The NBA is upon us finally as the 2016-17 Preseason kicks off with the new look Golden State Warriors taking on Eastern Conference finalist, Toronto Raptors.
Last season the Cleveland Cavaliers put any dreams the Raptors may have had of reaching the NBA Finals on hold at least for another season as they beat the Raptors 4-2 in what many called a one-sided series. But it was anything but that. Raptors stars, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan did not have their finest outings but the heart they displayed let the league know they are a team to be reckoned with this coming season.
The Warriors managed to make a second straight trip to the Finals but let a 3-1 series lead slip through their grasp as the Cavs stormed back and won the championship 4-3. The real story is what happened after the Finals for Golden State. Somehow the Warriors pulled off the deal of the century when they managed to beat out at least four other teams for prized free agent, Kevin Durant. Now, with Durant linking up with Splash Brother and Draymond Green on a team that won 73 games in 2015, many are wondering if they could go undefeated in 2016.
The preseason is the time for teams to build chemistry, and for the Warriors, this is much-needed as they will have a completely different cast of players that won those 73 games. Gone is Leandro Barbosa, Marreesse Speights. Festus Ezeli, Harrison Barnes, and Andrew Bogut, while not household names they offered much to the Warriors in terms of defense, hustle and chemistry.
The Raptors are young and still have their nucleus of DeRozan, Lowry, DeMarre Carroll, Jonas Valancuinas, Terrance Ross and Norman Powell. If the young guys like Powell and Cory Joseph can provide offense off the bench, the Raptors could very well be the ones representing the East in the Finals come June.
While the main guys will play, the preseason is not about them. It’s a starting point for the players that may not get to see a lot of action during the regular season. But for the true NBA fans, this is our first action of the season and we’ve desperately waited for this moment for four months. Well, it’s here now.
Here is where you can watch the game live Saturday night.
Date: Saturday, October 1
Start Time: 7:30 p.m. (EST)
TV Channel: NBA TV
Live Stream: Stream 1