Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Knicks Morning News (2018.03.06)

  • [NYPost] Emmanuel Mudiay is still Knicks’ starting point guard with a catch
    (Monday, March 05, 2018 7:24:38 PM)

    PORTLAND, Ore. — Emmanuel Mudiay is regressing as the new starting point guard but Jeff Hornacek is not ready to bag this audition. Not yet, anyway. Hornacek will continue to keep rookie Frank Ntilikina and Trey Burke coming off the bench, but the Knicks coach added that has no bearing on next season’s starting point-guard…

  • [NYPost] Michael Beasley opens up about what’s wrong with his game
    (Monday, March 05, 2018 4:11:55 PM)

    PORTLAND, Ore. — Michael Beasley is watching his words carefully nowadays, but he can’t help but drop cryptic hints about his suddenly painful slump. His decline could have him yanked from the starting lineup Tuesday when the Knicks face the Blazers at Moda Center. “Not sure,’’ Beasley said Monday when asked about his scoring dip….

  • [SNY Knicks] Hornacek sticking with Beasley despite offensive slump
    (Monday, March 05, 2018 4:25:28 PM)

    Despite an offensive slump, head coach Jeff Hornacek decided to stick with Michael Beasley in the starting lineup because of his defense.

  • [SNY Knicks] Hornacek needs to see more desperation after Knicks’ 40th loss
    (Monday, March 05, 2018 10:35:55 AM)

    The Knicks latest loss looked familiar. It was another come-from-behind effort that ended in the opponent taking the win, and for Jeff Hornacek, it’s getting old.

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks could use more scoring from Michael Beasley
    (Monday, March 05, 2018 8:41:51 PM)

    PORTLAND, Ore. — Michael Beasley said he doesn’t care if he takes a shot as long as the Knicks win games. Their chances might improve, however, if he could take over games the way he did for stretches earlier in the season.

  • [NYTimes] Kobe Bryant Wins an Oscar, and Lands a Jab at Laura Ingraham
    (Monday, March 05, 2018 10:47:58 PM)

    In a year with intense focus on improper sexual behavior by men, the victory for Bryant, who was once accused of rape, caused a stir.

  • [NYDN] Michael Beasley blames Knicks teammates for faltering production
    (Monday, March 05, 2018 3:12:59 PM)

    Nobody talked more than Michael Beasley before this season about his greatness — about how he’s just as skilled as LeBron James.

  • 57 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2018.03.06)

    1. Zanzibar

      Worried about tonight’s game. Portland just played last night a tough game against the Lakers at LA. Hornacek might be desperate and go rogue by playing Burke/Frank/Timmy/KOQ 35 minutes together. We need Jowles to shell out for a ticket right behind Horns and yell at him to play Mudiay.

      Speaking of Mudiay, I have some good news. After the trade, I joked that I knew he would improve because he was dead last in RPM across all positions. There was nowhere to go but up. Well I just clicked all the way to page 13 and he’s now second to last across all positions. Progress! Curious about who’s last? Malik Monk. Crawford was on page 13 so maybe Thibs will take Lee this summer? Also on Page 13 was Dennis Smith.

      Defense requires teamwork and guys like Mudiay and Walking Bucket must be so demoralizing to other players. Kanter at least offsets to a degree his atrocious defense on the offensive end. Tanking is the priority at the moment so I’m fine with Mudiay playing big minutes. Next season we shouldn’t re-sign Walking Bucket at any price and Mudiay should play in the G-League. Let our crack player development unit (which may be just evangelical Allan Houston praying for him) try to fix him. Burke and Frank should be getting all of the minutes at the 1. Knicks evaluate their performance and the possibility of signing one of Kemba/Kyrie/Rubio in summer of 2019 might be there.

    2. Frank

      lol the headline “Hornacek needs to see more desperation after Knicks’ 40th loss”. What does he expect the Knicks to be desperate for? The only person who might not have a job next year is Hornacek himself. Beasley and KOQ will get signed someplace. Who does he want desperation from? Troy Williams?

    3. Stratomatic "It's tough being us"

      If Hornacek wants to win games, he should start Burke and Frank. If he wants to do the right thing for the team long term, he should start Frank at PG and play him with Dotson. If he wants to tank, he should keep doing what he’s doing, play Kanter, Beasley, and Mudiay together. The scary part is that he’s doing the latter expecting to win games. lmao

    4. chrisk06811

      I too would like to see Frank play more; I just wish KP was here to play with him. With his main weakness currently being shooting/scoring, I would prefer he get extended minutes with guys who can take that pressure off of him.

    5. Frank

      Kinda getting worried that Mikal Bridges might be gone before our turn.
      Jonathan Tjarks just wrote a whole feature about him at the Ringer – very true that there are very few elite-level 3/D guys who are truly special on both sides of that 3 and D.

    6. d-mar

      Man, Isaiah Thomas looks completely done, like Derrick Rose kinda done.

      5/20 for the game, last possession he misses a free deadball foul free throw AND turns it over trying to get a shot on the possession. Holy crap.

      Danny Ainge wins again )-:

    7. Brian Cronin

      The scary part is that he’s doing the latter expecting to win games. lmao

      That’s the only reason I’d want to see Horny fired. Since he really does seem to think that this is his best bet and if he thinks that, he’s just too dumb to keep coaching.

    8. Brian Cronin

      Kinda getting worried that Mikal Bridges might be gone before our turn.

      If you mean by #9, of course he’s going to be gone by #9. However, despite all the evidence suggesting he’ll be a fine NBA player, I still think that the bigs in the draft are so appealing that Bridges won’t rise past #6-8 in the draft. Getting to #8 is huge for that reason.

    9. DRed

      If a coach of a team like the Knicks feels he needs to win to keep his job that’s the fault of the front office. If they communicate to the coach that the idea is to play young guys and try to develop certain parts of their game and the coach is playing vets to win, you need to fire him now instead of in the off season.

    10. mase

      Brian
      What are you’re thoughts on trading down for Troy brown if we don’t crack top ten?

    11. Brian Cronin

      Brian
      What are you’re thoughts on trading down for Troy brown if we don’t crack top ten?

      If the Knicks don’t crack the top ten, then I would be far too despondent to think logically. ;)

      Seriously, though, yeah, I am totally down with the discussions others have had recently of trading a #10 pick for the two possible mid-teens picks that the Suns might have. A lot of things would have to happen just right in that scenario, though. The Knicks would have to fall to #10 (which I hope doesn’t happen) and the Suns would need to get both picks. Plus, someone I like from the #8-9 spot would have to not be there at #10. Mikal Bridges could theoretically still be there at #10, ya know?

      But yes, in a vacuum, I’d always trade #10 for two picks in the mid-teens. It’s almost always going to work out in your favor. The big talent drop-offs are usually from top five to #6-10 and then single digits to teens. The drop from #10 to #15 is usually not much at all (although obviously all drafts are slightly different).

    12. Brian Cronin

      The only top five “locks” that I think there are right now are Ayton, Jackson and Doncic.

      Then Bagley and Porter seem like locks for Top 7 (Bagley and Porter are very likely to go in the top five, as well, but I dunno).

      Then I have no idea. Bamba, Carter, Bridges, Young, Knox, Sexton – they’re all in play for #5-11.

    13. thenoblefacehumper

      I like Mikal Bridges as much as the next guy, but if we stay at 9 there will be a good option available regardless of what happens 1-8. Bridges would fit with our current roster smoothly, but I think Wendell Carter might be the better prospect in a vacuum. If it’s not one of those two it means someone else highly intriguing unexpectedly fell (Bamba, Young, etc.).

      If we fall to 10 or below all hell breaks loose.

    14. Brian Cronin

      I agree with that. That’s why I think #8 is such a great spot to be in (I mean, higher is better, but I mean #8 versus #9). That way, even if you drop to #9, one of the following six guys will be available: Bamba, Porter, Bagley, Carter, Mikal Bridges and Young. If you don’t drop to #9, two of those guys will be available.

      If you drop to #10, however, likely none of those guys will be available.

      So it is imperative for the Knicks to get to #8 in the draft.

    15. Brian Cronin

      And yes, I think at this precise moment, #9 is probably Wendell Carter. Which is also fine by me. I’d prefer Bridges, but Carter is fine.

    16. Bruno Almeida

      Yeah, we just have to be in range to get one of the “second tier” guys.

      I think Bagley will go in the top 4, if only because he’s got the reputation of the expected #1 guy. Anyone of Bamba, Porter, Mikal, Trae Young and Carter has got to be available at 9 and I’m fine with all of them.

      “With the 10th pick in the NBA draft, the New York Knicks select Miles Bridges!”

    17. Brian Cronin

      I mean, Porter probably will be gone, too, so sure, let’s just make it the following four players: Bamba, Young, Mikal Bridges and Carter. Two of them will be available at #8 and one will be available at #9. And that’s awesome.

    18. d-mar

      I mean, Porter probably will be gone, too, so sure, let’s just make it the following four players: Bamba, Young, Mikal Bridges and Carter. Two of them will be available at #8 and one will be available at #9. And that’s awesome.

      My first thought when I read this was “Wow, Brian, that is awesome!”

      My next thought was “How can the Knicks screw this up?”

    19. ess-dog

      Bridges is probably the best immediate fit, but it would be intriguing if Bamba fell to us. Jumping into the top 3 would be amazing. Any of Doncic, Ayton and Jackson would be a huge upgrade.

    20. Bruno Almeida

      Yeah, I’m slowly coming into terms with it like last year, that at least one promising player will be available.

      Like last year when I wanted Ball, I ideally want Doncic this time, but oh well, at least we’re not freaking Charlotte or the Nets.

    21. DRed

      I’d obviously love Doncic, but I would also be thrilled with Jackson if we’re dreaming of hitting a top 3 pick. Ayton’s lack of defense is pretty worrysome. (I mean I wouldn’t complain if we drafted 3rd and wound up with Ayton, but big men who don’t get steals or block shots are not my preferred archetype)

    22. d-mar

      Like last year when I wanted Ball, I ideally want Doncic this time, but oh well, at least we’re not freaking Charlotte or the Nets.

      Or the Pistons

    23. Brian Cronin

      The interesting thing that we’re going to have to prepare ourselves for next year is that the hot shit 19-20 year olds that we’re all looking forward to seeing as Knicks will probably spend most of next year just getting used to the NBA and sucking in general. The two guys I wanted the most last year (of the realistic options that could possibly be available at #8) were Fox and Isaac and they’ve both sucked big time this year (as has my #3 pick, which was Frank). I’m not worried about either Fox nor Isaac long term, though, as they’ve spent the year fixing their major issues (Fox, for instance, has eventually learned to shoot), it’s just that that first year is a brutal adjustment.

      That’s what makes Ball’s season so impressive.

      Now, the hope, of course, is that the Knicks get to the really special guys that you hope will be able to excel right away. I’m not worried about Doncic’s first year, ya know?

    24. djphan

      i’m not exactly too thrilled with jackson… he’s certainly good but i’m starting to like carter a lot more… he’s more well rounded offensively and his feel for the game on both ends is probably better than everyone in the draft….

      to me… jackson is basically ibaka…. i don’t think he’s much more than that… that is certainly a worthy top pick… but a big who has good ball skills and might be a plus on defense is infinitely harder to find…

      a big who can shoot 3 pt’ers is nice but he needs ppl to get him in those situations… we don’t really have that… and that’s not to say fit is something we should be prioritizing… but better all around players should have ball skills…. i liken carter to be in the horford/gasol/love camp of bigs… while jackson is something like turner or ibaka… i’d much rather have the former group since they are more personnel agnostic to make an impact….

    25. JK47

      Firing Hornacek should be job one of this offseason. I’ve seen enough of this guy to know that he can’t coach. Dead last in the NBA in 3-point rate, that says it all. He doesn’t have the vision, doesn’t have good people skills, and he doesn’t seem to understand the modern game.

      Thanks, Phil!

    26. mase

      My picks last year were Isaac, frank, Mitchell in no particular order. Ultimately we needed all three, and we still do so I’m all for trading down.

    27. JK47

      Seems pretty likely that one weird player we haven’t thought about will leapfrog some of these guys and jump into the top 10. Remember the teams drafting ahead of us aren’t drafting ahead of us because they’re competent, well-run franchises. Somebody will probably screw the pooch and draft Colin Sexton or Kevin Knox too high.

    28. Stratomatic "It's tough being us"

      Josh Jackson has sucked also, but he’s been playing a little better lately. It seems to take a LOT of time for the really young players to get rolling.

      My hope is that next year Frank legitimately wins the starting PG job, KP comes back in January and slowly gets back to peak form, and whoever we draft slowly works himself into starting lineup. If by the end of the season next year we can at least sense the team is ready to make a serious playoff move the following year I’ll be happy. We’ll have a decent young core and some space to make another move or two. Anything above that that we happen to get out of Burke, Baker, Dotson, 2nd round picks, G League etc.. is gravy, though I expect Burke to be our backup PG.

    29. mase

      In this draft doncic and Jackson like adding vets compared to the other players in the draft. Now I’m convincing myself of trading up. Oh boy.
      Frank, Dotson and our first for Phoenix’s two picks pick

    30. JK47

      I don’t know, I don’t really see Frank as ever playing a viable PG in the NBA. I like him okay as a prospect anyway, because the defense is legit and he can shoot threes a little bit already. I think he does things that don’t show up in a box score, and I can definitely see a path to his being a productive NBA player. But a point guard? I just don’t see it. His dribble-drive game is truly pathetic. I cringe every time he puts the ball on the floor.

      He’s a defense-oriented two-guard who is also a good passer, and that’s not a terrible thing to have. I’ll be very surprised if he sticks at PG in this league.

    31. Bruno Almeida

      Josh Jackson has been playing better lately and he’s already a very very good defender. I think he’ll have a long and successful career, it’s just that Phoenix is so bad it makes it even harder for him to do what he’s best at.

      I like the Jaren Jackson Jr – Ibaka comparison, but I think there’s a difference here: the issue with Ibaka as a player is that when he was this dominant inside presence in his early years he couldn’t shoot, and when he learned to shoot 3s now he is not as athletic anymore on defense.

      JJJ has both “phases” of Ibaka’s career at the same time, and that’s an incredibly valuable player. I would be totally fine drafting him at the 3rd overall pick.

    32. Frank

      Seems pretty likely that one weird player we haven’t thought about will leapfrog some of these guys and jump into the top 10. Remember the teams drafting ahead of us aren’t drafting ahead of us because they’re competent, well-run franchises. Somebody will probably screw the pooch and draft Colin Sexton or Kevin Knox too high.

      That somebody is going to be us most likely

    33. Stratomatic "It's tough being us"

      I don’t know, I don’t really see Frank as ever playing a viable PG in the NBA.

      It’s a bit of a dilemma. On the one hand I think he’s got good court vision, he’s a good passer, and he has a play maker’s mentality. So if you shift him over to SG you lose some of what he’s actually good at and don’t gain much given that he’s not a scorer. On the flip side, he doesn’t really have the handle and quickness to be the kind of PG we see in the NBA now. It’s going to be interesting to see what he develops into.

    34. swiftandabundant

      The stuff about Jackson and Fox…this is why I really believe the idea that maybe an upperclassman is the new market inefficiency on draft night. Teams are so focused on youth and potential but if it takes 3 years for a 19 year old to even be decent in the NBA and by that time you’re close to having to lock them up to a long expensive extension if they’re any good at all. And this idea that a 21 year old is done learning and improving but a 19 year old has this limitless ceiling of potential….I don’t know. Seems like teams are enamored with the potential of possibly landing a superstar instead of just drafting a really good player who might have a SLIGHTLY lower ceiling because he’s two years older. Of course I’m not talking bout a top 3 pick when its some beast 19 year old freshman. I’m thinking more in the 6 to 15 range this might be where taking an upperclassman over a freshman might be the wiser move. And for us in particular, it could be wise because we know the media and the fans LOVE to call a kid a bust right away and while we should hope the GM doesn’t listen to that its hard not to sometimes esp when Dolan is your boss.

    35. Z-man

      I’m pretty confident that Ayton, Jackson, Doncic, Bagley, Porter, Bamba and Young will be gone before we pick (assuming we pick no higher than #8) If any of them are available, it would be hard to say no.

      At least 3 of Carter, Mikal Bridges, Miles Bridges Knox, and Sexton will be available when we pick, possibly 4 or unlikely all 5. Of the group, I like Carter the most right now, but no strong convictions about any of them. Knox is probably my least favorite.

    36. nosboss

      @5
      I definitely think Mikal Bridges is going to be gone before the Knicks. I can see Chicago taking him because they need a small forward they have enough Big men, Markannen, Portis, Vonleh, Felicio and even Lopez if he’s not traded on Draft night.

    37. ess-dog

      Jackson projects to be a DPOY and shoots the three at a very good rate. I don’t know what a comparable would be for him…. a taller, young Artest? That’s why people are excited about this guy. Yes, he’s an amazing rim protector, but he can also close out on shooters better than most wings.

    38. ess-dog

      It would be VERY interesting if Young fell to us. But how does Orlando pass on him? They really need a point almost more than we do. Chicago does need a good wing, but they could really create some tough looks by putting Bamba next to Lauri.

    39. Brian Cronin

      Well, let’s play with the current mock draft.

      1-2. Memphis/Phoenix – They’re taking either Doncic or Ayton. I don’t know what order.
      3. Dallas – Jackson

      Then you have the big mess where four teams are tied for #4-7.

      4-7. Cleveland/Atlanta/Orlando/Sacramento – The first two teams take Porter and Bagley (unless someone goes nuts and pops Young into the top five. Like Orlando really needs a point. So maybe they go for Young). Can you imagine if Cleveland just added fucking Bagley or Porter and kept Lebron? How insane would that be? Okay, so that leaves two picks. And here’s where it gets crazy.

      Trae Young is almost certainly gone by #6. If not #5.

      So that leaves the remaining team from this bunch choosing between:
      Mo Bamba
      Wendell Carter
      Mikal Bridges

      I guess I could see Bridges going as high as #7 then. Then you have to figure Bridges doesn’t get past the Bulls at #8 if he somehow lasts past #7.
      8. Chicago
      9. Knicks – So the Knicks would be thinking Mo Bamba or Wendell Carter. I can more than live with that.

    40. airkent

      That would be a great discussion if we hit the lottery and get one of the top three picks. I think most people here would take donic if available but if he’s gone i think i would go trae over ayton and jackson. I just want to see what porzingis can do with a pg who can pass, dribble and shoot effectively hahaah

    41. Grocer

      @35 If there is evidence of guys with more college experience panning out more frequently than the one and done guys then you’re right. Does that exist?

    42. Bruno Almeida

      @41

      I too think Young will be pretty good in the NBA, but well, Ayton and Jackson really don’t look like players you want to ever pass on. Ayton has his defensive issues, yes, but he could legit be the next Karl-Anthony Towns, a flat out superstar offensive player with potential to get better defensively… Jackson projects to be a star defender with range + mobility…
      I can’t pass on either of them, really.

    43. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      Another person we should look at if he decides to declare for the draft is Zhaire Smith…an extremely athletic 6’5 2 guard who can guard multiple positions at a high level. He’s posting top 20 in the NCAA numbers as a freshman for Texas Tech, and his game as a whole screams out high-ceiling high-floor NBA prospect (absolutely great RBS #s for a SG). Tankathon currently has him at 11. There’s fit worries since we have Frank and THJr., but Frank should be playing PG full time until it’s made glaringly obvious that he’s not a PG. I think he projects better than Miles and maybe better than Mikal

      Here’s a good profile on The Stepien about Smith:
      https://www.thestepien.com/2018/01/25/zhaire-smith-surprise-freshman-stud/

      Here’s my lottery draft big board:
      1. Doncic
      2. Young
      3. JJJr.
      4. Carter
      5. Michael Porter (this one is hard since we have no info)
      6. Smith
      7. Mikal
      8. Ayton
      9. Jontay Porter
      10. Bagley
      11. Bamba
      12. Troy Brown
      13. Miles Bridges
      14. Gafford

    44. Brian Cronin

      I like Smith. If the Knicks were picking #10, I’d consider him there (but I’d probably trade down if they fall to #10).

    45. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      The thing about Ayton is that most of the positive case for drafting him high centers around NBA potential than actual *NBA-relevant* production. Despite the positive defensive numbers, it’s clear that he’s going to struggle on that end in the NBA, where his limited ability to rim-protect or move in space is going to cause lots of burns, especially by penetrating guards and wings. Meanwhile on the offensive end it’s clear that he can score at 2 of the 3 levels, but is a more limited 3 point shooter than advertised, shooting only 34% on 1.2 attempts per 40–he’s only attempted 32 3 pointers this year! Town’s RBS #s were far superior to Ayton’s (though Ayton is the better rebounder in the NCAA, though I think that’s a function of scheme and overwhelming athleticism vis a vis the rest of the NCAA as much as it is predicated on a difference in ability) and so were his general allin one productivity numbers in WS/48 and BPM. Ayton isn’t so much a Towns as he is a Lamarcus Aldridge with an extra 2 inches and bad defense. Compared to Carter or Jackson I think Ayton just comes up really lacking despite the hype about his physique.

    46. 2FOR18, understands math

      What’s funny is that the Knicks best tank jobs come when they’re trying to win. Phil’s tank that landed KP was the result of signing a bunch of veterans to make the playoffs, and it seems clear that Horny is trying to win by playing the vets in the 4th.
      I’m convinced they’d win more games if they tried to tank.

      Glad to see Monk at the bottom, as he was the one guy I did not want.

    47. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      By the way, this somewhat-old article (2014) by Layne Vashro on evaluating potential in draft prospects should be required reading for anyone interested in the subject matter:

      https://www.canishoopus.com/platform/amp/2014/2/26/5435374/potential-nba-draft-prospects

      A choice quote that reflects my preconceived biases:

      Interestingly, we see no development in rebounds, steals, or blocks (high-skilled blockers actually decrease after their first season something we also see in college which I attribute to opponent game-planning) for either group. This is consistent with analyses I have done in the past. These traits are something a player either has or does not have. Do not expect a prospect who cannot block, steal, or board to figure out how once he enters the NBA (not that this never happens of course). Instead, these traits should be viewed as a part of the baseline a player has to work from, much as height and leaping ability are popularly understood.

      Players who fill up box-scores and show a high level of skill across a variety of traits are often denied access to the ‘high potential’ category if they lack impressive athleticism. Just look at how some current NBA stars were viewed entering the league. Draft Express had this to say about Kevin Love in 2008: “… There are serious doubts about how his proficiency will translate to the pro level… there really aren’t many players at his height with his lack of athleticism in the pros, and it’s tough to guess how high in the draft a team will be willing to take a chance on him.” Here are some comments on Marc Gasol “The current leader in efficiency rating in the ACB League, Marc Gasol has built a pretty mistake-free style of game that helps him to emerge as a statistical standout…. How much will Gasol’s lack of athleticism get exposed in the NBA? I guess that’s the question every single decision maker will be asking himself” before he fell to the second round in 2007…

    48. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      Cont’d

      Paul Millsap dropped to the late second round in 2006 in spite of impressive collegiate production. The reason for Millsap’s drop is likely captured in NBADraft.net’s lowly 7/10, 5/10. And 7/10 ratings for athleticism, size, and potential. Stephen Curry and James Harden both earned a “limited upside?” flag from Draft Express; Curry due to his “frail frame” and “average athleticism, lateral quickness, and wingspan”, Harden due to his “average size and athleticism.” These are all players I would put on the far right of the ‘raw’ to ‘skilled’ continuum, yet they moved along faster growth trajectories in the pros than any of their peers. Those growth trajectories are exactly what the concept of potential is supposed to be measuring.

    49. Jack Bauer

      “I’m not worried about Doncic’s first year, ya know?”

      Me neither, I’m sure he’ll hit the ground running for the Hawks

    50. english_knick

      I’ll be astounded if Bamba drops beyond 7 and when all is said and done I think he’ll go above Bagley, and possibly Young. That level of defensive potential is hard to pass on – the comps are mostly to Gobert and thats a great player to have. If he falls to us I would seriously hope we take him and run…

    51. Brian Cronin

      I do agree that Bamba will most likely be gone by #9. Carter will most likely be the guy there, and I’d be totally fine with him being the pick. They really need to just finish at least #9. #8 would be better, though, since they’d probably be able to pick Mikal Bridges or Mo Bamba there.

    52. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      @50

      Sure, but the point is more about how “potential” and athleticism really only become relevant when you have already-existing basketball skills. And, specifically in the case of Love and Harden, that worries about “athleticism” were rightfully trumped by their obviously existing basketball skills. This is why I’m skeptical of the arguments proffered by those comparatively low on, say, Luka–some think he should be the 5 pick because of athleticism concerns, ignoring that athleticism as a real plus only becomes apparent holding other basketball skills being equal, which is why Doncic is the obvious number 1 instead of, say, Ayton. Because no step vertical only matters if you can also shoot, dribble, rebound, and pass.

    53. Brian Cronin

      I totally agree with that in general, it was just odd to see Harden and Love being used as examples by that guy. Like, why point out that James Harden was given a “limited upside” flag when he was still taken #3 overall?

    54. djphan

      skill trumps athleticism… but it’s really hard to project skill ceilings…. it’s a combination of passing ability, creativity and awareness that’s almost imperceptible….

      like curry wasn’t an amazing dribbler in college… he was good but he wasn’t really what he is today who probably has one of the top 5 handles if not the best…. it’s very tough to say someone has x amount of moves at 19-21 and he’ll add a few more and that’ll propel him into being the best pg in the nba… you can say that about everyone…. but some players have more of an ability to do that than others….

      which is why steals and blocks explain a lot more about a players future value than what they might suggest in isolation…. taking the ball from an opposing defender requires a lot of split second reaction timing and awareness that also gets leveraged elsewhere on the court in different ways…. is it a coincidence that someone like cp3 or steph have very high steal rates?

      that’s why having a dominant stat line is usually pretty wide and tall and that’s usually a precursor to greatness… or at least very goodness….. if you are already coming into the nba at a pretty high skill level it’s infinitely easier to add more skill.. whether through athleticism improvements or just practice….

      so if you have a big who can’t block shots.. or rebound or score efficiently in the paint… that’s a huge thing to worry about even if the other skills seem dominant… likewise if a guard or perimeter player can’t score inside efficiently or have good steal rates then it’s likely they lack the essential skills and/or athleticism to excel… it’ll just get worse in the nba….

      that’s why i like carter and brown a lot… they have both a wide and tall skillset…. mikal bridges is also similar but he has age working against him in comparison….

    55. Brian Cronin

      Okay, so they’re doing one thing right, at least! Frank’s getting the start tonight. Seriously, just start Frank and play him a gazillion minutes. It’s not like he’s suddenly going to lead them to 8 straight wins. Give him some experience.

    Comments are closed.