The game: Mitchell carries Cleveland to their first victory
The big win, and the little statistic that Americans are so fond of. By humiliating the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night in their United Center (128-96), the Cleveland Cavaliers launched their season with a first convincing victory – after losing to the Toronto Raptors (105-108). The most prominent player on his team, once again, Donovan Mitchell (32 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists), thus became the first player in the history of his new franchise, joined from Utah this summer, to start a season with two matches with at least thirty points scored. “Not even LeBron James” did not succeed, notes ESPN at the start of the report. ” It’s an honor, Mitchell reacted. I’m lucky to be able to do things like this. I hope to be able to continue to build like this, and more. I just do what is asked of me. »
Opposite, the return to competition of Zach LaVine (23 points), who had missed the first two matches in order to spare his left knee, operated on last May, proved to be in vain. At the break, Cleveland was 16 points ahead and was no longer worried.
The player: Nikola Jokic still in triple-double
The day after the successful triple-double with the Golden State Warriors (26 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists), the Serbian pivot of the Denver Nuggets Nikola Jokic did it again, this time at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder (victory 122 -117). In the end, the reigning double MVP broke 19 points for 16 rebounds and 13 assists, in 39 minutes of play. Edifying, especially since his team was playing a third game in four days and had arrived the same day , at four o’clock in the morning, at home.
Nikola Jokic now has 78 triple-doubles since his NBA debut.
The French: Batum on all fronts, Dieng and Hayes little in sight
Off the Los Angeles Clippers bench, Nicholas Batum did what he knows how to do best during the Los Angeles Clippers’ victory over the Sacramento Kings (111-109): a bit of everything. Author of 7 points, without missing a single shot (3 out of 3), the winger has especially accumulated 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 1 against in 28 minutes on the floor. He also grabbed the offensive rebound on the three-pointer missed by Paul George 16 seconds from the buzzer, which caused the Kings to foul rather than get a possession to tie.
In Indiana’s home win over Detroit (124-115), Killian Hayes contributed little in 17 minutes: 5 points, 2 assists and 1 block. Above all, he was, along with Isaiah Livers, the least effective player in “+ /-” (evolution of the score when the player is on the field) with a -12 on the statistic. Ousmane Dieng only played 7 minutes in Denver, for two missed shots.
The rookie: Mathurin already mature
Will Bennedict Mathurin stay long on the Indiana Pacers bench at the start of matches? The rear, who is living his first NBA season, offers a very successful start to the season, as evidenced by his 27 points scored at home against the Detroit Pistons (124-115 victory). This is one unit better than in the defeat conceded the previous game against San Antonio (134-137).
“He plays like a veteran”, praised coach Rick Carlisle of the 20-year-old Canadian. His next outing, in Philadelphia, a “big” of the Conference in need of victory, will allow us to know a little more about these first noticed steps.