So my one-game-sample-size overreaction to the Portland Trail Blazers’ 128-119 win over the Los Angeles Lakers last night could be best describe as “these are the 2006 Lakers, Lonzo Ball is Smush Parker, and LeBron James is Kobe Bryant.”
I am reminded why I don’t turn comments on around here. Go follow @RealFoxD if you want to call me an idiot.
Seriously, though, Ball is up to his old tricks again, as he shot 28.6 percent from the field and 25 percent from three (2-of-7 and 1-of-4 respectively.)
Oh, and he played just 19 minutes because the Lakers got a professional basketball player to be their point guard in the person of Rajon Rondo, who had 13 points and 11 assists on 6-of-13 shooting.
Was that efficient? No. But it was a damn sight better than Ball’s war crime of a stat line.
But you’re not here for that. You’re here for MONSTER JAMS
LeBron's first dunk with the Lakers in slow motion phantom cam pic.twitter.com/RDAW4dZ8Tw
— JzoSports (@JzoSports) October 19, 2018
For real, though, too much awesome concentrated in one arena:
LeBron Dunk ➡️ Dame Dunk ➡️ LeBron Dunk
*Fans self repeatedly* pic.twitter.com/0A8zvm0Liq
— The Rush (@therushyahoo) October 19, 2018
Oh, and how about the winning team? Let’s talk about them!
The Blazers shot a horrifying sort of 44 percent, going 44-of-100. The game was played at a breakneck pace, 111.3 by Basketball Reference’s reckoning and 114.8 by the simple method.
Yet Lillard and McCollum also combined for 49 points and got a big boost from Nik Stauskas, who had 24 of his own.
Tonight was one to remember. pic.twitter.com/KHapYDea8G
— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) October 19, 2018
41 And Nothing
Here’s how bad the Chicago Bulls are.
They scored 41 points in the first quarter…and only led by 3.
They didn’t finish scoring their next 41 points, as in get to 82, until the fourth quarter.
And they got their asses kicked, to the tune of 127-108 at the hands of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Speaking of the Sixers, can their fans just stop with the wild cheering for anything Markelle Fultz does right, even the most rudimentary basketball fundamentals? Y’all cheering like parents of the “special” kid out there.
Fultz did make his first career three-pointer, however, which is more than Ben Simmons can say for himself, even though Fultz stunk out the joint by shooting 5-of-15 and putting up a non-factor 12 points, five assists, and four rebounds mostly in garbage time.
Simmons, meanwhile, may not be making any threes, but he did shoot an efficient 5-of-8 on his way to a triple-double with 13 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists. He’s Magic Johnson out there on his best day.
Joel Embiid led the way with 30, including an impressive 12-of-14 from the line.
Three Sixers were in double digits for rebounds as Philly dominated the glass 55-39, and that’s how you win some ballgames.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) October 19, 2018
Bienvenido a Miami
The Heat went out on the road and ruined the Washington Wizards’ home opener, coming from behind in the fourth quarter to win 113-112 in the League Pass appetizer for people who didn’t just want to watch Bulls-Sixers on TNT ahead of the LeBron game.
Josh Richardson was the straw stirring the drink, scoring 28 points on 8-of-21 shooting and playing a neutral plus/minus game.
The decisive factor? Rebounding. The Heat grabbed 22 offensive rebounds, overcoming a game in which they were terrible from the field (39.3 percent), turned the ball over too much (16 against the Wizards’ 14), did a worse job of getting to the line (25-of-34 vs. 29-of-39 for Washington) and generally got outplayed in every facet of the game.
But give a team enough second chances and you’ll hand them a win.
Miami didn’t win this game. Washington lost it. Bad sign for the Wizards this season if that’s how they’re going to play it.
Richardson makes the highlight reel:
— NBA (@NBA) October 19, 2018
First week of specials is in the book. Might have a feature later. Might not. Won’t know unless you stay tuned, so thanks for reading!