Is Kevin Durant overrated
The Most Improved Team
Oklahoma wins in Detroit and makes a splendid impression, the Celtics play even more frightening. Phoenix got off to a good start to the season, Cleveland finally got their first win. The Clippers say hello from the bottom of the table.
Detroit Pistons (1-1) - Oklahoma City Thunder (2-0) 83:91: If there was an award for the most improved team, the winner would be pretty much certain after just two games. The Thunder are a team packed with talent that is increasingly understanding how to use it.
Kevin Durant (25 points, 12 rebounds) and Co. turned an early deficit against Detroit, avoided unnecessary ball losses and hit solidly from the field (43.4 percent). Only the quota of three can be expanded (18 percent).
"That was a good match," said coach Scott Brooks. "Coming into one of the best arenas in the league and winning the Pistons' home opener is a good feeling." At Detroit, newcomers Ben Gordon (25) and Rodney Stuckey (21) were convincing.
Boston Celtics (3-0) - Chicago Bulls (1-1) 118: 90: The game, touted as a remake of a historic first playoff round, was a clear affair from the start. Five Celtics scored double digits, Paul Pierce (22), Eddie House (22) and Ray Allen (20) even made over 20.
The duel between two top point guards was actually not one: Rajon Rondo only took two throws (2 points, 8 rebounds, 16 assists), with Derrick Rose not much went (10, 0, 2). Boston is already in frightening shape.
Charlotte Bobcats (1-1) - New York Knicks (0-2) 102: 100 after 2OT: Oh, you crazy NBA! In the first game the Bobcats looked like the worst team in the world, now they have their first win. However: to lose an 18-point lead against the Knicks in the last quarter of a home game does not necessarily speak for exceptional quality.
D.J. Augustin made everything clear with two free throws two seconds before the end of the second overtime. He could have done the same 16 seconds earlier when he failed. Gerald Wallace (18 points, 15 rebounds) and David Lee (17 and 18) fought a gripping duel on the boards.
Philadelphia 76ers (1-1) - Milwaukee Bucks 99:86: Such a win against the Bucks should certainly not be overestimated. After all, Milwaukee is one of the hotter contenders for the league's worst record.
So just a few numbers: Five players scored double-digit points for Philly, first and foremost Andre Iguodala (19). At the Bucks, rookie Brandon Jennings showed an excellent game (17, 9 rebounds, 9 assists).
New Jersey Nets (0-2) - Orlando Magic (2-0) 85:95: Vince Carter's return to New Jersey was a painful experience. The shooting guard started strong with 16 points, but twisted in the second quarter and couldn't continue.
Annoying for the Magic, but it doesn't matter in this game. Because New Jersey is too bad for Orlando, and because Dwight Howard plowed the entire Nets at will (20 points, 22 rebounds, 4 blocks).
Sacramento Kings (0-2) - New Orleans Hornets (1-1) 92:97: Welcome to New Orleans, Emeka Okafor! The center commitment from Charlotte was the decisive man in the Hornets' home debut, when he converted a miss by Chris Paul (31) via putback dunk shortly before the end and then blocked a three-way attempt by the Kings to equalize.
"I'm happy that I was able to help," said Okafor, very modestly. With 11 points, 13 rebounds and 4 blocks, he did more than that.
Indiana Pacers (0-2) - Miami Heat (2-0) 83:96: Good start to the season for Miami. The Heat doesn't make a bad impression at all. Above all the mostly injured Jermaine O'Neal (22 points, 12 rebounds).
The top scorer of the game was, of course, Dwyane Wade (32). And the Pacers? 36 percent from the forest, 17 from the triple line - clearly too little.
Atlanta Hawks (2-0) - Washington Wizards (1-1) 100: 89: Yes, these Hawks are already strong. With an improved squad, Joe Johnson (17 points) and Co. can beat any opponent, especially at home.
Gilbert Arenas made another good game like against Dallas, but Josh Smith (20, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks) made NBA history: At 23, Atlantas Highflyer is the youngest player of all time to book 900 blocks. Previously, Shaq O'Neal topped the list.
Minnesota Timberwolves (1-1) - Cleveland Cavaliers (1-2) 87: 104: Speaking of Shaq: The Diesel fought the Wolves with a foul problem and therefore only collected 6 points and 7 rebounds in 19 minutes.
But if you have a LeBron James on the team, you will get along quite well - especially against Minnesota. The King was of course the best man on the pitch with 24 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists. Rookie Jonny Flynn (17) played really well for the Wolves again.
Memphis Grizzlies (1-1) - Toronto Raptors (1-1) 115: 107: Ouch, dear Raptors! So they knocked off the Cavaliers the day before, only to screw up a perfect start of the season with a bankruptcy against the Grizzlies. The defense, no matter how good it was against Cleveland, was against Zach Randolph (30), Marc Gasol (19), O.J. Mayo (18) and Rudy Gay (17) have no means.
Chris Bosh was outstanding though (37 and 12). At Memphis, number two pick Hasheem Thabeet sat on the bench for 48 minutes, Allen Iverson is still injured.
Utah Jazz (1-1) - L.A. Clippers (0-3) 111: 98: It should take five to six weeks for Blake Griffin to return from his fractured kneecap and turn the Clippers inside out. Unfortunately it could be too late by then. Because with the third bankruptcy in a row, the start of the season went completely wrong.
In Utah, the two power forwards Carlos Boozer (20 and 12) and Paul Millsap (23 and 9) play together in the front court during the injury-related absence of Center Mehmet Okur and cleaned up against L.A.
Phoenix Suns (2-0) - Golden State Warriors (0-2) 123: 101: In the duel between the two run-and-gun teams in the league, only one team shot out the lamps: While the Warriors hit a moderate 42 percent, they sank the Suns more than half of their litters - even from the triple line!
The entire starting five scored double digits, Steve Nash (18 and 20 assists) confidently pulled the strings. The 62 percent off the line didn't hurt either.
Dallas Mavericks humiliate the L.A. Lakers
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