If you thought the NBA Summer League was a mine full of pyrite, just wait 'til you see the preseason. The players, jerseys and arenas are all fairly familiar, except...
Oh, that's right, the games don't count. They're merely scrimmages arranged for the purpose of allowing head coaches to experiment with different plays and lineups, as well as figure out which of the riffraff at the end of the bench stays and which gets sent on its way to the D-League/Europe/Asia/the nearest Pizza Hut.
That's not to say that the NBA preseason can't be fun and interesting in its own right. Between rookies with high hopes (Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, etc.), superstars switching teams (Dwight Howard, Steve Nash) and oldish teams (the Brooklyn Nets) playing in new buildings (the Barclays Center), there's no shortage of intrigue swirling through The Association in October.
Be careful, though. Results from the preseason, like the Los Angeles Lakers losing to the Golden State Warriors by 27 points, are best taken in the same manner as any string of words out of Shaquille O'Neal's mouth—with a grain of salt.
The same goes for players, like these seven, who are "blowing up" before the regular season tips off.