Hardest First 10-Game Stretch for NBA Teams
The 2022-2023 NBA season is just around the corner, and fans and experts alike are buzzing with anticipation. As teams gear up for the highly-anticipated October 24 season opener, the question on everyone’s mind is: which team has the hardest first 10-game stretch? We reached out to our panel of basketball experts to get their insights on this challenging start to the season.
When dissecting the toughest first 10-game stretches, several teams immediately come to mind. The Brooklyn Nets, led by their superstar trio of Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving, will face a formidable mix of contenders. The Los Angeles Lakers, who recently added Russell Westbrook to their roster, will encounter numerous playoff-caliber teams during this stretch. The defending NBA champions, the Milwaukee Bucks, are no strangers to difficult starts, and this season is no exception.
The Brooklyn Nets will embark on a challenging journey in their first 10 games of the season. They face a grueling mix of Eastern and Western Conference opponents, testing their mettle early on. Opening night for the Nets is a rematch of the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals as they go head-to-head with the Milwaukee Bucks. This game not only sets the stage for a thrilling season but also adds an extra layer of intensity between the two teams.
Following their matchup with the Bucks, the Nets hit the road for a difficult stretch of road games. The team faces a back-to-back against the Chicago Bulls and the Philadelphia 76ers, both considered strong contenders in their respective conferences. Next up, the Nets square off against the Miami Heat, who made a deep playoff run last season and continue to be a tough matchup for any opponent.
As the Nets reach the midpoint of their first 10 games, they have another tough duo of matchups awaiting them. They face the Atlanta Hawks and the Boston Celtics, both young and hungry teams that have shown significant improvement over the past few seasons. Rounding out the difficult stretch are games against the Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors, and Utah Jazz, all of whom are projected to be strong playoff contenders in the Western Conference.
Los Angeles Lakers
With the addition of Russell Westbrook to an already star-studded lineup featuring LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers instantly become a force to be reckoned with. However, their path to success will be anything but easy during the first 10 games of the season.
The Lakers kick off their campaign with a highly-anticipated matchup against the Golden State Warriors, a team that rejuvenated itself last season despite missing some key players due to injury. This clash of Western Conference giants will undoubtedly set the tone for both teams moving forward.
Following their opening night showdown, the Lakers face multiple playoff-caliber opponents. The Phoenix Suns, who reached the NBA Finals last season, present a significant challenge for any team, especially with the duo of Chris Paul and Devin Booker leading the charge. The Lakers then square off against the Memphis Grizzlies, the Denver Nuggets, and a rejuvenated Dallas Mavericks squad led by their young superstar, Luka Dončić.
As the Lakers reach the halfway point of their first 10 games, they have a memorable matchup with the Brooklyn Nets awaiting them. This showdown between two star-studded teams promises to be a highlight of the early NBA season. Rounding out the stretch are games against the Houston Rockets and the Portland Trail Blazers, both of whom will provide tough competition for the Lakers.
The reigning NBA champions, the Milwaukee Bucks, are no strangers to facing tough opponents early in the season. They have built a reputation for rising to the occasion and showcasing their dominance against elite competition. Their first 10-game stretch this season will be no different.
The Bucks begin their journey with a challenging matchup against the Brooklyn Nets, the team they defeated in the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals. This game is not only significant due to the rematch factor but also serves as a statement game for both teams to set the tone for the season.
Following their clash with the Nets, the Bucks face a mix of Eastern and Western Conference opponents. They square off against the Miami Heat, the Atlanta Hawks, and the Toronto Raptors, all of whom have a strong desire to dethrone the reigning champions and improve their standings in their respective conferences.
As the Bucks reach the halfway point of their first 10 games, an intriguing matchup awaits them against the Philadelphia 76ers. Despite the uncertainty surrounding Ben Simmons’ future with the team, the 76ers still boast an impressive roster, headlined by perennial All-Star Joel Embiid.
The final stretch of the Bucks’ first 10 games features matchups against the Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics, and Indiana Pacers. While these teams may not be considered front-runners for the championship, they are all capable of pushing the Bucks to their limit and testing their resilience as defending champions.
As the NBA season approaches, the level of competition in the first 10-game stretches for various teams is noteworthy. The Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers, and Milwaukee Bucks all face a collection of formidable opponents that will test their championship aspirations from the very beginning.
The Nets kick off their season with a tough rematch against the Bucks and are then faced with a succession of challenging road games against strong Eastern and Western Conference opponents. The Lakers, with their newly formed Big Three, have a high-profile matchup against the Golden State Warriors and subsequently face off against several playoff-caliber teams. The Bucks, as defending champions, face a mix of teams looking to make a statement early in the season.
Only time will tell which team can weather the storm and emerge triumphant from their challenging first 10-game stretch. However, one thing is clear — the excitement and anticipation for the start of the NBA season have reached a fever pitch.
Overall, the hardest first 10-game stretch will ultimately depend on how each team performs and the integration of new players into their respective systems. Regardless of the outcome, NBA fans are in for a treat as they witness these powerhouse teams go head-to-head in what promises to be an action-packed and thrilling start to the season.