Rather than breaking down each game and then covering players after, it would be more organized to list my thoughts on each player as they are listed.
CAVALIERS 96, BOBCATS 76
The Cats shot 34% from the field against the stifling Cavs defense. They were winless in the preseason and didn't change much with the games counting. As good a coach as Larry Brown might (or might not) be, this could be another year like the one he had in NY. J.J. Hickson, D.J. Augustin, and Alexis Ajinca made their NBA debuts, while Adam Morrison made his return from a torn ACL.
LeBron James (CLE)
22/9/9 is a typical James line. He'd have had a triple double had it not been a blowout.
Ben Wallace (CLE)
Big Ben had a field day against his former coach, and one has to think Cleveland would listen if Charlotte expressed interest in the former DPOY. He recorded 10 boards and 5 blocks in only 24 minutes of action.
Daniel Gibson (CLE)
Led the Cavs in scoring with 25 on 10-14 shooting (4-6 3PT). He only had 2 assists in 30 minutes, so he is a PG in name only, as Mo-Will, West, or LeBron are running the show with Gibson out there.
Jason Richardson (CHA)
J-Rich was the lone offensive bright spot for Charlotte. He scored 24 pts on 8-18 FG and notably, only 2-4 3PT. With Larry Brown around J-Rich isn't going to attempt anything close to the threes he did last year (which is probably a good thing).
Raymond Felton (CHA)
Felton had 5 pts (1-10 FG) and 5 ast in 33 mins. His backup DJ Augustin had 12 pts, 2 assists, and 4 turnovers in his NBA debut. DJA won't have a shot at the starting job unless he cleans up his A/T ratio, but if that happens, add Felton to the trade block.
Sean May (CHA)
May had three of his six shots blocked, an indicator of just how out of shape he is right now. He finished with 2 points (0-6 FG) and 3 rebounds in 15 minutes. He's the starter by default, which is difficult to comprehend given the depth at the position in the league. If there were ever a team that needed Ike Diogu, Shelden Williams, Stromile Swift, Chris Wilcox, or even Malik Rose, it's Charlotte.
Emeka Okafor (CHA)
Okafor had his shot blocked more frequently than any player in the league last year. When he was told about this, he was surprised and shrugged it off as a fluke. He was 2-6 tonight and two of those shots were blocked. Really, Emeka?
He did finish with 7 points and 12 boards, but from the looks of it with only 6 shots in 35 minutes it doesn't look like he'll be a featured offensive player under Larry Brown.
ROCKETS 112, MAVERICKS 102
Rockets big three lives up to the name; Rick Carlisle's Dallas' coaching debut ends with a loss.
Yao Ming (HOU)
30-13-3 and shot 11-15 from the field against Dampier/Bass/Diop (also chipping in 8-8 FT). Were you expecting him to be tired from the Olympics?
Ron Artest (HOU)
Artest scored 29 points on 10-22 FG (3-4 3PT) and pulled down 7 rebounds. If T-Mac continues to struggle with injuries, Artest could replace him as the team's #2 scorer, and it wouldn't be a stretch to see Mac shipped out of town this offseason.
Aaron Brooks (HOU)
14 pts, 3 rebs, and 5 asts off the bench, and notably played over Alston down the stretch in the 4th quarter.
Dirk Nowitzki (DAL)
Expect a return to 26+ ppg and a high FG% for Nowitzki now that he has Avery Johnson off his back and he is playing with Jason Kidd in a Princeton styled offense (read: not a Devin Harris Isolation themed offense). Dirk had 36 points tonight on 10-22 shooting and a perfect 14-14 from the line.
Josh Howard (DAL)
Struggled when Kidd came to town but a summer of restructuring the offensive schemes seems to have paid off as Howard finished with 28-11-4 against Ron Artest.
Rafer Alston (HOU)
Rafer had only 3 points (1-6 FG) and 5 assists in 28 minutes as he was outplayed by his backup. Players with off-court problems typically have short leashes so he'll need to pick it up to maintain his job.
Carl Landry (HOU) - 8 pts (3-3 FG), 5 fouls, 8 minutes.
HORNETS 108, SUNS 95
Paul continues his dominance of Steve Nash. Suns shot 54% from the field and only scored 95 points, as they were killed by 24 turnovers.
Chris Paul (NOH)
CP3 continues to play at an MVP level, in case you had doubts about last season. His line read 20-8-10 and he helped force Nash into 7 turnovers.
Morris Peterson (NOH)
21 points in 29 minutes is a good way to make a case for your job. 7-10 from the field and 3-4 from three, he led the Hornets in +/- with +17.
Amare Stoudemire (PHX)
21 and 12 for the new half-court Suns (Amare normally would have grabbed only 8 boards under such cirumstances last year). Failed to block a shot though.
Leandro Barbosa (PHX)
With 2 points (1-6 FG, 0-5 3PT), 0 ast, and 3 TOs off bench, you can bet he misses Mike D'Antoni already.
Steve Nash (PHX)
Yes he had 24 points (9-16 FG) and dished 9 assists, but 7 turnovers helped bury the team (they had 24 turnovers to the Hornets 10).
Hilton Armstrong (NOH)
Started in place of Tyson Chandler, had 3 pts, 3 rebs, 3 blks, 4 fouls in 19 mins.