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Here is Look at all the action last night in the NBA:
Brooklyn 105, Boston 121
Rajon Rondo made an unexpected start on opening night, as he was expected to be out a little longer after breaking his hand in the preseason. He came out in good form scoring 13 points while racking up 12 assists and 7 rebounds. Jeff Green lead the Celts in scoring with 17 but it was a team effort, with 8 guys in double-figures as they eased passed the nets.
Milwaukee 106, Charlotte 108
Buzz City is Back! In their first game rebranded as the Hornets, Charlotte erased a 24-point deficit and Kemba Walker hit a 3-pointer to send the game into overtime. Walker then hit the go-ahead basket to give Charlotte the win. Love their court, love the teal and purple. The aesthetical aspects of the Hornets give them automatic League Pass appeal.
Philadelphia 91 at Indiana 103
Ah, the first step in an 82-game mission to have the worst record in the NBA went swimmingly as the Sixers fell to the injury-ravaged Pacers.
Washington 95, Miami 107
The Heat reminded everybody that they are still a playoff-level team in the East sans LeBron with a 107-95 win over the Wizards. Wade had 21 and Bosh had 26 points and 15 rebounds. John Wall had 16 points and 11 assists in the loss.
Chicago 104, New York 80
Oh boy. The Bulls stomped the Knicks at MSG, cementing themselves as the early season favorite in the East. Their defense looked sharp, holding the Carmelo to 14 points. New Bull Pau Gasol looked to fit right in, scoring 21 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Derrick Rose was a little quite in his first regular season in nearly two years, scoring 13 points with 5 assists.
Atlanta 102, Toronto 109
Mike Scott, Kyle Korver, and Jeff Teague all scored 20 in the loss. Raptors looked pretty good, got a nice team effort with 7 players in double figures.
Detroit 79, Denver 89
Kenneth Faried Alert! He had 22 points and 17 rebounds as the Nuggets won, I like him to have a good season, he was one of the leaders from the USA World Cup team.
Minnesota 101, Memphis 105
If you love old-school, banging-in-the-paint basketball, the Grizz are your team. Zach Randolph had a Zack Randolph-esque 25 points and 13 boards. Marc Gasol poured in 32 points to lead the Grizzlies and added 9 rebounds. I still don’t know what to make of Minnesota’s amalgam of youngsters and spare parts. Thad Young will be the veteran leader of this team; he had 26 points to lead the T-Wolves. Andrew Wiggins had an underwhelming debut, 6 points and 3 boards.
LA Lakers 99, Phoenix 119
Well the Lakers did cover my hypothetical 40 point spread that I mentioned yesterday, but they still got routed by the Suns despite 31 points from Kobe. The Suns will be an interesting team with their 3-point-guard attack of Eric Bledsoe, Goran Dragic, and Isaiah Thomas. Thomas led the way last night with 23, Bledsoe had 16 and Dragic had 18 for the Suns.
Oklahoma City 89, Portland 106
Westbrook had himself a night in the absence of Kevin Durant; 38 points, 6 assists, 3 steals, 3 rebounds. He didn’t get a lot of help though and the Blazers won with relative ease. Damian Lillard struggled; 10 points on 3-10 shooting, but the Blazers were led by LaMarcus Aldridge who had 27 points.
Golden State 95, Sacramento 77
The Splash Brothers and company eased by Sacramento. Steph Curry had 24 points and 10 rebounds, Klay Thompson added 19 points and 6 assists. Boogie Cousins had a decent outing in his return to action with 20 points and 11 boards.
Houston 104, Utah 93
James Harden couldn’t equalize his 16-17 shooting performance from last night but he did end up with 18 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds. Dwight Howard had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Rockets.
Here’s a quick look at tonight’s game. Spoiler Alert; there’s one in particular I’m excited for.
New York at Cleveland (8:00 pm/est)
Well Guess What? You guessed it; I’m a little excited about this one. LeBron James returning to Cleveland is undoubtedly the biggest story in the NBA. I’ve bared the burden of inheriting Browns fandom from my dad, who grew up in Cleveland, and I became a Cavs fan largely due to LeBron being drafted there in 2003.
I remember in 2007, on the way to the Finals, LeBron’s epic performance in game 5 in Detroit. I was a senior in high school at the time; so like many 18 year olds, I was doing what my friends were doing, not what I actually wanted to be doing (watching the game). As a result, wherever we were, I was following the Gamecast on my phone. I remember watching the play-by-play-in disbelief as the baskets added up:
“LeBron James made Dunk (2 pts). LeBron James made 18-foot-shot (2 pts). LeBron James made Dunk (2 pts). LeBron James made Lay-Up (2 Pts)…”
In the end he scored 25 straight points for the Cavaliers to beat Detroit and they would eventually beat them in the series to make to the Cavaliers’ first Finals’ in franchise history. He wasn’t able to carry Larry Hughes and company past the superior Spurs, but that game 5 performance convinced me of LeBron’s greatness, and he seemed destined to lead to Cavaliers to the finals year after year.
But there was defeat to eventual-champion Celtics in 2008. In 2009 I tuned in begrudgingly to Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Playoff series against the Magic after watching a disappointing loss in Game 1. LeBron hit an incredible buzzer beater to win it; probably my personal best Cavaliers moment, but the Cavaliers ultimately lost the series.
Then of course in 2010 there was “The Decision.” I hated LeBron for it. But my LeBron-hate couldn’t override my NBA nerdiness, and I was more excited for the impending season than any before. I went from rooting for 1 team to rooting for 29. While I hated the Heat at the time I couldn’t deny that they were good for the league, simply due to the attention they brought.
Watching LeBron lose in the 2011 Finals was cathartic, but the following season, LeBron reminded me and rest of the world how great he was in the playoffs, with outstanding performances to get by Chicago and Boston. It still stung a little to watch him celebrate that first title with Miami, but he really did earn it.
Fast Forward to this summer; I just watched the Heat get dismantled by the Spurs in one of the greatest loss-avenging Finals victories of all-time. The Cavaliers manage to get the #1 pick in the draft. Nobody in the national media was giving it a whole lot of thought, but I really thought it was in the cards for LeBron to come back. I waited anxiously through 11 days of free agency, refreshing Twitter a thousand times per-day, writing pieces half-predicting LeBron would sign and the Cavs would trade for Kevin Love.
And then, It happened. He came back. He really, actually came back. I was in disbelief (and a lot Cleveland fans would be lying if they said they weren’t still just a little concerned that this whole thing might be an elaborate prank by the NBA). To top it off, they pulled off the Kevin Love trade, giving this team serious year-one championship aspirations.
Add that to fact that by all accounts, David Blatt’s offense is going to be just about as high-octane (think Nash-Amare Era Suns times 100) as any in the NBA, the titillating thought of Kyrie Irving and LeBron playing off one another and having Kevin Love to chuck 40-foot outlet passes to them and the fact that the atmosphere in Cleveland is going to be absolutely electric tonight.
So yeah, I’m pretty excited about this game.
Washington at Orlando (7:00 pm/est)
Utah at Dallas (8:30 pm/est)
Oklahoma City at LA Clippers (10:30 pm/est)
I’ll be excited about this one too but, I’m a little tired of writing. Just know; Clippers means Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan which means Dunks, which means Good.
Detroit at Minnesota (8:00 pm/est)