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NBA: First busy night of the new season

4:14 PM, Oct 31, 2012   |    comments
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Nine games are on the NBA schedule this evening.

In Philadelphia, the 76ers are facing Denver with the Nuggets featuring a familiar face to Sixers fans. Andre Iguodala spent eight seasons playing for the 76ers and tonight he makes his debut as a member of the Nuggets.

He was sent west in part of a blockbuster, four-team deal that brought Andrew Bynum East to Philly. His playing status is uncertain as he is suffering from a knee injury.

The Raptors open their season tonight with a game at home against the Pacers. Visiting Indiana is full of high expectations for the new season as the Pacers were in the playoffs last season for the first time in seven seasons. Indiana won all three outings between the two clubs last season.

Houston's Rockets have a new face in their lineup as just a few days ago they acquired last year's Sixth Man of the Year award winner in the NBA, James Harden of Oklahoma City. He was unable to work out a long-term deal with the Thunder and a multi-player and draft pick deal was worked out between the two clubs. During last season Harden averaged 16.8 points, 4.1 rebounds 3.7 assists per game. The Rockets also feature Jeremy Lin, the former New York Knick. The Bulls had the best record in the Eastern Conference last season, 50-16, but they were knocked out of the playoffs in the first round by the 76ers. It was during that series that former league MVP Derrick Rose tore up his left knee. He is still not able to play.

Chicago kicks off its new season tonight, at home, against the Kings. San Antonio is returning 13 players from last season's 50-16 team and is looking to go deep in the playoffs. They led Oklahoma City 2-0 in the Western Conference final but eventually lost the series. This evening they are facing the Bobcats in New Orleans.

The Hornets sport a new owner in Tom Benson and nine new players. After beating the Lakers last night the Mavericks have moved up to Salt lake City for a game tonight against the Jazz. Utah has lost seven of the last eight games played between the clubs. No Steve Nash in Phoenix? Sure thing, as the perennial All-Star is now playing for the Lakers.

Tonight, the Suns start their season with a home game against Golden State. The Warriors took two of three from the Suns last season.

Memphis is playing in L.A. against the Clippers tonight. The two clubs met in the first round of the playoffs last season as the Clippers eliminated the Grizzlies in seven games. To go along with Blake Griffin, the Clippers acquired Chris Paul from the Hornets in the off season. Matt Barnes will miss the Clippers' season opener while serving a one-game suspension issued by the NBA after he pleaded no contest last month to a misdemeanor for resisting, delaying or obstructing a police officer. He was arrested in Manhattan Beach, Calif., in July on suspicion of threatening a public official, which is a felony.

And in the final game of the night the Lakers look for their first win of the season when they visit Portland. The Blazers are coming off a down season as they won just 28 games last season. Neither Dwight Howard or Steve Nash dominated for the Lakers in last night's loss to the Mavericks.

The Associated Press

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