With the NBA’s first week of tip-off slowly coming to an end, it has been safe to say that the league has delivered a fair share of excitement, heartbreak, and all of the emotions in between. Unfortunately, Gordon Hayward has become the face of NBA tip-off week for reasons other than his scoring ability only six minutes into what was a new chapter in Hayward’s career. It was a gruesome sight in Cleveland Thursday night after a mid-air collision between Hayward and Lebron James after a failed alley-oop pass. Upon landing, Hayward fell and landed awkwardly on his left ankle, that ended up facing the opposite way of the organic anatomical direction. He was carried off by a medical team and flown back to Boston for medical examination and treatment, and the final direction of his first season as a Boston Celtic is still to be determined.
Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, the new face of the Laker’s, Lonzo Ball, was welcomed with not so open arms by his dance partner for the evening, Patrick Beverly. Beverly, known for his tenacious and pestering defensive intensity, took it upon himself to show the rookie that his time in the NBA, or at least against Beverly, wouldn’t be a cakewalk. With only three points in his debut, Ball struggled from the field, only shooting one for six, with an impressive nine rebounds and four assists to somewhat decorate his poor shooting performance in the Laker’s 108-92 loss to the Clippers. The good news moving forward is Patrick Beverly is as tough of a defender that Lonzo probably will ever see, and, we sometimes forget that Lonzo is still only 19 and one game into his potentially promising career.
The new image of the Oklahoma City Thunder made their first appearance Thursday night in their home opener against, interestingly enough, the New York Knicks in a 105-84 beating. Carmelo, doing what Carmelo does, finished the game against his former team with 22 points on 8-20 shooting, 1 rebound, and 1 assist- while PG13 finished with 28 and the reigning MVP in Russell Westbrook finished with a triple-double (21 points, 16 assists, and 10 rebounds). Granted the Knicks aren’t exactly the best team in the eastern conference, it was still a refreshing display of unselfishness and joy amongst the new face of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
We are only one week into a long season, but this year the NBA should be more interesting than ever before. Some faces are in new places and acquisitions have taken place that can make or break a lot of careers. All of these events lead up to moving towards healthy competition of a worthy team that could possibly knock off the reigning world champion Golden State Warriors.