Game One: Denver Nuggets 92, Detroit Pistons 84Denver NuggetsWill Blalock
16 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 0 turnovers, 5-8 FG, 1-1 3PT, 5-9 FT
had a good overall game, picking his spots wisely to get his scoring, and dishing out a few assists as well, while not committing any turnovers.
-Blalock had one spot-up three-pointer and got the rest of his points by taking the ball to the basket, getting to the free-throw line and finishing with a variety of floaters, finger-rolls, and lay-ups.
-Blalocks ball-handling was especially impressive today, as he handled the ball very well with both hands, splitting defenders with ease, craftily getting to the basket consistently.
-In terms of passing the ball, Blalock wasnt doing much creating for his teammates, as the ball moved around a lot in the teams offense, but he did get some nice assists in transition and by hitting cutters in the halfcourt.Von Wafer
25 points, 3 rebounds, 4 turnovers, 11-19 FG, 1-4 3PT, 2-2 FT
-Von Wafer had a very strong performance here, showing off his dynamic scoring ability, hitting spot-up shots from deep, pull-up shots from the 10-15 foot range, and by taking the ball to the basket.
-Wafer was very controlled for the most part, dribbling the ball well with either hand and picking his spots well taking the ball down the lane.
-Wafer finished at the rim with floaters and lay-ups consistently, though he doesnt show much ability to finish with his left hand there.Detroit PistonsRodney Stuckey
18 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 turnover, 6-14 FG, 1-3 3PT, 5-5 FT
-Stuckey had another good game here today, hitting a good handful of shots from 18 feet and out, pulling up off the dribble on some of them.
-Stuckey also had some strong drives to the basket, including one crossover drive where he took a lot of contact and finished strong on his way down, drawing the and-1, though most of Stuckeys scoring came from the perimeter today.
-In terms of passing the ball, Stuckey did an adequate job, finding open shots on the perimeter to get most of his assists, though he clearly was looking to score first.Arron Afflalo
19 points, 5 rebounds, 3 turnovers, 8-18 FG, 2-5 3PT, 1-2 FT
had a decent game, doing better with his perimeter shooting than he has the past few games, hitting two three-pointers and a few spot-up shots from just inside the three-point line.
-Afflalo missed on most of his floaters and runners in the lane, but showed good craftiness in penetrating and getting off those shot attempts.Cheikh Samb
9 points, 4 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 turnovers, 4-8 FG, 1-2 FT
-Cheikh Samb continues to show intrigue on the court, today hitting a few jumpers from the 10-15 foot range, showing nice touch off the glass on one of the shots.
-Samb doesnt like to back down his man in the post, and is not very physical for a player his size, instead usually resorting to fade-away shots.
-Samb did do a nice job cutting to the rim today, though, realizing that someone his size can easily catch and dunk the ball in the lane, as he has good hands and catches most balls thrown his way.
-Samb showed a bit of conditioning problems at one point in the game when the tempo picked up, not being able to run up and down the court for multiple plays, something he should probably work on this year.Game Two: Memphis Grizzlies 100, Cleveland Cavaliers 76Note: Daniel Gibson and P.J. Tucker did not participate in this game.Memphis GrizzliesRudy Gay
20 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 7-14 FG, 1-2 3PT, 5-7 FT
had a very strong game here, and appears to be ready to take the next step as a player, looking more comfortable with his ball-handling and looking more confident with his mid-range game, showing a pretty explosive first step that he should be able to put to better use.
-Gay hit a pair of pull-up jumpers from three-point range, and also hit on a turnaround jumper from 10 feet out off a post up.
-Gay did a good job taking the ball to the rim going both ways, showing good creativity and taking contact well, in addition to his good finishing ability with his length and athleticism.Tarence Kinsey
12 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 turnover, 3-5 FG, 2-3 3PT, 4-4 FT
had a mostly quiet showing here, getting most of his scoring in the flow of the offense and not being all too assertive in getting involved.
-Kinsey hit for two spot-up three-pointers to go along with a pull-up jumper from 20 feet out, with the rest of his scoring coming off drawn fouls in transition.
-Kinsey played good help and man defense, coming up with two steals and go along with some other pokeaways by pestering his man.Mike Conley Jr.
13 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 5-9 FG, 0-2 3PT, 3-3 FT
-Mike Conley Jr
. had a very nice showing, looking like a veteran running his squad, getting all his teammates involved, managing the tempo, and finding seams in the defense that he easily dished precision passes through.
-Conley showed a full array of passing, playing the pick-and-roll, hitting cutters, pushing the ball in transition, finding open perimeter jumpers, and making entry passes to the post.
-Conley looked impressive on his drives to the hoop as well, using his very nice hesitation dribble and putting up floaters and lay-ups with either hand, looking equally comfortable with both.
-Conley also hit on some shots from the mid-range, but wasnt able to convert when he drifted outside 15 feet.Kyle Lowry
11 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 turnovers, 1-6 FG, 1-3 3PT, 8-10 FT
didnt have the greatest game here, but didnt look horrible either, hitting one spot-up three-pointer and doing a good job taking the ball to the rim in his typical pitbull style.
-Lowry did a good job of finding teammates when his driving lanes closed, and also pushed the ball well in transition, even if he didnt net that many assists on the game.Cleveland CavaliersShannon Brown
13 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 5 turnovers, 6-15 FG, 0-3 3PT, 1-1 FT
struggled yet again here today, missing on an assortment of pull-up jumpers and struggling to create high-percentage shot attempts, usually getting caught once he got in the lane if he didnt pull up from mid-range.
-Brown did manage to hit a few shots today, though, pull-up jumpers from the 15-20 foot range, but he missed the majority of those attempts.
-Brown made a few nice passes on the game, playing the point at times, hitting cutters and making dump-offs on his drives, though he clearly doesnt have a true point guards mentality.
-Browns decision-making is also questionable at times, sometimes getting too fancy with his dribble for no reason, leading to a turnover, or, as he did on one occasion, going to a reverse lay-up in transition when he had a perfect opportunity to hit one straight up.Dijon Thompson
17 points, 9 rebounds, 6 turnovers, 6-15 FG, 1-5 3PT, 4-5 FT
had an up-and-down game, missing on a lot of outside shots, but hitting on some, and getting to the free-throw line pretty well, mostly off cuts to the basket.
-Thompson also attacked the glass well, getting a few scores off putbacks and usually being around the action when a rebound was in the air.
-Thompson can shoot and take the ball to the basket adequately, but he doesnt have one true stand-out quality, which is why hes had trouble sticking around in the NBA thus far.Dwayne Jones
15 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, 3 turnovers, 5-10 FG, 5-10 FT
had a decent game, getting most of his scores off wide-open dunks or lay-ups around the basket or putbacks.
-Jones also did score on one right-handed hook shot, but he isnt a big threat in the post, and he doesnt have the greatest of hands.
-One interesting thing to note about Jones game today is that he strangely banked in his first two free-throws, which the crowd got quite the kick out of. Game Four: Milwaukee Bucks 72, New Orleans Hornets 58New Orleans HornetsHilton Armstrong
9 points, 3 rebounds, 1 block, 3 turnovers, 3-9 FG, 3-5 FT
-Despite the box score, Hilton Armstrong
actually looked pretty good here today, showing off nice ambidexterity in the post, using both hands on lay-ups and hook shots, and looking very comfortable doing it, even if he wasnt able to convert much.
-Hiltons perimeter shot also looks very smooth, as he hit a pull-up jumper with a hand in his face from 15 feet out, and was stroking it from 18-20 feet in warm-ups.
-Hilton showed some nice court vision as well, making smart kick-outs out of the post when he didnt have much to work with, and making one nice pass to a cutter coming off him.Anthony Roberson
16 points, 3 rebounds, 1 turnover, 5-14 FG, 2-5 3PT, 4-4 FT
had an up-and-down game, taking a lot of shots as he usually does, but not being able to consistently convert or get into an offensive groove.
-Roberson hit two spot-up three-pointers, a pull-up from 18 feet, and scored some points attacking the basket, driving and finishing with both hands, including on one very nice reverse left-handed lay-up off the glass.
-Roberson spent most of his time off the ball, with the coach even having Adam Haluska
run the point over Roberson when they were paired in the backcourt, as Roberson clearly is still just an off-guard.Julian Wright
0 points, 5 rebounds, 1 block, 1 turnover, 0-9 FG
had a very tough go of things in this game, missing on all of his shots, including pull-up and spot-up shots from the 10-18 feet range, to go along with a few lay-ups as well.
-Wright used his length well on the boards, and had one very nice block from behind in transition, but otherwise wasnt able to impact this game very much.Milwaukee BucksLynn Greer
15 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, 4 turnovers, 4-8 FG, 1-3 3PT, 6-6 FT
-Lynn Greer had an up-and-down game, looking good scoring the ball, hitting on an assortment of spot-up shots from inside and out the three-point line, but struggling a bit when playing the point, making turnovers dribbling and passing the ball and not doing much creating for his teammates.
-Greer also took the ball to the basket pretty well, going both left and right, and drawing contact well to get to the free-throw line.Ramon Sessions
11 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 turnover, 5-10 FG, 1-1 FT
had a very solid showing in this game, playing a good all-around game, balancing his scoring and passing, and doing a good job managing his teams offense.
-Sessions looked very good with his right-handed floater in the lane, his go-to move, usually using a hesitation dribble to get into the lane to pull it off.
-Sessions also hit on one pull-up jumper from 12 feet out, to go along with two transition jams.
-In terms of passing the ball, Sessions did a good job pushing the ball ahead in transition, getting all of his assists there, including one phenomenally placed bounce pass through three defenders to his man in stride to the basket.Damir Markota
12 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 4-8 FG, 4-4 FT
looked very good here, showing a nice, versatile skillset and playing intelligent basketball throughout the game.
-Markotas passing game was especially impressive, as he dished out nice backdoor passes to go along with good passes from post to post, picking up four assists on the game.
-Markota also looked pretty good in the post with his hook shot, using fakes and spin moves to consistently get it off when he got the ball on the block.
-Markota did look a little slow-footed when he got the ball in the high post and tried to put the ball on the floor, but he was able to have limited success with his face-up game here.
-Markota looks as if he is pretty lacking in lateral quickness on the defensive end, which was taken advantage of on an occasion or two.