The Minnesota Timberwolves and Philadelphia 76ers are eyeing the NBA play-offs, but they were downed in their openers on Wednesday.
With the addition of Jimmy Butler and Jeff Teague, the Timberwolves are confident they can make the play-offs. The Sixers are thinking the same way with Ben Simmons back in the fold, and the New Orleans Pelicans are primed to dominate the paint with Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins.
As good as those additions may make those teams, they did not help them beat the San Antonio Spurs, Washington Wizards or Memphis Grizzlies. In fact, several teams that made additions this offseason like the Phoenix Suns, Denver Nuggets and Charlotte Hornets, all lost.
It goes to show that tanking for great draft picks (Sixers), or making the big free-agency splash (Timberwolves, Pelicans), does not mean instant success for a team.
The play-off veterans showed who was boss as the Spurs dropped the Timberwolves 107-99, the Utah Jazz defeated the Nuggets 106-96, the Grizzlies beat the Pelicans 103-91, and the Wizards beat the Sixers 120-115.
John Wall had 28 points, eight assists and five rebounds including a highlight-reel dunk in the Wizards' win.
"It's just wolf season,” Wall told reporters after the game. "I put a lot of hard work and dedication into this summer. Just being healthy and able to work but without my team-mates, those guys making shots and playing defense and setting screens for me, I wouldn't be able to be the player I am."
WHITESIDE, ANTETOKOUNMPO SHINE
Heat center Hassan Whiteside is one of the best big men in the game and he got off to a roaring start to his season with 26 points and 22 rebounds in a loss to the Magic.
Giannis Antetokounmpo did not miss a beat in his first game of the season as he scored 37 points and added 13 rebounds in the Bucks' 108-100 win over the Celtics.
Monster game from Giannis in his 1st game of the season.— NBA (@NBA) October 19, 2017
37 PTS & 13 REBS! pic.twitter.com/0OCsjxV5x9
D'Angelo Russell scored 30 points while adding five assists and three rebounds in the Nets' 140-131 loss to the Pacers. The 30 points tied Nate Archibald's record (1976) for the most in a Nets debut.
The Suns shot just 31.5 per cent from the floor in an ugly 124-76 loss to the Trail Blazers. Eric Bledsoe registered a minus-41 as Phoenix set a new record for largest loss in a season opener (48 points).
Stanley Johnson was also historically bad in the Pistons' 102-90 win over the Hornets. He finished with two points on 0-for-13 shooting. According to ESPN , it is the worst opening-night shooting performance in the shot-clock era.
WALL, TOWNS PROVIDE HIGHLIGHTS
John Wall threw one down with the left hand in the first half of the Wizards' 120-115 win over the Sixers.
Karl-Anthony Towns also had a nice dunk against the Spurs.
A Towns throw down.— NBA (@NBA) October 19, 2017
: ESPN pic.twitter.com/otLwwnlAZg
Detroit Pistons 102-90 Charlotte Hornets
Indiana Pacers 140-131 Brooklyn Nets
Orlando Magic 116-109 Miami Heat
Washington Wizards 120-115 Philadelphia 76ers
Milwaukee Bucks 108-100 Boston Celtics
Memphis Grizzlies 103-91 New Orleans Pelicans
Atlanta Hawks 117-111 Dallas Mavericks
Utah Jazz 106-96 Denver Nuggets
San Antonio Spurs 107-99 Minnesota Timberwolves
Portland Trail Blazers 124-76 Phoenix Suns
Houston Rockets 105-100 Sacramento Kings
KNICKS AT THUNDER
This will be the first chance to see Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony on the court at the same time in the same uniform as the new-look Thunder take on the Knicks in their season opener. Enes Kanter and Doug McDermott also make their return to Oklahoma City after they were traded to New York for Anthony in the offseason.
|Pirates top Reds to extend winning streak to nine|
|Minnesota United 5 Los Angeles FC 1: Five-star hosts shock LAFC|
|Prospect of Anthony joining Rockets excites Harden|
|Mets place Syndergaard on DL with hand, foot and mouth disease|
|Cubs, Baez give young fan signed baseball after adult steals foul ball|
|To those who enjoy seeing others fail, I feel for you – Karius responds criticism|
|Barbasol Championship final round to resume on Monday due to thunderstorms|
|You can´t do whatever you want in life – Mourinho responds to Martial exit talk|
|Harvick bumps Busch out of way for victory|
|Klopp hails Dortmund star Pulisic after Liverpool loss|
|Fellow pro reveals Open winner Molinari´s retirement plans|
|Manchester United 0 San Jose Earthquakes 0: Sanchez returns in uninspiring draw|
|Laporte jealous of France World Cup winners|
|Tamim fires Bangladesh to ODI success|
|Liverpool 1 Borussia Dortmund 3: Pulisic inspires comeback to deny Klopp win against old club|
|My game is back - Spieth finds Open positives despite tough final round|
|Barcelona pay tribute to retiring Marquez|
|Blow for Thomas and Froome as Moscon is excluded|
|Woods earns WGC-Bridgestone Invitational place with rankings boost|
|Clay specialist Cecchinato lifts Croatia title on return to red dirt|
|Molinari´s safety-first masterclass yields deserved Open triumph|
|Alisson to link up with Liverpool at Evian training camp|
|Woods´ return no fluke, insists Spieth|
|Johnson shrugs off shoulder injury to win second 2018 title|
|The Open 2018 diary: Kane an able golfer, hats off to Hossler|
|Tiger and Serena will talk through Open disappointment|
|Molinari: It wasn´t about being ruthless to beat Woods|
|Tiger ´ticked off´ at missed Open opportunity|
|The Open 2018: Molinari triumphs - how a dramatic final round unfolded|
|McIlroy: Great to be back in the mix|
|Open victory will take a long time to sink in, says Molinari|
|Stoke sign McClean from West Brom for £5m|
|Masterful Molinari clinches sublime Open win after Spieth, Woods fall away|
|Germany´s Ozil retires from international football|
|Vikings OL coach Tony Sparano dies|
|BREAKING NEWS: Magical Molinari wins The Open|
|Dalic claims to be world´s second best coach|
|Twelve-try Wakefield batter Hull to send Rhinos into Qualifiers|
|Sevastova cruises to Bucharest title|
|Cort Nielsen sprints to first Tour stage win, Thomas maintains lead|
|Sarri needs support to deliver Chelsea success - Zola|
|Pjanic and Rugani in Juventus tour squad as Ronaldo and World Cup stars are rested|
|Eagle has McIlroy soaring into a five-way tie for the lead at Carnoustie|
|Vettel will not lose any sleep after Hockenheim mistake|
|I manifested my dream – Hamilton revels in Hockenheim win|
|Pakistan seal crushing series sweep of Zimbabwe|
|Furious Ozil accuses German media of turning country against him|
|Woods makes his move as Spieth and Schauffele wobble|
|Vettel crash sees Hamilton retake championship lead|
|RFEF confirms one-legged Supercopa de Espana in Tangier|
|Fognini downs Gasquet to clinch Swedish Open|
|Spieth and Tiger underway as Kisner falls back|
|Iniesta, Torres suffer defeats in their J.League debuts|
|Cornet ends title drought in Gstaad|
|Martial ´very focused´ at Manchester United - Herrera|
|Root, Williamson and Bairstow - hat-trick hero Clark flourishes in Roses battle|
|Sri Lanka spinning towards crushing series whitewash|
|Ozil explains controversial Erdogan meeting|
|It´ll be hard for Tuchel to get our players – Kovac expects Boateng stay|
|Fakhar Zaman fastest to 1,000 ODI runs|
|Neymar happy for World Cup winner Mbappe|
|I was born ready! - Bellew accepts Usyk challenge|
|Tuchel seeks Rabiot answers as Barca rumours persist|
|In-form Storm go top, Rampant Roosters thrash Manly|
|Bancroft discharged from hospital after taking blow to throat|
|MLS Review: Martinez breaks record as Atlanta march on|
|Brewers top Dodgers to snap seven-game losing streak|
|Munguia wins after 12-round marathon with Smith|
|Hart ready to leave City to revive career|
|Puel shuts down Schmeichel transfer speculation|