Get the ins and outs from the second week of the NBA preseason!
The GoodDerrick Rose and Kevin Durant Kevin Durant was dominant for the Oklahoma City Thunder this week and despite playing just 24 minutes a game, he posted averages of 25.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3 assists, 1.3 steals, 1.3 blocks and a whopping 2.3 threes per night. The week was highlighted when he dropped a 36 point, 6 rebound, 4 assist display on the Nuggets, capped off with 13-20 field goals, 4-8 from deep and 6-7 from the line in the Thunder’s 18 point win. Derrick Rose on the other hand gave Bulls’ fans a slight scare by ‘resting’ his troublesome knee for one game, but he made amends by averaging 27 points, 3 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 2.5 threes and just 1.5 turnovers per game in only 27 minutes per night for the other two games he played in. He’s shot exceedingly well, connecting on 15-24 field goals (62.5 percent) and 19-23 free throws (82.6 percent) both in Chicago wins over Central Division foes the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons. If the Miami Heat weren't following Rose’s progress closely, they are now. Power Forward Watch Kevin Love has shouldered the load for his Minnesota Timberwolves like only he can, putting up 28 points and 11 rebounds versus Toronto, then 22 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals against Boston after an eight day lay-off. His production should come as no surprise, as Love ‘knuckled down’ this off-season to trim puppy fat to get faster and fitter, much like he did in 2011-2012 when he enjoyed a career season. Feel safe to lock in Love for a 22-12 type season with loads of threes, but don’t overlook that field goal percentage which will likely hover around 44-46 percent all season. DeMarcus Cousins unleashed a 31 point, 11 rebound, 3 assist and 2 steal number on the Los Angeles Clippers last week, whilst adding some very efficient shooting of 11-18 from the floor and 9-11 at the line. He followed that line up with 29 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 6 steals against the hapless Phoenix Suns, with 8-15 field goals and a borderline acceptable 13-18 from the free throw line. Most importantly the Kings won both games -- by double figures no less -- with Cousins playing less than 30 minutes in both games. The rest of the starting line-up might be a massive question mark, but the Kings know they have a legit 20-10 guy with Cousins manning the middle. Anthony Davis continued his surge towards the upper echelon of the NBA by putting up 19 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.0 steals, 1.7 blocks and 55 percent shooting from the floor and 88 percent from the line. Davis has firmly taken the go-to scorer mantle from Eric Gordon and his pairing with Jrue Holliday has paid off dividends for Monty Williams and his 6-1 Pelicans. John Wall and Bradley Beal Nobody seems to be talking about Bradley Beal and how good he can potentially be. He was plucked right before my eyes in the USSDU fantasy draft (thanks Ryan) but I made sure I have him in two of my other leagues, as he has turned heads with his play so far this preseason. He has the skills and situation to really make a name for himself as an elite shooting guard, such is the relative thinness of the position after the decade long domination by the likes of Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade. Beal has had a strong preseason, pairing with John Wall to make up one of the more athletic and talented back-courts in the entire league. He’s turned his game up a notch this week to the tune of 26.6 points a game, including 30-51 (58.8 percent) from the floor, 10-21 from deep, and 10-11 from the free throw line in just 32 minutes per night. Those are ridiculous numbers for Kobe or Wade, let alone a player who won’t turn 21 for another eight months! Wall on the other hand has continued to build on his massive finish to last season, as he’s produced 14.3 points, 9 assists, 2.4 steals and nearly a block per game over the last week. Wall doesn’t have a good -- or even average -- long range jumper, so he relies on his slashing ability, speed from end to end, and crazy athleticism to score his points. It all adds up to gel with Beal’s deadly outside shot and form one of the more dangerous duos going into the 2013-14 season. Beal will challenge for the league lead in threes (the non-Steph Curry lead that is) while Wall will be right up there amongst the assist and steals leaders this season. Don’t sleep on either of these guys. Short and Sweet Chris Paul threw up an absurd preseason line of 40 points, 7 rebounds and 11 assists including 12-13 from the charity stripe versus the Denver Nuggets in an overtime win. His new back-up -- ironically his old back-up from his Hornets days, Darren Collison -- also excelled with 27 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assist in the same game, one game after dropping 31 points and 6 assists with 15-16 from the free throw line against Portland. Damian Lillard has scored 22.7 points per game over the last week, as he had 3.3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1.7 steals and 2.0 threes per game along with 22-23 free throws (95.6 percent). The field goal percentage has been very poor at 40 percent (20-50 attempts), but the Blazers have won four straight so nobody will tell him to stop shooting. Andre Iguodala produced a Rajon Rondo like line against the Lakers, scoring just 4 points in their 16 point victory. He grabbed 7 rebounds, had 5 steals and a whopping 14 assists (with just a single turnover) in only 29 minutes! He has so many tools in his arsenal that mesh well with the Warriors’ gunners and he made the right choice signing with the up-tempo team. Patrick Patterson was the focal point for the Kings as he scored 27 points on 11-18 field goals, including 3-5 from deep against the Trail Blazers. He also added 8 rebounds, 2 assists and he paired with rookie Ben McLemore to have nearly half of the Kings’ 105 points. New Zealander Steven Adams has thrown his name into the mix for front-court minutes for the Thunder this season. With Kendrick Perkins sidelined by injury and Nick Collison better suited to a bench role, Adams only has to tha-beat out former number two overall pick Hasheem Thabeet for minutes. In his first two preseason starts he’s put up 8 points, 12.5 rebounds, 1.0 steal and 1.5 blocks a game in around 29 minutes a night. He’s got a massive wingspan and is stronger than most rookies -- look for him to be Tyson Chandler 2.0.
The BadGranger Danger Stop me if you've heard it already, but the Indiana Pacers’ Danny Granger is hurt again. The 2009 All Star and former top 10 fantasy NBA player looks like he can still play, but his body is failing him like Brandon Roy, Greg Oden and so many
The UglyBlake Not So Lively Another week goes by and Steve Blake once again finds himself on the negative side of the list. Blake is a better than average back-up point guard, but he is playing his way out of the rotation with his poor preseason. Following his 0-10 effort last week, he chucked up a 1-11 (1-8 from deep) effort against Golden State. This past week he averaged 26.5 minutes a game and produced 5 points, 3 rebounds, 7 assists, 1.0 steal and a whopping 3.5 turnovers. The percentages were not his friend – just 3-15 (20 percent) from the field and 2-10 from deep. Kevin Seraphinished As A Starter? Kevin Seraphin is in prime position to assert himself as a starting quality big man for Washington, but his inconsistent play has been a burden to his personal development and to the Wizards as they need someone to replace the hole left by Emeka Okafor. In three games this week he’s averaged 5.7 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 25 minutes – healthy enough stats for a young big. However, he’s shot just 5-16 from the field (31.3 percent) and scoring just 5.3 points per game. Seraphin was firmly in place as the starter at center up until the Wizards’ last game, where he was replaced in the starting line-up by Trevor Booker against the Pelicans. Missing Cats One is a former Charlotte Bobcat who now plies his trade for the Los Angeles Clippers, the other a current starter for the soon to be Charlotte Hornets. Byron Mullens’ first effort this week wasn’t too bad, 15 points with 4-7 from deep against the Phoenix Suns, but his last two were ugly. He scored 7 points and grabbed 8 rebounds in a little under 37 minutes played, with 2-14 shooting from the field and a Blake-like 1-10 from deep! Gerald Henderson’s outstanding second half stats from last season (18.9 points, 4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 46/84 shooting splits) are what people want this year, but he’s completely flopped in the preseason. In four games this past week he’s shot just 10-39 from the field (25.6 percent), along with 0-5 from deep, while scoring 8.8 points per game. His counting stats have also been awful, just 1.3 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.4 steals and a poor 3 turnovers per game. He hasn’t grabbed a single offensive rebound despite averaging more than 27 minutes a game in those contests. Cartier Martin Special mention for this guy. An NBA journeyman wanting to make an impression, he gets another chance to make the roster of the Atlanta Hawks. His audition tape? 1-12 shooting against the Memphis Grizzlies, including 0-4 from deep, along with 2 rebounds, a turnover and a steal in 23 minutes. That’s like going on X Factor or American Idol and hocking a loogie on each judge, then flipping the bird.
So there you have a recap of the second week of preseason play. Is there anything we've missed or a a trend you can see unfolding that could be looked at for next week's recap? Let us know in the comments below!