Report: LeBron James, Lakers at Steph Curry, Warriors Scheduled for NBA Opening Night

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVAugust 13, 2022

Harry How/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors will host the Los Angeles Lakers on opening night of the 2022-23 NBA season, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

The Warriors will also receive their championship rings to celebrate their 2022 NBA Finals victory.

The game will obviously feature plenty of star power with Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins for the Warriors and LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook for the Lakers.

This, however, probably won't be a preview of the Western Conference Finals.

Golden State returns the bulk of its roster, and continued development by young stars can help offset the few departures. Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody should be better in their second years, while James Wiseman is healthy again after missing the 2021-22 campaign with a knee injury.

Los Angeles, meanwhile, made incremental improvements. Lonnie Walker IV, Thomas Bryant and former Warrior Juan Toscano-Anderson will help provide depth.

But so much of the Lakers' season will hinge on the health of James and Davis and Westbrook's reversing a prolonged downward trend in performance. The team's 33-49 record demonstrated how James is no longer capable of carrying his squad to a deep postseason run.

With the biggest dominoes off the board in free agency, Bleacher Report's Grant Hughes listed Golden State at No. 1 in his power rankings. Los Angeles was all the way down at No. 21.

The opinions of oddsmakers differ slightly. The Warriors are the third favorites (+650) to win the championship at FanDuel, with the Lakers (+1800) ninth. In the case of L.A., though, it's probably about reputation over reality.

Golden State went 3-1 against Los Angeles last year, and a similarly one-sided dynamic could emerge in the season ahead.

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