Letâ€™s say this up front, six games â€” preseason games at that â€” is too small a sample size from which to draw big conclusions. That said, I love to jump to conclusions. Don’t even look where I’m leaping. Now that I’ve got this post’s cliche quota out of the way, we can say there are some good and bad things that leap out at you when you look at the stats for the Lakers in the preseason:
The Good: Some of the key players are shooting well â€” Kobe is at 52.1%, Kwame at 52.2%. Smush at 56.8% and Devean George at 54.8% (all eFG%, of course).
The Bad: As a team the Lakers are shooting 45.5% in the preseason, well below the 48.5% they shot last season. The team shooting from three-point range is atrocious â€” 16.4%. And one key player has gotten off to a poor start â€” Lamar Odom is shooting just 38.4%, and heâ€™s just 3 of 18 from three point range, as he tries to adjust to his new role in the offense.
The Good: The Lakers are creating more turnovers. So far this season they have created turnovers of 17.6% of opponentsâ€™ possessions, up from the league-last 12.5% last season. Kobe is leading the way averaging 3.3 steals per 48 minutes played, with Devean George at 2.2 and Smush Parker at 2.1.
The Bad: The Lakers are struggling on offense in the triangle, with an offensive efficiency of 98.4 (points per 100 possessions). That is well below the 107 the Lakers averaged last season and would have tied them for 26th in the league. (For the record, I expect the offense will get better as the players become more comfortable, it has looked better against the beat up Bobcats, but it may not be what weâ€™d all hoped to see for a while.)
The Good: Brian Cook is the teamâ€™s best rebounder in the preseason. After spending last season pretending to be a two guard, Cook is playing closer to the basket and averaging 16.3 rebounds per 48 minutes this preseason. Chris Mihm is second at 13.4 and last seasonâ€™s Laker rebounding leader Lamar Odom is third at 12.2.
Letâ€™s leave it on a good note. Thanks to Doug’s Stats for tracking this preseason stuff. Even if Iâ€™m not going to read too much into it.