A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

Posts Tagged ‘Anthony Davis

MVP/Power Rankings Monday: The 10 Closest Things to Takeaways from preseason (2012-2013 NBA)

leave a comment »

Yes, the “It’s just preseason” caveat applies to any conclusions one wants to draw from preseason in the NBA. But oh, it’s so tempting. Here are 10 things that may or may not be indicative to take from preseason

10. The Spurs found another “who?” steal in Nando De Colo – Nando looks like the real deal. He has great height for a PG/SG, with a strong feel for the game and court vision and shooting game. He’ll be a mismatch problem for teams to deal with off the bench.

9. Omer Asik is a monster – The Rockets knew what they were doing giving such a big contract to the Bulls’ backup center. Asik is one of the biggest Cs/players in the league period and looks like a special rebounder and defender so far. Dominant defensive Cs is how you win.

8. Marvin Williams is finally ready for a breakout season – Marvin may not have the talent Atlanta thought when they took him 2nd overall in 2005, but he was likely underused all the same. He has an outstanding feel for the game, his length is a great asset defensively and he’s turned himself into a sharpshooter at the SF position. These 3 tools makes him a huge asset for Utah if he’s used properly.

7. Big Baby Davis could have a Big Year – If you’re looking for a dark-horse statistical breakout candidate, look out for Big Baby. Dwight Howard and Ryan Anderson leaving the team opens up a ton of free shots in the frontcourt. Davis came on at the end of last season starting in place of Howard at C. Perhaps that’s the position for him, where he can be an offensive mismatch with his outside shot. Read the rest of this entry »

33pt Thursday – Final predictions for 2012-2013 rookies

with 2 comments

This year was the first time I used the 33pt method to evaluate draft prospects. The real test of this metric and what would gain it respect is if it will predict well. Although I posted a Big Board in June, I have a few issues letting that list stand. One is that was made very shortly after I had come up with the 33pt idea and before I had hashed out my specific criteria for the scores – as a result of the changes to my criteria, a few players’ scores and rankings have changed. Secondly, in that iteration of my big board, I didn’t lay out the specific scores for players, merely the rankings. Thus before the preseason started I wanted to make a revised post of my official predictions for 2012-2013 rookies using this metric, to test it when the players eventually hit the floor. I listed all of the 1st round picks, in addition to any significantly relevant picks outside of the 1st round. I also included the 2011 draft picks that will be rookies this year.

Superstar scores

Anthony Davis

Physical: 11, Skill: 7, Feel for the Game: 10

Total: 28

Davis looks even better than I thought in June, because I realized how rare elite shotblocking is at the 4 position – with his offensive explosiveness as well, Davis may in fact be one of the highest scoring physical talents at PF the NBA has seen. He has a tremendous feel and a skill level that should be somewhere between good and great for a PF.

Jeremy Lamb

Physical: 6

Skill: 9

Feel for the Game: 11

Total: 26

Lamb looks a lot like a SG version of Kevin Durant to me. He has an otherworldly feel for the game, has a tremendous array of shots and skills off the dribble, and has an elite first step and great size to finish at the rim.

All-star scores Read the rest of this entry »

MVP/Power Rankings Monday – The 10 most likely future NBA MVPs (who haven’t won any yet)

leave a comment »

Kevin Durant waiting for the tip-off in OKC vs...

Kevin Durant is a near cinch for future MVP (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The NBA MVP feels the most important of the 4 major sports’. Since the best player in basketball matters more than the rest, so does the all-time rankings of players – and next to championships, MVPs are the most prestigious award they can get. Furthermore the NBA is unique from the other sports in that only the greatest talents even have a shot at the award, while in the NFL, MLB and NHL a very good but not transcendent talent can win an MVP if he breaks out to a spectacular statistical season. The MVP club is a much more exclusive lounge to join in the NBA.

Here are my rankings of who the most likely future MVPs are, among players who haven’t been awarded with one yet

Tier 1 – The frontrunners

1. SF Kevin Durant – A near lock to eventually get an MVP. He’s finished 2nd twice, is the dominant scorer in the league and is a media favorite due to his class and hard work. Most importantly perhaps is that winning an MVP just about requires finishing top 2 in the conference and Durant’s Thunder have the talent to consistently grab 1st and 2nd place finishes in the West for the rest of his prime. It’s much more likely Durant wins 2 or more MVPs than it is he wins 0.

2. PG Chris Paul – With 2nd and 3rd place finishes he’s proven he has the respect of MVP voters due to his transcendent true PG ability. Like Durant on the Clippers with Blake Griffin beside him he has the talent to lead a team strong enough to win an MVP and if the Clippers ever get that high, the narrative of saving that once tortured franchise will play in his favor.

3. C Dwight Howard – Like Durant and Paul he’s a consensus superstar who has 2nd, 4th and 4th MVP finishes. He’s easily the best at his position and the value of dominant two way centers has been recognized. My only concern with him is that after leading 59 W seasons in both 2008-2009 and 2009-2010, he still only was rewarded with 4th place finishes both years. Even in the year he finished 2nd many argued Derrick Rose didn’t have the same value to his team enough to beat him. Is it possible Dwight’s lack of dominant scoring talent and polish hurts his chances of getting MVP respect? Perhaps, but he deserves to be ranked top 3 at worst. Read the rest of this entry »

NBA Draft Scouting Video: Anthony Davis

leave a comment »

 

Second in my series of draft scouting videos. Includes analysis of likely #1 pick Anthony Davis’ shotblocking, defensive movement, post defense, driving to the basket, shooting, post scoring, post misses, passing, screen setting, rebounding.

Written by jr.

May 18, 2012 at 9:30 pm

Searching for Bill Russell ~ Starring Anthony Davis (2012)

with 6 comments

That didn't really happen did it?

The more I learn about basketball’s history, the more impressed with Bill Russell I am. Like many, I at one point found it hard to believe that Russell could truly be a more valuable player than Wilt Chamberlain. Now, the primary reason for that was that I couldn’t imagine Russell’s more one way game matching the two way dominance of Chamberlain, and if you know me, you know that since then I’ve written fairly extensively on just how flawed Chamberlain’s offense was. There was also the matter though of me just having a false ceiling in my head for just how dominant a team can get on one side of the ball.

If you go by the estimates of offensive and defensive team efficiency given by basketball-reference.com, the curve of extremely good results seems very well behaved. Here are the best sides that side lists based on percentage edge over median:

 

You can see the teams here are all in the same ballpark. You might also notice that Steve Nash is on 3 of the top 5 offenses, which is quite remarkable. Most importantly though, you might notice how modern all these teams are. Nothing from earlier than 1993. Remarkable, no? Well, it is remarkable, but there is a catch: basketball-reference only provides estimates from 1974 on. What happened before that?

Bill Russell did 6 impossible things before breakfast

Read the rest of this entry »

My 2012 NBA Draft Big Board – Ranking the top 30 (March 2012)

with one comment

This is my preliminary ranking of the top 30 prospects in the 2012 draft. I will repost a list in June before the draft.

My method is based on evaluating players’ skillsets. A players’ statistics can help illuminate these skillsets, but producing in the NCAA is not a necessity, nor does it guarantee success in the NBA. I see impressive statistics matching an impressive prospects as coorelation, rather than causing that ranking.

I have also included statistical and stylistic comparisons for each player in the NBA. The stylistic comparison may be above or below that player’s production in the NBA, it’s meant more to simply *how* they will play and look in the NBA. The statistical comparison is under the assumption of the opportunity to play starting caliber (30-36) minutes, thus judging the player and not their situation.

1. PF Anthony Davis – The clearcut #1. Can be the best defensive big man in the league, and the value of that cannot be understated when you look at the history of championship teams in the NBA. Offensively he is coming along with good touch, instincts and a ballhandling and shooting perimeter game that is coming along. Finally, has a perfect humble character – the type you build a franchise around culturally. He may put up 18 points, 11 rebounds and 3.5 blocks a game one day, resembling Miami usage Chris Bosh offensively and Tim Duncan defensively. Read the rest of this entry »

2012 NBA Draft Scouting Analysis: Anthony Davis – A shotblocking savant, but does he have the offensive talent to be a star?

leave a comment »

Anthony Davis pick

Fear the Unibrow

Anthony Davis is the early frontrunner for the #1 pick in the June 2012 draft, according to the usually accurate mock draft sources on ESPN.com and Draftexpress.com. He’s in the middle of a spectacular shotblocking season (4.55 a game), is rebounding well (10.3 a game) and is scoring at a highly efficient rate (63% FG). This is enough to currently lead college players in PER, an impressive feat for a freshman. He also has a model character and attitude off the court and a tight focus and motor on it. The combination of youth, elite production this early, character points and the rarity of a big man who impacts the game defensively is enough for him to make him the likely pick.

My breakdown of Anthony Davis follows below. My philosophy is based on “NBA skills” – What is guaranteed from the player, what they might be able to develop, and what they won’t have. Physical tools like athleticism and length, and individual ball skills, only go as far as helping the player achieve these NBA skills – rather than act as their own, separate entities as often they are treated in the draft process. If this tools can’t lend themselves to a clear NBA skill, they are useless. What good is Al-Farouq Aminu’s athleticism and length when it doesn’t lend itself to any specific NBA skills? What good is Adam Morrison’s shooting skill if he doesn’t have the physical and mental make-up talent to use it effectively?

First, I will look at Anthony Davis’ guaranteed NBA skills: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jr.

January 23, 2012 at 10:06 pm