After all the craziness and negations between the league, the players and their union, the NBA preseason is finally underway, pretty much on schedule. In case no one noticed, we missed the NBA summer league all together this year so that our first look at this year’s crop of rookie players will come during these preseason games that will mean little more that warm up sessions when the real action begins on December 22nd.
LaMelo Ball Hits Expectations
So far, LaMelo Ball seems to be the most talked about young rookie this season, now playing for the Charlotte Hornets and living up to all the hype we have been hearing about him. He’s quickly turning out to be one of the most entertaining players entering into the NBA this season, just as expected. The much-anticipated debut of Ball proved to be as entertaining as billed, except that he never managed to score a point all evening long on Saturday. Still, he impressed both coaches and fans alike with his passing and dribbling exhibitions during the Hornets loss to the Toronto Raptors 111-100.
Ball missed a lot of shots and he got pushed and bumped around a lot by the bigger NBA guys. But, remember when Anthony Davis first hit the court for New Orleans as a skinny kid who got pushed around a lot. No one is bumping Davis around so much anymore. Just keep an eye on Ball and watch what happens. He has already displayed some dazzling basketball moves with his phenomenal passing and rebounding even if he missed some shots.
These new guys were only drafted about a month ago and surely it is a steep learning curve for some of the to be thrown in with established NBA guys right out of the gate, but it is what it is and the NBA is off and running, rookies and all.
Okoro Hits It For the Cavs
Young wingman Isaac Okoro hit a late bucket to help win the opening game for the Cleveland Cavaliers and endeared himself to his teammates right off the bat. Alongside the new guys some seasoned veterans made their season debuts like Stephen Curry, who we were all happy to see back on the basketball court after missing last season with a hand injury. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic and Luka Doncic all made their preseason debuts this past weekend, along with the rookies.
Even after getting an accidental elbow to the face, which caused a good bit of bleeding early in the game, Antetokounmpo went back out onto the court and put up 23 points in the first half and pulled down 10 rebounds. The reigning MVP showed no signs of fatigue coming off a short offseason and looks ready to go for another shot at the Finals again this year.
It was great to see Seth Curry back on the floor sporting a new look after missing most of last season with a broken hand. Also, it’s great to note that he looked like the same old Curry that has had Golden State fans on their feet watching his antics out on the court. Curry is going to have to pick up some slack this season as his chief running mate Klay Thompson will be out for the season following Achilles tendon surgery.
NBA Tries To Keep COVID-19 Away
The NBA has been trying all summer long to keep one step ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic and, for the most part, has done a commendable job of it. However, now the teams are going to be going out on the road in busses and planes and staying in hotels, all of which increase the chances that the coronavirus will catch up with some of them, no matter how careful they are.