Mavs GM leaves on eve of opener
Hawks vs. Mavericks, 8:30 p.m.
It is always good to be settled at the top before the regular season begins. Or maybe not.
Donnie Nelson remains the head of the Mavericks basketball operations, but one of the team's recent hires is leaving before his first season even begins.
Gersson Rosas, hired from the Rockets this summer, has parted way with the Mavericks ahead of today's opener against the Hawks at American Airlines Center.
According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, part of the disagreement was Rosas wanted to be the man in charge of the Mavericks decision making. Dallas imagined him providing a new voice to the team's front office staff and scouting department. Nelson though would have final say.
Rosas was added after the bulk of the Mavericks free agent moves this summer. That included signing Monta Ellis to pair with Dirk Nowitzki. Dallas also added Jose Calderon in the offseason. They will make their debut Wednesday night even without Rosas in the front office.
The more foolish thing from Rosas was probably thinking he could take final say away from the long-established Nelson or owner Mark Cuban.
Pelicans, Sixers, Clippers only three with no international players
Pacers vs. Pelicans, 8 p.m.
Heat vs. 76ers, 7 p.m.
If there is one thing that will be forever remembered as part of David Stern's legacy as he enters his final half year as NBA commissioner, it is the influx of international players and the true globalization of the game. The NBA has a record 92 international players on opening day rosters. All but three teams have at least one international player on the roster. The only three are the New Orleans Pelicans, Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers.
Suns, Bledsoe not match made in heaven?
Blazers vs. Suns, 10:30 p.m.
The Suns are in a clear rebuilding mode and are looking to build around Eric Bledsoe. Bledsoe, acquired from the Clippers this summer, should be getting his first real opportunity to start every night after playing behind Chris Paul for so long. So why is this not a great match? According to Dave King of Bright Side of the Suns, neither Bledsoe nor the Suns have professed a desire to reach a long-term deal. It looks like both want to feel each other out a bit. Plus there are several other issues to work out including Goran Dragic's contract.
No decision on Jimmer by Thursday?
Nuggets vs. Kings, 10 p.m.
Teams have until Thursday to exercise their team options on rookies or lose them to free agency. That has left the Kings with the extremely difficult decision on what to do with the somewhat disappointing Jimmer Fredette. And, as the deadline approaches, that decision appears not to have been made yet. And may not be made, allowing Fredette to go to free agency. Kings GM Pete D'Alessandro tells Jonathan Santiago of Cowbell Kingdom that no decision has been made. Time is running out.
No Datome for opener
Wizards vs. Pistons, 7:30 p.m.
A lot of people are patiently awaiting the debut of Italian star Luigi Datome in the NBA. The Pistons appear to be ready to rely on him off the bench for this season. However, there will be a delay in his debut. Although Datome is practicing, it does not appear likely he will be ready to go for Wednesday's opener.
Ainge: Garnett, Pierce have plenty of ball left
Nets vs. Cavs, 7 p.m./NBATV
Celtics vs. Raptors, 7 p.m.
If there is any question about the Nets new acquisitions, Danny Ainge wants to put them to rest. Even though Boston traded away Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, the Boston general manager said the two all stars still have plenty of great basketball in them. The Nets certainly hope so. That crowded starting lineup certainly could be dominant if those two can make it through the season playing at a high level. They certainly have transformed expectations in Brooklyn.
Bulls fall flat in opener against Heat
Heat 107, Bulls 95
Derrick Rose did indeed return from his torn ACL after a yearlong absence and showed flashes of the player he was before the injury. Rose scored 12 points on 4-for-15 shooting. That tells you that the Bulls fell behind big. 25 points big. The Heat cruised to victory with a balanced scoring attack. Chicago came back at the end, but it was too late.
Ersan Ilyasova could return for Bucks
Bucks vs. Knicks, 7:30 p.m.
The Bucks could be without Ersan Ilyasova for the opener Wednesday in New York. Ilyasova sprained his ankle in a preseason game. However, he practiced Tuesday and coach Larry Drew would not commit one way or the other to playing him Wednesday.
Russell Westbrook could return in two weeks
Thunder vs. Jazz, 9 p.m.
Russell Westbrook is ahead of schedule and could be back in the Oklahoma City lineup by mid-November according to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. That is big news for the Thunder who really struggled in the Playoffs without Westbrook when he tore his meniscus in the first round of the Playoffs. Patience will have to be the word in OKC for a while.
Pacers block party leads them over Magic
Pacers 97, Magic 87
The Pacers blocked 18 shots, including seven from Roy Hibbert, as they ran away from the Magic with a destructive fourth quarter for a 97-87 win. Indiana opened the fourth quarter on an 11-1 run using a four-point possession to end the third quarter to take a five-point lead heading to the fourth. They opened as much as an 18-point lead in dominating to a 1-0 record.
Lakers stun Clippers
Lakers 116, Clippers 103
The Clippers started off incredibly hot and looked every bit the better team in Staples Center. Then Xavier Henry happened along with a 41-point fourth quarter. That and the suddenly rejuvenated play of Steve Nash and Pau Gasol propelled the Lakers past the Clippers in the season opener. Henry scored 22 points to lead the Lakers, a career high for the forgotten wing player.