The NBA Preseason is officially under way and all is normal in the world of Basketball again!
LeBron kicked off his Lakers debut with a few dazzling plays, but only managed 15 minutes of game time for his new team in a loss to the Nuggets.
Rondo was at his best with 11 assists in 23 minutes, and it looks like JaVale McGee may be locking in a starting centre spot if he continues to put up the types of numbers he did Sunday (17 points on 8-10, 7 Rebounds) in 20 minutes of action.
The NBL x NBA series also kicked off Saturday, as NBL Champions Melbourne United took on our very own Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers. Simmons play off the backboard to find Markelle Fultz (who looks to have all kinds of confidence again) was something else!
There was plenty of positives to take out of that game for Melbourne United. They hung around all game long until late in the 4th, and had Goulding not gone down hurt in the 2nd Qtr., the margin of victory wouldn’t have been as big as it was (a 20-point loss in the end).
Utah played host to the Perth Wildcats and the less that’s said about this match the better.
Perth never looked up to the task in this one and it started to get embarrassing to watch. Post-game a lot of people questioned the NBL x NBA experiment, with Perth going down by almost 60 points.
It isn’t exactly fair to judge this game and say enough is enough for this experiment the NBL is under taking, given people seemingly have short term memory of the fact Melbourne came within seconds last year of knocking off the Oklahoma City Thunder team (led by Paul George and Russell Westbrook).
If anything, Utah look even better this season, with the addition of rookie Grayson Allen coming off the bench who looks ready to go straight away.
Pride in the NBL was restored for anyone who tuned into the Clippers Kings game.
There has probably never been a better first half performance from an NBL side against a quality NBA squad that the Clippers have. They have the best defensive starting guards in the league in Beverley and Bradley, yet Jerome Randle and Kevin Lisch showed them just how talented they are.
Andrew Bogut defended the rim brilliantly against the likes of Gortat and Harrell (who are extremely physical guys inside), which brings ominous signs for anyone in the NBL thinking they can score against arguably Australian Basketballs best big man.
This was a 4-point game with 8 minutes to go. Doc Rivers played his starters all the way through, extremely rare in the preseason, as he could see he had a fight on his hands.
The Clippers eventually pulled away from the Kings (winning by 19) but that didn’t tell you how great of a game this was. The Kings look the team to beat in the upcoming NBL season with a performance like that.