The Curtain Rises: NBA Season Week 1
The Curtain Rises
The first week of the NBA season contained 9 million or so storylines, some of which we expected and some of which appeared out of the blue.
Swishing From 3
The Minnesota Timberwolves, who many expected to be one of the worst teams in the league, sprinted from the gun to a 3-0 start. They won 2 on the road and then came home and spanked the Heat. Karl-Anthony Towns is leading the way and Andrew Wiggins is playing almost as well as he thinks he plays.
Trae Young started the year so hot that they might start calling Steph Curry “Trae 2.0". The former Sooner is averaging 38.5 points per game and nailed a ridiculous 3 to ice a game against the improved Magic and keep the playoff-bound Hawks undefeated.
The Nuggets had the most impressive win of the season, beating the Trail Blazers in Portland on opening night. The Nuggets got solid contributions from 10 guys, and that bodes well for this Mile High squad to end the year as the #1 seed in the West.
Yes, the Sixers won both of their games. Beating up on the Celtics in the opener, and then going on the road without Embiid and beating the Pistons. It’s great that they were able to win on the road without their star. But the fact that Big Joel is already missing games is an ominous sign for a team that needs the big man if they want to be parade-worthy.
The Clippers knocked off the Lakers in a star-studded battle for LA. But my worries for the Clippers were going to occur when the lights were a little dimmed. They went on the road to play a reeling Phoenix team that had just lost Deandre Ayton to a drug suspension and threw up a stinker, losing to the Suns. I’m sure they’ll be fine in May and June, but Los Clips will experience a lot of unexpected bumps along the way.
The Purple and Gold team from the other side of town had a bit of a topsy-turvy week as well. They started out by dropping a tough one to the Clips but rebounded nicely, winning at Utah and then whipping the Hornets led by (this is not a typo) Dwight Howard, who went 8-8 from the floor.
Dončić and Porziņģis should change their names to Peanut Butter and Jelly, as the greatest European duo since Siegfried and Roy lead the Mavs to a 2-1 week. Between scoring and assists, PB&J accounted for over 70% of Dallas’ scoring. Therein lies the rub with this team, that beyond the Big 2, there isn’t much there.
The Warriors are 0-2. Twelve months ago, the world was crying to break up the super-team, and now they’ve suffered back-to-back blowout losses. Everyone knew that it was going to be a struggle this year after losing KD and Klay going down hurt, but no one thought they were going to be this bad. To quote Draymond Green, “We f ---ing suck.”
Are you seated? Are you ready for a shocker? The Knicks are awful. What in the world were they doing in the off-season, bringing in a whole group of mediocre veterans to supplant a group of mediocre young ones? RJ Barrett has shown flashes, and they do play hard, but if they win 25 games this year, I’ll be shocked.
Timber!!!!!! That’s the sound of my expectations for the Pelicans crashing to the ground. Zion has injured himself. New Orleans has proved itself as the “Big Difficult,” dropping all three of their games to start the season. The offense hasn’t been awful, keeping them in games. But their defense has been losing them for the Pelis, giving 126.5 per outing.