Preseason is here! Preseason is here! I’m as giddy as N64 kid on Christmas Day.
But before we got into any action, Nick Young had a rough end of to his week last week, jacking up his thumb on his shooting hand requiring surgery. He’ll be out 8 weeks, which puts him back in Purp-n-Gold mid-to-late November, optimistically. You can drop him off your fantasy teams now! He’s got a plenty big cast to hitchhike his way somewhere else. I would say to “Scrubtown” but if you say that three times fast it starts to sound kinda like Scranton and I don’t want to offend Scrantonites or fans of The Office.
I wasn’t big on Swaggy P anyway, but no reason to touch him except in the very deepest of leagues. Pretty empty scoring. Wesley Johnson gets a minor bump up, and that’s the extent of the impact. Now back to preseason! Of course every performance must be taken with a grain of salt, and this early it’s a friggin’ pillar of salt, but it’s never too early to see how players are doing – especially this year’s ridiculous class of rooks. Here’s what’s gone on across the league:
Pysche! Fooled you! Before you keep reading, start up one more league and go for the RCL Trophy! Looking like the grand prize will be the famous team jumpsuit along with picking an eating challenge for me to do of the winner’s choice. In yes, another YoutTube humiliation video. Start up a new league today!
(Note, I’m leaving out the “preseason” games against Maccabi Tel Aviv. While they’re a respectable team, just highly doubt anyone is taking it that serious.)
Andrew Wiggins – Pssshhhewwwww! That’s the hype train whizzing by! 18/4/3/1/3 in 32 spectacular minutes. Didn’t log a single TO! And shot 4-11 FG (8-10 FT 2-2 3PTM ). Remember folks, it’s preseason! Still… mighty fine like the redhead in Grey’s Anatomy… Arguably the biggest game thus far early in preseason.
Gorgui Dieng – Not to be [too] outshined, Dieng got the start and 29 minutes with Nikola Pekovic not ready yet (shocker!) and went 16/10/0/1/2. You won’t see him ranked above Pek too many places, but at Razzball you will!
George Hill – New face of the team! Went nuts for a guy that usually is a boring/steady guy for 17/6/7/2/1. Shot 6-9 from the field as well with a trey. All that in only 20 minutes! Interesante… Did have to leave briefly with a back bruise, but tis no biggie. Not to be confused with tig ol bitties.
Dante Exum – Finally gets some “real” NBA action! Loose usage of the word “real”. 29 minutes of very boring, but very multi-cat 4/3/2/1/1. Shot only 1-5, but encouraging to see only 1 TO. Encouraging in a “he might not get killed out there” sort of way, not “I’m going to draft him now”.
Rudy Gobert – Monsieur Elbow is now Monsieur First Preseason Rainbow Line! I like the first nickname better… 8/11/2/2/2 in under 21 minutes. Dem fighting numbers! Awesome to see.
DeMarcus Cousins – Rainbowed mere hours later! His line was preposterous last night. 19/4/2/3/2 shooting 6-7 from the field and 7-12 at the stripe. And all of that in…….. 18 minutes! 12 free throw attempts in 18 minutes?! Whew-ie! Hack a Cuz!
Omri Casspi – Speaking of going 7-12 from the line, Casspi with an interesting little game last night. 15/2/6/0/1 in 26 bench minutes with the same FT attempts and makes as Cuz. Which is a little funky, but interesting. I liked him as a sleeper last year, but Terrence Jones sure took the stretch 4 role and ran with it. Casspi could be usable in a 20 teamer, but I’m not keeping him in the REL for $3. That’s pretty down the totem pole.
Darren Collison – Awesome, awesome debut to preseason. 5-7 (2-2 3PTM) 13/4/6/0/0 with only 1 TO in 27 minutes Sunday. And we all know he’ll be fine in steals too. Followed that with a little less inspiring 10/1/5/0/1 yesterday with 4 TOs, but I’m not worried.
Ramon Sessions – Does exactly what Sessions does in the Kings’ preseason debut against the Raptors. 3-8 FG 14/1/3/0/0 with 8-9 FT. Always been a surprise volume FT guy given the minutes. In deeper leagues, don’t overlook it! Then 6/3/6/1/0 with no TO last night. Mike Malone has said the Kings’ will use three-guard sets, meaning a lot of Colly/Sessions combos. Sessions is going to be a great value in deeper leagues.
Nik Stauskas – Struggled in his first “real” NBA action, even though it’s early preseason. 4 TOs to only 1 AST Sunday. Then yesterday, a pretty ThrAGNOFfy 13/0/1/1/0 with two treys. Good thing Ben McLemore looks like a bum just like last year. Still like the rook.
Victor Oladipo – Sprained his MCL, but sounds not serious at all. Apparently practiced through the injury. Likely will keep him from playing in most preseason games, but if anyone is scurred you can get him for a value.
Channing Frye – Also sprained his MCL in a practice last Thursday, but this one sounds a lot more serious. Well, Frye is older and bigger too which doesn’t help… Not a good week for Magic MCLs in practice! Jacque Vaughn is practicing these guys too hard! Frye will move down a few more spots for me, even though nothing has indicated he’d miss any regular season time yet.
Elfird Payton – This was so Payton! 1-8 FG 4/2/7/2/0 with 5 TOs in 32 debut minutes last night. Yeesh. I’m not worried at all though, RainbOladipo sat out and will take the pressure off in the regular season.
Aaron Gordon – Got the start with no Frye, and was very bleh. 6/8/1/0/1 in 28:30 and shot 2-6 from the field and the same 2-6 from the stripe. He’s really an atrocious FT shooter. Not a guy I’ll have on any teams.
Josh McRoberts – Toe surgery might linger into the regular season. We were hoping that he’d be fine and be Day Man, but this is looking like Night Man! You’ve got to pay the troll toll to get inside this boy’s hole!
Luke Babbitt – Hit 5 treys in the preseason opener. In other news, bored housewives forced to watch the game with their husbands randomly perked up and said, “who, rabbit?!” And then were sure to have two fresh AA batteries. Babbitt then went 0-5 from downtown on Monday. Luke Babbitt for MVP!
Jrue Holiday – Played 10 minutes and didn’t do anything in Saturday’s opener, which is a good thing. Since breaking his leg again could be considered doing something. “JB, that’s mean!” We were all thinking it! Then played 25 minutes on Monday night. Good to see him on the floor with apparently little-to-no restriction.
Russ Smith – Really solid game in the preseason debut for 4-7 12/3/1/2/0 hitting his only trey in only 13 minutes in front of hometown Louisville fans. Didn’t play Monday though, as Austin Rivers got an extended look, and promptly shot 1-8. Still like Smith as a Holiday handcuff in a really deep leagues.
Luol Deng – Got 25 minutes in his first game donning a Heat uni for 4/2/1 and 2 swipes. Let’s hope those steals Ferry over to the regular season.
James Ennis – Got some buzz through Summer league, and looked aggressive getting to the line 10 times making 8 FT. 17/6/1/1/0 in 23 minutes on Saturday, then followed it up with a huge 14/10/4/1/0 line last night with a trey. More buzz in preseason!
Terrence Ross – Bruised his knee in Sunday’s game and got an MRI revealing no damage, but also revealed he has an ankle injury too. Gulp. Hasn’t been a good postseason-to-preseason run for Ross.
Reggie Evans – If you’re ever so overwhelmingly sad that you feel like your life is changing too fast, get cold feet before a wedding (not me, I swear honey if you’re reading!), anything like that – you can always take solace in Reggie Evans. 4/13/0/0/0 in 21 minutes in Sunday’s preseason opener. It’s good to be back with things exactly as they should be…
James Johnson – Ruh roh! Looks like it’s going to be another tantalizing season of multi-catness off the bench. Multi Katniss Everdeen! Love me that J-Law Mystique. 8/3/2/1/1 in 27 minutes hitting a trey on Sunday, but only 6/4/4/0/0 yesterday.
Adreian Payne – I was all about him after the draft, but a rough Summer league and an uninspiring quote to the effect of “it’s a big adjustment and I’m stuggling” scared me. 4/7/2/0/0 in his debut, shooting only 1-6 with 3 TO in 20 minutes. If you draft him in really deep leagues, might be a Major Payne.
K.J. McDaniels – Sound the hype train again! 4 blocks on Monday night in his debut. Plus two steals while not doing much else – 1/4/0/2/4. Weird line… That’s JaVale McGee-esque! He’ll be good for those out of position blocks, but if you’re solid in that cat with your final pick or two, nah.
Marcus Smart – Welllllllll… That didn’t go so hot. Started at PG and shot 0-8 (0-5 3PTM), for a 2/3/6/2/1 line in 27 minutes. I guess that line is actually fine, but dayum! My concerns about him having no perimeter game are surely not sated here!
Evan Turner – Yeah, don’t buy this at all. Huge preseason debut of 15/10/6/1/0 shooting 5-11 (1-1 3PTM 4-4 FT) in a surprise 31 minutes given it’s game 1 of preseason. Jeff Green didn’t play because of his calf. Ironically enough, Jeff Green missed all of last year with complacency.
Derrick Rose – Played 14 minutes in the Bulls’ debut and looked pretty good. 11/4/1/1/0 shooting 4-7. Then last night, a-not-as-much. 6/1/1/0/0 in another 14 minutes shooting 0-4, but did get to the stripe 8 times (6-8 FT). At least he’s playing a lot…
Glen Rice Jr. – 18/0/3/2/1. Summer League carried over! The MVP from Summer ball looked pretty good, hitting 6-8 shots including 3-4 from downtown in 21 minutes. But 21 minutes won’t be happening in the regular season unless there’s major injuries.
Otto Porter – Summer league didn’t carry over! The fantastic Summer league performance led to a 1-10 showing from the field Monday night. Didn’t record a steal or a block either in 28 minutes. “Rough, just like your mother likes it Trebek!”
Jeremy Lin – Whoa! This might be the oddest stat early in preseason, 10 assists! 1/3/10/1/0 shooting a brutal 0-6 and 1-3 FT. But hey, why I have him clustered with the decent PG options in the 80s of my ranks.
Jordan Hill – Dub-dubbed in 19 minutes. 10/11/1/0/0 shooting 4-5. If he doesn’t get 30 minutes a game, I might yell at D’Antoni even more, even though that makes no sense…
Julius Randle – Meh. 10/8/1/0/1. I guess that’s good for a rookie debut, but still think he’ll be way overdrafted given his role and his rebound-only type fantasy game.
Wes Johnson – Strained his patella and might miss a few preseason contests. Doesn’t sound like he’ll miss any regular season action, as he’s already about ready for practice.
Kenneth Faried – Originally got a 5-year, $60 million huge payday, but got reworked for 4-years $50 million to address the new mammoth NBA TV deal and the salary-cap likely to increase. All you need to know is, “Manimal rich!”
Doug McDermott – Yawn. 8/1/0/0/0 in his debut Monday then in 34 whopping minutes last night shot 3-12 (1-6 3PTM) 11/8/1/0/0. Again, a guy I’m not owning anywhere.
Nikola Mirotic – Like, I don’t want to slam Rotoworld blurbs because I love what they do over there, but someone has to call this out. After going 17/5/0/2/1 in 22 minutes in his debut Monday, Rotoworld said “Nikola Mirotic looked like a potential superstar against the Wizards on Monday…”. I wonder how he followed it up! How about 16 minutes of 0/2/0/0/0 with 5 turnovers and HE FOULED OUT! HAHAHAHAHA. Unbelievable. Why you have to try and filter out hyperbole as best you can.
Brandon Jennings – Followed in Lin’s footsteps for preseason’s second dimebag. Alas, still shot terrible though. Is that the right way to use alas? I shrug at alas! 3-12 FG, but did manage to not turn over the ball a single time. Drop the confetti! And what’s sad is one of those FG makes was a half court shot to end the first half. Just shoot it from out there! Still uninterested in drafting him.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – Will always be a favorite of mine, and had a great preseason debut after killin’ it in the Summer League for 18/1/2/1/0 shooting 7-15 (4-8 3PTM) in 25 minutes. Only 1 TO too. He never turns the ball over!
Greg Monroe – Had a line so crazy, that I laughed at it then peed on myself! 24/9/2 in 32 minutes shooting 9-14.
Andre Drummond – 1-4 FT. Well, the FT punters are fine with seeing that…
Al-Farouq Aminu – I’ve intentionally not mentioned him several times even though he had some buzzy news bits after Mark Cuban said he was his first FA target (? um, OK…), and started with a big preseason line of 8/11/1/2/1 in 20 minutes. But in typical Aminu fashion, shot 1-5 from the field. Plus Dirk Nowitzki didn’t play, which is why he started. Meh, maybe he deserves a top 200 rank next time I do another pass through, but on the very low end.
Draymond Green – Yup, exactly what Slim and I expected. 12/8/3/1/2 in a near rainbow with two treys – all in 26 minutes. What’s not to love? #OccupyDraymondGreen!
As always, shoot your questions below, and happy return to NBA action!