Mavericks vs Hawks
The Mavs made the best trade of the 2018 NBA draft while the Hawks made the worst trade of the draft. Of course, those trades are the same. The Hawks took European guard Luka Doncic third overall and traded him to the Mavs for Oklahoma PG Trae Young and a future first round pick. These two rookies will forever be tied together. Young is averaging 35 ppg in 3 games for the Hawks with an average of 23 ppg and 8 apg, including a 35 point output over the weekend against the Cavs. Doncic is also averaging 35 minutes per game with 18 ppg, 4 apg, 5 rpg.
Nets vs Cavaliers
Cavs rookie Colin Sexton is averaging 9 ppg off the bench for the Cavs, after being the 8th pick in the 2018 draft out of Alabama. It’s crazy to think last year’s Eastern Conference champions had the 8th pick, but it was the prized asset from the Isaiah Thomas/Kyrie Irving 2017 summer trade. The pick originated from the 2014 blockbuster trade between the Nets and Celtics. Sexton could have been a Net, and Brooklyn will see him first hand.
Knicks vs Heat
Knicks are off to a 1-3 start under new head coach David Fizdale, but they have lost 2 of 3 games on the final possession and the third loss, Monday to the Bucks, they came back from a 20 point deficit to make it a game. Fizdale coaches Wednesday against his former team, the Heat. Before getting the Memphis job in 2016, Fizdale was a long time assistant in Miami with Erik Spoelstra (2008-2016). He was a big favorite of the Miami trio Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh.
Hornets vs Bulls
Bulls drafted Duke center Wendell Carter 7th overall. Carter is averaging 6.7 ppg and 4.7 rpg in 23 minutes per game. Hornets first round pick, Miles Bridges, out of Michigan State, has yet to be fully unleashed, playing just 17 minutes per game and averaging 7 ppg. These two men are familiar with each other from last year’s Duke vs Michigan State game. Carter scored 12 points with 12 rebounds and Bridges scored 19 points with 5 rebounds, 4 assists
Jazz vs Rockets
Rockets beat the Jazz in 5 games in the second round of the 2018 playoffs. MVP James Harden averaged 28 ppg. The Jazz had 6 players average double digits in points, with the leader being Donovan Mitchell at 19 ppg. Both teams return their core guys and the Rockets added Carmelo Anthony, who was with the Thunder last year and lost to the Jazz in the first round. ‘Melo shot 38% from the field and averaged just 12 ppg. Anthony is averaging just 8 ppg, coming off the bench for the Rockets this year.
76ers vs Bucks
Both Brett Brown and Mike Budenholzer got their starts together in San Antonio under head coach Greg Popovich, and each won four champions as Spurs assistant head coach. Brown was in San Antonio from 1998-2013, before being hired by Philly while Budenholzer was there from 1996-2013, before being hired by Atlanta.
Additionally, Joel Embiid is able to trust the process because the Bucks drafted Jabari Parker second overall in 2014, one pick before the Sixers took Joel Embiid.
Lakers vs Suns
in 2003 NBA draft Lebron James was the #1 pick, his current head coach Luke Walton was the 32nd pick and his buddy James Jones, now the Suns General Manager was the 49th pick. Jones replaced Ryan McDonaugh days before the 2018 season and is best friends with Lebron James. They played together all four years Lebron was in Miami and played together for three of the last four years in Cleveland. That means James Jones has a historic streak of 7 consecutive NBA finals. The Lakers are off to an 0-3 start, which might make a 9th straight Lebron finals a difficult challenge. For now, he’s just looking for win #1.
Grizzlies vs Kings
Kings coach Dave Joerger is now in his third year with the Kings and is 59-105 in two seasons. Prior to that, he coached the Grizzlies for three years, leading them to the playoffs each time, compiling a 147-99 overall record. One of the men Joerger coached in Memphis was Zach Randolph, who signed with the Kings last season. Randolph has yet to play a game this year.
Wizards vs Warriors
Demarcus Cousins hasn’t played a game yet with the Warriors but he is progressing to the next steps of his rehab. Back in college at Kentucky, he was teammates with Wizards PG John Wall in 2009-2010. Cousins averaged 15 ppg and 10 rpg and Wall averaged 16 ppg and 6 apg. This Kentucky team also included Eric Bledsoe and Patrick Patterson and amazingly didn’t make the Final Four.
Not featured: Wolves vs Raptors and Pacers vs Spurs