Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Players to watch (based on preseason)

Gilbert Arenas
Obviously we all will have our eyes on Agent Zero in his comeback from multiple injuries that have robbed the last two years from him. What we may see is a player more focused on distributing than scoring, which plays against his former strengths. He should also be considerably less aggressive and athletic to avoid further injuries.

Arenas Preseason Stats
14.7 ppg
1.3 rpg (0.0 offensive)
6.5 apg
0.8 spg
0.3 bpg
4.0 tpg
.482 FG%
.375 3PT%
.684 FT%
24.8 mpg

Arenas rebound and steal numbers are way down, and they may not be coming back. His assists are up, but this is dampened by his turnover rate (4 turnovers in 25 mpg?). On the bright side, his shooting percentages are spot on, and they'll need to be since leading scorer Antawn Jamison will miss at least the first month of the season.

Mike Bibby
Bibby averaged only 6.0 ppg and 2.6 apg during preseason (19 mpg). He started last season hot before cooling down after the all-star break, so it looks like a slight decline could be in order.

Omri Casspi
51 rated rookie averaged 11.7 ppg during preseason and could easily be the starting SF in Sacramento. His competition is 32 year old Desmond Mason. I wish I were making this up.

DeJuan Blair
You all know the deal - Blair had a monster preseason and made all the teams that passed him up look foolish. 13.9 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.8 spg, .579 FG% and did all this in only 17.9 mpg. The regular season is another story but it will be very interesting to see the transition.

Manu Ginobili
The 83 rated star averaged only 6 points off the bench on 30% shooting. He could fall quickly, though he did chip in 3 assists and a steal in only 19 mpg.

Tayshaun Prince
Averaged only 4 points (25% shooting!) and 2 boards in preseason, as he struggled to fit into the uptempo offense.

Greg Oden
Led the Blazers in points, rebounds, and blocks. Joel Przybilla is supposedly going to start over him, but hopefully Oden's play makes it impossible for Nate McMillan to keep him out of the starting lineup.

Andrew Bynum
Averaged 20 points in the absence of Pau Gasol. Lakers would just be happy if he stayed healthy, but an improved Bynum to boot would seem to put the championship in the bank.

Derek Fisher
Was thoroughly outplayed by Jordan Farmar this preseason, and is 35 years old. Will he (finally) be relegated to bench duty?

Anthony Morrow
22 points per game. 58% from the field. 52% from the 3pt arc. 96% from the line. Anthony Morrow did this. Anthony Morrow is only 60 overall and the 2K Insider doesn't even have him on the Warriors active roster.

Ersan Ilyasova
Averaged 10 points, 3 boards, and shot 48% on threes (13-27). Could start at either SF or PF, and he's only 55 overall.

Chris Douglas-Roberts
Averaged 18 points, 4 boards, and 2 assists (albeit in 34 mins). At the very least the Nets won't miss Vince Carter nearly as much as the analysts think.

Marcus Thornton
Outplayed Morris Peterson and Devin Brown, which means he could start at SG before long. I wonder how much Chris Paul misses Rasual Butler?

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