One of the most underrated aspects of sports is training camp. Sure, we scoff at the results of preseason games because they are pointless, but players and coaches need this time to at least get their feet wet.
Plus, there are some battles for starting positions and bench roles going on as teams inch closer to the start of the regular season.
For the NBA, training camp is all about developing chemistry. Even though this is an individualized game, there are still five players on the court at the same time, and they have to know all the little nuances of each other before they can hit their stride.
Here is all the vital information you need to know from around the NBA now that preseason games are underway.
Old New York Knicks Dealt Big Blow
The New York Knicks had an offseason that most of their fans don't want to talk about, letting budding star Jeremy Lin go to Houston and replacing him with Raymond Felton.
The Knicks are also the oldest team in the history of the NBA, with an average age of 32 years and 240 days, according to Stats Inc. (via USA Today).
When you're an older team, you need all those stars to stay healthy for the whole year. If they don't, you are going to fall behind the curve.
Marcus Camby, one of those older players, is dealing with a calf injury that is expected to cost him at least a week of action, according to Al Iannazzone of New York Newsday.
Marcus Camby had an MRI on his calf. He has a strained left calf and is out 7-10 days. That means he he won't play first 2 preseason games.— Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) October 6, 2012
The Knicks don't have a lot of size after Tyson Chandler. Therefore, Camby has to stay healthy to take pressure off Chandler and grab rebounds to set up the offense.
Orlando Gets Some Good News
Speaking of teams that have had a trying offseason, the Magic traded away the face of the franchise for some spare parts, some upside and draft picks.
While there really is nothing to get excited about this season for the Magic, they did get some positive news that helps their roster depth.
According to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel, 27-year-old Gustavo Ayon will be staying in Orlando this season.
It may not sound like a big deal, but Ayon can provide quality minutes for the Magic off the bench. He scored 5.9 points and grabbed 4.9 rebounds per game last season with the Hornets, despite playing just 20 minutes per game.
No one will confuse him with a star, but there is no reason Ayon can't be a serviceable player for the Magic as they continue to rebuild their roster.
Shooting Guard Is An Open Competition In Phoenix
The Suns also lost their face of the franchise, but Steve Nash was an aging player who really had no future with the team. Therefore, it is much easier to swallow for those fans than Dwight Howard leaving Orlando.
With a new roster and philosophy being put in place, it makes sense that there would be some open competition. According to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic, Shannon Brown and Jared Dudley will be battling to be the starter at shooting guard:
Dudley became a full-time starter for the first time (last season), starting 60 of 66 games and posting career-high averages for points (12.7) and rebounds (4.6) with career-best shooting (48.5 percent). Brown, in his first Suns season, was mostly a reserve but thrived while starting. Brown averaged a career-high 11.0 points and 2.7 rebounds per game in just 23.7 minutes per game but averaged 15.8 points and 3.7 rebounds as a starter.
Open competition is always great for training camp. It gives the players a little more motivation to go harder than they normally would to show coaches and analysts that they did the work in the offseason to put them in the position to be a starter.
Plus, it gives the Suns more weapons to choose from. Either Brown or Dudley, while they both have an argument to be starting, will strengthen the bench and give the team more depth.
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