San Antonio (0-0) at Oklahoma City (0-0)
When: Wednesday, October 28th 2015
Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
Time: 8:05 ET | TV: ESPN
Two teams that are favorites to compete for the Western Conference title this season and had disappointing seasons in 2014, will meet in their respective openers tonight. The San Antonio Spurs went 55-27, but lost in the first round of the Playoffs and the Thunder failed to make the postseason. San Antonio will once again return their core led by 39-year old Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Danny Green, and Kawahi Leonard. Green set a franchise record with 191 3-pointers last season, one better than the mark set by Chuck Person in 1995-96.The Spurs added All-Star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge to it’s roster in hopes of winning another NBA Title. San Antonio pumped up its bench by also landing free agent forward David West – a starter the past 10 seasons who took a $10.5 million pay cut to join San Antonio – and its reserves include veteran shooting guard Manu Ginobili and point guard Patty Mills.
Sports Illustrated has the Thunder getting all the way to the Finals this season, but that hinges on whether or not they can stay healthy. Kevin Durant was limited to 27 games last season due to foot problems, and the urgency to win in Oklahoma City has heightened with the star forward eligible to file for free agency after the season. The Thunder fired coach Scott Brooks after last year and hired former Florida Gators coach Billy Donovan in hopes over getting the teams back to elite status. Oklahoma City still has MVP-candidate Russell Westbrook to go alongside Durant. Power forward Serge Ibaka is healthy after knee surgery and center Enes Kanter and shooting guard Dion Waiters are the other starters.
The Spurs went 2-1 against the Thunder last season and their victories were by an average of 32 points. This is opening night and we won’t see that kind of blowout here. Aldridge is a nice addition to the Spurs and I’m looking forward to see how far he can take them. I’ll take the underdog in tonight’s game.
Pick: Spurs +4.5