Sports Out West

NBA preseason roundup: Pau Gasol looks strong, Kings shake things up

Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA preseason is underway. The consensus is: the less drama your team experiences before the season, the better.

For the Sacramento Kings, it’s been a showcase of young talent. Big minutes for potential rotations and lineups instead of any kind of experiments or rehabbing players. For fans, it was a way to see how Ben McLemore adapts to the NBA game. For analyst, it’s the best way to see what lineup is most effective before the games count. The Kings are experimenting a little with their lineups — Isaiah Thomas, Jimmer Fredette, Travis Outlaw, Patrick Patterson, and DeMarcus Cousins definitely raises eyebrows. For the most part, it’s just a showcase of what works and what doesn’t.

In Portland, things are easier. The Trail Blazers want to monitor Nicolas Batum‘s concussion. For the Trail Blazers’ success this year, Batum will need to be healthy and contributing. He’s one of their most important, some would say most, players on the team with the ability to defend the toughest offensive player and put on a show behind the three-point line. One intriguing preseason storyline is the chemistry between sixth man, Mo Williams, and Damian Lillard. Both guards play a very similar shoot-first style with Williams being the veteran and Lillard the emerging franchise player.

Los Angeles Lakers’ fans are hoping for any kind of good news. Fortunately, there is a little bit. The second most important player, Pau Gasol, is already in fine form. While it is important to see if Chris Kaman or Nick Young are solid contributors, the franchise’s playoff hopes will be on its stars. Gasol’s shouldering the responsibility well and is playing well in the preseason.

It’s this reporter’s opinion that the most intriguing storylines with the Golden State Warriors will occur in the regular season. There are many questions to the hopes and potential of the ‘Dubs. One, will the team make up for the production that left this past offseason? Second, will franchise face, Stephen Curry survive an entire season again? Or will his brother be the healthiest Curry? And third, what can we really expect from Andrew Bogut? This team plays up a lot of intrigue, but preseason is not where it will come from.

Lastly, the unofficial “kings” of the Pacific Division, the Los Angeles Clippers. The biggest news came with Blake Griffin‘s injury scare. Griffin’s left knee bone bruise from a scrimmage dunk should be the most important news coming from the Clippers.

Every other bit of news from this team will have “expectation” and “different” attached to it.

Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

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Timothy Lee

Timothy Lee is a sports and video game journalist born and raised in Southern California. He is great at finding the important detail in the mundane and ordinary. He has published articles for Riot Games, IGN.com, 1UP.com, Rotowire.com, and SBNation.

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