The NBA is back! On Tuesday night, the 2022–23 season began with a doubleheader. First up, in an early matchup of Eastern Conference contenders, the Boston Celtics defeated the Philadelphia 76ers. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with 35 points each as they defeated the Sixers 126-117.
After winning their fourth championship in the previous eight seasons, the reigning champion Golden State Warriors received their rings in the West. The Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James, who needed 1,326 points to overtake Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer at the start of the season, sabotaged the celebration. James fell 1,295 points short of the record in the Lakers’ 123-109 loss to Golden State due to his 31-point performance.
A sign of things to come on the 3-point shooting foul?
With fewer than five minutes remaining in the third quarter, Los Angeles Lakers forward Matt Ryan nearly fouled Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry on a 3-point attempt. Still, the video showed that Ryan was out of bounds before the shot. The near miss falls with a theme for the opening night games on Tuesday. In the first minute of the first quarter, Klay Thompson was called for a 3-point shooting foul. Patrick Beverley completed a four-point play in the fourth quarter after Curry committed another 3-point shooting foul. James Harden drew three fouls in the first quarter of the Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics game earlier on Tuesday, while Jaylen Brown drew one early in the second.
Strength in numbers for the Warriors
In the first half, Warriors coach Steve Kerr used 11 players, including all but two of his roster’s active players. Before the game, Kerr stated an 11-man rotation was possible but a 10-man rotation was very certainly the plan. With 17 minutes played, Stephen Curry led all Warriors, while sixth man Jordan Poole and starter Andrew Wiggins both put in 16. James Wiseman played 11, while Draymond Green played 13.
19 down, 1,307 to go
King James coming at cha! 🔨
— NBA (@NBA) October 19, 2022
Poole hits Draymond… with the pass
Dime by JP
Buckets by Dray pic.twitter.com/Z7lqJ4MQu2
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) October 19, 2022
Anthony Davis playing big
The Lakers are seeing positive results from Darvin Ham’s experiment of starting Anthony Davis at the center so far this season. Despite Davis’ stated preference for playing power forward, the on-court results of previous seasons have shown, both via scouting and through analytics, that Davis has more effect at the five.
Davis was able to repeatedly ISO with slower-footed defenders and easily get to the rim against the Warriors in the first quarter on Tuesday. In 10 minutes, he has 10 points on 6 shots. LeBron James at power forward and Davis at center give the Lakers additional versatility.
James Wiseman nervous before NBA return
Warriors big man James Wiseman — who hasn’t played a regular-season game since April 10, 2021 — told ESPN before Tuesday’s game that he was excited for ring night, but also had butterflies. When asked if it was for ring night or because it was the first season opener he would be playing in since his rookie year in 2020, Wiseman said it was a little bit of both.
To calm his nerves, he said he was planning on turning some music on and hopping in the steam room
— Kendra Andrews
Not 1, not 2, not 3…
We think of the Warriors winning four rings in the Steph Curry era, but the franchise has leaned into their total titles in new signage around the Chase Center. Golden State now has seven — one more than all those chips the Chicago Bulls collected with Michael Jordan.
— Dave McMenamin