By Hayden Bonine
The 2017-18 NBA season tips off Tuesday. Fans need to know who is coming into the season on a high note. These are the most outstanding players from the preseason.
Paul George, SF, Oklahoma City Thunder
You may have expected a different Thunder player here, but Paul George led the NBA in preseason scoring with 22 points per game. George, 27, is entering his first year with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He scored 25, 22 and 19 points in his three preseason games. His highest rebounding total was 11. George has everything going his way entering OKC’s first game on Thursday.
Stephen Curry, PG, Golden State Warriors
Much to the NBA’s dismay, Stephen Curry is again leading the league’s most high-powered offense. Curry was second in the NBA in preseason scoring (21.7). Golden State paid a visit to its fans in China during the preseason. The people of Shanghai witnessed the power of the Warriors’ offense, as they scored 142 points, Curry’s 40 leading them. That 40-point outburst topped the league’s single game point total for the preseason. Curry and his Warriors begin the season Tuesday against the Houston Rockets.
James Harden, SG, Houston Rockets
After finishing second in last season’s MVP voting, James Harden looks determined to set the record straight. The addition of Chris Paul did not deter him in the preseason. Harden averaged 19.3 points per game and a league-high 10.3 assists. Harden logged one of the most outstanding preseason performances on Oct. 9 when he tallied 36 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds in a win against the Knicks. Harden and Co. face the defending champion Golden State Warriors on Tuesday.
Andre Drummond, C, Detroit Pistons
Andre Drummond is not your typical MVP candidate. His point and assist totals are middle of the road, especially compared to his fellow MVP candidates. However, Drummond does one thing better than anyone else—rebound. He logged 15 boards in his first preseason game and surpassed that total nine days later with 22. Drummond averaged 13.6 points and 13.8 rebounds per game last season and 16 points and 16 rebounds this preseason. If he can keep his preseason trend going, fans and voter alike will take notice. Drummond’s Pistons play Wednesday against Charlotte.