Shootaround: Happy Halloween

San Antonio Spurs (0-0) vs. New Orleans Hornets (0-0)
8 p.m./NBATV

David Becker/Getty Images/USA Basketball

The first game for any top pick is always something special. You only get one first time, right?

Anthony Davis' first time will be something to remember. He will be going up directly against a player who is surely one of his idols in Tim Duncan. It is the Big Fundamental against the Brow. And it should be a good one.

Davis will not be expected to have a deep immediate impact on the offensive end. The Hornets are still going to struggle on the offensive end until Austin Rivers takes over and until Eric Gordon comes back from injury. Davis is still searching for a position as he will line up with Robin Lopez in the front court to open the season.

Davis though is still a superb and natural defender and a guy that will get out on the break and get a lot of clean-up points. That is all Monty Williams will want from his rookie at the beginning of the season as he gets comfortable.

But getting a close-up look at Tim Duncan? That is going to be an invaluable experience for the No. 1 overall pick. Duncan scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in his premiere game on Halloween 1997 (hard to believe!). If Davis matches that, it will be a good game for the 2012 First Round pick.

Other Storylines to Watch

-The Hornets are going to have to tread water for a while it would seem. Eric Gordon, the team's top scorer and a player New Orleans matched a max contract for, will be out indefinitely with a right knee injury. Austin Rivers should play after spraining his ankle again, but filling that void will be a difficult task for New Orleans.

-The Spurs have their own injury issues tonight. Manu Ginobili is out with a back injury. The Spurs always seem prepared for this possibility though.

Tonight's Other Games

Indiana Pacers (0-0) vs. Toronto Raptors (0-0)
7 p.m.

The Raptors may be negotiating with DeMar DeRozan and his agent on a long-term extension up to tip off. And it probably won't get done. So DeRozan plays the first game of his contract year with a lot to prove and a lot of money to earn.

Denver Nuggets (0-0) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (0-0)
7 p.m.

Hey, there is a familiar face. After spending his first eight seasons in Philadelphia, Andre Iguodala will check out the visitor's locker room at Wells Fargo Center as the Nuggets take on the 76ers. They will be without Andrew Bynum, their piece of the Dwight Howard trade. It still should be an interesting battle between two of the East's more intriguing teams.

 

Houston Rockets (0-0) vs. Detroit Pistons (0-0)
7:30 p.m.

Houston got its men all summer. The Rockets signed Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik over the summer and then acquired James Harden on the doorstep of the season. Harden inked his new extension before the deadline. So how does this team look on the floor? That will be the question as Houston may be looking at an extended training camp.

 

Sacramento Kings (0-0) vs. Chicago Bulls (0-0)
7:30 p.m.

The Bulls will be figuring out how to build the rest of their team in this extended audition without Derrick Rose. The Bulls are still working with Taj Gibson on an extension, hoping to keep the energy-creating power forward on the roster. This game provides an interesting matchup of DeMarcus Cousins going up against Carlos Boozer.

 

Dallas Mavericks (1-0) vs. Utah Jazz (0-0)
9 p.m.

Dallas surprised everyone with the way the team played without Dirk Nowitzki last night. Darren Collison and O.J. Mayo along with Elton Brand put in a consistent, veteran effort. That is what you expect from these players. So on back-to-back nights, let's see if this Dallas team is a little bit for real against a tough Utah team.

 

Golden State Warriors (0-0) vs. Phoenix Suns (0-0)
10 p.m.

In more extension news, Golden State got a deal done with Stephen Curry and extended the team's franchise centerpiece. The even better news for the Warriors is that Curry is expected to play tonight. And Andrew Bogut may not be too far behind.

 

Memphis Grizzlies (0-0) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (0-0)
10 p.m.

This Playoff rematch should provide plenty of intrigue as both the Grizzlies and Clippers want to make their name known among the Western Conference contenders. The Clippers will be shorthanded with Matt Barnes serving a suspension. But Blake Griffin and Chris Paul are still there. And so is Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph.

 

Los Angeles Lakers (0-1) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (0-0)
10:30 p.m./NBATV

The Lakers took a lot of heat for the loss last night against the Mavericks. But they did some good things. Pau Gasol looked really comfortable as the director of the offense and did a great job dropping passes to Dwight Howard and his teammates in the first half. Los Angeles went a bit away from that free-wheeling style in the second half. Oh, and Howard needs to make his free throws.

Tonight's Fantasy Picks

F Luol Deng, Bulls (vs. Kings)
F Luis Scola, Suns (vs. Warriors)
C Greg Monroe, Pistons (vs. Rockets)
G Kobe Bryant, Lakers (@ Blazers)
G Stephen Curry, Warriors (@ Suns)

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily

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