Every night (well - perhaps not EVERY night) I'll be firing up my NBA League Pass and scanning that night's box scores to bring you, my beloved reader, what I learned from the NBA that night. Because the internet was invented for knee-jerk, totally premature, irrational reactions to things.
The Kids Are All Right
While both their teams lost, rookie big men Jonas Valanciunas and Anthony Davis had impressive NBA debuts nonetheless. Despite his counterpart, Roy Hibbert, being an All-Star big man, Valanciunas posted a double-double (12 and 10) for the Raptors. It's going to be real important for Valanciunas to hit the boards hard this year, since fellow Raptor big man Andrea Bargnani is abysmal on the glass. Meanwhile Davis had Tim Duncan to contend with, yet the youngster still managed to post 21 points and 7 boards. And let's not forget about Portland's rookie point guard Damian Lillard, whose 23 points and 11 assists helped lead the Blazers over the Lakers last night. Not bad for a kid out of Weber State (notwithstanding his 7-17 shooting and 6 turnovers).
By George, I Thinks He's Got It
The Pacers need Paul George to become more forceful/selfish on the floor to reach his full potential, and if last night is any indication, he may have gotten the message. George hoisted the second-most shots for the team and put up an incredible line of 14 points, 15 boards, and 5 assists (we'll ignore the 5 turnovers). With Danny Granger on the shelf, Indiana will need more performances like this from young George.
The Beard Strikes Back
Remember all that stuff I wrote about James Harden not being a super-duper star? 37 points, 6 boards, 12 assists and 4 steals says that I might be a little premature in that proclamation (his 37 points and 12 assists are the first time a player has hit those two marks in his debut with a new team). The Beard and Jeremy Lin could form one of the most explosive backcourts in the NBA this season.
Trouble in La-La Land
Yes, we're only two games in, but the Lakers and their fans have to be at least a little concerned with their team's play. It's not just the fact that they dropped both their games this season - it's that they lost to two teams that they should have mopped the floor up with. And the Steve Nash experiment has gone totally, unpredictably awry in the early going.
If Joakim Noah is able to post 20-10 games on the regular, Chicago might actually be able to survive without that Derrick Rose character.