NBA Season Starts With 4 Contenders

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Steph Curry LeBron James
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 18: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers is guarded by Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors during the first half at Staples Center on January 18, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.

Three months after the conclusion of the NBA Finals, there will finally be meaningful basketball games on the schedule. The 2021-2022 NBA season starts Tuesday, Oct. 19 with a pair of highly anticipated matchups.

The four teams with the best odds of winning the title will all play on NBA Opening Night. The action starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT when the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks host the Brooklyn Nets. The Los Angeles Lakers host the Golden State Warriors at 10:00 p.m. EDT in the second game.

In the toughest series of their championship run, Milwaukee outlasted Brooklyn in seven games in a second-round playoff series. Kevin Durant outplayed eventual NBA Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, but the Nets were unable to overcome injuries to Kyrie Irving and James Harden.

Brooklyn enters the season as the overwhelming favorite to win the 2022 NBA Finals. 

The Lakers, who won the 2020 title, are viewed as the biggest threats to the Nets. Following a first-round playoff exit, Los Angeles traded for Russell Westbrook. LeBron James and Anthony Davis will be teammates for a third season in L.A. following injury-plagued 2020 campaigns.

There are high expectations for the Golden State Warriors, who have missed the playoffs in two straight years. Klay Thompson is set to finally return this season after missing consecutive consecutive seasons with serious injuries.

Stephen Curry finished third in the 2021 MVP race, leading the league with 32.0 points per game. Curry and James met in the NBA Finals each year from 2015-2018.

TNT will broadcast both Opening Night games.

Twenty-two NBA teams are set to start the season on Oct. 20. The final four teams kick off their seasons on Oct. 21.


Steph Curry LeBron James

Photo: (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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