The French led their teams, Utah and Orlando, to victory. Milwaukee and Miami fell on entry.
Tatum does not tremble, Giannis does
The last moments were scorching hot at TD Garden where Boston won with nothing 122-121. And no doubt that if they had been able to be present, the Celtics fans would have screamed with joy to see Jayson Tatum first register a three-point basket, with the help of the board, after clearing the defense of Giannis Antetokounmpo, to lead 122-120 with 1 sec 5/10 remaining. They would also have elated and certainly chambered the latter, who in the process had two free throws to equalize, but missed the second. Frustrating for the double MVP in title, author in the end of 35 points, 13 rebounds, but also 7 stray balls. Frustrating also for the Bucks, who had 17 points less at the start of the last quarter and woke up in vain thanks also to the 25 pawns of rookie Jrue Holiday. For Boston, in addition to Tatum’s 30 points, those of Jaylen Brown (33) obviously weighed heavily.
Westbrook shines but loses
First match with Washington and first triple-double (21 pts, 15 assists, 11 rebounds) for the gender specialist, MVP of the 2017 season. Promising, especially in his association with Bradley Beal (31 pts), but insufficient to prevent the defeat in Philadelphia (113-107). The Sixers, now coached by Doc Rivers, were however led by ten points after three quarters. But the Cameroonian pivot Joel Embiid (29 pts, 14 rebounds) then took matters into his own hands and allowed his people to take the advantage by scoring a basket at 1 min 9 sec from the buzzer.
They have cardboard
The talented sophomore (2nd year) Ja Morant, author of 44 points (18/27 on shots) for Memphis, defeated at home by San Antonio (131-119). The leader Terry Rozier, who scored 42 points with ten baskets behind the arc, during the loss of Charlotte in Cleveland (121-114). The young star of Atlanta, Trae Young, whose 37 points contributed to the large success of the Hawks on the floor of Chicago (124-104).
Heat executioner Fournier
Excellent start for Evan Fournier, the “frenchie” of Orlando whose 25 points (4 assists, 3 interceptions) allowed his team to surprise Miami (113-107), finalist of the last season, in particular with some decisive baskets in the money-time. In Portland, Rudy Gobert dominated the circle, accumulating 20 points to 8/10 and 17 rebounds in a clear victory for Utah (100-120). Opposite, Damian Lillard (0 point at half-time, 9 to 4/12 in the end), was muzzled.
For his big debut in the NBA, Killian Hayes, the highest drafted French rookie in history (7th position), conceded a defeat (111-101) with Detroit, for which he scored 7 points and 3 assists. His compatriot Sekou Doumbouya scored 6 points and caught 9 rebounds off the bench. Frank Ntilikina, who had only five minutes of presence (1 pt, 1 interception) also lost with New York to Indiana (121-107).