NBA Preview: It's the Warriors, and then everyone else

As NBA season opens, is it Warriors-Celtics w...

That even applies to Houston - which won 65 games last season, has the reigning MVP in James Harden, an elite point guard in Chris Paul who re-signed for $160 million this summer, a deep-pocketed owner in Tilman Fertitta and an always-tinkering GM in Daryl Morey.

Los Angeles Lakers' clash with the Golden State Warriors set a new record as the most-viewed preseason game of all-time last week.

That's the motto COO and President Rick Welts is sharing as Golden State, victor of three titles over the past four years, prepares to move into that snazzy, privately funded new arena.

Oklahoma City newcomer Dennis Schroder, who was imported from Atlanta in a three-team deal in July that saw Carmelo Anthony eventually wind up in Houston, recalls watching previous Thunder-Warriors matchups for their high drama quotient. "How you get there and how you kind of break up that mission on a day-to-day, game-by-game, month-by-month basis is what makes us great".

The Warriors still have Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala.

The Warriors have played at Oracle Arena for the past 47 seasons and coach Steve Kerr admitted the move across the Bay will be a little sad for the team. We're trying to address those mistakes that we made and we'll see where we are.

"They might be my favourite team that I can thimk of in the past 20 years to watch play when they are on. I'm looking forward to seeing how much insane energy both teams will have when they play each other". We've got to win a 'chip.

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Three-time National Basketball Association champion James chose to leave the Eastern Conference for the Los Angeles Lakers but has already said his new team, which have not made the playoffs since 2013, has "a long way to go" until they can challenge the Warriors.

With the Lakers up 6-2 after baskets by Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee and Brandon Ingram, James stole the ball from Portland forward Jake Layman and raced to the other end for a dunk. The old Chicago Stadium where I played to the new one. "And when I do it at the level I do it at, everything else takes care of itself".

With the Lakers, James does not have a strong supporting cast like he did when he left Cleveland for Miami eight years ago. Toronto added Kawhi Leonard and Philadelphia offers young star talent but Boston figures to be the best in the East.

Probably, the title will again be decided in the final match of the Western conference between the "Golden State" and "Houston".

Those teams ended up as the last four standing in the 2017-18 season, with both conference finals going seven games. Gregg Popovich no longer has Tony Parker or Manu Ginobili with him in San Antonio, and the Spurs (who have been battered by injuries, including one to point guard Dejounte Murray) are no lock to extend their 21-year run of playoff appearances.

"I'll get back to you when somebody cracks that code", Wade said. And every game is so much fun because it's such an fantastic atmosphere. If they stay healthy, it's tough to beat them. "Our time in the off-season has been so crunched these last four years so you have to make the most out of every single day".

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