Opening Night Act 2 : Performaces to watch

Monster lines that came with an L

The Joker is his own worst enemy 

Nba fantasy team owners would take this line night in and night out from Jokic if they could. 27 point 15 rebounds 14 ast and 3 blks. The only sore spot would be the 6 turnovers. The last of which led to the game winning tip in from the Kings Buddy Hield. The Nuggets came into this game as clear favorites and had the game in hand before it reached over time. In the extra frame on that last play, they were in a great position to win the game as well. The Joker’s partner in crime, Jamal Murray was nowhere to be found as he had fouled out of the game a couple possessions earlier. Jokic is a player to watch for the rest of the season. Known for starting slow. Maybe this quick turn around may help erase that from memory.

Do not Hate the Brodie but you might be able to blame him for this loss.

In true Russell Westbrook Fashion, he opened the 2020 season with a triple double. Doing so in only 3 quarters. Leading the Wizards to a 10-point lead over the 76ers heading into the 4th. But that is where the wheels fell off. The Wizards were outscored 40-24 in the quarter and ultimately ended up losing the game 113 to 107. Westbrook scored his last points with 4:02 left in the game. In what would be his last positive contribution to the Wizard winning efforts. With the game tied at 99 with 2:57 to go. The 76ers out scored the Wizards 14-9. For Westbrook and company although they were heavy underdogs coming into the game. I know this lost still stings as they had many chances to put this one away. This game has opened the door for Westbrook critics to push the stat padder narrative and after a lackluster closing effort like this I can not blame them.

Scary Terry stakes his claim to be the lead guard in Charlotte in a losing effort.

After coming out of the first quarter stuck 1 at 23-24, the Hornets allowed the Cavs to jump out to a 21-point lead at half. Losing the second Q 41-21. The Hornets completely controlled the pace of the game from that point on winning both the 3rd and 4th quarters by 8&6 points, respectively. If not for Terry’s 10 3 point makes and 42 points overall. This game would have gotten ugly fast. With Charlotte not making the playoffs last year and their only additions to their rotation being the 3rd overall Pick Lamelo Ball and former all-star Gordon Hayward. There is a clear battle for minutes, usage and shots at both the guard positions and as a result the small forward position as well. With 42-points, Scary Terry has marked his spot at the top of the ladder with Haywards 28 points and 120-million-dollar contract almost locked into second. Leaving the real battle to be had between 3rd year guard Devonte Graham and rookie Lamelo ball. Graham did not shoot the ball the best but was able to come away with a double-double (10 points & 10 Assists) in 37 minutes of action. Lamelo on the other hand was held scoreless but did come away with 2 stls that interestingly happened in the same sequence. A clear pecking order has started to form in Charlotte. Will be interesting to see if Lamelo and Graham can shake things up moving forward.

Monster Lines that came with a W

Brown Tatum and a bit of luck beat the Bucks.

The Celtics controlled the 2nd and 3rd quarters putting them in a spot to win late. Despite being out scored in the 4th 37-21. As a Bucks fan this one probably hurt to watch. Not only did Tatum take Giannis lunch money on the step back 3 to take the lead. When gifted a terrible foul by Tristan Thompson with .4 left. Giannis steps to the line and misses a free throw that would have sent the game to overtime. I doubt there will be many games this regular season where Giannas has 35 points 13 rebounds and 2 blks. Khris Middleton flirts with a triple double at 27 points 14 rebounds and 8 Assists. Then Jrue Holiday adds in 25 points and the Bucks go on to lose. The Celtics prized duo of Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown had other ideas. Scoring 63 points combined. With 30 points 7 rebounds 2 stls and a blk from Tatum. Then 33 points 5 rebounds 2stls and blk from brown. The Eastern Conference is going to be a bloodbath this season, with Kyrie and Hayward out of the picture in Boston it might be time for their 2 young stars to take that next step.

Will the Real Slim reaper please stand up!

Weathering the storm in the first half, Brandon Ingram came out like a man possessed to route the Toronto Raptors 113-99. Heading in the break stuck 7, B.I and company put on a shooting clinic and took Toronto to school. Being one rebound shy of a triple double, Ingram was a clear force to be reckoned with. Finding the open man with ease and their shooters; JJ reddick, Eric Bledsoe and Lonzo Ball made them most of it. To the tune of 11 assists for Brandon and a combined 14 made 3pts from those 3 alone. Matching the team total of the Raptors on 20 less attempts from deep. As good as the Raptors D has been under Nick Nurse. It is clear the team lives and dies by their perimeter shooting and perimeter D. Both leaving much to be desired in the second half. The Pelicans are loaded with talent and should be an interesting team to watch in a stacked Western Conference.

Trae being Trae.

Not much to say about this one as the game was over by halftime. Trae Young came out of the gates on fire. Scoring 37 points on 12 shots. Supplemented by him going a perfect 14 for 14 from the free throw line in 26 minutes. It is unfortunate that this game was not closer as we could have been in store for an all-time great performance. Having retooled in the offseason as well as at the trade deadline last season.  the Eastern Conference should be on notice of this year’s Hawks!

Signing off,

Ryley J

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