We’re almost two weeks into a long season, but there’s already plenty of excitement in the NBA. Let’s have a look at what happened over the first five or so games.
Key Injuries in Week 1
Poor Gordon Hayward. What else can you say about a young man who goes up to finish an alley-oop five minutes into the season and comes down with a dislocated ankle, a fractured tibia, and an end to his first season with the Celtics? This is an absolutely devastating for both Hayward and the Celtics.
The loss of Jabari Parker for a good half of the season doesn’t loom as large as Hayward’s injury, but it could spell the end of the Milwaukee Buck’s chances for a top 4 seed in the playoffs. With Giannis Anteokounmpo on the court, the Bucks have a chance every night, but they’ll likely have too much ground to make up to catch the Cavs, Raptors, and Wizards.
Lastly, we have the next sad chapter in the Linsanity story. Nets’ guard Jeremy Lin, who was expected to log big minutes in a lead role, is now out for the season and will have a long road back to get his third or fourth second chance.
Chemistry Checks in OKC and Houston
Despite the loss of Chris Paul in the first game of the season, it’s a case of so far, so great for the Rockets and their 4-1 record this week. James Harden has been, well, James Harden for the first five games, and with Eric Gordon stepping his game up 5 notches, there’s no telling what the Rockets can do once Paul returns in a few days.
The Thunder’s new Big 3 look isn’t faring quite as well as the Rockets are right now, but if not for a banked in 3-point shot by Allen Wiggins at the end of their game against the Timberwolves, the Thunder would be sitting at 3-1 and we’d be talking about OKC’s REAL problem — Raymond Felton in a starting role and a paper-thin bench after that. Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, and Russell Westbrook have started off well, but outside of Stephen Adams, there is just isn’t much for them to work with.