The Los Angeles Clippers looked as good as advertised on Opening Night of the 2019-2020 NBA season. Without Paul George, the team still picked up a double-digit win over LeBron James and the Lakers Tuesday night.

Kawhi Leonard picked up where he left off in the NBA Finals. The league’s best player scored 30 points on 10-19 shooting in his Clippers’ debut.

The favorites to win the championship lived up to expectations, at least for one game. The Clippers are back in action 48 hours later against the team that had been in Los Angeles’ position for the last few years.

The Golden State Warriors will make their season debut Thursday night, hosting the new team to beat in the Pacific Division. With so much having changed over the offseason and the Clippers handing the Lakers a 112-102 defeat, the Warriors are barely favored in their first game of 2019-2020.

According to the latest betting line at OddsShark, the Clippers are 1.5-point underdogs. The over/under is 224.

Golden State is a much different team than the one that reached the NBA Finals in each of the last five years with three titles to show for it.

The Warriors are in a different stadium, leaving Oakland’s Oracle Arena for the new Chase Center in San Francisco. Golden State has a different starting small forward now that Kevin Durant is on the Brooklyn Nets. The starting backcourt is different, at least for the next several months, with Klay Thompson recovering from a torn ACL.

Those changes will hurt Golden State’s ability to repeat as Western Conference champions. The Warriors might even have a hard time simply getting back to the playoffs.

But the heart and soul of the team remains intact, and that can lift the Warriors past arguably their most difficult opponent in Game No.1.

Stephen Curry
Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors reacts after a play against the Charlotte Hornets during their game at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, Feb. 25, 2019. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Stephen Curry is still in Golden State and primed for the best statistical season of his career. The Warriors will need him to take well over 20 shots per game, and it starts Thursday night.

In three games last season against a Clippers’ team that has returned many of the same players, Curry averaged 32.3 points on 54.1 percent shooting. The greatest shooter in history knows he’ll have to carry the Warriors offensively. Don’t be surprised if he goes for 40 points.

D’Angelo Russell helps give Golden State one of the NBA’s best backcourts with Thompson out. Kevon Looney told reporters he expects to play after missing the preseason with an injury. That’s big news for a team that lacks depth.

You can be sure that Draymond Green will be motivated to start the season with a big victory when so many people are counting the Warriors out. He provides a key defensive presence against Leonard that the Lakers didn’t have in the opener.

The Warriors might miss Oracle Arena in the long run, but the Chase Center should be rocking in its regular-season debut. Look for Curry and Golden State to remind the league that they can still be one of the NBA’s most dangerous teams.

Prediction: Golden State over Los Angeles, 118-110