The Los Angeles Lakers bounced back to winning ways in the NBA, while Trae Young led the Atlanta Hawks to victory on Tuesday.

Coming off a loss to the Toronto Raptors, the Lakers responded by beating the Phoenix Suns 123-115.

Anthony Davis (24 points and 12 rebounds) and LeBron James (19 points and 11 assists) had double-doubles for the Lakers (8-2).

The Lakers are top of the Western Conference ahead of two teams on four-game winning streaks – the Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets.

Young, 21, starred to help the Hawks past the Denver Nuggets 125-121.

The guard had 42 points – going eight-of-13 from three-point range – and 11 assists to continue his brilliant start to the season.

Embiid lifts 76ers as Butler shines

Joel Embiid had a double-double of 27 points and 16 rebounds in the Philadelphia 76ers' 98-97 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Miami Heat were too strong for the Detroit Pistons 117-108 as Jimmy Butler contributed 20 points and 13 assists.

The Jazz continued their winning run, getting past the Brooklyn Nets 119-114 thanks to 30 points from Donovan Mitchell.

 

Terrible Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder were thrashed by the Indiana Pacers 111-85.

 

Wonderful White

Coby White set a Chicago Bulls record for most threes in a quarter by hitting seven in the fourth in a 120-102 win over the New York Knicks.

Tuesday's results

Indiana Pacers 111-85 Oklahoma City Thunder
Philadelphia 76ers 98-97 Cleveland Cavaliers
Miami Heat 117-108 Detroit Pistons
Chicago Bulls 120-102 New York Knicks
Atlanta Hawks 125-121 Denver Nuggets
Los Angeles Lakers 123-115 Phoenix Suns
Utah Jazz 119-114 Brooklyn Nets
Sacramento Kings 107-99 Portland Trail Blazers

 

Clippers at Rockets

All eyes will be on the Toyota Center as two contenders, the Houston Rockets (7-3) and Los Angeles Clippers (7-3), meet.

The Los Angeles Lakers' winning run came to an end in the NBA, while Giannis Antetokounmpo was again dominant for the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday.

The Lakers saw their seven-match winning streak ended in a 113-104 loss to the depleted Toronto Raptors.

Without the likes of Kyle Lowry (thumb) and Serge Ibaka (ankle), the Raptors got past the Lakers thanks to Pascal Siakam (24 points and 11 rebounds) and Fred VanVleet (23 points and 10 assists).

Lakers star LeBron James went five-of-15 for 13 points, while he also finished with 15 assists and 13 rebounds.

Anthony Davis contributed 27 points for the Lakers (7-2).

Antetokounmpo starred with 35 points and 16 rebounds to help the Bucks edge the Oklahoma City Thunder 121-119.

 

Embiid lifts 76ers as Booker, Rubio shine

Joel Embiid had 18 points and nine rebounds as the Philadelphia 76ers ended a three-game losing run by beating the Charlotte Hornets 114-106.

Devin Booker and Ricky Rubio starred for the Phoenix Suns. Booker had 27 points and nine assists and Rubio a double-double of 22 points and 12 assists in a 138-112 thrashing of the Brooklyn Nets.

Trae Young had a double-double of 35 points and 10 assists, but the Atlanta Hawks suffered a 124-113 overtime loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

 

Morris unable to lift Knicks

Marcus Morris went three-of-12 for nine points in the New York Knicks' 108-87 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

 

Jokic steps up again

Nikola Jokic hit his second game-winner in as many matches, seeing the Denver Nuggets edge the Minnesota Timberwolves 100-98 after overtime.

Sunday's results

Denver Nuggets 100-98 Minnesota Timberwolves
Indiana Pacers 109-102 Orlando Magic
Philadelphia 76ers 114-106 Charlotte Hornets
Milwaukee Bucks 121-119 Oklahoma City Thunder
Cleveland Cavaliers 108-87 New York Knicks
Phoenix Suns 138-112 Brooklyn Nets
Portland Trail Blazers 124-113 Atlanta Hawks
Toronto Raptors 113-104 Los Angeles Lakers

 

Raptors at Clippers

Kawhi Leonard faces his former team, the Raptors (7-2), when the Los Angeles Clippers (6-3) host Toronto on Monday.

The Los Angeles Lakers made it seven straight wins in the NBA, while not even a monster performance from D'Angelo Russell could lift the Golden State Warriors to victory.

The Lakers were too strong for the Miami Heat 95-80 on the back of strong displays from LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

James finished with 25 points, six assists and four rebounds, while Davis had 26 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.

The Lakers improved to 7-1 to be top of the Western Conference.

The Warriors again fell short, slipping to 2-7 after a 125-119 overtime loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Russell delivered 52 points, nine rebounds and five assists, but the Warriors were beaten again.

 

Lillard magical for Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard finished with 60 points, but the Portland Trail Blazers suffered a 119-115 loss to the Brooklyn Nets.

Nikola Jokic had a double-double of 26 points and 10 rebounds in the Denver Nuggets' 100-97 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.

Luka Doncic again starred with a triple-double of 38 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists, but the Dallas Mavericks were upset by the New York Knicks 106-102. The 20-year-old became the youngest player in NBA history to record four triple-doubles in the first eight games of a season, according to NBA Stats.

The Toronto Raptors overcame the New Orleans Pelicans 122-104 as Pascal Siakam had 44 points and 10 rebounds.

 

Miserable Memphis

The Memphis Grizzlies were thrashed by the Orlando Magic 118-86 as Dillon Brooks went 0-for-seven for just three points in 22 minutes.

 

Bogdanovic buzzer-beater

Bojan Bogdanovic hit a buzzer-beater to see the Utah Jazz edge the Milwaukee Bucks 103-100.

Friday's results

Indiana Pacers 112-106 Detroit Pistons
Orlando Magic 118-86 Memphis Grizzlies
Cleveland Cavaliers 113-100 Washington Wizards
Sacramento Kings 121-109 Atlanta Hawks
Minnesota Timberwolves 125-119 Golden State Warriors
Toronto Raptors 122-104 New Orleans Pelicans
New York Knicks 106-102 Dallas Mavericks
Denver Nuggets 100-97 Philadelphia 76ers
Utah Jazz 103-100 Milwaukee Bucks
Brooklyn Nets 119-115 Portland Trail Blazers
Los Angeles Lakers 95-80 Miami Heat
 

Celtics at Spurs

The Boston Celtics (6-1) and San Antonio Spurs (5-3) look to continue their fine starts to the season.

James Harden guided the Houston Rockets past the struggling Golden State Warriors, while the Los Angeles Clippers were beaten in the NBA on Wednesday.

Harden scored 36 points and provided 13 assists in the Rockets' 129-112 victory over the Warriors at the Toyota Center.

Houston improved to 5-3 to begin the season, while the injury-hit Warriors slipped to 2-6.

Meanwhile, Kawhi Leonard was rested as the Clippers were handed a 129-124 loss by the Milwaukee Bucks.

Giannis Antetokounmpo (38 points and 16 rebounds) led the way as the Bucks claimed their sixth win in eight games, while the Clippers are 5-3.

 

Super Siakam, delightful Doncic

Pascal Siakam had a double-double of 23 points and 13 rebounds to lift the Toronto Raptors to a 124-120 win over the Sacramento Kings.

Luka Doncic continued his impressive start to the season, his 27-point haul seeing the Dallas Mavericks edge the Orlando Magic 107-106.

The Detroit Pistons breezed past the struggling New York Knicks 122-102 thanks to 27 points and 12 rebounds from Andre Drummond.

 

Reddish struggles

The 10th pick in the NBA Draft, Cam Reddish struggled for the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday. The 20-year-old went one-for-eight for five points in 23 minutes of a 113-93 loss to the Chicago Bulls.

 

Harden, Capela combine

Harden and Clint Capela combined for a nice play during the Rockets' big win.

Wednesday's results

Detroit Pistons 122-102 New York Knicks
Indiana Pacers 121-106 Washington Wizards
Chicago Bulls 113-93 Atlanta Hawks
Toronto Raptors 124-120 Sacramento Kings
Houston Rockets 129-112 Golden State Warriors
Memphis Grizzlies 137-121 Minnesota Timberwolves
Dallas Mavericks 107-106 Orlando Magic
Utah Jazz 106-104 Philadelphia 76ers
Milwaukee Bucks 129-124 Los Angeles Clippers

 

Trail Blazers at Clippers

The Clippers (5-3) get a chance to bounce back when they take on the Portland Trail Blazers (3-4) at the Staples Center.

LeBron James posted his third successive triple-double as the streaking Los Angeles Lakers prevailed 118-112 against the Chicago Bulls.

James stayed hot with 30 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds to lead the Lakers to their sixth consecutive victory in the NBA on Tuesday.

The Lakers trailed the Bulls by 19 points before a fourth-quarter comeback ensured Los Angeles extended their winning run.

Kyle Kuzma helped lead the rally with 11 of his 15 points in the deciding quarter in Chicago.

Zach LaVine had 26 points but the Bulls fell to their fifth loss in six games.

 

Hayward ties career high

Gordon Hayward was the start of the show with 39 points in the Boston Celtics' 119-113 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was a career-high night for Hayward, who made all 16 of his two-point attempts.

Devonte Graham scored a career-high 35 points as the Charlotte Hornets outlasted the Indiana Pacers 122-120 in overtime.

Trae Young fuelled the Atlanta Hawks with 28 of his 29 points in the second half as the hosts topped the San Antonio Spurs 108-100.

 

Magic's struggles continue

At 2-5, it has not been an easy season for the Orlando Magic. In 2019-20, the Magic are yet to reach 100 points in a game following their 102-94 defeat away to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

 

Young with the fancy feet

LaMarcus Aldridge, Patty Mills and the Spurs had no answer to Young in Atlanta.

 

Tuesday's results

Charlotte Hornets 122-120 Indiana Pacers (OT)
Boston Celtics 119-113 Cleveland Cavaliers
Atlanta Hawks 108-100 San Antonio Spurs
Oklahoma City Thunder 102-94 Orlando Magic
Los Angeles Lakers 118-112 Chicago Bulls
Denver Nuggets 109-89 Miami Heat

 

76ers at Jazz

Coming off their first defeat of the season, all eyes will be on the Philadelphia 76ers and how they respond. The championship hopefuls had opened the season with five straight wins before falling to the Phoenix Suns. The Utah Jazz also have a point to prove after back-to-back losses.

Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins has been suspended without pay for 25 games for violating the terms of the NBA's anti-drug program.

The league announced on Tuesday that Collins tested positive for Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide-2 (GHRP-2).

Collins' ban will start against the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, but the 22-year-old told ESPN he plans to appeal against the sanction.

In a statement released via ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter, he said: "First I want to apologise to my team-mates, the Hawks organisation, our fans, partners and community as a whole for this situation.

"I understand the impact this matter has on what we are trying to achieve together this season, and I am incredibly frustrated and disappointed in myself for putting all us in this position.

"I have always been incredibly careful about what I put in my body, but I took a supplement, which unbeknownst to me, had been contaminated with an illegal component.

"I plan to appeal my suspension in arbitration so I can get back on the court as soon as possible and continue to contribute to our 2019-20 campaign."

Collins – a first-round selection by the Hawks in the 2017 NBA Draft - has averaged 17 points and 8.8 rebounds through five games this season.

Kawhi Leonard haunted his former team as the Los Angeles Clippers topped the previously unbeaten San Antonio Spurs 103-97 in NBA action on Thursday.

Leonard – who spent seven seasons with the Spurs before joining the Toronto Raptors and winning an NBA championship in 2018-19 – dropped 38 points and 12 rebounds in Los Angeles on Halloween.

After sitting out Wednesday's loss to the Utah Jazz due to load management, Leonard returned to snap the Spurs' winning start to the season following three successive wins.

Montrezl Harrell added 24 points for the Clippers, who improved to 4-2 for the season, while DeMar DeRozan led the Spurs with 29 points.

Highly rated prospect Michael Porter Jr made his NBA debut for the Denver Nuggets, who lost 122-107 to the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Nuggets used pick 14 to secure Porter and the 21-year-old capped his Denver bow with 15 points in 20 minutes.

 

Nunn ignites Heat

Miami Heat rookie Kendrick Nunn had 28 points on 10-of-15 shooting in a 106-97 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

 

Hawks' Hunter struggles

Hawks rookie De'Andre Hunter had four points on one-of-nine shooting.

 

Harris dunks on Okafor

Gary Harris threw one down over Jahlil Okafor.

 

Thursday's results

Miami Heat 106-97 Atlanta Hawks
New Orleans Pelicans 122-107 Denver Nuggets
Los Angeles Clippers 103-97 San Antonio Spurs

 

Lakers at Mavericks

The veteran duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis takes on the up-and-coming pairing of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. This game is going to be dynamic.

Anthony Davis posted a triple-double to lead the Los Angeles Lakers past the Memphis Grizzlies, while the Miami Heat downed the Atlanta Hawks as Jimmy Butler made his debut.

Davis starred with 40 points and 20 rebounds to help the Lakers to a 120-91 win over the Grizzlies in NBA action on Tuesday.

The All-Star – who made a franchise record 26 free throws – recorded his fourth 40-20 career game and became the first Lakers player to accomplish the feat since Shaquille O'Neal in 2003.

LeBron James added 23 points for the Lakers, who improved to 3-1 for the season following three consecutive victories.

Butler made his long-awaited Heat debut in Miami's 112-97 win against the Hawks.

The Miami guard missed the first three games of the year to bond with his newborn daughter but did not miss a beat once he got back on the court.

Butler – who arrived from the Philadelphia 76ers – finished with 21 points, five rebounds, and three steals.

But rookie sensation Tyler Herro also made his presence known with a team-high 29 points and seven rebounds. He scored 19 points off the bench in the second quarter alone.

Unfortunately for Atlanta, Hawks start Trae Young went down with an ankle sprain in the second quarter and was ruled out for the remainder of the game.

 

Dragic helps ignite Heat

Miami's Goran Dragic scored 21 points off the bench.

Paul Millsap tallied a game-high 23 points as the Denver Nuggets fell to the Dallas Mavericks 109-106.

 

Reddish struggles as Heat ground Hawks

Atlanta's Cam Reddish scored six points on two-of-10 shooting.

Mavericks star Luka Doncic was held to 12 points on 12 shots.

 

LeBron says no!

James made a sensational block, leading to an alley-oop for Lakers team-mate JaVale McGee.

 

Tuesday's results

Miami Heat 112-97 Atlanta Hawks
Dallas Mavericks 109-106 Denver Nuggets
Los Angeles Lakers 120-91 Memphis Grizzlies

 

Bucks at Celtics

The Milwaukee Bucks eliminated the Boston Celtics from the playoffs last season, but now the latter have a very different group. Are the Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo still too hot to handle? That remains to be seen.

Trae Young recently told a reporter the Atlanta Hawks will surprise everybody this season.

That's big talk for a player on a team that won only 29 games last season but the Hawks have backed it up so far. They were 2-0 entering Monday's home matchup with the favoured 76ers and they pushed the Eastern Conference title contenders to the buzzer before falling 105-103.

Joel Embiid hit a pair of free throws with just over five seconds remaining to seal the win as the 76ers rallied from eight points down in the final five minutes. Embiid led the way for Philadelphia with 36 points and 13 rebounds as the 76ers (3-0) remain the last unbeaten team in the eastern conference.

But the Hawks once again showed they are much improved from last year. Young had 25 points and nine assists, while John Collins (16 points, eight rebounds) and De’Andre Hunter (14 points, nine rebounds) played well.

De’Andre Hunter nailed a clutch three-point shot off the assist from Vince Carter tonight to finish with 14 points, nine rebounds and the team’s best +/- at +10.

The Hawks eventually lost 105-103, but Young's Hawks continue to be one of the surprises of the early season.

Russ and James lead the way in win over their former side

James Harden scored 40 points and Russell Westbrook scored 21 points, adding 12 rebounds and nine assists to key a 116-112 win over his old team, the Thunder.

Knicks forward Bobby Portis collected 28 points and 11 rebounds with a plus-31 rating in a 105-98 win over the Bulls.

Pistons forward Christian Wood had 19 points and 12 boards in 21 minutes off the bench in a 96-94 win over the Pacers.

JJ has unusually bad night from three-point land

JJ Redick hit only one of his 10 shots as the Pelicans fell to the Warriors.

Ingram gets high and jams

Brandon Ingram drives and extends for a big Pelicans slam.

Kawhi Leonard shows some nice touch around the basket here.

Monday's results

Indiana Pacers 94-96 Detroit Pistons
Chicago Bulls 98-105 New York Knicks
Philadelphia 76ers 105-103 Atlanta Hawks
Orlando Magic 95-104 Toronto Raptors
Oklahoma City Thunder 112-116 Houston Rockets
Cleveland Cavaliers 112-129 Milwaukee Bucks
Golden State Warriors 134-123 New Orleans Pelicans
Portland Trail Blazers 110-113 San Antonio Spurs
Utah Jazz 96-95 Phoenix Suns
Denver Nuggets 101-94 Sacramento Kings
Charlotte Hornets 96-111 Los Angeles Clippers

Mavericks at Nuggets

Young stars Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis are off to hot starts for the Mavericks with averages of more than 26 points per game, while the Nuggets have six players in double figures, led by Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray.

The Los Angeles Clippers suffered their first defeat of the NBA season after losing 130-122 to the Phoenix Suns.

Kawhi Leonard had led the Clippers to back-to-back wins to start the campaign, however, they went down to the Suns on Saturday.

Devin Booker scored 30 points and Kelly Oubre Jr. added 20 as the Suns snapped a 12-game losing streak to the Clippers.

Leonard put up 27 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds for the visiting Clippers in Phoenix.

The Miami Heat spoiled the Milwaukee Bucks' home opener after prevailing 131-126 in overtime.

Giannis Antetokounmpo's Bucks held a 21-point lead in the third quarter but still lost to the rallying Heat, who were led by Goran Dragic's 25 points off the bench.

Reigning MVP Antetokounmpo finished with 29 points, 17 rebounds and nine assists to go with eight turnovers before fouling out late in overtime.

 

Westbrook surpasses Magic

Houston Rockets star Russell Westbrook passed Magic Johnson for second place on the NBA's all-time triple-doubles list with his 139th. Westbrook had 28 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds in the 126-123 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Trae Young might not have won Rookie of the Year last season, but he might be the NBA's MVP through two games (take that for what you will). The Atlanta Hawks guard scored 39 points while adding nine assists and seven rebounds in a 103-99 win over the Orlando Magic.

Kemba Walker scored 32 points on 11-of-17 shooting in the Boston Celtics' 118-95 victory against the New York Knicks.

 

Osman underwhelms despite Cavs win

Cedi Osman's four-year extension with the Cavaliers netted Cleveland one point and one rebound in 28 minutes in a 110-99 win over the Indiana Pacers.

 

DeRozan dazzles

DeMar DeRozan produced a nice layup through traffic to seal the deal for the San Antonio Spurs with five seconds remaining in a 124-122 win over the Washington Wizards.

Saturday's results

Miami Heat 131-126 Milwaukee Bucks
Philadelphia 76ers 117-111 Detroit Pistons
Atlanta Hawks 103-99 Orlando Magic
Boston Celtics 118-95 New York Knicks
Houston Rockets 126-123 New Orleans Pelicans
Toronto Raptors 108-84 Chicago Bulls
Cleveland Cavaliers 110-99 Indiana Pacers
San Antonio Spurs 124-122 Washington Wizards
Utah Jazz 113-81 Sacramento Kings
Phoenix Suns 130-122 Los Angeles Clippers

 

Trail Blazers at Mavericks

The Kristaps Porzingis era is off to a great start in Dallas as the Mavericks are unbeaten through two games. But Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard has come out strong, too, and he presents a very interesting backcourt matchup opposite Luka Doncic.

The Golden State Warriors' first NBA game at Chase Center ended in defeat as the Kawhi Leonard-led Los Angeles Clippers stayed unbeaten.

After 47 years at Oracle Arena in Oakland, the Warriors relocated to neighbouring San Francisco in the offseason.

But their first competitive game in San Francisco did not go according to plan following Thursday's 141-122 loss to the Clippers.

Even without Paul George, the Clippers looked great on both sides of the court as Leonard, Lou Williams and Patrick Patterson all finished with 20 or more points to preserve Los Angeles' perfect start after two games.

Stephen Curry and D'Angelo Russell were good for the Warriors, but Russell did not do much after scoring the Warriors' first 10 points and Curry struggled shooting the ball throughout the game, going two of 11 from three-point range.

Reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, meanwhile, became the first player in Milwaukee Bucks history to record a triple-double in a season opener.

Antetokounmpo – the first player since Oscar Robertson in 1966 with a 30-point triple-double in a season opener – finished with 30 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists as the Bucks overcame a 16-point half-time deficit to beat the Houston Rockets 117-111.

Every single Milwaukee starter finished in double digits in scoring, while Russell Westbrook led the Rockets with 24 points and 16 rebounds in his Houston debut. 

 

Young stars as Hawks fly high

Trae Young had 38 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in the Atlanta Hawks' 117-100 win over the Detroit Pistons.

 

Reddish and Harden struggle

Cam Reddish's rookie year is off to a tough shooting start. He scored one point on 0-of-six shooting, including 0 of five from three-point range. He did have seven rebounds, though.

James Harden scored 19 points, but the Rockets star went two-of-13 shooting in the loss to the Bucks.

 

Harden and Westbrook reunite

Harden and Westbrook look like they will at least be fun together in Houston.

 

Thursday's results

Atlanta Hawks 117-100 Detroit Pistons
Milwaukee Bucks 117-111 Houston Rockets
Los Angeles Clippers 141-122 Golden State Warriors

 

Jazz at Lakers

Two teams that added big pieces this offseason face off in Los Angeles on Friday. Mike Conley joins Donovan Mitchell in the Utah Jazz's backcourt, while Anthony Davis teams up with LeBron James and the Lakers. And that is not even the half of it as Danny Green, Bojan Bogdanovic (who may be hurt), Quinn Cook and Dwight Howard are all finding their way with new teams. 

The offseason has been all about the major moves.

Kawhi Leonard left the Raptors after delivering an NBA title to Toronto, Anthony Davis linked up with Lakers star LeBron James in Los Angeles, while Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving both wound up at the Brooklyn Nets.

However, we take a look at some of the under-the-radar aspects of the 2019-20 season - from rotations you might not think about to potential Sixth Man of the Year contenders.

TEAMS

Utah Jazz - The Jazz have been to the playoffs in each of the last three seasons after finishing fifth in the stacked Western Conference on each occasion.

But there may not have been a move that went more unnoticed than Bojan Bogdanovic signing in Utah, and there may be no move that will quietly have a big impact than Mike Conley arriving in a trade.

Conley allows Donovan Mitchell to play off the ball, which makes him better, and Bogdanovic adds another layer of scoring to a team that really struggled to put the ball in the basket when Mitchell was off his shooting game last season. This team has a real chance to win the West and still no one is paying much attention.

Miami Heat - Any team that adds Jimmy Butler instantly becomes competitive. The Heat needed to start anew after the first and second eras of Dwyane Wade, and Butler could be just the guy to do that.

Add Tyler Herro to the mix to give Miami some much-needed shooting and a bigger role for Bam Adebayo in the middle after the departure of Hassan Whiteside and this team is at the least interesting, at the most a contender for a top-four seed in the Eastern Conference.

PLAYERS

Bogdan Bogdanovic - Bogdanovic often gets lost in the shuffle on a team with good, young talent, but he is the sparkplug that makes the Kings' second unit go.

He might not average 25 points a game, but he is more than capable of putting up a 25-point performance off the bench on a regular basis, and that probably is why the Kings are reportedly offering him a max contract extension as he will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season.

Jrue Holiday - It's hard to be under the radar if you're an All-Star and a two-time NBA All-Defensive member, but everyone seems to forget about Holiday.

He is now the alpha dog on a New Orleans Pelicans team that lost Davis, and he is coming off a career year. 

Holiday could easily one-up himself this season and maybe even get the Pelicans fighting for a playoff spot with a good young core of Zion Williamson and Lonzo Ball now in the fold.

ROTATIONS

Oklahoma City Thunder - The Thunder have been understandably written off after trading Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets and Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers, but this team could actually be pretty exciting this year.

In acquiring Chris Paul, the Thunder have an All-Star point guard who can get the ball to Steven Adams for some easy dunks in the pick-and-roll.

Then adding guys like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who is a very exciting young player, and Danilo Gallinari, who has always been entertaining, gives the Thunder a very interesting starting rotation. Then add guys off the bench like Dennis Schroder and Hamidou Diallo and Oklahoma City fans certainly will have something to cheer for this season.

It should be noted though that is all on paper as the Thunder may try to move Adams and Paul as they try to rebuild, but for now the team should be fun to watch early in the season. We'll see if that translates into wins though.

Atlanta Hawks - No one will pay attention to the Hawks until they get a few more years into this rebuild, but like the Thunder, Atlanta has some fun pieces to watch and build around.

Trae Young very well could have won Rookie of the Year last season, John Collins had an argument to be an All-Star and Kevin Huerter became a good rotation player by the end of the season. Add rookies De'Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish into the fold along with veteran Evan Turner and this team looks like it will be more competitive this season. We'll see how the depth does in the long run though.

Zion Williamson described his NBA debut as "a lot of fun" after he produced one of his customary dunks in the New Orleans Pelicans' preseason win over the Atlanta Hawks.

Williamson was on the floor for 28 minutes of the Pelicans' 133-109 victory in Atlanta, with the first pick in the 2019 NBA Draft scoring 16 points to go along with seven rebounds, three assists and three steals.

He also produced a moment which showed just why he is one of the most hyped prospects to enter the league, driving at Hawks center Damian Jones and bypassing his attempted block to finish with authority.

"It was a lot of fun," Williamson said afterwards.

"First NBA game – it's not going to count on the record – but it's the first one of hopefully many and I'm glad I can get that one under my belt."

Discussing his dunk on Jones, he added: "I just saw the lane open up and this isn't high school or college anymore, you've got to go up strong so I went up strong and I was able to finish."

However, Williamson was keen to stress he is so much more than just a player capable of producing highlight-worthy plays.

"I don't think just dunking would have got me here," he said.

"I had to be somewhat of a good basketball player to get here, so whenever I have a chance to showcase my other abilities I try."

While it appeared that Williamson was enjoying himself, he noted that he still has plenty to learn.

He was 0-for-2 on three-point attempts and was heckled by the crowd for missing a free-throw try, ending up 4-for-7 from the line.

"If it was up to me I'd probably be out there laughing and joking a lot more," Williamson admitted.

"But I'm a rookie, I’m trying to feel things out. If I feel like I can do a lot more laughing and playing, I'm going to do it. But for now I'm low-key."

NBA training camp began on Tuesday and the regular season is just around the corner.

Once preseason play begins Friday, plenty of rookies will be set loose so they can show what they can do before rotations are narrowed.

Each year first-year players exceed the expectations set for them, so we have put together a shortlist of who you should look out for.

Here are five under-the-radar rookies you should keep an eye on:

 

Chris Clemons, Guard, Rockets 

There is no guarantee Chris Clemons will make the Houston Rockets' roster, but we have a good feeling he will be in the mix this season.

The Campbell product led the nation in scoring in 2018-19, averaging 30.1 points and ended his college career as the third-highest scorer ever in NCAA Division I men's basketball history.

Although Clemons is 5-9, he has above-average athleticism and a willingness to fire the long ball while making them at an efficient clip, which makes him perfect for Houston.

He made five three-pointers and scored 21 points in 18 minutes in the fourth quarter of the Rockets' exhibition win against the Shanghai Sharks on Monday.

Houston's analytics-driven offense will always have room for snipers who make the most of open space.

Brandon Clarke, Forward, Grizzlies 

Brandon Clarke had plenty of critics leading up to the 2019 NBA Draft, but the undersized forward answered a lot of questions during summer league play.

Clarke helped lead the Memphis Grizzlies to an NBA Summer League title in July and was awarded MVP honours twice in Las Vegas.

At 6-8, he is not the most physically imposing power forward. However, his athleticism, natural defensive instincts, high motor, efficient finishing around the basket, and dedication to improving as a perimeter shooter will make it hard to keep him off the floor.

Most eyes will be on 2019's second overall pick Ja Morant and second-year forward Jaren Jackson, and that will give Clarke an opportunity to continue exceeding expectations.

Carsen Edwards, Guard, Celtics

If there is one thing that stands out about Carsen Edwards, it is his ability to fill it up on difficult shot attempts.

Although he will be backing up an All-NBA talent in Kemba Walker, Edwards should have ample opportunity to run the offense with the Boston Celtics. Especially since Marcus Smart is not much of an on-ball guard.

Edwards' quick release and seemingly unlimited shooting range helped him average 24.3 points at Purdue last year and 34.8 points in the NCAA tournament.

He is one guy who will not hesitate to shoot his shot and establish a role for himself early.

Bruno Fernando, Center, Hawks

Bruno Fernando slipped through the cracks after originally being considered a lottery prospect in 2019, but he still has plenty of promise.

He is a capable two-way player who averaged 13.6 points, 10.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks last season at Maryland and will compete to back up Alex Len down low.

Fernando's large frame, athleticism and potential to affect games as a post passer could make him valuable on a team with plenty of young talent that will attract more attention.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Guard, Pelicans

Nickeil Alexander-Walker will certainly benefit from the New Orleans Pelicans' versatility at the guard spots.

Much like Lonzo Ball and Jrue Holiday, who will likely form one of the NBA's best defensive backcourts in 2019-20, Alexander-Walker can play on or off the ball.

Although he is 6-5 his 6-9 wingspan only adds to the great length of the Pelicans' ball handlers. 

The Canadian's aggressive driving and craftiness around the rim are complemented by the developing shot creation skills he showcased in the summer league.

New Orleans' combination of young, athletic finishers and a sharpshooter in JJ Redick have set the table for Alexander-Walker to thrive in a reserve role.

Vince Carter has re-signed for the Atlanta Hawks to begin his record-breaking 22nd NBA season aged 42.

The eight-time All-Star has been in the league since 1998, having been drafted fifth overall by the Toronto Raptors.

Carter was the Rookie of the Year in his first season and is set to become the first NBA player to feature in 22 campaigns.

He will also be the first to play in four different decades when he steps on the court in 2020, while his 1,481 career games put him first among active players and fifth all-time.

After lengthy stints with the Raptors and the Brooklyn Nets - then the New Jersey Nets - Carter has had short stops with the Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings.

He joined the Hawks ahead of the 2018-19 season and averaged 7.4 points in 17.5 minutes per game across 76 appearances.

Carter, who won gold with the United States at the 2000 Olympic Games, confirmed in May he would be looking to return for the coming campaign.

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