NBA Tip Off
The NBA is back and started the season Tuesday night with a matchup between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers. The Celtics defeated the Sixers 105-87 sparked by a 23 points Jayson Tatum performance.
The reigning champs narrowly escaped the Thunder that same night by a score of 108-100. Without Russell Westbrook, things looked bleak for the Thunder, especially in the first half. However, Paul George came out on fire in the 3rd quarter, dropping 15 points. Even with the heroic efforts of George, complemented by Dennis Schroder, it was not enough to serve the Warriors a loss on opening night.
On Wednesday, 11 games were played, putting basketball into full swing. The Bucks were stung by the Hornets, but escaped with no harm. Milwaukee defeated Charlotte 113-112. Kemba Walker kept the Hornets in the game all night long, posting 41 points, but the dominant starting 5 of the Bucks totaled 85 of their 113 points, which put the game away.
The Pacers walloped the Grizzlies by a score of 111-83. The Pacers bench was the hero in this one totaling 58 points, and the Grizzlies had no answer, with their bench only scoring 32 points.
The Heat were not so hot on Wednesday night when the Magic pulled a win out of a hat. Orlando defeated Miami 104-101, with strong showings from rookie Mo Bamba and highflying star Aaron Gordon. Bamba totaled 13 points, 4 offensive rebounds, 7 all together, and 2 blocks, while Gordon put up 26 points and 16 boards.
The Nets were a three point basket away from forcing overtime with the Pistons, however Detroit resisted Brooklyn 103-100. Nets guard Caris LeVert posted 27 points and Spencer Dinwiddie with 23 of his own, but the Piston trio of Reggie Jackson, Blake Griffin, and Andre Drummond scraped together 69 points, around two thirds of the teams points, which proved to be enough for a W.
In the Cavs first game without LeBron, the Toronto Raptors make quick work of Cleveland, 116-104. Kawhi Leonard totaled 24 points in his Raptor debut while veteran Kyle Lowry put up 27 points. Kevin Love’s 21 points was not enough, while center Tristan Thompson only managed to score 3 points.
In a tale of two rookies, first round picks Trae Young and Kevin Knox faced off in the Garden. Knox totaled 10 points coming off the bench, while Young recorded 14 of his own in the starting lineup. However, Knox got the last laugh, securing a wide 126-107 victory. Knicks fan Mackenzie says, “Kevin Knox is going to be phenomenal this season.”
The Pelicans took off faster than the Rockets Wednesday, soaring to a dominant 131-112 victory. Julius Randle came off the bench for 25 points, and Nikola Mirotic and Anthony Davis respectively put up 30 and 32. James Harden was held to 18 points for the Rockets.
In DeMar DeRozan’s San Antonio debut, he posted 28 points, helping his team to a 112-108 W over the Timberwolves. Jeff Teague, Jimmy Butler, and Andrew Wiggins combined for 70 points, but a weak 8 point effort from Karl Anthony-Towns would ultimately eliminate their chances of a win.
The Jazz danced to an easy win over the Kings, with a score of 123-117. Rookie of the Year Donovan Mitchell totaled 24 points, enough to withstand the valiant effort of De’Aaron Fox and the Kings.
The Sun’s outshone the Mavericks in Phoenix, defeating them 121-100. Surged by a 35 point performance from Devin Booker, the Suns breezed past the Mavs.
Denver defeated the Clippers 107-98 Wednesday night. For the Clippers they had almost no offensive production from their starting lineup, excluding Tobias Harris’ 19 points, which allowed the Nuggets to run away with the game.
Thursday completed the NBA tip off with the Bulls, Lakers, Trail Blazers, and Wizards first games. The Bulls lost to the 76ers 108-127, despite a 30 point effort by Zach LaVine.
The Lakers were also handed their first loss of the season from the Trail Blazers in Lebron’s first game in the purple and gold, 119-128. Lebron had 26 points, but it wasn’t enough to fend off 55 point performance from Portland’s bench. According to ESPN, Lebron was still satisfied saying, “It’s gonna take patience,” in his post game press conference. NBA fan Liam Sweeney says, “LeBron is given too much leverage on the teams he plays on.” It has become apparent that when LeBron succeeds, the team will succeed. So as long as LeBron is happy, the team will improve.
Finally DC lost a heartbreaker at home 112-113, with Miami’s Kelly Olynyk hitting the game winning shot after a Dwayne Wade miss.
The NBA’s first round of games was intense and gave us some insight on what the season will hold for each team.