The Nuggets missed the playoffs by one game last season. Golden State and Cleveland won Game 7s on the road before the Warriors swept the Cavaliers for their second straight title.
The Warriors will host the Thunder to open the 2018-19 regular season on Tuesday.
"I think as far as Golden State, if you gave me, hey, you can take the field or you can bet Golden State, I would bet Golden State", ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy said.
2017-18: Played exhausted and uninspired basketball, barely dragging through an injury-plagued and malaise-filled regular season, only to romp through the first two rounds, come back from down 3-2 to the Rockets when - you guessed it - injuries struck, then they completely annihilated the Cavaliers. The Trail Blazers have won 17 consecutive home openers, a streak that began in October 2001 - two years before James made his National Basketball Association debut. "And that's my mindset always entering the season". Gregg Popovich no longer has Tony Parker or Manu Ginobili with him in San Antonio, and the Spurs (who have been battered by injuries, including one to point guard Dejounte Murray) are no lock to extend their 21-year run of playoff appearances. And calling all the shots is coach Steve Kerr, who won five rings as a player and now three more as a coach. The free-agent periods in 2019 and '20 just got a lot more interesting as players like Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, Kemba Walker and Kevin Durant could move teams.
Get ready for a healthy split as the Warriors become even more of a crapshoot with lines so high you want to ride the underdog but with a talent gap so wide you can't.
In enemy territory on opening night, LeBron James put up 26 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in his first official game in purple and gold.
The Sacramento Kings begin their third season in sparkling Golden 1 Center. Details are available at http://www.nba.com/leaguepass. In fact, a few weeks ago, we went over what those reasons were that made James the betting favorite.
The Houston Rockets, who had the NBA's best record last season but fell to the Warriors in the decisive seventh game of the Western Conference final, have since lost two key defenders and critics wonder how veteran Carmelo Anthony will fit in. "The margin for error is very little", Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said.
TANKING TALK: New draft lottery odds debut this season.
Schroder is expected to team with Westbrook in the backcourt this season. The league hopes that will reduce some of the incentive to lose on objective, but Commissioner Adam Silver has said there's still work to do to completely eliminate tanking.
"If Golden State is into it, which they really weren't past year in the regular season and still won 58 games, but if they are into it they are by far the best team with the best talent and will win", said Van Gundy.
Pacific: Warriors - Do we even need to explain this?
The opener pits last season's league leader in turnovers forced (Oklahoma City, 16.0) against the club that committed the fifth-most giveaways (Golden State, 15.4).
Denver went 46-36 in 2018-19 and finished just behind the Timberwolves for the eighth seed in the Western Conference.
Union minister MJ Akbar resigns
The court is slated to hear the case filed by Akbar on October 18, Thursday. Akbar, who has been accused of sexual harassment by a dozen-odd women.