It is Halloween but there is also another noteworthy event going on Tuesday as the 2006 NBA season opens tonight. Fans and sports bettors are being treated to a double header of games as the Chicago Bulls visit the Miami Heat and the Phoenix Suns travel to the Staples Center to square off against the Lakers. Maddux Sports will be releasing itâ€™s first member NBA picks of the season today so be sure to get on board for a daily or season package. But first letâ€™s get to a small preview for the 2 games.
The early game on the schedule pits the Bulls against the Heat who will receive their championship rings and hoist a championship banner to rafters of American Airlines Arena. Wallace, one of the best defensive players in the game, signed a four-year, $60 million contract with Chicago in the offseason. He joins a Bulls hardnosed squad that led the NBA in field-goal percentage defense last season and Wallace will provide a veteran leadership for a young, talented squad.
In the first round of last years Eastern Conference playoffs, the Bulls were the team that gave the Heat their toughest challenge as they split four games with the Heat before Shaq and company won games 5 and 6 disposing of the Baby Bulls. Chicago like most Eastern conference teams had trouble containing Shaq but Big Ben has had recent success defending the Big Man. Because of this the Bulls are expected to be a force in the East and a potential central division champion with the addition of former Detroit Piston center Ben Wallace.
In the late game, Kobe Bryant is still recovering from offseason knee surgery, but Bryant is listed as probable and told Lakers Coach Phil Jackson he will play in Tuesday’s season opener against Phoenix, and he called Sunday’s scrimmage his best so far during his rehabilitation from mid-July arthroscopic surgery. Besides the hobbled Bryant, Los Angeles will also be without center Chris Mihm due to an ankle injury as well as Kwame Brown who is still recovering from a rotator cuff injury. With their 2 big men out 19-year-old 7-footer Andrew Bynum will get the start at center. Not only are the Lakers players banged up but head coach Phil Jackson just recently returned from hip replacement surgery.
The Suns have been Western Conference finalists the last two seasons, and this season get allstar forward Amare Stoudemire back who missed all but three games last season while recovering from microfracture surgery.
The Suns are lead by two-time MVP point guard Steve Nash at the controls of the league’s most dangerous high scoring offense. In the offseason, Phoenix added a couple weapons in forward Jumaine Jones and guard Marcus Banks, who should flourish in the Suns run and gun attack.
The last time these 2 teams met was when Phoenix eliminated the Lakers from the playoffs in game 7 of the second playoff round 121-90. This completed a remarkable comeback for the Suns and was a collapse for the Lakers after they held a 3-1 series lead.
They should be 2 great games and with the current lines of Miami -6 over Chicago and Phoenix -4 over the Lakers Maddux Sports has its first NBA basketball pick of the season for members. Donâ€™t miss any winning picks and get started from day 1 of the basketball season with our expert handicappers.