After a Steelers victory over the Ravens, I’m in a surprisingly good mood for a Sunday night. Maybe the win will make me less cynical about the preseason. Probably not.
Jerryd Bayless led the Grizzlies with 22 points on 8-9 shooting in just 24 minutes… Nick Calathes kept steady in what’s been an eye-opening preseason, dishing out 10 assists in 25 minutes. Calathes might be the variable that they need to keep up with the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors, who improved drastically this offseason… Atlanta was led by Paul Milsap, who scored 18 points on 8-11 shooting, while also grabbing eight boards and blocking three shots (the blocks prove that it’s preseason)… Cartier Martin shot a solid 1-12 in 23 minutes for the Hawks.
Greg Monroe led the Pistons with 19 points, but grabbed just two rebounds; fantasy nerds, consider this a warning… Andre Drummond scored 14 points and grabbed 15 boards, continuing his hot preseason… The Magic had five players score in double figures, and played without Jason Maxiell, Glen Davis, Jameer Nelson, and Nikola Vucevic… Peyton Siva played 47 minutes, scored 12 points, dished out seven assists and recorded three steals. Silver lining: he turned the ball over nine times. I blame Josh Smith.
Gerald Wallace led the Celtics with 16 points (and that’s really all there is to say about Boston’s night)… Minnesota was led by Kevin Love, who scored 22 points and grabbed nine boards… Ricky Rubio shot 5-9 from the field and 2-3 from distance, finishing with 15 points, seven assists, and four boards (yeah, he made two 3’s in a game and it only took him three shots)… Robbie Hummel and Shabazz Muhammed both played just three minutes, with Hummel obviously outplaying the first-round pick, scoring two points and grabbing two rebounds (sarcasm)… Kevin Martin hit five 3’s, finishing with 21 points in 30 minutes.
Oklahoma City Thunder 88, Utah Jazz” href=”http://hoopshabit.com/utah-jazz/” target=”_blank”>Utah Jazz 82
Gordon Hayward led the Jazz with 18 points in 29 minutes… Both Richard Jefferson and John Lucas could be starting for Utah on opening night; the Jazz might not be that good this year, guys… Oklahoma City had five players finish in double digits, including Jeremy Lamb, who shot poorly (3-9), which has been a trend this preseason. Should this preseason get people thinking that Lamb isn’t ready for the Harden role? Probably not. That being said, am I thinking it? Yes… Kevin Durant played just 18 minutes, scoring five points on 2-10 shooting. Jefferson is back, guys! (Note: if I say “guys,” it’s usually for effect and/or to make my tongue-in-cheek or sarcastic tone more apparent)
Portland Trail Blazers” href=”http://hoopshabit.com/portland-trail-blazers/” target=”_blank”>Portland Trail Blazers 109, Sacramento Kings: A Look Into The Newest Laughing Stock Of The NBA” href=”http://hoopshabit.com/sacramento-kings-look-newest-laughing-stock-nba/” target=”_blank”>Sacramento Kings 105
Damian Lillard led the playoff-bound Blazers (that’s just my opinion, although I saw on Twitter that Bill Simmons thinks so too) with 28 points, including four makes from distance… Meyers Leonard scored just two points and grabbed six boards; any takers on him as a future starting center? I’m not seeing it… Nicolas Batum scored 14 points, grabbed 11 boards, and dished out five assists in 36 minutes… Patrick Patterson led the Kings with 27 points and eight rebounds. Last year, when Patterson first started shooting 3’s, Matt Bullard, Clyde Drexler and myself were all flabbergasted, but today he went 3-5. I’d like to see Patterson in San Antonio or Miami, where he can be a complementary piece for a championship-caliber squad… Isaiah Thomas scored 15 points and dished out 10 assists, but took 17 shots… Ben McLemore scored 23 points on 10-16 shooting, include of 3-7 from distance. Is McLemore just a shooter, or will he get to the line a handful of times per game? I’m thinking he’s the former.
Only five more nights of boring preseason basketball, then three days of nothing (which we can replace with college football, professional football, the World Series, and excitement), and then the season starts. In case you forgot, on Tuesday the 29th, the season begins with two nationally televised games; the Chicago Bulls at the Miami Heat, and the Los Angeles Clippers at (kind of) the Los Angeles Lakers. The Magic and Indiana Pacers will also be kicking their season off that night, but only the NBA League Pass mavens will be stalking that matchup.
The following day, Wednesday the 30th, nearly the entire league plays, with 14 games on tap. It’s almost here, fellas. I can taste it.