Preseason is when the 2009-10 story begins

BY foxsports • September 23, 2009

In a few days, NBA players will park their cell phones long enough to start building sweat equity in training camp.

Defensive rotations out of double teams will be rehearsed. Deployment of and actions against ball screens will be refined. Offensive schemes designed to keep the ball away from the less-skilled will be practiced. Rookies will learn that the door limiting the impact of help defense at the professional level swings both ways.

Anyway, while the technical side of the NBA is engaged, the rest of us should be interested in tracking what occurs as camps start rolling and exhibition games begin to erupt.

For example, will Shaquille O'Neal's promise to fall into lock step behind LeBron James mean The King has sovereignty over any pre-game introduction pantomimes?

It should be noted that Shaq's ability to remain chipper if excluded from most of the Cleveland Cavaliers' offensive game plan is an issue requiring weeks of study time.

The same holds true for Vince Carter's presumed attempt to blend in Orlando, Ron Artest's talent for adding a touch of productive craziness to the defending champions and Rasheed Wallace embracing the ubuntu spirit in Boston.

But in the short term, camp and exhibitions should enable us to reconcile several of the following issues:

KG's knee

The last time we checked in on the Boston Celtics, they were coughing up their status as defending champs while spiritual and defensive leader Kevin Garnett was rendered helpless with a bum knee.

Now that Wallace and Marquis Daniels have joined the T (for technical) party, a bouncy Garnett could be enough to push the Cs back into the Finals. Anything short of that could portend trouble.

Watching KG in camp should give Boston fans a fine idea of what may be in store.

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