What a difference a month can make. The NBA landscape has changed dramatically since the moment the Toronto Raptors won the their first NBA Championship in franchise history.
What would normally be headline news for weeks – the Raptors and Kawhi Leonard dethroning the dynasty of the Golden State Warriors in six games – was forgotten almost instantaneously.
Where will Kawhi Leonard go? Where will Kevin Durant go? Instead of celebrating the team that won the NBA Finals, every fan, journalist and player wanted to know where the stars that led their respective teams to the Finals would go.
There were major shake ups across the league as well. Fans of the Celtics, Knicks, Lakers, Pelicans and even the Rockets saw their team go through some dramatic changes in the off season. Here are the top three teams in the NBA that saw that drastic changes in ticket sales 12 hours after the NBA Schedule Release.
Los Angeles Clippers
Wow..to say that fans of the Los Angeles Clippers are excited to see their team play is a wild understatement. The Clippers are the popular pick to win the NBA title this upcoming season, and for good reason. Back in early July, the NBA landscape changed when Kawhi Leonard left the Toronto Raptors to return home to LA to play for the Clippers. Not only did the Clippers land Kawhi Leonard, but he was able to recruit Paul George, another LA native to choose the Clippers as well.
The two hometown kids have sparked an interest for Clippers fans that the league has never seen before. With nationally televised games on Opening Night and Christmas Day (both against the LA Lakers), the NBA knows this could be the year for the Clippers and they need to be in the spotlight as much as possible.
When comparing 2018 vs. 2019 ticket sales for the LA Clippers just 12 hours after the schedule release, the numbers are staggering. TicketNetwork saw an increase of over $30,000 from last years’ sales to this year. The 1376% spells excitement for Clippers fans wanting to get to the Staples Center to cheer on their team. 95 more tickets were sold in the 12 hour window in 2019, an 864% jump. The good news for fans is that although the demand went through the roof, the average retail ticket price didn’t rise all that much. The retail price jumped from $180 to $236, a 31% increase. All things considered, Clippers tickets are selling fast but are still very affordable this season.
The only team that matched the moves that the LA Clippers were able to pull off this past off season was the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets had a successful season last year, as they made the playoffs for the first time since 2015. They had to surrender their best player from last season, D’Angelo Russell, but fans have heard of the two players the Nets signed to replace him.
Barclays Center, get ready for your new look Brooklyn Nets. The Nets acquired both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in free agency this off season, a move that shook the NBA landscape. For the first time in his career, Kevin Durant will play in the Eastern Conference. Durant went down with an Achilles injury in the NBA Finals, and will spend most of this first season doing rehab. However, based on Brooklyn Nets ticket sales, fans are still just as excited.
With over 100 tickets sold in the first twelve hours after the schedule release on TicketNetwork, its clear that fans want to see the Nets take the court. TicketNetwork also saw a 433% jump in number of orders and a whopping 811% increase in money spent on Nets tickets on TN. Some of the games getting the most action for the Nets this season is the battle for New York City against the Knicks on October 25th at the Barclays Center as well as Kyrie Irving’s return to TD Garden to play the Celtics on November 27th.
Although they were a late arrival to the off season party, the Houston Rockets might have gotten the last laugh. The buzz was surrounding teams such as the aforementioned Clippers and Nets, but the Rockets shook up their roster in a major way. After a few promising seasons fell just short of an NBA title with MVP James Harden and All-Star Chris Paul, a tension was brewing in the locker room. The Rockets traded CP3 for another MVP from the OKC Thunder, Russell Westbrook.
Westbrook and Harden were teammates years ago with the Thunder, and the fact that they are reunited years later with an MVP Award in their collections is a scary thought for the rest of the NBA.
The Rockets’ schedule starts off with two early season match ups that are must-see in October. A battle that will consist of the last three regular season MVPs will take place at the Toyota Center in Houston on October 24th. Giannis Antetokounmpo will take on Harden and Westbrook and it should consist of highlight after highlight. Four days later on October 28th, CP3 will make his return to Houston to square off against the Rockets as a member of the Thunder.
In terms of NBA Schedule Release ticket data, TicketNetwork saw a 700% jump in number of tickets purchased on the site. The grand total value (GTV) of the tickets purchased on TN was a 1584% increase. Last year, twelve hours after the schedule release the GTV of Rockets tickets didn’t even reach $500. This year the ticket sales were over $5,000! Get your Houston Rockets tickets today because this team is prepared for liftoff with Harden and Westbrook in the back court.
Although these teams grabbed headlines for the NBA Schedule Release, that doesn’t mean the rest of the fan bases around the league can’t be excited. TicketNetwork has tickets for every NBA game this season! Find your NBA tickets today to see your favorite team play live.
With the start of the 2018-2019 NBA season many questions come to mind: Which teams will start the season with a bang? Which player is going to be the breakout star of the season? What will LeBron achieve with the Los Angeles Lakers? And perhaps most importantly, will the Golden State Warriors once again be crowned champions and take home the trophy? These are just a handful of the many questions whose answers will only be divulged as the season plays out. One fact is guaranteed: the 2018-2019 Season is going to bring a lot of excitement!
With the start of the new season, the biggest surprise was the free agent signing of LeBron James from the Cavaliers to the Lakers. LeBron’s swap over to the Lakers was at first just a rumor without any substance, but after the final defeat of the Cavaliers in the 2017-2018 NBA season, the departure of the four-time MVP was expected.
With the switch of the 33-year-old superstar, the Lakers recruited the most dominate player in the league and can expect to get back in the game to fight for the NBA title once again. James signed a four-year contract with the Lakers with a total value of $154 million dollars! Lakers fans are surely in for some exhilaration this season as they see how their new team takes shape under LeBron’s experienced leadership.
The schedule for the 2018-2019 NBA season provides a lot of excitement right from the start. While fans in Ohio will be happy to see LeBron returning to Cleveland for a game on November 21st, the Houston Rockets are facing a rematch with the Warriors on November 15.
On top of that, there’s the holiday season – nothing can compare to the festivity of the NBA Christmas Day games. On December 25, the NBA historically pits the biggest teams against each other, and this year is no exception.
The NBA holiday games are traditionally opened at Madison Square Garden, and this year the Knicks are going to play the Bucks at noon. The heated rivalry between the Celtics and 76ers will follow that. The middle game features the aforementioned Lakers taking on the defending champion Golden State Warriors. Two of the emerging powers of the West follow with the Thunder going head-to-head with the Rockets and then the Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz round out the night.
The NBA will also be playing games on international ground. These games are usually called the NBA Global Games, which are a series of games with NBA teams that are played outside the United States and Canada. This year the Philadelphia 76ers and Dallas Mavericks concluded the preseason in Shanghai. On December 13. The Orlando Magic will play against the Chicago Bulls followed by the Orlando Magic vs. Utah Jazz on December 15 in Mexico City. The New York Knicks, who are with no doubt the all-time European fan favorites will end the 2018-2019 Global Games in London on January 17, 2019.
The 2019 Playoffs begin right after the end of the regular season on April 13. While the season has just begun many fans are already speculating who is going to win the 2018-2019 NBA Championship. The Golden State Warriors, whose roster is stacked with star players Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, are already predicted to win the titleagain, while many have lost all hope in the Cavaliers and believe the team is not likely to play a major role in the upcoming season. Further favorites of the championships are the Houston Rockets, the Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder.
Hurry up and become a part of the 2018-2019 NBA season! Buy your NBA tickets today at TicketNetwork to see your favorite NBA team this season.
Every fan has their favorite sport. For me personally, nothing gets me more excited than a classic match up in the NBA. The regular season is long and grueling, but it serves a purpose. A team must sharpen their skills, hone in on their goals and peak at the right time to become an NBA champion.
Along the way there is homework assignments, quizzes and final exams to see where a team stacks up against the toughest competition. In other words, these are the games that fans tune in across the country to see. With the NBA schedule release last night, many enticing games popped up on the radar.
Whether it be LeBron flying through the air for a dunk, Steph sinking a three or James Harden putting his defender on skates, every night in the NBA offers excitement. These three players in particular have long gotten over the spectacular play. They are locked in on the process of becoming a better team so they can play deep in to the postseason.
For obvious reasons, the NBA loads up on prime time games during the opening week and Christmas. I’ll try to stay away from obvious choices. Without further ado, these are the games you need to see this NBA season.
Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers – Quicken Loans Arena, 10/17/17
The time, location and date are set…the starting line ups are another story. The Kyrie Irving saga continues. For some reason, LeBron James’ right hand man got tired of making All-Star teams, being on winning team and continuously making the NBA Finals. He is now actively seeking a trade to be the star of his own show.
If Kyrie remained on the Cavaliers, they would most likely win the Eastern Conference for the fourth straight year. However, without Irving the Boston Celtics would be in the driver’s seat depending on what the Cavs get in return via trade.
LeBron James always puts the team on his back, and could probably still get the Cavs to the Finals. The Celtics are waiting to pounce on his first sign of weakness, but in the last seven years he has not slipped up.
The atmosphere in Quicken Loans Arena will be a weird one. With fans excited for a new season while worrying about the trajectory of their favorite team will be something to listen for.
Boston comes in to this game loaded. Isaiah Thomas, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford are the new Big 3 in Boston. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are getting better by the day, but neither are of legal drinking age, so experience will be a factor for the Celtics this season. They sacrificed Avery Bradley and Kelly Olynyk to put this team together, so time will tell if that was the move that puts them over the top.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers – Staples Center, 10/19/17
The question everyone wants to know will be answered October 19th. Can Lonzo Ball ball? The Lakers are loaded with young talent spear headed by Ball. His triple-doubles in the summer league made headline news, and gave Lakers fans everywhere hope. His dynamic court vision and passing ability has the whole league on edge. If Lonzo lives up to his potential, the rest of the league will be in trouble in a few years.
Julius Randle, Brandon Ingram and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope were all brought in to compliment Ball. He will spend his entire preseason finding their favorite spots on the floor and setting them up on numerous occasions. This could have been an enticing match up between Ball and Chris Paul before the latter left for Houston.
As of now, Patrick Beverly is taking over the reigns for the Clippers. His hard nose defense will make it hard for Ball to find his rhythm, so this will be a good test for the youngster.
A co-headline of the night with unfortunately be LaVar Ball. The loud mouth father of Lonzo Ball will support his son no matter what. However, some of the things he says leaves fans around the country either shaking or scratching their head.
The Battle for LA has lost a few stars over the years, but in 2017 it seems to have gotten a shot in the arm.
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Sacramento Kings – Golden 1 Center, 10/26/17
Without a doubt the most entertaining player in the NBA is DeMarcus Cousins. The most talented player? Might not be, Anthony Davis just yet, but he is in the conversation. This duo came together at the trade deadline last season, and basketball matters once again in New Orleans.
At the center position, these two players are polar opposites. Davis is long and lean, his athletic ability is off the charts, and his silky touch reminds me of a point guard. He can make every shot in the half court, and if you try to drive one him, its the equivalent of trying to score against a giraffe. “Boogie” Cousins on the other hand, will maul you if you enter the low post. His beefy frame keeps him lower to the ground, but he is still just as effective. He can create space, make foul shots and long jumpers, and is trying to work on his attitude every offseason. A huge boost in maturity could do wonders for the Pelicans.
The Kings never made the playoffs with Cousins on their roster. He was a talented head ache, and although he wasn’t the main problem in Sacramento, he was definitely the scapegoat. After the trade, Sacramento is looking to build through the draft. They have a formidable team in the works, but whether or not the pieces will work, stay healthy and meet expectations is another story.
DeAaron Fox, Justin Jackson and Harry Giles were highly sought after in the draft. The three of them on the Kings is a great start. Buddy Hield was acquired in the Cousins trade, and Sacramento also got veteran Zach Randolph in the offseason. This match up will be a good one.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Indiana Pacers – Bankers Life Fieldhouse, 12/13/17
Few players have done more for a franchise in the past decade than Paul George did for the Pacers. The driving force behind a team that made the Eastern Conference Finals, but inevitably ran in to the LeBron James freight train, George gave the city of Indiana his all. After relaying to the front office that he intended to leave the team, the Pacers had no choice but to trade him.
For George, he ended up in one of the best spots imaginable. On the Oklahoma City Thunder, he and current MVP Russell Westbrook will be a dynamic offensive duo. In the postseason, the two will rely on experience and talent to feed off of each other. With Paul George’s smooth offensive game and Westbrook’s reckless abandon, fans can’t wait to see this team take the floor.
Look for the Thunder to increase their win total and playoff seed this season. It’s too far out now, but a potential second round match up between the Thunder and Golden State Warriors is what every fan wants to see.
As for the Pacers, their rebuild starts now. They have young talent and will look to build around Myles Turner, a promising power forward with ball skills and a jump shot. Turner is becoming what most teams in the NBA are looking for, and if he can reach his full potential the Pacers will be a formidable team in a couple years.
Houston Rockets vs. Los Angeles Clippers – Staples Center, 1/15/18
Well this is awkward. This game marks the first time Chris Paul will be back in the Staples Center. His move to the Houston Rockets this offseason was undoubtedly the most significant. After years of unrealized potential and untimely injuries, Chris Paul took his talents to H-Town. He will team up with James Harden and an already extremely talented core of players.
Houston made a run to the conference finals in 2015, but since then have slid back to the middle of the pack in the West. With the arrival of Paul they are the top competition for the juggernaut in the Bay Area.
However, before he can even think about the playoffs, he has return to Lob City. With Blake Griffin and Deandre Jordan, CP3 was able to lead the Los Angeles Clippers through one of their most successful stretches in playoff history. I’m sure a video tribute and a standing ovation will be in the works, but Paul will hear his fair share of boos, especially once the game starts. Houston should rout the Clippers, making this game an awkward one for sure.
The NBA fever is just starting to set in. Thanks to the NBA schedule release, fans can now view their favorite team’s schedule and find NBA tickets today.
Detroit Red Wings vs. Chicago Blackhawks – 3/10 @ Joe Louis Arena in Detroit
Before we get to the Main Event of Top Five Live, the NHL is a great place to start. Two of the “Original Six” will square off in Detroit as the NHL season nears the start of the playoffs.
The Blackhawks are firing on all cylinders, but they have yet to lock up the number one seed in their conference. They are still chasing the Minnesota Wild with about 15 games left in the regular season. The Blackhawks have made numerous deep runs in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. As a result, they are well aware of the significance of having home ice advantage.
Chicago has a variety of veterans that have proven their reliability in the postseason. However, there is a crop of young players that need to grow up fast in order for Chicago to be successful. Artemi Panarin, Tomas Jurco and Gustav Forsling are all 25-and-under, and all play key positions for the Blackhawks. Time will tell if they will step up when the pressure is at its highest.
As for Detroit, they will look to put up a road block for Chicago’s success this season. The Red Wings are currently the bottom feeders in the Eastern Conference, a rare position for such a storied franchise. Their big name players have delivered a championship, but the last title the franchise won came in 2008. For most franchises, that would be acceptable. For one accustomed to winning on a regular basis, the ownership and fans have gotten impatient much quicker. The front office will have to make some tough decisions, but for now the main focus will be to finish the season strong in Detroit.
World Baseball Classic: United States vs. Dominican Republic – 3/11 @ Marlins Ballpark
Not quite Opening Day just yet, but the World Baseball Classic is shaping up to be an exciting tournament thus far. The tournament is still in its early stages, but a group stage game going down this weekend could be a preview of the WBC Championship. Outside of the United States, the Dominican Republic breeds baseball talent like no other country. There is a player from the DR on almost every MLB roster. They country is also always well represented at the All-Star Game.
Perennial All-Stars Giancarlo Stanton, Andrew McCutchen and Buster Posey are just the beginning for the talented U.S. team. They are stacked at every position and will have plenty of firepower to keep up with the best offenses.
J.A. Happ, Chris Archer and Andrew Miller are part of the best pitching staff in the tournament as well. However, a tough test stands in the way before the U.S. can take on the Dominican Republic. They will need to show up ready to play and not overlook Colombia in their first game of the tournament.
Jose Bautista, Adrian Beltre, Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz…I could keep going but you get the idea. The Dominican Republic’s roster is insanely talented. Growing up playing nothing but baseball, these players have become brothers throughout their journey to becoming some of the most successful players in the MLB today. The one concern for the Dominican Republic is their starting pitching depth. Other than Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez, the DR will struggle to keep teams off the scoreboard. Their prolific offense should more than make up for it, and I expect this game to be high-scoring and entertaining throughout.
San Antonio Spurs vs. Golden State Warriors – 3/11 @ AT&T Center
The times they are a changin’. No, this isn’t a Bob Dylan album review, but the Western Conference just got a lot more interesting. A day removed from an epic comeback by the Spurs and an epic fail by the Warriors, and the West is wide open. A month ago, the Warriors were a well-oiled machine, looking to book a trip to the Finals at the All-Star break.
After an injury to Kevin Durant and shooting slump from the two-time MVP Steph Curry, the Warriors have encountered a cold streak that is rare for them. Golden State is fresh off of a 99-86 loss to the Boston Celtics and their lead has dwindled to 1 1/2 games in the Western Conference. The Warriors have been on cruise control for a majority of the past two seasons. We will see how they handle adversity as the best team in the NBA is on their heels for the #1 seed in the West.
Slowly but surely here come the San Antonio Spurs. For those who thought their success would dip after the retirement of Tim Duncan, think again. Kawhi Leonard is a legitimate MVP candidate, and his prowess on both the offensive and defensive is rare. He needs a few more years of consistent dominance, but the comparisons to Michael Jordan and LeBron James are not as ludicrous as they sound. His supporting cast of Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and LaMarcus Aldridge is efficient. The nucleus in San Antonio is exceeding expectations, and Golden State is playing like they keep looking in their rear view mirror as the Spurs are fast approaching.
San Antonio will also be at home this Saturday night. The Spurs are a dangerous team in their own building. Whoever has home court advantage in the Western Conference Finals will likely advance to the Finals.
Boston Celtics vs. Chicago Bulls – 3/12 @ TD Garden
Across the country in the Eastern Conference, the Boston Celtics are making a push for the #1 seed as well. In the past week they have knocked off the Cavs and Warriors, and are proving to be a dangerous team. However, throw in a surprising loss to the Bulls before the All-Star break as well as a last second loss to the Phoenix Suns, and the Celtics are a confusing team to figure out.
Back at home, they are a different team and will look to avenge the loss they suffered against Chicago. Isaiah Thomas is a serious candidate for MVP, and he is surrounded by a bunch of young, hungry talent that is ready to win now. Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley and Jaylen Brown are all athletic, defensive-minded and make IT’s job that much easier. The one thing about the Celtics is the fact that they save the best for last. Their fourth quarter dominance has been well documented this season, and will be crucial if they wish to advance deep in to the playoffs.
In the Windy City, the Chicago Bulls‘ hopes of making the playoffs are blowing away fast. The team came in to the season with high expectations. They let Derrick Rose go, an injury prone star that was proving to be unreliable. Chicago held on to Jimmy Butler, a rising star in the league with a complete game. Additionally, they added veteran leadership in the form of Hall-of-Famer Dwyane Wade and NBA Champion Rajon Rondo. However, results have been mixed and if the Bulls can’t make the playoffs with this roster, a major overhaul may be coming in the offseason. One game at a time for now, and the Bulls have a big one this Sunday.
NCAA Tournament March Madness Selection Sunday – 3/12
Now the for the moment every college basketball fan has been waiting for…Selection Sunday for the NCAA Tournament! Every college basketball fan is on the edge of their seat to see if their favorite team will make the tournament. Others know their squad is safely in and are just waiting to see who the first round opponent will be. The path they will have to navigate to reach the Final Four is always intriguing.
No. 1 seeds could potentially be North Carolina, Gonzaga, Kansas, Oregon and Villanova. Those fans will be ready to explode if their team gets the coveted seed that ensures and easy path to the National Championship.
Syracuse, Wichita State, Kansas State, Xavier and Michigan State are teams that used to qualifying for the tournament with ease. However, this season will be a little different as all of them have work to do in their teams’ conference tournaments.
As usual, there is also a cast of mid-majors that will play the role of “Cinderella” during March Madness. Teams that will most likely be seeded 7th or lower but have a chance to make a deep run include: Oklahoma State, Maryland, Seton Hall and Marquette. Teams that face these opponents in the first or second round will need to be on high alert come tourney time.
Will this be the year we finally see a No. 16 seed pull off the all-time upset of taking down a No. 1 seed? Tune in to CBS on Sunday night to find out.
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