Typically Tuesdays are just Mondays with better Yelp reviews, but on this particular Tuesday, the skies parted and something magical happened—and by “something magical happened,” I mean the NBA made its triumphant return.
“I just want to say I really missed you guys.” 🥺
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) October 19, 2021
Exactly 91 days after the Milwaukee Bucks put the Phoenix “Robert Sarver Is Cheaper Than Dollar Tree Bath Towels” Suns out of their misery in the finals, the NBA kicked off its season opener by passing out some snazzy party favors:
Khris Middleton completes to Giannis Antetokounmpo for 30 yards, TOUCHDOWN!
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) October 19, 2021
“We’re part of history,” Giannis Antetokounmpo told reporters. “I’m excited. But now it’s over with. We’ve got to focus on building good habits, keep moving forward, and keep playing good basketball, and hopefully we can repeat this again this year, next year, and all the years that we’re going to be here down the road.”
Once the festivities began, the Bucks and Brooklyn Nets pulled out their earrings, smeared vaseline on their faces, and went to war—and to the surprise of no one, Kyrie Irving was nowhere to be found.
Jrue Holiday missed the second half of the game after bruising his right heel, but with Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton resuming their reign of terror from the 2021 postseason, the Bucks still dismantled the Nets 127-104 with relative ease. Middleton finished the game with 20 points and nine boards, while the Greek Freak was kind enough to generously donate 32 points, 14 boards, and seven dimes of his own. What a class act.
As for Brooklyn, while Patty Mills cooked up 21 points, the rest of the bench apparently forgot there was a game last night because those worthless sonsabitches combined for a grand total of four points. That’s like 0.6 points per person. That’s like the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“We were climbing uphill all game,” Kevin Durant said while stating the obvious with a tremendous amount of conviction.
And even though Durant did Durant things by pouring in 32 points of his own, once the Bucks came out the gate with a 21-4 run to start the game, Brooklyn already knew that Giannis and them were on demon time.
“We weren’t very good,” Nets coach Steve Nash said. “If you’re not playing at a high level against the champs, you’re not going to win.”
Thankfully, Brooklyn has exactly 81 more games to get their shit together, which hopefully means that Kyrie will eventually come outside and play.
Next up on Tuesday night’s menu were the Golden State Warriors with a complimentary side of Los Angeles Lakers. Much has been said about L.A.’s offseason acquisitions and their quest to rebuild the 2011 NBA All-Star team, but if the Lakers are gonna make any real noise this season, the onus falls on Anthony Davis to drink about three gallons of milk a day and stay healthy for the first time since…ummm, ever.
Thankfully, as a founding father of the “The Lakers Can Go To Hell” mastermind group—which, by the way, we’ll be selling NFTs soon—I find tremendous joy in knowing that “Street Clothes” can be as healthy as he wants, but he’ll still be stuck playing next to Russell Westbrook—who last I checked, hasn’t hit a jumper since Shyne shot up the club.
And true to form, Brodie stunk it up last night, “shooting” 4-13 from the floor with a team-worst plus/minus of -23. Yikes. Golden State sure as hell wouldn’t have won last night (121-114) if Russ wasn’t so committed to the cause catastrophe, so can we clap it up for the real MVP?
“I told Russ to go home and watch a comedy,” LeBron told reporters. “Do something that can put a smile on his face. He’s so hard on himself. I told him, ‘Don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s one game.’”
All jokes aside, we all know Russ can fill up the box score and he will absolutely do exactly that for the Lakers this season. But the spacing issues and fit could remain a problem for the entire year, so prepare accordingly for nights like these to occur way more often than not.
“[Westbrook] more than anybody, it’s going to be an adjustment period,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “He’s coming into our culture, our system, he’s the new guy, he’s got to find his way. It’s difficult, when you’re used to being the guy that has the ball most nights, to be able to play off others like LeBron and A.D. It’s just a little bit different for him. He’s going to be great for us but it’s going to be an adjustment period.”
But enough about those sorry-ass losers who couldn’t even get out of the first round of the playoffs last season. Steph Curry didn’t exactly have the greatest shooting night (he was 5-21 from the floor and 2-8 from deep), but he still had his first triple-double (21 points, 10 dimes, 10 boards) since 2016 so that warrants a confetti toss even though the Baby-Faced Assassin feels otherwise.
“Obviously, I played like trash tonight. I shot the ball terribly,” he said after the game. “But if we can win a game like that, where we created some good shots and stuck with it defensively […] that’s a good omen for us.”
In a separate interview with reporters, Curry expressed further optimism about what he saw from his team on the court last night.
“We kept our composure and didn’t turn the ball over in the second half, which was a huge benefit to just maintaining the pace and giving ourselves some looks,” he said. “But the fact that everybody who was on the floor contributed in a meaningful way kind of speaks to our depth and how we want to play going forward. We’re excited about that and it’s good to be 1-0.”
Welcome back, NBA. We missed you.