In The Baseline, we take a look back at the action from the night before, and break it down. Check back every morning to see what you might have missed.
This game was played in Manchester, England in front of a lot of empty seats. Those who did attend saw Kevin Durant and the Thunder put on a great performance. Kevin Durant keeps moving the ball well, attempting to give his team confidence, so they can fill in the gaps that Russell Westbrook has left with his injury. Reggie Jackson stepped up in this game, scoring 29 points, and looking like he could have a big season. Serge Ibaka continued his good play with 18 points, and it seems as if his shaky playoff performance is behind him. Durant had 21 points, 14 of those scored in the 4th quarter, and 12 assists. The Sixers played well for a team that will be bad, and they led 51-48 at one point. Rookie Michael Carter-Williams with 11 points, and Evan Turner played great with 19 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists. Tony Wroten was the high man for Philadelphia with 20 points, but Turner has been the best player for the Sixers thus far. The Thunder took control in the 4th, and won 106-103.
The Nets were set to show off their new stars last night, but we didn’t see much of them. Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce all played only 12 minutes each. The Nets played their bench players big minutes, and it showed the depth that Brooklyn will have this year. Tyshawn Taylor had 16 points, and Mirza Teletovic had 15 off the bench. For the Wizards, The starters looked good, and they kept it close all game. John Wall had 16 points and 8 assists, and Nene added 19. Kevin Seraphin, who will be seeing a lot of time with the injury to Emeka Okafor, had 13 points off the bench. The Nets had the lead for most of the game, until Glen Rice Jr. had a putback dunk to tie the game, and force overtime. The Nets got it done, and won 111-106. Deron Williams was out for Brooklyn, and Otto Porter sat out for Washington.
The number one overall pick Anthony Bennett made his debut last night, but they didn’t need him. The Cavs looked like a young, talented team that is going to be fun to watch this season. They led the Bucks by 20 at points in this game, and they never really let up. Bennett only shot 2 of 10, but he was active, and had 10 rebounds. Kyrie Irving had 14 points, and he joined 4 other players in scoring double figures. As for the Bucks, they looked bad. This team made a lot of questionable moves this off-season, and they could never really get going. This will be a long year for them, but at least they’ll be in the race to get a high pick. The high point for them was the rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo, who had 14 points. The Cavs won 99-87, but it wasn’t that close.
The Hawks played the Heat two nights ago, and had a little easier task ahead of them last night. They looked like they were still trying to work out the kinks under Mike Budenholzer on Monday night, but they looked much more comfortable on Tuesday. DeMarre Carroll has said he will be a better offensive player, and he proved it with 12 points. Mike Scott is backing up his good Summer League with 2 impressive preseason games so far. He had 19 points last night, and scored in a variety of ways. The Hawks led most of this one, but the Bobcats made a run in the 4th. Ramon Sessions and Kemba Walker were the only 2 Bobcats in double figures, and they looked like the Bobcats all night. 19 year old rookie Dennis Schröder stole the show, as he hit the game winner with 2 seconds left. The Hawks won 87-85.
Maccabai Haifa at Detroit Pistons-
The Pistons took on a team from overseas in their preseason debut, and they looked great. They started Josh Smith, Greg Monroe, and Andre Drummond, and the floor spacing wasn’t an issue. Josh Smith looks like he’s been working on his 3 point shot, and he hit 3 of 4 from beyond the arc. They were clearly facing an inferior opponent, and at times had a 30 point lead. The Pistons had 6 players in double figures, and they were having fun all night long. They got out an ran, and had 27 fast break points, and were throwing lobs all night long. This isn’t a big indication of how they’ll be, but for this game, they looked like a team who can make some noise. They won 91-67, and they reminded us all that it’s preseason.
The Warriors have already played 3 preseason games now, and they looked disinterested in the 3rd one last night. They were slow on their rotations, they were sloppy, and overall looked sluggish. Nobody really stood out, and I’m sure they will try and move past this performance. Harrison Barnes didn’t play in this one, and it probably wouldn’t have mattered. Stephen Curry did have 10 points, but on 14 shots. The Jazz on the other hand, looked ready to play their opener. They came out with a lot of energy, and they looked prepared to play. They had 6 players in double figures, but don’t look too much into it. The Jazz won’t be good this season, but they did play nice last night. Alec Burks had 14 points off the bench for Utah, and he looked like the best player on the floor for them. Trey Burke struggled in the Orlando Summer League, and those struggles continued, as he shot 5 for 14, and his lack of size may haunt him this season. The Jazz won big, 101-78. The Warriors didn’t look like they didn’t want to play.
The Lakers had a terrible performance on Sunday night against the Nuggets, and they had to face off against Denver just two days later. The Lakers looked much better, and their starters are starting to get their footing again. They shot only 40%, but that was 7% higher than the Nuggets. The Lakers showed some promise with some of their lineups, and Chris Kaman and Pau Gasol played well off each other. Gasol had 14 points, and Kaman had 12 last night. The Lakers had 4 players in double figures, but everyone that played, scored. Kobe was in the building, and that may have sparked them. The Nuggets didn’t look so good. They had only 13 turnovers, but they shot the ball terrible. For the Nuggets, it’s all about finding an identity under Brian Shaw, and getting confidence for their young players. JaVale Mcgee looked good for Denver, scoring 14 points. Lakers won the game 90-88, but it wasn’t that close for most of the game.
Topics: Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Bobcats, Cleveland Cavaliers, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Philadelphia 76ers, Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards