Some news from the weekend to pass along...
- Brian Schmitz reported yesterday that Jameer Nelson has earned the starting point guard job with his strong performance in the preseason. Good for Jameer, but I have no idea where Schmitz gets off writing that Nelson is averaging 15.5 assists per game. It's actually 6.7, which is still a great number. Stan Van Gundy went so far as to call Jameer's running of the offense "perfect."
- In a story filed today, Schmitz lists some observations he's made after three preseason games: they're running more often; they're featuring the three-point shot; they're still counting on Dwight Howard inside; they're still turning the ball over too much; and they haven't been able to see what Rashard Lewis can really do in a game.
- John Denton of Florida Today, meanwhile, checked in early this morning from China with an injury update. Trevor Ariza is unlikely to play this week due to inflammation in his foot, and Keyon Dooling is out until Saturday with a sore hip. Rashard Lewis is feeling better after spraining his ankle last week, but still not well enough to play Wednesday against the Cavaliers.
- Finally, does anyone have any idea when this week's games will be played? The Sentinel and the team's official online schedule say 8 AM Wednesday, 7 AM Thursday, and 12:30 AM Saturday; ESPN, however, lists 7 AM Wednesday, 8 AM Thursday, and 11:30 PM Friday. I'm inclined to trust the team's reporting, but ESPN is televising the Wednesday and Saturday games, so they might know better than the team does. Whatever. I'm all for playing games overseas to promote the league, but it'd be nice to get some scheduling consistency.
Just to elaborate on that first point about Jameer: He's been really good this preseason. How good? He has 20 assists with just 3 turnovers in 63 minutes this preseason. If Jameer plays 30 minutes a game this season, as he averaged last season, he will average 9.6 assists and just 1.4 turnovers. Nobody expects him to keep up that pace -- after all, it' just the preseason, but it's still encouraging to see him pick up Stan Van Gundy's offense so quickly.