We all know that bloggers hate jumping to conclusions, right?
With my nostrils pinched, then, here are some stats from the first four preseason games (sample size be damned). As for shooting, we'll look at effective field goal percentage (as defined here):
The team's top two shooters are not shooting well thus far. If it's any consolation, Peja was shooting god awful the first two preseason games, and shot just awful in the last two. Also note that Miller will always be near the top of both the team and the league. He's incredibly efficient on offense.
A couple of other notes - this is limited to players with at least 40 minutes of playing time thus far and at least 10 shots taken. Even though the above stats mean little to nothing, including guys like Ronnie Price and Luis Flores at this point would just be silly.
I've listed 11 players above, and Rick Adelman is known to play only 7 or 8 in any given game. So, barring injuries, it's unlikely that all of the above players will get substantial PT, let alone other guys that might make the roster like Jamal Sampson or Luke Schenscher.
How about rebounding? Here's the top 11's rebounds per 40 minutes thus far:
No huge surprises, except perhaps Shareef being so low. KT has definitely outperformed SAR in this category thus far.
Peja's mindboggling inability to rebound the damn ball continues to boggle minds. He has to be the superstar least likely to get a triple-double. Bonzi's reputation as a great rebounding guard has held up through four meaningless games, though.
Measuring assists and turnovers and the passing game in general is difficult even with robust data. The smartypantses over at the APBRmetric Forum have debated all summer over how to best measure assisting acumen, given that raw assist numbers don't do the trick. So, among all the grains of salt to be taken with relation to this post (and this site, in general), this one should be the biggest.
Here lies a completely made up stat - assist/turnover differential. I calculated each player's assists per 40 minutes, subtracted their turnovers per 40 minutes, and got a surely meaningless number, which follows:
Player A/T Diff
Bibby and Hart have both distributed well so far and not made mistakes. It might be curious to see Peja up there - after all, he's career high in assists in a game is 7. But he's only had two turnovers in 102 minutes played. Impressive.
Kevin Martin has 5 assists and 12 turnovers so far. Could be an anomoly, or it could mean more pine for the kid. Adelman will accept cold shooting. He won't accept carelessness with the ball.
Scoring is tough to get a grasp with minimal data, because it's so reliant on actually taking shots. That's why I'll always put more stock in shooting percentages - that seems to measure how well you shoot instead of how often you shoot.
But points win the game, and there's definitely something to be said for getting in a position to score, whether it be off an assist or a tip-in or a fast break. Here's the breakdown in points per 40 minutes so far:
Bibby is way low because he has shot poorly - he'll be second only to Peja as the season wears on. B-52 has done a good job getting the ball and getting it in the hoop - I don't think 18 points a game is unreasonable for him this season, given a lack of depth behind him and a penchant of Adelman's to ride his top 7 like it's the playoffs all damn season.
Garcia has taken tons of shots, a lot of those threes. Corliss (nee Score-less Williamson circa 1997) has shot more than usual so far, too. How much of that is jockeying for playing time versus Frankie G., and how much of that is stepping into a bench scoring void?
Again, take all of the above with a pound of salt (margarita salt, perhaps), as four exhibition games are unlikely to tell you anything real. Four regular season games are unlikely to tell you anything real.
But hey, there's nothing like trying to figure out your team.