Los Angeles – Six minutes into the NBA season, Gordon Hayward of the Boston Celtics exited the season opener with a dislocated left ankle and a fractured tibia.
The highly anticipated NBA season opener expected to be a hard-fought game loaded with superstars, lost one of them early in the first quarter. Players and fans of both sides looked away in disgust as Hayward’s left ankle turned the wrong way.
Hayward received medical attention immediately following a dead ball. Players from both sides came over to aid Hayward mentally, encouraging him to stay strong and allow the professionals to do what they do.
The Celtics came back from an early deficit, but couldn’t tie it up as a last second 3-point attempt by Kyrie Irving fell just short. Final score was Cleveland’s 102 to Boston’s 99.
However, this gruesome injury was not the only injury.
Jeremy Lin of the Brooklyn Nets suffered a ruptured patellar tendon in his right knee after driving for a layup and landing wrong with just 5 minutes left in regulation.
At first sight, the injury did not look too serious, but Lin holds his right knee, looks over at his coach and says repeatedly, “I’m done,” and begins to breakdown in tears on the Nets baseline.
Lin was right. It was announced Thursday that Lin’s injury will keep him out of contest throughout the 2017-18 NBA season for good.
To add insult to injury, the Nets lost their opening night nail-biter, 131-140 against the Indiana Pacers.
The Los Angeles Clippers are also going to be forced to continue without their starting Shooting Guard, Milos Teodosic who suffered a plantar fascia injury in his left foot Sunday, where he was carried off the court in Phoenix.
This is the 30-year-old’s first season in the NBA after playing in the Euroleague for 12 years. Teodosic finally had his big break on basketball’s biggest stage by signing with the Clippers who looked all over the globe (literally) to fill the void Chris Paul left behind by requesting a trade to the Houston Rockets.
It is still unclear whether Teodosic will return anytime soon, but anytime a player must be carried off the court, it’s most likely not a good thing.
The Clippers still ruined the Phoenix Suns second home game, obliterating them by 42 points, 130-88.
On a positive note, the Oklahoma City Thunder and Minnesota Timberwolves may have given us an early candidate for game of the year.
With the game tied at 110, the Wolves made the clock their enemy by scoring an early two points, giving the Thunder the ball with 8.7 seconds left and a timeout remaining.
The Thunder drew a play for one of their newest star members, Carmelo Anthony, who drained a three to take a one-point lead with 4.7 seconds left.
Too little too early, as the Thunder left too much time on the clock for the Wolves to answer back which lead to their own demise.
Taj Gibson of the Wolves inbounded the ball to Andrew Wiggins who received a hard screen from Karl Anthony-Towns, allowing for separation from defenders. Wiggins saw the opportunity and banked in the three-pointer at the buzzer to stun the Oklahoma City crowd, and give us the most thrilling 10 seconds of NBA basketball this season — so far.
With both teams having newly revamped star-studded lineups, it was anticipated to be a good game, but not a great game like it turned out to be.
Nowhere but up for these teams as they both look like promising playoff contenders.