Two of the teams that were involved in the biggest trade of the offseason are set to open the 2012-2013 NBA season against each other. Both the Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets shook up their rosters in the deal that sent Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers.
The 76ers are looking to improve on an impressive playoff run from last season. As the eighth seed, Philadelphia advanced to the second round, and took the Boston Celtics to seven games.
Now, Philadelphia starts the year with a host of new players. Andrew Bynum was the biggest piece they acquired in Howard deal, but it’s unknown when he’ll be back from his knee injury. Jason Richardson, Dorell Wright and Nick Young are all healthy, and will take the court in Wednesday’s opener, for the first time as 76ers.
Denver’s biggest acquisition in the trade helped Philadelphia make their postseason run last year. Andre Iguodala is set to make his Nuggets debut against his former team. Denver hopes that the guard can bring defensive help to a team that has had trouble slowing down opponents in recent years. Last season, the Nuggets were second-to-last, allowing 101.2 points per contest.
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It’s expected to be a close game. Despite being on the road, the Nuggets are favored by 1.5 points. You can watch a live stream of the opener online by purchasing NBA League Pass Broadband.
Prediction: The Nuggets are always one of the highest-scoring teams in the league, while the 76ers are one of the best at stopping their opponents. Without Bynum in the middle for Philadelphia, and with the addition of Iguodala for Denver, the Nuggets should start off the season with a win.
Predicted Score: Denver 98, Philadelphia 93