A true breakout game from rookie Jason Preston was foreshadowed in the fourth quarter of the LA Clippers’ previous Saturday night Summer League game against the Lakers, where he scored nine points and began to look comfortable as an initiator of the offense. On Sunday, Preston expounded on that performance with a great stat line (for Summer League standards): 16 points on 7-10 shooting (2-2 from three) to go along with five assists in 26 minutes. Preston was finishing at the rim with a confidence not previously seen, and he was able to knock down jumpers when playing off the ball as well.
The no. 33 overall pick has proven to be a flashy passer, albeit a reckless one at times. He had a beautiful cross-court dish to Amir Coffey on the opposite wing after both his feet had already left the ground despite not yet deciding who to pass the ball to. The improvisation paid off in that instance, but he turned the ball over in the same fashion with under a minute to go in regulation after being trapped in the backcourt.
Like most players of his generation, Preston says he developed these risk-taking instincts by watching one of the greatest of all time.
"Growing up, I watched a lot, a lot of LeBron James…I've watched tons of film of LeBron doing it."
Preston wisely pointed out that he is not, in fact, LeBron James. These passes are a lot tougher to pull off when a player isn’t 6’8 and can see over the top of defenses. Even so, Preston’s unpredictability could bode well for him as he develops.
The LA Clippers will face the Memphis Grizzlies for their Summer League finale tomorrow at 6 p.m.