The NBA season starts Tuesday, Oct. 18, and the Golden State Warriors host the Los Angeles Lakers in the second of a doubleheader. The game will be live streamed on SlingTV, which offers 50 percent off the first month.
There are many one-word answers that could be given about the state of the NBA’s Western Conference. Loaded, deep, stacked, daunting: They all certainly apply.
Minnesota coach Chris Finch has another word: “Brutal,” he said.
That one works, too.
The defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors rightly expect to contend again, and there will be no shortage of teams entering this season believing they’re good enough to compete for a title as well. The Los Angeles Clippers get Kawhi Leonard back, the Phoenix Suns have won more games than any team in the NBA over the last two regular seasons, the Denver Nuggets have the two-time reigning MVP in Nikola Jokic, the Dallas Mavericks have a presumed future MVP in Luka Doncic, and the Memphis Grizzlies can say the same about Ja Morant.
Oh, and there’s LeBron James of Los Angeles Lakers, entering Year 20, somehow still not slowing down and maybe 50 or so games away from catching Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the all-time scoring record.
“When you put in the work,” James said, “you see the results.”
Lakers first-year coach Darvin Ham knows a great offseason, or a great lineup on paper to start a season, doesn’t guarantee anything. He was an assistant coach for the Lakers in 2012-13, when the team entered the year with a lineup of Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard.
That group had two Hall of Famers in Nash and Bryant, and two likely future ones in Gasol and Howard. They started seven games together that season — and went 0-7.
The Lakers went through three coaches that injury-plagued year, won 45 games and got swept in the first round by San Antonio.
“There’s a lot of work that goes into it, remaining healthy being at the top of the list,” Ham said. “And most important, also coming together as a team.”
Finch’s Timberwolves are another team that made big offseason moves, landing Rudy Gobert from Utah. But even with that acquisition, Finch knows nothing will be easy in the West. He noted the conference has so much quality that even some good teams — New Orleans was an example he cited — just aren’t getting talked about.
When is Lakers-Warriors?
The Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers face off on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at 9 p.m. (10 p.m. ET).
Will it be live streamed?
The Lakers-Warriors will be live streamed on Sling, which offers half off the first month.
Get 31 channels in the orange package, which is half off $35 the first month. You can stream on one device and get up to 50 hours of DVR storage.
Get 41 channels in the blue package, which is half off $35 the first month. You can stream on up to three devises and get up to 50 hours of DVR storage.
Get 47 channels in the orange and blue package, which is half off the $50 the first month. You can stream from one to three devices and get up to 50 hours of DVR storage.
Will the game be televised?
The Laker-Warriors will be televised on TNT.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.