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Open Gameday Thread vs. New Orleans Hornets (in Greensboro)

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TV: Fox Sports Carolinas
RADIO: WFNZ 630AM

I'm pretty sure this is still the preseason, right? Right.

That means all of this fails the basketball smell test. Did you see what DeJuan Blair did the other day? He was the consensus Best Second Round Draft Pick, and we all kind of acknowledged he was capable of putting up a line like 16 points and 19 rebounds (in 22 minutes!), but it was a preseason game. Anthony Morrow holds the Summer League record for points in a game, but it was Summer League. We know Morrow belongs in the NBA and lots of people think Blair does, but those performances, by themselves, don't exactly augur greatness.

The same principle applies to performance by more run-of-the-mill starters and assorted rotation players. If Gerald Henderson looks good and shows some skills, that's great, but only insofar as it provides hope for the real games. If he sucks, that's bad, but only insofar as it dampens hope.

What we fans should be seeking in these games is insight into how the coaching staff thinks about the players. Raymond Felton's starting. Alexis Ajinca didn't dunk in the wrong basket, so he'll get another chance to prove himself. Vladimir Radmanovic is being asked to do more than just stand in the corner and bomb threes, which is what perturbed him in L.A.

What we think about the players matters -- otherwise, this entire exercise is pointless -- but I don't think there's much substance in preseason games that only barely resemble NBA basketball. Sooooo... Good stuff is good, bad stuff is bad, but only marginally so.