Friday, May 10, 2013

Space Jam Roundup: Our Thoughts on Your Thoughts

As promised, here are our thoughts on our picks from yesterday's fantasy board draft. We've addressed our own picks, each other's picks, and those comments that were left on Facebook and the blog itself.

Paul: So I just spent a fairly long time perusing a jersey website trying to find a Tskitishvili jersey (no luck). However I did find this jersey for Brian:

Brian: I might have to get the Sheed jersey with expedited shipping, and I'll take a look at the linking feature this weekend.

Jack: Speaking of the Bullets, if we hypothetically said we were using 2012's draft order - you know who messes up this draft? The Wizards with the 3rd pick. "Ok, Lebron and Durant are gone. Irving? Harden? Paul? Oh crap we're down to 10 seconds...Beal looked pretty good this year? Klay Thompson is on fire since David Lee went out...uhhh we select Andrew Bogut!!!"

Ok, on to our thoughts?

Brian: First of all, we probably should have mentioned to our fans that picks 11 and 12 were something of "gag" picks, hence why I picked Kenneth Bazemore for my team. And why Paul combined three players into one for his pick. And why Jack picked Lamar Odom (LOL).

We generally overlapped with 6 or 7 of the other 10 players, so I'll address the differences between our lineups. I chose to not include James Harden because I preferred to pick guards with both shooting AND great passing ability (CP3, Curry, Kyrie Irving). And I just love Russell Westbrook, even though he can't shoot. While Harden would have probably been my 11th or 12th choice had those been serious picks, I think I cover most of his strengths with the rest of the team. To the Paul George naysayers: the dude is only 23 and already a 20-10 threat, as well as a good defender. He will be a legitimate all star for the next 7 years. Rose's knee injury really worries me, so I couldn't pull the trigger. Anthony Davis is WAY too unproven, and to Jack: taking both Noah and John Wall over Curry made me throw up in my mouth a little. Game, blouses.

Paul: Here's my comments on the lists, presented in bullet point form (in order to touch on a lot of different questions)

  • (on the overall lists) So all 3 of us had LBJ and Durant (obviously), CP3 and Irving...but surprisingly that was all. 2 out of 3 took Harden, Marc Gasol, Westbrook, Curry, Kevin Love, Melo, and Paul George. The outliers were Rose and the Brow (me) and Noah and Wall (Jack). I'm sort of surprised we didn't all agree on more players (specifically Harden and Curry), but also surprised there wasn't a bit more variation on the back end.
  • (in defense of Anthony Davis) Realistically, if your expansion team doesn't have one of the top 2 maybe 3 guys, you're not going to win a title in the next few years. If that's the case, why not take a 20-year old who can be the offensive and defensive anchor of your team for 13 years? While its true Davis might not turn into Tim Duncan, his absolute floor has to be a Serge Ibaka (who probably would go 20-25 in this draft), and he could potentially turn into a Duncan or Kevin Garnett. To me, the risk-reward is more than good enough to justify his selection in the top 10.
  • (on the overall positional arrangement) Looking at these lists, its pretty clear that there is more talent at point guard than any other position in the league today. Depending on how you classify James Harden, either 5 or 6 point guards were chosen in some of our lists, and you can think of 6-8 more that would be taken in the first 30 without question. In contrast, Gasol and Noah were the only true centers to garner votes, and besides Dwight Howard and Tyson Chandler, I'm not sure any others would be taken in the top 30. The game has certainly changed.
  • (on not taking Kevin Love) If I'm taking a top 10 guy in this draft who can't really generate his own offense, he better be able to handle his business on the defensive end of the floor. Love isn't an awful defender, but he certainly doesn't bring much on that end (only .5 blocks per game last year), and is coming off his worst season as a pro and two different injuries. He brings one elite skill (rebounding) and one above-average skill (big man shooting), which is not enough to measure up with any of the other top 10 guys on my list.
  • (on Paul George over Carmelo) Again, this is a pick based more on potential and risk-reward than what we are seeing right now. For one season, I'd probably take Carmelo, but for the next 10 years, I'll take the 23-year-old all-star who can credibly defend 3 positions (which is 3 more than Carmelo) and shows no signs of slowing down. He's also one of two players who could potentially challenge Lebron at his own position and will be in a position to take over once Lebron decides he's done dominating the league and plays minor league baseball for 2 seasons. At his worst, Paul George is a peripheral all-star for 7 years, which is basically what Carmelo is. At his best, he's way better.
  • (on the lack of a single vote for Dwyane Wade) Problems with Wade for this list: He's 31 years old...he has bad knees...his efficiency corresponds directly with Lebron's arrival...he's 31 years his MVP peak he was basically a less efficient version of Harden this year...he's never going to try as hard if he doesn't end up in Miami...his first name is super difficult to spell...he's 31 years old. Do we really need to defend this?
  • (on the difficulty of the overall task) This was probably 12 times harder than I thought it would be just because there was so much to consider. Do you focus more on offense or defense? Is a valuable center more valuable because of scarcity? What do you make of injured players? How much should you weight age against present production? Overall I think all three of us have solid lists and I can't quibble too much with any of the picks...well, except picking Joakim Noah at #7. Ouch Jack.
Jack: So much hate. I will go with a numbered format, since I love making lists.
  1. LBJ and Durant were obvious, and my 3 through 5 was basically a toss up, but I've been all about Chris Paul all season, so I wasn't going to stop now.
  2. I'm going to throw this out there - Brian's exclusion of James Harden from his list is a FAR worse offense than me excluding Curry.
  3. Having said that, if I was actually the one doing the drafting? And it got to the 9th or 10th pick? I almost certainly draft Curry just on sentimental value. However, I was trying to be impartial, and in the process may have gone too far the other way.
  4. Rose. What to do about Derrick Rose? He probably sits out the rest of the playoffs and comes back as a top 10 or top 5 talent next season. But what if he doesn't? What if he mentally can't be that guy? It would be one of the biggest NBA travesties of our lifetime. As I look at the people 7-10 on Paul's list, I guess I see how you could take him at 6. But that just seems too high for the uncertainty involved.
  5. The hardest part for me was mentioned by Paul: "Is a valuable center more valuable because of scarcity?" I went with - kind of.  Would you rather have Curry and a big who falls to the end of the second round (Pau Gasol? KG? Or a wing like Iguadala?), or would you rather scoop up 4 or a 5, like Love, and pair him with a point guard that fell near the end of the second round (Rubio, Felton, Rondo because of injury)? This goes back to Paul's point about what centers would be taken in the first round, although I would disagree with him that this means the "game has certainly changed" (as would Zach Lowe). And where do you take wing players like Iggy and Klay Thompson and Luol Deng?
  6. Paul spoke well to the resistance to Wade. It's also why I would resist Rondo (how do you know how good someone is going to be after an ACL tear, especially if they already had a propensity for checking out of games or only worrying about their assist totals?). The more I think about it, I'm starting to agree with FancyPantsAndy about not starting with Melo. It would be interesting to see how far he fell before someone felt he was worth taking a chance on. (Related, FancyPantsAndy's point about taking someone under 5 years into their career is a great one, and is probably what fueled Paul's pick of Anthony Davis. But regardless of that, you take Lebron first. Period.)
  7. OK OK OK FINE I'll defend my pick of Noah. I'll start by pointing to the fact that he has unequivocally been the leader for this Bulls team that has TWO of their five starters (and one of those two is Carlos "10-foot-fade-away" Boozer), yet still managed to upset the clearly more talented and deeper Nets and stole game 1 IN MIAMI. But if you don't like the emotional angle, then I'll go with some stats: 5 players this year averaged 11 points and 11 rebounds. (Tyson Chandler basically makes six - he averaged 10.8 rebounds.)  Of those 5, Noah was the only one who also averaged 4 assists, 3 blocks, and 2 steals. He's a phenomenal interior passer, which is best on display when Gibson is in the game since he'll actually move towards the rim. If you look at a healthy Bulls roster (sans Rose), you could absolutely draft that team in this kind of draft, and with Deng and Hinrich healthy they could absolutely compete. So don't tell me you can't build something around him. Is 7 perhaps too high? Ok maybe. Could I have gone Westbrook, Love, Curry, Noah and made a lot more people happy? Yes. Is Marc Gasol also a great defender and does he have a better offensive game? Both yes's. But Noah's grit has gotten the Bulls this far. Fear the pony tail, scruffy facial hair, and psychopath they say.
  8. Finally, I want to say how shocked I am no one picked Dwight. Speaks volumes about how his attitude has affected our perception of him. However, if I was a GM or owner in this draft and it gets to 8, 9, or 10, it's hard not to look at what Dwight could bring (similar to Rose).  I got to my 9th and 10th picks and was considering Love, Wall, Curry, Parker, Dwight, George, and Rose (you can't talk me into Anthony Davis having a better career than any of these guys, especially if his floor is Serge "1-for-10" Ibaka.)  I had a reeeeally hard time not going with Dwight, but just can't stand him.
That's all. My apologies for not taking Curry, although I think it's funny that this whole thing started because I was curious about whether or not I thought Curry was someone you can build a team around.

And just because we haven't included a gif yet today:

Go Dubs.

1 comment:

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