We're officially just one week from real NBA games -- this is not a drill. With that in mind, preseason action is heating up a bit as starters get more minutes and coaches start to work out rotations. We're still not seeing 40-plus minutes from players such as LeBron James, but you can tell the season is coming up soon.
Here are the scores from Tuesday's preseason action, along with some takeaways from the night. Let the countdown to the regular season commence.
NBA preseason scores for Tuesday, Oct. 9
- Houston Rockets 128, Shanghai Sharks 86 (box score)
- Oklahoma City Thunder 119, Milwaukee Bucks 115 -- OT (box score)
- Los Angeles Clippers 109, Denver Nuggets 103 (box score)
Harden's baffling move
We may still be a week away from the regular season, but James Harden is already flashing some new tricks. The reigning MVP busted out a behind-the-back, side-step 3-pointer, which left his Shanghai Sharks defender in the dust.
It was one of nine 3-pointers for Harden on the night (28 total for the Rockets), as he dropped 37 points on the Sharks in 30 minutes. Of course, it wouldn't be James Harden if there weren't a contentious ensuing debate about whether or not the move was a travel.
Still images for the people in my mentions who are confused here...Harden's dribble is picked up in the first image. The ball is in his left hand. His left foot is clearly his pivot foot. Then he steps to his right foot (a travel), then takes 2 more steps to set and shoot. pic.twitter.com/HAs1fM5HbG— Ben Dowsett (@Ben_Dowsett) October 10, 2018
Russell Westbrook, superfan
What do you do when you can't play yet because you're still recovering from surgery? Show up to the arena and cheer on your teammates, of course. You know Russell Westbrook is incapable of doing anything in a normal way, however, so he decided to root for his teammates from courtside seats rather than from the bench.
He witnessed quite a game, too, as the Thunder pulled out a 119-115 victory in overtime.
Welcome back, Jimmer
Once upon a time, Jimmer Fredette was the 10th overall pick in the NBA Draft, full of promise and hope as the potential savior of the Sacramento Kings. Things didn't work out that way, but Fredette has made a heck of a career playing for the Shanghai Sharks, who visited the Houston Rockets on Tuesday. The BYU product didn't disappoint, putting up 41 points in the loss ... though it did take him 40 shots to get there.
Boban doing Boban things
Boban Marjanovic is the very definition of a fan favorite, and he only further cements that designation with feats like this. After grabbing the offensive rebound, the 7-foot-3 Clippers center palmed the basketball like it was a golf ball, faked a couple of times, then put in the layup ... all while his left arm was pinned by Nikola Jokic.
We all want the regular season to start, but if it means fewer minutes for Boban, we may have to rethink our stance.