Bloguin and Out: Stephen Jackson, the leader

Each week at around this time, we will point to you to what the various blogs on the Bloguin network are saying about their teams. Be sure to check out all the great blogs for more in depth coverage of your favorite team!

SB NationStephen Jackson is a veteran in this league and he has had plenty of ups and plenty of downs. Lots of downs. His perception perhaps follows him around to his detriment.

But Jackson has grown into a team leader in his second stint with San Antonio as Michael DeLeon of Project Spurs writes:

Ever since his first stint with the San Antonio Spurs, love him or hate him, you knew you were always getting Stephen Jackson unfiltered.

As a young Spur, Jackson was brash and cocky enough to talk trash with Kobe Bryant and Karl Malone, and while he may no longer be considered young by league standards, the 34-year old Jackson is still the man he became growing up in Port Arthur and in the NBA.

As a veteran, Jackson said younger players coming into the game motivate him to be on his own game, and he tries to serve as a mentor to young teammates, just as former Spurs players took him under their wing.

In locker rooms, as opposed to public perception, Jackson is seen as a leader and locker room favorite. Despite his history of butting heads with coaches.

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Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images/ZimbioIn a case of schadenfreude perhaps, Peaceman of Knicks Fanatics is somewhat thrilled that free agent losses Landry Fields and Jeremy Lin are struggling this preseason:

Landry and Lin make fun of their fans as they poke fun of their supporters mimicking the BLIND as to the idiot Rockets and Raptors to give them Million dollar contracts. LINE DRIVE SHOT Landry is bricking it in Toronto as LINZOMBIE is stinking up Houston. They will next be on the cover of "STINK Magazine" as the richest no talent ballers to ever play the game.

Glen Grunwald went off record to say this…indeed it was said. I wish Jeremy and Landry the best…but both are not worth one forth of the contracts they signed as Professional Basketball Players. Grunwald stated…. look at what their own organisations have said about them so far! I'm happy to have signed Ray Felton and Jason Kidd.

In the preseason, Lin is averaging just 5.8 points per game on 25.0 percent shooting. He is averaging 6.5 assists per game in 24.8 minutes per game in four preseason games for Houston through Saturday. Lin has admitted that he is still recovering from the knee injury that knocked him out of the Playoffs last year. Fields is averaging 7.6 points per game while shooting 43.2 percent from the floor for the Raptors.

So far, it looks like the Knicks were smart not to commit the money long term to keep them. Especially if Chris Copeland continues to play like he did Saturday in a 30-point effort.

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Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images/ZimbioEd Isaacson of NBA Draft Blog begins his look at the NCAA sophomores that could be in the NBA Draft this year, including Indiana's Cody Zeller:

Without improvement, Zeller is still the best big man in college basketball, but with an eye on the NBA, there are some steps he needs to take to become more versatile. Getting stronger is a must, and it looks like he has bulked up some heading into this season. Defending the post, he needs to work on using his lower body better to force players off the blocks. Also, he needs to work on reacting better as a help defender in the lane and around the basket. On the offensive end, Zeller needs to start to incorporate a face-up game out of the post, including improving his ballhandling to go by his man and working on a consistent mid-range jumper.

Zeller is widely considered to be a top-five prospect for the 2013 Draft.

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E'Twaun Moore had an up-and-down rookie season with the Celtics as a shooting guard. Now in Orlando on a young team, he is getting a serious look to be the team's backup point guard and getting comfortable in a new position:

For the Magic in four preseason games, Moore has expanded and shown more of his game. Moore is second on the team in total points scored and has 11.3 points per game on 40.4 percent shooting. These are the stats that Moore typically looks at. That is the role he took on for much of his career in college.

The Magic are asking him to do something very different. And he seems to be excelling at it.

Moore has played some shooting guard too. it could be a great situation for the second-year guard.

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Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images/ZimbioNick Mancini of Stepien Rules wonders what the Cavaliers will get out of their small forward position where Alonzo Gee, C.J. Miles and Omri Casspi are battling for minutes:

Gee proved his worth last season for the Cavs, but I love him in the 6th man role for this team. First guy off the bench, he can spell either Miles or Waiters. He provides that athleticism that is needed to bring that spark every team looks for off their bench.

All three of these guys have played pretty well in five preseason games. Casspi has only played three, as Byron Scott gets a look at reserves alternately each game, but he has played well in each. He has showed a nice shooting touch and ability to score. The reasons Cleveland traded J.J. Hickson to the Kings for him in the first place. Casspi connected on all seven of the Cavaliers points in overtime against Orlando and finished that last game with 12 points and 5 rebounds.

Mancini believes Gee and Miles to have the inside track in the competition for that starting spot.

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Andray Blatche's revival in Brooklyn, particularly in this week's game against Washington, has Wizards fans lamenting another head case finding himself after leaving the nation's capital.

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily

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