Ok so I originally posted this under the comments and decided it probably would be better as a post. I had both games recorded on DVR and here are my comments, player-by-player.
DWill: Looks fantastic. He was clearly dragging in the first quarter of the Bulls game (probably jet lag), but he turned it on in the 3rd. He looks nimble, agile, and his jumper was money in both games. He also was very good at drawing fouls when he penetrated, and he was perfect on free throws. Enough said.
Booz: Looks fantastic, and he has noticeably improved his effort and defensive awareness. He actually anticipated some passes in the Real Madrid game where they were passing to the open man or roller and either deflected or intercepted the pass. His jumper doesn’t look like it improved, but his down low game is still as solid as ever.
Brewer: His defensive awareness is still top notch, but I think he gambles too much on D for steals as opposed to sticking with his man. He lost his man a couple times in the Real Madrid game b/c he was trying to play the passing lanes. His jumper doesn’t look to be improved, but he didn’t shoot it that much from the outside. His dribbling still leaves much to be desired.
Millsap: Looks amazing. He really bulked up during the summer – he has serious guns. All the hoopla about Deron and AK beefing up and ppl forgot about Millsap. Just check out any online photos of him at the free throw line in those games. He is a beast now. His jumpshot is money from 15 feet (but not beyond that) and his defensive anticipation looks improved from the end of last season.
AK: They did not use him enough, in my opinion. His floppy hair is awful, but he looks like he is in terrific physical shape. It is very noticeable that he is no longer bouncing off of people like he was in the past couple of seasons when he is trying to drive or play defense. One thing in particular I noticed was that his on-the-ball defense improved greatly. Ppl always say he is such a good defender, but what I saw the past 2 seasons is somebody that did not earn that moniker and settled for weak side blocks (which he didn’t even get much of). He looked extremely active on defense in both games and was grabbing rebounds with authority with his added weight.
Kosta: Sorry to say this, but he looked awful. I was seriously disappointed. He was confused about where he should be on offense, and when did get the ball passed to him in the middle to high post, he would immediately dribble and pass it out. He could not catch interior passes and his missed chippies or got blocked on dunks/layups right under the basket. The only bright spot was that he grabbed some rebounds and blocked/contested some shots.
Okur: Wasn’t that active, so can’t really give that much of an assessment. Looks to be in good shape and his jumper is always money. He drove the ball from the 3pt line straight to the hoop for an underhand scoop layup against the Bulls in the 1st quarter that was pretty impressive.
Maynor: I am not as high on Maynor as BBJ is, and I think he would agree with me if he watched both games in their entirety. He is definitely going to be a decent 3rd string backup and is NBA material, but he is not the steal of the draft or as good as you may think. Here’s what I saw….he has deceptive quickness on two moves: his double crossover (similar to Deron’s) and his reverse dribble (brief hesitation where he turns his back to the basket and then almost immediate lightning quick acceleration when he turns the other way and drives to the hoop). He uses these two moves to get into the paint, which is sole purpose everytime he has the ball. He then does one of only two things once he penetrates: 1) He throws up an ugly, off-balance floater that will go in less than 1/4 of the time and likely will get blocked during the regular season. 2) He passes to the big man underneath the basket on the weak side. While this worked against Real Madrid, here’s why it won’t work against most NBA teams. 1) He dribbles into traffic constantly and he is a shrimp by NBA guard standards. Against the Real Madrid backcourt, he could get into the lane without getting bumped off balance. That won’t be the case against the muscular and stocky guards during the regular season. 2) He doesn’t understand spacing. He drives directly into the lane (easy enough against Real Madrid) but makes a beeline for the weakside big man (e.g. Booz or Millsap) and tries to draw their defender, but in several instances he was WAY too close to Booz/Millsap and his pass bounced off their shoulder. 3) He missed open people on the perimeter numerous times during the game because he was only looking to get in the lane as described above. There were several instances were he missed Korver and AK wide open on the perimeter, even when Maynor was AT THE TOP OF THE KEY. He just turns his head and doesn’t pay attention AT ALL. Ok now for the good things: he has very good anticipation on defense. He stole the ball from Jannero Pargo at the top of the key in a wicked-good anticipation of a conventional pass Pargo was about to make. He also has surprisingly solid range on his jumpshot (even out to 3pt range) from the 2 games I saw.
Wes Matthews: Looks like he should be the one signed instead of Dupree. He has a solid body and can shoot it well from the stripe and the 3pt line. He rebounds, and he isn’t afraid to take it to the hole. I get the sense that his game might be sensitive to confidence issues, though….he benefited in these two games from starting, and we might see something completely different if he comes off the bench with the 2nd unit.
Dupree: Fouls way too much, but has fantastic athleticism. His jumper is a total set shot (and he surprisingly hit one against Real Madrid) and cannot be relied upon. He rebounds, is extremely physical on defense (hence the fouls), and is hard-nosed as advertised.
Alex Johnson: His stat line against Real Madrid is somewhat deceptive. He was out of control most of the time he was on the court and did not participate correctly in any of the set plays. All 4 of his buckets were either on broken plays or put-backs. He appears to have a pretty decent jumper (2 of the shots were 15-footers), and he isn’t afraid to mix it up down low. He is decently quick on defense, but he didn’t seem to be interested in anything beyond getting the ball and shooting it on the offensive end.
Suton: Disappointing, but to be fair he wasn’t given that much PT or an opportunity with the ball even when he was on the court. He did all the things that a big man should do, stay in the paint, rebound, try to block shots, and make layups. He did not venture outside to throw up ill-advised jumpers like he did at Michigan State or in summer league (kind of surprised me), and he did box out for rebounds. I think he is way too cuddly (like a marshmallow) and soft to be a dependable big man. He has a good jumper, but he doesn’t offer much in terms of size or defense. I’m not a fan.
Lastly, I just want to say that the play-by-play guy (Bob something) for NBATV is totally unqualified and an idiot. He did not know who Wesley Matthews was until he scored like his 10th point, and he said the Jazz roster was playing at full-strength for the Bulls game until after halftime, when he realized that CJ Miles was gone. Then he gave a totally made-up guess that he might be out for a 1/3 of the season. Uhhh…what about Korver and Fesenko, who were both injured and not playing? When a new guy substitutes into the game, he just lists their name, height, weight, and school. What a useless tool. Yes I am jealous of his job. Steve Smith was the color guy for the Bulls game and he was totally unprepared and not insightful. Webber was FANTASTIC in the Real Madrid game and offered useful perspective. breathing heavily Ok I’m done.