NBA's Opening Day: A Knuckle-Deep Recap

Illustration for article titled NBA's Opening Day: A Knuckle-Deep Recap

The NBA's Opening Day spectacular matched such high-profile teams, it was hard to pick winners. Indeed, only a savvy gambler would have tried to take a day of entertainment and turn it into a gold-digging expedition. It all followed on a preseason in which the Mavericks went drilling for oil with the Lamar Odom trade while the future of Chris Paul remained a cliffhanger. Also, ESPN's Brian Windhorst picked his nose.


Knicks 106, Celtics 104: Carmelo Anthony scored 17 points in the fourth quarter to lead New York past the Celtics in TNT's sole basketball broadcast of the day, one preceded by this bad-ass anachronistic "then & now" video. Afterward, Kevin Garnett started choking fools.

Heat 105, Mavericks 94: In a game about half as close as the score would suggest, LeBron put up 37 in a thrashing that left Mark Cuban shaking his head, Mavs fans flipping the double-bird and Delonte West doing really ill-advised things with the basketball. You know those baskets with the height you can adjust with a broom handle? Delonte still uses those.

Bulls 88, Lakers 87: Derrick Rose hit the winning shot with 4.8 seconds left to seal any lingering buyer's remorse for the voters who named him MVP. He did so after taking an elbow to the skull.

Thunder 97, Magic 89: Dwight Howard showed how valuable he could be to any team willing to trade for him with a powerful performance. No, just kidding. He scored 11 on 4-11 shooting and played particularly terrible defense. Kevin Durant and James Harden combined for 49 Oklahoma City points in the game everybody skipped to eat dinner.

Clippers 105, Warriors 86: ESPN's gimmick of sending Mike Breen & Jeff Van Gundy from Dallas to Oakland—giving them the "opportunity" to call two NBA games on Christmas Day—was further exploited with this nonsense purporting to be a live broadcast upon a plane. Upon seeing the shot, Alec Baldwin went apoplectic. As for the game itself, it was less Lob City and more Blah City, with an especially-disappointing display of fundamentals for the Warriors in their first game under former ESPNer Mark Jackson.