LeBron James Cavaliers November 2014

Finally! The 2014-2015 NBA season has begun! Opening week was full of fireworks. Budding superstars, aging veterans, and titanic matchups, and devastating injuries were all a part of the week one storylines.

A slate of three games tipped off on opening night, two of which were televised. But the performance of the night didn’t occur under the bright lights of national TV. It occurred in New Orleans with Pelicans big man Anthony Davis staking his claim to the mantle of Next Big Thing.

Heading into the season, Davis was picked by many to have a breakout season. As if he thought he needed to get started right away, Davis dismantled the Orlando Magic in the paint on both ends to the paint. The Brow dropped 26 points on 10-22 shooting, adding 17 rebounds and an astounding nine blocks.

The night was not without its challenges for Davis. Nikola Vucevic proved a formidable foe on the glass as the Montenegrin big man ripped down 23 rebounds. Vucevic did enough to bother Davis’ shot in the paint as well, limiting him to 40 percent shooting on contested shots.

Despite Vucevic’s efforts, Davis was still able to fill up the stat sheet and look super dominant in doing so. Though the Pelicans only have two nationally televised games, the national attention will surely turn toward New Orleans as long as Davis can keep up the furious pace.


In Los Angeles, the much-maligned Lakers opened their 2014-2015 campaign against the Rockets on Tuesday night. The gamed marked the return of Kobe Bryant, who had not played in front of the home crowd since December 10, 2013.

Though the fans were giddy to see their aging superstar, their outlook on the season at large had to be markedly less enthusiastic. With Steve Nash lost for the season due to nerve damage in his oft-injured back and losing out on a major free agent signing, the Lakers roster was less of a "Who’s Who" and more of a "Who?...Who?"

Though Lakers fans suffered without Kobe last year, they were rewarded for their losing by getting the eighth pick in the draft which they used to select Julius Randle from the University of Kentucky.

With the Rockets ahead by 26 and a mere seven minutes remaining, Randle was on mop-up duty. Randle drove to the basket and, as he took off, winced in pain. When the Lakers trainers were able to get to him, it became known that Randle had broken his right leg in his first NBA game.

It may not have been the worst way the Lakers could have opened the season, but if it isn’t then it comes darn close. Lucky for NBA fans, the Lakers are scheduled to be on national TV another 19 times this year. Each one of those games will be tough to watch.


The new look Charlotte Hornets opened up their campaign against the Milwaukee Bucks at the re-christened Hive in Charlotte.

Hornets fans were eager to see how Lance Stephenson would mesh with the playoff squad of a year ago. Initially it seems as if it will take a bit more time before Lance connects with his teammates on the court as his play was disjointed and the Charlotte offense sputtered in fits and starts as a result.

The Jason Kidd-coached Bucks gave the Hornets all they could handle behind big games from Brandon Knight and O.J. Mayo. In his first career start, Jabari Parker was less than impressive going 3-of-9 from the field for six points in 36 minutes. Despite the rookie’s struggles, the Bucks enjoyed a stunning 24-point lead with 6:43 left in the third quarter.

That is when Hornets turned it on. By the beginning of the final quarter, the Bucks lead had shrunk to 15. A 9-0 run by the Hornets in the fourth cut the lead to four with less than two minutes to play. From there, it was Kemba Walker time.

The ink had not yet dried on the four-year $48 million dollar contract he had signed earlier in the day, but Walker hit a layup and last-second three to send the game to OT.

After a back-and-forth overtime period, Gary Neal hit a driving layup to tie the game and collected a rebound off a Jabari Parker miss to give the Hornets a shot at the lead with less than 16 seconds remaining.

Who else but Kemba was given the ball or the last shot, and Walker connected with five seconds left. Khris Middleton had one last chance for the Bucks, but failed to connect from 3-point range. In the end, it was the largest comeback win in Hornets/Bobcats/Hornets history.


The marquee matchup of the week had to be Cavaliers vs Bulls in Chicago. The teams faced off on Friday night in each team’s second game of the season.

The new look Cleveland team was coming of a somewhat embarrassing performance on their home court against the New york Knicks the previous night. LeBron James' home re-debut did not go as planned as he finished the night 5-15 from the field with eight turnovers.

The Bulls were coming off a fantastic performance against those same Knicks in New York. The Bulls blew out the Knicks by a score of 104-80 behind a great debut performance from the newly-acquired Pau Gasol.

These two Eastern Conference heavyweights did battle when they met in Chicago. LeBron looked back to form, leading the Cavs with 36 points while Kyrie Irving helped with 23 of his own, and Kevin Love put up a stout 16 points and 16 rebounds.

Derrick Rose looked more himself in his second game back after missing extended time with knee injuries. Rose had 20 points to go with four rebounds and four assists in 25 minutes, but unfortunately he was once again plagued by injury.

Rose played limited minutes in the third quarter and was pulled from the game in the fourth when it was apparent that his fist half tumble was more serious than it seemed at the time. Rose officially suffered a sprained ankle and is expected to miss a handful of games at most. That amounts to good news for Bulls fans.

The Cavs retained a nine-point lead heading into the fourth quarter when the Bulls bench stepped up to close the Cleveland lead. An Aaron Brooks layup gave the Bulls a slim two-point lead with 6:44 remaining. The Bulls used that momentum to inflate their lead to five when Kirk Hinrich hit a jumper with 47 seconds remaining.

Things looked to be in bag for Chicago before Irving and James took over the game. A pair of free throws and an and-one from Irving led to things getting all tied up with less than 30 seconds remaining.

A few missed shots later and the game headed to overtime. LeBron had eight points in the extra frame, and the Cavs never trailed on their way to a victory over a team that they are likely to see again with much more on the line in April.


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