The Golden State Warriors will begin their NBA title defense this season by hosting LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers at the Chase Center on opening night, according to a report by Shams Charania of The Athletic. It’s unsurprising to see the NBA put two of its biggest brands and most star-studded rosters together to tip off the 2022-23 season.
The Lakers, of course, are not coming off a title run. Instead, Los Angeles’ organization seems in disarray as the team tries to figure out how to build a contender around an aging and oft-injured core of James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook. Last season was a complete disaster. The Lakers finished 33-49, well out of postseason contention, and head coach Frank Vogel was fired and replaced by Darvin Ham.
The Warriors’ core from their championship team will return, but the roster’s depth has been heavily depleted. Gary Payton II, Nemanja Bjelica, Otto Porter Jr., Damion Lee, and Juan Toscano-Anderson departed in free agency. The Dubs did acquire Donte DiVincenzo and JaMycal Green in free agency while adding Patrick Baldwin Jr. and Ryan Rollins through the draft, but it’s hard to imagine those players matching the production they lost.
Still, Golden State is hoping to get improved contributions from young players on last season’s roster, like Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, and James Wiseman. Hopefully, their stars will begin to shine on opening night with impactful performances against the Lakers.