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480 NBA Season Begins 4

Jake arrived at the arena and went straight to the locker room to put on his uniform for the first time, Jake's uniform on the Los Angeles Lakers team was his favorite number that was number 7, Jake asked for that number while David Falk was still dealing with the team.

After a few minutes the other players arrived and put on their uniforms and so they started doing warm-up exercises before going to the court, Jake saw that there were a lot of fans at the Great Western Forum to watch that first Lakers game after the lockout.

Jake didn't know that well, but the Lakers team fans had high expectations for him because they said the team needed a good Point Guard for the team to win the NBA title, after all with Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant on the team they should make many points.

The opponent of that debut game was the Houston Rockets team, they had great players that Jake was also a fan of, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen, and Hakeem Olajuwon, in addition, they had two players that he played in the game he organized between the newbies who were Bryce Drew and Michael Dickerson.

But even though it was a team full of skilled players, there were a lot of players who were old now and didn't have as much agility as in their main years, so the Houston Rockets team was not a favorite despite having so many good players.

The players from both teams were eager to play after several months of not playing because of this lockout, the Lakers team players were surprised when they learned that Jake would play as SF, but as they saw that Jake didn't care about it they decided to trust in the coach's decision.

"Welcome everyone who came to see the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets team's first game after the NBA lockout, the team owners won a good deal and the NBA fans were the ones hurt."

"It's true, fans of many teams were furious about this lockout and after Michael Jordan's retirement even more fans gave up basketball, at least temporarily, but what we see here are the fans of the Lakers team that almost filled the Great Western Forum to support the team."

"Yes, the Los Angeles Lakers team made it to the playoffs in the past two seasons with Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant on the team, last season they made it to the West Conference Finals, and in the last two seasons they were eliminated by the Utah Jazz team."

"This season, fans have even more expectations of perhaps the Lakers team winning the NBA title again with the arrival of the first draft pick of the 1998 draft Jake Smith which is a great PG that the Lakers team needs."

"That's right, but maybe the Los Angeles Lakers Del Harris team coach doesn't think so after all this will be Jake Smith's debut game on the Lakers' team and he will play from SF and not from PG."

"Maybe it was a coach decision because of the need for a player in that position, after all, Eddie Jones who could play in that position was switched with the Los Angeles Clippers team so that Jake Smith would come to the team."

The Los Angeles Lakers' starting team for that game was Derek Fisher playing as PG, Kobe Bryant playing as SG, Jake Smith playing as SF, Corie Blount playing as PF, and Shaquille O'Neal playing as Center.

In the Houston Rockets team, the initial players were Matt Maloney playing as PG, Michael Dickerson playing as SG, Scottie Pippen playing as SF, Charles Barkley playing as PF, and Hakeem Olajuwon playing as Center.

Even though Hakeem Olajuwon was 36, he was still a great player and Jake realized that Shaquille O'Neal was excited to play against him, after all, O'Neal had already praised Hakeem Olajuwon several times.

The game started with the Houston Rockets team gaining possession of the ball, Maloney advanced with the ball to make the Houston Rockets team's first attack in the game, Jake was anxious because he was defending against Scottie Pippen in the game, Jake was a fan of him, but I would defend with all his skill to have a good debut game.

Maloney passed the ball to Dickerson who was being defended by Kobe Bryant and soon felt the pressure on the defense and had to pass the ball to Charles Barkley, Barkley used his ability to easily pass through Blount and make the first 2 points of the game for the Houston Rockets team.

Shaquille O'Neal passed the ball to Derek Fisher who started the play, Fisher advanced the ball and passed it to Bryant from the right who was behind the three-point line, Bryant passed the ball to Jake who touched the ball for the first time in an official NBA game.

Jake received the ball and noticed O'Neal's movement and passed the ball to him in-depth, Shaquille O'Neal received the ball and advanced to make the dunk and the first 2 points of the Los Angeles Lakers team.

Shaquille O'Neal passed close to Jake when he was returning to the defense and praised him for his assistance, even playing as SF Jake could still make some assists when he had the opportunity.

In the first minutes, the teams were not putting much pressure on the defense and the two teams were well balanced, but the Los Angeles Lakers team managed the advantage with a rebound that Jake picked up after Dickerson's mistake in attempting a three-point shot for the Houston Rockets team.

Scottie Pippen was the one who was most feeling Jake's dedication in defending against him, so in one play Maloney was setting up the game and passed the ball to Pippen, Pippen tried the feint to advance with speed to the inside area.

But Jake was very focused and managed to make the steal and soon passed the ball to Fisher, Scottie Pippen was shocked by a rookie stealing his ball, so Pippen decided that he would not let Jake play anymore and would show why he was one of the best SF of all time and one of the best in defense too.

In another move, the Los Angeles Lakers team was on the attack and Fisher passed the ball directly to Jake this time, Jake received the ball and Pippen soon pressed in defense, so Jake had no option but to pass back to Fisher or try to get rid of the defense Pippen.

A few minutes of the first quarter had passed and Jake had not made any points yet so he wanted to make his first points in the NBA, so Jake made a feint, but Pippen was experienced and was not fooled.

Jake could see that the movement of his teammates had given him an opportunity to play, so Jake pretended he was going to try a feint and moved forward using his agility into the inside area.

Pippen, who was fast, also reacted a little after trying to accompany Jake in the play, but Jake was very fast and entered the inside area through the opening that was in the Houston Rockets team's defense when his teammates had formed, Pippen was unable to follow and Jake dunk to score his first 2 points in the NBA.

Jake greatly celebrated his first points as he returned to defense and Pippen realized that Jake was a really talented player that he would have to work harder to defend against.

As Pippen was defending against Jake, Kobe Bryant had more freedom to attack, so he and Shaquille O'Neal commanded the attack of the Los Angeles Lakers team, unlike other games, the main players were much freer to attack.

Fisher had more freedom to organize the plays and Jake was the one who was having a hard time defending against Pippen and with Pippen defending against him, even so at the end of the first quarter the Los Angeles Lakers team was winning with a good lead on the scoreboard.

Jake had played very well even playing in a position he didn't have much experience and having Scottie Pippen defending against him, in the first quarter Jake played the 12 minutes and made 6 points, 2 assists, 2 rebounds, and 1 steal.

"What a good first quarter the Los Angeles Lakers team is doing, Shaquille O'Neal is the player who scored the most points and is playing very well against Hakeem Olajuwon, Kobe Bryant is also playing very well and is having more freedom to play and is making lots of points."

"The most surprising thing is the good performance of Jake Smith who is debuting today playing improvised as a PF and against Scottie Pippen and is helping the team a lot, even in defense he can defend well against Scottie Pippen."

"It's true, and Scottie Pippen and Hakeem Olajuwon are not playing as well as they usually do, and the Houston Rockets team can only keep up well with the performance of Charles Barkley and rookie Michael Dickerson."

"We will continue to follow the game to see if the Los Angeles Lakers team continues to win or if the Houston Rockets team wins in the end."

Los Angeles Lakers fans and other players on the team liked Jake's first quarter and supported him to continue playing well, the Houston Rockets team realized that Jake was doing well in defense and so they started playing more with Charles Barkley.

In another Houston Rockets move, Maloney had the ball and passed it to Pippen on the left, Jake soon arrived to press on defense and Pippen passed the ball to Dickerson on the right, Dickerson soon passed the ball to Charles Barkley.

Barkley got rid of Blount's defense and went inside to make the points, Shaquille O'Neal who expected Barkley to pass through Blount tried to press on defense, but Barkley was smart and passed the ball to Hakeem Olajuwon who was free to do dunk and 2 more points for the Houston Rockets team.

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