It’s the preseason and you know what means? It’s also overreaction season!
With opening night just days away, let’s look at some of the outlandish takes to come out of exhibition play.
What better place than to start with one of the championship contenders.
It’s time to panic about the Lakers!
The Los Angeles Lakers ended preseason play 0-6.They were 0-2 in games where the big three of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook took the floor.
The offence was clunky, Russell Westbrook finished the preseason with 20 assists to 23 turnovers and 14-for-40 overall shooting. The defence gave up an average of 118.5 points.
The last time Los Angeles entered the regular season in this fashion was back in 2012-13 with an 0-7 mark. That year the Lakers added Dwight Howard and Steve Nash and never quite got going.
“I’ve been in the league 13 years, I don’t know my preseason record for any of those years,” said Westbrook.
He’s right, preseason record means nothing. The Lakers are going to be a work in progress but from now on, every loss is meaningful in the standings.
The Bulls aren’t that bad defensively!
The new-look Chicago Bulls gave up just over 96 points per game in the preseason. With defence like that, it’s hardly a shock they went undefeated in four outings.
Is this the proof Bulls fans need to push back on the idea they will be one of the worst defences in the league? Hold on just a second…
Two of the four matchups came against Cleveland, owners of the third last offence in the league in 2020-21. In one of those matchups, Cleveland’s starting backcourt and primary source of scoring in Collin Sexton and Darius Garland were in street clothes.
One of those matchups came against a New Orleans Pelicans team without Zion Williamson or Brandon Ingram.
The final matchup came against a Grizzlies team that finished 15th in offensive rating last season. Dead average. We might need to see a little more from this Chicago defence before we celebrate too early…
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s jump shot has arrived!
Anyone watching Giannis Antetokounmpo during preseason has walked away wondering one thing….has he come back for 2021-22 with a jump shot?
The Finals MVP has looked incredible across three outings, knocking down jumpshots left and right, both from long range and in between.
Triples in transition, step back midrangers, turnaround fades, he’s shown the whole package.
“I’m just making good decisions. There’s going to be days where it might look like I have a lot of confidence but there will be days where I don’t make those shots and it looks like I don’t have confidence. All I care about is good decisions. If you’re open, you shoot it.”
The rest of the league will be hoping there are more bad days than good, but sheesh it would be scary if it’s not the case.
Jordan Poole is the Klay replacement!
With Klay Thompson hoping to make his return to the floor sometime before the turn of the new year, the Golden State Warriors are going to have to fill his expected spot in the rotation until that time comes.
The buzz around Jordan Poole has been steadily growing over the offseason, with an eye-opening preseason campaign doing nothing to slow down the momentum.
Averaging 21.8 points per game over five preseason performances, the 22-year-old has many wondering if he can fill the void of Thompson as the Warriors tip-off what they hope will be a season the franchise can surge back into title contention.
One thing Poole has in common with Thompson is his willingness to let it fly. The third-year guard launched 44 attempts from long range in those five appearances, finishing with a 16-for-44 (36.6 percent) mark.
Poole looks like he’ll be a genuine contributor on this Warriors team and a valid scoring option until Thompson can hopefully make a healthy return. I do just get a little uncomfortable with any comparison to one of the greatest shooters to ever play the game.