Top of the Key: Preseason Observations

Updated: October 26, 2004, 10:35 AM ET
By Vincent Hui | ESPN Games Fantasy Edge
The NBA preseason games aren't like NFL preseason games. Basketball teams don't try to protect guys by only using starters in the game for a couple of possessions: they're trying to gel and create team chemistry. Thus, what makes the NBA preseason games worth watching is how much you can actually learn about a player and his possible role with his team.

Last October, I watched Darko Milicic flounder in preseason games and the brief moments he "ran" the floor only heightened his Aryvdas Sabonis-esque mobility. Darko's inability to run the floor meant he wasn't going to make a fantasy impact. Ditto for Marcus Banks, who the Celts tried at point guard last preseason, because of his excessive over-dribbling and inability to drive to his left. By trying to force a scoring guard to be run the point (see: Wagner, Dajuan), Boston was plugging a square peg in a round hole.

With more than a week's worth of games already over, here are some of my notes from the first half of the NBA preseason: