No more preparation, no more pre-season, no more tinkering – for real now! The 2023/24 NBA regular season has begun. It’s what fans of the world’s most powerful league have been waiting for since the Denver Nuggets won their first championship and Nikola Jokić was named Finals MVP. It’s time for more games, more fans and more champions!

The 76th NBA season has begun

Denver started where it left off

The best team of last season receives their championship rings. As has become tradition, the trophies in the form of rings were awarded at the start of the new season. They took on the always tough LA Lakers on their home floor and beat them. It was 119:107, and the Serbian Nikola Jokić shined right from the opening tip, starting the season with a new triple-double (29 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists). Our own Vlatko Čančar, who is still recovering from a knee injury, was of course also part of the ceremony, but seeing the rings was something special for him as well. On opening night, Phoenix also showed its strength, with the new big three – Beal, Durant, Booker – as they beat the Golden State Warriors. After a few more games, however, a more realistic situation is already emerging. Denver is winning like clockwork and has only one defeat in seven games on the standings, while Phoenix is already suffering from injuries, so Kevin Durant has to carry the team on his shoulders.

Luka Dončić announces his bid for MVP?

The very next night, one of the most anticipated matches of the new season took place. The San Antonio Spurs hosted our Luka Dončić’s team. Even more than the Slovenian, the eyes of the public were on the newcomer, the 224 cm tall Frenchman Victor Wembanyama, from whom a bit too much is expected. But the star from the sunny side of the Alps took the last glory, finishing the game in style with a triple-double (33 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists), and hitting a crucial three-pointer at the end that even the aforementioned Wembanyama was unable to block. After the game, home coach Greg Popovich jokingly and in his own style said how Luka played:

“Luka? He played average. Just kidding, of course he played great. In fact, we were beaten by two future Hall of Famers.”

He was also thinking of Kyrie Irving, who scored 22 points.

Followed by a treat and an incredible achievement by Dončić

We didn’t have to wait long to see Luka’s incredible new performance. The very first home game against the Brooklyn Nets was a precarious playoff game, but the one and only Luka Dončić reasserted his role. He played the whole game in true MVP style, hitting 4 consecutive threes in the playoffs, the last one with a virtually impossible shot, but what’s impossible for Luka? He finished with 49 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists, literally giving his team a second win in their season opener. After the game, he didn’t hide his excitement, while remembering his former teammate Finney Smith, who stood on the other side of him that night.

“I was practicing such throws off the board. Finney-Smith said I didn’t announce the throw off the board. When I released the ball, I said it in Slovenian, so he didn’t understand,” he continued:

“I miss that man. I know and feel that one day we will play together again. I miss him so much.”

At the same time, the aforementioned Finney-Smith also made an interesting observation in his post-match statement:

“I’ve seen it a million times. He plays and he is serious about those throws. You can’t fault him for anything. I don’t think he should be allowed to shoot, that would be the best move. Heck, Luka didn’t even see the basket, but he hit a three.”


The same is true for Dallas as it is for Denver. The Slovenian superstar’s team has the same win-loss ratio as last year’s champions, who suffered their only defeat this year.

Lillard justifies his reputation as the biggest reinforcement in the first game for his new team

The league-shaking trade that saw former Portland Trailblazers star Damian Lillard change team colours and head to Milwaukee to join forces with former league MVP Giannisom Antetokounmpom has come to fruition, at least in the first game. Lillard was the key man, hitting a three-pointer in the final moments of the game to lead Philadelphia to a 118-117 victory, scoring a total of 39 points and eclipsing the reigning regular season MVP on the other side, Joel Embiid.

How are the other favourites doing?

The reinvigorated Boston Celtics have made a great start to the season, with the same number of wins and losses as Denver and Dallas and reigning supreme at the top of the conferences. Rookies Jrue Holliday and Kristaps Porzingis have played a prominent role. In the East, Indiana and Orlando are also doing well, while in the West, the Warriors are keeping pace with the leaders.

Luka Dončić dominates the scorers’ list

It is far too early to draw any conclusions after just over a week of the new season, but the outlines are already visible. Both in the team and individual rankings. The top scorers are dominated by well-known names. Luka Dončić and Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry on top, followed by Embiid, DeAron Fox and Jaydon Tatum.

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