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LOS ANGELES -- Another chapter of storylines unfolds when the Los Angeles Lakers tip off their 2016-17 campaign Wednesday night.Last season, it was Kobe Bryants final year that grabbed the headlines, punctuated by a 60-point performance in his last game and a rare Lakers win.This time its Luke Walton stepping into the spotlight as he begins his first season as coach when the Lakers face the Houston Rockets at Staples Center in the season opener for both clubs.Walton replaces Byron Scott, who was dismissed after a franchise-worst 17-65 run last season. While Scott was known as a taskmaster and clashed with players, Walton brings a laid-back approach that the Lakers believe suits his young club well.I like leading by love, Walton said, according to the L.A. Times. But I had hippie parents so thats to be expected. Its the way I was raised.Walton, formerly the top assistant at Golden State under Steve Kerr, rose as a hot coaching property last season by guiding the Warriors to a 39-4 mark and winning an NBA-record 24 in a row to open the season as interim coach during Kerrs absence for health reasons.Walton already was on the radar of up-and-coming assistants destined for NBA coaching jobs, but that successful stretch expedited his elevation.Obviously, the Lakers job has major challenges. Walton will attempt to mix a crop of young talent (DAngelo Russell, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr. and rookie No. 2 pick Brandon Ingram) and blend it with a core of veterans (Lou Williams, Luol Deng, Jose Calderon, Timofey Mozgov and Nick Young).Theres no better guy to lead a franchise and teach a franchise from a youthful perspective that he brings to the game with maturity and knowledge, Phoenix Suns coach Earl Watson told the Orange County Register recently. He sees the game on a different level. Theres so many levels at this game. Theres so many games within a game. Few can see it with substance the way that he does.Mike DAntoni will return for the first time as a head coach since he quit the Lakers job after the 2013-14 season because the club refused to extend him a long-term deal.James Harden, the NBAs second-leading scorer at 29 points per game last season, leads a Rockets team that will play for the first time in three campaigns without center Dwight Howard, who bolted to Atlanta as a free agent.I think everybody is excited, everybodys ready to get going. Weve had a good preseason, said DAntoni, whose club finished 5-2 in exhibitions. Weve got still a lot of growth thats got to going on and weve got to get a lot better, but I think were at a reasonably good point.The Rockets will play without guard Patrick Beverly, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Tuesday. Beverly is expected to miss at least three weeks.We have to have a couple of guys (who) are going to step up without Pat, DAntoni said.In addition to Harden, Trevor Ariza, Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon and Nene are among those players expected to carry to the load. Alan Quine Jersey . Vokoun departed practice on Saturday morning after discovering swelling in his thigh. He was taken to a local hospital where the clot was revealed. The club announced the surgery following a 5-3 exhibition loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Cal Clutterbuck Jersey . Speaking Thursday on TSN 1050 Thursday, the Leafs GM also touched on the questions surrounding the teams leadership and the struggles of his big-name free-agent signing. “Its not from lack of effort from the coaching staff. http://www.hockeyislandersonline.us/Shane-Prince-Jersey/ . Boucher previously coached the Tampa Bay Lightning and had a 97-78-20 record over two-plus seasons. He was dismissed by the team last March after the Lightning struggled in the lockout-shortened season with a 13-18-1 record. Andrew Ladd Jersey . Those lessons were more than enough to overwhelm the Utah Jazz. Lou Williams scored 25 points and the Hawks continued their offensive upswing as they rolled to an easy 118-85 victory over the Jazz on Friday night, winning their third straight and for the fourth time in five games. Dennis Seidenberg Jersey . Fred Couples, captain of the U.S. side, put it all into perspective. "We know whos in charge," he said. Nico Rosberg insists he is not concerned by the speed at which Lewis Hamilton has managed to slash his lead in the drivers championship to one point.Rosberg was 43 points ahead of Hamilton following the collision between the two at the Spanish Grand Prix in May, but in the space of five races his lead has been cut to just one point. Yet Rosberg, who won the opening four races of the season, refuses to look at the the first half of the year as an opportunity lost.Well its very easy, I can make the choice of taking the glass half-empty view on it, or of taking the glass half-full view of it which has been a very good first half of the season and leading the championship, he said. Its been a pretty damn good start to the season which Im pleased about.Ive had some good races, I had a good race in Austria which went wrong, yeah it can happenn and then a good run out there in the dry at Silverstone -- not so much in the beginning of the race -- but theres a lot of positives.dddddddddddd.Anyway, Im feeling great and the battle is on with Lewis, Im not counting points because its still such a long way to go and I dont like to do that.Asked why he was unable to match Hamilton at the last race at Silverstone, Rosberg added: In the race nothing was lacking I was really feeling great. I have the fastest lap of the race by some margin as well, I was feeling great.What was lacking was that Red Bull that was in front of me for a few laps and then I lost a bit in the wet phase in the first part of the race, thats it. And qualifying he just did a good job. Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Cheap Jerseys Wholesale Wholesale Jerseys 2020 Wholesale Jerseys China NFL Jerseys Wholesale Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys ' ' '