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Warriors vs. Pelicans Preview: It's Ring Night!

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For many Warriors fans, it's the first Ring Night ever! The 2015-2016 NBA season kicks off with the mother of all celebrations: the hoisting of a NBA Championship banner.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Matchup

Golden State Warriors
0-0 (0-0 Home)

New Orleans Pelicans

0-0 (0-0 Road)

Details

October 27, 2015

Oracle Arena, Oakland CA

7:15 pm PST

National TV: TNT | Online: nba.com/tntovertime | Radio: KNBR 680 AM

Blog Buddy: The Bird Writes

Projected Starters

Stephen Curry

G

Jrue Holiday

Klay Thompson

G

Eric Gordon

Harrison Barnes

F

Dante Cunningham

Draymond Green

F

Anthony Davis

Andrew Bogut

C

Kendrick Perkins

Key Injuries

Andrew Bogut - Probable (nose)

Kevon Looney - Out

Tyreke Evans - Out (knee)

Norris Cole - Out (ankle)

Alexis Ajinca - Out (hamstring)

Luke Babbitt - Out (hamstring)

Quincy Pondexter - Out (knee)

Omer Asik - Out (calf)

★★★

It's hard to believe we're already here.

Tuesday night, the Golden State Warriors will officially celebrate their second NBA Championship in forty years with a new banner, and some new jewelry. And with that, the reigning NBA champs will have to look forward to a new season full of expectations and pressure.

Fittingly, the Warriors will begin their title defense at home, hosting playoff-foe and fast-developing-rival New Orleans. The birds were quick to snatch Alvin Gentry off of the Warriors bench last season (good on them), and they were even quicker to re-up mega-duper-star Anthony Davis for the largest contract in NBA history. Now, it seems likely that the Dubs will be seeing a lot of the Pelicans, even in the playoffs.

Those lofty expectations may have to move to the back-burner for Tuesday, though. The Pels touchdown in the bay one of the league's most injury-depleted teams already. Key contributors Tyreke Evans, Norris Cole and Quincy Pondexter, all of whom played huge roles for the Pels in the four-game April playoff series, are all out. Worse, Jrue "Justin's brother" Holiday is also limited, and not expected to play more than 20 minutes.

It's unfortunate that a playoff hopeful opens the season so hammered by injuries, but as Warriors fans know too well: them's the breaks.

The Warriors and their enviable depth open the season comparatively healthy, with one massive exception. Wunderkind head coach Steve Kerr (does that term apply to a 50-year old rookie?) remains sidelined as he recovers from back surgery, allowing us to use the phrase, "NBA Champion head coach Luke Walton" with reckless abandon. So while NBA Champion head coach Luke Walton remains short on experience, Luke Walton is an NBA Champion head coach so we're probably okay in that regard.

It'll be interesting to watch the rotation Walton plays throughout the game, and for the near future. He's just kicking off the audition of a lifetime, so there's no doubt he'll work closely with his many Golden State resources to keep the team afloat through a rough opening schedule. After the Pels, the Warriors travel to Houston Friday, to New Orleans Saturday, and then return home for Memphis Monday and the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday. We should know a lot more about this team, and their interim coaching situation, once we're through to the other side.

But enough of the future. Let's celebrate the past one last time, Tuesday night. After all, we've got forty years worth of celebrating to do! Be sure to tune in early to catch the whole ceremony.