Hey! Who else wants to spend his or her Saturday night listening to preseason NBA ball on the radio? I was out in Plaza-Midwood for the Krawl (best drag show I've seen in years!), and only caught bits and pieces of the game while driving home and getting ready for bed. I regret nothing.
Let's take a look at the box score. Remember, all conclusions drawn from preseason games are for entertainment purposes only.
-- D.J. Augustin was pretty bad. Most successful teams have one or (preferably) two superstar types they can rely upon for production, and everyone else just tries to keep up. On this team, though, everyone has to produce for the team to be successful. The assists are nice, but not the turnovers (same 5/3 ratio as Raymond Felton, by the way). The point is that the reason the Bobcats have such a limited ceiling is because if one of their key producers has an off night, that's likely a loss. When so many different guys have to produce to win, it makes it more difficult to win consistently.
Compare to the extreme opposite example in Cleveland. If LBJ is off his game in 10% of games, that's roughly 8 games per season that the other team should win. Maybe the other Cavaliers step up and save the day in 1 or 2 of those games and save the day. Basically, in 74 games out of the year, it doesn't really matter if Anderson Varejao is on his game or not. It's great if he does play well, but they're not relying on him.
We rely on everyone, and the only times when the Bobcats can play with anyone in the league are those times when everyone is clicking. 0-6 from the field and only 2 FT in 24 minutes is the kind of performance that won't cut it.
-- Either the Lakers' defense is excellent (very probable), or Gerald Wallace is the only guy in regular season form, as he was good ol' Crash again: 13 points and 7 boards, with 2 blocks, all in only 23 minutes.
-- Was Raja Bell responsible for Kobe's 3-11 shooting?
-- I'm not saying I'm excited, yet, but I'm certainly intrigued. Nazr Mohammed is looking rejuvenated and Alexis Ajinca continued his run of acceptable-to-impressive play. If they play this way in the regular season, it means we won't have to go looking elsewhere for big man help come trade deadline in an attempt to make the playoffs. Mohammed might be at the end of the line for his career, so if we can get some production while we ride out his contract, all the better. Ajinca still has a long way to go to prove he might one day be a starter in the league, and he'll have to buck some longstanding trends to do it. Apparently, he's playing at center, which I think is completely weird, even if he is over seven feet tall. His fallaway jumper from 12 feet is borderline uncontestable, let alone unblockable. Let him play away from the basket a bit as the four. Boris Diaw ain't exactly a bruising post presence, so maybe Ajinca can play a similar role in the offense, but with far more limited passing responsibilities.
-- Not a good sign that Derrick Brown got a DNP-CD in preseason.
-- But Stephen Graham played 28 minutes. Hey, over four seasons he's played 110 more NBA games than Brown has. Because what we need from our 11th and 12th men is experience.
-- Off the top of my head, odds that Shannon Brown starts a playoff game at PG over a healthy Derek Fisher and Jordan Farmar: 75/1.