Detroit @ Orlando – Tayshaun Prince followed his 34 points vs. Miami with a steady 17 point night on 6-of-9 shooting. He was one of six Pistons to reach double figures and those players combined to make all but seven of Detroit’s 43 shots. Orlando was led by 21 points but he only took 11 shots. Supposedly J.J. Redick is improved well tonight was not an indicator as he played just four minutes and has yet to score in 12 minutes this season. Trevor Ariza has established himself a little more than Redick but was supposed to have more of a role, thus far he has five points in 14 minutes.
Miami @ Indiana – Ohio State had three guys drafted Mike Conley and Greg Oden are the ones we hear about most often but Daequan Cook had quite a debut. Cook played 28 minutes and scored 17 points. That was a positive for a locker room filled with negatives. As for the Pacers it was Jermaine O’Neal’s debut but it was also another solid night for Danny Granger. Granger hit four three-pointer and is 9-for-15 this season. He was 2-for-9 from downtown through the first two games of last season and going back to 2006-07 Granger is 12-for-18 in his last four. Six points do not often get a mention but when they’re a pair of threes they get the mention, which is what Kareem Rush had during the late 12-0 run.
Milwaukee @ Charlotte – The Bucks are now 0-2 and it’s very clear that Yi Jianlian is going to be one of those work in progresses. He finished with two points and picked up four fouls in 15 minutes. Michael Redd and Maurice Williams scored decently but six turnovers apiece isn’t going to cut it. It was Jason Richardson’s debut and he finished with 21 points. The stat line of the night in Charlotte belongs to Raymond Felton, who had 26 and 12 assists, his 18th such game.
New York @ Cleveland – The tandem of Eddy Curry and Zach Randolph seemed to work decently. Curry had 18 points and seven rebounds and took 16 shots. Randolph scored 21, grabbed 10 boards and took 23 shots. They played the first 8:47 of the first and scored six points apiece. Curry scored four more points before Randolph returned to start the second. Curry was on the bench for the first 7:39 of the second and Randolph scored two points. They played the rest of the half and Curry scored four more points and Randolph scored two. They started the third together and played the first 7:26 together with Randolph scoring four and Curry scoring two. In the fourth, Curry started on the bench and Randolph scored just one basket until Curry came back with 6:38 remaining. Randolph scored three and Curry two in that span. So to conclude when they were on the court together Curry scored 14 while Randolph scored 15, so night one of this was not too shabby. It was some of the same issues as last season, poor rotation on three-point shooters and foul shooting. The Cavs hit 12 threes and the Knicks missed nine free throws.
As for the Cavs, there was no chance LeBron James was going to finish with 10 again. He could have been facing Anthony Mason or Charles Oakley but he was going to get his. He wound up with 45. The support for James came courtesy of Daniel Gibson, who often shook free or blew past Stephon Marbury and hit six threes en route to 24 points. From what I saw the problem was Knick defenders unsure if they should double up on James and that meant a half-hearted attempt to rotate towards Gibson once he was free in the corners.
Dallas @ Atlanta – Numberswise there is not much to crunch from the Mavericks side of the equation, but a minus-14 differential on the glass often results in a loss. That might be not be why Dallas lost but it certainly did not help especially since the margin was 14-7 in favor of Atlanta in the fourth.
As for the Hawks, the last time they won a season opener they made the playoffs so good omens are happening (remember they went 7-1 in the preseason). But it’s a lot better than some of the previous results this early (a combined margin of defeat of 120 in season openers since 1999). It was the usual Joe Johnson 28 points with help from Marvin Williams (16 points, a number he has topped in six of his last seven regular season games), 18 and 11 from Josh Smith and a steady 14 from Tyronn Lue. Al Horford’s debut saw him get nine points while Acie Law finished with eight.
Toronto @ New Jersey – The score should say it all, but what it and Chris Bosh say is don’t overlook the Raptors. But in case you want a refresher this is what Bosh said “We have to let people know we are still here,” Bosh said. “Eventually they are going to start talking about us, but we can’t worry about that. We know we are one of the top teams in the division and we’re not going to make it easy for everybody. We want to win too. We feel we are one of the best teams in the East and we are going to play like it.”
On the Nets side of things, what can you say? Not much. Richard Jefferson had another nice game but it would have been nicer if the Nets did not allow 16 straight points and then 18 in a row in the third.
Portland @ New Orleans – And this is what happens when LaMarcus Aldridge goes 4-of-12. As much as Brandon Roy can do (23 points on 10-of-15). Of course the awful showing again by the point guard Jarrett Jack isn’t going to help, 20 minutes, zero points and 0-of-4 from the field. This is what growing pains look like, especially when the centerpiece is out.
As for the Hornets, they’re running and led by the motor of Chris Paul, who had 19 points. They also got improved bench play as Rasual Butler (11 points) and Bobby Jackson (14 points) were decent. Only 9,817 showed up but some might have more important things to be concerned with than shelling out money for the NBA.
Washington @ Boston – Gilbert Arenas’ confidence on his blog about his team was not translated over to the court. Arenas finished with 21 points on some ugly shooting 5-of-21 and 0-of-5 from three. The Wizards were “Agent Zeros” from downtown where not one of their 16 attempts went down. That broke their record of 15 misses from downtown without a make set last year in New York. And in case you’re wondering, 10-16 is Washington’s record when Arenas attempts a three and makes none of them.
It seems lately that none of the sports teams in Boston can do nothing wrong and the debut of Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce was as good as advertised. The trio combined for 67 points on 24-of-46 shooting. I get the feeling that Doc Rivers won’t be uttering his amusing three in a row quote anytime soon.