Saturday , Nov , 01 , 2003 C.Y. Ellis

Jump Ball

Let the talk, predictions, and rumors cease, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the 2003-2004 NBA season. With 3 games tipping things off on Tuesday, and just about everyone else getting things started on Wednesday night there are already many big things happening.

Dallas again can’t win in Los Angeles getting beat up by the Lakers; nothing really different about this, Dallas and their team of gunners got downed by Payton and HIS Lakers. Watch for this, Gary Payton will slowly take over the lead on this Laker team. Shaq & Kobe is all you’ve heard for so long, but with Bryant busy with other matters, Shaq not exactly a team leader, and then Karl Malone has never been known as a guy to “rally the troops”. Payton demonstrated against Dallas that not only is he not too old but also that he can carry this Laker team very far with Shaq’s help. Just as “GP” did with Shawn Kemp’s help in ’96, this Laker team will be very dangerous with or without Kobe.

Jump Ball

Lebron’s for real. I know one game does not make a season, but James showed allot in Sac-town. From his passing, to shooting, and defense Lebron showed he is more ready then any other high schooler to ever come into the NBA. I’m still really not sure about James running the point spot, though he showed some brilliance on the break, when in the half-court set the Cavs had very little movement, player or ball and that all starts with the point guard. But to be fair again, it was game #1, and the Cavs will have plenty of games where Lebron shines and the Cavs lose.

Opening night was a look at what will happen all season, Lebron on ESPN and gets all the attention, while his teams loses. Carmelo Anthony doesn’t play all that great, but his team upsets the defending NBA champs and barely gets any notice. Anthony though not as flashy as James has proven one thing that Lebron can’t, he’s a winner on the NBA level. Neither the Cavs or Nuggets are good teams; in fact on paper the Cavaliers probably have a deeper roster, but with Carmelo and Andre Miller Denver was able to pull the first shocker of the year downing Tim Duncan’s Spurs. Anthony scored only 12 but had 7 boards and 3 assists and as always the most important thing, something that no matter where Carmelo seems to be, his team got the win.

Other notable stories from around the NBA

-The Supersonics beat the Clippers in the first of the 2 games the teams are playing in Japan. No Ray Allen? No problem for Seattle, with Allen out with ankle surgery, Ronald Murray had 24 and rookie Luke Ridnour had 8 points 3 assists and only 1 turnover.

-Marcus Camby grabbed 20 rebounds against San Antonio; if he can stay healthy (big if) the Nuggets will be a very tough team.

-Milicic didn’t play in the Pistons HOME OPENER, Larry Brown showing the home fans just what he thinks of playing rookies.

-Manu Ginobili, Gilbert Arenas, and Zach Randolph will deserve serious all-star consideration this year.

-Joe Johnson needs to continue to get more minutes then Penny in Phoenix.

-McGrady will again have to do everything for Orlando to go anywhere.

-Chicago, Golden Sate, and Miami are all looking highly disappointing.