The NBA is finally back and the first week of action did not disappoint. Opening night was one of the main reasons why the week did not disappoint.
Opening night featured a pair of games that went right down to the wire. The Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics battled down to the end in a game that had many storylines going into it and made many headlines after the game as well.
The late-night game of the doubleheader featured the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.
This game was another exciting one, which saw forward Kevin Durant make a jumper at the buzzer, but the official waved off the shot because the ball was still in his hands as time ran out. A great win for the reloaded Rockets, and a terrible loss for the defending champions – who struggled in the first week of the season.
One of the headlines, for the Celtics, turned out to be heartbreaking news, as forward Gordon Hayward went up for an alley-oop from Irving and landed awkwardly on the floor, breaking his left ankle in the process. Boston battled back though, eventually taking the lead in the fourth quarter after Cleveland seemed to be pulling away in the second quarter and early in the third quarter.
The Cleveland and Boston matchup featured 11 total lead changes and five ties, as the Cavaliers (1-0) won on opening night at the Quicken Loans Arena against the Boston Celtics (0-1) by a score of 102-99.
The Golden State and Houston matchup featured two total lead changes and four ties, as the Rockets (1-0) won on opening night at Oracle Arena against the Golden State Warriors (0-1) by a score of 122-121.
- 11 Kyrie Irving – 22 pts | 4 rebs | 10 asts | 3 stls | 2 tos
- 7 Jaylen Brown – 25 pts | 6 rebs | 2 stls | 3 tos
- 0 Jayson Tatum – 14 pts | 10 rebs | 3 asts | 1 to
- 42 Al Horford – 9 pts | 7 rebs | 5 asts | 1 blk
- 23 LeBron James – 29 pts | 16 rebs | 9 asts | 2 blks | 4 tos
- 1 Derrick Rose – 14 pts | 4 rebs | 2 asts | 2 tos
- 0 Kevin Love – 15 pts | 11 rebs | 2 tos
- 9 Dwyane Wade – 8 pts | 2 rebs | 3 asts | 2 blks | 4 tos
Each week, multiple top performances will determine a “Primetime Player” of the week. The Primetime Player of the first week of the NBA season is No. 34 Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Known as the “Greek Freak,” Antetokounmpo showed to the entire league that he means business this season, with all eyes on the NBA MVP award.
Antetokounmpo opened up his season with a 37 point, 13 rebound, and 59 percent shooting performance against the Celtics. Overall, in three games played, Antetokounmpo averaged 38 points per game and 9.6 rebounds per game.
The one question mark, though, is his perimeter shooting. In his three games played this season, Antetonkounmpo has only attempted six three-point field goal attempts and has converted on just one of them.
What he lacks in perimeter shooting, though, he makes up with his length, agility, and speed. At 6-feet-11-inches tall, Antetonkoumpo is one of the hardest players to cover in the league, and that continued to be a problem for opposing teams during the week.
Around the rim, Antetokounmpo is phenomenal, but he can also chase opponents off-the-dribble with his quick first step and ability to finish with force.
34 Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks) – 38.3 ppg (points per game) | 9.7 rpg (rebounds per game) | 5.0 apg (assists per game) | 2.7 spg (steals per game) | 3.0 tpg (turnovers per game)