Three things to know: Nets’ LaMarcus Aldridge shines brightest among big-name debuts

Nets big LaMarcus Aldridge vs. Hornets
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The NBA season is into its second half, and we will be here each weekday with the NBC Sports daily roundup Three Things to Know — everything you might have missed in the Association, every key moment from the night before in one place.

1) LaMarcus Aldridge looks comfortable in Nets debut

LaMarcus Aldridge ruined competitive balance. Brooklyn is an unfairly stacked super team. The entire buyout system needs overhauling.

Aldridge’s first game with the Nets won’t calm the hysteria.

Even with Kevin Durant and James Harden out injured and DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin also not playing, Brooklyn cruised to a 111-89 win over the Hornets. The Nets outscored Charlotte by 22 in Aldridge’s 30 minutes.

Aldridge (11 points, nine rebounds, six assists, two steals and a block) was solid. He passed well out of double-teams. He scored in the post and hit a 3-pointer.

But – what the loudest alarmists won’t consider – he shot just 4-for-10. The Hornets didn’t really challenge him on defense, where his decline with the Spurs was most noticeable. He didn’t have to blend with all Brooklyn’s stars.

Bigger tests await, especially in the playoffs. We’ll see how the 35-year-old Aldridge handles them.

For now though, the Nets dominating with Aldridge on the floor feeds a narrative.

2) Victor Oladipo can build on frantic Heat debut

Victor Oladipo really wanted to join Miami (maybe even too badly).

His eagerness showed in his Heat debut – for better and, mostly, worse.

In a 116-109 win over the Spurs, Oladipo scored just six points. He shot 2-for-8 (including 0-for-4 on 3-pointers) from the field and 2-for-5 on free throws. Defending too aggressively, he committed five fouls in 23 minutes.

Since returning from injury last season, Oladipo shot inefficiently with both the Pacers and Rockets. That’s why his value sunk so low. If his shots don’t fall more often in Miami, he’ll be hard-pressed to contribute positively.

But Oladipo’s passing meshed with the Heat’s offense. He finished with five assists (again, in just 23 minutes due to foul trouble). He also had his moments guarding Stephen Curry.

Determination, ball movement, defense – Oladipo is already fitting Miami. He just must play better overall.

In the meantime, at least he can feel good about the Heat winning.

3) Lou Williams good enough in Hawks debut

Atlanta’s offensive/defensive/net ratings without Trae Young until the trade deadline: 101.5/106.8/-5.3.

Atlanta’s offensive/defensive/net ratings without Trae Young last night: 117.8/112.0/+5.8.

The Hawks don’t need Lou Williams to be great. They just need him not to be Rajon Rondo.

Williams certainly wasn’t great in his first game with Atlanta, a 134-129 double-overtime win over the Spurs. He scored just seven points on 3-of-10 shooting.

But his playmaking threat helped right the Hawks’ offense. Williams attracted attention and dished five assists. Atlanta outscored San Antonio by three while Young sat.

That was just enough to reach overtime – and give Young a chance to take over.