PHILADELPHIA, Sporting Alert – The second night in the NBA tips off on Wednesday evening with 10 games, including two that is broadcasting and streaming nationally.
Perhaps one of the most anticipating appearance this season is set to unfold on the night, as Russell Westbrook leads the Oklahoma City Thunder against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center.
With Kevin Durant choosing to leave during the offseason to link up with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and the Warriors, the way is now paved for Westbrook to finally be the sole leader for the team.
Westbrook always put on a show and there is no doubt the star point guard is primed and ready to deliver a performance you won’t want to miss.
However, while many are predicting triple-doubles and monster dunk highlights, the star guard is foreseeing different approach.
“It’s not totally up to me how we play,” he told USA Today. “We have to adjust to how guys play.
“My job is to be able to adjust to Steven (Adams) and (Andre) Roberson; those guys have gotten better.
“We have to be able to adjust to the team you have, adjust on a night-in, night-out basis how you want to play.”
With Durant now out the way, ESPN’s Basketball Power Index is forecasting that Westbrook will accumulate career-high numbers this season that will put him on the same level as the likes of LeBron James and Curry.
In fact, ESPN’s Basketball Power Index believes Westbrook’s number could very well be “compare to Michael Jordan’s 1988-89 campaign.”
Jordan averaged 32.5 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists and 2.9 steals per game for the Chicago Bulls and led the league in scoring and minutes per game.
He also tallied 15 triple-doubles during that term.
Westbrook averaged 23.5 points, 10.4 assists, 7.8 rebounds per game last season and played an average of 27.64 minutes per contest.
Meanwhile, with Durant and Serge Ibaka no longer on the roster, the likes of Steven Adams, Andre Roberson, Victor Oladipo and Enes Kanter will play bigger roles in support of Westbrook and they can’t wait to get the season going.
In the meantime, Joel Embiid, a 2014 draft pick, missed the last two seasons because of two foot surgeries, but impressed during the preseason.
He will attract lots of traffic, and several experts, including ESPN’ First Take Max Kellerman and Stephen A Smith, are predicting a very productive season for the 22-year-old if he can stay healthy this season.
“I can’t wait (for Wednesday’s game),” Embiid told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “That’s going to be my first official NBA game.
“I just went through the preseason. I thought I got better game-by-game. I’m looking to finally get that first game.”
The 76ers are without top overall draft pick Ben Simmons, who fractured his right foot in training camp and needed surgery in October.
He is projected to return in January 2017.
NBA Schedules and TV Channels
Wednesday, October 26
Miami Heat at Orlando Magic 7:00 PM
Dallas Mavericks at Indiana Pacers 7:00 PM
Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics 7:30 PM
Detroit Pistons at Toronto Raptors 7:30 PM
Charlotte Hornets at Milwaukee Bucks 8:00 PM
Minnesota Timberwolves at Memphis Grizzlies
Denver Nuggets at New Orleans Pelicans 8:00 PM
Oklahoma City Thunders at Philadelphia 76ers 8:00 PM ESPN, WatchESPN
Sacramento Kings at Phoenix Suns 10:00 PM
Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Lakers 10:30 PM ESPN, WatchESPN