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LA Clippers and Golden State Warriors to headline week 1 of NBA season

The Golden State Warriors have been written off for the upcoming NBA season following their loss to the Toronto Raptors in last year's NBA Finals. The added loss of Kevin Durant to free agency, trade of Andre Iguodala, and Klay Thompson's ACL injury has led many basketball insiders to believe the Warriors dynasty is finished. NBA fans can wager on their favorite teams when the season tips off with free Las Vegas slots and follow the hardcourt action. Leading sportsbooks have fallen out of love with the Warriors as they are the sixth favorite to win the NBA Finals ahead of the season's start.

The team expected to take over the Golden State Warriors' mantle in the Western Conference is the new-look Los Angeles Clippers. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George arrived in the offseason transforming the LA Clippers from a Western Conference Playoff No. 8 seed into a potential NBA Finals winner.

Los Angeles will not have it easy in the first week of the NBA season. The Clippers will start the year against city rivals the Los Angeles Lakers before playing the Warriors. If the Clippers lose both games to open the season, it shouldn't hurt their chances of winning the NBA Finals as the Association season is 82 games long. Losing both games could cause a serious rethink of the Clippers' potential, however.

A new rivalry

The Clippers and Warriors may not have a full-blown rivalry, but that is bound to change this season. Golden State represent the old guard in the NBA as winners of three of the last five Finals series. The Warriors appeared in five straight NBA Finals and if the Clippers want to be the Association's elite team, they must knock off the reigning five-times Western Conference champions.

Golden State knocked off the Clippers in the first round of the NBA Playoffs last season, four games to two. The Clippers won two of three games at Golden State but failed to win any at home in Los Angeles. The playoff series was noted at the time for the Clippers' incredible 31-point comeback against Golden State. Unfortunately for Los Angeles, it was an overhyped comeback that didn't translate into a series win. Golden State will host the game against Los Angeles at the Chase Center.

Players to watch

Los Angeles head coach Doc Rivers has his most talented team at his disposal this season. Leonard and George offer more potential than any previous Clippers teams, even those with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. Leonard and George make the Clippers multi-dimensional.

Golden State still has Steph Curry pulling the triggers on the offensive end. The question is, can Curry carry the Warriors without Durant, Iguodala, and Thompson missing half of the season? The two-time NBA Most Valuable Player has been on fire during the preseason. However, preseason performances have little influence on just how the season will unfold.

Curry averaged 23.3 points per game in the regular season last year. If the Warriors are to win the Western Conference once more, Curry will need to score more points to carry the load.

Can the Warriors continue their NBA dynasty or will the Clippers lay down a mark for the new season when they meet at the Chase Center?