With the 2012-13 NBA preseason almost coming to an end, it's a good time to look back at some of the standouts from the past few weeks of preseason action. While preseason success is far from indicative of success in the regular season, preseason stars are often able to build on that success by earning more trust of their coaches and entering the regular season with lots of confidence.
Byron Mullens, C, CHA (15 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 2.7 3PTs, 1.3 SPG, 0.8 BPG)
A legit seven footer with a good 3PT stroke, Mullens has been tearing up the preseason, stuffing the stat sheet in the process. After languishing on the bench in OKC for two seasons, he was given the opportunity to get solid minutes last season with the Bobcats. In 25 starts, he scored 11.4 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 0.8 BPG and 0.4 3PTs. This season, with only Brendan Haywood and DeSagana Diop to compete for minutes with at center, there is no reason that Mullens can't keep the starting job all season and be a solid starter for your fantasy team.
Jae Crowder, SF, DAL (11.4 PPG, 1.3 3PTs, 4.5 RPG, 1.9 SPG, 47.2% FG)
A second round pick out of Marquette in the 2012 draft, Crowder has stepped into the Dallas starting lineup and has responded by scoring double digit points in 6 straight games. His natural position is at Small Forward; where the Mavs have two aging former stars Shawn Marion and Vince Carter, neither of which a very good anymore. Crowder can also play the Power Forward position so as long as Dirk is sidelined, there will be plenty of minutes for this impressive rookie.
Damian Lillard, PG, POR (16.5 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 5.8 APG, 2 3PTs)
As mentioned in the PG preview, Lillard should have tremendous success in the NBA. He is an excellent scorer (led the summer league in scoring) and throughout the preseason he has demonstrated the ability to control an offense and get his teammates involved. He was likely drafted outside of the top 20 PGs in your league so now's the time to acquire him before he starts performing this well in the regular season and his price skyrockets.
Jrue Holiday, PG, PHI (13.3 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 6.5 APG, 1.3 3PTs, only 26.5 MPG)
It was expected that Holiday would take a big step forward this season after AI and Lou Williams left town, and Holiday has not disappointed in the preseason, looking like he will be a huge breakout performer this season. If he can keep this success going in the regular season, he should set career highs in points, assists, 3PTs and establish himself as a top 10 PG.
Anthony Davis, PF, NO (14.9 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 1.6 BPG, 0.7 SPG)
It was expected that Davis would have an instant impact on the defensive end, but his offensive impact has exceeded expectations in the preseason. His mid-range jumper is a very effective weapon and as long as the Hornets are giving him the opportunity to be a focal point in the offense, there is no reason he won't be able to score 15-18 PPG for the season. I had him ranked as a top 10 PF before the preseason, but may have actually been too low on him. Give up whatever you need to acquire him in keeper leagues, he's going to be great for a while.