Archive for October 5th, 2008

Preseason kicks off tonight

The 2008-09 NBA preseason kicks off tonight, with the Pistons and Heat at 6:30 p.m. ET, thenby the Warriors and Hornets at 7:00 p.m. ET.

In preseason, stars play very few minutes, and the games are often pretty ugly.

The Pistons, according to both local Detroit newspapers, will now start Amir Johnson at power forward. Antonio McDyess will come off the bench. The Heat are worth watching to see how Michael Beasley looks. As for the Warriors, watch CJ Watson, who gets increased minutes with Monta Ellis out.

There are two Monday games as well, with the Hawks and Magic, then the Wolves and Bucks.

Things really kick off on Tuesday, October 7, with five games. There are nine Wednesday matchups.

I write this from Holland, where I’ve spent the last week. In a few days I finally return home to New York City, and a day later InsideHoops.com kicks into overdrive with nonstop season previews and a dozen or so updates per day.

PG Jason Williams brought the fun

The Sacramento Bee (Scott Howard-Cooper) reports on now retired point guard Jason Williams: “He really has a little bit of a unique place in the history of the NBA, I think,” Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie said, “in the sense that his rookie year and into his second year, he kind of came out of nowhere at a time when the league was coming out of the lockout and sort of struggling with its style of play and just trying to regain some of the footing it had lost at that time. And here was this kid that had these incredible dribbling and passing skills and sort of pedal-to-the-metal attitude about the game. He just caught the imagination of the entire country, along with the rest of our team. “It really helped the NBA. It really helped this franchise, along with a lot of other terrific players, too. He became the darling of ESPN highlights just about every night. I’ve told this to other people: There was a time there, probably for about a year or so, other than Michael Jordan, he was the most popular basketball player in America because of this flamboyant style he had.”

Pistons PF starter is Amir Johnson

The Detroit News (Chris McCosky) reports: Calling him a “welcome addition,” coach Michael Curry made official Saturday what he’s long been hinting at — Amir Johnson, as of now, is the Pistons’ starting power forward. “Amir does things without having to have the ball,” Curry said. “He’s able to pick up baskets through his activity, by running the floor and playing off the other four guys. He does all the intangible things, and through that he’s able to create offensive opportunities for himself.” How long Johnson holds onto the spot is completely up to him.

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