Opening night in the NBA has come and gone. After contests between the Cavaliers and Knicks, Trailblazers and Jazz, and Spurs and Warriors, we had the questions we had during the offseason answered, but were also left with questions that need answering.
The Cleveland Cavaliers received their championship rings, raised their championship banner, and topped off the night with a blowout win over the New York Knicks’ “super team.” It was an emotional night for Cleveland for sure. Not only did the Cavs celebrate their championship victory, but the Cleveland Indians also kicked off the World Series right next door with a 6-0 win over the Chicago Cubs. LeBron got his third ring and finally raised the championship banner he promised he would bring Cleveland.
Before tip-off, LeBron thanked the fans for their support and made it clear all their success was for them. He then proceeded to drop a 19 point, 14 assist, and 11 rebound triple-double, which would help blow out the new-look Knicks. Kyrie and KLove did their part, too, dropping 29 and 23 points respectively.
The Knicks look like they need some work to do. The starters looked okay. DRose was showing flashes of his old self, although he only scored 17 points. Carmelo had 19 and Porzingis had 16 points each. Although they got blown out by the defending champs, there’s no need to panic, yet. It was their first game together and still need to find their groove. They have 81 more games to get a feel for how they play together; they’ll be alright.
The Portland Trailblazers beat the Utah Jazz 113-104, and Damian Lillard put in his early bid for MVP. Dame DOLLA dropped 39 points, holding off Joe Johnson and Rodney Hood’s combined 55 point attack. C.J. McCollum also dropped 25 points in the contest, helping lead the Trailblazers to an opening night victory.
After being snubbed from the All-Star team last year, Dame is not looking back. He’s making this year his and hopes to achieve his goal of leading his team to the Western Conference Finals. He has a lot of hype surrounding him from around the league, including from Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr.
All eyes are on Damian Lillard this season. Let’s see if he lives up to the hype.
And last but not least, the Warriors got blown out at home. Yes, the all-powerful Golden State Warriors got blown out by 29, AT HOME. Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs obviously did not give a rat’s ass that Kevin Durant was now on the Warriors. Kawhi dropped a career-high 35 points, and LaMarcus Aldridge dropped 26 and 14.
KD did well in his debut, though, dropping 27 points on 18 shot attempts. Steph had 26 points on 18 shot attempts, and Draymond had 18 points on 15 shot attempts. But it was Klay Thompson that finished with only 11 points on 13 shot attempts. Klay got the short end of the stick this game, as was expected from one of those four. How those four will all get their shots and not have issues with each other is beyond me. Losing opening night at home with all that hype surrounding them is embarrassing, to say the least.
So where do the Warriors go from here? Losing first night of the NBA season after dropping a lot of key players that were on a 73-9 team to pick up one of the best players on the planet isn’t a good look. The “blowing a 3-1 lead in the finals” memes are cruel enough; now they got to start dealing with more and more criticism.
Although it was only the first game of the season, the Warriors need to figure this issue out, whatever that may be. Getting blown out at home isn’t a good look for this team, and receiving criticism is the last thing they need to start a season.
Oh, the Undertaker showed up at the Cavs game too. So that’s a thing.