The regular season started in the National Basketball Association on Tuesday night. In a trio of games that were featured the Detroit Pistons, the Chicago Bulls, and the Golden State Warriors all emerged as victorious.
Detroit entered the night as pretty big road underdogs on Tuesday as they traveled south to face the Atlanta Hawks, a team considered to be one of the powerhouses in the Eastern Conference this season. However Detroit posted an impressive and surprising double-digit victory, defeating the Hawks 106-94.
The Pistons almost out-rebounded the Hawks by a ratio of 3 to 2, hauling in 59 on the night to Atlanta’s 40. For Detroit, that included 23 boards on the offensive end, rebounding that caught the attention of Paul Newberry. Writing at NBA.com, he described a part of the game as such:
“During one especially frustrating sequence for the sellout crowd in Atlanta, the Pistons grabbed four offensive rebounds before Ilyasova got one to drop. It looked like keep away on the playground, the Hawks jumping around futilely trying to get the ball.”
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had the game high for scoring, with 21 points.
Another road team was not as fortunate as Detroit on opening night. The Cleveland Cavaliers were in Chicago to face the Bulls in a game between two other teams considered to be Eastern Conference contenders. Cleveland entered the game short-handed and as being underdogs as both Kyrie Irving and Iman Shumpert are currently out with injuries.
Lebron James opened his season with a 25-point effort for the Cavaliers, however, the Bulls took the win away 97-95. The ending of the game was somewhat anti-climatic as Kevin Love kept Cleveland in it with two late three-pointers, shots that helped rescue a sub-par night for the standout forward. However, Cleveland’s fate felt sealed when a James’ drive to tie the game met rejection; soon afterward the Cavs failed to execute an inbounds play with just seconds left.
After losing three of four to Cleveland last season and after falling to the Cavs in the playoffs, the opening-night victory over the current betting favorites to win the NBA title has to feel good for Chicago. They will play in Brooklyn on Wednesday night as they seek their second consecutive victory.
In the final game of the night, the reigning NBA champions opened their season with a banner ceremony in Oracle Arena in Oakland. Golden State looked very much like contenders again as they hosted the New Orleans Pelicans.
Steph Curry, last season’s regular season MVP, lead all scorers with forty points to open his season. Behind that offensive output, the Warriors cruised to victory, winning 111-95.
Wednesday night will feature fourteen games in total with nearly every NBA team scheduled for action. The game of the night promises to be Cleveland at Memphis as the Cavs look to avoid a 0-2 hole to start the season.