The NBA has been back for almost a week now. There have been some great games, great performances, bad teams and some injuries. It’s a long season and things will change throughout the year but for the first week I just wanted to point out a few things.
In a weird turn of events the Chicago Bulls beat the New York Knicks for the Knicks home opener. The Knicks then headed to Cleveland and beat LeBron and the Cavs in their home opener. So the Cavs went to Chicago and beat the Bulls in their home opener.
There were supposed to be some impact rookies in this class. So far none of them have looked good. Again it’s a small sample size so there is no need to panic. There is only one rookie averaging double digits and that’s Jabari Parker. He plays the most minutes so it is expected for him to score the most but he’s only shooting 35%. The number one pick Andrew Wiggins has yet to score in double figures.
Injuries have already affected teams. Lakers rookie Julius Randle broke his leg in the fourth quarter of his first game. He was the 7th pick in the draft and was expected to give the Lakers hope going forward. He had surgery and will miss the rest of the season.
The Thunder were already without Kevin Durant, Mitch McGary, Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb. Russell Westbrook tried to shoulder the load, scoring 38 points in a lost against the Blazers in the first game of the season. In the second game Westbrook hit has hand while going up for a rebound and left the game. It turns out he fractured his hand. He had surgery and will be out for four weeks. This is the first time the Thunder will be without both Durant and Westbrook. Good luck to them.
We all know there are bad teams in the league. In the first week there are four teams with zero wins. The Detroit Pistons, Philadelphia 76ers, Orlando Magic and L.A. Lakers are all winless. The Lakers are 0-4 for the first time since moving to Los Angeles.
The Magic have young players who don’t know how to win and some injuries. The Sixers don’t want to win. The Pistons don’t have an identity yet and Josh Smith leads them in shots. The Lakers are all kinds of bad, but Kobe is getting his shots up.
In four games Kobe Bryant leads the league with 85 shot attempts. Josh Smith is second on that list with 53 attempts. Kobe takes about 21 shots per game and scores 24 per game. Smith on the other hand shoots 17 times a game and scores only 16. Smith also shoots 37%, so he needs to cut back on shooting if the Pistons want to win some games.
The Miami Heat, Houston Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors are undefeated. This is the first time the Grizzlies have been 3-0.
The Heat is second in points per game and second in assists per game. Again this is a small sample size, only three games but they are moving the ball well. They have five players in double figures including Norris Cole and Mario Chalmers. Chris Bosh is the number option and he is taking advantage of the opportunity. Bosh is averaging 25.7 ppg, 11.3 rpg and 4 apg. After beating Toronto last night they are the only undefeated team in the East.
If you have not watched Anthony Davis play, you don’t like basketball and you are punishing yourself. This kid is amazing and he is just getting started. In the season opener his stat line was insane; 26 points, 17 rebounds, 9 blocks, 3 steals, 2 assists, 1 foul and 0 turnovers. For the season he is averaging 28 ppg, 16 rpg and 6 bpg. Those numbers won’t hold up throughout the season but they will be pretty damn good.
The Wolves and Rubio agreed to a four-year, $56 million extension. Anderson Varejao signed an extension with the Cavs. Alec Burks reached a deal with the Jazz. Klay Thompson agreed to a four-year deal in the $70 million range. Klay then went out and scored a career high 41 points against the Lakers.
On the other hand Jimmy Butler rejected the Chicago Bulls’ final contract extension offer and will be a restricted free agent in the summer of 2015. Kawhi Leonard also failed to agree to terms with the San Antonio Spurs and will be a restricted free agent in the summer.
It’s only been a week and things will get more interesting as teams grow together. The Lakers and Sixers will still be bad though. The Cavs were bad in their home opener but had a good win against the Bulls. John Wall and Stephen Curry are making their push to be the best point guard in the league. Anthony Davis is an amazing talent and you should watch him play immediately.