The 2017-18 NBA season kicks off Tuesday with a couple of marquee matchups: Eastern Conference favorites the Celtics and Cavaliers meet in Cleveland followed by a matchup of Western Conference heavyweights, Rockets at Warriors.
If that's not enough to whet your appetite for a season that is rife with rookies to watch and storylines to study, then Opta Sports offers a few fun facts about the coming season to get you up to speed.
The Kyrie for IT trade
— Kyrie Irving (9.3) and Isaiah Thomas (9.0) were two of eight players to average at least 9.0 made field goals per game last season.
— Irving and Thomas are two of seven players to average 22.0+ PPG and 5.0+ APG over the last three seasons.
PG13 and Melo head to OKC
— Russell Westbrook (22.69 PPG), Paul George (18.06) and Carmelo Anthony (24.75) rank in the top 25 in career points per game average among active players (the Warriors are the only other team with three in top 25). Anthony and Westbrook join Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry as the only pairs of teammates in the top six.
CP3 joins the Rockets
— Chris Paul is second player in NBA history with 10 seasons averaging 9.0+ assists per game. Only Jason Kidd (11) has more.
— Paul has six seasons with 700+ assists. The Rockets as a franchise have had two players do so (John Lucas, 768 in 1977-78, James Harden, 907 in 2016-17).
D-Wade steps in with the Cavs
— As teammates on the Heat from 2010-2014, LeBron James averaged 26.9 PPG in the regular season, while Dwyane Wade averaged 22.2. When the two have not been teammates, James averages 27.2 PPG, while Wade averages 23.7.
Stephen Curry is … Stephen Curry
— Only five times in NBA history has a player hit 270+ 3-pointers in a season. Curry has done so four times.
— Curry (1,917) needs 83 3-pointers to become the eighth player in league history with 2,000 made 3-pointers. He would also climb to eighth on the league’s all-time 3-pointers made list in the process.
— Curry and teammate Klay Thompson are tied for the most consecutive seasons with 200+ 3PM (five each, tied with Ray Allen).
And LeBron James is … LeBron James
— LeBron James (28,787) needs 1,213 points to become the eighth player in NBA history with 30,000 career points.
— James enters this season as the only player in NBA history to have per-game averages of at least 27 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
— James needs five games and 424 rebounds to become the Cavaliers franchise leader in those categories. He already holds numerous franchise records, including points, field goals, field-goal attempts, 2-point field goals, 2-point field-goal attempts, 3-point field goals, 3-point field-goal attempts, free throws made, free-throw attempts, defensive rebounds, assists and steals.
James Harden proves his mettle
— James Harden was one of three Rockets players (with Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson) with 200+ 3PM in 2016-2017 season, an NBA record for most teammates with 200+ 3PM.
— In 2016, James became first player with 900+ assists and 107+ made 3-pointers in the same season.
— Over the past two seasons, Harden averages 3.1 3PM/G and 8.7 3PA/G, the third and second most in the league over that time, respectively.
Russell Westbrook, triple-double machine
— In 2016-17, Russell Westbrook set the NBA record for most triple-doubles in a single season. He also became the second player in league history to average a triple-double for a season, joining Oscar Robertson.
— No player has ever averaged a triple-double in back-to-back seasons.
— Last season, Westbrook set career highs in 3PM/G (2.5), 3PA/G (7.2) and 3P% (34.3%). Before 2016-17, he had never averaged more than 1.5 3PM/G and 4.7 3PA/G in a season and had never shot better than 33.0% from deep over a season.
Kyrie Irving sans LeBron
— In Kyrie Irving’s first three seasons in the NBA (without LeBron, 2011-2014), he averaged 20.7 PPG and 5.8 APG while shooting 44.7 percent from the field (37.8 percent from beyond the arc). With LeBron (2014-2016), he averaged 22.4 PPG and 5.3 APG while shooting 46.5 percent from the field (38.7 percent from deep).
— Irving shot 54.5 percent on shots within eight feet of the basket and 57.5 on shots within five feet, his best numbers since his rookie season in 2011-12.
Kevin Durant by the numbers
— In 2016, Kevin Durant became the second player in league history to have multiple seasons with 110+ 3PM and 99+ blocks (Rasheed Wallace had three).
— Over his last five seasons, Durant, a 10-year veteran, is averaging 28.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.9 assists. He averaged 26.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists in his first five seasons in the NBA.