Golden State Warriors and Brooklyn Nets Showdown NBA Opening Night

The “Golden State Warriors and Brooklyn Nets Showdown” happens in the first game of TNT opening night slate. Many story lines will come out of this game. The most obvious one is Kevin Durant facing his old team for the first time since leaving them after the 2018-19 season.

You also have the first regular season game for the Kyrie Irving and Durant superstar pairing. The big storyline for the Warriors will be the first meaningful game for Stephen Curry in almost a year.

The game will tip-off from the Barclays Center at 7:00 PM on Dec. 22nd. Let’s break down the matchups in this great opening night game.

Nets Starting Lineup

If no big moves are remaining for the Nets in free agency, such as the potential acquisition of James Harden, the Nets will probably run a starting lineup of Kyrie Irving, Joe Harris, Caris Levert, Kevin Durant, and Jarrett Allen. Spencer Dinwiddie may also fill into one of these starting spots. For my thoughts on the Nets acquiring James Harden, check out this article.

Warriors Starting Lineup

On the other side, the Warriors will most likely feature Stephen Curry, Jordan Poole, Kelly Oubre Jr., Draymond Green, and James Wiseman, although Draymond is doubtful for the opener. If Green cannot play against the Nets, Eric Paschall would most likely take his spot at the power forward position.

Matchups by Position

In the “Golden State Warriors and Brooklyn Nets Showdown” the Nets are at a slight disadvantage at the point guard position since Curry averages 3.5 more PPG but the other major statistics categories are similar (2018-19 season). 

At shooting guard, Joe Harris is an upgrade over Jordan Poole since Harris is a proven shooter and penetrator, and Poole only shot 33.3% from the field and 27.9% of his 3PT attempts. 

At small forward, I would call it a tie between Oubre and Levert since they averaged the same amount of points last season (18.7), and they are both good defenders. 

For the power forward, Kevin Durant is clearly the better pick over Eric Paschall due to the numerous career accolades and impressive statistics that he has for his career. 

Finally, I would give Jarrett Allen a slight advantage over James Wiseman. Even though Wiseman had better college numbers than Allen, Allen is a proven center who can control the paint for the Nets. 

Preseason Outcomes

In terms of preseason outcomes, the Nets shined against the Celtics and the Wizards. Kevin Durant averaged 20 points on 14-28 shooting (50%) in 25.5 minutes. Irving also had a productive preseason by averaging 17.5 points on 14-24 shooting (58%) in 22.5 minutes.

For the Warriors, the team went 2-1 in the preseason, with a win against the Denver Nuggets and a split with the Sacramento Kings. Curry averaged 22.7 points on 23 for 54 shooting (42.6%) in 26 minutes, while Wiggins averaged 13 points on 14 for 35 shooting (40%) in 25.3 minutes. 

Prediction

Overall, In the “Golden State Warriors and Brooklyn Nets Showdown” I expect the Warriors to struggle defensively without Draymond Green against a high-powered Nets offense. The Nets are favored by 6.5 points for this contest, which seems like a fair spread for this game.

In contrast, the Nets looked focused on defense against the Celtics, as they only gave up 89 points during Friday night’s contest. Powered by Stephen Curry, the Warriors offense will try to stay in it, but I believe Brooklyn will narrowly cover the spread by a score of 119-112.

Follow me @ben_reimer for me NBA news!

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