76th NBA season kicks off and does not disappoint

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Matt Mariani

Nets’ Royce O’Neale shooting a 3 pointer against the Grizzlies

Matt Mariani, Sports Editor

The 76th NBA season kicked off on October 18, 2022. The Boston Celtics hosted the Philadelphia 76ers and the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors played host to the Los Angeles Lakers. 

Through the first few weeks of play the Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Phoenix Suns, and the surprising Utah Jazz have started the strongest. The Bucks, led by former MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, started undefeated through their first 9 games. The Cavaliers have played up to and beyond expectation after making a huge trade for guard Donovan Mitchell before the season. In the west, the Suns led by Devin Booker have looked good, trying to bounce back from a poor playoff performance, losing to the Mavericks in the second round. Finally, the Jazz have shocked just about everyone starting off extremely hot. After trading all-star’s Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, it looked like they would be a mediocre team at best. But through the first month of games, they have done a lot more winning then losing. 

Locally, the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks have played decent at best. The Nets continue to disappoint even with players like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Ben Simmons. Starting off slow, the Nets and coach Steve Nash decided to mutually part ways. General Manager Sean Marks added reasoning behind the departure, “[T]o be quite frank, the team was not doing what it was supposed to be doing. We’ve fallen from our goals.” 

The other New York team, the Knicks have played alright at best. With the signing of guard Jalen Brunson, the Knicks have hopes of being a contender in the playoffs. The big 3 of Brunson, RJ Barrett, and Julius Randle have started the season off statistically well, all averaging around 19 points per game. This Knicks team is young and supported with improving talents like Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin. They also have great veteran presence with Derrick Rose and Evan Fournier. 

Defending champions, Golden State Warriors have started off extremely slow. Losing 5 straight from October 29-November 4, to some inferior teams. The Lebron James led Lakers have also begun the season on the losing side dropping — of their first 10 games. The Lakers have struggled as a whole, but against the Pelicans, Matt Ryan hit an insane fade-away three as time expired to send the game into overtime. The Lakers went on to win 120-117.

The NBA season is still young and it will be exciting to see which teams continue their dominance, which teams will fall off, and which teams will rise up and make splashes in the playoffs.