The 2017-18 NBA Season is officially upon us now that all 30 teams have made their opening mark. And because nothing curates hype and highlights quite like the NBA, we’ll be regularly checking in to gauge the league’s most tantalizing moments and hottest stars throughout the year. Quite accordingly, our first stop lands in Hollywood. Welcome to NBA Heat Check.
Patrick Beverley Is a Man of the People
Magic Johnson warned Lonzo Ball before the game that “Patrick Beverley was no joke.” And while Beverley’s All-NBA defensive credentials certainly give that statement weight, watching him drag LaVar Ball’s first-born into hell for 48 minutes was a comic’s delight.
Beverley wasn’t content with hounding Ball’s every move either. He put on an inspiring performance on both ends of the floor—happily digging Staples Center graves for any Laker who presented themselves.
Patrick Beverley pretty move and NASTY block pic.twitter.com/gZbSxkx0CK
— The Render (@TheRenderNBA) October 20, 2017
I’m sure Lonzo and the Lakers will recover (even after going 1-of-6 from the field with 3 points LOL), and I'm rooting for him to be great. But if his father continues to insist on making his life a living hell, I will gladly sit back and watch every player in the league do exactly that for 82 games. Cheers to Pat Beverley for setting a fine example.
A Facial Is Served Up by Award-Winning Author Blake Griffin
Turns out, Beverley wasn’t the only one going around murdering people last night.
You were a good man, Julius Randle. At least Kevin Harlan was kind enough to say a few words at the funeral.
Welcome Home Carmelo Anthony
Russ knew Melo’s first shot was going in pic.twitter.com/W6k38ePfoj
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 20, 2017
The Thunder did what needed to be done Thursday night, raking the Knicks at home for a 105-84 victory in which Paul George and Russell Westbrook combined to finish plus-52 for the night—the latter notching another triple-double. And regardless of his numbers, Melo was smiling and genuinely happy throughout the entire contest. I very much enjoy smiling, happy, three-launching Melo. For at least a game, I would assume Thunder fans do as well.
Joel Embiid Is Doing the Lord’s Work
The NBA is full of caring citizens like Joel Embiid, who attempted to stuff, bake and serve Jason Smith’s body to the D.C. homeless on his very first possession of the season.
Joel Embiid trying to break the internet on his first FG attempt. pic.twitter.com/YhZLIy1hfe
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) October 18, 2017
The medicine didn’t go down, but expect to see a lot more of these get thoroughly flushed as Embiid’s reliable range and three-point capabilities will keep defenders falling for that pump fake every time. Here he is again kickstarting the break with promising rookie Ben Simmons:
.@JoelEmbiid block. @BenSimmons25 in transition. This is nice. pic.twitter.com/v7kwtUo2r8
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) October 19, 2017
Notice how the block from Embiid deflects directly off the backboard to Simmons for the push—something I am 99% sure he did on purpose.
They may not run through the East this year, but the Sixers can at least feel confident rolling out one of the most absurdly fun rosters in the league. Hop on the wagon now before it gets too crowded in here.
Giannis, Party of Two... Giannis, Party of Two.
Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo’s season MVP odds are currently sitting at +800. You know who’s left after every other candidate on the Warriors, Rockets and Thunder cancels each other out and LeBron puts it in cruise control until the playoffs? Kawhi Leonard anndddddd...
— Steve Noah (@Steve_OS) October 19, 2017
Let’s go win some easy money.
Have You Met Pretend Klay Thompson?
4 million views says you probably have, but wow, what a spectacle. My favorite part of this entire video: the slew of fans and employees—all of whom likely 5’10” or shorter—taking pictures neck and neck with squatty, pudgy Klay Thompson. Just when you think the NBA is full of gigantic, athletic freaks, we’re reminded that these guys are just like you and me. Very cool of Klay.
Reason #387 Why the NBA Is the Best
Safe to say the Cavs made a few people’s nights at the Big Shots and Little Stars event raising money towards a cure for children’s cancer.
.@KingJames & Princess Kaleia getting ready to hit the @flashesofhope runway #BSLS17 #LiveLaughLove pic.twitter.com/OXc9Q1SHRL
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) October 19, 2017
I am so glad NBA basketball is back.
Tonight’s Primetime Games:
Cleveland at Milwaukee, 7:00 PM ET, ESPN
Golden State at New Orleans, 9:30 ET, ESPN