Wednesdays are for basketball. Apart from getting four straight UAAP men’s basketball games packed into one day, today is special. This is because the NBA is finally back.
After an exciting season that ended last June with the Warriors crowned the 2021-22 champions, Golden State and the Boston Celtics welcomed the 2022-23 season, proving why they made it to the previous NBA finals.
But just in case you missed the first two games today, here are three highlights to keep you updated with the season’s first tip-offs.
New leadership, same winning mentality
After making it to the NBA Finals last season, the Boston Celtics were coming into this season as automatic contenders for the title yet again.
But after recent internal issues in the team that ultimately led to the suspension of their coach, Ime Udoka, uncertainty began to loom over the team. Especially given that their interim head coach, Joe Mazzulla is the youngest coach in the NBA at 34 years old.
However, the Celtics came into their opening-day game strong against the Philadelphia 76ers. With a 126-117 win, they proved that even under a brand new coach, they still have the same winning spirit.
Coming off of a finals-worthy season, it was the same set of guys who led the team to victory today. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown both scored 35 points apiece. This made them the first pair of teammates to each score 35+ points in an opening game since 1969.
But apart from the Celtics’ reliable roster, their newest additions made a mark too. Blake Griffin and Malcolm Brogdon proved their spots on the team in front of the Boston crowd.
On the other end of the court, it was James Harden who led the Sixers’ effort today. He scored 35 points, as well as seven assists and eight rebounds.
Although it is only the first game of the season, it definitely shows us that despite recent and unexpected changes, the Celtics shouldn’t be counted out.
A new banner up in Chase Center
Before the Golden State’s opening game against the Los Angeles Lakers, the Warriors had some business they first needed to finish: the hanging up of their seventh banner.
Today, in front of their home crowd at Chase Center, the Warriors were awarded their 2021-22 NBA Championship Rings.
And they were huge. Featuring an estimate of about 16 carats of yellow and white diamonds, this is the first time a championship ring has been made this way.
Talk about bling. And of course, they just had to show it off in front of the packed house under their new banner.
And the Warriors carried their championship energy right into their first game of the season.
Ready for another title chase
The Warriors put up a convincing 123-109 win over the LA Lakers today. Despite some scoreless moments at the beginning of the game, Golden State looked as at home as ever, comfortable on the court, even sizing up their lead to as big as 20.
It was reigning MVP Stephen Curry’s 33 points that led the Warriors today, but every man on the team contributed to their solid offensive effort. Additionally, they also proved themselves on the defensive end, keeping the Lakers at bay throughout the four quarters.
As it is only opening day, a lot still remains to be discovered from Steve Kerr’s squad. However, if this was an indication of anything, it’s that the Warriors still definitely have the strong offensive scheme that won them their newly received rings.
On the other hand, LeBron James and Anthony Davis both carried the Lakers’ losing effort scoring 31 and 27 points apiece. In their upcoming match against the Clippers this Thursday, they will be needing to come together if they want to come back with a win.
With the season just barely getting started, there isn’t much we can predict just yet. But if these first two games have shown us anything, it’s that today’s two winners will definitely be fighting to make it back to the finals.