Phillip Dixon 10/17/2018
Like every year when it comes to the very first game of the NBA season, you have to exclude the first five minutes of the game. No matter how big you get, there are going to be jitters. No matter how many shots you put up in the off season, there are going to be jitters. Going along with those jitters, each player has a massive adrenaline rush flowing through their body. So massive that that its visible. With this being the case, of course the ball will be shot harder, then the next time down court the over compensation happens then the ball is shot short. Even though these players seem like super hero’s to most, they still have the same human impulses as everyone else.
Excluding that those first couple minutes though, this was a good game! Excluding the fourth quarter as well. With this first game of the NBA season, I noticed very specific things from both teams that showed promise.
First let’s start with the 76’ers. The fact that Ben Simmons is at least taking the mid-range jumper says something to me. At times last year, he would be wide open and refuse to take the jump shot. Yes, this is still early in the season but the fact that he was willing to take what the defense was giving him showed a level of confidence in his own game that he needs to take his game to another level. Going along with jump shots, Markelle Fultz definitely caught my attention. His jump shot of course does not look as pure as it did in college but, from the pullup midrange, it looked solid. No disgusting hitch at the point of release or anything. Now, it was obvious that he doesn’t have much chemistry with the team yet but it’s only the first game. He is skilled enough and too hard a worker for him to not work out. Markelle is truly the X factor of that team this NBA season.
Of course, with the Boston Celtics you have a team that is arguably the most talented team from top to bottom along with the Golden State Warriors. Somehow kyrie looked rusty. Even his handle did not look as poetic as it had been the previous year on a regular basis. Once again, this is the first game but that was obvious when it came to him. Also, many of his shots did not fall from three-point range. Many of those shots were not rhythm shots but that is no excuse for Kyrie; he has made a career making shots that are out of rhythm. I would be slaughtered if I did not mention Gordon Hayward. Yes, it is an exciting thing that he is back on the court from his horrific season ending injury last year, but I believe he does not need to do nearly as well as he would’ve last year for this Boston Celtics team to win an NBA championship this year.
Jayson Tatum has essentially stolen that role from him. Jayson Tatum is the biggest upgrade from Gordon Hayward that the Boston Celtics couldn’t have possibly expected. Jayson Tatum is a future MVP in this league and the first game of this season was the starting off point to a truly magnificent career for the franchise player. And I can’t forget about Scary Terry. Terry Rozier is a magnificent backup point guard for the Celtics. He added a burst of energy every possession he was involved with in the game verses Philly. Especially when he sent Joel Embiid’s shot back to the liberty bell. We may be looking at a six man of the year recipient.