Heads Up: Training Camp Week 2 Review
Oh yeah, it's that time again. Time to look back over the week that was and move the heads up and down the scales like some kind of voodoo stalker freak. These thoughts may be a little scattered because the Saints game is on right now. Not my fault. Here goes…
Armstrong had an NBA debut nightmare against the Mavs last Tuesday, getting crossed up all nasty like by Josh Howard and falling on his ass, then hurting his ribs (or his back?) somehow and having to sit out. When it was over, his line looked like this: 0 shots, 0 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal, 1 foul. Nice to see the kid bounce back against Orlando though, taking advantage of Tyson Chandler's misfortune to score 10 points (4-of-5 shooting), grab 3 boards and swat 2 shots, one of which belonged to the beast known as Dwight Howard. So, we'll keep Hilton on the high side of the scale for now.
B-Squared went the opposite route, playing great against the Mavs (8pts, 8rebs, 2 blks in 24 minutes), then kinda sucking against zee Magics (2pts, 1-of-4 shooting, 1 reb in 15 minutes). Will we ever see Armstrong and Bass play well in the same game? Given the abundance of evidence to the contrary, I think not.
Nobody was talking about Rasual Butler last week, now they won't shut up about him. He's scored 11 points in 40 minutes thus far in the preseason, and has yet to knock down a three-pointer on three attempts. That's not the best news ever seeing as how his job description is to score points by knocking down three-pointers. Still, it's the preseason, Butler's a veteran. Let's not step in front of a truck just yet.
Chandler's critics will tell you he can't score, he can't stay out of foul trouble, and he's always injured. A week deep in the preseason, with 4 points, 6 fouls and a swollen ankle to his name, Chandler has done little to prove them wrong.
Flores has played about 18 minutes total thus far in the preseason, dishing out 6 assists as opposed to a pair of turnovers. His shooting has been suspect, however, as he's made just 1-of-6 from the field.
Jackson's been playing mostly shooting guard thus far, filling in for Stojakovic. Byron Scott hasn't given him as much burn as you might think (17mpg), but that hasn't stopped Jackson from getting his shots up. It's all good, because that's what he's there for, but he needs to improve on his 4-of-12 performance thus far.
The bad news is that Jackson looks to be out for the entire preseason after re-aggravating his strained left hamstring in last Wednesday's practice. The good news is that Hitlon Armstrong gets more time to get his shit together, and Marc gets more time to spend with his horses. Because you know he loves those horses.
You can't really fault LJ's perfromance thus far. He kicked ass to the tune of 12 points, 7 rebounds and a blocked shot in Tuesday's opener, then delivered 2 points and 8 boards as an encore against Orlando. Nobody was really expecting anything from Johnson, so everything he gives us is a bonus. I'm high on this guy right now.
Mason is still struggling with his shooting. He scored 16 points against Orlando, but the majority of those came from either the free throw line or the low block. Sure, points are points, but rumor had it that Mason had ditched that hitch and was sporting a smoother stroke this season. I've yet to see the results.
If my first name was Cornelius, I'd probably want to be known as Scooter, too. Anyways, Scooter didn't stand out much in the two games this week. He's scored 6 points on .500 shooting, but his 3 turnovers in the last 4 minutes of the Orlando game hardly inspires confidence.
As you'd expect from Pargo, he's been a little all over the place. He's taking quick shots one minute, finding the open man the next. He'll pick a pocket on defense, then turn the ball over at the other end. So far he's playing 20 minutes a night, which is probably more than he'll get in the regular season.
2 games, 14 points, 15 assists, 5 turnovers. The numbers aren't exactly jaw-dropping, but neither is your girlfriend.
Like a lot of dudes on the roster, Simmons has seen some ups and downs the past week. He managed 4 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks in 18 minutes against Dallas, but shot just 2-of-8 and threw up a bad idea in the crunch that gave the Mavs a chance to tie. His second outing was more steady: 5 points (2-of-2 FGs), 5 rebounds, a block and a steal in 16 minutes. He's probably exceeding expectations so far.
Still injured. But I don't really care because Joe Horn just caught one in the end zone.
Quiznos got his first taste of NBA action on Friday and struggled for the majority of his 18 minutes. If that performance is anything to go by, we shouldn't expect much from the Brazilian this season.
If David West has been holding back in the preseason, the rest of the NBA better watch out. He's knocking down jumpers like Glen Rice in '97, shooting 13-of-19 from the field thus far, and even wetting a triple against the Magic on Friday. We'll probably see his rebounding dip this season because the dude seems focused on scoring as much as possible, but that should be nothing but good so long as guys like Johnson, Bass and the rooks are cleaning the glass. DX did of course leave that game against Orlando with an ankle sprain, but he should be back sinking jumpers at Miami on Tuesday.
So, the conclusion bit: Two weeks in and the Hornets are not quite the healthy bunch anymore, with hamstrings and ankles causing all sorts of problems. I figure if they just stretch those parts some more before practice and games, problem solved. No?
Saints still up 10-0. Back after the game with some shizzle.