Tuesday night’s opening trio of games was like that half-day you always got to start the school year. You’re in school but school hasn’t really started yet. Well last night, NBAU is officially in session with a full tilt of 12 games. Some observations…..
from Toronto @ Philly:
- So much for Andrea Bargnani’s fantastic preseason. He was scoreless in 19 minutes.
- Sam Dalembert seemed just fine playing alongside Elton Brand with 17 rebounds.
- A player I’ve been touting throughout the preseason, Lou Williams had 16 points off the bench despite just 5-of-15 shooting.
from Atlanta @ Orlando:
- Monster lines from Josh Smith (17 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks, four steals) and Dwight Howard (22 points, 15 rebounds, five blocks, five steals) and typically awful free-throw shooting from both.
- The Hawks bench stinks. Grab Flip Murray (14 points) if you want to, but I’ll pass.
from New Jersey @ Washington:
- Nice start for Vince Carter, who was facilitator (six assists) before taking over down the stretch and scoring 21 points. He made 9-of-17 shots and 3-of-3 from the line and, more importantly, the Nets won. Every game the Nets win keeps Carter interested and motivated longer.
- I’m still not a believer Yi Jianlan (17 points, six rebounds).
- Brook Lopez (eight points, eight rebounds, two blocks) and Jarvis Hayes got the most minutes off the bench. Zero minutes for shot-blocker extraordinaire Sean Williams.
from Miami @ New York:
- As previously stated, any player on a team that plays the Knicks this year has fantasy relevance for that particular game. 235 points scored, 15 3-pointers, 70 free throws …. it was a bonanza!
- Jamal Crawford (29 minutes) is not – contrary to reports – in Mike D’Antoni’s doghouse.
- Stephon Marbury did not get off the bench despite some fans chanting his name in the second half.
- Mario Chalmers (17 points, eight assists, seven rebounds) might have been the rookie very few talked about during the preseason, though lighting up the Knicks doesn’t prove all that much.
- All the big names and Miami’s best player was Udonis Haslem (23 points on 10-of-14 shooting and 10 rebounds).
- I’m not worried about Shawn Marion, but give me a few more games.
from Milwaukee @ Oklahoma City:
- One starter in double figures for the Thunder. One. Kevin Durant with 12 points.
from Indiana @ Detroit:
- Nice start for Danny Granger with 33 points, five rebounds, three blocks and two steals. He made 10-of-16 from the floor, 11-of-12 from the line and 2-of-4 3-pointers. Those who own him hope Dunleavy never returns.
- Amir Johnson is the real deal. Six points, six rebounds and three blocks in nearly 21 minutes. Think of his numbers once he starts getting more time.
- Jarrett Jack got the most minutes off the Pacers bench at nearly 27. That’s encouraging, even if his numbers (nine points, two assists, two rebounds, one steal) and the fact the team team was -20 when he was on the floor is not.
from Sacramento @ Minnesota:
- While Brad Miller is suspended and Francisco Garcia is hurt, John Salmons (24 points, eight assists), Spencer Hawes (12 points, 14 rebounds) and Jason Thomson (18 points, 10 rebounds) are going to have great short-term value. I still like Garcia better than Salmons long term and Miller will get big minutes when he returns because they’ll be displaying him for trade purposes.
- Just like last season, Rashard McCants continues to do a lot (15 points, three rebounds, two assists, one steal) with limited minutes.
from Phoenix @ San Antonio:
- Leandro Barbosa had a nice beginning (18 points) to a possible bounce back season.
- Tony Parker (32 points) and Tim Duncan (32 points) are going to have a lot of games like this until Manu Ginobili returns.
- Shaquille O’Neal (15 points, 13 rebounds, two blocks) has still got it as long as he’s healthy. Hell, his dominance was such that the Spurs opted to foul him in the first minute.
from Memphis @ Houston:
- Marc Gasol (12 points, 12 rebounds, two blocks) is THE inside presence on memphis.
- Perhaps the Grizzlies still aren’t ready to give Hakim Warrick his big shot. He played less than 15 minutes off the bench, much to my chagrin.
- Meanwhile, rookie first-rounder Darrell Arthur had 11 points and 15 rebounds in 27 minutes. If you tell me you drafted him in a standard league, you’re a friggin liar.
- Seems Yao Ming (21 points, 10 rebounds), Ron Artest (16 points, three steals) and Tracy McGrady (16 points, five assists, three steals) can all co-exist and play well together. And no one got hurt….yet.
from Denver @ Utah:
- J.R. Smith (17 points on 7-of-14 shooting and five rebounds) may finally be ready to live up to the hype. Keep him away from the strip club.
- Andrei Kirileno got off to a fast start (16 points, six rebounds, three assists, two blocks, one steal) but if you’ve played fantasy hoops long enough, you’ve been burned by that again and again.
from New Orleans @ Golden State:
- Tyson Chandler (three blocks) seems to be contesting shots again.
- There are few teams that have players to guard both Stephen Jackson (26 points) AND Corey Maggette (27, eight rebounds).
- Andris Biedrins still can’t get enough fouling out (six in only 29 minutes).
- Kelenna Azubuike came off the bench but got the fifth-most minutes on the team and did a lot with them (17 points, three steals, one block).
from Lakers @ Clippers:
- Are the Lakers going to be so good that none of their key players will have to play major minutes? No player with more than 33 minutes on the floor.
- Jordan Farmar. Jordan Farmar. Jordan Farmar. 15 points, five assits, five rebounds in 26 minutes.
- When the Clippers best player on any given night is Al Thornton, they got problems.
Again, there is no recommendation of adding or dropping anyone at this point unless you have a truly awful player you can’t wait to cut loose. Ride it out for a couple weeks before releasing the Warricks and Jeff Greens of the world.
I’m getting married on Sunday and the season will still be going when I celebrate my six-month anniversary. There is some perspective.