The NBA will continue its outreach for an international market when the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets start Game 1 of a two-game series in Shanghai, China.
It’s impossible to talk about this game while glancing over the controversy currently happening between the NBA and China, which is currently leaving the status for this game very up in the air. Both the Lakers and Nets had their NBA Cares events canceled and nobody is quite sure whether or not the two-game set will actually happen.
However, if it does, basketball fans should be excited to see a great game. The Lakers and Nets are shaping up to be two of the top teams in the league heading into the 2019-20 NBA season after both made huge summer moves.
Obviously, the Lakers traded for Anthony Davis and filled out of the roster with great role players, defenders, and shooters has been well detailed.
However, the Nets had arguably an even better summer. They took their scrappy, underdog playoff team and added a couple of All-Star players and potential Hall-of-Famers to their roster. They signed Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in free agency and surrounded them with a mix of good new role players.
Both the Lakers and Nets looked dominant in their first preseason game. The Lakers easily got past the Golden State Warriors while the Nets dismantled the Brazilian pro team, Franca Basketball Club.
Davis and LeBron James looked like MVP candidates against the Warriors with both players getting whatever they wanted against a highly undersized defensive unit. The Nets played their first game without Kyrie Irving and obviously Kevin Durant, who will miss the entirety of the upcoming season with an Achilles injury.
The Lakers will still be without Kyle Kuzma as he recovers from a stress reaction in his left foot that should sideline him for the whole preseason. Other than that, it appears both teams will come into this game fully healthy should the game happen.
This means the fans will get to see Davis, James, and Irving in action at least for a small portion of the game before both teams break out the bubble wrap in an attempt to prevent any injuries to their All-Star players.
Both the Lakers and Nets look to be great teams coming into the new season. While the Nets aren’t serious contenders without Durant, they still will give teams a lot of trouble — and they hope to do that to the Lakers in Shanghai.
Los Angeles Lakers (1-0) vs. Brooklyn Nets (1-0)
4:30 A.M. PT, Oct. 10, 2019
Mercedes-Benz Arena, Shanghai, China
TV: Spectrum SportsNet, NBATV
Radio: 710 AM (ESPN), 1330 KWKW (Spanish)
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
Projected Nets Starting Lineup: