Opening Night Part 2: More notes from the start of the NBA season


The Delu­sion of Competence


That was exhaust­ing… 14 games! Now we can say the sea­son has begun… And the one telling sign of an early sea­son – The Delu­sion of Com­pe­tence – The Bad teams don’t know they’re bad yet… or at least don’t know how bad.

This was on full dis­play across the league with many infe­rior teams stick­ing around in and even win­ning games they had no busi­ness to even be in. The most glar­ing exam­ple – Philly beat­ing Miami. I know Dwayne Wade as sit­ting this out, but the team most peo­ple pre­dicted to be the worst in the league, led by a rookie point-guard stak­ing his claim as a very early front-runner in the ROY race, took it to the two time defend­ing Champs. NO ONE SAW THIS COMING. Hell, Evan Turner actu­ally looked like a No.2 pick for once. Maybe it was the Iver­son Retire­ment that gal­va­nized them. Or maybe they just didn’t get the memo from man­age­ment that they were sup­posed to tank this sea­son. But I’m sure it’s noth­ing to worry about for either side. Miami is still the team to beat, and the only teams that Philly will really com­pete against will be bot­tom feed­ers like the Bob­cats. But for one night, the hope and naivete of a new sea­son car­ried them to pos­si­bly their most mem­o­rable game of the season.

Mean­while a sim­i­lar script played across the league as well.

The Magic nearly upset the Wolves, if not for Kevin Love putting up his usual brand of videogame num­bers (31 & 17!) and hit­ting a clutch, clutch 3 to tie it in the final sec­onds and force OT.


The Bucks came back from a 20 point deficit to put a scare in the Knicks who some­how avoided a col­lapse in what hope­fully was the slop­pi­est game we’ll see this sea­son – pretty unbear­able stuff.

The Jazz forced Durant into ‘Me against the World’ mode, and the Thun­der needed all 42 of his points to survive.

And of course the Cavs. Kyrie had an off game but it was still enough to beat the newly crowned ‘con­tenders’ the Brook­lyn Celtics (a.k.a. the Moscow Nets).

But it’s just one game. It means noth­ing. You never know when real­ity will hit… And when it does, it’s bru­tal. Just ask the Lak­ers.



Dev Kabir Malik has a clinically alarming dependence on basketball and spends most of his time watching, analyzing, writing and even playing a little pickup (and some 2K too). In the little time he has left, he dabbles with design, art & music.