The NBA returned to action last night, and the Spurs picked up right where they left off. Kobe Bryant also put in his application to become the next Allen Iverson, as he hoisted up 32 shots, scoring 45 points, in the losing effort.
Despite the loss to the Spurs, LaMarcus Aldridge had a solid night for the Blazers. With the injury to Greg Oden, Aldridge is going to be relied on heavily this season to reach his potential in his second season. He got off to a good start, scoring 27 points on 12-19 shooting in 36 minutes. He also stayed out of foul trouble which was a consistent problem in his rookie campaign. The Blazers shot themselves in the foot a bit trading Zach Randolph before the season. Now with the injury to Oden, Aldridge will have every chance in the world to prove himself.
Kevin Durant begins his rookie campaign with a team with all kinds of question marks. It is obvious that this is Durant's team. He is their superstar. However, his durability is already becoming an issue with his sprained ankle that he's trying to come back from. However, the bigger question marks would certainly be the talent around Durant which is pretty non-exsistant. Durant will be fun to watch. The Sonics will not be. Though, I think you have to say the biggest questions mark is how far away this team is from becoming the Oklahoma City Sonics. Would they stay the Sonics? Or would they become something that locals can get behind, like the Oklahoma City This State Sucks?
TJ Ford will begin his second season at the helm for the Toronto Raptors. Ford is coming off career highs in points and assists and more importantly a season that he was pretty healthy throughout. While Ford is the starter in Toronto he will have to perform, as Toronto has quite a few people fighting for some playing time in their backcourt. He split time last season with Jose Calderon, and a late season trade added Juan Dixon. Now through free agency, Carlos Delfino and Derrick Martin joined the fray. Ford will get every opportunity to be the lead guy, but he will need to perform.
Daniel Gibson will start the season as the starting point guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers, coming off his post-season emergence, where he become one of the few reliable and useful players that the Cavs had outside of LeBron. Gibson, in only his second season will have every opportunity to play regardless of his performance. This is the case when you have Eric Snow and Damon Jones as the only other people that could possibly take away playing time. Gibson is only in his second season, but it looks like he may have found himself a niche in Cleveland.
Royal Ivey finds himself in a new home in his fourth season, joining the Milwaukee Bucks after three years in Atlanta. Ivey finds himself in a contributing role with Milwaukee as he will be one of two guards to come off the bench. He should find himself as a backup at point guard as well as a rotational player in the lineup. He had his moments in Atlanta, but could never seem to find his place. Hopefully, in a place with a little more stability, he will be able to find his key in the offense.
Maurice Evans and Chris Mihm are back and healthy in Los Angeles. With the lack of a designated lineup and bench, minutes should be full and plentiful. Right now Mihm finds himself behind Kwame Brown and Andrew Bynum, but as inconsistent as they have been, Mihm will certainly get a chance to get in the game and make something happen. Evans should remain a player that gets 15 to 20 minutes a game in the Los Angeles rotation.
Looking around, blast from the past, Kris Clack is on the roster for the Austin Toros, NBA D-League team. He is joined on the team with Brad Buckman. Also, former Longhorn Brian Boddicker has left his Turkish club and signed with Grupo Capitol in the Spanish League.