regular season. Steve Kerr, the head coach of the Golden State Warriors, has released the starting lineup for Saturday’s game, and people are excited to see how their newly acquired guard Chris Paul plays alongside Stephen Curry.
The Warriors starting five will be Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Chris Paul, Andrew Wiggins, and Kevon Looney. This lineup has surprised many people because they have their all-star power forward Draymond Green coming off the bench. Green has been a part of the Warriors for ten seasons. The Warriors chose to have Green on the bench because they wanted to go for a starting lineup that was primarily focused on shooting the ball from long distances. For the Warriors, this will just add another deep threat to their team along with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
The Los Angeles Lakers will go with a starting lineup of D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves, LeBron James, Rui Hachimura, and Anthony Davis. This line doesn’t surprise people that much because it was expected for James, Reaves, Russell, and Davis to be hitting the floor first for the Lakers. Rui Hachimura is a player that the Lakers acquired by the Washington Wizards, and he has been in the league for three seasons so far.
The Lakers will be playing this game on the Warriors' home court and will have to rely on their veteran players to communicate through the Golden State fans cheering for their team. The fans that support the Golden State area are known for being one of the loudest in the entire NBA.
Both teams have had experience with playing each other in the playoffs to get to the NBA finals, and Lebron James has had to play the Warriors multiple times in the playoffs, so this is not uncharted territory for him. James is the captain of the Lakers, and most people consider him to be one of the best players to still be playing in the NBA.
This matchup is only a preseason game, but for both teams, it could potentially set the standard for their teams for how the regular season will go.