Way-Too-Early Overreactions After Opening Week

The NBA season is off to an interesting start. The Warriors have struggled out the gate and the Clippers got blown out by the Mavericks by 50! Kevin Durant and the Nets look like serious contenders. Terry Rozier has been playing out of his mind and the Magic and Cavaliers have not lost a game yet.

After through the first few games, The Crossover put together some early overreactions to the 2020-21 NBA season.

Howard Beck
Strange things happen in an NBA season. A single game means nothing. A loss is a loss, whether by five points or 50. I know all this. I believe it. But man … that 50-point beatdown the Clippers got from Dallas was GRUESOME. And alarming. It’s hard to dismiss as an aberration.

The Clips are supposed to be contenders. But this loss underscored all the frailties that derailed them last summer: a lack of playmaking, leadership and chemistry.

Yes, the Clips were missing Kawhi Leonard. But the Mavs were also down an All-Star (Kristaps Porzingis), and the cast surrounding Luka Dončić doesn’t exactly qualify as a superteam. A loss could be waved away. But not a 50-point rout.

Only seven other teams have lost by that margin since 2010—and it’s not a glorious group. It includes the 2010–11 Cavaliers, who won 19 games; two editions of the Process-era Sixers (2014–15 and 2015–16); plus two teams that went 22–60 (the 2017–18 Grizzlies and 2018–19 Bulls). Two teams in this group did make the playoffs—the 2015–16 Grizzlies, who went 42–40; and the 2018–19 Jazz, a genuinely solid team that won 50 games … and got smoked in the first round by Houston.