🏀 Victor Wembanyama's Debut

Tonight there are 12 games taking place throughout the association, highlighted by Victor Wembanyama's debut. A new era of the NBA is here, and I'm excited to see how the rising stars in San Antonio, OKC, Orlando and several other teams look. Full slate of NBA games, let's go 🍿 (3 min read)

Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

A New Era

It’s been 20 years since LeBron James entered the league, and now, a new era begins as the King enters his 21st season. A burgeoning crop of young talent looks to take the next step on teams like the Thunder, Magic, Pistons and Rockets, while some of the old guard embark on what could be a Last Dance situation. Oh yeah, and there’s one game-breaking rookie that we have never seen anything like debuting tonight 🤯

We can’t say that odds for Wemby to take home Rookie of the Year hardware is particularly juicy (-160), but it could be something to throw into an NBA futures parlay. Just look at the respect he’s getting from NBA vets already 🙏

Chet offers some good value though at +700, especially because the Thunder will be a good team, which usually only factors into MVP voting, but could sway media members if they truly break out 👀

But now let’s actually get into some of tonight’s action. While there are certainly a number of interesting matchups — Thunder vs. Bulls, Rockets vs. Magic and Pelicans vs. Grizzlies, all move me — we’re going to break down the two national TV games. Big fan of the Magic this season though ⭐️

📍 Celtics @ Knicks

Brad Stevens does it again, remodeling his roster. Despite boasting some of the best talent in the league, the former coach did not stand pat, and his willingness to make improvements is at the very least respectable. Here are the keys to the game for me 🔑

  • To what degree can Boston’s perimeter defenders — the newly acquired Jrue Holiday and Derrick White — stifle New York’s perimeter attack, helmed by Jalen Brunson?

  • Does Porzingis unlock this Celtics starting lineup? Don’t get me wrong, Boston already had a formidable starting five, but preseason revealed a new wrinkle with Porzingis, who is just an absurd floor spacer at 7’3

  • How important will Boston’s depth come into play? I think the loss of Marcus Smart, Robert Williams, Grant Williams and Malcolm Brogdon is important, but Payton Pritchard might be more serviceable than one might imagine

  • Spread: Celtics -3.5

  • Moneyline: Celtics -162, Knicks +136

  • Over/Under: 225.5

  • When: 7:30PM EST on ESPN

📍 Mavericks @ Spurs

Now, it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for…Wemby’s home debut against an interstate rival in Luka Doncic’s Mavs. Let’s look at some of the storylines heading into the marquee matchup of the night 👇

  • Wemby. Is there more that needs to be said? The French rookie looks to make an immediate defensive impact, to the point where teams are practicing to finish over his immense wingspan. His points O/U is set at 17.5

  • How does the Luka x Kyrie partnership look in year two? Hopefully it won’t continue to be a your turn, my turn system, but considering Doncic’s usage within Dallas’ heliocentric offense, I’m not confident about it

  • San Antonio’s athleticism. The Spurs boast a pretty big lineup with Jeremy Sochan becoming the team’s defacto point guard. It might overwhelm a Dallas roster that is light on two-way wings

  • Spread: Mavs -4

  • Moneyline: Mavs -174, Spurs +146

  • Over/Under: 230

  • Where to Watch: 9:30PM EST on ESPN

Trivia Question: Who was the last Spurs rookie to make an all-defensive team?

Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

For My Parlay Gurus

As much as it pains me to say it, I think Dallas spoils the Spurs opening night in a relatively close game. Luka and Kyrie have too much pride to let Wemby punk them, and I don’t think San Antonio has the perimeter defense to keep up with the duo. I also like the under on the Celtics and Knicks game, consider the latter tends to slow game pacing down. Check it out 👇

  • Celtics @ Knicks Under 225.5: -110

  • Mavericks ML @ Spurs: -174

$100 on this bet would win you $201 — if we hit, make sure you email [email protected] for a chance to win up to $100*. Many will enter, only some will win 😉

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Trivia Answer: Tim Duncan earned an NBA All-Defensive Second Team selection during his rookie year in the 1997-98 season. He would also take home ROY of the year honors. He would also earn All-NBA First Team honors as a rook, which may never happen again

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