Sitting courtside early before the Raptors preseason game against the Wizards. A few quick thoughts on the NBA.
1. KYLE LOWRY: Makes his debut on Wednesday night. We finally get to see the entire squad and the internal competition created by more talented players like Lowry is a "Positive Problem" for head coach Dwane Casey. Calderon, Lucas, and Lowry - let them fight it out for minutes. Should be fun. Curious to see how playing two of them together will work out.
2. EMEKA OKAFOR (Wizards): Dominated at UConn and has been a solid/decent pro. Blocks shots and rebounds well. His offensive game is inconsistent and needless to say a bit robotic. He's a guy that gives you consistent effort and will be a stable influence for his team. Impactful? No, but steady.
3. DEMARCUS COUSINS (Kings): Very talented big man and totally expect him to take another step this season. Immaturity has been an issue but it's time for him to get it done. A beast on the boards and is quite crafty inside. Has the tools to be a significant player. Time the maturity catches up with the talent. Keep an eye on him - there comes a point when the light truly has to come on.
4. RAYMOND FELTON (Knicks): Out of shape last year and it showed. No Jeremy Lin in the Big Apple - lots of pressure for him to produce. Tough minded and highly competitive. Like his ability to push it and set the tone on defence. He's got to be consistent shooting the ball and make others better. He'll be key to how far the Knicks can go. Need good point guard play - he's got to deliver.
5. JOSH CHILDRESS (Nets): Liked this pickup for Brooklyn. Was a good player early in his NBA career, then overseas and onto Phoenix - has kind of gotten lost in the shuffle. Can shoot the ball with range and is an efficient player in the team concept. Lets the game come to him and will be a positive addition to the Nets second unit. You're always looking to find second unit guys who are of a current reasonable dollar value to you and I think he makes perfect sense for them.