Preseason hoops

It may only be preseason, but damn it’s exciting!

8 games today, each result was fairly predictable. The teams that should have won did, and the teams that used anything resembling a regular season rotation defeated those who gave 12 guys a run. There were a few things we can take away from the games though, remembering that preseason observations are not terribly indicative:

Charlotte 72, Cleveland 87: The first Cavs game post-LeBron went pretty well, I think. Ramon Sessions looked good attacking the rim, and the bench featuring J.J. Hickson played well too. Neither team shot the ball effectively but the Cavs did a good job grabbing rebounds, getting a couple of second-chance baskets. For the Bobcats, I’d have to figure not a lot went right. The one positive was seeing D.J. Augustin playing really well, he struggled last year in his sophomore campaign and it would really help his confidence if he put in some strong preseason games and won the starting job. Other than that, yeah…my man Al pretty much summed it up when he said Charlotte’s best was the 3-10 from the field, 5-12 from the line performance of Tyrus Thomas. Yeah.

New Jersey 103, Philadelphia 96: The Nets should improve quite a bit this season, despite missing on a megastar in free-agency. It’s also hard to go anywhere but up after winning just 12 games. Anyhow, they were good on this day, with Brook Lopez getting 24/7, numbers you can pretty much expect all season. Terrence Williams was also much better this game, getting 20 points, 9 assists and 4 rebounds. For the Sixers, I think the positive is Evan Turner. Despite his continuing struggles from the field (1-6), he did get to the line to finish with 10-12 free throws for 12 points overall. When a young man knows his shot’s not falling and tries getting to the line instead, this is a good sign.

Detroit 89, Miami 105: There’ll be a recap of this game everywhere so I’ll be quick. Wade tweaked his hamstring early and played just 3 minutes. Bosh had 20 and LeBron 18. Haslem was good as always with 14/13. They’ll probably win a lot.

Chicago 83, Milwaukee 92: The Bulls were without Boozer, the Bucks were missing Bogut. Not really too much to take away from this one.

Orlando 97, Houston 88: Again, Al summed it up pretty well: ‘I’m worried after seeing them. It looked like everyone was taking three steps while Yao took one. He looked really old’. To be fair, we agreed, the Dwight-on-Yao match-up isn’t favourable for Houston to begin with, especially when Yao’s working back from injury. We shall see.

Washington 97, Dallas 94: John Wall is quick. Like, ridiculously quick. In the first quarter, Wall got the outlet after Yi blocked a shot and tracked down the ball, and he got from baseline to baseline for the lay-up in 4 seconds. 4 seconds. He drove through 3 Mavericks like they were standing still. I have a feeling it’s going to be very special to see this young man make his way in the league. The other thing I took out of this game was that Washington cannot be planning on starting Wall, Arenas and Hinrich together…you’re not going to win much starting three point guards (well, David Kahn may disagree)…

Phoenix 95, Sacramento 109: There has to be three legitimate contenders for rookie of the year, right? Griffin, Wall and Cousins? Because DeMarcus was a beast in this game, scoring 16 points to go along with his 16 rebounds. Tyreke Evans was also very good, and Kings fans have to be really excited to have these two as the foundation (as long as the team remains in Sacramento). I also thought Carl Landry was very good in this game, he was playing at the high post and dishing to the cutters. From what I saw his passing looked excellent. Not much to talk about for the Suns. Robin Lopez could probably grab a few more rebounds.

L.A. Clippers 86, Portland 115: Portland are a very good ball team. I’m also happy that I wrote that Wes Matthews might not have such a bad deal, because it looks like Wes Matthews might not have such a bad deal. He was very good in the Blazers training camp and had 20 today on 4-9, 3-8 and 9-10 (he loves that corner 3!). But the Blazers are just so talented, LaMarcus had a monster put-back, Batum had a big dunk and they generally walked all over the Clippers. You’d have to think they’d be able to do some serious contending-business if they could stay healthy.

That’ll do it for now.

5 more games of pre-season hoops tomorrow, which is awesome. Stay tuned.

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