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NBA Draft top 30 prospects – 2017

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011717joshjackson

 

I am using a slightly modified system compared to last year. My 3 steps to evaluate players skills in different areas are:

  • Overall statistical rating: This favors players with all around stats, such as steals, blocks, assists, etc. The results are fairly typical compared to virtually every other draft analytics blogger. For international players I find PER to have had useful results in recent drafts.
  • What categories the player excelled in vs his college conference or international competition
  • Whether they have NBA caliber tools in that category

The rare perfect skill hits all 3. For example last year Ben Simmons was in my top 5 overall statistical performers, dominated assists and free throw attempts at a generational level for a PF prospect and had the athletic, height, ballhandling, etc. tools to back up his passing and free throw line drawing success at the college level. In the past the same would’ve been true of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson’s shooting.

Unfortunately the vast majority of skills do not reach that perfection, so it’s varying degrees of flawed from there. Hitting 2 of 3 at an “A” level and one at a “B” level makes them elite in the category, being A level in one but B level in the other two would be great in the category but not elite, and so forth. Using this I then look at the players overall skillset and make a determination of how they rank. I adjust for how offense is more valuable at smaller positions and defense at bigger positions, using ORPM and DRPM as a guide.

1. SF/PF Josh Jackson

Jackson rates as an elite defensive prospect at a big wing or smallball four position where defense can be quite valuable as seen by the last two DPOYs won by Kawhi Leonard. His athleticism, intensity and steal, rebound and block rates contribute to this. Offensively he is not perfect but is still a quality prospect. His passing numbers were strong for a wing and rates as one of the most high volume shot creators in the class for his age. He got to the line enough that combined with his explosiveness is a great slashing prospect. Jackson’s main problem is his 3pt shooting which with a 57% FT has potential to be terrible 3pt shooter in the NBA, even though he hit 38% 3pt. If Jackson is a poor enough shooter it could force him to he PF spot. Although Jackson is a good not great offensive prospect when added to a baseline of potentially elite defensive value it was enough for him to get the #1 spot for me. 

2. C Anzejs Pasecniks

I rate Pasecniks as being an over 20 PER rotation player in the ACB as more impressive than any production feat an NCAA prospect has right now. At a closer level to the pros, he’s already shown he can be a good player. Pasecniks follows in the footsteps in numbers-friendly European center prospects lately such as Jokic, Gobert, Nurkic, Capela, Porzingis, Valanciunas. His best skill rates as defense to me, as he is the 3rd best shotblocker per minute in the ACB, although he struggles a little with rebounding and physicality. He has a reported 7’6 wingspan and great lateral mobility. He is not quite a Gobert level defensive prospect, but considering position rates as the best defensive prospect in the draft for me. Offensively he doesn’t have an elite skill, but has quality driving ability shown by his free throw rate and athleticism, and has the potential to develop a perimeter shooting game. Passing is one of his biggest flaws.

3. PG Jawun Evans

Evans is a complete offensive prospect. His best category rates as passing for me, where he averaged Ball-like Ast/40 although with less height and taking more shots to do it. Evans projects as a strong 3pt shooter, got to the line at an above average rate, was one of the highest volume shot takers in the class (His Pts/40 is Fultz-like) and was a ball thief. While he is a good not great athlete I project him as an above average slasher. Two of his biggest questions are finishing at the rim and defense as is typical for undersized PGs, but in the modern game and success of players smaller than him like Isaiah Thomas and Kemba Walker, there’s no need to overreact anymore to small PGs not being able to play. He should be a great fit in the modern pick and roll game with his ability to pass, shoot and drive.

4. PF Lonzo Ball

Ball is somewhat complicated to rate. His passing and decision rates as the best skills in the draft to me. If you had to pick anyone to be historically good at something in this draft, it would be Ball at passing. He is a good rebounder, then the rest of his game is pretty meh. His FT% and weird jumpshot brings some concern about 3pt shooting at next level, he didn’t get to the line or create his own shot the best in college and his defense projects as solid but not above average. I’m also slightly concerned about putting up stats in a transition heavy system. Not because of inflation but because the NBA is a halfcourt game, you can’t build around Ball’s transition play. If he failed Ball would be kind of the NBA’s Manziel or Tebow who played non-pro college football systems, while his halfcourt weaknesses exposed in the NBA would be like theirs as pocket passers. That’s before mentioning his father.

But if he’s transcendent at the one thing he’s good at it, it could make him a better pick than players who are good to great at more things. So I guess he goes here.

5. PG Dennis Smith, Jr.

Smith has dynamic strengths. His ability to get to the line combined with being arguably the most explosive athlete in the draft makes him a high upside slasher. He has one of the best assist rates after Ball and Evans and projects to be an above average 3pt shooter. However there are concerns about his defensive effort, basketball IQ and overall intangibles. That has been dangerous warning signs in the past, but in this case the speed and skill is so great that one has to take the chance to get star potential.

6. PF/C Cameron Oliver

Oliver has the combination every team is looking for nowadays, he’s a big man with 3pt range who had one of the best block rates of all these prospects. In addition to his shooting and defense, his shot creation volume rated well for a sophomore. His ability to get to the line was worryingly poor, he wasn’t a great passer and there are concerns about his intangibles. Nonetheless an athletic big with his floor spacing and defensive potential is a valuable pick. Unlike a lot of other numbers sleepers who come with the caveat of being seniors, this guy is only 20. (Well, he turns 21 on July 11th)

7. PF/C Mathias Lessort

Like Pasecniks, Lessort following in the successful footsteps of highly productive European big prospect is a good sign. Specifically Rudy Gobert and Clint Capela. In their draft years in French Pro A, Gobert had 21.7 PER and Capela 23.9, while Lessort has 21.8. Compared to them Lessort isn’t as much as a shotblocking threat and has more of a Tristan Thompson like game and body. Offensive rebounding is his biggest strength, while he has the athleticism and track record getting to the line to project well attacking the basket. Defensively he has potential as a lateral mobility driven defender.

8. SG Donovan Mitchell

Mitchell is one of the best 3 and D prospects in the draft. He is one of the best wing defenders based on his college play and physical tools, while his 35% 3pt/80% FT makes him a good outside shooting prospect. He is not a great shot creating prospect, I question whether his qualty passing numbers can translate if he’s not dribbling in the NBA, and his basketball IQ is reportedly a concern, but the defensive and shooting combination is highly interesting in the modern game and gives him “role player star” upside.

9. PG/SG Markelle Fultz

The one area of the game Fultz rated as elite for me was shot creation volume for his age. Even when you take into account having no talent as teammates, the amount of shots he took for a freshman was pretty ungodly. His shooting is good not great when taking into account his FT%, likewise his passing is solid but not elite. Intensity is a question when it comes to defense and when it comes to getting to the line, without being an elite athlete I can’t rate him as elite there. Last year I thought Ingram was a player who didn’t do anything exceptional in college except shoot a high volume of shots. Fultz is a better prospect than him, but I have similar concern. I will say that if he does come in on the high end as a shooter or driver, that combined with his shot creation skills could give him a quality combination of offensive weapons. I still think Fultz can have a quality career, but I would bet on him becoming a Rudy Gay/Andrew Wiggins/Harrison Barnes of guards (20 point ability, well paid career, impact doesn’t come together) before I would a superstar.

10. SF Jayson Tatum

Tatum’s profile is somewhat similar to Fultz. His one elite skill is shot creation, while the rest of his projection is somewhat middling. He he is a good but not great passer, and is a decent enough at getting to the line but a non elite athlete when it comes to NBA slashing. He appears to be a decent decision maker and is an average defensive prospect. I’m going to give Tatum a little benefit of the doubt and rank him higher than I would have, for coming back from injury. If he played the whole season healthy his stats may have been higher.

11. PG De’Aaron Fox

Fox has great athleticism and got to the FT line at a great rate, showing his upside as a driver in the NBA. He is also a shot creator. Fox is a worrying non shooting PG in the modern game and was not a great passer. However I see upside because with his 73.6% FT there’s at least a chance he surprises as a shooter which would clear up the biggest problems in his game. With Fox’s athletic tools if he can improve as a skill player there is a lot of upside there so I didn’t want to rank him too low.

12. SF/PF OG Anunoby

Anunoby rates as a defense only prospect for me, but on that end he is one of the best in the draft. He had great steal and block rates and has the length and lateral mobility to be a great defensive PF in the modern game, which it helps is a high value defensive position. He was a decent passer for his role. His shooting is a major concern along with shot creation.

13. PF Jordan Bell

While Bell is somewhat stuck between positions defensively, his great block and steal rates combined with athleticism make him a quality prospect on that end. For a low volume scorer his passing rate was very good, while he has potential to attack the basket with his physical tools.

14. PF T.J. Leaf

Leaf’s offensive resume is strong. His shooting, passing, decision making and shot creation all rated fairly highly for me based on his UCLA numbers and he was a solid rebounder, while his ability to get to the line and defense as major concerns. Like Ball there’s some concern about whether his game fits a transition system more than halfcourt but his skill level has a likely place in the game.

15. SG Sindarious Thornwell

Thornwell isn’t an elite prospect in any area but his defense, shooting and decision making is all well above average, while his passing and ability to drive is decent. He is an average shot creation talent and isn’t quite guaranteed to do anything, but overall is a solid 3 and D potential at the next level.

16. C Thomas Bryant

Bryant has both the size and shotblocking to have defensive potential and 3pt shooting potential. However he is decent, not great in both areas and isn’t a guarantee. Still, the upside he can put both skills together is an appealing upside.

17. SF/PF Jonathan Isaac

Isaac is a great defensive wing going by his steal and block rates and physical tools, however his offense does not project as all that impressive for me. He is a non shot creation wing and his shooting, slashing and passing only rates as average. Still, the 3 and D upside is quite solid.

18. SG Jajuan Johnson

Johnson was a great 3pt shooter in college who has the length to be a good defender. He does not rate as a strong shot creator and while he passed at a high level (over 4 assists per 40) whether he has the ball enough to take advantage of it is unclear. He is also 23 and being older than seniors is unpredictable. Nevertheless with value is thin at this stage of the draft, his shooting, passing and defense makes him a plausible enough 3 and D threat at the next level.

19. PG Monte Morris

Morris projects as having a great basketball IQ and passing ability, along with above average shooting. He is a mediocre defensive prospect, below average shot creator and got to the line a worryingly little amount of time in college. Nevertheless his skill level and IQ could give him a spot.

20. PF Aleksander Vezenkov

Vezenkov is this year’s Juan Hernangomez, he is producing in the ACB and is a great 3pt shooting prospect which could give him value as a stretch shooter in the modern game. Although he’s pretty one dimensonal on offense and rates as a below average defender. At this stage being great at one thing means more than being 6 out of 10 at everything.

21. PF Tyler Lydon

Like Vezenkov, Lydon’s pro game is built around being a 3pt shooter and high IQ player. He is not as strong a 3pt shooter, but could be a decent defender. His ability to get to the line and shot creation is an issue.

22. PF/C Zach Collins

Collins rates as a quality offensive big with his ability to get to the FT line, shooting potential and decision making. He is a strong rebounder. His passing is worrying and his defense could be only ok due to physical tools, but the offense makes him worth it.

23. PF/C Ivan Rabb

Rabb was one of the best in the draft in one statistical category, his free throw rate compared to field goals attempted. That combined with a strong offensive rebound rate could show he’s a player who can attack the basket. The rest of his game is fairly vanilla as neither a dominant physical player or a perimeter shooter, but at this stage doing one thing at an elite level is enough to get my attention. Rabb could potentially be a decent defensive player as well with his lateral mobility and size.

24. SG Malik Monk

My model said to rank Monk out of the top 30, but I’ll put him this high out of fear of the “Devin Booker” effect. Booker at Kentucky didn’t get to use his full arsenel of dribble drive and passing skills, likewise it’s possible that playing as off ball SG beside Fox limited what Monk could show.

Otherwise his numbers are scary. He has poor defensive stats and tools and brutal rebounding, below average at getting to the line for his shot volume, and was not much of a passer. He had a great shooting season but there’s been countless great NCAA shooters over the years and only so many of them have good NBA careers for a reason, because predicting shooting to the pros like all skills is an indirect translation.

25. PF John Collins

Collins was an exceptional rebounder and got to the FT line at an elite rate, however neither his passing, defensive stats or shooting numbers were impressive and physically he appears to be stuck between PF and C a bit. Like Rabb the ability to get to the line and offensive glass may be a foundation of his game.

26. C Justin Patton

Patton has a quality combination of size, athleticism and blocked shots which should give him potential on the defensive end. Offensively he has a lot to improve skill wise but a young big with physical tools looks fine here.

27. SF/PF Deonte Burton

Burton has a great combination of power and athleticism. While he’s not that long, strong steal and block rates should give him defensive potential and he has 3pt range, which could make him a mismatch at PF. Being 23 hurts him, if not for the extra unpredictability factor of how few prospects have been older than 22 as prospects, he would’ve rated in my 15.

28. SG Wesley Iwundu

Iwundu is a long armed athlete who can shoot 3s and has solid passing ability. His steal and block rates and 3pt shooting are both good more than great, but he still projects as having 3 and D upside.

29. SG L.J. Peak

Peak’s biggest strength in college was getting to the FT line, while not a hugely explosive athlete he may be able to drive in the pros. He showed the ability to pass for a shooting guard prospect. His FT% being just under 80% shows some shooting potential as well. Peak has bigger strengths as an on ball than off ball player when it may be preferable to be an off ball player as a supporting player, but nevertheless he is a solid all around wing.

30. SF Justin Jackson

Projects as high IQ professional who can pass and have a chance (But isn’t a guarantee) to be a good 3pt shooter. Defense and shot creation is a concern. My #31 is Josh Hart, who more or less has the same projection.

Notable players not in top 30:

Jacob Wiley: The closest omission after Hart, Wiley dominated against mid major competition, he had great defensive stats but it’s unclear whether those will translate for physical tools reasons. One of his biggest assets is potential to shoot from a big man position.

Lauri Markkanen, Luke Kennard: Both players bomb the “overall statistical” rating part of my model due to poor defensive stats or passing combination so they got off on the wrong foot. Because of that they only rate as decent shooting prospects overall (as mentioned for Monk there’s a reason there are many more 40% 3pt shooters in college than NBA) and mediocre to awful at everything else.

Bam Adebayo, Ike Anigbogu: Both do one thing exceptionally well in college, Bam getting to the FT line and Anigbogu blocking shots. But like Markkanen and Kennard players who start with a poor overall statistical rating, even if they’re otherwise exceptional in a skill like shooting, blocks or getting to the line, end up projecting as only decent in the area for me and they lack the other versatility to rank as top 30 players.

Frank Ntilikina, Terrance Ferguson, Isaiah Hartenstein: For the same reason numbers driven reasons I’m high on prospects like Pasecniks or Lessort I’m low on these internationals. Ntilikina has an 11.9 PER on his French Pro A team which ranks 9th among his teammates, while he plays a different position this greatly trails the productivity of successful players like Gobert and Capela from that league recently. I just need to see more excellence at a lower level than that based on the recent internationals who’ve succeeded, even if Frank has quality size and shooting potential. Harteinstein is also 8th on his team in PER (17.5) in the LKL which a recent prospect in Valanciunas dominated and his style of big center who plays near the basket is going out of fashion nowadays and his game appears to be somewhat limited outside of size. Ferguson however is the king of 1st round projected internationals with bad stats. He has 5.4 PER in the Australian league and doesn’t appear to be good at anything.

Harry Giles: I understand Giles was recovering from injury, but with numbers being the starting point for my board, he just didn’t do much outside of rebounding and I’ve yet to see the great evidence for his supposed star talent.

Written by jr.

June 21, 2017 at 4:17 pm

Should the Warriors resign Harrison Barnes?

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The Warriors will face an obstacle to keeping their possible two time champion team together when Harrison Barnes becomes a restricted free agent. Barnes has youth, size and a 3 point shot which is a combination teams are coveting and this summer there could be too much surplus capspace for him to not get a max deal. Not only is there hundreds of hundreds of millions of yearly salary to dish out after the established all-stars like Kevin Durant, Al Horford, DeMar Derozan are gone, but the market favors younger players over win now veterans because many win now teams like Cleveland, San Antonio, Oklahoma City if they resign Durant, Toronto if they resign Derozan will be the few teams without capspace. This could make under 25 starters like Barnes or Bismack Biyombo the real second tier instead of veterans like Luol Deng and Dwight Howard.

Golden State keeping Barnes is likely to require matching a max contract. On one hand his role on the team is expendable. On a roster full of elite defenders and passers advancing basketball past old school fascinating with points per game his attributes are closer to the latter. Hitting 38% of wide open 3s could be not too hard to replicate. In the 25 games he started due to Barnes injury, Brandon Rush hit 49% of his 3s.

On the other hand when going 73-9 and possibly winning back to back titles, there’s an argument for not fixing what’s not broken. When a five man unit nicknamed “The Lineup of Death” exists the team may want to keep it together. Sure Barnes is the second guitarist of the lineup, but a 3 point shooting SF with the weight to guard PFs in the post still is important part of its matchup nightmare. While the Warriors have left Yay Points 2 point jumpshot creating-favoring teams in their dust, every once in a while Barnes height and ability to get a few buckets that way helps them and adds one more backup plan to their offense. Barnes gives them one more talented player.

An argument against Barnes is opportunity cost. A year from now the hiking cap combined with Andrew Bogut, Andre Iguodala and Jason Thompson’s buyout coming off means without the Warriors could be in a great free agency position if they’re not paying 40 million combined to Barnes and Festus Ezeli. However more likely than not if they need to trade Barnes’ contract a year from now as a 25 year old with the same strengths there will be takers out there. Furthermore the goal is to play the cards in front of them and go for the three peat if they win this year. The rest can be dealt with later.

Whether it’s worth resigning him may come down to the Warriors pockets next season. Keeping all of Barnes, Ezeli, Shaun Livingston and Leandro Barbosa could mean paying Dan Gilbert levels of luxury tax. If the cost of resigning Barnes is losing Ezeli for example, a strong argument could be made to let him go. But if the Warriors owners are willing to pay whatever cost it takes, keeping the whole roster from a 73-9 team could make sense.

Written by jr.

June 10, 2016 at 11:50 am

Drafting Skal Labissiere in the lottery is (probably) a bad idea

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After being ranked #1 over Ben Simmons by Draftexpress before the season, Skal’s season went as badly as it could but based on his athleticism, length and potential to shoot has maintained enough pedigree to be projected as a fringe top 10 pick.

While everyone should agree there’s a chance Skal is out of the league in 3 or 4 years, the thought is the way to win is to draft stars so the risk is worth it especially in a league increasingly moving towards defensive anchors who shoot 3s.

I’m not buying it.

To start with the statistical warning signs, here’s a sample of the best PFs of this generation: Anthony Davis, Blake Griffin, Chris Bosh, Draymond Green, Kevin Love, Lamarcus Aldridge, Derrick Favors, Paul Millsap, Carlos Boozer, David West. In their draft year the lowest steal rate of the group is Love’s 0.9 per 40 minutes. Skal had 0.6. The lowest rebound of the group is Aldridge’s 10.9 per 40. Skal did 8.0. The lowest assist rate is Aldridge’s 0.6, an anomaly considering 2nd lowest is Boozer’s 1.2. Skal did 0.8. The lowest TS% of the group is Green’s .54, with nobody else below .59. Skal did .54. Skal was ranked 7th in WS on his own team. Every one of those PFs were 1st on their team.

For Skal to become a star he has to become a statistical anomaly compared to recent PFs by having the lowest steal and rebound bar none of the group, tying for the lowest TS% and having an assist rate far below everyone but one player. In addition to being the worst player of the group in college by miles and away.

Can Skal become a star – Sure. A sample size of 9 PFs doesn’t mean that the 10th can’t follow a pathway totally unique to them and aberrations happen. Andre Drummond is the best parable for Skal as a player considered a soft under performer and risky at the time. Compared to DeMarcus Cousins, Al Horford, Brook Lopez, Deandre Jordan, Karl-Anthony Towns, Joakim Noah, UConn Drummond has the lowest assist, points and TS% rate. To use an example at another position, if compared to a list of James Harden, Dwyane Wade, Jimmy Butler, Klay Thompson, C.J. McCollum, Wesley Matthews, Kevin Martin, Brandon Roy, DeMar Derozan at USC would have the lowest steal and assist rate of the group outright and tied for the lowest blocks. Both showed sometimes taking an athletic project works out. Zach LaVine was 6th on his team in Win Shares, and would ranked last on that SG list in rebounds and blocks. While not a star yet, Minnesota is happy with their pick so far.

Here’s the problem: Skal having some fractional chance of breaking the statistical odds to become a star doesn’t separate him from the alternatives at his pick as much as it seems.  Picks like Skal get made as if it’s a league where half the stars in the league were Derozan and Drummond athletic projects, while every team who takes an old polished prospect pays the price of never getting one. That just isn’t the case. The list of college projects who became all-stars almost ends at Derozan and Drummond (who aren’t even THAT amazing, by the way). Meanwhile take a look at the top 10 in MVP voting this year:

Stephen Curry – 7th pick in a then considered weak draft. Older but productive prospect with average physical tools.

Kawhi Leonard – 15th pick in a then considered weak draft, expected to be a defensive role player due to lack of shooting and creating ability

Lebron James – 1st overall, Expected to be the heir of the league since high school

Russell Westbrook – 4th pick in a great draft, success story for the raw athletic tools pick.

Kevin Durant – 2nd pick, expected superstar after all time freshman season

Chris Paul – 4th pick, size and personality scared some teams off but in contention for 1st pick and not a surprise he became a star

Draymond Green – 35th pick, great college season but old and considered low upside due to physical tools

Damian Lillard – 6th pick, older prospect from a small conference, although picked to have all-star upside at the time

James Harden – 3rd pick in a weak draft at the time, with considered average athleticism, not expected to have the upside he’s on on to have

Kyle Lowry – 24th pick, expected to be a defense first player

Some of the top rated stars in the league who didn’t finish top 10:

Anthony Davis – 1st overall pick, expected superstar

Klay Thompson – 11th pick in a rated weak draft, older prospect expected to shoot and defend but has beaten expectations

Jimmy Butler – 30th pick, old polished wing not expected to be elite on either end

Paul George – 10th pick, toolsy athletic shooting and defender, although productive on his small conference team

DeMarcus Cousins – 5th pick, considered a superstar talent but mental loose cannon

Blake Griffin – 1st pick, considered star upside

None of those players were the type of ultra project that Skal or LaVine were. Westbrook and George are two nice examples of toolsy upside picks that worked, but didn’t reach Skal’s statistical nadirs.

But even when counting them, they’re outnumbered by low upside draftees that became stars: Curry, Kawhi, Draymond, Klay, Lowry, etc.

What this suggests it that sure Skal may be the next Derozan or Drummond, but does he have a better chance at that then Taurean Prince, older defensive with with multiple solid offensive skills but no elite one, being the next Jimmy Butler who fell to 30th for the same reasons? Would Wade Baldwin being a star be more surprising than Kawhi was at the time? Baldwin has the length of a SF (6’11 wingspan) and weight of a SG (202 pounds) and has some holes in his offensive game, while Kawhi had the length of a center (7’3 wingspan) and weight of a PF (227 pounds) and had some holes.

You can do this for most prospects in the 1st round. What it reveals is that the idea that only Skal has all-star upside and everyone else is capped out a role player is a house of cards. The evidence against it is simply comparing the lengthy list of all-stars who started out in the shoes of mid-late 1sts like Baldwin, Prince, Domantas Sabonis, etc. with productive college careers but rated by scouts as having middling upside, vs the amount who started out in the shoes of Skal of weak production that went on to do become a star. There’s been too many breakout stars from the former type of group compared to the latter, to act like Skal is the only one who has a pathway to stardom in front of them. The opposite is closer to being true. Based on the statistical record, while it could happen, a project of Skal’s status becoming a star would be more unique and more of an aberration than a player like Baldwin. There’s a reason why Skal’s Win Shares rank compared to his team, steals, rebounds, assists, TS% looks so bad compared to Davis, Griffin, Bosh, Green, Love, Aldridge, Favors, Millsap, Boozer, West. Because of none of those PFs were a project like him in college. That shows why Skal would be following a rare pathway to being a star PF.

 

Written by jr.

June 9, 2016 at 5:06 pm

Embrace chaos, trade Irving for Cousins

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Despite a healthy Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love the Cavaliers Finals is going worse than without them last year. There’s a lot of reasons for this beyond them. The Warriors are a different team with Stephen Curry and Draymond Green taking their games to new heights this year and having none of the first Finals nerves they had the first three games last year. The Cavs are all without perhaps their 2nd most important player last Finals in Timofey Mozgov who helped them control the interior.

Mostly this is just a bad matchup for Cleveland. The three series the Warriors have struggled in the most the last two years in Memphis, Cleveland last year and Oklahoma City all had the same story. They used a big frontcourt to control the boards and limit Golden State’s transition game and ability to go small. They turned the series into a fight when the Warriors are most comfortable dancing. In this finals so far the Warriors are dancing. Last year Dellavedova, Thompson and Mozgov playing together gave the Cavaliers the physical edge to mess up the Warriors rhythm.

If this series continue this direction the Cavaliers could be pertinent to move on from the Lebron, Irving and Love era now. The matchup against the Warriors won’t get better next year if they play again. If they luck out and avoid the Warriors, having Irving and Love trying to defend the most athletic team in the league in the Thunder and most athletic player in Westbrook may not turn out better. With a limited supply of prime Lebron James years left the Cavs can’t waste many more opportunities.

Two popular trade rumors are Kyrie Irving for Chris Paul and Kevin Love for Carmelo Anthony. The former would work beautifully for the Cavaliers but it’s unclear if the Clippers want to downgrade at PG especially after watching Irving’s flaws in these finals. Paul’s skill and IQ should allow him to age gracefully and if he declines by his mid 30s, it may only be to the level of effectiveness Irving is right now. Love works on the Knicks, but the  Cavs getting more perimeter orientated, worse at rebounding and not any better on defense could be playing into the Warriors hands.

The trade I like is Kyrie Irving for DeMarcus Cousins. The Kings are currently under the gun with Cousins having 2 years left on his contract, but the history of stars in his position like Carmelo, Deron, Love, Dwight has been the star getting traded before the end of his deal, meaning they likely have to prove themselves by the end of this season and there’s not a great deal of reason to be optimistic about the Kings contending for the playoffs next season. If they do end up trading Cousins one day, trading him for a high draft pick and rebuilding is a hard path for the Kings to stomach due to their draft pick obligations including an unprotected 1st in 2019 to the Sixers. They are also moving into a new stadium making bottoming out less appealing.

Kyrie has three seasons left before he can opt out, giving them a key extra year of breathing room. Since the cap is shooting to the moon, I believe if the Kings are 30 million+ under the salary cap they can also use the sparsely seen contract renegotiation tool to lock him up early one of the next two summers.

He would represent a fresh start for the Kings on and off the court. They would build a modern offensive team with Kyrie as their Curry or Lillard while developing young pieces like Willie Cauley-Stein, Ben McLemore and their top 8 pick this year. At 24 Kyrie is young enough to break out to new heights statistically on his own team and gives them a popular star to launch the new stadium with. The deal stabilizes the feet under the Kings.

For the Cavs, no other player would move them more towards the big ball style that has frustrated the Warriors than Cousins. The Thompson and Cousins frontcourt play as a mega version of the 2015 playoffs Thompson and Mozgov by dominating the glass and force the Warriors smallball lineup off the court when Cousins proved too big for Draymond to guard. While Cousins isn’t known of his defense the Kings have been much better with him on the court on that end, he is one of the biggest and longest players in the league and always leads the league in charges. There’s a chance that like Chris Bosh when he went from Toronto to Miami, when relieved of the energy of carrying the offense he uses his physical tools to become a great defender. This didn’t happen for Kevin Love because his physical tools limited him.

While the Cavaliers would be lacking in offensive guard talent, on a team where Lebron is the real PG, Dellavedova’s defense, passing and shooting may be all the Cavs need at starting PG. Furthermore if they want to they can still trade Love to balance their roster. While they could keep Love to be stretch big and 3rd option beside Lebron and Cousins, a deal like Love for Jae Crowder, Kelly Olynyk, Amir Johnson would give the Cavs a badly needed 3 and D player in Crowder, a big man who excels in guarding pick and rolls in Amir while keeping a stretch big to play Love’s in Olynyk. All three players are known for high basketball IQ increasing the chance the Cavs get to a high level of defensive and passing intelligence to match up with the Warriors.

Sure, Cousins is a chemistry risk as he brings chaos wherever he goes. But this is not the time for the Cavs to play it safe. Play to win or go home. Cousins cares too much more than he cares too little and that fire could be tapped into on a winning team.

Written by jr.

June 7, 2016 at 11:58 am

The case for and against Toronto maxing out DeMar Derozan

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The struggles of DeMar Derozan has been an ongoing playoff storyline, scoring only 17.7 points on .395 TS% through 11 games after a career year in the regular season. The worry for Toronto is this isn’t just missing open shots. His unreliable 3 point shot has allowed teams to go under pick and rolls to prevent this driving game and leave him to take inefficient midrange jumpers.

Toronto’s price to keep Derozan will likely be a max contract no matter how he plays the rest of these playoffs. The Lakers have been itching to prove they are a marquee free agent destination and the new TV deal will afford many other teams the capspace to make a run at the 2 time all-star in his prime.

There’s arguments for and against Toronto paying Derozan:

Keep him

– Like the Raptors Derozan is not a finished product. His .338 3P% and 0.6 3pt makes per game were career highs and with his work ethic he could continue to improve his 3 point shooting to manageable levels in addition to clearing up other weaknesses. His teammate Kyle Lowry is proof players can continue to push their game to new heights after the age Derozan is now.

– Lowry has struggled to stay healthy by the playoffs the last two seasons in addition to a track record in Houston of getting banged up. Derozan taking the defensive pressure he does off Lowry could be important to keeping him healthy going forward.

– With the Nuggets Masai Ujiri resigned Nene to a hefty 5 year deal, then traded him to Washington half a season later. Even if the Raptors don’t love Derozan’s max contract, signing him and then seeing what trade offers are out there half a season or a year afterwards could be the best way to maximize value out of the situation.

– The regular season matters. Being the 2nd seed is just about the best thing the Raptors have going for them. It gave them home court and a beatable opponent in Indiana in Round 1 and home court against Miami in Round 2 instead of playing Cleveland. If Derozan helps them repeat as a top 2 seed next year this is worth it.

Let him go

– The Raptors offensive success is despite finishing 30th in Assist % on 2 point field goals this year, 9th on 3s. They have been a poor passing team throughout the Lowry and Derozan era. Letting Derozan go may be the best way to transition towards the ball and player movement teams needed to contend.

– The Raptors have young talent that could break out without him. Jonas Valanciunas is showing all the signs of an all-star in the East if you run the offense through him. Terrence Ross could take the next step especially playing SG full time. Norman Powell has shown flashes of brilliance and the Raptors have the 9th and 27th picks to add more talent. Add in DeMarre Carroll and Cory Joseph’s minutes at SG and the team would not be left to dry for wing talent.

– Including draft picks but not including Derozan or Biyombo, Toronto has about 73 million on the books next year. That’s not enough to sign a max player like Al Horford or Nic Batum but if a player of that level wanted to sign there, they would could be a cap clearing move away like trading Ross or Carroll. All the teams with capspace this summer makes it perfect conditions to move an existing salary if necessary. The best argument against resigning Derozan may be if the Raptors need the money for someone else.

Written by jr.

May 9, 2016 at 8:54 pm

2016 NBA Draft top 14 prospects – March update

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These rankings are a combination of stats and adjusting for talent. I did my best to use previous drafts as the guide for this. The quantifiable portions I used were steals, blocks, rebounds, assists, freshman scoring and efficiency to account for aging effects along with using 3PM/3P%/FT% to predict shooting and wingspan/weight for size. Thus a lot of these rankings come from pure numbers.

Some of it comes from qualitative traits. Instead of doing my own scouting I tried to use agreed upon traits by scouts in areas like a players athleticism and basketball IQ. By using scouts opinions instead of mine, when testing the system on previous drafts this allowed to look at prospects scouting reports at the time on sites like Draftexpress and do an acceptable job replicating how I would have rated them in if they were in this draft. That doesn’t remove all subsconscience bias of how a prospect turned out, but I tried to be as objective as possible.

Whatever this combination of numbers and qualitative rating gave me, I stuck with. I didn’t adjust the rankings by current mock drafts. Some of the rankings are very far off from these mock drafts, but we’ll see how they turn out in comparison in a few years.

1. PG Kris Dunn
2. PF Ben Simmons

Dunn per 40 minutes: 3.1 steals, 0.8 blocks, 6.5 rebounds, 7.7 assists, 8.4 freshman points, .47 freshman TS% (per 40 minutes)

Simmons per 40 minutes: 2.3 steals, 0.9 blocks, 13.6 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 22.2 freshman points, .61 freshman TS%

Dunn and Simmons rated as the two strongest players statistically in the class. Dunn posted an elite steal and block rate for a PG and strong rebounding and assists. Simmons has a special assist rate and strong steals, rebounds and scoring. Since I use freshman scoring numbers to account for the increase in the stat as a player gets older, Dunn’s numbers were hurt by this. Despite this, his other stats were strong enough for him to rate 1st in the class narrowly anyways.

Both players have weaknesses. With Dunn he is known as an average shooter. This is especially concerning because in previous drafts, a trend among some of the highest rating statistical performers in classes is perimeter players who did everything but have a jumpshot in college. But most of these cautionary cases such as Tyreke Evans, Tony Wroten, Michael Carter-Williams were under 30% 3pt shooters in college, while Dunn has been at 34-35% from 3 and around 68-69% the last two seasons. Not great, but it projects more average than bad. Past that, he has the athleticism, size, dribbling and passing to be a an all-star caliber dribble drive guard in the NBA.

Simmons also has a non-existent jumpshot, though the main reason I didn’t rate him first is personality concerns. He was blasted on twitter by Draftexpress.com’s Jonathan Givony twice in recent weeks for lackadaisical effort and leadership and others have noted he could had a better defensive season. With LSU’s poor season he will be put under the microscope. I don’t care much about his academic issues, but it bears mentioning.

It didn’t affect his production this year, which is important in effort driven stats like rebounding. Even if he becomes enigmatic, it could be in the same Carmelo Anthony and James Harden aren’t everything you want leadership and winning at all costs wise, but still ended up superstars. Nevertheless, there’s a chance that his current body language is a warning shot for a frustrating player the rest of his career. It’s perfectly defendable to take him #1 still as his talent and numbers are hard to turn down, but when picking between Simmons and Dunn, it made a difference to me.

3. PG Jawun Evans

Per 40 minutes: 1.6 steals, 0.3 blocks, 6.0 rebounds, 6.8 assists, 17.8 freshman points, .58 freshman TS%

Evans is out for the season with an injury and not mocked high, so the odds are strong he won’t be in this draft. But on the chance he comes out, I’ll leave him on the list.

My take on Evans is he would be a lottery pick if he was 2 inches taller. He’s a great athlete, was shooting 47% from 3 before his injury and had a strong passing season for a freshman PG. His numbers rated top 10 among the prospects on my list, with a very good combination of rebounding, assists, scoring volume and efficiency for a PG.

As for his length. He would be a better prospect if he was taller. But NBA teams have made the mistake of throwing an entire prospect out because of a few inches. He’s about Chris Paul size, which is a level above the Isaiah Thomas and Kemba Walker level. It’s probably less of a weakness than say Dunn and Simmons shooting. When the athleticism, skills, vision and numbers are there, it shouldn’t prevent him from having great upside.

4. PG Wade Baldwin IV

Per 40 minutes: 1.6 steals, 0.5 blocks, 5.3 rebounds, 6.9 assists, 12.8 freshman points, .59 freshman TS%

Baldwin has a very solid combination of blocks, rebounding and assists for a PG and thanks to his ability to draw fouls, has scored efficiently both of his seasons.

His athleticism and ballhandling is average, though it hasn’t stopped him from getting to the line in college. He has excellent size for a PG with a 6’10 wingspan and a big frame and hands. He is a great 3 point shooter and passer. While not the sexiest pick in this draft in my opinion, the size, 3 point shooting, passing and feel makes him a good bet to start.

5. SG Ron Baker

Per 40 minutes: 2.1 steals, 0.9 blocks, 6.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 13.7 freshman points, .59 freshman TS%

As an old white mid-major player, Baker isn’t much on the NBA radar. His numbers caught my eye. For a SG he’s putting up an excellent combination of steals, blocks and assists, scored efficiency as a freshman, along with solid rebounding.

The first retort may be to throw it the number because of conference. However to start, the MVC is not the same type of mid-major as say the Patriot League or Big Sky. Wichita State has played 11 games against top 100 opponents. As a comparison Ben Simmons’ LSU has played 14 and Brandon Ingram’s Duke has played 20. When Damian Lillard was at Weber St. he played 6 games against top 100 opponents. When C.J. McCollum was at Lehigh they played 5. By Strength of Schedule Wichita State ranks ahead of Henry Ellenson’s Marquette and just below Patrick McCaw and Stephen Zimmerman’s UNLV. The Missouri Valley Conference wasn’t any less strong than the Mountain West Conference this year. Furthermore, it’s not just competition on the other side that affects Baker’s numbers. Playing on a weaker team allows players to take a bigger share of their team’s stats. Wichita State is ranked top 50 in RPI so the talent level on his own team shouldn’t have inflated Baker’s stats much.

Furthermore when looking at former mid-major prospects like Paul George, Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, Rodney Stuckey, Elfrid Payton, or Baker’s former teammate Cleanthony Early, I didn’t see evidence of inflation in rebounding, assists, steals or blocks per minute. Their scoring rates were arguably inflated, but that was not Baker’s strength to begin with, and playing on a top 50 team may have given less of a reason for him to put up a high points rate. As a whole, I’m inclined to treat Baker’s strong statistical performance as legitimate.

The next argument is talent. There are players rating high on my statistical list, I decided to drop farther down on my big board based on not believing in their NBA tools. I decided to not make Baker one of them. While no more than an average athlete, there is more talent attributes than that. He has plus size for a SG based on his wingspan and length. His steals, blocks and solid free throw rate are also a sign of decent athleticism. He is a very good 3 point shooter and a plus passer for his position and is known for his high IQ. So between the size, 3 point shooting and IQ, there’s a lot of NBA attributes there. It’s the same reason players like Wesley Matthews and Danny Green are talented.

6. SG Patrick McCaw

Per 40 minutes: 2.8 steals, 0.5 blocks, 6.1 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 13.1 freshman points, .54 freshman TS%

McCaw ranked high statistically on my list due to very impressive combination of steals, blocks, and assists for a SG along with solid rebounding. As a player he is a great fit for the 3 and D wing role. He is long armed and athletic, but struggles to drive to the rim because of ballhandling and a skinny frame. He projects as a good 3 point shooter in the NBA. His steals and assists are a good sign for his basketball IQ.

Nowadays, a strong 3 and D wing can have maximum contract value. Therefore a player like McCaw has a lot of upside.

7. SF Brandon Ingram

Per 40 minutes: 1.3 steals, 1.6 blocks, 8.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 19.7 freshman points, .55 freshman TS%

Ingram is one of the most talented players in the draft and very well could be the #1 pick. However his numbers only came out as OK for a SF to me. His two strengths are shotblocking and points as a long wing who creates his own shot. His rebounding and assists are disappointing for a SF and his efficiency has dropped to average after a recent slump. The numbers are not so bad that he can’t turn into a multiple time all-star, just that I’d trust the odds less than for a prospect that combined both talent and dominant numbers.

As for his talent level, everything is also not perfect. Having a center’s length in a wing’s body is great, however he also has a skinny frame for a SF. His athleticism and ballhandling are not decent but not amazing, leading to an average free throw drawing rate. If Ingram goes #1 it’ll be on the back of his 3 point shooting in comparison to Simmons. However while he has some good signs in 3 point scoring volume at 2.6 makes per 40 and 41.3% 3PM, he is also only shooting 68.8 FT%, making him about as good a FT shooter as Simmons and Dunn. Ideally elite shooting prospects are over 80%. Mid 70s is manageable. 60s is worrying. Based on his % and volume he’s still a good shooting prospect. But it may be closer to a 6/10 as a shooter than 9/10.

So as a whole, I like Ingram’s size, shooting and feel, but I’m not calling him one of the most talented prospects of the last ten years or anything. For example, Wade Baldwin has great size for his position, is a great 3 point shooter and has great feel. Are we sure Ingram’s combinations of talents for a SF is much different than that? As a whole, I am ok leaving Ingram here, still in range of being a top 3 prospect in the draft.

8. SF Dedric Lawson

Per 40 minutes: 1.5 steals, 2.2 blocks, 11.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 19.5 freshman points, .49 freshman TS%

Lawson rated 3rd on my list statistically behind Simmons and Dunn. For a SF which is where Draftexpress has him listed (I use them as the source for positional dispute) he averages a high steal and block, passes the ball well, rebounded and had scoring volume. Efficiency was one of his only weaknesses.

He’s not my favorite talent in the draft, thus dropping him this far. He is only an average athlete, if not below average. But he is fairly skilled as a near 36% 3pt shooter, has ballhandling and passing skill and looks to have a high feel for the game. His length and frame for a SF looks to be excellent. I’m still not convinced he plays here instead of as as stretch four, but nonetheless at the four he would also be a compelling combination of stretch shooting, passing and feel.

9. PF Dragan Bender
10. C Zhou Qi
11. SG Furkan Korkmaz

I decided I didn’t have a big enough sample size of international prospects at each position to use their stats like I do NCAA players, before other problems like if they didn’t play enough minutes or the competition level of different leagues. So as a result I gave them all a flat rate of the median statistical performance of the NCAA prospects on my list. After doing that, this is where these talented international players came out.

The team who drafts Bender will be hoping to get “European Draymond Green”. He has the athleticism and size to be a defender at PF, but can shoot 3s and pass the ball. In his small sample size of European numbers he is putting up a solid combination of steals, blocks and assists per minute, although struggling to rebound. I understand all the talent reasons he can be picked top 3, but I’m trusting the power of positive statistics over no statistics. Bender has a very appealilng style of play for the modern game, but I still feel it’s far more important for a player to be great at his style of play, than what his style is. Draymond is one of the top 20 players in the league, but the other 19 have a style of play that worked out for their teams too.

Unlike Bender, Zhou Qi is dominating in his league, but it’s the CBA. For the record his numbers would rate about as good as Emmanuel Mudiay’s per minute numbers did last year and Mudiay seems to be going on to good things in the NBA. Zhou would be one of the longest players in the league but also one of the thinnest bigs and can shoot the outside ball. There are mixed reports on his basketball IQ. As a whole I like that he is so productive, but I also like his talent less than Bender’s. There’s also a good chance Zhou is not in this draft as Chinese players tend to wait and he’s not mocked as high as once expected.

Korkmaz is a more traditional player for his position than Bender and Zhou, as a shooting guard of about average size who has the athleticism drive, good shooting and can pass. That will do just fine if it translates. Once again the numbers are not very useful for him.

12. PF Brice Johnson

Per 40 minutes: 1.7 steals, 1.9 blocks, 15.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 19.8 freshman scoring, .50 freshman TS%

Johnson ranks top 5 on my list statistically due to his excellent combination of steals and blocks, elite rebounding, and solid assists and freshman scoring. However I’m a little bit wary of his NBA skills. He is an elite athlete but doesn’t have much of a perimeter shooting game and he is undersized at PF. Most of his points are dunks or finishes at the basket. His game projects as a Kenneth Faried type player at the next level, who should have been picked around here in 2011.

There’s value in having that productive role player and I want to be careful in putting a player like this into a box in terms of his upside. For what I know he could end up working his ass off, developing a perimeter shooting game and put up all-star caliber offensive numbers.

13. SG Denzel Valentine

Per 40 minutes: 1.3 steals, 0.3 blocks, 9.2 rebounds, 9.2 assists, 9.7 freshman points, .52 freshman TS%

How my system rates Valentine is almost the inverse of conventional opinion. On one hand, he rates no better than mediocre statistically. Part of this is that using freshman scoring volume and efficiency hits him badly compared to his his 24.6 points and .61 TS% as a senior. He has mediocre steal and block rate and his rebounding while above average, would be less impressive if he went on to play SF instead of SG. The category he is spectacular in is assists. A SG who averages 4 assists per 40 like Baker is a positive number, to average over 9 is wild. However my system appreciates consistency across categories where Valentine does not do as well.

But Valentine’s talent may be badly underrated. I said Baker was talented because he had size, shooting, passing and feel, Valentine is a super version of that. His 45% 3pt shooting and 84.9% FT rate make him one of the best shooters in the pass, he’s obviously an amazing passer, and he has one of the best feels for the game in the class. His 6’10 wingspan and frame would be strong for a SG. Outside of athleticism Valentine’s talent is as good as it gets.

In the end though, it comes down to the numbers and his profile is the worrying kind for draft prospects, with a heavily inflated scoring rate compared to his younger seasons and having some weak categories like steals and blocks.

14. PF Marquese Chriss

Per 40 minutes: 1.5 steals, 2.6 blocks, 8.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 21.4 freshman points, .58 freshman TS%

Chriss could improve his rebounding and assists for a bit, but has an excellent scoring volume and efficiency for his age and an above average steal and block rate.

He has a chance to provide a nice combination of athleticism at the rim and the ability to step out and shoot, as a 35% 3pt shooter this year. From a basketball IQ perspective he appears to be raw, but nonetheless could be a modern big.

Just missed: SG James Blackmon, PG Kay Felder, SG Grayson Allen, SG Buddy Hield, C Jonathan Jeanne, SG Isaia Cordinier, C Jakob Poeltl, C Chinanu Onuaku, SF Jaylen Brown, PG Gary Payton II

Written by jr.

March 12, 2016 at 4:07 pm

Posted in Basketball, Uncategorized

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The Warriors dominance and good players

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The Warriors are off to a 14-0 start and a threat to beat the Bulls 72-10 record. They were 5 wins from the Bulls last year and now look more potent. Stephen Curry and Draymond Green have so far gone to another level.

Much has been made of the Draymond Green at center lineup with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and Harrison Barnes. The lineup is a +/- monster and won them the Finals last year. An excellent RealGM article by Jonathan Tjarks reveals how hard it is to match up with the lineup. If you have a lineup like Kevin Love-Timofey Mozgov or Lamarcus Aldridge-Tim Duncan playing both leaves them too slow to chase Barnes and Green on the perimeter or in transition. Going small with Kawhi Leonard or Lebron James at center means leaving all-star talent in Love, Aldridge or Duncan on the bench in place of perimeter players not talented enough to beat the Warriors. You have to break your own legs to match up with the Warriors small lineup.

This is all true. However perhaps why Green messes up the opponent so much is because that’s what elite players do. Against Anthony Davis or DeMarcus Cousins in a playoff series most teams won’t have a matchup either. Draymond Green was too short to guard Davis last year and he went off. The Warriors just had to beat them in spite of Davis’ numbers. Likewise for stars at other positions such as Russell Westbrook or of course, Curry himself.

As revolutionary as the Warriors style of play, the underlying reason for success may be the same as always. Having better players than the opponent. It’s just part of the reason why players such as Green, Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson are great is the value of defense and spacing.

Consider the defensive talent of the Warriors. Draymond Green is a defensive player of the year caliber power forward. Andrew Bogut per minute has a case for the best defensive center in the league. He is blocked from DPOY conversations by not playing as many minutes. Green and Bogut finished top 2 in ESPN’s DRPM last year. Compare Green to some of the other best defensive big men of this decade: Dwight Howard, Marc Gasol, Joakim Noah, Roy Hibbert, Serge Ibaka, Tim Duncan. Who had a better defensive partner than Bogut? Howard played with an offence-first player in Rashard Lewis. Noah covered for Carlos Boozer on defense half the time, when not paying with the excellent Taj Gibson. Hibbert and Gasol played with David West and Zach Randolph. Both smart responsible defenders, but not Bogut. Tim Duncan had a quality defensive partner in Tiago Splitter, but Duncan this decade is not quite as dominant as in his prime on defense. Ibaka played with Kendrick Perkins in the Thunder’s best defensive season, another quality defender but not special.

Add in a defense first backup center in Festus Ezeli and the Warriors may have the best defensive frontcourt in the last 10 years, since Ben Wallace and Rasheed Wallace in Detroit and Tim Duncan and David Robinson in San Antonio. Not that the Warriors defensive talent ends there. They have one of the premiere defensive wings of this generation in Andre Iguodala and plus defenders like Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, Stephen Curry, Shaun Livingston.

This is a special defensive core. Most of us are not used to a defensive team who plays at the fastest pace in the league because we presume it limits their upside on the defensive end. But what if this defensive reduction IS happening to the Warriors, it’s just they’re so talented that after the reduction they’re still the best defensive team. Maybe if playing a grit and grind style and pace like the recent Pacers, Grizzlies and Bulls, they would be lapping any recent team on defense, not just matching them.

And with so much defensive talent they only needed so much offense to be dominant and they have more than enough. Curry who is playing at one of the great offensive levels of anyone in history. Klay Thompson’s combination of all-star level scoring and floor spacing makes him one of the most potent offensive SGs. Andre Iguodala, Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green are providing efficient possessions of floor spacing. Of the two sides there is probably less dynamic talent on offense than defense. But as long as Curry and a full lineup of shooters is around it doesn’t matter.

Written by jr.

November 21, 2015 at 1:30 pm

Posted in Basketball

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