Garnett saying the hard times builds character is odd, but understandable. This team genuinely still loves playing together, which is impressive after five years together. It’s talked about as if this is the last ride for this team, but were they to win the title, who’s to say they wouldn’t return to defend? Rondo talking about how the players came in and believed that they would win the title is pivotal as well.
Veteran teams have a self-awareness of whether they can really push for a title. That the team believed it can win, that makes something different in how they approach it. It means less going through the motions, it means more focus, once they got their legs under them. No one expects the Celtics to make the championship. But listening to these guys talk, you have to wonder… why not?
Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance
NEW YORK (AP)— The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.
Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.
NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.
Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling
This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.
After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverleyin his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.
Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).
Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.
LeBron James rejects Giannis Antetokounmpo at the rim