How did you read the title to this post? Was it, “Oh, What a Night!” or was it, “Oh, What a Night…” because we got both last night. The NBA was finally back after a crazy offseason and provided matchups that had us all salivating: Boston vs Cleveland and Houston vs Golden State. Hot diggidy! Unfortunately, the story of the night was the gruesome injury to Gordon Hayward. Last night was akin to finally having sex with the “crush.” Was good enough so no walk of shame was necessary. Making it to the morning. Even going out to the local joint for breakast. Then…..the “crush” goes Exorcist and pukes all over your food, clothes, and the table….with some chunks causing collatoral damage to the innocent byeaters. Get well soon Hayward. Our thoughts are with you. Since this is a fantasy website, we have to get into the impact of injury. The Celtics started the game with Kyrie Irving at PG, Gordon Hayward at SG, Jaylen Brown at SF, Jayson Tatum at PF, and Al Horford at C. With Marcus Morris injured, I’d imagine that they continue to play small ball with Tatum at PF, Brown at SF, and Marcus Smart at SG. Terry Rozier would receive elevated minutes backing up both Kyrie and Smart.
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Jalen Brown went freaking HAM dropping in 25 points, grabbing six boards, and pilfering two. He played 40 minutes and went 11-for-23. He’s super athletic and showed why the Celtics would not include him in any trades this summer. If he can improve his three-point shooting (2-for-9), Brown is going to be a beast.
Jayson Tatum was the first Celtics player to record a double-dub in their NBA debut since Larry Bird (courtesy of @nbaunwrapped). He started off really slow, but….ain’t no buts. What the hell were you doing at age 19? Hopefully he doesn’t fall off like Channing Tatum.
Marcus Smart did start the second half, so he’s the most direct beneficiary of the Hayward injury. He ended up playing 35 minutes and stuffed that stat sheet like it was Thanksgiving: 12 points, nine boards, three dimes, two pilfers, and two swats. Unfortunately, it was Hungry Man stuffing as he shot 5-for-16 from the field and 0-for-4 from three-land. He’s probably going to start, so minutes equals $$$.
Terry Rozier is also going to get an uptick in minutes going forward. He scored nine points on 2-for-6 shooting (1-for-3 from three-land), grabbed three boards, dropped two dimes, and pilfered four! Dude is quick and isn’t shy on the offensive end.
Kyrie Irving did what Kyrie Irving do….except make the game-tying three-pointer at the buzzer. 8-for-17 from the field, 4-for-9 from three-land, 22 points, four boards, 10 dimes, and three pilfers. I did think the assists would go up this season with the volume of shots going down. Played out that way, but going forward, he’s going to have to shoulder more of the load so the usage may spike up.
Al Horford did not have a great game. Nine points on 2-for-7 shooting (0-for-2 from three-land). He did grab seven boards, drop five dimes, and swat one. He’ll be fine.
LeBron James fell one assist shy of his 56th triple-dub. Scrub. He even made all four of his attempts from the charity stripe. Maybe someone did spend a little less time on Snapchat and actually practiced this summer.
Kevin Love ended the game with a double-dub (15 points/11 boards), but he literally did nothing else. It was like he changed his name to Waldo.
Jae Crowder didn’t shoot well from the field (3-for-10) but grabbed five boards, dished out two dimes, and pilfered two. He played 35 minutes so eventually $$$.
Derrick Rose and Dwayne Wade did not do much in this game. Definitely a result of miscommunication. One rose while the other wade.
So, I’m taking the L for my assessment of Chris Paul to the Rockets. I thought CP3 would be the alpha and James Harden would be the spot-up shooter when both were on the court. Naw. It was Harden doing his thing with CP3 chillin eating wings. Probably a little too much ISO from Harden but that’s what he do. One thing to keep in mind was that CP3 was hobbling around with an apparent knee injury, so that may have had something to do with the usage. Since he was pulled from the game with five minutes to go, have to consider him questionable for tomorrow night’s game. Harden ended the night with 27 points, six boards, 10 dimes, and one pilfer and 10-for-23 shooting. CP3 dropped 11 dimes, grabbed eight boards!, pilfered two, and swatted one, but only scored four points on 2-for-9 shooting. Regardless, both of these guys are going to be triple-dub threats every night.
I told y’all that the signings of P.J. Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute were good ones for this Rockets squad. I thought it’d be more on the defensive side of the ball, though. Luc dropped 14 points, while Tucker dropped 20. Tucker was the one that really impressed me, as he was tough on the glass and provided some toughness. He grabbed six boards, pilfered one, and shot 4-for-9 from three-land.
Trevor Ariza played a team-high 38 minutes and scored 8 points, grabbed 6 boards, dished 5 dimes, and pilfered 2. There was a poll on Twitter the other day asking, “Who is the most average player in the NBA?” Is that what they call a rhetorical question?
Draymond Green fell one point shy of a triple-dub (11 boards/13 dimes). Interestingly, he did not swat or pilfer one. The concerning thing is that he left the game early due to a knee strain, after taking a shot at the end of the third quarter. He did say that he’s good after the game, but it’s something to keep an eye or two on.
Jordan Bell entered the game early when the Rockets went small and ended up playing 12 minutes for the game. He scored eight points, grabbed one board, and dished out one dime. He did not pilfer or swat one. He did get abused by Harden a couple of times after a switch, but he was able to shuffle his feet and hang with him. If Bell gets significant minutes, he could be a monster on the boards and in defensive stats. It’s going to be tough, at least early on, to supplant David West and Zaza Pachulia on the depth chart.
Nick Young. Sorry. I mean Swaggy P was in the house! There was none of this:
Just lots and lots of this:
Swaggy P gets hot, but he’s a streaky shooter. Also, keep in mind that Andre Iguodala missed last night’s game.
Steph Curry was good. Not great. 22 points on 8-for-18 shooting (3-for-9 from three-land), five boards, four dimes, and one pilfer. With Swaggy P in town, get used to the New World Order.
I hope to whatever entity you pray to that you know that I was kidding.
Kevin Durant is plastic man with bones. Dude is so freaking long. Really an amazing athlete to watch. I remember listening to him on the Bill Simmons podcast a while back and hearing him say that his game is all predicated on his length. I think he said that he wouldn’t be able to play the way he does if he was shorter than 6’6″ I think. The cool thing about the whole interview, though, was the assumption that even if he had to play a different style that he’d still be hooping in the NBA. Anyways, 2o points, five boards, seven dimes, and four swats. It’s a Swaggy P world and we are all just living in it.