Lakers Unveil Star Signings For NBA Tipoff

Image courtesy of Edmonson/US Presswire
Bryant and Nash are star attractions in LA this season. Image courtesy of Edmonson/US Presswire
You can pretty much throw out the form guide from previous seasons when the Los Angeles Lakers tipoff their 2012-13 NBA season against the Dallas Mavericks . While Kobe Bryant remains a constant presence at the Staples Centre, he has new playmates in the form of point guard Steve Nash and centre Dwight Howard.

History shows that when Miami created its big three with LeBron James and Chris Bosh joining Dwyane Wade two seasons back, they struggled to mesh across the opening month or two. The Lakers could find themselves in the same position, even with a future Hall of Famer in Nash running the show.

Their job on opening night has been made a great deal easier by the withdrawal of Mavs superstar Dirk Nowitski, who has undergone surgery on his right knee. He top scored in all four games against the Lakers last season, all of which Dallas lost. He’ll be out for around six weeks, which puts serious pressure on veteran big men Elton Brand and Chris Kaman, although the latter is in doubt for the Lakers clash with a calf strain. While guard O.J. Mayo will be expected to pick up the scoring slack, the smokie could be rookie Jae Crowder, who has impressed notorious tough taskmaster Rick Carlisle with not just his offensive skills, but also his aggression at the defensive end.

Boston heads to Miami on opening night, where it comes up against long-time former sharpshooter, Ray Allen. His last game for Boston was against the Heat in game seven of the Eastern Conference finals last season, and prior to his first game at his new home, Miami will unfurl its 2011-12 championship banner.

The Celtics won three of the four regular season matches between the teams last season. It has to be remembered, too, that Miami went to Dallas for opening night last season and smoked the team that beat them in the 2010-11 NBA Finals. Watching the Heat celebrate last year’s championship season might be enough to spur the Celts on to a surprise win.

Both games at Boston’s TD Garden last regular season were low scoring affairs with an average of just 153.5 points per game. Strangely, in Miami at AmericanAirlines Arena, the teams tallied 222 points per contest, so going on history at the venue, the teams should cover the over market for total points. 

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