After days of chaos to start the 2022-23 season, the results of Wednesday night’s NBA slate felt… normal. Balance seemed to return, order restored across the league as the teams favored to win did exactly that, and often in convincing fashion. The stars were good, if not great, and the games themselves unfolded plainly, without controversy.
Of course, I’m just being facetious. Even the simplest of nights in the NBA can’t come without plenty to discuss. Let’s do so now, and get to Wednesday’s NBA scores.
Bucks stay perfect, use Nets collapse to fuel 110-99 win
You know what’s pretty terrifying to consider? The fact that Milwaukee may very well be the best team in the NBA at the moment, and 1) they’ve yet to play all that well, and 2) won’t have Khris Middleton back for another few weeks, at the earliest. Their most recent triumph is a throttling of the ever-up-in-the-air Nets, despite Brooklyn keeping things close for much of the game. Giannis Antetokounmpo exploded for 43 points (34 of which came in the second half) and 14 rebounds to lead the way, and no one else’s night was really anything worth writing home about.
These pedestrian dubs are exactly what you don’t want to let already-superior teams get early in the season. And yet, here we are, unpacking yet another Bucks win. Odds are, we’ll do it another 55 or so times over the next few months.
Cleveland wins third straight, beat Magic 103-92
The Cavs put together a team effort with six players scoring in double figures, improving to 3-1 and staying perfect since their opening loss to the Raptors. Ho-hum, not the story of the game at all.
It’s ridiculous what Paolo Banchero is doing in the opening days of his NBA career. He has yet to score fewer than 20 points in a game, is averaging 24 per game over his first five as a pro, and looks like a seasoned vet stuck on a team of lesser role players every night. If it wasn’t his rookie year, the odds of him asking out before the deadline would already be skyrocketing. Instead, he’s pacing a Magic team that isn’t quite ready to win yet. But when they are? With him at the helm? Scary hours.
Let’s just not go too cra—
Anthony Edwards erupts for 34 as T-Wolves down Spurs, 134-122
Hawks soar past Pistons, 118-113, behind Trae’s 35
It’s never going to be the prettiest thing in the world, but Trae Young is almost always going to get his. Death, taxes, 35 points but shooting one-of-seven from three.
On the other end of things, Cade Cunningham’s stat-stuffer of a night gets stifled when you note that he finished with seven giveaways, many of which one could call unforced errors. He’ll clean it up in time; until he does, though, Detroit will keep losing close games like this.
Knicks survive Hornets in OT, 134-131
The Knicks, now 3-1 after three-straight wins over three bad teams, are struggling to find their identity as a whole to start the season. But Jalen Brunson having his first of what portends to be many flashy outings as a Knick in last night’s victory should serve as a fine silver lining. New York’s $104 million man finished with 27 points, 13 assists, and seven rebounds, an effort even the most disgruntled Knicks fan could love.
Sixers continue to skid, fall to Raptors 119-109
Toronto is a very good basketball team. Six Raptors finished in double figures in last night’s win, as Nick Nurse’s squad continues to offer one of the more balanced attacks in the NBA. But the story here, with apologies to those hoping I’d have 100 words or so on Gary Trent Jr., is how the 76ers have yet to put together a complete game this season. Frankly, they’ve yet to put together consecutive “good” games. At the moment, they’re 1-4. They could just as easily be 0-5.
At least Tyrese Maxey — 31 points on 12-of-21 shooting — appears to have a sense of urgency unlike what he was offering to start this season. Plus, Joel Embiid has returned to MVP form after a slow start of his own; after 31 of his own last night, he’s averaging 32.3 points in his last three, and 27.6 on the season. The rest of the squad will have to pick up the slack if Philly hopes to climb out of this slide, and soon.
Bulls trample Pacers, 124-109
Spotted: Zach LaVine (28 points; six-of-eight from three; 10-of-12 from the line) leaving the United Center after last night’s victory.
Heat scorch Portland 119-98 as Blazers drop first game of the season
Jazz continue improbable start with 109-101 win over Rockets
Denver tops L.A., 110-99; Lakers fall to 0-4
So badly do I want to end today’s post on a positive note. Like mentioning Nikola Jokic’s incredible 31-13-9 outing (still looks like he’s in MVP form). But it’s so hard when there is so much funny stuff out there about this 0-4 start to the Lakers season.
I’ll just fall back on old reliable.
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