The NBA preseason is almost always sort of all sorts of funky results and lines in the box score, but that figured to change this season due to the truncated exhibition schedule caused by the NBA lockout. Tuesday night still allowed for a pleasant surprise, however, as Dallas Mavericks camp invitee Jerome Randle burst on to the scene with 17 points to lead all scorers in the Dallas Mavericks loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Randle's performance was far from flawless as he worked his way into traffic only to get swatted on three of his first four shot attempts and had a few sloppy turnovers to boot. The Mavericks have shown they're okay with taking a bit of bad with the good, however, as shown over the past few seasons with fellow waterbug guard J.J. Barea.
Like Barea, who has moved on to a lucrative contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Randle is a small and fearless guard that seems to be at his best when he's just told to do whatever it takes to make shots. It might not always be pretty, but he's shown the ability to get the job done one-on-one at the hoop and can knock down the open jumpers afforded to him by defenses afraid of his speed.
The most interesting part of Randle's performance on Tuesday night was that he was best while playing off the ball while fellow training camp invite Drew Neitzel handled the primary point guard duties. It came mostly in garbage time (but isn't all of preseason, in effect, garbage time?), but it may have been part of the Mavericks plan to see if he can be a sort of poor man's Barea who's game they can refine while playing in the D-League with their Texas Legends.
Speaking of the Legends, Del Harris will get a solid infusion into his lineup on Wednesday night against Eric Musselman and the Los Angeles D-Fenders as Randle, Neitzel and new signee Sean Williams are expected to be in the D-League lineup as the Mavericks decide what to do as far as training camp cuts are concerned.
And now, for those that read all of that, a brief rundown of the rest of Tuesday night's NBA preseason as far as camp invites were concerned:
Chris Wright had a solid showing for the Golden State Warriors, making the most of his 11 minutes of playing time with six points, three rebounds, two steals and two blocks while on a call-up from the Maine Red Claws ... Julyan Stone, a rookie free agent in camp with the Denver Nuggets, showed his all-around abilities with five points, four rebounds, four assists and a block in one quarter of action ... Erie BayHawks guard Cory Higgins scored four points and turned the ball over three times in the Nuggets victory ... DeMarre Carroll scored six points in seven minutes as he looks to make his contract with the Nuggets guaranteed ... Drew Neitzel had seven points and two assists while being a +18 in his 15 minutes of playing time for the Mavericks ...
As far as the players that probably didn't do enough to catch any eyes on Tuesday night?
Ryan Reid failed to make much of an impression on the team that drafted him with three points in three minutes while on a call-up from the Tulsa 66ers ... former D-League forward Marcus Landry went 0-for-2 in four minutes off the bench for the Phoenix Suns ... Matt Rogers, Tyren Johnson and Jarrid Famous all failed to score any points in their eight minutes of combined action for the Indiana Pacers, but the Texas Legends' Rogers did record two rebounds and a block ... undrafted free agent Xavier Silas played five seconds without doing anything in a Philadelphia 76ers win.
Lawrence Hill, Adrian Oliver, Tommy Mitchell, Edwin Ubiles, Michael Ruffin, Darnell Lazare, Walker Russell, Brian Hamilton, Jake Voskuhl, Kenny Hayes, Mychel Thompson, Larry Owens, Mike Wilks, Antonio Anderson, Dwayne Jones and Mike Tisdale were all held out as DNP-Coaches Decisions on Tuesday night.