Opening night of the 2014-15 NBA season – Just as I expected

Courtesy of Spurs.com

Courtesy of Spurs.com

The 2014-15 NBA season started Tuesday night with three games on the docket.  The Orlando Magic at New Orleans Pelicans, Dallas Mavericks at San Antonio Spurs and the Houston Rockets at the Los Angeles Clippers.

If you haven’t seen my prediction of which 16 teams will make it to the playoffs this season, click the vid below and check it out when you get a chance.  How the games went Tuesday night went along with my predictions.

 

Magic @ Pelicans

I don’t expect too much from both of these teams this season.  The Magic didn’t add any players to the roster, but they traded away their top scorer in Arron Afflalo and lost up-and-coming star Victor Oladipo for a few weeks due to a facial fracture.  Pelicans on the other hand is improving the line-up, they just happen to be in a division where they will have a hard competing with the Likes of the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and the reigning champions–San Antonio Spurs.

Pelicans All-Star power forward Anthony Davis showed why he’s a force to be reckoned with by almost accomplishing a triple-double in the first night (26 pts, 17rebs and 9 blks) and Davis’ backup Ryan Anderson comes off the bench to score 22 points in a 101-84 Pelicans’ win at the Smoothie King Center.

Mavericks @ Spurs

First off, congrats to the Spurs for winning the NBA title last season and they received their championship rings and they raised an NBA championship banner for the fifth time in franchise history.

Now this game didn’t disappoint.  I stated that ALL THREE teams from Texas will be in the playoffs and last night’s games showed us why.  San Antonio played like they didn’t skip a beat from last year playoffs.  They tried to pull away multiple times during the game where they had double-digit leads, but Dallas showed their resilience by fighting back and keeping the game close.  The game was so close that it took Spurs point guard Tony Parker (23 points) to hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with under a minute left, to help them win the season-opener 101-100 over the Mavericks.

The Mavs have lost 10 straight times to their in-state rivals during the regular season, but they are also the only team in last season playoffs that took the Spurs to seven games before a first-round exit.

Rockets @ Lakers

Houston is a team that will definitely make it to the playoffs and the Lakers are a team that seems to have bad news every week and each time they set foot on the court.  Los Angeles already have to deal with the fact that they came up empty in free agency during the off-season, then they had to deal with the fact that All-Star veteran point guard Steve Nash is done for the season with a serious back ailment, now head coach Byron Scott has to start his first season in LA without rookie Julius Randle, who suffered a broken right leg midway through the fourth quarter.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Scott said.  “It’s his first game and he goes down.  We’re thin already.”

This elbow turned into a verbal spat where Kobe told his old teammate Howard that he was "soft". (Courtesy of ABC News)

This elbow exchange turned into a verbal spat where Kobe told his old teammate Howard that he was “soft”.
(Courtesy of ABC News)

Houston jumped on the Lakers from the start.  All-Star shooting guard James Harden dropped a game-high 32 points in three quarters, power forward Terrence Jones added 16 points and 13 rebounds while center Dwight Howard added 13 points and 11 rebounds of his own as they stifled Kobe Bryant’s return with a 108-90 beatdown at the Staples Center.

Kobe scored a team-high 19 points, followed by forward Carlos Boozer with 17 in the loss.  Houston led by as many as 27 points in the fourth quarter and cruised to the win.

 

 

 

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