First off a disclaimer - This is the first game of preseason, meaning that many of the things we saw shouoldn't be extrapolated to the regular season....with that out of the way.....Wow!
First off Rip City was rocking from the second quarter on. I have never seen a preseason game with that croud noise. I personally almost lost my voice (I blame Rudy for that). Things were definitely bogged down in the first quarter as it was obvious we were trying to get used to playing in a real game setting. Then late im the second quarter.....all hell broke loose. We started making the extra pass, our defense tightened up, and there were no easy baskets for the kings the rest of the game. The 31 assists weren't bad either as this team showed how much fun sharing the ball can be.
Individual Player Thoughts
Roy - Roy was Roy and he definitely did not look like a player that had surgury not too long ago.
LMA - Couldn't score in the first half even if you left him at strip club with a stack of $100s. Things definitely got a lot better in the second half and his last second buzzer better in second quarter got the momentum going firmly in our favor. Again didn't need to take much from this game for him but I will mention this, he looks absolutely RIPPED.
Webster - Looked fairly decent on Defense, couldn't get his shot to fall from distance very well. You can definitely tell that he put in serious time in the gym during the year as some of his dunks were pretty ridiculous. He probably should take Rudy out to dinner for all the alley oops he got during the game.
Sergio - Not the same player we saw last year. He shot looks great and I mean really good. All three of the treys were all net. He actually played respectable defense and applied pressure the second the opposing PG got the ball over half court. He did let Udrih by him a couple times but his defense looks much better than last year. Oh he definitely likes playing with Rudy.
Oden - Probably could not have asked for better debut than this despite the fact you could tell that he looked a little tired at times. Missed a couple shorties, but then made Spencer Hawes look like Gumby. Poor hawes could not do a thing. Grabbed a couple offensive rebounds and had those putback we like so much. Oh and there is that defense thing. The Kings get could not score inside when Oden stalked the paint. It was completely obvious of the instant impact he has on the defensive side. That Block on Hawes was pretty nice as well. Oh and he free throw stroke looked damn good.
Rudy - Wow....just wow.....his court vision is absolutely amazing. He is personally responsible for me almost losing my voice. The alleyoops, the dunks, the layups....what is there not to like? He defense was not bad either but you could definitely tell that he likes to play the passing lanes. Overall he is the most dynamic player I have seen in a blazer uniform in years and here is the best part...He obviously loves to get his teamates involved and does not need a large amount of shots to be effective.
Bayless - Played good defense, hit a couple outside shots, attacked the rim with reckless abandon. Really did not too bad bringing the ball up the court either. He did have a couple possesions were he pounded the ball for a while though, but those were few and far between. Good first game for him
Outlaw - Don't really need to say much about him.
Pryzbilla - Man it sure is going to be nice having a legit defensive center with the second unit as there were no massive breakdowns that we often saw last year. Didn't fumble the ball away at any point and hit his free throws. Not much more you can ask for.
Diogu - Loves him some offense, reminds me a lot of ZBO in a lot ways, some good (good at attacking the rim) some not so good (ball had a tendency to move slower when he had the ball) overall a pretty solid game for him.
Batum - To me he was the surprise of the night. Played very good defense, got to rim fairly well, and actually looked like he belonged on an NBA court. A very fluid player and could be a good one a couple years years.
Hill - Played decently , got some boards, not much offensive game (nothing new there)
Randolph - Made a couple good offensive moves, not much memorable besides that.
I highly recommend that if you have a chance to see this team live in rosegarden this year. DO IT! The RG is going to rocking the entire season. Again probably couldn't have asked for anything else in your first preseason game