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Hell yeah, basketball is almost back.
The 2022-23 NBA season tips off on Tuesday with the Sixers against the Celtics first, followed by the Lakers against the Warriors. Three legitimate championship-caliber teams and also the one with LeBron James on it!
Because this is the NBA, we already have a handful of juicy storylines to watch. Here are four that I'll be looking out for when the season tips Tuesday night.
We're in Year 2 of "What are the Lakers doing with Russ?" and already, in a preseason game, he came off the bench in a Sixth Man role. Westbrook's started every single game of his career minus the first 17 of his rookie season, so this is uh, new! It really doesn't seem there's another option with his impossible fit in L.A.'s starting lineup. Does coming off the bench save his Lakers tenure? Or does the team just finally have to cave in and send him and picks to the Pacers?
Westbrook to win 22-23 Sith Man of the Year: +2400 | Bet $10 to win $240
The punch happened. It happened so much that we have real live video and it's never going away. The team chose not to suspend him in the regular season, and we'll see what the chemistry is like for Game 1. Could be kinda weird though!
Warriors to win Western conference title: +320 | Bet $10 to win $32
There's the obvious note that Ime Udoka won't be coaching, but I'm more interested in how Boston's rotations work with Brogdon, a solid shooter, playmaker and defender, added to the mix. He was a 50/40/90 guy with the Bucks. He has a better chance of restoring next to Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown — as long as he stays healthy.
Malcolm Brogdon to win 22-23 Sixth Man of the Year: +1600 | Bet $10 to win $160
He took a pay cut and he was working out with the team in the offseason. The PR for Harden the player has never been so bluntly in his favor. After a disappointing playoff run, can Joel Embiid and his newest co-star make a statement to start the season?
James Harden to lead NBA in assists per game: +175 | Bet $10 to win $17.50