NBA preseason wrap up

Luke Hammett, Staff

It’s just around a week from the start of the NBA season which means we’re in the midst of the preseason. Each team is battling on a nightly basis getting back into the groove for the start of high level play. With every roster filled with at least 15 guys, fans are seeing a lot of basketball played by a lot of players.

The preseason has been a great avenue for NBA on-lookers to get a sneak peek of what we’ll see this upcoming regular season. Teams like the Knicks and Warriors have been showing their fans what their new squad will look like, and play like. The rookies on each of these teams are exciting the league with promising play and steady performances.

The Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets sit on top of the leader board after a 5-1 start, a pretty good prerequisite to the 2016-2017 season.

Cascade’s own Mr.Puckett gave some insight on the Houston Rockets this year. “’Contenders are tough because most people are positive there are only two true title contenders in the Warriors & Cavs. That being said, the Houston Rockets are going to score a ton of points and win between 45-50 games thanks to a new coach in Mike D’Antoni and my personal MVP sleeper pick in James Harden.”

Some other notable teams are the Memphis Grizzlies and the Minnesota Timberwolves, as each team has gone 4-2 and are near the top of the all-conference leader boards.

The rookies this preseason are an exciting story to watch unfold, like Brandon Ingram coming in at pick number two, Jaylen Brown with the Celtics, Kris Dunn on the Timberwolves, and Buddy Hield on the Pelicans. All these names have meaning to their franchise as an elite rookie player can have a big impact and can change a franchise years down the road.

Mr.Puckett gave his opinion on this year’s rookie class saying “Brandon Ingram from Duke is showing the skills of a modern NBA big man for the Lakers. He has a nice handle and can shoot from all over the floor. The quiet rookie who could put up nice numbers this season, though, is Dario Saric in Philadelphia. He’ll have plenty of opportunity to play and fill the stat sheet in all categories.”

Buddy Hield is leading the rookie class in points per game in the preseason, tallying up 12.5 a game. His sharp shooting and athleticism could see him winning Rookie of the Year if he can score 15 plus a game.

Some teams are looking hot in the early months of the season, but not every team is as good now as they were last year. The Oklahoma City Thunder, after losing two-time MVP and four-time scoring champion, Kevin Durant, have had a mediocre preseason. Right now they sit with three wins and four losses. Even with superstar Russell Westbrook, OKC is still struggling. The introduction of Victor Oladipo has helped tend to the loss of Durant, but he alone can’t fill this gap.

The Miami Heat took a big blow this offseason. After losing Dwayne Wade in free agency after he signed with the Bulls and Chris Bosh being out indefinitely with blood clotting issues, Miami lost their two best players. This means all of that lost scoring will fall directly onto Hassan Whiteside’s shoulders. Young pieces in Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson will ease the burden somewhat and can improve this season to help Miami even more in the future.

All in all this year has been interesting to watch and speculate. After an off-season where new faces arrive in different cities, it’s fun for fans to watch everything unfold. If you don’t like that then you don’t like NBA basketball. Cheers to this coming season and good luck to all of the teams!