Here’s what we learned around the NBA on LeBron James’ first night as a Laker:
LeBron James is a Laker!
There’s no hiding how exciting it was to see LeBron James in a Lakers jersey for the first time in a game that counts, and there was no better way for him to kick things off than with a pair of monster dunks.
James, for the most part, was predictably great in his first night with the Lakers, save for some turnovers, which is understandable in Game 1.
The Lakers, for the most part, were pretty good too, save for some obvious warts (lack of perimeter shooting and interior defense being the ugliest of them).
It’s a tough starting stretch for the Lakers because teams such as Portland and Houston — their opponent in the home opener Saturday — have been together and know how to play with one another. But you just get the sense that LeBron and the Lakers will get this figured out just like it has been everywhere else James has been.
He’s too good for it not to happen.
The Heat steal one
With reports that Miami is pressing pause on their pursuit of Jimmy Butler, the Heat pulled off a last-second win in Washington, complete with Dwyane Wade talking trash right in John Wall’s face after Kelly Olynyk’s game-winning shot.
Josh Richardson, who you know Minnesota would want in a deal, scored 28 and helped force Bradley Beal into a quiet night.
Miami, despite having limited cap flexibility, no true star and a handful of bad contracts, will still make their way into the Eastern Conference playoffs because coach Erik Spoelstra is a wizard.
Quote of the night
“Having chemistry doesn’t happen as fast as you guys think it’s going to happen. It’s not like instant oatmeal.” — LeBron James on how chemistry isn’t something I skip over in my pantry every morning in favor of something tastier.
Line of the night
Joel Embiid — 30 points (9-14 FG), 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 blocks
Ben Simmons had a triple double, but Embiid was unstoppable in the 76ers’ game against the Chicago Bulls.
Overreaction of the night
Josh Hart is the second-year Lakers player I’d least want to trade.