Basketball is Back and More Gruesome than Ever
By J. Patrick | (10/22)
“Open Floor” is a week-to-week column that examines the events from the past week in the NBA world, and other things loosely related to it. Sometimes we may examine games, plays, players, injuries, contracts, fights, social media, whatever. It’s an open-ended column, so, as Kevin Garnett would say, “anything is possibllllllllleee!”
Sickening Injuries already Ending Seasons
Oh. My. God. If you, like me, were watching the first NBA game of the 2017-18 season, Tuesday night, you saw what should be the most gruesome injury of the year–and what could be the most gruesome injury you may have ever seen on a basketball court. If you missed it, do yourself a favor and do not watch the replay–it’s, no doubt, one of the few times where I have deeply regretted HD television. Here’s a quick recap to save your lunch:
Five minutes into the first quarter of the first game, Gordon Hayward leapt toward the opponent’s basket, aiming to catch and perhaps dunk a lob thrown by fellow, new Celtic, Kyrie Irving. The pass, however, was a bit behind Hayward, who was challenged in the air over the paint by LBJ and Jae Crowder. Enduring a hard foul in-flight, Hayward was knocked off axis enough to land so awkwardly that–without using too much medical terminology–his ankle was nearly torn from his leg. Consider this, too: in the live replay, I unfortunately noticed that you could actually hear the man’s leg break before the cameras cut to a close-up they had no business displaying.
For my part, I almost threw my beer against the wall as I screamed and cringed, like when salt is poured on a snail or slug. For his part, Hayward screamed in agony as medical staff set his leg on the court. It was truly gut wrenching. Hayward is in all likelihood done for the season, and the Celtics status as a contender are almost completely over too. There’s a sadness in the northeast I can sorta feel in eastern North Carolina.
While there (strangely) seemed to be some slight optimism that Gordon would return near the end of the season, Lin’s diagnosis and long term expectations were much easier to figure out. In the waning minutes of the fourth quarter against the Pacers, Lin landed awkwardly along the baseline after fighting for a rebound. When he went down he was visibly shaken. He began to cry and was shouting, “I’m done, I’m done!,” as he was taken off the floor. It came out later that night that he tore his patellar tendon, the tendon that holds the kneecap in place, and spans from the bottom of the quadriceps on the femur down to the top of the tibia. Most tendon tears are horrible, painful injuries. Usually for the patellar and achilles tendons you can hear a loud pop when it tears. The Nets will have to rely on younger guys like Caris Levert, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Isaiah Whitehead to grow into a larger role now, much like last year, when Lin missed most of the season.
A Mixed Bag from the Rookies
Lonzo Ball got off to a rocky start in his debut against the cross gym rival Clippers. Any game is going to be tough when you have a bulldog like Patrick Beverly latching onto you. He ended the night with 3 pts, 9 rebs, 4 asts, 1 blk, 1 stl, and 2 TO’s. His second game however, was much better. Then again, they were playing the Phoenix Suns, arguably the worst team in the association. He closed out Saturday’s contest with 29 pts, 11 rebs, 9 asts, 1 stl, and 4 TO’s.
Others who impressed: Jayson Tatum, Ben Simmons, Milos Teodosic, and De’Aaron Fox
The Phoenix Suns’ first-round pick in this years draft, Josh Jackson, is up for debate. On the one hand, he hasn’t had any eye opening statistical production or highlight plays, but, on the other hand, he does pass the eye test. He seems to have an incredible feel for the pace of the game and how to keep it flowing; and he may be a better passer than advertised–he has a knack for finding bigs under the rim when he is contested on drives, and he’s strong enough to whip it back out to the perimeter for an open 3-pointer. The most immediate take I have is that he’ll more than likely have an up and down rookie season, as do many promising youngbloods.
Poor, poor Markelle Fultz. If his free throw shooting form wasn’t bad enough, his production from the line is even worse (6-12 through 3 games and an air ball on one attempt). He’s done a nice job of penetrating in the paint, but has been virtually non-existent in every other facet of the game. It makes you wonder how bad the shoulder issues really are.
Yo … Who’s this chick Sophie Dossi?
At halftime of the Clippers-Suns game, I just saw this girl Sophie balance on a balance beam and shoot a bow and arrow and hit a target … WITH HER F**KING FEET. I’m still feeling amazed and impressed–and, truthfully, somewhat aroused–at the thought of a woman hitting a deer with a bow and arrow, using only her feet, while doing some other gymnast shit. Here’s an older clip of her doing it.
Week 1 Revenge Games
- Rubio vs the Timberwolves
- Probably the lesser thought of revenge games this week. Rubio (19 pts, 5 rebs, 11 asts, 2 stls) had a good outing, but it wasn’t enough to push the Jazz past the Wolves, thanks to a buzzer beater by Wiggins for the win.
- Carmelo vs the Knicks
- Melo had a very Melo-ish game in his first time facing the Knicks (22 pts on 8-20 shooting). He did hit the first bucket of the game, and he seemed re-energized when he did. Melo is going to have a lot of fun in OKC this year, I can feel it.
- Cavaliers vs. Boston (and Kyrie)
- This game was already derailed by the Hayward injury, but Kyrie (22 pts, 4 rebs, 10 asts, 3 stls) did his best to put the team on his back and carry the C’s to victory. As usual, however, King James (29 pts, 16 rebs, 9 asts, 2 blks) was there to ultimately save the day and propel the Cavs to victory during the closing minutes of the 4th quarter.
- Dwight Howard vs the Hawks
- Dwight had a great game in his return to the ATL, putting up 20 pts and 15 rebs. He did, however, commit 6 TO’s, but that’s okay, because he pulled off some vintage-Dwight shenanigans when he kissed a ref on a bogus call.
Lil’ Jon Did Pregame Intros for the Kings Opener
If you needed (or were searching for) a reason to watch the Kings this year (which you probably weren’t), this may be what you were looking for.