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Five lessons from day two of the NBA season

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Houston is a typical Mike D'Antoni team

Scoring 114 points. Your star player shows out with 34 points and 17 assists in his first game as the point guard. Yet you still manage to lose. Yep, that sounds like a Mike D'Antoni team.

The Houston Rockets sacrificed game one to a young L.A. Lakers team that are still rebuilding under rookie head coach Luke Walton. 

With Harden on the floor, Houston was irresistible on offence but they were all over the place protecting their own basket - some things don't change. 

Toronto is still #2 in the Eastern Conference

For all the talk of an improving Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers, the Toronto Raptors are still the closest to challenging the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Losing Bismack Biyomobo has been the talking point of the summer in Canada but Jonas Valanciunas continued his playoff breakout form with 32 points - dominating Andre Drummond and the Pistons in the paint.

Detroit Pistons v Toronto Raptors

We haven't even mentioned DeMar DeRozan's 40 points. Kyle Lowry had a slow night, but when he hits form as well they are very strong. Game two? Well, that's against Cleveland in their own building. 

Joel Embiid is a future superstar - on one condition

It may be too early for 'MVP' chants, but that's why Philly fans are some of the best in the NBA. 

The Cameroonian center put an end to his two-year wait with a stunning debut performance for the Sixers during their loss to the Thunder. 

Dropping 20 points in 22 minutes of action, Embiid showed a bit of everything; athleticism, a deft touch and the trash talking to match. It's clear to see why he is only playing limited minutes, but we all want more of Embiid. 

Oklahoma City Thunder v Philadelphia 76ers

Anthony Davis is still the most exciting player under 25 

With the emergence of Karl-Anthony Towns last season and the injuries to Anthony Davis, many people appear to have forgotten just what a beast the New Orleans Pelicans big man is. 

In the recent GM survey, Towns was voted the player to build an organisation around, but Davis, when fit, is easily the future of the NBA. 

Denver Nuggets v New Orleans Pelicans

50 points on opening night is simply incredible and reminded everybody of what a special talent the 23-year-old is. It's just a shame NOLA does not have the roster to support their superstar talent.

Harrison Barnes can shoot threes

There's no way around the simple fact that Harrison Barnes froze in the NBA finals. The former Warriors player could not buy an open three for love nor money. 

Had Barnes connected with even half of his open shots during the series then the Warriors would have back-to-back titles and the landscape of the league would look very different right now.

Dallas Mavericks v Phoenix Suns

But Barnes reminded everyone that he can actually shoot last night with a clutch three that sent Dallas' game with Indiana into overtime. It proved to be in vain is the Mavericks lost, but it emphasised the point that he can still be relied on. 

Topics:
NBA
New Orleans Pelicans
Southwest Division
Western Conference
Dallas Mavericks
Philadelphia Sixers
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference
Houston Rockets
Toronto Raptors

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