In the world of sports it is easy to get sucked into statistics. Sports is born for statistics. It is a way to take what can be an endless circular conversation and say, because of number A, player B is the best.
But statistics, like most things in life, have their shortcomings. Statistics are often cherry-picked to further your own case whilst ignoring the greater context of the number. For example, one could argue that Corey Kispert was less of a turnover liability on the ball last season than Josh Perkins—his TO% of 13.6 was much less than Perkins’ 18.2%. Kispert, however, handled the ball much less due to his position, and saw the offense run through him even less. No one would (or should) ever say Kispert can handle the ball better than Perkins.
Likewise, no one should ever look at Matthew Lang’s eight total points last season and call his contributions to the team minimal. Just because you don’t directly see his value does not mean that value is non-existent.
Just take a look at the accompanying picture for this post: That is Lang wearing the red #10 jersey, dribbling against Brandon Clarke and Geno Crandall. Both Clarke and Crandall are only as good as Lang and the rest of the red squad can help shape them.
Lang is the one embodying the opponents during practice. When the starting five executes a picture perfect game plan, thank players like Lang. It was the hours of practice with him that gets the team as far as it can go.
It is a rare opportunity to cheer for players like Lang. Lang only played 22 minutes last season. He probably won’t play much more this season. That is why, when he hits the court, make sure to let him know you care.