Andre Drummond's strong preseason is changing the way people look at the Pistons. The same cannot be said for the majority of the players taken ahead of him.
Kobe Bryant ends a long run as the guy GMs pick, in a survey, to take the last shot. The new king is Kevin Durant, with Bryant second. And unlike last year, LeBron James gets a vote for that "Which player would you want taking a shot with the game on the line?" question in the NBA's annual GM Survey. Lots of fun stuff in here, and good news for the NBA: the two best teams in the league last year, Oklahoma City and Miami, were also ranked the two "most fun to watch."
Thomas Robinson flies in for a massive put-back dunk over Dwight Howard.
Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe on what NBA officials will be looking for this year: "Also, officials will emphasize the 'Reggie Miller rule' for a shooter who kicks his legs out during jump-shot attempts to create contact and draw fouls. Officials plan to call offensive fouls on shooters who blatantly kick out their legs to initiate contact." (via Ball Don't Lie)
Positive signs from Orlando's first round pick Andrew Nicholson, who only missed one of his eight shots from the field last night.
Who speaks up for pre-game dap? Bomani Jones does ... because it's fun. A tad PG-13.
Ed Davis on why his generation of power forwards grew up idolizing Kevin Garnett instead of Tim Duncan: "It was just all of the extra stuff that KG did, the yelling and all of that. But if you look at the stats, Tim Duncan’s stats are better than Kevin Garnett’s stats in damn near every category. It’s just because KG was more athletic than Tim Duncan. He was more fun to watch."
Tom Haberstroh writes on Heat Index about LeBron James' moment of conversion to stat geekery, and how Erik Spoelstra coaches "position-less" basketball: "In practice this preseason, the Heat will run their sets over and over before Spoelstra shouts 'switch up' and the players play their own version of musical chairs, rotating from spot to spot. Wade replaces Bosh in the post and Bosh goes to the top of the key where he can take opposing centers off the dribble. Battier heads to the corner while Allen goes to the wing. Switch up again. James goes to the block and Wade heads to the corner where he cuts to the rim. Bosh heads to the corner where he has developed a sharper 3-point shot. Again and again."
New NBA X's and O's site HoopChalk launched today with a post detailing how New Orleans' big men work together in pick-and-rolls. Hornets coach Monty Williams is one of the best when it comes to implementing effective secondary options out of the basic pick-and-roll.
The Lakers mess with Dwight Howard before his debut with the team last night.
Jeff Green's preseason draws rave reviews from his coaches and teammates.
Pretty much everything you need to catch up on the Mavericks' preseason.
Al Jefferson is getting older, has an expiring contract and is still a useful player, especially on offense. That all qualifies him to be the odd man out in Utah's crowded and promising front court rotation. But perhaps he's worth keeping around if the veteran mentor continues to accelerate the progress of second year player Enes Kanter.
Grantland's Robert Mays reports from Dwight Howard's first game: "As Phil Jackson did before him, Howard and his bad back towered over the rest of the Lakers bench." I don't remember Coach Jackson ever moving like that, though.
John Lucas III is the Most Interesting Man in the NBA.