The NBA is back and opening night did not disappoint!
After a short 71-day break from 2019-2020 season, the top basketball league in the world made its return and in its first day back showed fans what to expect this season.
The first two games of the season featured Brooklyn and Golden State going at it and the battle of Los Angeles between the Lakers and the Clippers.
Although the games weren’t even close, it showed fans the best asset of this season: exciting performances by returning stars.
The Nets and the Clippers demolished their respective opponents in their first game of the season.
Brooklyn gave the returning Stephen Curry and the Warriors a 125-99 beating with the trio of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Caris LaVert showing up.
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In long-awaited debut as part of the black and white squad, Durant had 22 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals, Irving scored a team-high 26 points with four rebounds and four assists while LaVert chipped in with his own 20-point performance along with nine rebounds and five assists.
Brooklyn showed how dangerous they are on the offensive end with three players capable of averaging over 18 points every night.
Golden State did have a horrible game with Curry only shooting 2-10 from the three-point line but he was able to finish with a double-double of 20 points and 10 assists. Second overall pick James Wiseman had his first taste of NBA competition and put up 19 points and six rebounds.
On the other hand, the veteran heavy Clippers showed a glimpse of how complete they are this season – even after losing reigning Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell to the Lakers.
As usual, the duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George were the stars of the show.
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The Clippers gave the defending champions Lakers a rude start to the season, 116-109.
“The Klaw” did his thing with 26 points, with two rebounds, three assists and two steals. “PG-13” shutdown the haters in this game as he erupted for 33 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Newly added Serge Ibaka had 15 points and six rebounds in his debut while Nicolas Batum only had three points but had six rebounds, six assists and two steals.
The Lakers, on the other hand, had an off night but LeBron James still managed to put up 22 points, five rebounds and five assists in the first game of his 18th season. Anthony Davis dropped 18 points and seven rebounds while Harrell put up a double-double off the bench with 17 points and 10 rebounds as well as Dennis Schroder who had 14 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists.
Despite the two blowout games, this showed how unpredictable this 2020-2021 season could be.
Heading into the opening night, fans were expecting that the games would be tightly contested with the four teams showing as to why they’re being considered as early favorites for the title.
The games, especially the one between the Warriors and Nets, didn’t go as planned but that shows how volatile this season could be. We won’t know which team will have a big night, which team will have an off night, and which player will erupt – especially until true home court advantage is restored when fans come back.
Additionally, opening day added more data to the storylines that we’ll all be following this season: KD and Kyrie’s ability to coexist on the court, the Warriors’ attempt to get back into the title conversation, Paul George’s road to proving he was worth his max extension, and the Lakers’ quest to prove that last season’s title wasn’t a fluke.
Who’s your early pick to win the NBA title? Sound off below in the comment section.