Ballin: There were a handful of great lines last night — LeBron’s 26 and 10, Rondo’s 20 and 13, Kyrie Irving’s 29-6-3 — but let’s give Anderson Varejao a little love for grabbing 23 rebounds on opening night. It’s a new career-high for Andy, which means it could easily be his season-high, which means there’s nowhere to go from here but down. Good run though.
Not so much: Three Wizards made more than half of their shots last night — Martell Webster, Jan Vesely and Earl Barron. Their leading scorer was Jordan Crawford with 11, followed by Emeka Okafor with 10. Their starting lineup went 13-48 and had eight turnovers. The more things change, the more the Wizards do stuff on the court that gets them noticed on blogs.
Still KMG: If you had one guess at how Kevin Garnett would handle Ray Allen coming to greet him after leaving the Celtics for the Heat, would it go something like this?
Nope, it would go EXACTLY like that. There’s no way in the world Kevin Garnett would acknowledge Ray Allen’s existence in that situation, so I’m glad he held true to form.
Anti-frees: You are not going to believe this, but sixth months off from basketball has not made Dwight Howard a better free throw shooter. He went 3-14 at the line last night, missing three fewer free throws (11) than the entire Mavericks’ team made (14). He also missed his very first dunk attempt as a Laker. With shooting that bad, Dwight Howard should be an honorary Wizard.
Double switch to fakey: I don’t know if this is a new Rondo fake but it kind of seems like a new wrinkle.
It’s kind of similar to No. 2 here, but this slowed down, all the way behind-the-back dribble thing seems to be Rondo’s new go-to fake since he did it on the possession before this too. Wonder if he’s paying royalties to Ricky Rubio.
Meet the brand new guy: 10 Mavericks played last night and all but nine got at least 10 minutes (sorry, Dahntay Jones). Six of those 10 had double-digit points and another two added eight apiece. Six of those 10 guys weren’t in Dallas last season. Very weird seeing new guy after new guy after new guy coming on the court, but it seemed to work just fine.
Feet game vicious: Check out these guys and their marshmallow peeps feet.
Just like Marc Gasol before them, both Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green sported polarized pink Nike Air Foamposite Ones to support breast cancer awareness month. They also were both very near LeBron James — who had his own fancy shoes — while playing defense, which didn’t really work out.
Bottoms up: I don’t know if LeBron James doesn’t drink enough water or just straight up hates bananas, but he left another fourth quarter with leg cramps last night. This time he sat out the last nine minutes of the game and made zero legendary threes, so maybe get him to hydrate. Have some Gatorade, man. A beast like that shouldn’t be slowed by something that wakes you up in bed during the middle of the night.
Other things: Just like I’m sure you’d guess that KG would give Ray Allen the cold shoulder, you’d probably also guess that Rajon Rondo would foul someone harder than he needed to when the game was slipping away from the Celtics. And yep, that happened too … I ended up with Paul Pierce in the TBJ fantasy league, picking him in one of those “don’t really want him but have to take him” sort of situations. Then he went out and dropped a 23-5-5 while hitting a couple threes. Maybe this is the year I actually enjoy Paul Pierce … Eddy Curry didn’t get the start last night, which is probably why the Mavericks won. You can’t argue with history … Of all the new faces in new places, Jason Terry looked the weirdest to me. Not sure if it was the green or the fact he’s wearing a single-digit number for the first time in his career, but it was kind of strange to see