The second day of the 2019-20 season — and opening night for most teams — was defined by close victories, injured stars, and ridiculous performances.
Whereas fresh sneakers took Day 1 by surprise, record debut numbers took the league by storm — and we're not talking about the usual 20-point, 10-rebound outings. From unbelievable all-around games to nearly unstoppable scoring binges, these fantasy-worthy boxscores entries have to be seen to be believed:
28 pts, 8 reb, 2 stl, 1 blk, 7 3pt vs LAC
The Lakers guard actually started the trend of crazy season-opener stats from the unlikeliest players. In an offense that was centered around LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the two-time NBA champion had the highest scoring debut in franchise history during a loss to their arena rivals.
As sharp as Danny's shooting has been throughout most of his career, he's also known for being streaky. Cherish this, LA fans.
27 pts, 4 reb, 1 stl, 1 blk, 7 3pt vs CHI
The Jordan ownership may have finally done something right by drafting the Wildcat with a sweet stroke. The No. 12 selection looked like a steal out there, leading the Hornets' hot three-point shooting (Charlotte record 23 makes in regulation) and proving that there's life after Kemba Walker.
The lack of consistent options — Terry Rozier had seven markers — will force PJ to have more nights like this.
24 pts, 3 ast, 2 stl, 1 3pt vs MEM
Kendrick who? The 6'2" combo guard had no takers in last year's draft and was signed by the Warriors...the G League's Santa Cruz Warriors, that is. After dropping 40 in a preseason defeat to the Rockets, the Heat's latest undrafted project continued to impress as a replacement starter.
Even when Jimmy Butler (personal) returns, expect the 24-year-old rookie to earn significant minutes just by working hard.
32 pts, 23 reb, 3 stl, 4 blk, 67% ft vs IND
Pretty sure Dre has had bigger games and stronger starts than this, but he was such a commanding presence against the Pacers. The 26-year-old (!) basically feasted on the frontcourt of Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis, while showing defensive activity and free-throw improvement (8-of-10).
Blake Griffin (knee, hamstring) is set to miss the first two weeks of the season, so don't be surprised if Drummond keeps on eating.
50 pts, 8 reb, 7 ast, 1 blk, 7 3pt vs MIN
Uncle Drew's 50-piece should've been the stat line of the day, if the Nets didn't fall to the Wolves, 127-126, in overtime. Everyone knew that Kyrie is happy to be in Brooklyn, but not to the point that he would have the highest-scoring debut in NBA history. Too bad he clanged the potential game-winner.
Without Kevin Durant for what seems like an entire season, Irving has the chance to compete for the 2019-20 scoring title.