If this is the beginning of a trend, we’ll have to adjust that projected number of wins we had for the Memphis Grizzlies ceiling this year. When Allen Iverson sat out the first preseason game with a “sore hamstring,” we figured that was just NBA code for “I’m a 14-year vet, f*** a preseason.” As it turns out, A.I. really is banged up and will be sidelined for three weeks with a partially torn hammy. There’s a slight chance he could be back by the real opener, when the Grizzlies host the Pistons in what was going to be their biggest regular season game in maybe ever … Memphis beat the Thunder in last night’s exhibition, getting 22 points (13-16 FT) from rookie Sam Young and 18 points from Rudy Gay. Staying out of foul trouble this time, Hasheem Thabeet had six points, seven boards and one block in 23 minutes. Kevin Durant led OKC with 17 points, and James Harden scored 12 but went 1-for-6 from three … Forget the Dodgers in L.A.: Kobe and the defending champs made their preseason debut last night, and Mamba gave the Warriors 22 points, nine boards and three steals in only 25 minutes. Ron Artest would’ve had a triple-double in a regular game, as he went for 12 points, nine boards, seven assists and two steals in only 23 minutes. The lesson? Golden State will probably stink again … Oh, and Monta Ellis hurt his ankle in the first quarter when he stepped on a camera man. After the moped and now this, is it possible a world-class athlete like Monta is just clumsy? … Is there a more explosive second-unit backcourt than Will Bynum and Ben Gordon? They were getting BUCKETS on the Bucks yesterday, as Bynum scored 23 points (12-12 FT) to go with six dimes and two steals, and Gordon notched 24 points and four threes. As for the starters, Rodney Stuckey dropped 21 points, and Rip Hamilton had just four points while picking up five fouls in 20 minutes. Brandon Jennings (18 pts, 6 asts) did have six steals to his credit, but even Bucks coach Scott Skiles admitted Bynum was eating Jennings up off the dribble … Kevin Garnett made his preseason debut, putting up six points, five boards and two steals in just 13 minutes against Houston. None of the Celtics’ starters played more than 18 minutes in the loss, and the team’s leading scorer was none other than Mike Sweetney (10 pts). If the Celts hired Bob and Jillian from “The Biggest Loser” as special assistants, it might be worth keeping Sweetney on the 12-man roster … Aaron Brooks scored 21 for the Rockets, while Trevor Ariza shot 1-for-11 from the field. FYI, Chuck Hayes started at center … Dwight Howard put up 11 points, nine boards and five blocks in a little over one half of work against Miami, and Vince Carter shot 2-for-11 in an Orlando win. D-Wade scored 17, while James Jones made a strong move in his effort to take the starting SF job away from Michael Beasley, dropping 16 points and hitting all three of his triples to go with three steals … Jeff Teague led ATL with 19 points and Joe Johnson scored 17 in their win over New Orleans, while Chris Paul put up 20 and seven assists. Mo Pete started at SG for N.O. and didn’t do much of anything, and although Julian Wright (13 pts, 6 rebs) looked good starting at SF, Peja Stojakovic struggled (1-8 FG) in his first game coming off the bench … Greg Oden had his second straight solid game, giving the Kings 20 points and 12 boards. Tyreke Evans scored 14 but had six turnovers in the loss, and Kevin Martin dropped 28 points … Elton Brand had 10 points and six boards in Philly’s win over Toronto, while Jrue Holiday scored eight off the bench, and DeMar DeRozan scored nine for Toronto. For the moment, DeRozan is taking the injured Hedo Turkoglu‘s place at small forward, while Marco Belinelli is starting at two-guard. When Hedo gets back, would you move DeRozan to the two, keep Belinelli there, or go with Antoine Wright? … The feel-good vibe in Cleveland following LeBron and Shaq‘s successful preseason debut together — and the extra glee from Browns fans after their team got rid of LBJ nemesis Braylon Edwards — took a big hit when Delonte West left the Cavs on an indefinite leave of absence to deal with his personal issues. ‘Bron and the rest of the team have been saying all the right things, and their concern and love for Delonte is genuine, but if he becomes too much of a distraction, he can’t be allowed to derail a potential championship team … We’re out like A.I. …
Smack / Oct 8, 2009 / 3:52 am
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