For a Pittsburgh Steelers fan in New Jersey, a victory over the New York Jets is exhilarating, albeit expected. That being said, the excitement for football just doesn’t translate to preseason basketball. We’re just a few weeks away from things getting very, very exciting:
Jeremy Lin showed well at Taipei Arena, scoring 17 points on just 6-for-8 shooting. Too bad the NBA didn’t make Lin play against a top-flight offensive point guard in the team’s trip to Asia. They wouldn’t have been as impressed … James Harden led the Rockets with 21 points in 29 minutes … In 11 fewer minutes, Donatas Motiejunas outplayed Terrence Jones, although I anticipate that Houston will begin the season with Jones starting at the 4 … Paul George led the Pacers with 19 points on 7-for-14 shooting … C.J. Watson added 14 points on just 4-for-5 shooting, but posted a minus-17 plus/minus.
Al Horford led the Hawks with 21 points in 27 minutes … No one on Atlanta’s bench scored more than seven points (Jared Cunningham) … Anthony Davis is continuing his scorching preseason play, dropping 23 and nine in 27 minutes of play … Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans didn’t play, which hopefully doesn’t become a trend (I made this exact same joke last Pelicans game) … Ryan Anderson scored 20 points in 22 minutes … Lance Thomas played 12 minutes and took one shot; he might be the easiest guy in the NBA to forget is on the court. He looks very average and he never shoots. I’m not knocking the guy, but if you’re watching the Pelicans this year and you catch yourself only knowing four guys on the court, Thomas is probably the fifth.
Gerald Green led the Suns to victory with 19 points; he’s perfect for that system down in the desert, isn’t he? You know, the system of collecting spare parts who won’t be part of their future … Dionte Christmas scored 14 points in 19 minutes (he’s the cousin of Lloyd Christmas) … Archie Goodwin got the start at the 2 for Phoenix, but scored just six points in 20 minutes … Everyone on the Spurs scored, except Danny Green, but no one scored more than 12 points … Jeff Ayres (the artist formerly known as Pendergraph) scored 10 points and dished out five assists for the Spurs. It’d be nice if he can stay healthy and help the Spurs go young. He played so nicely off of Harden at Arizona State, I thought he could be a third big man in the NBA. If there’s any chance for a resurgence, San Antonio is the place to do it. They call it doing the Danny Green.
Memphis Grizzlies 116, Maccabi Haifa 70
The Grizzlies ripped Maccabi apart. How do we know to dismiss Maccabi’s defense? Tony Allen scored 19 points. He scored 19 points once last season and even that was against Sacramento, so it doesn’t really count … Marc Gasol had a very Gasol stat line: 17 points, seven boards, four assists, three steals and a block … Kosta Koufas scored 10 boards and grabbed 12 rebounds against the likes of Moran Roth, Uri Kokia and Alex Chubervich. Pretty darn impressive, eh?