The NBA is finally back, and the first night presented two of the coolest, and most intriguing matchups of the year. Former champions, lots of All Stars, and young prospects made it a titular night in this season, as the opening always is, let’s break down all the action.
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Toronto Raptors vs. New Orleans Pelicans
The Raptors are certainly one of the teams which people were looking forward to read into the dynamic of this season, seeing as they were the champions last season, but their star player, Kawhi Leonard, ran off almost immediately to start a dynasty in Los Angeles (which we’ll get to next). The Raptors made some bold moves however, signing finals breakout star Pascal Siakam to a max deal, and need we mention the ever present Kyle Lowry is also still on this Toronto squadron.
On the other hand, we have the New Orleans Pelicans, a perennial lottery contender, which finally drafted number one pick Zion Williamson, but who unfortunately got injured in a preseason game. Zion is slated to make his return this season itself, but let’s see how his rookie season goes. Without Zion, the Pelicans seemed wildly underpowered and diminished, even against a fairly mediocre squad like the present Raptors team.
The final score for this game ended up being 130-122 for the Raptors win, in all honesty, nobody expected this game to come down this close. The aforementioned Raptor Siakam had 34 points and 18 boards, justifying his max deal, as well as Lowry putting in a cool 22 points. On the other side, we had double digit scores from Jrue Holiday, Brandon Ingram, and JJ Redick. Hype machine Lonzo Ball also put in 25 minutes, but no great numbers.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers
The Clippers had one of the best off seasons of any NBA team, saying a lot in this year. Snatching up two NBA all-stars, Kawhi Leonard, as well as Paul George, making them instant title contenders this year. Despite George being on the bench, Kawhi is still a defensive and offensive killer, and fans were dying to see this LA only matchup.
On the other side, the favorites in Los Angeles, the Lakers made the first big move of the off season, bagging up All Star favorite big man Anthony Davis to help LeBron James, widely considered the best in the world, in the frontcourt. However, this trade was done at the price of a lot of young blood talent, making fans question the decision.
The final score for this game came down quite close, but not even as close as our last game, with the Clippers taking it 112-102 from the Lakers. Former champ Kawhi put in a 30 point performance, supplemented by a combined 60 points from the young Clippers bench, as well as multiple time 6th man of the year, Lou Williams. Davis and James combined for 43 points, not enough to pull the Lakers over the line. Danny Green also had a great night, putting up 28 in the losing effort.