The NBA season is off and running and we already have a game winner from a former Kentucky Wildcats star. John Wall. Wall hit a floater in the lane with 12.7 seconds left in the game to give the Wizards an 88-87 lead over the Magic which would prove to be the final score.
The shot put an exclamation point on Wall's night with 22 points, seven rebounds, six assists, five blocks, and three steals. Yes, you read that right, an outstanding night for "The Great Wall".
Former teammate of Wall at Kentucky, DeMarcus "Boogie" Cousins, had a big season debut of his own putting up 32 points, 13 rebounds, and three assists. Boogie's great game would, unfortunately, came in a 111-104 loss to the Clippers. As for the other former Cats on the Kings, Rajon Rondo posted four points, seven rebounds, and four assists, while Willie Cauley-Stein added two points and two rebounds in just eight minutes off the bench.
Anthony Davis has two games under his belt already in this young NBA season. He opened the season Tuesday night on the road in Oracle against the defending champion Golden State Warriors in a game Davis will hope to soon forget. While Steph Curry put on a show, Davis struggled from the field shooting just 4-20 and 10-15 from the free throw line.
Davis would finish with 18 points, six rebounds, three blocks, and two assists in the 111-95 loss. He would bounce back Wednesday night against the Trail Blazers with 25 points, ten rebounds, two blocks, and two steals in a 112-94 loss.
It was an excellent night for former Kentucky guards for the Phoenix Wildcats, I mean Suns. All four of the former Cats would score in double figures in the Suns' 111-95 loss to the Mavericks. Brandon Knight led the foursome with 15 points, six rebounds, and three assists while his backcourt partner, Eric Bledsoe, added 13 points, four rebounds, and four assists. Archie Goodwin put up twelve points and five rebounds off the bench and Devin Booker impressed with 14 points and three rebounds in his NBA debut off the bench.
Karl Anthony-Towns opened his NBA career in the Staples Center against the Lakers Wednesday night. It was the first time that the number 1 and 2 pick in the most recent NBA draft opened the season against each other in NBA history (D'Angelo Russell). It was also the season opener for Towns' teammate Tayshaun Prince and Lakers' rookie Julius Randle (broke leg in opener last season).
Towns and Randle would both get double-doubles; Towns with 14 points and twelve rebounds, and Randle with 15 points and eleven rebounds. Prince would chip in with two points, two rebounds, and guarding Kobe Bryant on multiple possessions in the T-Wolves 112-111 win.
Three former front court players for the Cats would also open with big games; Nerlens Noel, Terrence Jones, and Enes Kanter. Nerlens was a stat sheet stuffer in the 76ers' 112-95 loss to the Celtics. He finished with 14 points, twelve rebounds, three steals, two blocks, and two assists. Jones put up 15 points and six rebounds in Houston's 105-85 loss to Denver. Kanter came off the bench for the Thunder and put up 15 points and 16 rebounds in their 112-106 win over the Spurs.
Other former Cats making season debuts; Patrick Patterson had eight points and four rebounds in the Raptors' 106-99 win over the Pacers, Jodie Meeks has two points and two rebounds in the first two games of the season for the 2-0 Pistons, and Trey Lyles posted an assist and a rebound in eight minutes of Utah's 92-87 loss to Detroit. James Young DNP (injury) and Aaron Harrison DNP (coaches decision).
Is it just me or did I type 111 and 112 a lot? Anyways, it was a very successful start to the season for the former Cats. I expect more of the same as the season continues and for Kentucky to be well represented in the All-Star game this season. Is that thinking too far ahead? Oh well, we're Kentucky fans, that's what we do.
Go Big Blue.