1. Barn-burners and nail-biters
The NBA season is barely three days old, and yet we’ve already seen plenty of high-scoring shootouts as well as games that come right down to the wire. Of the 16 games that have been played so far, five have been decided by four points or fewer.
Kelly Olynyk and the Miami Heat were perhaps the most dramatic with their go-ahead bucket, with Olynyk tipping in a Dwyane Wade miss with only 0.2 seconds left in the game against the Washington Wizards Thursday night. The game was close from the opening tip, with 20 lead changes throughout, but Miami managed a 113-112 victory.
John Wall and Bradley Beal both had solid scoring nights, putting up 26 and 20, respectively. Their scoring was outdone, however, by Josh Richardson and Rodney Macgruder in the Miami backcourt, who combined for 48 points.
That wasn’t the only 113-112 game we’ve seen so far, believe it or not. The Bucks took the Hornets to the same outcome on Wednesday night. The Pistons beat the Nets by only three points, the Spurs eked out a four-point victory over the Timberwolves and the Magic won by three against the very same Heat who would flip the script the next night.
In addition to the nail-biters, we’ve also seen plenty of teams score well into the 120s already. Maybe teams are just shaking the rust off and getting back into the groove of playing engaged defense, or maybe offense will tighten its hold even further as average points per 100 possessions continues to rise.
Six different teams have surpassed 120 points in just three nights of action. That’s a lot. Maybe it’s a good thing. After all, if you’re going to watch Hawks/Knicks, wouldn’t you rather watch a 126-107 game than a 98-93 game? Like everything in the post, though, we’ll likely look back in three or four weeks and wonder how all of it seemed so certain after just a few days.