Many of the NBA’s top draft picks from 2018 made their debuts and a few of the would-be future stars lived up to the lofty expectations right away on Wednesday.
The biggest spotlight shone on the matchup in Phoenix, where number one pick Deandre Ayton debuted for the Suns against the Dallas Mavericks and number three overall selection Luka Doncic.
As fate would have it, Ayton scored his first NBA points on Doncic, drawing the foul.
Ayton finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in the Suns’ 121-100 victory.
Doncic did not shoot the ball well (five of 16 from the field), but scored 10, had eight rebounds and four assists and showed several flashes of why the Mavericks are so excited about him, including an effortless behind-the-back assist.
Luka Doncic DROPPIN’ DIMES! #MFFL #KiaTipOff18 #NBARooks
: @ESPNNBA pic.twitter.com/GqtbIbBanT
— NBA (@NBA) October 18, 2018
In Orlando, Mo Bamba, the number six overall pick, came off the bench for 13 points and seven boards in the Magic’s win against the Miami Heat. He blocked two shots, but altered several others. The Magic wanted a rim protector, and the center showed his stuff in his debut.
MO BAMBA PROTECTS THE PAINT! #NBARooks #PureMagic pic.twitter.com/mEG9bMXcTU
— NBA (@NBA) October 18, 2018
Davis dynamic as Walker stars
Anthony Davis scored 32 points and filled the stat sheet everywhere else (16 rebounds, eight assists and three blocks) in the New Orleans Pelicans’ 131-112 win over the Houston Rockets.
Guard Kemba Walker scored 41, hitting seven of 13 from long range, in the Charlotte Hornets’ 113-112 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond had 24 points and added 20 rebounds in a 103-100 win against the Brooklyn Nets.
Magic forward Aaron Gordon had 26 points and 16 rebounds in a 104-101 win over the Heat.
Nets struggle from range
The Nets lost by only three to the Pistons, which makes their terrible three-point shooting line (five of 27) even more painful.
Trier with the drive and dunk
Allonzo Trier, who went undrafted in the 2018 NBA Draft, scored 15 points in his debut and looked like a steal for the New York Knicks with several outstanding plays, including a thunderous drive and dunk.
Flex on ’em, rook. pic.twitter.com/aZy7w37Zz5
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) October 18, 2018
Milwaukee Bucks 113-112 Charlotte Hornets
Detroit Pistons 103-100 Brooklyn Nets
Indiana Pacers 111-83 Memphis Grizzlies
Orlando Magic 104-101 Miami Heat
New York Knicks 126-107 Atlanta Hawks
Toronto Raptors 116-104 Cleveland Cavaliers
New Orleans Pelicans 131-112 Houston Rockets
San Antonio Spurs 112-108 Minnesota Timberwolves
Utah Jazz 123-117 Sacramento Kings
Denver Nuggets 107-98 Los Angeles Clippers
Phoenix Suns 121-100 Dallas Mavericks
Lakers at Trail Blazers
The LeBron James era begins for the Lakers. Everyone knows what James brings, but how will the revamped Lakers lineup work with him? There will not be an answer after one game, but plenty of NBA fans will be watching as King James begins the next phase of his career.