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Saturday, March 01, 2014

OT: NBA Monthly Thread - March 2014

I estimate only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, but with our own thread, we won’t detract from what this site is really about: whether civilization peaked during the reign of Queen Victoria, or the reign of Jimmy Carter.

Sadly, LeBron will have to get used to disappointment.

The District Attorney Posted: March 01, 2014 at 09:03 PM | 789 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball, nba, off-topic

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   501. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 20, 2014 at 10:26 AM (#4674399)
Flip
   502. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: March 20, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4674412)
[500] I kept Rubio on my fantasy team all season. Had he had that night at any point in the last two weeks I would have made the playoffs. Oh well.

Amazingly fun passing graphic.
   503. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 20, 2014 at 11:57 AM (#4674442)
Amazingly fun passing graphic.


Man, Timofey Mozgov is a dick. He passes to no one! Very cool little bit of info.
   504. jmurph Posted: March 20, 2014 at 11:58 AM (#4674444)
Decent article in The Atlantic of all places about tanking and the draft. It's mostly just a narrative argument but there is also this:

Nearly 30 years of data tell a crystal-clear story: a truly awful team has never once metamorphosed into a championship squad through the draft. The last team to draft No. 1 and then win a championship (at any point thereafter) was the San Antonio Spurs, which lucked into the pick (Tim Duncan) back in 1997 when the team’s star center, David Robinson, missed all but six games the previous season because of injuries. The teams with the top three picks in any given draft are almost twice as likely to never make the playoffs within four years—the term of an NBA rookie contract, before the player reaches free agency—as they are to make it past the second round.


I continue to think that tanking is not something that needs to be dealt with via a rules change, but I do think it's generally bad strategy, and I think those two pieces of evidence are pretty compelling.

   505. theboyqueen Posted: March 20, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4674466)
Winning a championship is a pretty high and arbitrary bar and says nothing about whether tanking is a good strategy or not. The teams with the top three picks in a given draft are very bad to begin with, you need to compare them to a control group (4-6 most likely) to figure this out.

Cleveland never won a championship but having the first pick probably worked out pretty well for them.
   506. Manny Coon Posted: March 20, 2014 at 12:29 PM (#4674473)
Winning a championship is a pretty high and arbitrary bar


Exactly, I really don't think the teams that ended up with Lebron, Shaq and Howard only to lose in the finals regret getting the top pick. You also have cases like the Clippers where adding Griffin made them a destination team, Paul would have never agreed to go there with Griffin. Also teams don't only tank for the #1 pick, sometimes getting the #2 pick and getting Kevin Durant is even better.

High draft picks aren't the only step in a rebuilding process, sometimes they aren't even necessary, but they are usually an important step.
   507. jmurph Posted: March 20, 2014 at 12:32 PM (#4674474)
I agree that it's overly simplistic, but I think the overall argument is that gutting your roster to the extent that Philly has likely means that even consecutive number ones in non-Duncan or Lebron draft years isn't going to make you an elite team within the time frame of the rookie contracts. Because you're lacking not only star talent, but rotational talent, too.
   508. jmurph Posted: March 20, 2014 at 12:37 PM (#4674480)
Manny: the Shaq example is not illustrative as they won the Penny lottery despite being the best non-playoff team that year. That's much closer to the Spurs example of lucking into the Duncan pick due to the Robinson injury. Not at all an example of tanking, which is the argument. Being a relatively bad team or the 9th best team in the conference is not at all similar to what Philly is doing this year.
   509. AROM Posted: March 20, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4674482)
High draft picks aren't the only step in a rebuilding process, sometimes they aren't even necessary, but they are usually an important step.


Yeah. Important thing is to get the right player, whether it's #1 or in the lottery, then make the moves to build around that player and hope you get lucky.

Like draft Wade in lottery -> trade for Shaq -> celebrate.

Championship teams built around a #1 overall pick playing for team that drafted him:

Spurs - Duncan, Robinson
Rockets - Hakeem
Lakers - Magic (and Worthy)
Blazers - Walton
Bucks - Kareem

That's it. Before that Russell won most of the championships, but was not the #1 pick.

Fun with selective endpoints - from 1971-2007, 13 of 37 NBA championships were won by teams building around their own #1 overall pick.
   510. theboyqueen Posted: March 20, 2014 at 12:41 PM (#4674484)
Rotational talent is much easier to come by than star talent though, especially for less competitive markets. Failure to assemble rotational talent around star players is a failure of implementation, not the strategy itself.

The fact is you are much more likely to acquire a star player by drafting 1st or 2nd than by drafting 6th or 7th. Also, tanking is clearly a better strategy in years where the draft seems very top heavy or where there is transcendent talent available.
   511. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: March 20, 2014 at 01:09 PM (#4674500)
A lot of attention has been paid to Philly in all this, but I'm more interested in hearing the Jazz fans' perspective.

After their offseason moves everyone assumed Utah was going to try and tank so they can get Jabari. Then, they start the season 1-15 (IIRC) and there was some discussion on here about whether being so bad would be detrimental to the team's long term development of young guys currently on the team. There was even a sentiment expressed here, which I thought was crazy, that losing so much/all the time isn't fun and detracted from the fan experience so much so that Jazz fans actually wanted to start winning some games. Well, once Burke got healthy the Jazz did start winning some games and are 21-32 since the first 16 games.

The Hollinger projections have them finishing tied with the Lakers for the 4th worst record, so let's say they pick 4th or 5th. Wiggins and Parker will definitely be gone. Depending on medicals, Embiid may be gone. If it's 5th, Exum is gone. Is the sense that the Jazz should have made a more Sixerian effort of having a bad season or was winning some games this year worth the difference between a marginally higher pick and where they will likely land now?
   512. Big Ears Teddy shouldn't see TFTIO Posted: March 20, 2014 at 01:41 PM (#4674516)
the Penny lottery

To be fair, they won the Webber lottery. aka the Don Nelson Goes Berzerk lottery.
   513. Manny Coon Posted: March 20, 2014 at 01:46 PM (#4674517)
I agree that it's overly simplistic, but I think the overall argument is that gutting your roster to the extent that Philly has likely means that even consecutive number ones in non-Duncan or Lebron draft years isn't going to make you an elite team within the time frame of the rookie contracts. Because you're lacking not only star talent, but rotational talent, too.


Philly isn't just tanking for picks though. They have cleared a ton of cap space, which allows them to sign free agents or make space absorbing trades; they may or may not be able to make many moves with the cap space this year, but don't need to burn through all their space right away either. They also brought in Noel, who if he gets his health together is arguably the most talented player from last year's draft.

The guys they dumped, Holiday, Hawes and Turner, were all paid more than they were worth or due to get big pay raises to the point they paid more than they were worth. They kept Thaddeus Young, because he was the one guy that was worth keeping. I see them more as cleaning house, rather specifically tanking.
   514. Manny Coon Posted: March 20, 2014 at 02:06 PM (#4674529)
Before that Russell won most of the championships, but was not the #1 pick.


He didn't win rookie of the year either and he was also traded on draft day, I guess it took people a while to figure exactly how dominant he was. The trade enough sense, St. Louis did manage to beat the Russell Celtics once with McCauley and Hagan, and McCauley is in the Hall of Fame. Rochester drafting Russell instead of Green could certainly make for interesting NBA alternate time line.
   515. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: March 20, 2014 at 03:24 PM (#4674582)
I'm pretty far out of the loop on college hoops- how is the draft looking now, now that the season is nearly complete?


It's still seen as a deep draft, but the pundits are now longer pushing guys as once-in-a-generation talents.

I can't figure out why Willie Cauley-Stein isn't better. Great size, good athlete, seems to have a modicum of skill....and he averages 8 points and 6 boards.
   516. Booey Posted: March 20, 2014 at 03:38 PM (#4674590)
There was even a sentiment expressed here, which I thought was crazy, that losing so much/all the time isn't fun and detracted from the fan experience so much so that Jazz fans actually wanted to start winning some games.


Hey, we're not all Knicks fans. ;-) Jazz fans aren't used to losing this much. This will only be our third losing season in the last 31 years.

Well, once Burke got healthy the Jazz did start winning some games and are 21-32 since the first 16 games.


Yeah, and that's including their 1-11 record in their last 12. They actually played almost .500 ball for over two months.

Is the sense that the Jazz should have made a more Sixerian effort of having a bad season or was winning some games this year worth the difference between a marginally higher pick and where they will likely land now?


Well, I'd say their record over their last dozen games is pretty Sixerian. Their only win in that span? You guessed it - the Sixers! Keep in mind though that getting a high draft pick wasn't their only goal for this season. They also wanted to get their youngens some experience, and I agree with (I think) RR who said that young teams need to win SOME games to avoid getting discouraged and/or picking up bad habits. And you can only stockpile draft picks for so long; it's not just fans that sometimes have a hard time buying into a rebuilding plan. Players get sick of losing too, and why stick around if they can't see a light at the end of the tunnel? Hayward is a restricted FA, for example, and if the Jazz's mid-season break from gawd-awfulness is enough to show him that they CAN win when everyone is healthy and clicking and help convince him to stay, then I'd say it might be worth it (I haven't quit on him yet!). But if we miss out on a worthwhile pick and he decides he wants to play for a contender and leaves anyway, then yeah, this whole season will be one giant bucket of suck.

So to sum up my answer in a much less rambling way, my opinion of the Jazz's season depends almost entirely on what happens in the draft. But there are too many bad teams this year to guarantee they'd have gotten a good pick even if they went on a full-out Sixer caliber nosedive a month or two earlier.
   517. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: March 20, 2014 at 03:48 PM (#4674598)
Doug Thonus is a mediocre to shitty Bulls blogger, but I felt like I have to post his ideas on how to get Melo to Chicago. Now, he might have a point or two in there, this proposed trade idea is so f'in bad:

My golden offer for Melo has been Bulls 2014 1st, Charlote 2014 1st, Bulls 2015 1st (with lotto protected pick swap option with cleveland), Conditional Kings 1st, and Bulls 2017 1st along with Carlos Boozer to match salary.


Now, to get the Knicks to take Boozer, it would take sweetening. But no S&T of a potential FA* has netted anything in the neighborhood of that deal. Now, if everything went right for the Bulls (and they also added Mirotic, as he suggests), those future picks might be low first rounders without a ton of value (and the Kings pick might never even be a 1st). But if say Rose got injured again or Melo doesn't really fit (or just gets old fast), my god, the Bulls would be Knicksian before you know it. 5 first rounders**!!!! That trade would be about as huge of a win possible for PJ.

*For this deal to happen, Melo gets the 5 year extension with the Knicks on a condition of being traded to the Bulls. He'd have to take a huge paycut to sign here outright (plus the Bulls would have to dump guys for nothing).
**The trade would have to happen after this years draft to get around the Stepien rule.
   518. jmurph Posted: March 20, 2014 at 03:59 PM (#4674608)
My golden offer for Melo has been Bulls 2014 1st, Charlote 2014 1st, Bulls 2015 1st (with lotto protected pick swap option with cleveland), Conditional Kings 1st, and Bulls 2017 1st along with Carlos Boozer to match salary.


This is possibly the dumbest thing ever posted to the internet.
   519. Booey Posted: March 20, 2014 at 04:01 PM (#4674610)
One more question regarding the Jazz: if they did decide earlier they were going to go full-Sixer, how would they have done it anyway? They can't trade away all their useful players cuz they want to keep those guys as part of their core going forward. And they can't bench these players with fake injuries cuz they're also trying to get them experience, and that doesn't happen when they're sitting on their cans. What would've been a productive way the Jazz could've tanked without ruining their core or putting their young players development on hold?
   520. King Mekong Posted: March 20, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4674617)
I didn't think that sign and trades worked that way anymore.

AROM, do you or anyone else know of where good public data sets are for college players? I'm interested in learning R and I'd rather do it with a data set that I like like basketball rather than something else.

Edit: I suppose I'd need some NBA data too, that had something like winshares in it...
   521. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: March 20, 2014 at 04:16 PM (#4674618)
I didn't think that sign and trades worked that way anymore.

There's limits on S&Ts; if you're over the cap. I think that "trade" would be legal (as would one with Melo going to Houston).
   522. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: March 20, 2014 at 04:22 PM (#4674620)
One more question regarding the Jazz: if they did decide earlier they were going to go full-Sixer, how would they have done it anyway?
I agree. The Jazz are terrible, but they're just not terrible enough to be the worst team in the league without sitting starters, starters that need to play for the team's future. It's a deep draft, and they're going to get someone good. You poison the environment by tanking games, you still might not get a better player, and the player you want to keep (Hayward) may decide he doesn't want to stick around for teh suck.
   523. AROM Posted: March 20, 2014 at 04:34 PM (#4674626)
AROM, do you or anyone else know of where good public data sets are for college players?


I just use basketball reference.
   524. King Mekong Posted: March 20, 2014 at 04:52 PM (#4674633)
521 - sorry, I meant that signed and traded players can't receive a 5th year.

523 - This might be ignorant, but I don't see an easy way to get bulk player level data like they have with basketball reference leaders ie something like -> http://www.basketball-reference.com/leagues/NBA_2014_advanced.html
   525. Kurt Posted: March 20, 2014 at 04:53 PM (#4674634)
Aaron Craft gave up the go-ahead basket with three seconds left *and* missed a shot at the buzzer? Good day.
   526. Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor Posted: March 20, 2014 at 04:55 PM (#4674635)
521 - sorry, I meant that signed and traded players can't receive a 5th year.

Hmmm...maybe.
   527. AROM Posted: March 20, 2014 at 08:01 PM (#4674674)
Kong,

I don't have a way of getting bulk data. For college, I'll go to bbref play index, pick a year, set a filter (like minutes > x) and get the list. I try to limit it to players I'm interested in instead of grabbing a full data set. There are 100 players on a page, so I just click on the csv button then copy into excel. Go to the next page and repeat.

If you do I that way, I'd recommend sponsoring a player page or subscribing to play index (baseball is the only play index that charges), just to be polite.

Watching St Louis v NC State. Wow, Beejay Anya is huge, 6 foot 9 and 330. Reminds me of Oliver Miller. He gets down the court surprisingly well for his size.
   528. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: March 20, 2014 at 11:46 PM (#4674701)
After their offseason moves everyone assumed Utah was going to try and tank so they can get Jabari. Then, they start the season 1-15 (IIRC) and there was some discussion on here about whether being so bad would be detrimental to the team's long term development of young guys currently on the team. There was even a sentiment expressed here, which I thought was crazy, that losing so much/all the time isn't fun and detracted from the fan experience so much so that Jazz fans actually wanted to start winning some games. Well, once Burke got healthy the Jazz did start winning some games and are 21-32 since the first 16 games.

The Hollinger projections have them finishing tied with the Lakers for the 4th worst record, so let's say they pick 4th or 5th. Wiggins and Parker will definitely be gone. Depending on medicals, Embiid may be gone. If it's 5th, Exum is gone. Is the sense that the Jazz should have made a more Sixerian effort of having a bad season or was winning some games this year worth the difference between a marginally higher pick and where they will likely land now?


I don't think I'd be upset at them. Their best players are their young guys, so tanking would just mean more Jefferson, and the lottery odds simply aren't different enough to hold out players you think are a part of your future.
   529. andrewberg Posted: March 21, 2014 at 12:45 AM (#4674712)
NDSU is my dad's and many of my friends' alma mater. I went to basketball camp there every year as a kid. That was an extremely fun game for many reasons.
   530. andrewberg Posted: March 21, 2014 at 12:45 AM (#4674713)
Also, Sim Bhullar is the coolest player in all of basketball.
   531. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: March 21, 2014 at 12:51 AM (#4674716)
The ball looks like an aspirin in his hands.
   532. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: March 21, 2014 at 12:52 AM (#4674717)
Manhattan give Louisville a dose of its own medicine right now.
   533. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: March 21, 2014 at 12:58 AM (#4674719)
and Hancock ends the drama.
   534. AROM Posted: March 21, 2014 at 08:53 AM (#4674746)
Cool Hand Luke. Made it worthwhile to stay up to 1 AM last night.
   535. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: March 21, 2014 at 09:46 AM (#4674779)
Good points on the Jazz stuff, thanks for the responses. I guess what I had in mind was creative substitution/rest patterns. For example, I know the Celtics aren't tanking, according to the Celtics, but Bill Simmons pointed out the other day that (a) Rondo isn't cleared for back to backs (b) when they had a back to back they used him in the impossible game and rested him in the winnable game and the Celtics lost both. The Jazz may not have anyone coming back from injury, so there might not be the potential do anything like that.
   536. Bitter Mouse Posted: March 21, 2014 at 10:24 AM (#4674796)
One more question regarding the Jazz: if they did decide earlier they were going to go full-Sixer, how would they have done it anyway?


I am not sure, but I bet Mark Madsen knows.
   537. smileyy Posted: March 21, 2014 at 02:14 PM (#4674931)
I was disappointed when Sim Bhullar couldn't/chose not to attend Xavier*. I would have loved to see him get more of the national exposure he would have gotten there (and to have Xavier become the favorite team of a lot of folks of Indian descent).

His slightly smaller (7'3") brother Tanveer also plays for NMSU, but I think he redshirted this season?

* The NCAA didn't like his Canadian prep school, so he had to pay his own way for his first year. He chose to pay at the cheaper NMSU, where he also knew members of the coaching staff.
   538. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: March 21, 2014 at 02:32 PM (#4674949)
535, FWIW, the Jazz were very cautious bringing Favors and Hayward back from injury. I'm sure they were actually injured, but I think if the Jazz were playing for anything both would have been back playing much sooner.
   539. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: March 21, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4674953)
[538] Thanks, didn't know that.

In semi-related news, I think you have to ask the question...does Jabari Parker have the clutch gene? He may just be a closer, or even a cooler, but I think it's clear he's definitely not a cleaner.
   540. rr Posted: March 21, 2014 at 02:53 PM (#4674958)
I will be interested to see how or if this affects Jabari Parker. My gut tells me it makes it a little more likely he decides to play another year at Duke, but OTOH, he may want to get out now before more age restrictions (which I oppose, BTW).

Also, Pelton has a piece up (Insider) that says that some of Wiggins' numbers don't match his likely draft position/rep (think everybody already knew that). Haven't read it yet.
   541. AROM Posted: March 21, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4674966)
Also, Pelton has a piece up (Insider) that says that some of Wiggins' numbers don't match his likely draft position/rep (think everybody already knew that). Haven't read it yet.


I like the athleticism and defensive potential. I'm not crazy about the shooting (35% from 3) or the passing (1.6 assists). But I defer to the collective wisdom of the people doing mock drafts, and if I had the #1 overall, he'd be the guy I take.

I first raised those doubts when I looked at his high school stats, and the doubts remain. When I said this last year, somebody asked me how I can draw any conclusions from high school stats. Well, not really conclusions, but pieces of evidence.

The simple answer is that if he's only shooting low ~30 percent from three in HS, then why would you expect him to shoot better than that when he's dealing with bigger, more athletic, and more skilled defenders? Same question applies when he makes the jump to the NBA. He may just be a good, but not great offensive player with good defensive skills.

The kind of player who can start on and contribute to good teams, but is not the man you build around. But I'd still take him #1, because I don't see anyone else here who fits the mold of DA MAN.
   542. Kurt Posted: March 21, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4674968)
The kind of player who can start on and contribute to good teams, but is not the man you build around. But I'd still take him #1, because I don't see anyone else here who fits the mold of DA MAN.


So, is this draft shaping up as less than advertised? Six months ago Simmons was advising 25 teams to tank.
   543. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: March 21, 2014 at 03:26 PM (#4674971)
I think Embiid could be DA MAN, but any big with back problems, even if pretty minor, is scary as hell.

Ford now has Parker as the #4 pick. I think I'm leaning towards wanting him over Wiggins for the Jazz, based mostly on the fact the Jazz need a #1 option on offense and I don't think Wiggins will be that.
   544. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: March 21, 2014 at 03:34 PM (#4674976)
35% from three (FWIW, 37.2% since conference started) against the toughest schedule in the nation as a freshman - whose game is slashing, not shooting - is a knock? I think Kevin Durant has inflated people's expectations out of control for what a top prospect is supposed to look like statistically. Why would we expect him to shoot better in the NBA? Because he's still developing. What's more, he's more suited to the NBA than he is the college game, because he won't be getting constantly doubled or even tripled in the NBA when all of his teammates are able to knock down open shots consistently, and he'll have more room to shoot - and especially more room to drive in the lane, which is his bread and butter. The biggest reason Wiggins hasn't blown people away this year is because the lane is packed full of bodies when he gets there, because KU is short on ace shooters. The ostensible gunners are two freshman who are wildly inconsistent and barely see the floor. If there's a knock on Wiggins, it's not shooting - it's that his handles aren't that tight. Other than that, there's not really any reason I can find not to be extremely optimistic about his future.
   545. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: March 21, 2014 at 03:36 PM (#4674978)
Based on their reps you'd think Parker was some deadeye shooter (36.9% for the year, less than 30% since Duke - who plays notoriously soft OOC schedules - entered conference play) and Wiggins (35% on the year, 37.2% since conference play began after a notoriously difficult OOC schedule) was brick city.

Also, anybody who saw Duke lose today to Mercer (lol) should take note of Coach K subbing for Parker defensively in the last two minutes.

Against Mercer.
   546. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: March 21, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4674981)
Good tourney so far, between Duke and Ohio State getting bounced.
   547. steagles Posted: March 21, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4674982)
Also, anybody who saw Duke lose today to Mercer (lol) should take note of Coach K subbing for Parker defensively in the last two minutes.

Against Mercer.
wasn't parker in foul trouble? you wouldn't want to lose him on offense because of a cheap foul on defense.
   548. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: March 21, 2014 at 03:44 PM (#4674983)
I could've sworn he had three fouls but apparently he did have four. M'bad.
   549. AROM Posted: March 21, 2014 at 03:50 PM (#4674987)
Parker had 3 fouls.

35% from three (FWIW, 37.2% since conference started) against the toughest schedule in the nation as a freshman - whose game is slashing, not shooting - is a knock?


It's not really a knock (I did say I'd still take him 1-1, right?) so much as a ceiling for how good I think he'll be. He'll be a good one, but Wiggy is not your savior.
   550. jmurph Posted: March 21, 2014 at 03:53 PM (#4674990)
I've not seen a ton of any of the top prospects, but from what I've seen, I can at least imagine both Parker and Wiggins blossoming into stars. They show enough bursts to make you think you can project it out a little.

I'm 100% against drafting unrefined big men in the hopes that they'll eventually become basketball players.

EDIT: Just to clarify, I meant drafting those types of bigs at/near the top.
   551. AROM Posted: March 21, 2014 at 03:53 PM (#4674992)
If Parker had 4, my bad or boxscore bad. I was watching the end with the boxscore up in the corner and specifically remember seeing he had 3 when they were subbing him out.

Did he pick up the 4th in the last half minute or so when Duke had to foul?
   552. madvillain Posted: March 21, 2014 at 04:00 PM (#4674998)
I've not seen a ton of any of the top prospects, but from what I've seen, I can at least imagine both Parker and Wiggins blossoming into stars. They show enough bursts to make you think you can project it out a little.


Parker was slowed his senior year of HS by a pretty bad ankle injury, that held his development back a bit, but he had a pretty damn good year for Duke. If he's able to practice fully this offseason I can see him having an impactful rookie year and blossoming into a an all-star. He has a ton of offensive skill in addition to being a good if not great athlete. His efficiency was pretty damn good for the year, even if he wore down (probably because of conditioning related problems going all the back to his senior year of HS) down the stretch.

Wiggans is 7 foot and can move and has some skill. He could easily turn into a very good NBA player, if not the "once a generation" big man he was hyped as coming into KU.

This is a make or break next couple games for Glenn Robinson III. He played well against Woffard and if he helps lead Michigan back to the FF he'll probably slide back into the late first round. Right now I think he's an early 2nd rounder, best case late 1st.

Stauskus I think is pretty well set as a 15-20 pick, and McGary, as of now, is probably an early 2nd rounder. I'd love Chicago to jump on him at that price. He has a David Lee meets Kevin Love upside imo. His floor is Brian Cardinal with even more injury problems.
   553. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: March 21, 2014 at 04:14 PM (#4675009)
He has a David Lee meets Kevin Love upside imo.

This strikes me as very strange because other than being white, Love and Lee are, in many ways very different players. So, when I think of someone's upside being some weird combination of the two it makes me think he has the talent to be one of the greatest offensive players in quite some time. I'm envisioning Love's 3 point shooting, Lee's creativeness and athleticism around the basket, Love's outlet passes, Lee's halfcourt dribble drive and passing ability and Love's rebounding.
   554. madvillain Posted: March 21, 2014 at 04:24 PM (#4675015)
This strikes me as very strange because other than being white, Love and Lee are, in many ways very different players. So, when I think of someone's upside being some weird combination of the two it makes me think he has the talent to be one of the greatest offensive players in quite some time. I'm envisioning Love's 3 point shooting, Lee's creativeness and athleticism around the basket, Love's outlet passes, Lee's halfcourt dribble drive and passing ability and Love's rebounding.


He's not nearly the rebounder or shooter Love is and he's not nearly the passer or faceup playmaker Lee is -- that said, he has less refined elements of both in his game already. He can face up and create off double teams, he can shoot a bit from outside, he's a very good offensive rebounder, and he's pretty quick at times on offense while lacking the lateral movement of Lee on defense.

I just meant he has elements of those guys' game, in his game, without nearly the refined excellence. Mostly his development has been stuck in neutral since the Tourney because of a back problem, which apparently is now resolved but he's just now starting to practice.
   555. Jon T. Posted: March 21, 2014 at 04:26 PM (#4675019)
I noted the same thing about Parker being subbed defensively with three fouls.

As for Wiggins, I wonder if the translations take into account just how tough Kansas' schedule was, and also how he has improved throughout the season.
   556. zempf Posted: March 21, 2014 at 04:35 PM (#4675028)
AROM, I stole your McDermott steals/blocks factoid for a @bball_ref tweet - https://twitter.com/bball_ref/status/447103712369328129 - someone in the office suggested that he might be somewhat Szczerbiak-y in the NBA (I had forgotten that he was somehow the #6 overall pick, jeez)
   557. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: March 21, 2014 at 04:41 PM (#4675031)
Did he pick up the 4th in the last half minute or so when Duke had to foul?

Yup.

Duke - who plays notoriously soft OOC schedules

Nope. Duke typically plays one of the toughest OOC slates among major conference teams (and this year played Kansas, Arizona, Michigan, and UCLA). Perhaps you're thinking of Syracuse?
   558. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: March 21, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4675034)
I'd be more impressed if they ever played any of those games in another team's arena.
   559. kpelton Posted: March 21, 2014 at 05:45 PM (#4675058)
As for Wiggins, I wonder if the translations take into account just how tough Kansas' schedule was, and also how he has improved throughout the season.

In my case, yes and no.
   560. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: March 21, 2014 at 05:56 PM (#4675063)
ZACH LOWE HAS A PODCAST!!! MY COMMUTE JUST GOT SO MUCH BETTER!!!
   561. steagles Posted: March 21, 2014 at 06:14 PM (#4675067)
Wiggans is 7 foot and can move and has some skill. He could easily turn into a very good NBA player, if not the "once a generation" big man he was hyped as coming into KU.
this sounds like a description of andr-el embi-ggens.
   562. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: March 21, 2014 at 08:54 PM (#4675119)
NJ, I can't find the podcast. Little help?
   563. Paul D(uda) Posted: March 21, 2014 at 09:40 PM (#4675133)
Its a grantland sports podcast. You have to subscribe to all of them I think.
   564. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: March 21, 2014 at 10:15 PM (#4675141)
Great game between the Raptors and Thunder tonight. Unfortunately...Westbrook left the game with what's being called a right knee sprain. Yes, the same right knee.
   565. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: March 21, 2014 at 10:22 PM (#4675143)
Its a grantland sports podcast. You have to subscribe to all of them I think.
I want to hear Lowe, but I don't want to subscribe. FIRST WORLD PROBLEM ENSUES.
   566. theboyqueen Posted: March 21, 2014 at 10:43 PM (#4675147)
35% from three (FWIW, 37.2% since conference started) against the toughest schedule in the nation as a freshman - whose game is slashing, not shooting - is a knock? I think Kevin Durant has inflated people's expectations out of control for what a top prospect is supposed to look like statistically. Why would we expect him to shoot better in the NBA? Because he's still developing. What's more, he's more suited to the NBA than he is the college game, because he won't be getting constantly doubled or even tripled in the NBA when all of his teammates are able to knock down open shots consistently, and he'll have more room to shoot - and especially more room to drive in the lane, which is his bread and butter. The biggest reason Wiggins hasn't blown people away this year is because the lane is packed full of bodies when he gets there, because KU is short on ace shooters. The ostensible gunners are two freshman who are wildly inconsistent and barely see the floor. If there's a knock on Wiggins, it's not shooting - it's that his handles aren't that tight. Other than that, there's not really any reason I can find not to be extremely optimistic about his future.


Sounds quite a bit like Ben McLemore. Only not as good a shooter.

I'm not sure slashing and driving works that well in the NBA if your handles aren't tight. What is a good example of this?
   567. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: March 21, 2014 at 11:01 PM (#4675153)
I'm not sure slashing and driving works that well in the NBA if your handles aren't tight. What is a good example of this?

Chandler Parsons is the first person that comes to mind.

EDIT: Not sure how much slashing and driving he does but Luol Deng also has shaky handle.

EDIT 2: Paul George has gotten a lot better, but before this year I would say he was also shaky.
   568. kpelton Posted: March 21, 2014 at 11:06 PM (#4675154)
   569. greenback calls it soccer Posted: March 21, 2014 at 11:10 PM (#4675157)
People still says 'handles'?
   570. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: March 21, 2014 at 11:19 PM (#4675161)
Watched most of the Kansas game today and actually did see some Parsons in the way Wiggins used his stride to make up for the fact that he can't really dribble. Two huge lunges in the halfcourt and he was at the hoop.
   571. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: March 22, 2014 at 11:35 AM (#4675325)
Just read the Pelton+Ford column on Wiggins and now I'm laughing at [567].

EDIT: The comments on that piece are a train wreck by the way.
   572. rr Posted: March 22, 2014 at 02:30 PM (#4675379)
I have only seen Wiggins play six times and I am not a draftnik, so take this FWIW (not much)--but I am more "scouty" about the guy. I do not see a James or Jordan level-talent, but I am still high on Wiggins. I like his athleticism a lot. But then I was always very high on John Wall, too.
   573. steagles Posted: March 22, 2014 at 02:51 PM (#4675385)
my all-underrated draft prospects team:
G: bryce cotton, providence
W: kyle anderson, UCLA
W: justin jackson, cincinnati
F: juvonte reddic, VCU
F: adreian payne, michigan state
   574. yo la tengo Posted: March 22, 2014 at 05:16 PM (#4675443)
Just got in and did not get a chance to see UF - Pitt. Boxscore looks promising for next weekend. If they can handle Pitt easily with Frazier so cold, have to imagine he'll be better next week. Seems like Elite 8 is a good chance for the 4th year in a row- don't think UCLA or SFA are that intimidating.
   575. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: March 22, 2014 at 05:40 PM (#4675450)
Is Michigan's Nik Stauskas any sort of NBA prospect? I sure hope so-- my goodness is he fun to watch!
   576. greenback calls it soccer Posted: March 22, 2014 at 07:20 PM (#4675484)
Stauskas is a fantastic shooter. He gets his balance so quickly and consistently that he will score in the NBA. But he is an atrocious defender. He might be the worst defender in the NBA next year.

John Beilein is a very good college basketball coach, but he has been running a zone defense in the second half that puts his Justin Bieber clone on a 6-9 300 pound center. The results have been predictable.
   577. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: March 22, 2014 at 08:45 PM (#4675513)
I like his athleticism a lot. But then I was always very high on John Wall, too.


Wouldn't this be a point in your favor?
   578. AROM Posted: March 22, 2014 at 09:40 PM (#4675524)
Stauskas will be the next Kyle Korver.
   579. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: March 23, 2014 at 12:09 AM (#4675567)
Stauskas will be the next Kyle Korver.

I really only watch basketball during March Madness, but I was really impressed by just how damn quick he was able to square up for his shots. I mean, there are tons of slow un-athletic guys in college who can shoot lights out from beyond the arc--I've never really been sure what it is that separates the guys who make it to the NBA from the guys who don't, but I think I got an idea watching Stauskas. Just the slightest hesitation by the defender was all it took for him to fire away.
   580. puck Posted: March 23, 2014 at 12:32 AM (#4675575)
Stauskas shoots a lot of free throws, interesting.
   581. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 23, 2014 at 06:06 AM (#4675602)
the wi/oregon game was very exciting.

oregon really took it to the badgers especially in the first half. wisconsin showed some moxie coming back from 12 down at half to win

   582. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 23, 2014 at 07:06 AM (#4675603)
Before that Russell won most of the championships, but was not the #1 pick.


He didn't win rookie of the year either

He played in the Olympics that year and missed the first part of his rookie season. ROY Tommy Heinsohn, who was the Celtics territorial pick from Holy Cross, played the full season while averaging 16.2 PPG and 22.9 PPG in the playoffs. Giving the award to Heinsohn was completely defensible.

and he was also traded on draft day, I guess it took people a while to figure exactly how dominant he was.

St. Louis was a Jim Crow city in 1956 and that entered into the Hawks' decision to make the trade. Another factor was that Macauley was a local college hero, but it was really Cliff Hagan who was the key player for the Hawks in the trade. Hagan combined with Bob Pettit to keep the Hawks in contention for years, and wound up in the Hall of Fame.

The trade enough sense, St. Louis did manage to beat the Russell Celtics once with McCauley and Hagan, and McCauley is in the Hall of Fame.

Macauley's career had already peaked at the time of the trade, and he was out of the league two years later. And the only time the Hawks beat the Celtics in the playoffs was when Russell was injured and missed the final two games. The bottom line is that the trade established the Celtics' dominance for the next 13 years, but it wasn't as lopsided as legend sometimes has it.

Rochester drafting Russell instead of Green could certainly make for interesting NBA alternate time line.

It might well have, since Green peaked in college and had a respectable but hardly notable NBA career. He actually wound up with the Hawks himself two years later.
   583. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: March 23, 2014 at 12:41 PM (#4675653)
Not keen on a Korver / Stauskas comp. Don't think Stauskas is that caliber of shooter or likely to be as decent on D as Korver has made himself (meant as oraise for Korver - he's come a really long way). OTOH, Stauskas has a lot more going on as a ballhandler/passer - he's more dynamic on O.
   584. VoodooR Posted: March 23, 2014 at 01:43 PM (#4675681)
I'm hoping that the Arizona Gonzaga game is as epic as their last March meeting ...

http://youtu.be/iiw635EIuSc?t=1h9m45s
   585. madvillain Posted: March 23, 2014 at 01:59 PM (#4675688)
OTOH, Stauskas has a lot more going on as a ballhandler/passer - he's more dynamic on O.


Stauskas is closer to JR Smith than Kyle Korver. Or, if you want a more realistic comparison, Steph Curry. Will shake and bake and pull up in your face or shake and bake and fine the open man or shake and bake and take it to the rack.

Here he is against Wisconsin, sealing the game with a swagalicous step back three.

That's not Kyle Korver, that's Steph Curry.

He's turned into Michigan's primary playmaker and highest usage player after Burke and THJR left and he somehow managed to increase his efficiency in the process. Remember he had 8 assists last night against Texas, he's not just catching and shooting, although he certainly can light it up -- on catch and shoots he shoots 46% from deep, he also shoots over 40% from deep off the dribble.

Stauskas is poor on defense but he can be hid, just as any single player can, it's not a reason that will take him out of the 1st round. He has legit size 6-6 for an NBA two guard and is (stop me) an under rated athlete, too bad he missed that dunk yesterday, he certainly had the elevation.

________________

During Michigan games, keep an eye on the under-the-radar Caris Lavert. Random 3 star with few DI offers that Beilein plucked from Ohio after Groce went to Illinois. Wasn't much as a freshman but as a sophomore has blossomed into one of the numerous deadly permitter and rim attacking threats Michigan has on the wing. Possible NBA player 1st rounder next year.

John Beilein is a very good college basketball coach, but he has been running a zone defense in the second half that puts his Justin Bieber clone on a 6-9 300 pound center. The results have been predictable.


Beilein's 1-3-1 at Michigan is like bigfoot -- it's rarely seen but always talked about. He'll run it maybe a handful of possessions a game. Now that he has talent like Lavert, GRIII, Morgan, etc it's not really necessary. He uses it more to slow the game down.

   586. VoodooR Posted: March 23, 2014 at 02:23 PM (#4675707)
Kansas is in serious trouble.
   587. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 23, 2014 at 02:35 PM (#4675714)
Stanford missed a slew of foul shots but win anyway

Goodness
   588. zack Posted: March 23, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4675716)
If you guys don't mind a real dumb question: pretend I haven't watched 5 consecutive minutes of basketball since the Fab Five days (because it's true). What do the "bonus" and "POSS:" bits of the TV overlay refer to?
   589. VoodooR Posted: March 23, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4675718)
Andrew Wiggins laid an egg in his last college game.
   590. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: March 23, 2014 at 02:44 PM (#4675719)
poss stands for possession, if there is a tie up with the ball the team with possession will get it to inbound instead of a jump ball like the nba does. bonus is for fouls once you reach 7 team fouls you get to shoot a free throw on non shooting fouls, if you hit it you get another, if you miss play resumes. once you have 10 team fouls (or is it 9?) you automatically get 2 free throws on non shooting fouls
   591. theboyqueen Posted: March 23, 2014 at 02:53 PM (#4675731)
Stauskas works really well out of the pick and roll. I also see a lot of Steph Curry in him. I would not be at all surprised if he ends up being a better pro than Andrew Wiggins.
   592. thok Posted: March 23, 2014 at 02:54 PM (#4675734)
I think the current worry about Wiggins is that he's another Harrison Barnes*, in that he's clearly a good player but not particularly aggressive about getting and taking shots.

*I actually think it's a touch too early to criticize Barnes' development, but by that standard it's way too early to criticize Wiggins' development.
   593. tshipman Posted: March 23, 2014 at 03:01 PM (#4675742)
Or, if you want a more realistic comparison, Steph Curry. Will shake and bake and pull up in your face or shake and bake and fine the open man or shake and bake and take it to the rack.


That is probably not a good comparison because Curry is a once-in-a-generation type shooter. There are a lot of guys who have tried those moves, but they were all comparatively poor shooters when evaluated next to Curry.
   594. theboyqueen Posted: March 23, 2014 at 03:11 PM (#4675758)
What do people think of Kyle Anderson? He looks like he's 14 and plays like he's 40. Reminds me of the 1996 version of Magic Johnson.
   595. I am going to be Frank Posted: March 23, 2014 at 03:16 PM (#4675761)
If Stauskas leaves this year, at best he'll be a late lottery pick, which means he'll probably be on a better team and probably won't be the primary option on offense. He does seem to have legitimate NBA SG size which is a big plus. Its hard to compare to Curry, because he can be an all-time great.
   596. greenback calls it soccer Posted: March 23, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4675765)
Stauskas works really well out of the pick and roll.

Some of that credit should go to Jordan Morgan, who I am guessing is the smartest basketball player I have seen at Michigan, going back to the 80s.
   597. madvillain Posted: March 23, 2014 at 04:16 PM (#4675799)
That is probably not a good comparison because Curry is a once-in-a-generation type shooter. There are a lot of guys who have tried those moves, but they were all comparatively poor shooters when evaluated next to Curry.


fwiw, Stauskas arrived at Michigan and promptly broke John Beilein's record for threes in 5 minutes, a long standing Beilein drill. Trey Burke called him "the best shooter I've ever played with" and he shoots almost as well off the dribble as he does catch and shoot.

Not saying he's on Curry's level, but he's a deadeye shooter and he's proven it again this week. Stauskas had said that he patterns his game after Curry, that's where the suggestion came from, and I see the comparison as a Michigan fan and former Curry fantasy owner, hehe.
   598. tshipman Posted: March 23, 2014 at 05:01 PM (#4675825)
Not saying he's on Curry's level, but he's a deadeye shooter and he's proven it again this week. Stauskas had said that he patterns his game after Curry, that's where the suggestion came from, and I see the comparison as a Michigan fan and former Curry fantasy owner, hehe.


Compared to Curry, Stauskas is a worse passer (3/1.5 A/T ratio), has worse athleticism (worse steals and rebounds, equivalent blocks), and has far lower usage.

I would be skeptical that he could play in the NBA, let alone have Curry's game. He honestly looks like a less athletic Kyle Korver to me. I'm not sure that's even a guy off the bench.
   599. steagles Posted: March 23, 2014 at 05:10 PM (#4675833)
What do people think of Kyle Anderson? He looks like he's 14 and plays like he's 40. Reminds me of the 1996 version of Magic Johnson.
he's my favorite player in the draft.
   600. steagles Posted: March 23, 2014 at 06:06 PM (#4675881)
i don't really have any interest in this, but my personal final 4 is villanova, creighton, VCU and wichita state.
so....that worked out well.
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