This year’s NBA pre-season is officially underway. After some of the first games, there were definitely some notable performances that shouldn’t be going unnoticed. Here are some notable game one pre-season performances.
Tari Eason: Houston Rockets PF
Eason had himself a very good first impression on the Rockets coaching staff. After coming off the bench, he finished with a line of 21 points, ten boards, two assists, two steals, and only one turnover on 9/13 from the field, 1/2 from three and 2/3 from the free throw line. Eason was the 17th overall pick from the 2022 draft and he’s proving why he may have deserved to go earlier. Even in this year’s Summer League, the guy has shown that he is a stud. If he can gain some meaningful minutes for the Rockets this year, Rocket fans can be in for a treat. His fellow rookie teammate, Jabari Smith Jr. finished with a line of 21 points, eight rebounds, two dimes, and only two turnovers on 8/15 from the field and a nice 5/8 from three. This rookie-tandem is going to turn some heads this year.
Jeremy Sochan: San Antonio Spurs PF
Sochan didn’t have the most fantastic game of all time, but he certainly had a good one. He finished with just five points and four boards, but he had a steal and three swats. He shot 2/4 from the field and 1/3 from three-point land. Sochan is locked and loaded as one of the cornerstones for this franchise. Coach Pop is going to let the young rookie play good minutes this year. Hopefully, he can clear at least 25 minutes a game so he can show fans his versatility and potential. It’s unfortunate the Spurs are going in this direction, but they have a ton of pieces to be excited about, especially Sochan.
Zeke Nnaji: Denver Nuggets PF
Nnaji had himself a great game off the bench. He finished with 15 points, six boards, and no turnovers on 6/11 from the field, 1/3 from three and 2/2 from the line. The lack of dimes and defensive stats is unfortunate, but he remains a promising young player for this Nuggets team. With Michael Porter Jr. (12 points, one rebound, one dime) back in action, his path to minutes remains unclear. Still, Coach Malone may find some for his second-year forward.
Paul Reed: Philadelphia 76ers PF/C
Reed is such an electrifying player that if the NBA measured tenacity, he would more than likely lead the league. He finished the first half against the Brooklyn Nets with just two points and three boards (despite playing some game-altering defense). After the half, he finished with a cool ten points, five boards, three steals, one block, and just one turnover on 3/4 from the field and 4/4 from the line. Another thing to note: he finished with a team-high 20 minutes. It’s also important to note that Montrezl Harrell played behind him. If this continues to happen, Reed could play some nice minutes this year. His coach just has to keep trusting him.