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2023/24 NBA season opening week games to watch: West Finals rematch, Wemby debuts against Texas rivals

A Western Conference doubleheader on opening night, Victor Wembanyama's debut on Wednesday, and Damian Lillard's Bucks debut highlight a loaded first week of NBA basketball.

We’ve picked out five games to watch out for this week, starting with the season opener. 

For more on the matchups, storylines, and injuries dominating NBA opening week, click here.

LA Lakers @ Denver Nuggets

WhatLA Lakers @ Denver Nuggets
WhereBall Arena, Denver, CO
When7:30PM ET, Tuesday October 24
How to watchTNT
Money Line OddsDEN Nuggets -5.5, LA Lakers +180 ML

The opening game of the NBA season sees a LeBron James-led Lakers head to Denver to face the reigning champions.

Michael Malone’s team won the title last season, emphatically beating the Miami Heat 4-1 in the finals and they will be looking to make a strong start to the campaign this time around.

Their roster is relatively unchanged and they went for solidity as opposed to progression in the off-season, and Tuesday’s fixture will be a good chance to see if the settled Nuggets are still performing at the elite level.

They welcome a Lakers side who they swept in the Western Conference finals last season and the visitors will be looking to enjoy a strong beginning to Lebron’s 20th year in the league.

The key battle will be between Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic and Lakers powerhouse Anthony Davis, their duels in the paint could decide the outcome of a marquee matchup in Denver.

Phoenix Suns @ Golden State Warriors

WhatPhoenix Suns @ Golden State Warriors
WhereChase Center, San Francisco, CA
When10PM ET, Tuesday October 24
How to watchTNT
Money Line OddsGS Warriors -2.5, PHX Suns -145 ML

Our second game to watch also takes place on Tuesday, as the Suns head to San Francisco to face their former Point Guard Chris Paul and his Warriors in a Pacific Division clash.

Paul was traded to Golden State in the off-season in a trade which saw Jordan Poole exit San Francisco and Bradley Beal arrive in Arizona, and he will be hoping to get one over his old team.

That may be difficult however, as the market has Phoenix priced with the fourth-shortest odds to lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy at +600.

The Suns boast a star-studded roster featuring Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and the newly-acquired Beal, which on paper looks like the most devastating attacking trio in the NBA. But Beal will likely miss this one as he recovers from a back injury.

This opening match against the far more experienced Warriors will be a challenge. There are doubts over the chemistry they will have on the court, as all three like to handle the ball and shoot on sight.

With a core of Paul, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, the Warriors have a shot to win every game as well as the NBA title.

Boston Celtics @ New York Knicks

WhatBoston Celtics @ New York Knicks
WhereMadison Square Garden, New York, NY
When8PM ET, Wednesday October 25
How to watchESPN
Money Line OddsBOS Celtics -3, NY Knicks +125 ML

Boston made some bold moves in the off-season, notably trading away Marcus Smart to the Memphis Grizzlies and acquiring Jrue Holiday from the Milwaukee Bucks and Kristaps Porzingis from the Washington Wizards.

As a result, they are many fans’ pick for the championship. Their starting five of Holiday, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Porzingis and Al Horford is among the most balanced in the league.

Wednesday’s fixture against the Knicks will be a good opportunity to see the new-look Celtics in action, as they are facing a side with big aspirations.

Tom Thibodeau’s team impressed last season when finishing fifth in the East before losing 4-2 in the conference semifinals against Miami and they will be hoping to improve on that performance this time around.

Joe Mazzulla’s Celtics are very attack-focused and should be exciting to watch, but, given the notorious defensive hustle seen in Thibodeau’s sides, it may be a close game at Madison Square Garden.

Dallas Mavericks @ San Antonio Spurs

WhatDallas Mavericks @ San Antonio Spurs
WhereFrost Bank Center, San Antonio, TX
When9:30PM ET, Wednesday October 25
How to watchESPN
Money Line OddsDAL Mavericks -3.5, SA Spurs +140 ML

This match is a must-watch for one reason alone - Victor Wembanyama.

The number one pick is set to make his NBA debut in this all-Texas affair and he has already shown in pre-season that he will be box office viewing every time he steps foot on the court.

In his last two pre-season games he has made a block on Klay Thompson before nonchalantly waltzing up the court for a dunk and he sent the Heat’s Thomas Bryant into a state of utter confusion following an obscene bucket over the center’s head.

The Frenchman is the league’s joint tallest player, standing at seven feet and four inches tall, yet he possesses an arsenal that some guards could only dream of.

The Spurs may not beat the Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving-led Mavericks but, in a weak side and coached by the legendary Greg Poppovich, Wembanyama will put on a show.

Philadelphia 76ers @ Milwaukee Bucks

WhatPhiladelphia 76ers @ Milwaukee Bucks
WhereFiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI
When7:30PM ET, Wednesday October 25
How to watchTNT
Money Line OddsMIL Bucks -5.5, PHI 76ers +180

Thursday will give us a chance to see the current title-favorites, the Milwaukee Bucks, in action for the first time.

The Bucks were near the top of the market throughout the summer, but shot to the top once the trade for All Star guard Damian Lillard was announced, slashing their odds to +350.

If Lillard clicks with two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, the rest of the NBA could be in big trouble as the mix of Dame’s shooting ability and the Greek Freak’s power could be an unstoppable combination.

They face a Philadelphia team who will likely be without James Harden after a fallout with Sixers president Daryl Morey. 

Even with the Sixers' trio of reigning MVP Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, and Tobias Harris, the Bucks should be hopeful of beating last season’s Eastern Conference third seed with relative ease.

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