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 kicks into overdrive with nonstop season previews and a dozen or so updates per day.