Five non-LeBron James storylines to follow


Here are three players to watch.

A lot of people had their doubts about the Los Angeles Lakers heading into this season.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry doesn't need to look to the rafters to know the Warriors remain the team to beat as they begin the quest for a third consecutive National Basketball Association title and fourth crown in five seasons.

Since the Lakers have a ton of new players, many aren't expecting them to get off to the best start.

Cousins tore his Achilles tendon in January and is not expected to return until midway through the season but when he does he will join a lineup that includes All-Stars Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

"That's the thing I'm most proud of with our team", Curry said.

Is it because the general manager who did not hire you said "to play the Warriors in their own game is a trap", when the general manager who did hire you brought you in with an eye toward mimicking that very style?

Cleveland edged Boston in the opening game before Houston ruined Golden State's championship ring celebration with a victory over the Warriors in the nightcap.

The LeBron James-led Los Angeles Lakers will face the tough task of deciding whether to contend for a title this season or give their young core the on-court experience they need to develop as players, NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley said on Thursday.

LEBRON, FOR STARTERS: James starts what could be a challenging first season with his new team by trying to snap a record winning streak. "There's teams that can, but you've got to do it, and you're going to have to do it four times".

OKC struggled all last season to incorporate Carmelo Anthony into their offense and it cost the team wins throughout the season.

"They are going to have a lot of internal conflict", said Barkley, who is now an analyst for broadcaster TNT. No, every Western Conference team now knows every single road goes through James and the Lakers. "We've just got to figure out what that answer is".

Kerr, however, does not expect the Warriors to hit the ground running, noting that injuries and inconsistent defensive displays in preseason showed that there was still plenty of work to be done.

Boston, Philadelphia and Toronto (with the newly acquired Kawhi Leonard) are the top candidates to take over as East champions. "Watching that game, you were already excited at home because it's so much intensity they're playing with".

This season likely marks the last one at Oracle Arena before the Warriors move across the San Francisco Bay into the Chase Center in the city's Mission Bay neighborhood.



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