2012-2013 NBA Opening Day: The Super Dupers and Not-So-Supers

Ugh. They got their rings already.
(image from J. Pat Carter/AP)

Two Super Teams took to the court on the NBA 2012-2013 season’s opening night.

One won over a bitter rival.

One lost to an undermanned opponent.

One was, indeed, super duper.

One was, well, not-so-super.

I hate the Heat, but they won. They beat Boston black and blue with probably the most gifted athlete of this generation riding the pine for a good part of the second half. LBJ didn’t have to be in MVP mode for this one (though 26 points and 10 rebounds can be argued to the contrary), since Chris Bosh and newly minted turncoat Ray Allen delivered. Bosh finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds to anchor Miami’s post play, while Allen flushed down his former team by also scoring 19 markers off the bench (he needed just 7 field goal attempts to reach that mark). Dwyane Wade was by far the most awesome, however, surpassing the 15,000-point plateau with his 29-point effort.

On the other end of the States, the LA Lakers, engineered specifically to counter Miami’s star-powered dreams of a title repeat, were on the business end of a beat-down courtesy of the last world champion to come out of the West – the Dallas Mavericks. It’s worth noting that in 9 games now (including 8 in the preseason), Los Angeles’s version of Los Galacticos hasn’t won a single match. 0-9. Is this the team supposed to challenge Miami’s depth and dominance? No.

The bigger question is this: will this be the same LA Lakers team at the end of the season? For all our sakes, I hope not.

It’s also worth noting, by the way, that Dirk Nowitzki and Chris Kaman both missed this game. Now considering how the Lakers have arguably the two best centers in the whole world manning their frontcourt, they should’ve gobbled up the Mavs.

But no. All it took was a rejuvenated Elton Brand and a who-the-hell-is Brandan Wright to make every Californian’s head shake in disappointment.

The bad guys won and the not-exactly-good-guys-who-were-supposed-to-foil-the-bad-guys lost. No, NBA, this is NOT the start I wanted.

It’s going to be a loooooooong season.

Game Recaps (courtesy of the Sports Network):

Cleveland 94, Washington 84
Kyrie Irving and fellow second-year pro Tristan Thompson picked up the slack after the Cavaliers squandered a late double-digit lead, as Cleveland pulled out a 94-84 victory over the Washington Wizards to open the NBA season. Irving, the reigning Rookie of the Year, netted 29 points, while Thompson scored seven of his 12 in the final two minutes of a close game. Thompson also grabbed 10 rebounds for a frountcourt that earned a 54-39 advantage on the glass. Anderson Varejao was a big reason behind the discrepancy, pulling down a career-high 23 boards -- 12 offensive -- for the Cavs, who went 21-45 and finished in the basement of the Central Division last season. The Wizards, who had one less victory than Cleveland, were playing without starters John Wall (knee) and Nene (foot) and were led by Jordan Crawford's 11 points.

He's back! And his hair hasn't changed one bit, too!
(image from Mark Duncan/AP)

Miami 120, Boston 107
Although he missed a majority of the fourth quarter with leg cramps, LeBron James tallied 26 points and 10 rebounds in the defending-champion Miami Heat's 120-107 victory over the Boston Celtics on NBA's opening night. The 2012 NBA and Finals MVP exited the game late in the third quarter with cramps, came back at the start of the fourth and made a deep jumper to give Miami its largest lead, and then exited again shortly thereafter. Dwyane Wade netted 29 points, while Chris Bosh added 19 points and 10 boards for Miami, which knocked off the Celtics in seven games during the Eastern Conference finals. Paul Pierce scored 23 points and Rajon Rondo registered 20 points and 13 assists for Boston, which won last season's season series between its heated rivals, 3-1.

Kevin Garnett and Udonis Haslem will get pretty tired of
bumping against each other by season's end.
(image from J. Pat Carter/AP)

Dallas 99, LA Lakers 91
Darren Collison tallied 17 points, Elton Brand had eight points and 11 rebounds and O.J. Mayo added 12 points in the Dallas Mavericks' 99-91 win over the new-look Lakers. Dwight Howard, who was traded for in August as part of a four-team swap, had 19 points and 10 rebounds, but fouled out and was an abysmal 3-of-14 from the foul line in his Lakers debut. A month prior, Steve Nash was acquired by Los Angeles from the Phoenix Suns for first round-picks in 2013 and 2015 and second-round picks in 2013 and 2014. He finished with seven points and four assists.

Dwight Howard and the powerhouse Lakers fell to
the aging and depleted Dallas Mavericks.
(image from Jae C. Hong/AP)

Top 10 Plays of the Night:

Game Highlights:

All video clips are from the NBA YouTube channel.
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1 Comment

Speaking of Western storylines...Can't wait for Houston's and OKC's openers!