Preseason Roundup for Saturday, October 11

The NBA is using its preseason to show that it is truly a global game. On Saturday, places as far flung as Rio De Janeiro and Taipei hosted games. Teams also used a variety of lineups and stars such as Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams (ankle) did not play. That opens up opportunities for lesser known players to get some playing time. As we spin through the league, we'll start will the spills before looking at the thrills and chills of Saturday's action.

Derrick Rose (Knee) Sits Out
After missing the 2012-13 season with a torn ACL, Rose played in the first two preseason games without incident. However, the trip to Rio may have been too much for Rose's surgically repaired knee and the star guard sat out the preseason tilt with the Knicks. This may cause some fantasy owners to panic because even the slightest bad news of knee trouble may remind owners who were teased by Rose's lack of return last season. More than likely this was just another step in Rose's recovery and some residual soreness is to be expected as the former MVP returns from his first serious injury. Rose still warrants a late first or early second round pick in most standard format/size leagues. With Rose out, Kirk Hinrich started and second-year guard Marquis Teague received more playing time. Neither Hinrich (eight points, five rebounds, three assists) or Teague (four points, one assist) produced fantasy relevant numbers.

Trey Burke Fractures Finger
In the second quarter of the Jazz game against the Clippers, the rookie out of Michigan broke his finger while receiving a bounce pass. He was taken to the locker room and actually returned to the court with his damaged finger taped. After the game, the Jazz announced that Burke had fractured his right index finger just below the middle knuckle. He is out indefinitely and will get more tests on the finger to determine a timetable on Monday. Burke's backups are former Rocket Scott Machado and veteran John Lucas III. Machado was an assist monster in college at Iona, but has very limited NBA experience. Over five NBA seasons, Lucas III has two starts, but he could be a late round flyer in very deep leagues if he opens the season as the starter for Utah.

Blake Griffin Sprains Ankle
The 2010-11 Rookie of the Year has had a tough week. In a scrimmage on Wednesday, Griffin suffered a bone bruise in his left knee. The injury proved not as bad as initially feared and the star forward was back on the court for the Clipper game against Utah on Saturday. His appearance was limited by a sprained ankle incurred when he landed on Derrick Favors' foot. Griffin got treatment and re-entered the game. He finished with 12 points and four boards in 18 minutes. The former Oklahoma Sooner has seen his production decrease in each of his three NBA seasons, but he still provided 18.0 points and 8.3 rebounds in 2012-13. He could out-produce his draft status since the bloom seems to be off the rose.

Jeremy Lin Has a Happy Homecoming
Lin, whose parents were born in Taiwan, had a very nice game against the Pacers in a game played in Taipei. The former Harvard star provided 17 points (6-8 FG, 3-4 3Pt, 2-2 FT) with four assists and three steals in front of an adoring crowd. The days of Linsanity may be over because the point guard will not be able to control the offense with teammates such as James Harden (who had 21 points) and Dwight Howard (10 points, six boards, two blocks). Lin still has plenty of offensive talent and could be a nice pick for points, 3-pointers, steals, and assists in the later stages of fantasy drafts.

Kevin Love Pumps In 28 Points
The Timberwolves may have lost a home game to Toronto, but Love appears to be in mid-season form. Last year, Love opened the season on the injured list with a broken knuckle. In 2013-14, he appears intent on producing excellent fantasy numbers and is doing a bit of showing off in the preseason. Against the Raptors, the power forward had a game-high 28 points (9-19 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 8-10 FT) to go along with 11 boards, two assists, and two steals. Minnesota was playing without Kevin Martin (Achilles), so their other offensive options were limited. Love took advantage and did his damage in just three quarters. He seems primed for a big fantasy season.

Tim Hardaway Jr. Struggles As Starter
As noted above coach Mike Woodson decided to rest his starters, including Anthony, Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton, and even Metta World Peace. This move allowed the backups to get more playing time. Josh Powell (six points, three boards) and Pablo Prigioni (scoreless in 16 minutes) were in the starting lineup along with Hardaway Jr. The rookie out of Michigan (the second former Wolverine in this report) had looked good early in the preseason, but struggled against the Celtics on Saturday. He was just 3-of-16 from the field on his way to nine points. At Michigan, Hardaway Jr. was a streaky shooter and that appears to be the case in the NBA as well. He could see reserve minutes behind Iman Shumpert, but probably isn't worth drafting in most fantasy leagues.


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