Wembanyama Against The Dallas Mavericks For His First NBA, Copyright: IMAGO
The NBA 2023/24 regular season tipped off on the 24th of October, opening what many expect to be one of the most exciting campaigns yet. Opening night had two rivalries on offer as the Los Angeles Lakers took on the defending champion Denver Nuggets and the Golden State Warriors battled the Phoenix Suns.
Denver was able to start off their season with a win, beating the Lakers 119 to 107 off the back of a triple-double by the reigning Finals MVP Nikola Jokic. All five starters made it to double figures on the Nuggets as the team shot a collective 52.7% from the field. Lebron James started his 21st year in the league tallying 21 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists.
In the second half of the double header the Suns won a close game against the Warriors with Devin Booker going off for 32 points. Kevin Durant added an efficient 18 points and new addition Jusuf Nurkic had a double-double of 14 and 14 in his first game as a Sun.
Chris Paul made an impactful debut as a Warrior, filling up the stats sheet with 14 points, 9 boards and 6 assists. Steph Curry led Golden State in scoring with 27 points which included four from beyond the arc.
Victor Wembanyama’s first NBA game was the headliner on Wednesday night as the Spurs played the Dallas Mavericks on the road. Wembanyama was solid in his first start, posting 16 points and 5 rebounds but was upstaged by fellow rookie Dereck Lively II, who dropped 16 points to go along with 10 boards. Lively II was the No. 12 overall draft pick in the NBA draft earlier this year.
In other news Shai Gilgeous-Alexander put on a clinic in OKC’s win over Chicago on Wednesday, with 31 points and 10 assists.Alexander is expected to be one of the leading candidates for the Kia MVP trophy this season. If he can get some help from Josh Giddey and Jalen Williams the young OKC team may even be able to sneak into the playoffs.
Many eyes were on Zion Wiliamson coming off injuries from last season and he didn’t disappoint. The explosive forward was able to lead his team to a 111-104 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies in their season opener in 32 minutes of action. The visibly much fitter Williamson went 9-of-17 shooting including two monster dunks on consecutive possessions to put the game away.
Arguably the biggest surprise of the season openers was the huge performance of center Kristap Porzingis in his first game as a Celtic. The big man made the Celtic’s franchise record for the highest-scoring output in a team debut with 30 points. He also became the first player in Celtics history to make five 3-pointers and record four blocks in his team debut. The Celtics went on to win their first game of the season by the score of 108 to 104 over the Knicks.
Two giants from the East battled on Thursday night in the Bucks and the 76ers. The Bucks just inched past the 76ers 118-117 with Damina Lillard dropping 39 points which included 17/17 from the free throw line in his Bucks debut.