2023 NBA preseason: Lakers vs. Warriors, Victor Wembanyama vs. Chet Holmgren among matchups to watch

2023 NBA preseason Lakers vs. Warriors

In the past few days and weeks, teams have been announcing their 2023 NBA preseason tune-up games from time to time, and it’s worth taking a closer look. Even though the scores of those games don’t matter, it’s still fun to see teams back on the court, especially those that changed a lot over the summer.

There have been a few rumors about the NBA regular season plan for 2023–2024. Nikola Jokic and the defending champion Denver Nuggets will supposedly play the Los Angeles Lakers on opening night, Oct. 24. On Oct. 25, No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama will make his debut for the San Antonio Spurs against the Dallas Mavericks. The final full schedule won’t be out until next week. 

Before the training, which runs from October 5th to October 20th, here are five games to mark on your calendar. 

The Dallas Mavericks will face the Minnesota Timberwolves on October 5 and 7

Since this is the official start of the 2023 NBA preseason and these teams will play each other twice in the course of three days, we will simply combine these two contests. Naturally, there is also the fact that the events will be held in Abu Dhabi. This is the second consecutive year that the league will continue its Global Games series in the Middle East. 

On the court, this will be our first chance to see any teams play again. It will also be our first chance to see Luka Doncic and Anthony Edwards, two of the best players in the game. Both will have a lot to prove after bad seasons for their teams, and they can put on a show even if they’re just playing at a training pace. 

Luka Doncic and Anthony Edwards

The Los Angeles Lakers play the Golden State Warriors on October 7

The Golden State Warriors‘ trade of Jordan Poole for Chris Paul might have been the most interesting summer move from a “fit” point of view. The veteran point guard is most happy with the ball in his hands and likes to play a slow, walk-it-up style where he controls the action out of the pick-and-roll, which doesn’t fit with the Warriors’ style of quick cutting and moving the ball. He would also like to stay a starter, but he wouldn’t be at his best if he played with Steph Curry. How are Paul and the Warriors going to handle this? When we play the Lakers, we’ll know. 

The Cleveland Cavaliers, led by LeBron James, are coming off a surprising run to Western Conference finals as the No. 7 seed. They also retained the majority of their roster from last season. Even though there isn’t much to learn, watching James and Anthony Davis is always entertaining. 

The Philadelphia 76ers play the Boston Celtics on Oct. 8

In the summer, the Boston Celtics made a big move by trading longtime player Marcus Smart to the Memphis Grizzlies. This was part of a three-team deal that brought Kristaps Porzingis back from the Washington Wizards. This will be our first chance to see how they do with this new group and start to find out how much they’ll miss Smart and where Porzingis fits in. 

Who knows about the Sixers? Will they figure out what to do after James Harden leaves? Or will Harden still be there reluctantly? No matter what, their first game will be very interesting to watch. 

Philadelphia 76ers play the Boston Celtics

On Oct. 9, the Oklahoma City Thunder play the San Antonio Spurs

Victor Wembanyama, the No. 1 overall pick in 2023, and Chet Holmgren, the No. 2 overall pick in 2022, will both be playing for the first time in a semi-official game. We’ve seen both of them play in Summer League, but those games are just glorified pick-up games. This will be a chance to see them in an NBA setting. 

Victor Wembanyama is one of the best and most unique players to come into the league in a long time. Chet Holmgren, who missed all of last season because of a foot injury, has a body and skill set that are very similar to Victor Wembanyama’s. The person in charge of making the 2023 NBA preseason plan made a great move by putting them on the same team right away.

Victor Wembanyama, the No. 1 overall pick in 2023, and Chet Holmgren

The Phoenix Suns play the Portland Trail Blazers on October 12

Early in the summer, the Suns made another big move by trading Chris Paul to the Wizards to get Bradley Beal. When they go to Portland Trail Blazers, it will be the first time we get to see the new big three of Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Bradley Beal play together and see how they might work. 

Even though this isn’t the Blazers’ first practice game, watching No. 3 overall choice Scoot Henderson play against a real NBA team will be entertaining. Plus, the Blazers will either have to figure out how Henderson and Lillard will work together after a Damian Lillard move or figure out how to use the new pieces they got from the trade.

Phoenix Suns play the Portland Trail Blazers

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