The Warriors play their first game of the 2017-18 regular season on Tuesday when they host the visting Houston Rockets on Opening Night, presented by Chase.
The 2017-18 NBA regular season is upon us. Can you believe it?
Just four months and five days removed from winning the 2017 NBA Championship after defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Finals, the Warriors will play their first game that actually counts when the Dubs host the Houston Rockets on Opening Night this coming Tuesday. It’s a marquee matchup between two Western Conference powers, but that certainly won’t be the only highlight of the season-opener. Here are five reasons Oracle Arena will be the place to be on Tuesday night:
1. Raising of the Championship Banner
The 2014-15 Championship banner in the rafters of Oracle Arena will have a new neighbor come Tuesday night, when the 2016-17 banner is raised prior to tipoff in what will surely be an emotional moment for all of Dub Nation. It’s the kind of experience that cannot be fully reproduced through your television. Be there. Feel the chills.
2. Ring Ceremony
Just before that banner is raised, the Warriors will receive their 2017 NBA Championship rings. We don’t know what they’ll look like yet, as Tuesday night will offer the public their first glimpse at the prized hardware. For the players and fans alike, this will be a moment they’ll never forget.
3. Rockets Only Landing in the Bay Area
This upcoming season, the Warriors will play every Eastern Conference team twice, once on the road and once at home. The other 52 games of Golden State’s regular season schedule will be played against their own Western Conference. The Dubs will play every Western Conference team four times, with four exceptions. The Warriors will face each of the Rockets, Trail Blazers, Grizzlies and Timberwolves just three times, and of those four opponents, the Rockets and Trail Blazers are the two that will make only one visit to Oracle Arena this regular season. So for Bay Area fans that want to see James Harden and Chris Paul, Opening Night will likely be their only chance to do so.
4. Regular Season Debut for New Dubs
The Warriors are bringing back the vast majority of their roster that won the Championship last season, but there are a few changes. Nick Young and Omri Casspi signed as free agents in the offseason, while Golden State acquired second round pick Jordan Bell in a draft day trade. All three players will be making their regular season debuts with the Warriors on Opening Night. What better way to welcome them than to be there at Oracle, cheering them on?
5. Like Offense?
Some people prefer grind-it-out games with scores in the 80’s. It’s not going out on a limb to say that when the Warriors and Rockets get together on Opening Night, that is highly unlikely to be the case. Golden State and Houston were the two highest scoring teams in the league last season, and ranked first and second, respectively, in offensive rating. The Rockets set the NBA single-season record for most three-pointers made (1181) last season, while the Warriors ranked fourth in the league in made threes (982) and third in three-point percentage (.383). In evaluating the Warriors’ offensive firepower, Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni recently said, “You’re not going to stop them. It’s just not going to happen. They’re not going to stop us either. Should be fun.”