Does the preseason matter? Two years ago – in a small study that needs to be updated – I presented evidence that what we see for rookies in the preseason tells us something about the regular season. When it comes to veterans, though, one suspects (and I have not actually looked at this) that what we have seen in last regular season tells us more than the current preseason. And certainly what we see from one game can’t tell us anything at all.
Rudy Gay – who signed a very large contract this past summer – scored 18 points last night for the Memphis Grizzlies. This fact was noted in the very first line of the game recap. A fact not noted in the recap – but clearly seen in the box score – is that Rudy Gay played 23 minutes and never grabbed a single rebound. Just for the record, Gay is 6ft. 8 in. tall. One would think at that size he could bother to get a rebound. And one might think a failure to do this would warrant a mention in the article.
Once again, one game doesn’t mean much. The past regular season means far more. Unfortunately for fans of Memphis, here is what Gay has produced in four regular seasons:
2009-10: 3.9 Wins Produced, 0.059 WP48
2008-09: 2.3 Wins Produced, 0.037 WP48
2007-08:4.2 Wins Produced, 0.068 WP48
2006-07: 0.1 Wins Produced, 0.003 WP48
In four seasons, Gay has been below average [average Wins Produced per 48 minutes is 0.100] every time. And he has only produced 10.6 wins. Yes, Gay can score. And this is why Gay was given an $82 million deal this past summer (yes, that is a maximum contract). But Gay doesn’t produce wins because he doesn’t excel at the facets of the game that lead to victories. In other words, other than scoring, he doesn’t do much.
Again, it was only one preseason game. But it doesn’t look like the pattern is changing. Gay did get his points last night. As for rebounds… well, he didn’t get a maximum deal to go after boards. And with deal in hand – at least for one night – getting one board was apparently too much trouble.