The NBA season kicked into full gear on Wednesday night with 11 games taking place. We saw some head coaching debuts and new faces in new places. It was only the second day of the season, but there are already contenders for what could be the best games we see and some of the best highlights.
Two games will be in contention for game of the night. The Boston Celtics visited the New York Knicks in what ended up being a two-overtime thriller. New York won the game, 138-134.
Not to be outdone, the Charlotte Hornets mounted a massive comeback at home against the Indiana Pacers. Charlotte trailed by as many as 23 points in the game but pulled off a 123-122 victory.
The Washington Wizards spoiled the Toronto Raptors return home to play a game in over 600 days, winning 98-83. That was one of six blowouts on the night, as the Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Philadelphia 76ers, San Antonio Spurs, and Denver Nuggets all won their games by double-digits as well.
Six coaches made their head coaching debuts on Wednesday, whether it’s in a new job or as a rookie head coach, and only one, Wes Unseld Jr. with the Wizards, was able to come away with a victory.
Ime Udoka with the Celtics, Rick Carlisle with the Indiana Pacers, Chauncey Billups with the Portland Trail Blazers, Willie Green with the New Orleans Hornets, and Jamahl Mosley with the Orlando Magic all lost.
After a jam-packed night of basketball, there are some things to take away from the season opener for these teams. Here are five of the biggest takeaways from the Wednesday slate.
5. Chauncey Billups Debut Ruined By Kings
Chauncey Billups may be under as much pressure as any of the rookie head coaches. He is leading a Portland Trail Blazers team that has made the postseason eight consecutive years and is doing its best to make sure their star player, Damian Lillard, remains with the organization long-term.
His debut did not go as planned. The Sacramento Kings defeated the Trail Blazers 124-121. The Kings led by as many as 18 in the game as they controlled it throughout.
It is only one game, but it is not the start the Blazers were looking for. They struggled defensively again, which has been a theme in recent years. Sacramento knocked down 42 percent of their 3-pointers, making 17 in the game.
The Kings consistently got out in transition, outsourcing the Trail Blazers 20-2 in fastbreak points. Sacramento also took advantage of the turnovers, scoring 18 points off of 12 by Portland, while the Trail Blazers scored only nine off of 10 by the Kings.
Lillard had an off-shooting night and the team cannot afford too many of those. He is the best player on the team and they will go as he goes. He recently reaffirmed his commitment to the organization, but if they get off to a rocky start and fall behind in the race for the playoffs early, it would not be shocking if he requested a trade.