The Rundown: Newcomers make immediate impact

Published February 12, 2023, 2:00 PMJon Carlos Rodriguez

Several newly acquired players impressed in their first game with their respective new squads today.



Sixers 101, Nets 98

Nuggets 119, Hornets 105

Heat 107, Magic 103

Wizards 127, Pacers 113

Hawks 125, Spurs 106 

Knicks 126, Jazz 120

Cavaliers 97, Bulls 89

Lakers 109, Warriors 103

Kings 133, Mavericks 128

What went down

It’s a new NBA day with several players making their debut with their respective new teams.

The biggest winner is D’Angelo Russell, who made his return to LA a memorable one in an instant start. The returning Laker did DLo things and picked up where he left off. 

Russell’s debut was made even more special playing against his former team, the Golden State Warriors. He scored 15 points, grabbed five rebounds, and dished out six assists in the win at home. 

New Laker Jarred Vanderbilt also showed why he was a valuable part of the deal, chipping in 12 points, eight rebounds, and four assists off the bench.

In New York, good vibes were all around with the arrival of Josh Hart, who is a former college teammate of the Knicks’ star PG Jalen Brunson, and the chemistry immediately showed.

Hart just clicked from the Knicks bench, contributing in all aspects from offense to defense. He scored 11 points and pulled down eight rebounds. The four steals in his statline also made Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau very happy.

Over in Brooklyn, the Nets suffered a heartbreaking loss after a last-second heave from Spencer Dinwiddie didn’t count. But their new pick-up Mikal Bridges delivered in his debut: team-high 23 points with six rebounds. 

Cameron Johnson was also decent in his first start as a net with 12 points and seven rebounds.

So far, so good for those who got to play for their new teams. All eyes will now be on the biggest star who switched teams this season, Kevin Durant.

KD will have to wait to make his Suns debut on Wednesday versus the Sacramento Kings.

Big-time ballers

Jalen Brunson is probably the happiest camper upon hearing the news that his former college teammate Josh Hart became a Knick. He showed it in their first game together, scoring 38 points in the win versus the Jazz:

Nikola Jokic just keeps racking up triple-doubles. With his 20th trip-dub of the season, he became only the fifth player in NBA history to record 20+ triple-doubles in a single season. That list includes Oscar Robertson, Russell Westbrook, Wilt Chamberlain, and James Harden.

Jokic deserves to be on that elite list: 

What he said 

Mikal Bridges made his debut as a Brooklyn Net and played well despite the loss. His thoughts on getting traded was a big win:

"I mean, I get it. You're getting Kevin Durant. Maybe I'd probably make that trade too."

Did you see that?

Sitting next to LeBron James at an NBA game is a dream come true: