One! Two! Three! Three Bats! Ah-ah-ah!

Posted by Rob Mahoney on October 20, 2009 under Commentary | Read the First Comment

The preseason has long been upon us, so it’s about time we check in.

There have been plenty of things to watch so far in the preseason, and between new Mavs and new haircuts, I’d vote it a success. The easiest way to break down that success is to look to the numbers, even if preseason stats mean somewhere between nothing and less nothing.

First, the per game numbers (courtesy of Doug’s Stats.) for all games prior to tonight’s match-up with the Cavs:

PlayerMinFGFGA3P3PAFTFTAORTRASTSTLTOBLKPFPTS
Barea, J.J.27.02.88.00.83.02.83.20.21.64.00.41.60.01.89.2
Rodrigue, Beaubois13.82.04.20.82.01.42.00.20.82.20.61.40.02.46.2
Carroll, Matt16.02.05.80.52.31.01.01.02.50.50.50.50.02.255.5
Dampier, Erick20.02.03.20.00.21.43.20.64.20.60.20.80.43.25.4
Gooden, Drew20.24.29.00.00.03.64.02.45.00.60.80.80.23.612.0
Humphries, Kris18.84.48.00.00.44.66.01.27.41.40.81.00.03.813.4
Jawai, Nathan8.01.02.00.00.00.00.00.00.02.00.02.00.02.02.0
Kidd, Jason26.02.05.41.43.61.41.80.65.86.82.22.20.20.86.8
Marion, Shawn23.59.012.00.00.52.52.51.54.51.51.51.00.01.020.5
Nowitzki, Dirk26.06.011.00.00.27.48.60.85.02.01.02.60.43.019.4
Ross, Quinton24.62.24.80.21.01.62.01.02.81.81.01.00.22.26.2
Singleton, James11.80.53.00.01.00.51.01.02.80.80.31.00.51.01.5
Terry, Jason23.25.010.22.64.82.02.20.01.02.61.40.80.40.814.6
Voskul, Jake7.51.32.00.00.30.30.80.52.30.30.30.50.32.02.3

Or, if it tickles your fancy, the Mavs’ per 36 minute numbers:
PlayerMinFGFGA3P3PAFTFTAORTRASTSTLTOBLKPFPTS
Barea, J.J.1353.710.71.14.03.74.30.32.15.30.52.10.02.412.0
Rodrigue, Beaubois695.211.02.15.23.75.20.52.15.71.63.70.06.316.0
Carroll, Matt644.512.91.15.12.22.32.35.61.11.11.10.05.112.0
Dampier, Erick1003.65.80.00.42.55.81.17.61.10.41.40.75.89.7
Gooden, Drew1017.516.00.00.06.47.14.38.91.11.41.40.46.421.0
Humphries, Kris948.415.30.00.88.811.52.314.22.71.51.90.07.326.0
Jawai, Nathan84.59.00.00.00.00.00.00.09.00.09.00.09.09.0
Kidd, Jason1302.87.51.95.01.92.50.88.09.43.03.10.31.19.4
Marion, Shawn4713.818.40.00.83.83.82.36.92.32.31.50.01.531.0
Nowitzki, Dirk1308.315.20.00.310.311.91.16.92.81.43.60.64.227.0
Ross, Quinton1233.27.00.31.5232.91.54.12.61.51.50.33.29.1
Singleton, James471.59.20.03.1153.13.18.42.30.83.11.53.14.5
Terry, Jason1167.815.84.07.5313.40.01.64.02.21.20.61.223.0
Voskul, Jake306.09.60.01.21.23.62.410.81.21.22.41.29.613.0

And hey, just for fun, Basketball-Reference.com offers up some fun advanced stats with the preseason data. I’ve taken the liberty of borrowing the top Mavs in terms of offensive rating and defensive rating.

PlayerORtgPlayerDRtg
Marion143.0Kidd98.0
Terry127.0Humphries98.1
Humphries125.1Voskuhl99.9

It’s easy to get swept up in the momentum of a few impressive dunks and some flashy numbers, but everyone in Mavs land is hoping that Kris Humphries’ preseason performance is more than a fluke. It’s clear that Kris has some value, but the extent of that value is a little bit fuzzy. At minimum, we’re looking at a Singleton-esque big off the bench, hopefully capable of playing some center. At best, we’re looking at a full-fledged Brandon Bass replacement. Humphries’ level of efficiency on both ends has been flat-out ridiculous for a player of his caliber, and to expect that to continue once the regular season opener rolls around is a tad generous. But if talking to the ceiling is an accepted practice, I see no reason why wishing for it should be any less the norm.

Marion’s production has been equally delicious, but there are a few footnotes. First and foremost, he only played two games. Austin Croshere could put up mind-numbing numbers over two preseason games, but that doesn’t make him the “missing piece.” Also, none of Marion’s minutes were played alongside Josh Howard. Having those two on the wing together could fundamentally change their production either for better or worse, but the absence of Josh is enough to think twice before proclaiming Marion’s greatness. But I won’t be stopped me from doing just that. In those two preseason games, he was great. Take from that what you will.