A jam pack of NBA superstars headlined the start of the NBA season as opening night tipped off Tuesday. Last nights matchups were a telling sign that the 2021-22 season will be one for the books.
The evening began with a rematch from the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Milwaukee Bucks faced off against the Brooklyn Nets. After, the Los Angeles Lakers hosted the Golden State Warriors, what looks like a possible upcoming Western Conference final showdown.
Bucks defends home court on opening night
In the past, teams who are coming off a championship campaign like the Bucks, seem to come short for their seasons opener. Fortunately, for the Bucks that wasn’t the case, as they defeated the Nets once more, 127-104.
Emotions were high last night as Bucks players and coaches were presented with championship rings. Following, fans were able to witness the raising of the title banner prior to tip.
But, NBA Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks had to prepare for a highly motivated Nets, looking to spoil the night for the defending champs.
Tuesdays matchup the Bucks dominated. The game presented nine former All- Star between the two teams. Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 32 points and 14 rebounds on 12-25 shooting.
Despite the lost, Nets Guard James Harden says this is only one game, and they plan to move forward as they grow during the course of the season.
Harden, who had 20 pints and eight assists in Tuesday matchup is looking at this season as championship or bust as he may look to enter free agency after the season.
To Harden’s defense, he did mentioned he is “locked in” for the season and his contract situation will be figure itself out.
Triple Double Steph
In the second matchup some familiar foes faced off to open the season. Lebron James and Steph Curry have long history competing in the NBA Finals for consecutive years in the past. On Tuesday night, the rivalry continued.
The Warriors defeated the Lakers, 121-114, on the road. Curry who struggled for most of the night had his ninth career triple-double.
Also, Curry talked about his performance in a recent post game interview.
Both teams entered the season coming off an early exit in the playoffs last season. Additionally, the Lakers transformed their whole roster integrating 11 new players to the team.
The Bay comes out on top‼️
Curry notches his first triple-double since 2016 as the Warriors take down the Lakers, 121-114. pic.twitter.com/sDOCuqSoVP
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) October 20, 2021
One of their premier acquisitions was former MVP Russel Westbrook, who has been struggling throughout the preseason. This trend continued Tuesday. James and Anthony Davis carried the bulk of the scoring for the Lakers. They combined for 67 points and 22 rebounds however, it wasn’t enough.
Westbrook only scored eight points on 4-13 shooting. Fortunately, going forward for the Lakers, James isn’t worried about play of the California native.
The Warriors had a big boost from their bench with 55 points, leading the way was Nemaja Bjelica with 15 points. Third-year player Jordan Poole gave some spark in the starting hitting four three-pointers on opening night. The Lakers did defend the three-point line fairly well through three quarters however, Steph and the Warriors got it going from deep in the fourth.
James said the lack of defense on the perimeter helped Warriors pull away late.
The Lakers now look ahead as they host the Phoenix Suns, Friday October 22nd, a rematch from the first round of last season’s playoff. While, Steph and the Warriors take on the Los Angeles Clippers at home, Thursday.