A new era opened Sunday for the Los Angeles Lakers. In Fresno. Any talk of being out of place, though, will have to not include Steve Nash from now on, as it was obvious it won’t take him long to get acquainted with his new teammates. Of anyone on the floor, Nash impressed us the most with his between-the-legs dime to Robert Sacre, his no-look whip to Kobe Bryant, his ankle-break of Jarrett Jack, and his overall smooth-as-silk shooting stroke. Throw out the stats in these exhibitions because these are all about the eye test. The Dwight Howard-less Lakers’ starters passed through halftime, even with Kobe playing gingerly on his sore foot that kept him out of practice. Once the starters exited, though, the Lakers flunked just about every test you could throw at them. The W’s put on a 35-0 run — it went on for 11 minutes — en route to a nearly 30-point win. Let’s be honest: People were talking about the NFL’s dismissed replacement refs still more than they were Golden State before this game. A 35-0 run will get people talking, though. … Howard wants the world to call him “Iron Man” now, instead of “Superman.” Without even getting into the unwritten rule that you can’t choose your own nickname, this hardly seems like the time to throw out one that suggests you’re unbreakable. … Looks like Blake Griffin was up to his old tricks in Las Vegas on Saturday night. … Dwyane Wade is still expected to make Miami’s exhibition travel party in China this week, but he didn’t suit up for Sunday’s exhibition loss against Atlanta. His left knee is still not ready after offseason surgery. Lou Williams had 18 for his new Hawks team and Josh Smith had 21 in the 92-79 win. Jesus Shuttlesworth had 10 points and five dimes in his 27 minutes during his Heat opener, a debut that didn’t happen as far as KG and Rondo are concerned. … Boston started off its exhibition season awkwardly with a loss in Turkey, but all was forgiven on Sunday with its 30-point win over an Italian club in Milan. The first weekend of preseason games is a good time to read too much into things but Jeff Green did have 17 points off the bench for the C’s, and that’s good to see for his health after sitting out last year. … These overseas games always make us check out the opponents’ roster to see guys we last remembered from college ball. Milan had Kansas’ Keith Langford and Oregon’s Malik Hairston, and also one third of NYC’s famed point guard Holy Trinity, Omar Cook. Yes, he certainly flamed out of the NBA after parts of two seasons and with almost as many career turnovers (16) as games (22), but don’t forget he averaged 15.3, 8.7 and 2.3 steals per game as a freshman at St. John’s. Now we just need to track down Andre Barrett and Taliek Brown to complete the NYC trio. … A minor, but intriguing storyline this summer was Eduardo Najera‘s public goal to bring an NBA team to his native Mexico in the future. While that would still be years off, there was NBA basketball being played in Mexico City on Sunday, with New Orleans beating Orlando 85-80 in exhibition ball in front of more than 18,000. The Magic’s Gustavo Ayon, only the third Mexico native to make it in the NBA, had a nice game with 12 points and six boards. … We can’t omit the real stunner of Sunday: The Bobcats won a (preseason) game (over Washington, which was missing its best two players). Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 12 in his Charlotte debut. … Hit the jump to read about Marcus Camby and the next Manu Ginobili.
We’re picturing Marcus Camby with that same expression this summer when the Knicks offered him a three-year deal. At least, he’s told his teammates during training camp he was surprised that he got such a vote of confidence from New York, according to the New York Daily News. Camby is a superb defender still as he gets closer to 40, but he’s never lived up to the potential because of injuries. Now he’s injured again, albeit just with a calf strain, but that kind of track record is why he told teammates that he didn’t expect a $13.1 million deal. As the News reports, though, his deal can be voided for the third season, even though he’ll still earn more than $9 million combined in the first two years. … Monta Ellis doesn’t want to even discuss being a sixth man in Milwaukee, and why should he? It would be hard to persuade him that the Bucks traded a 7-footer for him only to be the change-of-pace player. Scott Skiles hasn’t come out and said he wants Ellis off the bench, for the record. We understand the idea that you might want to limit the overlap between shoot-first Brandon Jennings and shoot-first Ellis because they both need the ball in their hands; however, we think Ellis’ confidence comes from knowing he’s a starter. … Watch out Western Conference: The Spurs believe they’ve found another Manu Ginobili in new guard Nando De Colo. De Colo had wrap-around dimes and apparently hit a handful of teammates when they were open but not ready for a pass in their Saturday exhibition. This could go one of two ways: He becomes Ginobili after all, or he becomes Rudy Fernandez. … We’re out like Iron Man.
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