The NBA Is Back! What We Saw On Opening Night
The NBA is back! Opening night was a roaring success, with some of the league’s top clubs in action. The Boston Celtics held on at home for a 126-117 win over the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Golden State Warriors began their title defense with a 123-109 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
So what are the big takeaways from NBA Opening Night? Let’s get into it.
Nothing’s Changed In LA
What moves did the Lakers make to improve their abysmal season last year? Winning only 33 times and missing the playoffs even with the adjusted 10 teams per conference seeding thanks to a new ruling by NBA commissioner Adam Silver was a massive disappointment for one of the league’s perennial powerhouses.
Welp, they got a new coach in Darvin Ham, a retired NBA player that never really averaged many points in the league during his tenure but has the experience and is a select choice by LeBron and Vice President of the Lakers Rob Pelinka to lead this crew. Additions of Patrick Beverly, Lonnie Walker (a University of Miami Alumni who I personally think was great for them) and a previous center from the Washington Wizards in Thomas Bryant really sums it up.
Something I noticed they didn’t improve on was their shooting. They signed zero perimeter shooters to create space on the court for their stars.
How’d they perform on opening night against Golden State you ask? They went a horrid 10-40 from behind the three-point line and LeBron even stated after the game that “Lakers aren’t built to shoot.” We’ll see how long he stands playing there with Russell Westbrook, who the team failed to trade for any value in the off-season and Anthony Davis who since the preseason has looked very sluggish and is probably playing through some sort of injury as he’s showing no aggression or much ability to move fluidly like we’re used to seeing on the court.
Besides that, the Warriors looked solid. Draymond Green and Jordan Poole seemed to have no issues even after video proof of their physical scuffle in the preseason. Poole threw a great assist to Draymond and Steph Curry had his usual great performance with 33 points and seven assists.
Be sure to check out our Daily NBA Predictions!
Celtics Look Like Future NBA Champions
The Celtics and 76ers duel looked like an All-Star game. Three-pointers were raining everywhere from guys like James Harden doing his signature iso dribble step back contested shot and great fast breaks as such from Jaylen Brown being able to transition down the court to another level.
The two big talkers, Joel Embiid of Philly and Marcus Smart of the Celts, had a little scuffle of their own in this match but it didn’t amount to much. With Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum having 35 points a piece in this opener it was just too much for the 76ers to handle and Boston took the victory 126-117.
Even with the Ime Udokah scandal in the off-season, you’d think the chemistry would be a tad off. However, interim coach Joe Mazzulla had them looking better than ever, although I’m sure current executive Brad Stevens plays a part in controlling the show behind the scenes as he’s in a more managerial role with the Celtics.
I not only love their additions in guard Malcolm Brogdon but in Blake Griffin and Danilo Gallinari. This team, in my opinion, is probably the best in the East but it’s extremely early so we have a while to solidify that statement.
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