Tonight I watched both the Celtics-Wizards and Bulls-76ers games. I was especially interested to see how the Celtics would play in their first game with Garnett and Allen. The Bulls played disappointingly in their first game against the Nets, so I was interested to see how they would play in their home debut against the 76ers.
-Tonight was certainly the best game of Tyrus Thomas' career. Although he still had a few defensive lapses and made some bad turnovers, he brought energy and athleticism to the team all night. He was active on the boards and had several mouth-opening blocked shots. It really looks like he has improved his jump shot, which will be pivotal in his development. If he can consistently knock down that mid-range shot, Thomas' potential is endless.
-Maybe it's because Thomas played so well, but I still expected the Bulls to get more offense from Joe Smith. I figured he could easily average ten points each game. It's early, but I'm already doubting my initial expectations.
-Kirk Hinrich and Luol Deng really struggled tonight. For a perimeter shooter like Hinrich, his field goal percentage has never been as high as it needs to be. One reason may be because he has to exert so much on the defensive end, but long-term this is a concern. Especially in the first half, both struggled to get into any type of flow.
-Andre Miller has always been a real solid point guard. He probably has never gotten the credit he should get, but he is real steady and brings a lot to the table.
-Reggie Evans brings a nice dimension to the 76ers. He works hard on both ends of the court and is unselfish. On a team like the 76ers who have little experienced talent in the frontcourt, Evans could put up career highs in rebounds and points this season.
-If the Celtics can get the type of production they got tonight outside of the Big 3, they are going to be real tough to beat. Rajon Rando, Brian Scalabrine, Tony Allen, and Eddie House all gave them positive minutes. They don't need any of these guys to score a lot, just play hard and work on defense.
-What a night for Boston. It was truely a perfect start to the season as Garnett, Allen, and Pierce all played well and had the chemistry of a group that have played together for years. Garnett definitely started his MVP campaign on the right foot with this game line:
22 points, 20 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks
-Gilbert Arenas really struggled tonight to get into any kind of flow. He turned the ball over early and shot 5 for 20 from the field. The game ended with the Boston crowd chanting "Gilbert, Gilbert".
-The Celtics really dominated the Wizards in every aspect tonight. They lost by 20 points, shot 0 for 15 form the three-point line, only had 9 assists, and turned the ball over 19 times. Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood were the only Wizards to play effectively.