Philadelphia 76ers (1-0) vs. New York Knicks (1-0)
The 76ers and Knicks are somewhat surprisingly 1-0.
Philadelphia defeated Denver at home on opening night without Andrew Bynum, taking down one of the teams many pegged as one of the Western Conference's best. The Knicks came out Friday night and blew out the Heat behind an incredible 30 points and 10 rebounds (on 35.7% shooting, but we will not say anything about that).
So who are these teams really?
We probably are not finding that out two games into the season. But you have to start somewhere.
New York has the stars and got a fantastic contribution from rookie Pablo Prigioni. The influx of point guards has appeared to loosen up New York's offense. Prigioni and Raymond Felton have helped considerably already and Jason Kidd is making his contribution too.
And it seems like Carmelo Anthony is still playing at his Olympi levels with his 3-point shooting. All they have to do is do it again.
Other Storylines to Watch
-Still no word when Andrew Bynum will come back from the knee problems that have slowed his debut in Philadelphia. Also no word when his afro will stop.
-After the cancellation of the New York City Marathon, marathoners planned this morning to go to Staten Island for a day of volunteering. The Knicks game will go on, but it is a nice showing from the marathon community in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. I am sure the Knicks will continue doing their part.
Tonight's Other Games
Minnesota Timberwolves (1-0) vs. Toronto Raptors (0-2)
The Raptors have been on the wrong end of two unfortunate games. Toronto blew a lead and lost at the buzzer to Indiana on opening night. Then went to Brooklyn for that team's opening night and put up a fight but could not ruin the big event. the Raptors have to be hungry for a victory here.
Phoenix Suns (1-1) vs. Orlando Magic (1-0)
Hedo Turkoglu broke his left hand against the Nuggets on Friday and will be out four weeks after surgery Saturday. Without Turkoglu, Orlando is extremely thin at small forward. Likely Arron Afflalo and J.J. Redick are not going to be enough. Luckily rookies Maurice Harkless and DeQuan Jones should be ready to play Sunay. Although… they are rookies making their NBA debuts.
Atlanta Hawks (0-1) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (1-1)
Jeff Teague threw down one of the best dunks that did not count when he flew over James Harden on Friday. Teague is at the center of the Hawks future right now and should be an intereting player to watch. Atlanta was prepared to turn the reigns over to Teague at point in letting Kirk Hinrich walk in free agency. But the team did not show a ton more confidence. Teague did not get an extension and now has to play for his contract.
Detroit Pistons (0-2) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (0-3)
Someone is winning their first game tonight in Los Angeles. The Lakers sure hope it is them, if anything, just to settle the questions surrounding the team. Los Angeles is still trying to figure out its identity and get on the same page. That is not an easy thing to do. But it can be done and a solid win can get the ball rolling.