Coach Billy Donovan said he wasn’t surprised by the performance of guard/forward DeMar DeRozan in lifting the Bulls to a road win over the Heat.
“His whole routine and what he does in the summer and the grind that he puts himself through, I think prepares him for these for these situations,” Donovan said, via The Associated Press. “And he takes great care of himself. He’s really, really cerebral. He’s a smart player.”
DeRozan added he does the work in the offseason to set himself up for success.
“Not many guys in this league work as hard as I do,” he said, via The AP.
- Shooting guard Zach LaVine missed the opener with a lingering knee issue. We have the latest on LaVine right here.
Rookie shooting guard Bennedict Mathurin debuted with a bang to give the Pacers hope for the future, wrote Matthew VanTryon of the Indianapolis Star.
“The possibilities are amazing with him,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said, via VanTryon. “He’s gonna learn a lot. Even though he can go get a shot anytime he wants, sometimes the thing to do is move the ball and move yourself. … He has tools that nobody else on our team has. I thought his decision making was really good at times and other times needed to be a lot better.”
Mathurin added that he wasn’t intimidated by playing his first NBA game.
“It was good knowing that my coaches and my teammates trust me,” he said, via VanTryon. “I went to Arizona (taking big shots) and I come here and keep doing the same thing. I’m ready to go whether it’s two minutes into the game or the last 30 seconds, I’m stepping up with the same confidence. I’m not stressing. I’m going to keep doing what I do.”
- In case you missed it, center Myles Turner suffered a sprained ankle in warmups after reportedly stepping on a ball boy’s foot, as we relayed here. Turner missed the final 39 games last season with a left foot injury. He isn’t expected to be out long this time, Carlisle indicated, via Wilson Moore of the Indianapolis Star.
Despite missing point guard LaMelo Ball, the Hornets displayed plenty of balance in blowing out the Spurs, coach Steve Clifford indicated, via Rod Boone of the Charlotte Observer.
“If you’re going to have a good year, you need a lot of good players,” Clifford said, via Boone. “So, every guy that you have is comfortable in their role and playing with confidence gives you a better chance.”
“… We did do some good things. I thought our ball pressure was good. They’re hard to guard, but I was feeling, watching them play, they missed a lot of open shots, too.”
- Shooting guard James Bouknight opened the season with 10 scoreless minutes. Police found Bouknight intoxicated, unconscious and holding a gun in his vehicle before arresting him for DWI over the weekend, as we relayed here.
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