While there were only six games on the docket last night, there were several big time performances. The Cavaliers got their first win, powered by an unlikely hero. The Sacramento Kings start their season 1-1 after a big win over the Portland Trailblazers, a surprisingly great battle in LA last night and the young Bucks getting their first win of the season. Can’ t leave out the three-headed point guard monster in Phoenix edging out the reigning champs. Without further ado, let’s get started!
- Zach Randolph – Z-Bo and the Grizzlies took on the Indiana Pacers last night, it was definitely a happy homecoming for the Indiana native. Randolph showed up and showed out as he led Memphis past the hometown team, putting up 22 points and grabbing 13 rebounds along with 3 steals. The Grizz were trailing by 13 in the third quarter when Z-Bo and Mike Conley sparked a 26-2 run. Randolph had 11 in that game changing quarter, leading Memphis to 2-0 on the season.
- Unfamiliar – The Cleveland Cavaliers are an extremely talented offensive team, when they figure things out and get on the same page, they will be a force. It was abundantly clear last night against the Bulls that this team has a ways to go in terms of chemistry and that’s to be expected. Interested in seeing if Coach Blatt will let Kyrie Irving run the show full time as the point guard or move him off ball and let LeBron do what he does best. Or maybe even a combination of both, but they definitely looked better against the Bulls than their first outing against the Knicks
- Isaiah Thomas – The off-season acquisition payed huge dividends last night for the Suns, Thomas came off the bench to score 23 points with 18 of them coming in the second half. The Suns rallied to take down the champs, the lineup on the floor that made it happen? It included all three of their talented point guards in Thomas, Bledsoe, and Dragic. Must be nice, definitely a quality win early in the season as Phoenix is now 2-0.
- Blake Griffin – The star forward for the Clippers lived up to that title with a dominating performance against the Lakers. Blake finished the game with 39 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. He continued his strong play from last season, more importantly he carried his team on the offensive end. Chris Paul was able to facilitate while Griffin went off, Blake did it in a myriad of ways. Really showing off the work he put in this summer, declining the USA national team invite really has him in a good place to start the season. Not only was he assertive (evident by his 12 trips to the foul line), but he showed off his improved range by hitting both of his three point attempts. Due to their lack of star-power on the wings, Griffin will have to be assertive on the offensive end every night if the Clippers wish to live up to their potential.
- O.J. Mayo – The Milwaukee Bucks could be 2-0 right now if they finished the job on opening night in Charlotte, unfortunately they gave up a 24 point lead and lost in overtime. Mayo ensured that it wouldn’t happen again as he closed the door on the Sixers last night. Of his 25 points, 10 of them came in the fourth quarter when the Bucks needed them most. Mayo is one of the “vets” on this extremely young Bucks team.
- Ghoulish – Only fitting that on Halloween, Milwaukee’s Larry Sanders makes a ghastly play
- Derrick Rose – While the Bulls superstar didn’t finish the game as he suffered a sprained left ankle, his time on the court was special. He looked like that former MVP for stretches, Rose was dominant as he was able to get to the basket at will and knock down jump shots and floaters. Sad to see him leave the court with another injury, but at least it’s minor and not season threatening or ending!
- Tristian Thompson – On the deadline for teams to extend players that could be restricted free agents, the young Cavalier had a monster game and may have coined a new phrase, taking us from a “contract year” to a “contract game” as many expected his agent and the Cavaliers to come to an agreement but it did not happen. Thompson’s 16 points and 13 rebounds (12 offensive) played a huge role in Cleveland’s overtime win. The Cavaliers offered up to as much as $48 million per Sam Amico of Fox Sports.
Half hour until deadline for extension, told Cavs’ talks w Tristan Thompson agent Rich Paul serious. Source: Offer worth more than $40 mil.
— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) November 1, 2014
Now told Cavs not gonna go for $48 million for Tristan Thompson. It appears he will enter restricted free agency at end of season. — Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) November 1, 2014
Update: Cavs have offered Thompson more than $48 mil. But either way, free agency not bad thing. He can test market in July, Cavs can match.
— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) November 1, 2014
- Rudy Gay – Known by basketball fans as one of the least efficient players in the past 8 years, the Sacramento forward had a huge night as he led the Kings past the Portland Trailblazers. Gay had 40 points and 8 rebounds, but it was how he scored the 40 that has him on this list. Rudy shot 13 of 19 from the floor, hitting 3 of his 4 attempts from beyond the arc and connecting on 11 of his 13 trips to the charity stripe. Big night made even better by a big win, the Kings are now 1-1 on the season.
- Sloppy Play – With only a few games played, it’s expected that teams don’t have it all together. But it feels as if it’s on a different level this season, it may be because of all the movement in the offseason. So many new faces in new places, either way it’s great that the NBA season is back!