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Debuts after NBA trade deadline a mixed bag

There were a host of big trades at the NBA trade deadline, and most of the players that changed hands have made their debuts with their new teams. Let’s take a look at how some of those have gone.

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Goran Dragic: Dragic’s debut with the Miami Heat was a disaster. He finished with 12 points and one assist while shooting 4-of-11 from the field, but he didn’t record a single point or assist in the first half in a 105-91 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that the point guard caught fire in the second half after he became more comfortable with his new teammates. Dragic will have to take on an even bigger role than expected with Chris Bosh out for the year due to blood clots on his lungs.

Reggie Jackson: Like Dragic, Jackson got off to a horrible start with his new team. In his first game with the Detroit Pistons, Jackson shot 1-of-9 in the first half against the Washington Wizards. Also like Dragic, Jackson rebounded in the second half, shooting 6-of-9 to finish with 17 points on 7-of-18 shooting in a 106-89 triumph.

Enes Kanter: Kanter has already seemed to have found a niche with the Oklahoma City Thunder, especially with Steven Adams currently out of the lineup. Kanter has played in two games with the Thunder, notching double-doubles in two victories. In the second game, the 22-year-old big man put up 20 points and 12 rebounds in a 119-94 domination of the Denver Nuggets. Kanter’s much-maligned defense has even looked improved in Oklahoma City, which would be quite the development.

Brandon Knight: There was both good and bad in Knight’s game against the Chicago Bulls. Knight had 12 points on 6-of-12 shooting while handing out five assists, but he also took some questionable shots and turned the ball over three times. He was also a team-worst -12 off the bench in a 112-107 loss for the Phoenix Suns. The point guard surely won’t be coming off the bench for long, though.

Arron Afflalo: Afflalo was rather quiet in his first game with the Portland Trail Blazers, notching eight points on 2-of-6 shooting in 24 minutes in a 98-92 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. On a positive note, the shooting guard was a +16 as the Blazers’ subs were mostly effective in their time together. That’s a good sign, because Portland’s starters won’t often be bashed like they were with LaMarcus Aldridge out of the lineup.

Isaiah Thomas: Thomas put up big numbers in his debut with the Boston Celtics, putting up 21 points on 13 shots in 25 minutes off the bench. However, the diminutive point guard turned the ball over four times, and the Celtics were outscored with him on the floor before he was ejected in a 118-111 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. Still, Thomas’s quick-strike scoring ability showed why Boston traded for him.


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