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Home / Sports / Winners and losers of the NBA premiere: Kawhi Leonard outshines LeBron James; Pascal Siakam destroys pelicans

Winners and losers of the NBA premiere: Kawhi Leonard outshines LeBron James; Pascal Siakam destroys pelicans



The NBA premiere for the 2019-20 season is over. We laughed, cried, cheered and booed as the Toronto Raptors and Los Angeles Clippers became the first teams to win, while the New Orleans Pelicans and Los Angeles Lakers STILL are in search of that elusive first win ( Stay tuned, people!).

The Raptors between 130 and 122 pelicans lost some of their luster because Zion Williamson was absent, but we were still treated for a high scoring overtime game. In the second game you could feel the star seeping out of the TV when LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard and Anthony Davis started their season.

Like every big night, some fare better than others, and so do be careless if we do not point out the winners and losers of the NBA premiere.

Winner: Kawhi Leonard

If the goal is to steal the Los Angeles Lakers, Kawhi and the Clippers took their first step on Tuesday. If the goal is simply to establish yourself as one of the best teams in the NBA, they have. Leonard made a slow start, but was phenomenal on Tuesday, scoring his normal, unstoppable and efficient score on his way to a high of 30 points. It was not something we did not get used to after Leonard led the Raptors to a title last season, but it was still fun to see him.

Loser: LeBron James

Well, that's a rarity. You can probably count how many times LeBron emerged as a "loser" after a gig, but this was a relative stinker in his first game with Anthony Davis. Normally supremely efficient, James scored 1

8 points in 7-of-19 (1-for-5 3-pointers) defeat against the Clippers on Tuesday, committing himself to five sales. To underline how inefficient this game was for LeBron, he has shot no less than 50 percent since 2009, and he shot only four times worse than at the inaugural (36.8 percent) season. We're not exactly worried about LeBron coming back, but it was a big part of the Lakers' disappointing opening night.

Winner: The City of Los Angeles

It's not enough that they have beautiful weather, beaches and celebrities – does LA have the best teams in the NBA? Unfair. While both teams are far from a finished product, the Clippers and the Lakers showed quite a show in the first installment of the renewed battle for Los Angeles. After many meager years with the Clippers in the 90s and 2000s and some mediocre Lakers squads in recent years, Angelenos now sees two of the league's best title winners every evening. The star power between LeBron, AD and Kawhi was off the charts on Tuesday and Paul George did not even play. P. G. However, it did make a difference …

Winner: Paul George

Paul George does not even play for off-season shoulder surgery, but he was still a big winner on the opening night. The Clippers striker not only graced the small screen with a Clio-worthy appearance in the new commercial "Terminator" (19459007) with Kawhi, but also took the early lead in the running NBA fashion contest by wearing a tuxedo on the sideline, as he cheered on his new Clipper family. If this is a sign of fashion play, P.G. This season is waiting for us a treat.

Losers: Trainer's Challenges

We've seen the coach's first challenge in the history of the NBA and it was … disappointing. The protest by Nick Nurse not only failed, but also significantly disrupted the flow of the game, resulting in a relatively low potential outcome. In the second game Lakers coach Frank Vogel was also challenged for a foul on Dwight Howard. However, when reviewing the match, the referees noted that Lou Wililams' continuation basket was not allowed to count after the foul and had to remove the points from the board, so … unforeseen benefits? It seems like it will take a while for trainers to figure out how to handle these challenges. Of course you want every call to be made correctly, but the wrench he puts into the game may not be worth it.

Winner: Pascal Siakam

Those who bought stocks in Siakam at the start of their career are brightly reaping the benefits, and he seems ready to take another leap, judging by his premiere. The lanky striker showed a ridiculous line of 34 points and 18 rebounds, and it would have been even more impressive if he had not fouled before extra time. Siakam is expected to take on an even greater offensive role with the departure of Kawhi Leonard, and it seems he is up to the task.

Loser: Alvin Gentry

The New Orleans pelicans have many new faces this season and it looks like their coach Alvin Gentry forgot that some of them were on the team. Lonzo Ball did well on his debut in New Orleans but missed an incredibly long run in the fourth quarter as his team battled the Raptors. Frank Jackson and Jahlil Okafor played during the Crunch time instead of Ball and Derrick Favors, which, to say the least, was intriguing. Worse still, Gentry Ball put the game back into play to work overtime when he had not played since 6:29 in the third quarter. Needless to say, Ball did not feel well after his incredibly long break and lost the pelicans. Gentry still has some work to do to support his rotation with such a deep squad, but sitting for hours with your best players is probably not the answer.

Winner: Fred VanVleet

We were not sure how VanVleet would come out this season after he had taken the world by storm during the Raptors championship. The answer? Very very strong. The newly minted grid was in flames at the start and scored 34 points in 12-of-18 shooting, including 5-of-7 from 3-point range. If the Raptors remain competitive in the East, VanVleet will be an important reason.

Loser: Lakers Bankmob

The Lakers Bank was outscored in losing to the Clippers with 60 to 19 points, which is a bit misleading because the Clippers in Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell are two of their top scorers on the bench bring. Nevertheless, the Lakers have to take care of the lack of production. Throwing out Troy Daniels, Jared Dudley, and Quinn Cook for a few minutes is no basis for a productive unit. In addition, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored amazing zero points in 28 minutes. It's still a long way off and the trade / buyout market is probably in sight, but this was not a great start for the Lakers – or lack of depth.


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