NBA starting fives taking shape; Iverson’s on the bench (for now)

09.30.09 9 years ago 44 Comments

One of the most interesting parts of the first few days of NBA training camp is seeing the lineups we’ve speculated about all summer finally coming together. Some of them haven’t changed a bit, some of them look real good, and some — try Chris Duhon, Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Al Harrington and David Lee in New York — just look good and terrible … Speaking of Gallo, apparently Mike D’Antoni has fallen back in love with the kid and is talking him up big-time. After the Knicks fans booed him out of MSG at the draft, the quick assumption was that Gallo would be the next Skita Tskitishvili, but if he stays healthy and carves out a nice little Andrea Bargnani-like niche for himself, that’s a big W for the Knicks … Eddy Curry, who is fighting for that center job (at least in his own mind, maybe) along with Darko, strained his calf in yesterday’s practice. That makes a lot more sense than the initial reports we’d heard that said Eddy had eaten a calf during practice … In Memphis, Allen Iverson is officially a sixth man for the time being, as the Grizzlies rolled out a first unit of Mike Conley, O.J. Mayo, Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. That could change with a couple 20-point scoring nights from A.I., or some combination of O.J. proving he can play the point and Conley denting the rim with his wayward threes … Meanwhile, the Grizzlies just gave Marko Jaric the Mark Blount treatment, telling him not to bother showing up to training camp and feel free with his agent to find a team willing to trade for him. At this point, who would really trade for Jaric? Unless you’ve got some owner/GM who wants to try his luck getting close to Adriana Lima, we’re not seeing it … With Delonte West turning up M.I.A. from Cavs camp, Anthony Parker is filling in as the starting two-guard alongside Mo Williams, LeBron, Anderson Varejao and Shaq. Is that an Eastern Conference champions lineup? Honestly, on paper, not really … In Minnesota, the early starting crew is Jonny Flynn, Corey Brewer, Ryan Gomes, Kevin Love and Al Jefferson. Flynn at PG over Ramon Sessions is kind of a surprise, but we get it … You notice how whenever basketball players talk about gaining or losing weight in the offseason, they ALWAYS claim to have either lost fat or gained muscle? The only person we can remember admitting they lost muscle was Emeka Okafor, after that one year when he got too diesel and needed to take weight off his injured ankle. Other than that, no one ever admits they’ve gained fat or lost muscle. Then you see dudes like Mike Sweetney and Jerome James and Bonzi Wells jiggling like a Joker The Bailbondsman video, and realize somebody’s not being honest … On that note, Kevin Love said he dropped 20 pounds over the summer (and wants a bigger role), and Rajon Rondo claims he gained 11 pounds of muscle. Rondo says he gave up fast food. That must have been hard on him. When we were in Boston to do a fashion photo shoot with Rondo last season, he was crushing some Burger King when he met up with us and looked damn happy … Did you see Andre Miller on NBA TV last night? His hair looked like an old lady in need of a trip to the stylist. Somebody get that dude some clippers, a hat, or some Soul-Glo as soon as possible … The Wizards are still figuring out their lineup — Nick Young, Randy Foye and DeShawn Stevenson will be battling for the starting SG job — but Flip Saunders kept it light on the first day, bringing in a hypnotist to entertain the squad. We don’t even want to know what comes out of JaVale McGee‘s mouth when he doesn’t have a filter … The Warriors also have yet to determine their starting five, which may or may not have something to do with Monta Ellis‘ recent comments that he wants no part of starting next to Stephen Curry. So far Nellie has pegged Monta, Stephen Jackson, Anthony Randolph and Andris Biedrins as starters, but he’s still looking for the fifth guy to join them. If you’re coaching GS, do you go with the Monta/Curry backcourt, or put Kelenna Azubuike next to Monta so you have a two-guard who’s actually decent two-guard size? Or maybe you put Monta and Capt. Jack at the guards, and have Corey Maggette and Anthony Morrow fight for the small forward spot? … And whatever happened to Brandan Wright? Is he still alive? Did he go back to UNC and is posing as a freshman named John Henson, trying to give this NBA thing another try later on? … We’re out like Bonzi …

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