There's no sophomore slump in sight for Cole Aldrich (Oklahoma City Thunder). Aldrich scored six points with eight rebounds, three steals and four blocks in 20 minutes against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night (full stats here).
The stats may not blow you away, but they’re very solid numbers compared to his averages from last year.
DailyThunder.com’s Royce Young raved about Aldrich after the game:
Cole Aldrich might beat out Nazr Mohammed at some point in the rotation. He looks 100 percent better. He doesn’t have near the offensive game Mohammed has, but defensively Aldrich is active everywhere. He never stops challenging shots and tries to rebound everything. And he even showed off a legit sky hook (and made it!) late in the fourth.
In a tweet, the Oklahoman’s Darnell Mayberry also said he thought Aldrich might have earned himself more minutes this season.
And the Thunder’s official site cited Aldrich for two plays “the boxscore won’t show”:
Cole Aldrich catches a bounce pass deep in the key from Eric Maynor, uses a hard dribble to get Dirk Nowitzki to commit defensively and goes past the Mavs' big man and under the hoop for a reverse basket
Cole Aldrich, arms up, jumps in a passing lane to create a Mavs turnover and send the Thunder racing down court.
And if you’re more of a video person, the aforementioned “Where did that come from?” hook shot (fast-forward to 2:15):
Teammate Nick Collison (Oklahoma City Thunder) also played on Tuesday night against the Mavs. Collison scored four points (1-4 FGs, 2-2 FTs) and grabbed three rebounds with one steal and two blocked shots in 21 minutes (full stats here). Collison played with his trademark hustle (under “Plays the boxscore won’t show, first half”) and was also whistled for a double-technical after jawing with Dallas' Lamar Odom.
Markieff Morris (Phoenix Suns) had a “strong debut” against the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday, according to Arizona Republic writer Paul Coro. Markieff played 27 minutes as a backup power forward and scored 10 points with eight rebounds, an assist and a block before fouling out. Markieff got his points on 3-for-7 shooting (missed both threes attempted) and 4-5 free throws (full stats here).
Brandon Rush (Golden State Warriors) did not play with his new team on Tuesday night, but he was in the building to watch, according to his Twitter account.
Seems like a lot of people are talking about Mario Chalmers (Miami Heat) and how long he might last as the Heat’s starting point guard. This time it’s the Palm Beach Post weighing in with a column.
Oh, and four days until real, nationally televised games. Get excited.
6 p.m., NBATV, Mario Chalmers and the Miami Heat vs. the Orlando Magic
7 p.m., Josh Selby and the Memphis Grizzlies vs. the New Orleans Hornets
7 p.m., Drew Gooden and the Milwaukee Bucks vs. the Minnesota Timberwolves
7:30 p.m., Marcus Morris and the Houston Rockets vs. the San Antonio Spurs
NOTE: Paul Pierce (Boston Celtics) will not be on the court for the Celtics’ final preseason game against the Toronto Raptors. Pierce is nursing a sore right heel and might even miss the Celtics’ season opener.;