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Preseason Notes (Guilt-Ridden Edition)

News You Can Use (or Ignore Entirely)

Wilson Chandler: Power Forward? The Knicks are considering moving to a smaller starting lineup, one that would move Chandler to the power forward position. They've been starting Amar'e Stoudemire at the four, with Timofey Mozgov at center.

Javaris Crittenton: Released by Charlotte. The Bobcats released Crittenton, which opens up a spot for Sharron Collins' on the Bobcat roster.

Taj Gibson: Misses Game with Sore Heel. He's in line to get Carlos Boozer's (finger) minutes. Omer Asik played center in Gibson's absence, with Joakim Noah switching down to the four.

Danny Granger: Out 7-10 Days with Ankle Sprain. The injury that forced Granger to leave Indy's Friday's preseason game has been diagnosed as a left ankle sprain. He should be back just in time for the regular season. That's fine, but it's also indicative of Granger's relative fragility. He's a second-rounder for this reason.

Donte Greene: Starting for Sac. Head coach Paul Westphal said that Greene will be the starting small forward for the team's season opener. Greene's not fantasy magic, but he DOES have a broadbase of skills and is still only 22. Consider him, like, Danny Granger Lite-Lite.

Kyle Lowry: Returns to Court. After missing the previous three games with a bruised right knee, Lowry played 22 minutes Saturday night in a reserve role.

Deron Williams: Misses Practice, Game. Williams missed practice on Friday, and Utah's game on Saturday, due to a strained right calf. He's resting now so's to be ship-shape for the regular season.

Reggie Willims: Misses Game with Groin. Williams missed Golden State's Saturday night's game with a groin injury – one that's not considered too serious. Note that Williams could actually be an interesting play this season after averaging 15.2 points per game in 24 games last year.

Notable Performances

Arron Afflalo, Denver: 29:43 min, 20 pts (7-16 FG, 3-8 3Pt, 3-4 FT), 3 reb, 3 ast. Neither Carmelo Anthony nor Al Harrington played, but this represents the fourth consecutive game in which Afflalo has scored 18-plus points. He only just turned 25 years old, so it's possible – unlikely, but possib;e – that this represents an actual gain in skill.

D.J. Augustin, Charlotte: 32:55 min, 16 pts (2-5 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 11-14 FT), 8 ast, 2 stl. One should always consider preseason free-throw attempts with caution, but the nice thing here is (a) the minutes and (b) the assists. Shaun Livingston (knee) is still out and Sharron Collins doesn't appear to be a legitimate starting option right now.

Brandon Bass, Orlando: 27:02 min, 14 pts (7-9 FG), 10 reb. Bass is an interesting sleeper option. Neither Quentin Richardson nor Mickael Pietrus (nor Ryan Anderson) played in this game, so Bass's minutes might be artificially inflated. That said, Bass DID start at the four and he HAS had a solid preseason. If he's getting 27-plus minutes in the regular season, he's rosterable.

Nicolas Batum, Portland: 34:49 min, 19 pts (8-14 FG, 3-7 3Pt), 9 reb, 4 ast, 3 stl, 1 blk. Batum is mon chien, if you know what I mean. 

Marco Belinelli, New Orleans: 21:48 min, 13 pts (4-8 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 4-4 FT) 5 reb, 3 stl. He started at the two, as he's very likely to do when the season starts. 

Wilson Chandler, New York: 22:15 min, 17 pts (5-9 FG, 3-4 3Pt, 4-4 FT) 2 reb. This is notable because, as mentioned above, Chandler started at the four (with Mozgov at the five and Stoudemire sitting out). It's also notable because (a) Chandler sot well from outside – something that's been a weakness for him – and (b) he only got the two rebounds, which he'll have to improve if he hopes to impress at the power forward slot. 

Stephen Curry, Golden State: 36:16 min, 17 pts (6-12 FG, 2-3 3Pt, 3-3 FT), 7 ast, 11 reb, 8 to. Our own Shannon McKeown wants Curry to be his boyfriend, I heard.

Blake Griffin, LA Clippers: 34:34 min, 17 pts (8-16 FG, 1-3 FT), 14 reb. That's what we in the industry refer to as a "double-double." 

Tyrus Thomas, Charlotte: 24:33 min, 23 pts (7-12 FG, 9-11 FT), 7 reb, 1 blk. It's hard to fully endorse Thomas: he's been frustrating fantasy owners for as many years as he's been in the league. Still, he's (a) only 24, (b) very clearly talented, and (c) entering his first full season with the Bobcats.

Terrence Williams, New Jersey: 31:29 min, 16 pts (7-18 FG, 2-4 3Pt, 0-1 FT), 6 reb, 2 ast. It's not an overall great shooting night, but both the minutes-played and three-point shooting are promising.

Brandan Wright, Golden State: 19:01 min, 11 pts (5-6 FG, 1-2 FT), 6 reb. This guy's a million bucks in my book.