Takeaways from the first three nights of the NBA season

It’s the opening week of the new NBA season, which means the League Pass fest is in full effect.

Here are my screenshot-backed observations from the first three nights.

This Spurs employee needs a manicure:

Spurs ring

It is not clear who is holding the ring here, but to whoever it is: Come on, dude. You’re on national TV. Don’t look like a tramp.

The Lakers’ season is already over:

Julius Randle

Just when you thought the Lakers could not get any more depressing, Julius Randle breaks his leg. A devastating blow for the lad, and a clear cue for the Lakers to embrace being as bad as possible and maintaining their top-five protected draft pick. With Jeremy Lin running the point like this, it seems inevitable.

Byron Scott will be pulling plenty of these faces:

 Byron Scott

Let’s hope for his sake that he’s still around when the Lakers are no longer a lottery team.

Lin’s haircut is still worth tuning in for though:

Jeremy Lin

His Chinese fans in L.A. may be disappointed by their hero’s play, but they can take heart in the fact that Lin is the first Asian-American to bring a line-up, fade and tramlines to the NBA. Do your thing, Jeremy.

Chris Bosh is serious about being the man again:

Chris Bosh

Bosh submitted 26 points, 15 rebounds, 4 assists, 17 stupid faces, 9-for-18 shooting and some great defense in Miami’s season opener. He sacrificed a lot offensively over the past four seasons, and he’s here to show us he deserves his new max contract.

Pau Gasol looks good in red:

Pau Gasol

The key question for the Bulls going into the season (besides Rose’s health): Is Pau washed up or was he just was not trying that hard in L.A. the past two seasons? It seems more the latter than the former. He looks great on both ends and will be a big weapon versus Cleveland.

The Bulls’ rookies bring good floor spacing:

Chicago Bulls

Doug McDermott and Nikola Mirotic appear to be legit threats from the outside. Rose will have fun driving and kicking to them, and the Chicago offense may actually be somewhat enjoyable to watch this season – a big change.

The Warriors are showing promising signs:

Golden State Warriors

I wrote earlier in the week that Golden State will be dramatically more efficient and fun to watch offensively under Steve Kerr. It’s still early and they were without David Lee for their uneventful 95-77 win in Sacramento, but this no-look big-to-big passing sequence resulting in a dunk was a sign of beautiful things to come.

The TNT crew is already in mid-season form:

NBA on TNT NBA on TNT

Still the best studio show in sports.

Cleveland welcomed back LeBron with glow-in-the-dark sex toys thundersticks:

Cleveland Cleveland

And it all seemed a little immature and contrived. Their obnoxious PA announcer didn’t help either. This was a perfect time to keep it simple and let the noise – and the gravity of the moment – do the talking. They fell into the trap of trying to do too much.

This was a great night for Fish and the Knicks:

Derek Fisher

The Knicks may not make the playoffs, but this was a signature win for new head coach Derek Fisher, who used his timeouts and substitutions wisely, and had his team fighting hard on the defensive end all night long. He could turn out to be a Mark Jackson-level motivator with an actual strategy on offense. Watch this space.

Dirk is awesome:

Dirk Nowitzki

Here he is doing a Run DMC skit on the jumbotron during the Mavs’ home opener. I hope the full video appears on YouTube soon.

The Jazz are still terrible:

Dante Exum

Note the score. This team will challenge the Lakers for worst record in the West.

The Clippers have finally turned the lights down:

Los Angeles Clippers

It appears that the Clippers are going down the Knicks/Lakers route and dimming the lights away from the court to create a stage lit scene. It’s about time. The lights out effect has given Laker games an extra glitzy Hollywood feel and I have wondered for a while why the Clips have not followed suit.

Blake Griffin is emphasizing his new tough guy persona with a beard:

Blake Griffin

Blake insists that he will start retaliating when opponents punk him on court. Rightly labelled as soft and a whining flopper, he has decided to try to change his image. In the words of Jay-Z: We don’t believe you, you need more people.

Kevin Durant is still balding:

Kevin Durant

Whilst we are on the topic of hair, it would be remiss of me not to point this out. That bald spot continues to expand.

Sebastian Telfair is somehow relevant again:

Sebastian Telfair

Bassy played a relatively effective 37 minutes versus the Clippers last night. With Westbrook fracturing his hand, Telfair will likely be the starting point guard for the next few weeks on a contending team. This is quite a turn of events. He has not been this relevant since appearing alongside LeBron James on the cover of SLAM Magazine in August 2002.

Steve Ballmer just needs to calm down:

Steve Ballmer Steve Ballmer

It’s a long season, Steve-O. Relax.

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