Things I Would Like to See in the Preseason Opener at Portland

[I have tried for (almost) three years to have a consistent motif for game previews and the like. It never lasts. Neither will this.]

* Obviously, I'd love to see a bit of Jason Thompson and Spencer Hawes on the floor together. We have a reasonable expectation that this could at some point in the near future constitute the team's starting frontline. I want a glimpse.

* For the first five minutes, I want to see Beno Udrih drive the lane. I won't be mad if he doesn't -- it's preseason. But some assurance he's in good shape and willing to take his lumps in the paint would be cool.

* When something resembling a regular season rotation line-up is in the game, it'd be cool to see the fast pace and spacing Reggie Theus has discussed. Brad Miller and Kevin Martin are vital to that scheme, so tonight obviously won't give us the complete picture. But tonight's starting line-up ... that's a unit I imagine will get some minutes together this season. Can they run it hard?

* Donté Greene. I just want to see a lot of Donté Greene.

* Bobby Brown. I just want to see a lot of Bobby Brown.

* I'll be paying attention to Thompson a lot on offense, just to see where he initiates his offense, how well he passes, what type of shot he's willing to settle for against a long Portland frontline.

* If I had a supercomputer, I'd tally John Salmons' standing-still dribbles. Theus has really pushed the idea he wants less than we're accustomed to.

* I won't lie: I'm going to be paying a helluva lot of attention to Greg Oden. I have no doubt you'll do the same.

What would you like to see tonight? What will you be looking for?

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