Now that the first two days of the NBA season are over and almost every team (see Houston strip club revenues) has had a chance to hit the court, we can finally let out a sigh of relief from the hectic offseason. Regardless of the sport, fans love to overreact after the first game of the season. In this article I will analyze some games and provide an overreaction for some teams as well as players. Some of the statements will be more egregious than others, but all of them will be countered by a less outrageous takeaway to summarize.
Warriors vs. Nets
Warriors: It’s only one game, but James Wiseman will be ROY.
-Highest Off Rtg of the starting lineup (More than Curry!) – 107 (19 Pts, 6 Reb, 2 Stl, 1 3PT)
Having a 2-time MVP and the best shooter of all time to draw attention away from the paint will preheat the oven for Wiseman to cook. His ability to shoot cannot be overlooked, the pick and roll/pop threat with Curry and the slashing of Oubre and Wiggins will provide plenty of space from outside the arch for the former Memphis Tiger to let it rip. Steve Kerr’s offense and personnel has set Wiseman up to display his skills and put together an impressive rookie campaign.
Nets: It’s only one game, but The Nets will have the best offense in the league
-ORtg of 113.1 in their first game, 40 points in the first quarter
These stats may not blow anyone away at first glance, but consider that it is the first game of the season! Not only that, but the Nets were also able to play their two biggest pieces together for the first time and in an entirely new offense. It is no secret that KD and Kyrie are prolific scorers, but LeVert, Harris, Dinwiddie, and Allen can all give you 20+ on any given night. If I am the Net’s GM, I’m thinking I’m all set with acquiring James Harden. Why give up assets when you can beat the Warriors by 25 without KD or Kyrie scoring 30.
Bucks vs. Celtics
Bucks: It’s only one game, but Giannis needs more help
-87 points from the Bucks big three (Giannis, Holiday, Middleton)
Holiday, Antetokounmpo, and Middleton provided for almost 72% of the team’s points for the whole game. Pat Connaughton scoring 6 points off the bench is not going to do it, even if your starting lineup is the All-NBA team. The departure of players like Bledsoe, Hill, Matthews, and Williams has left the Milwaukee bench looking like the seats at the Fiserv Forum. If Giannis is going to carry this team to a deep playoff run, he is going to have to make his late-game free throws.
Celtics: It’s only one game, but it’s time to trade Kemba.
-Jeff Teague: 25 min, 19 pts, 4 ast, 3 reb, 2 stl, 47% FG
If Jeff Teague can do this while the Jay’s score 30 a piece… why not flip Kemba for some depth. The cap is going to start to challenge the Celtics as Tatum’s contract extension kicks in. The Celtics could use minor wing depth and if they are giving up Walker, a backup PG could be paired with said depth. This return would bolster the Celtic’s roster and poise them for not only another deep playoff run, but the future as Kem’s salary would be off the books.
Kings vs. Nuggets
Kings: It’s only one game, but The Kings are BACK
-36 points in the third quarter, 33% Orb%
The Kings were a ninth seed in 2019. Winning 39 games, 48 wins got a team into the western conference playoffs that year. The Kings defeated the Nuggets, who were in the Western Conference Finals last year. They won thanks to a tip from Buddy Hield and four starters, seven players total in double-digits. It was a true team effort to put the Nuggets away, Fox, Hield, or Bagley did not have to takeover in order to get the win because the bench provided 41 points. Although the Kings had an abysmal offseason, losing Bogdanovic and adding Whiteside, if they can replicate this recipe they will be able to compete with anybody.
Nuggets: It's only one game, but MPJ will be the 2nd best player on The Nuggets
-Jamal Murray: 11% from the field
-MPJ 24 pts, 5 reb, 2 stl, and 3 blk
No surprise that The Joker made the Kings defense look like fools, putting up an incredible 29-point, 15 rebound, and 14 assist triple double. His usual sidekick was nowhere to be found. Scoring 9 points, 7 of which were free throws, Jamal Murray could not catch a break. However, the Nuggets’ resident anti-vaxxer was making the Kings offense look ill as he was all over the stat sheet on that side of the court. MPJ also tallied 24 points on 60% shooting. Porter Jr. looks ready to take a huge leap, if Murray can return to form the Nuggets may not miss a beat from last season.
PG: It’s only one game, but Playoff P is BACK!
-33 Points, 72% from the field, 63% from 3
The Clippers spoiled the Laker’s ring night by handing them the loss. No backboards were harmed during this game as Paul George led the Clippers to a win. While Kawhi had a horrible night from the field, PG only missed 5 of his 18 shots. The Clipper bench did not provide much support, so Pandemic P needs to stay far away from Staples Center to keep the organization’s championship aspirations alive.
LaMelo Ball: It’s only one game, but Lonzo will have a better career than LaMelo
-LaMelo: 0-5, 3 turnovers
LaMelo Ball looked great in the preseason, getting to his spots and pushing the ball down the court. His rookie debut did not follow suit as he was benched after playing 15 minutes. Melo did not make a shot and gave the ball up three times. We can most likely attribute this to nerves, but the purpose of this article is to overreact. Lonzo did not have an amazing game scoring 16 points and turning the ball over two times more than his little brother. However, Lonzo’s shot has progressed immensely. He shot 50% from three on eight shots. Playing with finishers like Ingram and Zion, Ball has found his role as a playmaker who will punish the opponent if left open.
Ja: It’s only one game, but Ja Morant will be the MIP
-44 points and 9 assists
Ja Morant dominated the floor against the spurs. Flirting with a 40-point double-double, Morant shot 67% from the field. Coming off his ROY campaign, Ja seems poised to skip his sophomore slump and has his eyes set on the MIP award. Perhaps he can even be in consideration for MVP if the Grizzlies can perform.
Barrett: It’s only one game, but RJ Barrett proved he was worth the 3rd pick
-26 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists
The Maple Mamba was taken 3rd overall by the Knicks in the 2019 NBA draft. He did not have a terrible rookie season, but it looked to be another miss from the Knicks front office. Barrett showed signs of life against the Pacers, signs that would make the Knicks feel better about drafting him before guys like Coby White and Tyler Herro. Barrett hit all three of his shots from behind the arch, shooting 73% from the field. If Thibs does not drive him into the ground, The Garden may have found its savior.