Ball Don't Lie - NBA



It's finally, thankfully, over. The NBA's preseason wrapped up over the weekend, and not a moment too soon. It's pretty safe to say that your humble narrator is what we'd call a pretty ardent NBA follower, but it's hard to shake the feeling of "just doesn't matter" while taking these games in. While hoping that nobody steps on someone else's foot.

We shouldn't completely dismiss the preseason, though. I mean, it's still pro basketball players going up against other pros, utilizing more or less the same rotations we'll see from these teams as the season moves along.

So why not try to glean a bit from what the stat ledgers told us during this glorious exhibition season. Starting with the teams from the Eastern Conference.

Atlanta Hawks

Josh Smith(notes), noted for his awful 3-point attempts, didn't attempt a single one during the preseason. Not, "didn't attempt a bad 3-point attempt." No, he didn't attempt a single 3-pointer, good look or bad.

Great news, when coupled with his 60.2 percent shooting mark from the floor. Bad news, when coupled with his 47.2 percent mark from the free-throw line. Josh is strange.

Boston Celtics

Eddie House(notes) made nearly five times as many 3-pointers as Ray Allen(notes). Hell, something named a "Lester Hudson" made more 3-pointers than Allen, who missed 15 of 19 looks from downtown during the preseason.

Charlotte Bobcats

Just how bad is the Bobcat medical staff? They told us that Raja Bell(notes) tore a ligament in his left, non-shooting, wrist some six games into the preseason. And anyone with half a brain could tell you that it was obviously his right wrist that is messed up beyond belief, an injury that had to occur before the preseason even started.

How else do you explain him missing 31 of 38 shots (18.4 percent from the floor)?

That's a long way to go for that joke. For any joke, really, but to do it for that one seems a bit egregious.

Chicago Bulls

Though he was second on the team in scoring, putting together a respectable 15 points and six rebounds in 26 minutes, super athlete Tyrus Thomas(notes) didn't do many of the things super athletes usually do.

TT managed just four blocks and four offensive rebounds in 104 total minutes.

Cleveland Cavaliers

(It doesn't really matter, because they have LeBron James(notes), Shaq, and had the flu all month.)

Detroit Pistons

Kwame Brown(notes) shot 63 percent, managed solid totals of 7.7 points and 6.5 rebounds in only 22.2 minutes per game, and only turned it over eight times all preseason, and ... oh, we did it again.

Ben Wallace(notes) shot worse from the floor (31.2 percent) than the free-throw line (33 percent), which is hard to do. Tayshaun Prince(notes) shot worse from the floor than both marks, making a quarter of his shots during the preseason, which is really, really hard to do.

Indiana Pacers

He didn't exactly come out of nowhere, his per-minute numbers as a rookie were pretty damn good, but Roy Hibbert(notes) did bust out with averages of 13.6 points and 3.6 blocks during the preseason.

His 5.4 rebounds in a half-a-game average was pretty poor, and he still hacks way too much (a foul every 5.8 minutes, down from every 4.7 minutes last season, but still noteworthy), but Hibbert is a real player in the middle.

Miami Heat

Michael Beasley(notes) shot just 43.5 percent and missed five of six 3-point attempts mainly because he's not a small forward so why do you keep making him play there? Geesh.

Beasley also turned the ball over twice as many times as he registered an assist.

Milwaukee Bucks

Brandon Jennings(notes) shot 33 percent from the floor, he took 24 3-pointers despite making just a quarter of his attempts from long range, and quite a few of his two-point attempts were pretty boneheaded chucks from 21 feet.

On the bright side, he did pass well (over six assists a game in only 26 minutes), and managed well over twice as many assists as turnovers.

New Jersey Nets

Rafer Alston(notes) shot 25.6 percent from the floor, and previews still list him under the "Key Losses" tag for the Orlando Magic.

New York Knicks

New York's last two lottery picks, Danilo Gallinari(notes) and Jordan Hill(notes), missed 50 of 72 attempts from the floor during the preseason, a 30.5 percent clip. Danilo made just three shots from inside the arc in 17 attempts.

Good thing next year's pick is going to the Jazz, eh Knick fans? Put that finger away. That's terrible.

Also, Larry Hughes(notes) missed every shot he took. All 20 of them. Missed every one apparently made one shot. My original source had him down for the ohfer, but apparently L-Boogie saw one tickle the twine in 20 tries.



Orlando Magic

The Magic won all eight of their games, while downing teams by an average of nearly 18 points per game. Just saying.

The team shot 41.6 from behind the arc, Dwight Howard(notes) had room enough to shoot 62 percent from the field ... but, sure, they'll miss Hedo Turkoglu's(notes) "spacing."

Philadelphia 76ers

Starting point guard Louis Williams(notes) managed just 18 assists in 215 minutes of game action. That's 2.2 a game.

I understand that this is a Princeton-styled offense, and that he's not asked to be a typical point man. I get that Andre Iguodala(notes) will do most of the dishing, anyway. But 2.2 a game is 2.2 a game. Iguodala averaged 4.6 a game, but that was nearly matched by his 3.5 turnovers. Willie Green(notes) (32.7 percent shooting) was second with 3.8 a game, but he's Willie Green, and he's terrible.

And Elton Brand(notes) failed to crack a double-figure scoring average in 24.6 minutes per game.

Toronto Raptors

Starting center Andrea Bargnani(notes) decided to pick up a rebound once every 5.9 minutes. Good for him.

Washington Wizards

Fabricio Oberto(notes) managed more assists (10) than Nick Young(notes) (six), despite playing 44 fewer minutes and, you know, being a center and all. Nick continues to be a fan of not passing.

TOMORROW: THE WEST!

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