Here’s what I like from the NBA preseason

Tomaz Farina Escosteguy, Staff Writer

Finally, after months without news, the NBA seems to have breathed to life again with the start of the preseason.

So today, we are going to talk about some of the  preseason’s highlights and outstanding individual performances, because there has been quite a few.

No, we are not going to discuss about, for example, the Lakers’ five playmakers team, the monstrous potential of the Celtics team or all of this year’s rookies – just some. Everybody knows that those guys will be on fire.

Today, we are going to focus on some players that some people may have forgotten about or have not given the proper focus that they might deserve on this upcoming season. Of course, there will be plenty of preseason games left, but so far these players have shined and are practically asking you to watch some minutes of their game:

Markelle Fultz: Last season’s No. 1 draft pick had one of the weirdest stories the league has seen on the past few years. He played on the opening games, but showed the ugliest jump shot form I have seen since Michel Kidd Gil-Christ. It was explained, at the time, that he had a shoulder injury or something like that, so he could not shoot normally. Anyways, he was not OK’d to play until the last games of that season and showed a, still, weird and inconsistent shot form when back.

But at least this preseason his shots are falling. The shot form still a little weird, but as long as he is scoring, that should be fine. Fultz also showed lots of athleticism on both ends of the floor, going for chase down blocks and trying to post up on whoever was on the paint. To be honest, based on his college performance, we all know that he has game, so he just has to show us that.

Also, things cannot go worse than last season, right? By the way, that is the reason why he is my pick for Most Improved Player this year.

Miles Bridges: Ever since the 2018 draft, I have not forgotten about this rookie. I don’t know why but his name just stuck to my head, and now it definitely is not coming out. Miles’ performance on the Summer League was good, even though he struggled a little with shooting, which is completely fine for a rookie. But, what he has been doing on the preseason so far has been amazing to watch.

To me, showing this sense of belonging in the NBA is the most important part of preseason, and Bridges seems to have mastered that. With monster put back dunks, blocks and scoring abilities, if the Hornets decide to play their rookies this season – please Charlotte, don’t make him and Malik Monk dirty again – it will be enough for me to tune into their games, and for him to make his case for Rookie of the Year.

Luka Doncic and the Mavs: The former Euro League MVP and his crew will be, at least, exciting to watch. While they probably don’t have enough to make the playoffs in the West, everybody should expect tons of highlights from those dudes.

Just take a look at their predicted starting five: Dennis Smith Jr., Luka Doncic, Harrison Barnes, Dirk Nowitzki and DeAndre Jordan. The pick and roll involving Smith, Doncic – who has shown some high-level skills for a guy that size – and DJ will certainly bring some nasty dunks and crazy lobs and passes. Along with that they have Barnes’ consistency and Dirk Nowitzki – who doesn’t love the German veteran?

Also, we cannot forget about Kostas Antetokounmpo, expected to get significant minutes from bench for next season. The man just played 8 minutes in a recent preseason game, but scored 8 points on that little amount of time.

Other, probable, must watch players not mentioned: Zach LaVine and his dunks, Dwyane Wade (it is the Flash’s last season after all), Nikola Jokic and his playmaking skills,  and Kelly Oubre Jr., since he looks like Neymar.