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.
Andrea Bargnani returned Toronto to some boos, and that’s about the best story line you can get in a preseason game. The Knicks went with the same starting lineup as game 1, but it was the reserves that stole the show. Iman Shumpert, Metta World Peace, and rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. went for double figures off the bench. Bargnani scored 10 and Carmelo Anthony played great with 24 points. As for the Raptors, they are starting to prove that DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay can be effective together. DeRozan played 32 minutes and scored 20 points, and Gay scored 17 in just 23 minutes. The game was close until the Raptors put their bench players in during the 4th quarter, and they went on an 11-0 run to take the lead for good. The Raptors won 100-91.
These teams will probably win 50 games this season—combined. Both these teams are
tanking rebuilding and you may see bad basketball as a result. The Celtics followed up on that inference, as they played terrible. The starters were 15-44 and the whole team shot just 36% from the field. The Sixers looked good, and they had an 18 point lead at halftime. Spencer Hawes had 17 points, and Thaddeus Young added 20. Evan Turner scored in double figures again, and the Sixers have looked good thus far, proving that this is just preseason. The Celtics made a run in the 4th quarter, but ultimately the Sixers won 97-85. #FreeThadYoung
This game was on NBA TV last night, and it was deserving of national television. These two teams are filled with young talent, and they proved that they will be fun to watch. The Magic jumped out to a big lead behind rookie Victor Oladipo, who had 18 points. The Cavs made a late game run, when number one overall pick Anthony Bennett scored 14 of his 16 points in the 4th quarter. They will be contending for a playoff spot, and they have looked good in the preseason so far. The Cavs completed their comeback, and won 110-105.
The Heat played a preseason game in Kansas City for the fourth time on Friday night, and it worked in their favor. They were facing an inferior team in the Bobcats. Lebron James was Lebron James with 20 points in just 24 minutes, and former Kansas State player Michael Beasley surprised with 13 points. James Jones started in place for Dwyane Wade, who won’t be playing back to backs in the preseason, and maybe even the regular season. The game had an ugly flow to it, and the Bobcats were able to use that to keep it close late. The Heat made another run, and they won 86-75. The bigger story is that Al Jefferson left the game with an ankle injury.
This game was in Boise, Idaho, and the Blazers acted as if they were right at home. LaMarcus Aldridge was looking good with 20 points and 8 rebounds. Damian Lillard had 23 points, but it was the other side of the ball that was impressive. He covered the rookie Trey Burke tremendously, and Burke’s struggles continued, as he shot just 3 of 10 from the field. The Blazers did have 23 turnovers, but overall, it was a nice win for a team that hasn’t won since March. The Jazz did have a nice performance with Gordon Hayward scoring 20, but this is a bad team. The Blazers won 96-86.