Welcome back fantasy fans to the first true night of NBA basketball! With twelve games last night, we can all over react to our terrible draft day decisions. Since we’re so early into the season, I will be adjusting my advice accordingly. Without further adieu let’s jump right into it!

Magic vs Pistons

Rookie Paolo Banchero led the Magic in scoring with 27 points on 11-18 shooting. The rookie of the year award was his to lose coming into the season and tonight solidified that exact mentality. However, there may be a problem brewing in Orlando. Where do the minutese go when all of Banchero, Wendell Carter Jr., Mo Bamba, Bol Bol, Chuma Okeke, Caleb Houstan and eventually Jonathan Isaac play? It will be very interesting to monitor as the season progresses. One final piece on Orlando, Jalen Suggs is a must-stream in the short term, at least while Cole Anthony and Markelle Fultz are out. Suggs impressed putting up 21 points on good efficiency with two steals.

As we all expected Bojan Bogdanovic led the Pistons in scoring, putting up six threes and 16 field goal attempts. This kind of production can’t be sustainable, right? With Marvin Bagley III out his minutes are a bit inflated and his shooting splits were very efficient. Maybe a solid streaming option but I don’t have faith this will sustain. On the other hand I am going all in on Jaden Ivey heading forward, who turned out to be the perfect compliment to Cade Cunningham putting up 19 points.


Wizards vs Pacers

How good can a team led by Kyle Kuzma, Kristaps Porzingis and Bradley Beal be? Good enough to beat the Pacers, but that’s not exactly saying much. Double-doubles for both Porzingis and Kuzma with Beal leading the team in scoring. Worth noting that Deni Avdija didn’t return from injury tonight, so possible starting minutes for Will Barton in the short term.

As for the Pacers, rookie Bennedict Mathurin showed up in his debut, putting up 19 points, seven rebounds and two steals. He probably comes off the bench for a little bit longer but I wouldn’t at all be surprised if he usurped the starting role from sophomore Chris Duarte.


Rockets vs Hawks

Here we see the first instance tonight of confusing starting lineup decisions. Why didn’t Alperen Sengun start? I understand why he only played 22 minutes, as he had six turnovers and three personal fouls but why didn’t he start? Jabari Smith Jr. and Bruno Fernando got the starting nod over Sengun and in fairness both did have respectable games. Smith Jr. put up 17 points and Fernando had a triple single of nine, seven and seven.

The Hawks starters on the other hand looked incredible, as everybody but Clint Capela putting up at least 20 points. When will Onyeka Okongwu replace him as the starting center? Yes, I do believe it’s a question of when not if, in less minutes he put up better numbers than him and was more involved in the offense.


Pelicans vs Nets

So are the Pelicans legitimate contenders? Three 20-point scorers, Zion Williamson looking amazing on the defensive end, Jonas Valanciunas grabbing 13 rebounds and bench scoring from Jose Alvarado, Larry Nance Jr. and Trey Murphy III. They looked scary against a supposed contender in the Nets.

Kevin Durant was the only one who showed up for Brooklyn, Kyrie Irving missed 13 field goals and all six of the three-point attempts, Ben Simmons keeps giving fuel to his haters by only attempting three field goals all night and everyone else was just mediocre.


Bulls vs Heat

No Lonzo Ball, no problem, as Ayo Dosunmu looked amazing starting, putting up 17 points, six rebounds and four assists. The team as a whole looked amazing with everyone spacing the floor, Goran Dragic and Coby White providing a scoring boost off the bench, DeMar DeRozan continuing his form from last year and Nikola Vucevic turning back the clock.

While the Heat did lose there were many bright spots to look at. Jimmy Butler looked great, Tyler Herro played up to his contract and Max Strus was absolutely lights out.


Cavaliers vs Raptors

First and foremost I wasn’t expecting Raptors rookie Christian Koloko to play at all, let alone for 15 minutes. He looked damn good out there, grabbing six rebounds and registering a block. He’s definitely gonna be worth keeping an eye on, especially with how tight of a bench Nick Nurse usually runs. As for the rest of the Raptors, Precious Achiuwa is my pick for biggest fantasy bust of the night: 36% from the field and 25% from three on four attempts. It’s only the first game so don’t panic sell yet, just a bad game to start the year.

For the Cavaliers Donovan Mitchell had an excellent game, putting up 31 points, nine assists and two steals. Still no update at the time of writing about All Star Guard Darius Garland who left the game early with an eye injury.


Knicks vs Grizzlies

Another year of Tom Thibodeau lineup decisions? Buy your stock in Evan Fournier while it’s at an all time low now, he’s gonna consistently get 25+ minutes per game. Speaking of minutes, back up center Isaiah Hartenstein ended up leading the Knicks tonight with 40 total minutes accrued due to Mitchell Robinson being in foul trouble.

The Grizzlies look like they haven’t lost a step with Ja Morant leading the way with 34 points, a deep bench unit and Steven Adams hoovering up every rebound available. He ended the night with 14 total. Sophomore Santi Aldama and third year guard John Konchar weren’t far behind him with 11 rebounds each.


Thunder vs Timberwolves

If there’s one player I’m all in on this year, a legitimate star who’s gonna turn a lot of heads, it’s Rudy Gobert in Minnesota. For the last few years in Utah, Gobert just wasn’t getting the ball from Mitchell in high chance opportunities. With D’Angelo Russell at the helm, now we see what happens. Gobert led the team in scoring with 23 points on 66% from the field. They won this game with Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns shooting terribly from the field. My bold prediction for this year is that the Timberwolves not only make the playoffs but do so as a one seed and make the WCF.

As for the OKC Thunder, well it’s another tank year for them. In 20 or so games, they will probably shut down Shai Gilgeous-Alexander again. In good news Aleksej Pokusevski is now a starter, so for those of you who drafted and stashed him you may finally be getting a return on your investment.


Hornets vs Spurs

As someone who owns Devin Vassell in multiple leagues, last night hurt. He went 3-15 from the field, 0-8 from three and only put up 11 points, two rebounds and four assists. A very disappointing night for him, but teammates Tre Jones and Keldon Johnson put up some pretty good numbers.

A center battle is brewing in Charlotte, between the always reliable for seven rebounds and nothing else Mason Plumlee and Nick Richards ,who put up a career-high 19 points and 10 rebounds tonight. Keep an eye on him, as fans have been begging the Hornets to do anything at center for at least three years now and Richards could be the convenient answer for the franchise.


Nuggets vs Jazz

Jazz, what the heck are you doing? I presumed under new head coach Will Hardy the team wouldn’t stick to their ways and prioritize veterans over young players. I presumed by trading away the franchise cornerstones that it signaled a rebuild for Utah focused on development. I assumed that veterans such as Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson would still get minutes to keep their trade value high, but never did I think both of them would start over Collin Sexton! Never did I think that 31 year old Kelly Olynyk would start over both Walker Kessler and Udoka Azubuike. Never, even in my wildest estimations did I think that 36 year old Rudy Gay would play 26 minutes for them! What are you doing, Jazz? The crazy part is they won, so I can’t even say anything. What am I supposed to do? Be upset at a team for doing what it took to win?


Mavericks vs Suns

Despite the tough loss, last night confirmed one thing for the Mavericks; Christian Wood is him. He’s the perfect pick and roll partner for Luka Doncic, and a piece they’ve been missing. They might need a better answer for paint defense looking forward. JaVale McGee is serviceable but not ideal at that position.

The Suns dominated from the midrange tonight, attempting 85 field goals in comparison to their 22 attempted threes. Double-doubles for Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges, and 28 points for Devin Booker. They may not be the frauds we all think they are.


Trail Blazers vs Kings

Very disappointing night from Domantas Sabonis, only putting up 13 points, four rebounds and five assists. He looked lost out there, even when the Blazers went small he wasn’t able to dominate like he has in previous seasons. I’m sure with time the rust will wear off but as for any fantasy owners banking on him this week, tough luck. His running mate De’Aaron Fox performed excellently, putting up 33 points, seven assists and seven rebounds.

As for the Trail Blazers, they look like a cohesive unit this year. Anfernee Simons and Damian Lillard worked well off each other, Jerami Grant looking like the steal of the summer and bench contributions from rookie Shaedon Sharpe.