Archive for June, 2007

Eight NBA Draft Thoughts

June 29, 2007
  1. Good move by The Goldies, thinning their backcourt for a chance to add a 19 year old who averaged nearly 15 per in the ACC. Also, a Moneyball move. As the A’s have done next door, recognizing that due to CBAs the most important time to have a player is his first 5-6 years is the key. After that he becomes exorbitantly expensive (if he’s any good). It took Mullin a few years to figure this reality out (see contracts for Murphy, Dunleavey, Foyle, Richardson and Fischer inked early in Mullin’s tenure). Now he seems to realize that the greatest value is Swisher/Haren types: cost-controlled, yet highly productive. Ellis/Biedrins/Wright fit that mold.
  2. In addition, these types of players hold TREMENDOUS value to other teams. I think the T-wolves might be looking to make a deal.
  3. At the opposite end of the spectrum is Danny Ainge and the Cs. Trading young to get back old is almost always a bad move. When the Sacto Kings acquired CWebb for 31 year old Mitch Richmond, it determined the course of those two franchises for the next five years. While Green is unlikely to be as productive as CWebb, the team who gets older will regret the deal within three years.
  4. On the broadcast Jay Bilas made the point that it was “like two drafts”, meaning that because of the rule change that prevents HS players from entering, this draft was much deeper than usual. Agreed!
  5. But the depth ran out at #10, when the Sacto Kings nabbed Spencer Hawes. I forsee a short and unproductive career from this kid. It has been pretty clearly established that 7 footers taken outside the Top 5 rarely develop into anything – if they were any good, they would have been picked earlier! A few recent examples: 2006 Patrick O’Bryant (#9), Saer Sene (10); 2004 Rafael Arajuo (10); 2003 Chris Kaman (6); 2000 Joel Pryzbilla (9).  Some others off the top of my head Eric Leckner, Adonal Foyle, Todd Fuller.  Good luck with that Sacto!
  6. My Dad – Dick Sr. – raves about Jeff Green.  I have my doubts.  Of course in years past I have been low on (you know, the opposite of being high on) Kevin Johnson, DWade and others….so what the hell do I know?
  7. McHale gags (again).  The whole Corey Brewer as athletic stopper story took a hit the other day in John Hollinger’s analysis on ESPN.com:
    Corey Brewer rates way lower than most people would imagine. Brewer’s rating of 462.4 makes him a marginal first-rounder, and that’s only because of the paucity of Euros in this year’s draft. Since this pretty much flies in the face of conventional wisdom, which has Brewer rated as a top-five or at worst top-10 pick, I have to point out that his numbers don’t match the general consensus on his athleticism.

    Brewer’s 8.5 rebound rate teetered on red-flag territory, and he blocked only 15 shots all season, which is quite low for a 6-9 NBA hopeful. Additionally, his ballhandling is a concern — his -0.74 pure point ratio was pretty poor for a perimeter player. Brewer brings his share of positives too, but I’m not sure teams will get what they think they’re getting if they take him high in the lottery.

  8. I watch quite a bit of Oregon hoops, as a Duck myself.  I like Aaron Brooks.  I feel he can play in the league as a change-of-pace Boykins-type player.  Not sure how he fits in with Yao/McGrady.  Maybe Adelman can figure it out.

The Time for NBA Change Is NOW!

June 21, 2007

As mentioned in the previous post, their has been considerable angst in the sport community about the NBA Playoffs. In particular TV ratings are cited as an ongoing issue, punctuated by the perception that the two best teams (PHX and SA) did not meet in The Finals. Remedies suggested have included eliminating Conference considerations in creating a 1-16 NCAA-type bracket and an NHL-esque re-seeding after each round.

But the view from here is that the post-season problem is merely a symptom of the ragged, lackluster regular season. For example, I conducted a quick study of the top two per game scorers on each team, presumably the most recognizable players to casual fans. These sixty players averaged 36.1 minutes and 20.2 points per game. They include most of the marquee names in the league. Yet, they averaged fewer than 68 games played, meaning on average each missed nearly 20 percent of the season. Wouldn’t owners/coaches/fans/TV networks want to maximize these players’ appearances? While some major injuries are always going to occur, a shorter season, with more consistent off days, would likely increase the ability of stars to shake off nagging injuries.

Thus the solution should be overhauling the length and scheduling of the regular season. As currently presented, the NBA schedule is and 82 game slate. My proposal calls for a drop to a 66 games, home/away against each of the other teams (29 x 2 = 58), plus an additional home/away against the four teams within a division (4 x 2 = 8).In addition to lessening player wear and tear, another advantage of shortening the schedule would be increased practice time. A frequent complaint about the league is that there is not enough time to implement coaching strategies during the grind of a season that has a lot of travel and few off days. By decreasing the number of games, more coaching and player development could take place.

From a fan perspective, fewer games would make following the league an easier proposition.  Particularly, if the schedule were set up with a maximum of three games per week scheduled Wednesday through Sunday.  By shuttering the league on Mondays and Tuesdays, fans could enjoy a few off days before gearing up for more games, similar to the rhythm of the NFL season.  The majority of games would happen on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, with a national doubleheader on Thursday and Sunday.  The only exceptions to this format would be Christmas and MLK Day games that are fine traditions.

Such a system would allow fans to establish viewing patterns and would drive media coverage on Monday and Tuesday to review the previous week and preview the next week’s slate.  It would also spell the end of “the four games in five nights” problem currently employed for long road trips.

The 66 games could be played over the 23 weeks from roughly November 1 through April 7.  This system would allow for a full week off around the All-Star game and have the regular season end the week after the NCAA Final Four, thus allowing the NBA to begin its post-season riding the wave of hoops frenzy following the Final Four.

Increasing in season viewership, limiting injuries and providing a better overall product during the regular season would likely do more to fix the perceived playoff problem than any other proposal.

Summer Solstice Splog

June 21, 2007

Hi All!

Back from an extended hiatus.  Back from an extended hiatus.  In the rear view mirror we can see the NBA Finals,  the predictable (and not at all lamentable) collapse of the SF Giants, The Great Northwest Victory in the NBA Lottery and loads of other sport stories.

The discussion point in the media that has caught my eye is the debate about the lackluster NBA playoffs.  Here are a few informed opinions for you to peruse before I add my own two cents in my next post:

John Hollinger points out many issues the NBA faces.

Bill Simmons’ proposal for fixing The Playoffs.

GS Warrior  broadcaster Bob Fitzgerald opines on reworking the conferences and The Playoffs.