Currently averaging 29.7 points per game, Irving is arguably one of the NBA’s most supreme offensive players, this high shooting performance from the field combined with unmatchable domination on the court has rapidly turned the 27-year-old point guard into Brooklyn’s cornerstone.
If Irving’s performance alone isn’t enough to sit down in front of tonight’s game, perhaps a support system featuring NBA G league alums Spencer Dinwiddie and Joe Harris, as well as draft gems Caris LeVert (20th pick in 2016) and Jarrett Allen (22nd pick in 2017) will sway your decision. Dinwiddie was waived by the Bulls when the Nets snapped him up in 2016.
The Bulls have also made significant advancements in their player development, with Zach Lavine, two-time NBA Slam Dunk champion, steadily evolving into one of their more polished shooting guards under head coach Jim Boylen. Improved passing and defence make Lavine a threat from all over the court with a game average of 20 points, 4.2 assists and 4.2 rebounds.
The Bulls are pinning their future on the last three No. 7 overall picks in the NBA Draft: Lauri Markkanen (2017), Wendell Carter Jr. (2018) and Coby White (2019. Carter Jr is Chicago’s defensive anchor in the middle, using his length and IQ to make up for smaller stature. Tomas Satoransky is also starting for the Bulls after backing up John Wall for the bulk of his three seasons with the Wizards.
The Celtics are also preparing for their own showdown tomorrow night against the Sacramento Kings as early signs are already pointing to Boston being a tough contender this season.
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Kemba Walker has made a seamless transition to the Celtics, averaging 25 points per game, as Gordon Hayward started to resemble the All-star player he was back in 2017 before a collision broke his hand last Saturday and saw his season cut short. However, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are also brimming with talent, confidence, and, most importantly, points, averaging 20.2 and 20.4 respectively.
The point guard matchup for Sunday features two of the fastest players in the league in Walker and Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox. Walker has been an All-star the last three seasons and Fox finished third in the 2018-19 Kia Most Improved Player.
With the King’s held down by a strong and young core of Fox, Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley III as well as the support solid veterans like Harrison Barnes, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Trevor Ariza provide, it looks as though a playoff run under new head coach Luke Walton is not out of the question.
Bogdanovic is one of the league’s best-kept secrets being a standout player in Europe prior to his deal with the Kings in 2017 and shining this summer playing for his national team Serbia in the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Former champion and Olympian Barnes is a force for the King’s on both ends of the court with Hield also proving his worth averaging 18.3 points per game this season. But it’s Boston’s Tatum who stands out for tomorrow’s game with few players in the league able to match his combination of size and skill, never mind his ability to take and make more threes than ever.
This weekend is set to be one to watch with the Milwaukee Bucks also taking on the Indiana Pacers tonight as Atlanta tackles the LA Clippers tomorrow.