ABOUT LAST NIGHT
The TNT doubleheader looked good in theory. Carmelo Anthony was facing the Knicks right off the bat after his tumultuous time with them came to an end. In the late game, Lonzo Ball would be making his anticipated NBA debut against the Clippers. Reality set in quickly. The Knicks and Lakers are garbage. The two teams combined for 44 turnovers and barely 40% shooting. While the Thunder and Clippers were certainly fun to watch, having to suffer through the Knicks and Lakers back to back was a tall order. Not that anybody was forcing me to stay up past 1:00 am to watch. I understand both teams hail from big markets, and have huge fan bases that span the globe, so we’re going to see them on national television a lot, but for the love of the Basketball Gods, please not again in the same night.
As for the competent teams, both showed good signs. The new Big Three of Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony got off to an encouraging start, and seemed to have a lot of fun playing with one another. Paul George led the way with 28 points, and Carmelo added 22, but it was Russell Westbrook who remains the most impressive. He notched yet another triple double with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 16 assists, but the best part about it was his efficient shooting. While George and Anthony combined to shoot 17-43, numbers that Westbrook could put up by himself last season, the Thunder point guard shot 7-12, and set the tone for the offense more than he forced the issue. If their stars can align this way on a consistent basis, the Thunder are going to have a very good season. The game also officially closed the Knicks chapter in the book of Carmelo Anthony’s life. As he himself declared, “No more Knicks talk.”
We should mention that Kristaps Porzingas did well in his first game as the THE MAN on the Knicks. He ended the night with 31 points and 12 rebounds, but got little help in New York’s 104-85 loss in OKC.
The Clippers looked encouraging themselves, especially in their new blue jerseys. Patrick Beverley went out of his way to ensure that Lonzo Ball had a miserable experience in his first NBA game, hounding him defensively and mouthing off at every opportunity. Ball shot just 1-6 in 29:21 of action, finishing with just three points, nine rebounds and four assists. Brandon Ingram also shot a ghastly 3-15, so the young Laker tandem looks to have a lot of work left to do.
Meanwhile, the Clippers looked great, with DeAndre Jordan racking up 14 points and 24 rebounds. More importantly, Blake Griffin looked like his old self, finishing with 29 points and 12 rebounds, leading them to a 108-92 victory against their cross-court rivals. With the new intensity that Beverley brings, I think the Clippers are going to be fine, as long as everyone stays healthy.
After the game of course, Lonzo Ball’s father, LaVar had some things to say about Patrick Beverley, who feistily shut down his son, and apparently declared him to be “a weak-ass mother fucker.”
Quote the elder Ball, “Yeah, you shut the mother fucker down, and your check still ain’t going to go no higher than what it is. Yeah, you shut him down. OK … Who is Patrick Beverley?” Then, as far as we’re concerned, Ball issued a challenge.
“Let’s see what you do the next five games, if you are going to be pumped up toward everybody like that and go back to your 0-for-5 shooting and your two or three rebounds. Nobody is going to care about you.”
Well, we here at The Bonus are here to help you, LaVar. We’ll keep an eye on Beverley’s next five games, and to be extra helpful, we’ll compare them to your son’s, in an attempt to discover who the weak-ass mother fucker really is. (It’s LaVar.)
In perhaps one of the early season’s least surprising developments, it only took one game for LaVar Ball to say some stupid-ass shit.
THE NIGHT AHEAD
GAME OF THE NIGHT – Cleveland Cavaliers at Milwaukee Bucks (7:00 pm, ESPN)
In a matchup of the two teams that have played the Celtics, and division rivals, LeBron James leads the Cavs into Milwaukee to take on Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks. Both are coming off big opening games against the Celtics, and the two stars will likely spend a lot of time guarding one another. It’ll be a great battle between the best player in the game, and someone who is fixing to one day take that torch and own it himself.
Ricky Rubio makes his return to Minnesota tonight as the Jazz drop in on the Timberwolves. Rubio spent his first six seasons with the Wolves, and was coming off perhaps his finest season when they traded him to Utah this summer as part of their roster revamping. While Minnesota lacked success during his time there, Rubio proved to be a popular player. He should get a nice welcome from the fans when the game gets underway at 8:00 on League Pass.
Elsewhere, the Sacramento Kings visit the Dallas Mavericks in what should be, at the very least, a fun matchup between two rookie point guards that actually looked good in their debuts: Dennis Smith Jr and De’Aaron Fox. That one tips off at 8:30 on League Pass.
LONZO BALL vs PATRICK BEVERLEY FIVE GAME CHALLENGE
Ball has a quick chance to put everything behind him in what should be a dreadful game between the Lakers and the Suns. Now, thanks to
LaVar Ball us, there’s actually a reason to watch it. Patrick Beverley is off tonight, hopefully laughing his ass off.