The Preseason So Far

One reason I cut off the training camp invite series was that, well, they're playing the games already. So instead, I thought it would be good to take a look at some past and future D-Leaguers who are performing well in the preseason (or, occasionally, maybe, not performing well). I'll probably start this as a daily feature, and knowing me, it will last a week. But still, what a week it will be. I have some catching up to do today, but hopefully enough guys will get playing time from here on out so that I'll have stuff to write about.

J.R. Giddens

Giddens has a guaranteed contract, but he's spent a fair amount of time in the D-League so he's technically one of "our guys." Gidden's biggest asset as a guard is his rebounding, and last night against the Nets he had 13 rebounds in 33 minutes. He's had turnover problems in the past, and his three certainly aren't great, but the Celtics have done a good job of maximizing Rajon Rondo's strengths and minimizing his weaknesses, so perhaps they can do the same for Giddens. They have enough perimeter-shooting big men that a guard who plays closer to the rim isn't as much of a detriment as it might be on other teams.

Sonny Weems

Weems has dealt with some minor injuries this preseason, but he's been starting, and in less than ten minutes against the Wizards he had four points on 2-3 shooting, six rebounds, an assist and zero turnovers. He preceded that with a 27 minute, 5-7 shooting, six assist, two rebound, one assist, one steal and one turnover performance against Minnesota. As I told Romy over at Hip Hoop Junkies (yes, you too can e-mail for a quote to put on your blog!), Weems is a talented guy and one who Denver liked, so while it's been a little surprising how much he's been traded around this offseason, he should be able to stick with the Raptors.

Alexis Ajinca

The man who just needed more playing time and got it in the D-League finished with an excellent line against the Cavaliers, with 15 points on 7-11 shooting, seven rebounds and two blocks in just under 19 minutes. The two turnovers and -7 overall aren't great, and he didn't shoot the ball very efficiently in his first game (though he also had four rebounds in 11 minutes), but things are looking up after last season.

John Lucas

The guy who should (emphasis on should, which unfortunately isn't close enough to will) be at least Miami's third point guard played well on Sunday, finishing with 10 points on 4-6 shooting, five assists, three rebounds and only one turnover in just under 23 minutes.

Rod Benson

The man who's (sort of) back scored seven points and grabbed four rebounds in nine minutes on Saturday. The best part of his scoring output is that he did most of his damage at the line, making three of his five shots there. Sure that percentage could improve, but the fact that he's getting the ball inside (most likely) and being decisive with it can only lead to good things.

Hamed Haddadi

Offense isn't really Haddadi's strong suit, but his four rebounds in seven minutes against Orlando on Monday is goooood eatin', especially as it came paired with only one foul. If he can keep that kind of production up, and not his four points, five fouls, two rebounds and two turnovers that came a few days ago, he'll be in pretty good shape.

Mickael Gelabale

He's already been cut, but I just want to briefly recognize Gelabale's scoring ability. Six points on 2-3 shooting in six minutes? What more could you people want from him?

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