NBA season preview: Cleveland Cavaliers – Boston Celtics tipoff season

The 2017/18 NBA regular season tipsoff on Tuesday, 17 October 2017 and ends 11 April 2018 with the playoffs scheduled to begin 14 April 2018.

The season gets underway when 2017 runners-up Cleveland Cavaliers host a game against the Boston Celtics at Quickens Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

The game a rematch of the Eastern Conference finals has an even more interesting twist to it, Kyrie Irving now of the books of Boston facing a team he only departed in August as he was swapped for Jae Crowder, Isaiah Thomas, Ante Zizic and a first-round  draft pick.

The build-up to the exciting contest has seen Cleveland Coach Tyronn Lue adding his voice to the eagerly anticipated game against the Boston Celtic, equally giving an injury update as par star player LeBron James who has played in just one of five preseason games for the Cavs’ after spraining his ankle on the second day of camp.

“It’s one game,” Lue said after practice Sunday, scoffing at a reporter’s questioning if the Cavs geared up for the Celtics throughout their entire training camp. “I know both teams want to see each other, but at the end of the day, you don’t win a championship by winning or losing the first game. So they’re up for the game, they’re ready for it, but that’s not our main focus is playing Boston.

“He went through probably one-fourth of the practice,” Lue said. “Some plays, teaching stuff, some just 5-on-0 offensive stuff, getting up and down the floor. He went through that stuff today, and he went and got cardio in the weight room,” Lue revealed to ESPN reporters.

Markelle Fultz was the top draft pick, picked by Philadelphia 76ers ahead of the season. Golden State Warriors start the season as defending champions and will face a tough battle ahead of a long, demanding and competitive season to retain their title.

A few of the African star players to watch out for includes; Serge Ibaka of Toronto Raptors, Giannis Antetokounmpo of Milwaukee Bucks, Joel Embiid of Philadelphia 76ers, Al-Farouq Aminu of Portland Trail Blazers, Thabo Sefolosha of Utah Jazz, Clint Capela of Houston Rockets and Victor Oladipo of Indiana Pacers.

Below is a list of the 30 teams who are drawn apiece into the Eastern and Western Conferences.

Eastern Conference: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Miami Heats, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Nicks, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards.

Western Conference: Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, Oklahoma City Thunder, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs and Utah Jazz.