Ball Don't Lie - NBA

If you're new to this, well, this is not a typical Behind the Box Score.

If you've been reading these since 1999, well, cheers. Thanks for your eyes. And as it's the first week of the preseason, you can likely understand why I'm holding back.

There's quite a bit that I'd like to get into following the first heavy preseason evening of the year. But Tuesday night was just one night out, an unrepresentative night, and we will react accordingly with this BtB.

(Though we really, really don't want to.)

So this BtB, though we watched the better part of the four games that were televised, will only include observations that I think are pertinent to your fandom moving forward, and nothing more.

Also, John Wall(notes) looks fantastic. Like a mini-Tyreke Evans(notes), but quicker. And probably not as good in the end. But better in so many ways. Analysis!

More after the jump.

Cleveland 87, Charlotte 72

The Bobcats had 20 Cleveland turnovers to work with, and still shot under 32 percent. Offense is not Charlotte's leaned-upon game-changer, but just 72 points when the other team turns it over on nearly 21 percent of their possessions?

Daniel Gibson(notes) had 18 points for Cleveland, and I'll admit to being surprised that he can still do that at this level.

New Jersey 103, Philadelphia 96

Jordan Farmar(notes) scored nine points on just two shots attempts, and upon the first reading of this box score I assumed this was Anthony Morrow's(notes) line. Kindly forgive me. Morrow had five points on six shots.

Terrence Williams(notes) is hopefully building on his hot start to end last season, as he managed 20 points off the bench. The 76ers missed 16 of 18 3-pointers while still getting to the line 49 times. I'm assuming this won't be the last time I'll write the last sentence I wrote this season.

Miami 105, Detroit 89

Dwyane Wade(notes) pulled his hamstring, LeBron James(notes) looks like a better version of the best player in the game (though he still takes some stupid shots), and Chris Bosh(notes) just takes what he can get. And against a team like the Pistons, even with Wade out, all the jokes are true. You and I could suit up at the other positions, and it wouldn't matter. I'm now assuming Miami will win 77 games.

The Pistons don't have a plan offensively, defensively, in rotation terms, or in its viability as a group moving forward. I'm one preseason game in, and in spite of some talented players and what I still believe to be a good coach, this team is lost.

Milwaukee 92, Chicago 83

This game started as you'd expect -- two of the better defensive teams in this league trading missed shots. And with Andrew Bogut(notes) out, seemingly each of Chicago's missed shots came just a foot away from the rim. So many gimmes gone.

The Bulls came back, though it wasn't enough. The team caused 24 turnovers but allowed a terrible Milwaukee club (without Bogut and Corey Maggette(notes)) to shoot nearly 51 percent, and that won't cut it.

Kyle Korver(notes) scored 22 points, which will allow an insufferable Stacey King to go on for the next two months about how that Jerry Sloan-bred know-how will help the Bulls, and how the team will get even better once a low-post presence in Carlos Boozer(notes) returns. One game in, not even a real game, and I'm already sick of it.

Portland 115, Los Angeles Clippers 86

Over 59 percent 3-point shooting for Portland, which is rather impressive in the first week of October.

Orlando 97, Houston 88

A really fun game.

Aaron Brooks(notes) looks fit, ready to finish. Hopefully he makes me look a fool all season.

Jameer Nelson(notes) is clearly in the best shape of his life. I hate going this route, but it behooves me to point out that anyone who is about to take part in a fantasy draft should take a second look at this guy, despite his eight points on nine shots (seven assists).

Dwight Howard(notes) looks fluid and versatile and ever-improving. He had 19 and 12 and three blocks in 27 minutes.

And Yao Ming(notes) played NBA basketball in a game I could watch on Tuesday. So, clearly, I'm as happy as a sand boy. Welcome back big man.

Washington 97, Dallas 94

Again, we could banter for ages on what a scoring point guard does for a team. But John Wall had 21 points, nine assists and four steals against (mostly) Jason Kidd(notes) on Tuesday, and while he took a couple of bad shots and looked more lope-y than he did ultraquick, this guy finds a way to put the ball in the hole. More, please.

The Wizards should be proud of this win. They hit some iffy shots early off broken plays, but it was a nice showing against a Dallas team that could really have some defensive issues this year.

Gilbert Arenas(notes) played without a knee brace. I am saving so much for future posts. Kindly hang with me.

Lester Hudson(notes) shot a three in a tie game when a three wasn't needed, but I really appreciated the late-game bit of intrigue whilst I was cleaning my carpets and hurrying to write about Dwyane Wade.

Sacramento 109, Phoenix 95

Didn't see it, but 16 points, 16 rebounds, five turnovers and five fouls for DeMarcus Cousins. And that ... that sounds about right! Please televise his next outing, League Pass. And every one that follows for the rest of his career.

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