The 2021-22 NBA season tipped off on Tuesday, Oct. 19, as the Milwaukee Bucks received their championship rings and hoisted their first championship banner in 50 years.
NBA Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo didn’t disappoint with his play on ring night either tallying 32 points, 14 rebounds and 7 assists in the “Fear Da Deer” 127-104 win over the Brooklyn Nets. The Bucks are out to prove they’re not a one-year wonder.
"It's kinda hard to like balance that… Go from that excitement, from that emotional state, to be able to get ready to play a game."
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) October 20, 2021
The Lakers and Warriors battled it out in Tinseltown at Staples Center. LeBron (34 points) and Anthony Davis (33 points) played well, but it was Steph Curry’s triple-double (19/10/10) which helped the Dubs to a big season-opening win (121-114) over the Lakers.
Curry didn’t shoot it well (5-21 overall and 2-8 from three) as he was double- and triple-teamed all night. But he made plays as a rebounder and distributor. That was his first triple-double in five seasons.
When Madison Square Garden is rocking and you hear the chants of “DEFENSE” that usually means the Knicks are competitive. On opening night they got (35/9/8) from Julius Randle, the NBA’s reigning Most Improved Player.
New Knick Evan Fournier channeled his inner Allan Houston, going for 32, including six threes in the second half and overtime to help propel the Knicks past the Celtics 138-134 in double overtime.
Best gift from France
1. Statue of liberty
2. Evan Fournier
— wyclef (@Wycmuggs) October 21, 2021
Jaylen Brown Went HAM, Who’s The Man?
Leprechauns stud forward Jaylen Brown went for a career-high 46 points in the loss, while his running mate Jayson Tatum missed a record number of shots for an NBA opener.
Said this like Tatum wasn't getting clowned all night???
Why Bron get brought up in EVERY scenario 😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/V4rcRaQwsV
— Dom2K (Celtics Expert)🎆 (@Dom_2k) October 21, 2021
Reigning NBA Rookie of the Year LaMelo Ball went for 31/7/9 in the Hornets 123-122 comeback win over the Pacers.
“Naptown” rookie Chris Duarte went for 27 points on (9-15 shooting), including 6-of-9 from three. He broke the Pacers’ rookie record for most triples in a team debut.
Pacers rookie Chris Duarte was LIGHTS OUT in his NBA debut.🔥🎯 pic.twitter.com/RtzKZj4tTE
— House of Highlights (@HoHighlights) October 21, 2021
Grizzlies star point guard Ja Morant poured in 37 points in the season opening 132-121 win over the Cavs. Ja put that elite athleticism and scoring ability on full display near Beale Street aka “Blues Country.”
JA MORANT ARE YOU KIDDING 🤯 pic.twitter.com/xHoLc5r1EZ
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 21, 2021
In a wild one out west between the Sacramento Kings and Portland Trailblazers, there was no shortage of big performances. Kings forward Harrison Barnes went for a career-high 36 points (8 threes another career-high) and nine rebounds while his teammate DeAaron Fox chipped in with (27/8/5) in the 124-121 road win at “Rip City.”
Harrison Barnes of the @SacramentoKings is the first NBA player to score 35+ points with no turnovers and no personal fouls in a season opener since turnovers were first tracked beginning in 1977-78.
— OptaSTATS (@OptaSTATS) October 21, 2021
Blazers guard CJ McCollum went for 34/5/6 and his backcourt mate Dame Dolla (20/11/6) was solid in the losing effort.
Zach LaVine keeps proving he is on the level of the game’s biggest stars as he goes for 34 points in a 94-88 Bills win over the Pistons. The Bulls are over .500 for the first time since March 4, 2017. It was the eighth longest such streak in league history.
In the battle of Luka vs. Trae, neither shot it well but Trae got it going in the third, and finished with 19 points and 14 assists in the Hawks’ big 113-87 win. Not sure how many people were interested in the game though.
How is it possible that there are this many open seats in Atlanta right now?!?!?!?
Opening night for a young, exciting team that went to the ECF last season.
And they are playing the Mavs – which means Trae Young vs. Luka Doncic.
Looks like lower bowl is less than half full!! pic.twitter.com/oEEQJuJeLi
— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) October 21, 2021
Game one is complete for every NBA team. We have expended much energy on opening night and for some teams the sky is falling. For others, there’s a championship energy. Eighty-one more games to go.