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You hear that squeaking sound in high priced gymnasiums all over the country? That is the sound of glory ladies & gentlemen. Yes, basketball season has finally returned in full bloom and every single aspect of it is going to be documented, discussed, written about and skewered over until June — when most believe LeBron James will throw up the Larry O’Brien & Bill Russell trophies at the same damn time.

But last night was the first ball night of the season and to the trained eye, a few things arose.

Chicago Is Still Chicago. Unless a healthy Derrick Rose immediately means that the Bulls have fixed all of their problems from the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals against the Heat then the fact remains that the Bulls are probably the best regular season team in the East but still too flawed to win when it comes to the playoffs. Without Rose on the court, the Bulls offense flat out turned anemic in the second quarter, playing again like the Little Engine That Could as the Heat mounted a mammoth 25-point lead, coasted a bit before winning 107-95. Even when LeBron plays rather average (by his standards: 17 points & 8 assists), the Heat bench kicked it into high gear with Norris Cole & Ray Allen (in some sick Air Jordan XI’s) chipping in with 11 and the Heat’s swarming defense effectively locking down Rose who scored 12 on 4-15 shooting. A few flashes of athleticism show that D. Rose is indeed back and has vengeance on his plate but for one night — everything seemed the same with the Bulls.

It’s Only Game One. If you’re looking at the Los Angeles Lakers beating of their tenants from across the hall last night as an anomaly then you’re probably right. There’s no way the Lakers bench filled with a bunch of guys you probably wouldn’t even recognize in a rec league game will continue to light it up the way they did against the Clips. By the way, what the heck did Blake Griffin do this summer outside of filming commercials? Wesley Johnson is too much to deal with in the post? At least we know Pau Gasol worked on his jumper and apparently figured out a skyhook was a pretty neat addition to his arsenal. I’m not fully convinced that the Clippers are the best squad in the West even if they had J.J. Redick channeling his Cameron Indoor side and knocking down threes. For both squads, it’s only game one.

Indiana’s Defense Is Scary. 18 blocks (7 from Roy Hibbert alone) and an all-around effort from Paul George (24/6/3 blocks). Yes, they were playing the Orlando Magic who seemingly have this entire tanking thing already in mind but hey, at least we know they have a sort-of star in PG and can only hope Hibbert stretches his playoff brilliance into a season long affair.

Oh as far as that whole “tanking” thing is concerned…

WIGGINS (!) Andrew made his debut last night, scored 16 points, made one pretty damn lethal alley oop and helped Kansas cruise to a 40-point victory over Pittsburg State. Oh, by the way — he and Kansas plays Jabari Parker & Duke on November 12th. On national television. We get it. We get it.

Photo — Getty