If last night was any indication of what we can expect this NBA season, the whole “wake me up for the Playoffs” narrative might need to be reevaluated.
Both games came down to a final shot; both shots were errant (or waved off) and both assumed champions looked vulnerable on their home floors. It was a great night for competitive balance and exciting basketball. It was a BAD night for Gordon Hayward. If you are reading this column, you are likely a pretty intense basketball fan, so you already know what happened. No need to rehash the gory details (for the strong of stomach, you can google the injury. I’d not recommend it though. His leg snapped. Let’s just leave it at that…).
The devastating injury in the first quarter of Hayward’s first game with his new team puts a huge wet blanket on an otherwise festive night. It also puts a real question mark on the Celtics season, and makes the Cavs path to a fourth straight NBA Finals (LeBron’s eighth) even less doubtful…
The NBA gets rolling for real tonight with a TON of awesome action and a lot of great games to choose from. We came up short in our first NBA attempt. Let’s see if we can notch the first winner of the season tonight.
Today’s NBA Pick:
Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics -3.5
Ok, Kyrie. You wanted to be the man?? Here you go.
The Celtics begin their sad life without Gordon Hayward tonight, and while it is a little early in the season to be talking “fatigue”, they are on the back end of a back to back less than 24 hours after the devastating injury to their prize free agent acquisition. It has to take a toll, not just on the court, but emotionally.
It also leaves the Celtics a little thin on shooting – a deficiency they are going to be struggle with all season unless Marcus Smart makes a miraculous improvement from last year’s bottom-of-the-league dreadful shooting. If he CAN’T, they are going to have to stagger their minutes and rotations. And when he leaves, their backcourt is woefully deficient defensively with whoever pairs with Kyrie. It’s a tough spot for Brad Stevens and the Celtics.
Meanwhile, Milwaukee, many people’s darling in the preseason predictions to be the big mover in the East, visits Boston fresh; both physically and mentally. This is a tough game for Boston on a lot of fronts, and not a great night to catch the defensively-stout Bucks.
I don’t think Boston’s season is “over.” They still have a talented roster, but their young potential stars are going to have to remove the word “potential” overnight. It’s a big ask of Jaylen Brown and Jason Taytum. I think both CAN make that leap quickly. I don’t think it is as quickly as tonight.
I’ll take the Bucks with a few points on the road.
Today’s NBA Pick: MILWAUKEE BUCKS +3.5