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The first week of the NBA regular season is coming to a close, and teams are already trying to separate themselves from each other in the standings. The competition will grow more fierce as each team aims to earn a solid start to the season.
In the Eastern Conference, the Detroit Pistons and Charlotte Hornets face off as LaMelo Ball and Cade Cunningham showcase their star-like potential. The Miami Heat and Boston Celtics feature as Jayson Tatum and Jimmy Butler reignite their Eastern Conference Finals rivalry. The Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls face each other for the first time since their Play-In meeting, with Scottie Barnes and Zach LaVine leading their respective sides.
In the Western Conference, Nikola Jokic leads his Denver Nuggets against an ailing Memphis Grizzlies team led by Desmond Bane.
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|Detroit Pistons||+4.0 (-110)||+144||O 225.5 (-110)|
|Charlotte Hornets||-4.0 (-110)||-172||U 225.5 (-110)|
Total: Over 225.5 (-110)
The Detroit Pistons showed their quality and inexperience in their one-point loss to the Heat in their opener. Despite a winning night on the glass and from the field, they struggled as they committed 16 turnovers while forcing just seven. Cade Cunningham had 30 points and 9 assists in their defeat.
The Charlotte Hornets did as usual when they pushed the pace and lost to the Hawks in their first match of the season. They shot 50.0% from the field but 29.7% from three while committing 19 turnovers. LaMelo Ball posted a 15-point, 10-assist double-double in the loss.
The Hornets and Pistons split last year’s season series, clearing 225.5 twice.
|Denver Nuggets||-4.5 (-112)||-186||O 225.0 (-110)|
|Memphis Grizzlies||+4.5 (-108)||+156||U 225.0 (-110)|
The Denver Nuggets impressed in their opening match, defeating the Lakers by 12 points and combining for 226.0 on the night. Their offense was as efficient as ever, going 52.7% from the field and 41.2% from three. Nikola Jokic posted a triple-double with 29 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists.
The Memphis Grizzlies showed their grit despite their eventual loss in their first game of the season, combining for 115.0 with their limited roster. They shot a disappointing 27.9% from three-point range. Desmond Bane led the way with 31 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists in the loss.
Denver won two of three contests against Memphis last season, never clearing 225.0.
|Miami Heat||+8.0 (-110)||+265||O 217.0 (-110)|
|Boston Celtics||-8.0 (-110)||-330||U 217.0 (-110)|
The Miami Heat were their deliberate selves in their opener, combining for 205.0 points. Their vaunted defense held their opponents to 44.6% from the field and 34.4% from three. Bam Adebayo had an all-around game, producing 22 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
The Boston Celtics squeezed out a win in their first game, combining for 212.0 points. It was a closely contested affair, but they earned the edge with 22 made free throws on the night. Jayson Tatum continues to shine, posting 34 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists in the victory.
The Heat and Celtics split last year’s series 2-2, clearing 217.0 twice.
|Toronto Raptors||+2.0 (-110)||+110||O 217.0 (-110)|
|Chicago Bulls||-2.0 (-110)||-130||U 217.0 (-110)|
The Toronto Raptors enjoyed a three-point victory in their first game, posting a combined point total of 191.0. Struggling at the rim against a strong shot-blocking team, the Raptors shot 40.0% from three but compensated with a 40.0% night from three-point range. Scottie Barnes led the Raptors with an all-around performance, posting 17 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 blocks, and 2 steals.
The Chicago Bulls suffered a blowout in their first game, losing by 20 points and posting a combined total of 228.0 for the night. Their defense allowed 54.9% shooting while going 28.6% from three themselves. Veteran All-Star DeMar DeRozan was the bright spot for Chicago, producing 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists in the loss.
The Raptors won two of three against the Bulls last season, never clearing 217.0.
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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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