Spurs start off 2017 season strong, Knicks stumble out of gate
With changing storylines and familiar faces on new teams, nobody really had a good grasp on what would happen this NBA season.
If the first week of action was any indication, this is going to be a shocking, action-packed season.
Opening night began with the Boston Celtics facing the Cleveland Cavaliers at their home, where everybody’s attention was on Kyrie Irving’s return to “The Land.” While Irving’s return was a huge story, it was Gordon Hayward who would be the most discussed player of the game.
Less than 6 minutes into the game, Hayward dislocated and fractured his left tibia going up for an alley-oop, sidelining him for the rest of the year.
The Cavaliers’ LeBron James dominated the game in his team’s 102-99 win, scoring 29 points. Irving also finished the game with a double-double.
In the second game of the night, the defending champions, the Golden State Warriors, hosted the Houston Rockets. The Warriors controlled the majority of the game, but a late run by the Rockets made the game a close 122-121 win. The Warriors’ Kevin Durant made a game-winning field goal, but the replay showed that he was not able to beat the buzzer as time expired.
Wednesday’s action focused much on the Philadelphia 76ers and their young core. The team put up a strong fight, but the Washington Wizards’ duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal were too much to handle as the Wizards went on to win 120-115. The 76ers’ Robert Covington finished with 29 points. The Milwaukee Bucks took the floor against the Boston Celtics as the latter looked for their first win. Giannis Antetokounmpo showed everybody why he could be the next MVP with 37 points and 13 rebounds. Irving was held to 17 points on 7-25 shooting, as the Celtics would go on to lose 108-100.
The Minnesota Timberwolves bolstered up their starting five this offseason by adding Jimmy Butler and Jeff Teague, but it was not enough as the San Antonio Spurs showed why they are still one of the best teams in the league with their 107-99 win.
Thursday showcased Carmelo Anthony’s first game with the Oklahoma City Thunder, in which he faced the New York Knicks since being recently traded from them. Anthony would finish with 22 points as the Thunder’s Big 3 showed why they are a strong force. Kristaps Porzingis was the Knicks’ only offense hope with 31 points in their 105-84 loss.
The Toronto Raptors hosted the Chicago Bulls, with the Raptors trying to show they were the real deal. C.J. Miles’ 22 points off the bench were an unexpected offense that was too much for the lackluster Bulls, who lost 117-100.
In the night game, all eyes were on Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball against the Los Angeles Clippers, but Patrick Beverley’s tight defense was too much as Ball finished with only 3 points. The Clippers’ Blake Griffin dominated with 29 points in the 108-92 win.
Friday showed the Charlotte Hornets at home against the Atlanta Hawks. The Hornets won 109-91 after finishing the third quarter with a 24-0 run. Dennis Schröder scored 25 points for the Hawks as three Hornets had 20 or more points.
The Orlando Magic and Brooklyn Nets faced off in a high-scoring game. The Magic’s Nikola Vucevic’s 41-point effort was no match for the Nets as they won 126-121 at home.
The Sacramento Kings visited the Dallas Mavericks, where many people focused on the Kings’ two rookies, Justin Jackson and De’Aaron Fox. The Kings were able to outlast the Mavs 93-88 in a closely contested game.
Saturday was a very unusual night, a night in which both the Cavaliers and Warriors lost in two blowouts. The night also proved that the New York Knicks’ young team is not able to sustain a lead.
The Detroit Pistons won 111-107 after coming back from a 21-point deficit. Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum’s combined 52 points were not enough in their 113-110 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Denver Nuggets were able to get their first win on the season with a 96-79 win over the Sacramento Kings. Paul Millsap’s 18 points led the team.
Sunday matched up the Timberwolves and the Thunder in a highly contested matchup. With just under 5 seconds left, Anthony hit the go-ahead 3-pointer to put his team up 113-112, but T-Wolves’ Andrew Wiggins had other plans.
With 4 seconds remaining, Wiggins raced up the floor and made the game-winning 3-pointer, leading the team to a 115-113 win over the Thunder.
Wiggins had 27 points in his heroic effort. The New Orleans Pelicans traveled to Los Angeles to play the Lakers, as the Pelicans looked for their first win. Their two stars, Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, were too much for the Lakers to handle, as the Pelicans pulled out a 119-112 win.