Beyond the Arc is getting off to a slow start this season, what with training camp out of town and tons of activity on my other beats. But that will start to change with tomorrow's first home preseason game
A few observations:
Free-throw discrepancy: If this box score is to be believed, the starters (Mike Conley, O.J. Mayo, Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, and Marc Gasol) combined for 1 free-throw attempt in 109 minutes, while the bench combined for 23 free-throw attempts in 131 minutes. Not sure what to make of that, but it doesn't speak well for the starters' aggressiveness.
Mike Conley was efficient: 12 points (5-8 from the floor, 2-3 from three-point range) with 5 assists, a steal, and only one turnover in 21 minutes. Any sign of carryover from his strong spring is a positive.
Hasheem Thabeet's line shows activity: Thabeet picked up five personal fouls in only 15 minutes. This will likely be a problem for him throughout his rookie season and it's not surprising. But I'm struck more by the positives — 4 blocks and 3 offensive boards in those 15 minutes. I'm pretty sure that's more blocks than he had in an entire five-game summer-league session.
Sam Young missed a lot of shots: Young shot 4-12 from the floor, 0-3 from three-point range, and a frightening 1-7 from the foul line. Young's line shows good activity — 7 boards, 3 assists, 2 steals, and a block in 26 minutes — but even as a role player, he needs to be able to provide some offense from the backcourt.
Hamed Haddadi, Stat Machine: Haddadi never looks good out there, but he seems to always put up production, especially on the boards. He shot 4-6 and grabbed 9 rebounds in only 14 minutes. (There were, of course, a lot of rebounds to be had in what seems to have been a fast-paced game with low shooting percentages from both teams.)