On the Boston side, I loved how they played, and they look even better than last year. Other than missing too many lay ups, Shaq is a clear difference maker. He is not the great Shaq of old, but he takes up so much room and gets guys open shots. They this team was built looks like that the load gets a little lighter for all those aging superstars. Also, if they can get contributions like they did last night from Nate Robinson, Glen Davis, and Marquis Daniels, they will be the team to beat this year in the East. It is just one game, but kudos to Danny Ainge for keeping that championship window open for certainly one year, if not a few more years.
In the other games, here is a few impressions I had:
- Portland looks to be pretty good, especially with the addition of Wes Matthews. I don't know much about his game, but he is really fitting in well over there, and I think they will be a better team than last year.
- Or, they could have been propped up by a Phoenix team that looks to be just awful. They stunk during the preseason, and I don't think Steve Nash is going to pull off his usual miracles with this squad. Hedo Turkoglu is no Amare Stoudemire, and it looks like they have not been able to find even a remote replacement for the huge hole left by Amare.
- I thought at first the ring ceremony was a bit indulgent with the Lakers, but it won me over at the end. That was a really nice ceremony, and I suppose a ring ceremony deserves a little indulgence. With Kobe and the best big man in the league, Pau Gasol, I think they will get the three-peat.