The NBA preseason is a wonderful display of terrible basketball during a time when you’re so starved for hoops that you’d watch literally anything with an orange ball. Between the insanity that is NBA free agency and the excitement of the NBA Draft, preseason acts as our first real look at all the new faces in different places. So while some of the more casual basketball fans might not tune in until the regular season tips off, the real hoop junkies always show up for preseason action. Salute.
Is preseason basketball meaningless? The answer to that question will vary depending on who you talk to. For a veteran team with continuity like, say, the San Antonio Spurs, it’s a lot less valuable than it is for a young team like the Minnesota Timberwolves that is actively trying to find its identity. What the preseason does give us, however, is an opportunity to watch NBA players flourish in a way that just wouldn’t be possible during the grind of an 82-game season when teams stop tinkering with weird lineups and start playing for wins.
An NBA preseason all-star can mean whatever you want to mean. For our purposes here today, we’re looking at players who seemingly play better in preseason when the game is less structured and the competition is worse, but that’s not all.
We’re also focusing on young players that probably received more minutes in preseason than they will in the regular season due to a veteran or two that stands in the way of consistent playing time. Above all else, though, we’re talking about players who captured our interest throughout the first two weeks of October. Who mattered? Where did the highlights come from? That kind of thing. Without further ado, our 2017-18 NBA preseason All-Stars.