NBA Breakfast Special: The Celtics Are Dead

by Fox Doucette

The appetizers are eaten, and the NBA served up a main course of Opening Night action for most of the rest of the league’s teams, plus the first SEGABABA of the season, a twin bill featuring the Rockets and Celtics in games with quite opposite results. We begin on the East Coast with…

Requiem For A Leprechaun

In their first full game without Gordon Hayward, things did not go well for Gang Green. Kyrie Irving was an atrocious 7-of-25, Jayson Tatum looked not ready for prime time defensively, and the Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo kicked off what some are saying might just be an MVP season by hanging 37 points and 13 rebounds on 13-of-22 from the field and 11-of-13 from the line on last year’s top regular-season team in the East.

Hayward had a message for Celtics fans:

But Giannis had a game so dominant that Brad Stevens got the last word:

Really, any time Milwaukee puts together one of these compilations, it’s going to be all Giannis all the time, isn’t it?

The Bucks won 108-100.

New Year, Same Old Sixers

I am not ready for the Process to bear fruit unless that fruit is rotten crab apples. It’s just too much fun to hate on Sam Hinkie’s โ€œlegacyโ€, and more importantly, we need this team to suck as an appropriate cautionary tale not only to basketball but to business in general never to hire an MBA to do a person with common sense’s job.

Thankfully, since our rule around here is to only show winners, we begin with praise for the Wizards, who won 120-115:

Yep. Bradley Beal is a beast.

Meanwhile, John Wall will not rest until you say he’s the best point guard in the Eastern Conference and mean it:

Seriously, though. This alley-oop right here.

Own the Rim, Orlando

This may just be the year that Frank Vogel finally turns the Magic into the defensive team he made his coaching reputation on when he was in charge of the Pacers during the Eastern Conference Finals years in 2013 and ’14.

The team smacked Miami 116-109, and…wait. Did Aaron Gordon think this was the dunk contest?

No, seriously, is he out to be the new Breakfast Special MVP no matter what he’s heard about Giannis having that title locked down in the previews?

But it’s Evan Fournier’s world, and his 23 points helped power the win:

Have fun in that tie for first place, guys.

And oh by the way, Hassan Whiteside had 26 points and 22 boards. That is hustle in a losing effort right there.

In Which The Pacers Go Mad With Offense

Consider the following…

And then consider what 140-131 can do. Because that’s the count by which the Pacers beat the Brooklyn Nets.

We begin, however, with something horrifying, the second major injury to a team’s star in as many nights this season:

And continue with Gregg Doyel saying what we’re all thinking as this enigmatic bunch of Pacers tries to do for basketball what the Patriots are doing for football right now, that is win ballgames with no defense at all:

Look, I don’t care that his advanced stats are hot garbage, it’s Lance Freakin’ Stephenson, shut up:

Remember how I said in the preview that Domantas Sabonis was possibly the worst rotation player in the league last year? Well, this is a step toward redemption:

โ€œOh, yeah, I won’t get fired by Christmas!โ€

Victor Oladipo wants to be an All-Star. Get your game on, go play:

DEE-TROIT BASKETBALL

I would like to point this out as either the best or the worst tweet about the Pistons I’ve ever seen and I can’t decide which:

Look, Kawhi Leonard and Draymond Green don’t go 0-for-13. I don’t care how good Johnson’s defense is, he still sucks.

One of the least League Pass-friendly teams in the league grinds out a 102-90 win.

Boogie And the Brow

What are we gonna do tonight, Brow? The same thing we do every night, Boogie…try to take over the world by playing a style of basketball that hasn’t worked in the NBA since David Robinson was still playing alongside Tim Duncan.

The Twin Towers went a combined 18-of-44, scored 61 points, and were the bright spots in an ugly 103-91 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. New Orleans is in for a long season, as they find the perfect way to put two superstars on their team and still suck.

Dillon Brooks is going to be the biggest second-round steal since Draymond Green:

I did not know Tyreke Evans could do this:

Tony Allen was a grit-n-grind icon. The whole character of the team changes losing him to a foe:

You gotta close out better than that, Pellies:

Badsketball

The Hawks and Mavs both look to suck this year. So of course one of them gets to start 1-0 and say there was one shining moment when they were over .500 during this wretched campaign.

And so it goes with Atlanta’s 117-111 win. Kent Bazemore had the defensive play of the night, a sweet pick-two:

When help defense on a set piece goes wrong:

This right here is how you take out the trash:

If Your Defense Is Good Enough You Can Do Anything

Utah ground out a 106-96 win over Denver in their opener, and maybe you shouldn’t bet against a team that can hold the opponent to a terrible 1:1 assist-to-turnover ratio, as Denver had 21 of each.

On the other hand, the Nugs did shoot 46.8 percent from the floor and 48.7 from long range, and if they’d got more shots, they could’ve won this one. Defense? Are we sure on that?

We’ll do the all-in-one pack on this one, thanks to the team’s Twitter mavens:

How You Doin’, Phoenix, Ready For Another Year of Heartache?

I mean, consider the following…

Did we mention Portland was without CJ McCollum thanks to a suspension?

Because…

Man, never gets old. The 124-76 win for Portland, a 48-point margin, handed the Suns their worst loss in franchise history and ensured that Earl Watson gets to be on the coaching hot seat before Halloween.

Wolves Might Be Good. But Not In San Antonio.

The Spurs weren’t about to lose the home opener, not to Jimmy Butler and KAT and the rest of the Wolves:

And let’s just go ahead and shout out LaMarcus Aldridge for a double-double and for joining DeMar DeRozan on the All-Dinosaur And I Don’t Mean Raptors Team:

Pau Gasol and Manu Ginobili are ageless:

So there’s your final:

And Finally…

First team to 2-0: Your Houston Rockets.

James Harden would like it known that he is very good at basketball.

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