Smack / Oct 20, 2009 / 5:32 am

Orlando shares the wealth; How good are the OKC Thunder?

Dwight Howard (photo. Mannion)

Dwight Howard (photo. Mannion)

Of course the games don’t count in the standings, and not everybody is going all-out although they’re still getting paid (it’s like Tim Thomas‘ fantasy land), but one of the biggest misconceptions about the NBA preseason is the idea that you can’t learn anything from these exhibitions. If a guy can’t hit a shot in the preseason (e.g. Peja Stojakovic right now), it’s not like he’s going to automatically become more accurate when the games count. And if he’s busting the defense’s ass and making it look easy in the preseason (e.g. Kobe every year), it’s not like he’s going to suddenly turn into a scrub when it matters. Look at the Orlando Magic: They’ve been lighting it up in the preseason with a balanced offense where 6-7 guys are getting significant buckets every night, and guess what? That’s probably not gonna change next week when the regular season starts … Last night seven players cracked double digits in Orlando’s win at Chicago: Dwight Howard had 18 points (10-17 FT) and 10 boards, Ryan Anderson had 18 on four threes, Vince Carter scored 17, Jameer Nelson had 12, Mickael Piertus had 11, and Brandon Bass and Matt Barnes scored 10 apiece … And speaking of things that don’t change, J.J. Redick went 0-for-7 from the field in his 19 minutes off the bench. Serious question: Is this NBA thing ever going to work out for him? Would Redick fit on your favorite team? Is it just a matter of not getting enough PT or what? He was arguably the best shooter on any level not too long ago, but now with Ryan Anderson on the Magic, J.J. isn’t even the best American-born White shooter on his own team … John Salmons led Chicago with 19 points in the loss, and Kirk Hinrich had 18 and three steals. Derrick Rose continues to sit out with that right ankle injury … You know how Rasheed Wallace is one of the only players in the League that can get away with showing up to work looking like a crazy homeless man and nobody would think twice of it? Dwight is one of the only guys who can dance during timeouts and clown around all night and not have to answer questions about how seriously he takes the game … Buckets were also being passed around like club flyers in Houston, where the Rockets 20-pieced the Thunder. Chase Budinger led the way with 17 points and three triples, Trevor Ariza had 16 points and three steals, Carl Landry scored 15, Shane Battier went for 12 on three treys — even shot-blocking/hustle guy Pops Mensah-Bonsu cracked double figures with 13 points. Kevin Durant scored 20 for OKC … We featured the Thunder yesterday in our series of team-by-team season previews. Everything about this team says they’re going to be better this year. KD could lead the League in scoring, Russell Westbrook could make a big leap in his bid to sit in the same class photo with Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Tony Parker and Chauncey Billups in the West, and we can see James Harden having one of those underrated, overlooked rookie years like Eric Gordon that should get some R.O.Y. talk but probably won’t. Or the Thunder could just really stink again. What do you think? … Jeff Teague and Marvin Williams scored 16 apiece to lead the Hawks past the Wizards, while Al Horford added 14 points, six boards and two blocks. Gilbert Arenas (and Mike Miller) sat out with flu symptoms, so Randy Foye got the start at PG and finished with 19 points and six assists … Crazy play from that game: Mike Bibby was trapped outside the three-point line with Mike James all in his shirt, so he threw what looked like a way-too-high wild pass in the vicinity of the basket, apparently without really looking at what he was doing. Then Josh Smith fell out of the rafters and finished the alley-oop with one hand. Of course J-Smoove acted like it was nothing … We’re out like Redick …

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  • Quedas

    Actually, Dwight does have some people criticizing him for not taking the game seriously. But, as a Magic fan, I say let him be what he his. He’s a nice guy, a clown, he likes to laugh. Why should he be any different? He still beasts people day in and day out. Honestly, I don’t think any of his problems have anything to do with lack of intensity.

  • Diego

    Yeah, Orlando is going to be flat out good–just a ton of weapons to come at you.

    Hawks are playing well, with a lot of cohesiveness also. And J. Crawford had some nifty passes last night too.

  • http://luckylester.com luckylester

    “He was arguably the best shooter on any level not too long ago, but now with Ryan Anderson on the Magic, J.J. isn’t even the best American-born White shooter on his own team” hahaha….

    Jeff Teague continues to play very well. Good shot, attacks the basket, passes every once in a while. What happened to him down the stretch last season in college hoops?

    not even the best american-born white shooter… too good, how you can make me laugh at 5:30 am is beyond me, good stuff.

  • http://www.nukedasouth.net Chicagorilla

    @Dime/Smack

    DWade did the “homecoming” thing recently (or at least I just saw it recently) and at the very beginning the interviewer asks him about being from Chicago and all the great lineage of guards from Chicago. Then as he names Isiah, Mark Aguire, and Derrick Rose, DWade’s eyebrows raised and he says something like “Wow, Rose already huh?” So does that seem like some sort of beef or jealousy from DWade? Because if I’m Derrick Rose, I take that shit personally. I guarantee Michael Jordan would use that as motivation to burn Wade every time he played him.

    It only concerns me, because I thought we (Chicago) had a great chance at snatching Wade this summer, but it’s looking like he’s out like the Olympics in Chicago.

  • http://www.nukedasouth.net Chicagorilla

    @Smack

    Also as much as a LOOOOOVVVVEEE to see JJ Reddick getting shitted on, that line about him not being the “Best white American born shooter” is just racist man. You guys wouldn’t say “Tracy McGrady isn’t even the best American born Black scorer on his on team”.

  • IGP

    I think Wade is just saying that Rose is only a 2nd year player and you can’t really put him in the same class as those other guys (not yet)

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/slamonline-top-50/2009/10/top-50-carmelo-anthony-no-7/ Mr. TKO

    @gorilla

    I think that was them being funny, Showing how badly JJ has deteriorated. He went from being the best Shooter, to the best American shooter (Turk), to best white shooter (Pietrus, VC maybe ?) to not even being the best american born white shooter. Basically, there is no longer any way a delusional fan can call him the best shooter without sounding completely crazy anymore.

    Hopefully I explained that clearly ( I doubt it) plus I’m not a Big magic fan so I don’t know the roster in and out like I do some of my teams.

    Just relax and enjoy Dinme, no need to manufacture hate/racism where none belongs.

  • karizmatic

    I don’t think the Thunder are going to suck. As was said in the article they have a lot of very nice young pieces. In a year they could be the new Portland Trailblazers, young and dangerous. And they really should rename the preaseason the Tim Thomas Preseason…..they could even give a Tim Thomas MVP for the best player in the preseason. lol.

  • rangerjohn

    TKO maybe a misread your post but when did pietrus and VC become white? did i miss something.

    i sorta agree with chicagorilla, i mean would a white guy get away with saying delonte west is the best american born black guy to carry ridiculous guns on his trike since…. well since ever i guess.

    or kg is the best REALLY BLACK guy in the league?

    hell no, those would be racist, kinda funny, but racist none the less.

  • Gunner J. Matthews

    With their rotation of reliable big men, I actually think Houston can pull out a 5th or 6th seed at best

  • schoops

    The whole black/white label of a player isnt racist, but it’s certainly unnecessary. JJ would blow if he was a purple alien. JJ’s shitty game is color neutral.

  • Diego

    @ touchy white folks: This American-born white guy didn’t have problem with Dime Reddick crack. Bottom line is there just has been a clear demise of talented American-born white guys in the league in the last decade or 2, and there just aren’t that many good such players these days. White guys can play hoops, but it seems like unarguably most of such top guys these days are non-U.S. players: Nowitzki, Okur, Turkaglu, most of the rest of Toronto’s team (just joking), Peja, Ginobli, Nash, etc.

    Twenty years ago or so so you had guys like Bird, McHale, Mullen, Lambeer, Mark Price, Skiles, Tom Chambers, etc.

  • That’s whats up

    I kinda like racisim.
    Let it fly, but evenly, over all races

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/slamonline-top-50/2009/10/top-50-carmelo-anthony-no-7/ Mr. TKO

    @rangerjohn

    I wasn’t saying that VC and Pietrus were white, I’m saying that when they got to the team, reddick couldn’t claim to be the best American born shooter any more, he could only claim to be the best White american born shooter, and then once Ryan Anderson got there he couldn’t even claim that anymore

    So basically he started as Best Shooter, then Turk dropped him down to best American born shooter, then VC and Pietrus (maybe?) took that title away from him which dropped him to best white American born shooter and now that Ryan Anderson is there he can’t even claim that anymore.

    I don’t see it as a racism thing, I just see it as showing how pathetic JJ Reddick’s life has become since college.

  • Irishballer

    @ chicago gorilla

    they said that to distinguish between white American people and white Europeans, Canadians, etc, since when people think best white player in the NBA, they think of Dirk, Nash, Hedo… all of whom aren’t American born

  • Ekstor

    TKO is right on… the statement about JJ makes its point b/c there simply aren’t a lot of white guys in the league, let alone American-born ones. So to go from being “one of the best shooters period” to not even being the best shooter within a very small minority on a single team goes to show just how far JJ has fallen.

    No need to manufacture something that wasn’t there!

  • http://www.petsocietyhelp.com Pet Society Help

    Great White Hope NBA players

    David Lee
    Wally Szczerbiak
    Matt Bonner
    Luke Walton
    Luke Ridnour
    J.J. Reddick
    Adam Morrison
    Jason Kapona
    Chris Anderson
    Chris Kaman
    Mike Miller
    Nick Collison
    Kyle Korver
    Brian Scalabrine

    Fill in if any missing

  • sh!tfaced

    The American-born white shooter comment is just showing how much JJ’s game has sucked now since college.

    Gotta love Smack shitting on Duke players…

  • Diego

    He’s way past his prime, but “White” chocolate! ;-)

  • sh!tfaced

    The best Great White Hope is German…

  • sh!tfaced

    …and Canadian, a few years back

  • KCL

    Stop hyping up the shitty thunder, maybe Durant will lead the league in scoring but theres no way they get to 30 wins. Westbrook is legit but i doubt he’ll ever be at Paul, Williams, Parker level, he’ll level out around Rondo level. Jeff Green is totally overated anyone notice when he does have big nights its against shitty competition? nobody seems to notice they don’t have a big man and we all know theres no winning in the NBA without a good big man.

  • Bron42 aka Had Springs before Slamball

    I love when white people try to hype up reverse racism, they reach sooooo hard for anything lol. But ya, if someone said “tmac isn’t even the best black shooter on his team” and he had like ray allen on his team, ya no one would give a shit cuz it would be right. Same goes for JJ…a while ago he was the best shooter in the world (although my boy forrest fisher would disagree) and people were sayin how him bein unathletic wouldn’t matter. Now he can’t throw a rock in a ocean. Its the same as if someone said “so and so is the best white dunker” its not racist. I mean its not even really a negative thing lol People bitch about this meanwhile we got people refusing to marry interracial couples….america..

  • Bron42 aka Had Springs before Slamball

    @pet, wow thats a rough list, most of those guys arent even good rotational players.and if your gonna put scalabrine or kapono you gotta add guys like ryan anderson, bum ass joe alexander, etc…

  • Notorious

    Well it took until Comment #23, but we finally got our first racist remark. Nice job with a stereotype Bron42, way to put your ignorance on full blast for all to say.

    @Dime, no offense taken at all. I took it as the joke it was, nothing more until Chico’s dumb ass tried to twist it all up. Dime used “White” as a catergory, who is the better white shooter? Nothing wrong with that, it was simply listing the criteria. Now had they gone Bron42 and used some ignorant stereotype then it would have been a racist remark. But they did not, again simply defining the criteria for the argument.

    Is it racist if two white guys debate the hottest “black” female movie star or R&B singer? No, it is simply the criteria for the arguement. Mature, grown ass men can debate things involving white and black without crossing the line into stereotypes, and racist remarks.

    Man, there is some ignorant mo-fo’s on this board. I feel sorry for people who are that freaking stupid.

  • Sacto_J

    @17 – you forgot Brad Miller, Spencer Hawes, Kevin love and Steve Blake….

  • Sacto_J

    Sorry, but you also HAVE to include AND1′s “the Professor”…Handles!

  • Bron42 aka Had Springs before Slamball

    @notorious, what? lol first off, i’m black, second what did I say that was racist? the tmac part? the best white dunker part? could you please be more specific when your sayin something like that? What was a stereotype? and on top of that theres a hugeeee difference between stereotyping and being racist. Saying most black people have brown eyes, is that being racist? no….

    @sacto, were talking real ball players,cuz theres alot of white street ball players who can dribble.

  • Da_Griff

    @pet society help

    Well done, you’ve made a list of roleplayers. There’s a few stars that go around too.

    Dirk Diggler & Nash both come to mind. Both are MVP’s.

    There’s more black players than white players because basketball is huge part of black american culture.

    The reverse of this is ice hockey, where nearly everyone is white.

    It’s just numbers.

  • Ekstor

    I assume Pet Society’s list was with regards to white players who are American born, which would explain the exclusion of players like Dirk, Nash, Peja, etc.

  • Ekstor

    @Bron42,

    I’m pretty sure Notorious was referring to your opening line “I love when white people try to hype up reverse racism, they reach soooo hard for anything…”

  • Bron42 aka Had Springs before Slamball

    @ekstor, that’s not ever close to racist lol but ok let’s go with it. Read any news paper article forum and that is all u see. When the uconn cb someone actually put “maybe he was talking to a white cheerleader and deserved it” THATS racist. Me sayin alot of white people cry revrse racism is just a empty statement. Nothing rude about it, do putting anyone down. He’ll you had people trying to reach and compare Jamie foxx tellin Miley Cyrus to just make a sex tape already after she “accidently leaked” naked pics of herself on the net, to don imus randomly going after the rutgers girls. That’s what I meant by they reach. Reverse racism is me saying screw u ur white don’t come in my store.

    P.s: alot of white guys in the NBA are role players. And you can’t compare it to hockey since there’s a tooooooonnnnnn of white college ball players who just aren’t good enough. There’s not a ton of black college hockey players or swimmers who just suck. Were either good at it or don’t play those sports lol most white American born players don’t cut it after college cuz their usually not athletic enough

  • http://yahoo.com john grizz

    The truth hurts but hey I didn’t c n e thing wrong with the comment , p.s. I’m spanish dominican only like 3 in the nba charlie velenuva francsco garcia. N I forgot the third we need more spanish cats

  • Da_Griff

    @Bron42

    Like swimming?

  • http://www.facebook.com/premiofoods?v=wall Janney

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  • Bron42 aka Had Springs before Slamball

    @griff, I said swimming but again it’s different. The NBA ratio of black to white isn’t just cuz bball is black culture lol tons of white guys play in high school and college but don’t cut it as pros. Swimming like hockey is different since ur prolly not gonna find a bunch of black guys on college swim teams who just can’t cut it in the olympics or something. Minorities don’t play hockey therefore it’s a Canadian/white dominant sport. You can’t say the same about whites playing basketball because they do. Nothing wrong with it though. Some people here just need tougher skin to understand comments before crying foul

  • Notorious

    @Bron42 aka Was Ignorant before Internet

    Ekstor was exactly right with the statement you made I had an issue with. If I were to be as ignortant as you and make a statement about black people as a whole that was incorrect it would be racist. News flash, racism and stereotyping are not mutually exclusive, a statement can be both at the same time.

    Found it funny how you changed your words in your following responses from “white people…” to “A LOT of white people…” big difference, glad you owned up to your behavior and tweaked it moving forward. It is extremely ignorant to make claims based on entire race. Every race has good people and idiots, just because one white person does something or says something, doesn’t mean ALL white people follow suit.

    If you wanted the statement to be empty, then attach “some” or “a few” or even “most” to your statement. By not attaching those words you stereotyped the entire white race under your statement which was as wrong as it was ignorant.

    And I never cried foul about the JJ comment, in fact I did the opposite and defended Dime for the funny joke it was. Go talk to Chico, he started the whole non-issue and tried to turn into an issue.

  • http://www.nukedasouth.net Chicagorilla

    You idiots. I don’t care about reverse racism. I just thought it was inappropriate. I’m black myself, and I thought it was funny since i personally hate duke and JJ, but there are so many other things you can pick on with JJ outside of him being white.

  • Dean

    To post #4.

    You just don’t add Rose to those other names after just 1yr. in the league. Rose will never burn Wade, NEVER. Even Rose himself would say I shouldn’t be included with those guys…yet! ONe day, perhaps.

  • chief youngblood

    HOLY SHIT i just read this a guess a few days late , and people are upset , lot of emotions flying around out their on the internet. My race will remain anonymous and No i would not like JJ Redick near my team . Adam Morrison though , shit yeah i’ll take him .ship the conundrum down to the N.O . i’m tired of looking at peja’s broke ass anyway .