Well, opening night is dead and gone, and the NBA season is officially underway with twelve games on slate on this Thursday night. I will be here once again to give you five thoughts about opening night and tonight's action:
1. Greg Oden Is Officially the Next Sam Bowie
Yesterday, in my opening-night preview, I spoke of great hopes for the redshirt rookie Greg Oden, and said that he will erase all those next Sam Bowie comparisons.
Well, that was not the case, as he injured his foot two and a half minutes into play and played throughout the rest of the half before leaving and undergoing an x-ray. Results were inconclusive and he is set to undergo an MRI. I will keep you posted.
2. The Celtics are Definitely the Same Team
Going into the season, we all talked about the Western Conference we forgot the beasts of the East—the Celtics. They've returned most of their core roster (minus James Posey) and are still hungry for another NBA title.
While the last few title winners have lacked the fire to win the Larry O'Brien Trophy in two consecutive years, these Celtics know the importance of rings and would do anything for another.
The only concern I can see is the departure of role players James Posey and P.J. Brown, who were monumental to the Celtics down the stretch coming in key situations and making clutch shots.
Now that they are gone, I expect Leon Powe to step up and receive extended minutes. He is famous for his huge performance in the NBA Finals last year, earning him the nickname Leon "The Show" Powe. Also, Glen Davis will get more minutes as he enters his second year.
3. Last Night's Three Stars:
1. Paul Pierce: Gets his long-awaited ring as one of the longest serving active Celtics, then proceeds to drop twenty-seven points as the Celtics beat LeBron James and the Cavs in an exciting game.
2. Michael Redd- Drops thirty points in a losing effort—a common occurrence for Redd, who is one of the NBA's most underrated players. Look for the Bucks to make a run for the playoffs after finding some help for Redd this offseason.
3. Kobe Bryant- Well, the knee certaintly wasn't a problem, as he dropped a double-double in a blowout win over the Blazers at the Staples Center.
4. Predictions For Tonight (winners in bold)
Raptors over 76ers: Look for the Raptors to show the 76ers who the real dark horse candidate in the Atlantic is with a statement win.
Heat over Knicks: Michael Beasley's NBA debut should have the same result, as Derrick Rose as the Heat will blow out the Knicks in the beginning of a long season for New York
Suns over Spurs: In a rematch of one of the best first-round matchups of all time, the Suns will beat the undermanned Spurs, who do not have Manu Ginobli for the first quarter of the season.
Oklahoma City over Bucks: The Thunder will be looking to win their first home game in franchise history, and should handle the Bucks, who just played last night, quite easily.
5. 2010 All-Star Game to be Held in Dallas
Reports from ESPN.com state that next year's All-Star will be held in Dallas at the Cowboys`new football stadium. I personally think it is a good idea to put an All-Star game in the state with an abundance of solid NBA teams—but a football arena, especially one as big as the new one in Dallas, is a bad idea.
There will be a lot of empty seats, covered to hide them all, as the All-Star game is not exactly the biggest draw. We will see how this works out as it develops.
That is your daily nickel—enjoy tonight's action.