The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content from around the internet
With their new “big three” of Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo, the Chicago Bulls were one of the more interesting teams to keep an eye on heading into the preseason. After two games, we know few things for sure. But the Bulls have gotten a look at some of their bench, getting contributions from point guard Spencer Dinwiddie and German forward Paul Zipser — who might just be more athletic than originally thought. But questions remain about the starting power-forward job, among others.
Third-year player James Michael McAdoo has a chance to get into the rotation with the Golden State Warriors, but will he take that opportunity? The 6’9″ big man hasn’t provided much in his inconsistent playing time so far in his career, averaging 3.2 points and 1.7 rebounds in 7.1 minutes per game over two seasons. But the young man has some skills, and with frontcourt players such as Kevon Looney and Damian Jones not at full strength, he should get a chance to show whether he’s a real asset moving forward or not.
When the Milwaukee Bucks acquired point guard Michael Carter-Williams, he appeared to be some sort of project for head coach Jason Kidd. After a season-plus for Carter-Williams with the team, the Bucks went out and gave former Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Matthew Dellavedova big money as a free agent. The project appears to be done, and more confirmation came recently in the news that the Bucks had offered Carter-Williams to the Sacramento Kings in return for guard Ben McLemore — which the Kings rebuffed.
New Lakers head coach Luke Walton has spared no time in praising guard Jordan Clarkson’s performance after just a few preseason games. Clarkson has had energy and has performed like the best player on the floor, specifically contributing 15 points and four steals in 19 minutes against the Denver Nuggets. For now, Walton is content to bring Clarkson off the bench with Larry Nance Jr. and Tarik Black to push the tempo and utilize his quickness.
Kelly Oubre Jr. was a mid-first-round pick last season for the Washington Wizards, but didn’t contribute a ton on the floor. The 20-year-old small forward scored 3.7 points in 10.7 minutes per game, and is coming into this season with a lot to prove about how consistent and reliable he can be. Through the first two preseason games, it’s so far, so good for Oubre. He’s averaging 20 points on just 11 shots per game, and he has looked much improved handling the ball. Jack Whitacre of Bullets Forever looks at what it all means, and what it doesn’t.