Nets vs. Warriors and Lakers vs. Clippers Open 2020-21 NBA Season on TNT

From left, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Lebron James. USA Today

If it feels like the Los Angeles Lakers just won the 2020 NBA championship, that’s because the Lakers did just win the 2020 NBA championship.

It’s only been 71 days since LeBron James, Anthony Davis and company hoisted the Larry O’Brien Trophy, but their title defense begins Tuesday night. After the shortest offseason in league history, the 2020-21 season opens even as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic leaves some uncertainty around the NBA’s ability to finish it.

Commissioner Adam Silver and the league office remain confident they can complete the season without any interruptions. While the majority of teams will begin play without spectators in arenas, COVID-19 vaccines starting to roll out this week have the league optimistic fans can return at some point this season.

Until then, everyone will keep their fingers crossed the season can proceed. The pandemic will hang over the season for the foreseeable future, but there are plenty of intriguing story lines to follow on the court. Here’s everything to know for the NBA’s star-studded doubleheader to open the 2020-21 season:

Warriors at Nets (7 ET, TNT)

Nets star Kevin Durant returns to the court for the first time in 18 months after suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon during the 2019 NBA Finals as a member of the Warriors. After missing last season, Durant finally playing alongside Kyrie Irving under new coach Steve Nash has expectations high in Brooklyn.

Durant’s former team welcomes back two-time MVP Stephen Curry, who played just five games last year after breaking his left hand. Golden State will miss Klay Thompson for a second consecutive season due to injury, but rookie center James Wiseman, the No. 2 pick in the draft, is a promising prospect.

Which teams set themselves up for a big season? Our NBA team broke down all the moves and handed out offseason grades for all 30 teams.

A season that figures to be as unpredictable as any brings plenty of changes. Here are five new things about the NBA to know for 2020-21.

Why is the NBA starting a new season amid the COVID-19 pandemic? Commissioner Adam Silver explains in his own words.

The league is staying flexible with the schedule and has only released part of it. These are the top 25 games to watch in the first half of the season.

There were plenty of surprising moves during the offseason. Who were the biggest winners and losers of free agency?

SOURCE: USA Today, Matt Eppers

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