After four months off, it was fair to wonder if NBA players would be rusty when the scrimmages began. Since the scrimmages began, we’ve seen a lot of what we’ve expected to see. For example, both teams in Los Angeles and the Milwaukee Bucks look like they haven’t missed a beat. And on the flip side, there have been instances where the rust is visible and injured teams have struggled to keep up. But in this article, we’ll be focusing on the players who have shined in NBA scrimmages thus far.
Players Who Have Shined In NBA Scrimmages
During the league’s first scrimmage game against the Orlando Magic, it wasn’t Paul George that led his team in scoring. That honor went to Lou Williams with 22 off the bench. Yet George is the player who played a complete game. Scoring wise, George put in an efficient 16 points. His jump shot looked smooth and fluid, and his three assists were all great passes. Speaking of passing, George finished the game with no turnovers while handling the ball a lot. Lastly, his defense was disruptive and a big factor in the win. Although his scrimmage against the Washington Wizards wasn’t as impressive, his standout performance in the first scrimmage is worthy of a spot on the list.
I know Dion Waiters isn’t quite the name brand George is, but his play in the scrimmages for the Los Angeles Lakers has been big. When the Lakers signed Waiters, they were hoping for scoring off the bench, and someone who can create for themselves. In two scrimmage games, Waiters has demonstrated he was the answer to that need. In his debut, Waiters scored nine points and looked comfortable in his role. On Saturday against the Magic, Waiters scored all 12 of his points in the fourth quarter. His offense came through dribbling into the defense and creating his offense. Despite not being a good defender, Waiters solved a need for the Lakers and has been one of the players who have shined the most.
If we’re speaking of shine, it might be hard to find someone shinier after two games than rookie Bol Bol. After slipping all the way to pick 44, Denver Nuggets fans rejoiced when the team traded for him. And after two games, Bol has taken the league by storm. Bol’s first two scrimmages were the first two games he’s played since college. But you wouldn’t know it by looking at his stat sheet from his first game. At small forward, Bol scored 16, grabbed ten rebounds, and blocked six shots! In his second game, he still put in 15 points but wasn’t as effective on the boards. Regardless, after assembling a young core of Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Michael Porter Jr, Bol appears to be the cherry on top. With a 7′ 8″ wingspan and plenty of athleticism, Bol has shined the most of any player.
Bonus: Milwaukee Bucks
While Bol may have shined most of any player so far in the NBA scrimmages, the Bucks have shined the most of any team. Even without Eric Bledsoe, the Bucks have looked like the best team in the East. Look no further than in the first half alone against the Sacramento Kings, where the Bucks scored 80 points! One of the bigger storylines has been the re-emergence of Brook Lopez as the third star. Lopez’s rim protection has been superb, and he’s been ridiculously efficient on offense. Along with Lopez, Marvin Williams has been a surprise contributor at backup power forward. The star duo of Giannis Antetokoumpo and Khris Middleton doesn’t look rusty either. Heck, Antetokoumpo is shooting threes with as much confidence as ever. Ultimately when Bledsoe returns, the Bucks will be one of the deepest teams in the league. And although I believe the Lakers will win the Finals, the Bucks are looking like they’re right there.
Star Players Have Shined In Orlando
After months of pondering the legitimacy of this year’s NBA title, it’s safe to say the play of the league’s star players has made this year’s title legitimate. Other superstar players have shined in scrimmages as well such as Jokic, Ben Simmons, and James Harden. In the NBA right now, there is an abundance of star players. At the end of the day, as long as the stars of the league continue to play as well as they have so far, the NBA title will be hard-earned and one to be proud of.
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