Canadians in NBA: Tristan Thompson Dominates…Bennett & Olynyk Debut
It was a big night in the NBA, with most teams playing their first game of the 2013-2014 season. North Pole Hoops continues to track Canadian talent in the league, and on Wednesday Oct. 30, a couple of those Canadians made an impact, while a couple others made their NBA debuts.
Tristan Thompson & Anthony Bennett
Tristan Thompson was impressive in the Cleveland Cavaliers 98-94 shock victory over the Brooklyn Nets. Thompson led the Cavs in both scoring (18), and rebounds (9), falling just short of a double-double. He was also efficient, shooting 8-13 from the field and hitting two of his four free throws. To cap off his dominant start to the season, Thompson also led his team in playing time with just under 35 minutes on the court.
All this, shooting right handed! A drastic change that was made over the summer, after being a lefy for his entire life.
It wasn’t the NBA debut Anthony Bennett would have wanted, but all No. 1 overall draft picks have to start somewhere. The Brampton, Ontario porduct played his first ever regular season game off the bench, receiving 15 minutes, scoring two points and grabbing five boards. Bennett did not score from the field, shooting 0-5, but went 2-4 from the charity stripe.
The 13th overall pick in the 2013 draft also made his NBA debut, and in his hometown nonetheless. Kelly Olynyk’s Boston Celtics fell 93-87 to the Raptors at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Olynyk made his debut, like Bennett, coming off the bench. The Gonzaga product played just over 16 minutes, scoring four points on 2-5 shooting. It was a very uneventful game for the rookie, who will see some major time on the court for the rebuilding Celtics this season.
Andrew Nicholson wasn’t flashy, but played a solid game off the bench for the Orlando Magic, who fell to the Minnesota Timberwolves 120-115 in overtime. The Mississauga, Ont. native scored all of his 13 points in the first three quarters, going 6-12 from the floor. Nicholson also grabbed seven rebounds in just under 20 minutes on the court. It was a game however, marred in foul trouble for Nicholson. Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn did not send him out for the fourth or overtime periods due to the small forward accumulating five fouls in the first three quarters.
Cory Joseph will have to wait another game to make his mark for the San Antonio Spurs. Joseph received the “DNP-Coach’s Decision”, as coach Gregg Popovich went with Patty Mills as his backup point guard. Joseph will be battling Mills for minutes this season as he tries to solidify his role as Tony Parker’s back up in San Antonio.
There will be no Canadians in action with only two games scheduled for Halloween Thursday. On Friday, Nov. 1, Tristan Thompson and Anthony Bennett will try to make it two in a row as the Cavaliers play the Charlotte Bobcats. Meanwhile, Cory Joseph will look to get his season going when the Spurs tip-off against the Los Angeles Lakers.