HOOPSWORLD Week In Review
NBA Preseason: 15 Biggest Surprises
By Alex Kennedy
It’s never a good idea to overreact to preseason outcomes. Wins and losses don’t matter until October 30, when the NBA’s regular season gets underway. The preseason gives executives a chance to evaluate the fringe players on their roster and decide who to cut while coaches teach their system and build their rotation. That’s the purpose of these exhibition games – the final score is an afterthought.
The Los Angeles Lakers are perhaps the most talented team in the NBA, but at 0-6 they’re also the only team in the league that’s currently winless in the preseason. Last year, the New Orleans Hornets were undefeated in the preseason, but went on to finish with the worst record in the Western Conference and win the draft lottery. At the end of the day, preseason records don’t tell us much.
Has Brandon Jennings Finally Figured It Out?
By Stephen Brotherston
It seems like Milwaukee Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings has always marched to the beat of his own drum and while his style has produced a lot of ardent fans, it has also raised questions about his ability to effectively lead a NBA team. What Jennings did this summer may have answered some of those questions.
When Jennings graduated from Oak Hill Academy in 2008, the young man headed off to play professional basketball in Italy instead of attending a college in the United States. The move may have cost him several spots in the NBA Draft a year later, but it didn’t take long after being selected tenth overall by the Bucks in 2009 for Jennings to make a huge splash in the USA. Barely two weeks into his rookie season, Jennings hung 55 points on the Golden State Warriors and his reputation as a scoring point guard was cemented in stone.
Royce White Ready to Conquer Anxiety, NBA?
By Derek Page
Still in the midst of a lengthy battle with anxiety disorder, Royce White says that he’s ready to put those issues behind him and contribute for the Houston Rockets.
Mental illness is slowly but surely becoming one of the last taboo topics in sports. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that over 26 percent of American adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. It’s no coincidence that athletes around the sports world are beginning to come forward with revelations of their own battles with mental illness.
White, the 16th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, is one such player. He has had his own issues this summer due to bouts with anxiety disorder. In fact, White missed a large chunk of training camp and several preseason games due to his anxiety attacks as a result of flying.
The Death of Chandler’s All-Star Hopes
By Joel Brigham
There’s a strong possibility that Tyson Chandler will not be added to the 2013 All-Star team, a fact that has little do with any injury he may have incurred in Wednesday night’s preseason game against the Brooklyn Nets, and much more to do with the fact that centers are no longer a priority for All-Star voters.
Chandler left the arena on crutches with what he and many other people within the Knicks organization think is more likely a sprain than more serious damage. He’ll get an MRI Thursday to make sure there’s no structural damage, but before the game—before he ever could’ve known he’d hurt himself—Chandler talked about the damage to his chances of finally making an All-Star team.
Steve Novak: Still Hungry
By Tommy Beer
Less than 10 months ago, Steve Novak was waived by the San Antonio Spurs. On December 19, 2011, the Spurs actually became the second NBA team during that calendar year that decided they were better off without Novak’s services, as the Dallas Mavericks also waived the forward back in January of 2011.
However, in the NBA it is often said that one team’s trash is another team’s treasure. Two days after he was released by the Spurs, New York Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald signed Novak off the waiver wire. It was Novak’s fifth NBA team since being selected in the second round of the 2006 NBA Draft.
Can The Lakers Flip The Switch?
By Yannis Koutroupis
The Los Angeles Lakers improved more than any other team in the league this offseason, or so we thought. After an active summer in which they added Dwight Howard and Steve Nash most notably along with some upgrades to their bench like Jodie Meeks and Antawn Jamison, many labeled the Lakers the favorites not just in the West but overall.
Yet, the Lakers did not manage to win a game during the preseason. A 94-82 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Thursday night put them at 0-8 in exhibition contests.
It’s important not to overblow their struggles because it is just preseason. Kobe Bryant and Howard, their top two players, only played together once and Howard played just two games total. However, it showed that everything is not just going to fall into place for them immediately. Year in and year out we see how important team chemistry is and despite their immense amount of talent, the Lakers clearly have a long way to go when it comes to knowing how to play off of each other and being most effective in their new system.