Wednesday, May 27, 2009

5 Rules For Drafting In The NBA Lottery

I've been watching the NBA Draft since the league instituted the lottery system in 1985. I've seen a lot of terrible picks in that twenty plus years. GMs seem to make the same dumb mistakes over and over. With this in mind, I'd like to introduce a handful of hints to the lucky losers who get to choose from this year's cream of the crop:


Simple rule of thumb: if you have a lottery pick, you need to turn that pick into a franchise player who helps you win a title. Period. Since '85, Dirk Nowitzki's the only white guy who comes close to making that claim.

Check out this list of 'non franchise' white dudes chosen in the lottery since '85:

Darko Milicic, Shawn Bradley, Mike Dunleavy, Andrea Bargnani, Adam Morrison, JJ Redick, Kevin Love, Danilo Gallinari, Joe Alexander, Spencer Hawes, Andrew Bogut, Yaroslav Korolev, Luke Jackson, Andris Biedrins, Robert Swift, Chris Kaman, Kirk Hinrich, Nick Collison, Luke Ridnour, Nikoloz Tskitishvili, Vladomir Radmanovic, Troy Murphy, Mike Miller, Chris Mihm, Joel Przybilla, Wally Szczerbiak, Alexandr Radojevic, Raef Lafrentz, Jason Williams, Michael Doleac, Keith Van Horn, Austin Croshere, Todd Fuller, Vitaly Potapenko, Bryant Reeves, Cherokee Parks, Eric Montross, Bobby Hurley, Scott Haskin, Christian Laettner, Tom Gugliotta, Adam Keefe, Luc Longley, Alec Kessler, Danny Ferry, Rik Smits, Rex Chapman, Rony Seikaly, Will Perdue, Dan Majerle, Joe Wolf, Jon Koncak, Joe Kleine, Chris Mullin, Detlef Schremph.

Now I know what you're about to say. 'Don't shit on Mullin and Schremph, dude. Those guys were good!' I know they were good. My point is that both of them were taken ahead of Karl Malone. Never pick the white guy.

If you're interested in seeing how many great players were drafted behind the list above, here's the link.


This seems like such a no-brainer but too often teams get scared off by position redundancy or lingering injuries. Who can forget Milwaukee taking Bogut over CP3 and Deron Williams because the Bucks needed a center? Fucking idiots. Or teams getting spooked by Brandon Roy's knee injury and taking Adam Morrison and Shelden Fucking Williams ahead of him? Clueless.


Attention, Clippers. I'm speaking to you directly here. You made the mistake of drafting Danny Ferry second overall in 1989 (ahead of Glen Rice and Tim Hardaway) despite the fact that he stated publicly he'd rather go to Europe for a year than wear your jersey. Learn your lesson and avoid Ricky Rubio at all costs (see also rule #1).

The other famous 'don't draft me' moment- Steve Francis/Vancouver (now Memphis).


Just because a player went to North Carolina, Connecticut, Duke, Kansas or UCLA doesn't automatically mean he can play in the NBA. Search for the best player, not the best program. For every Michael Jordan that attended NC, there's a JR Reid. For every Paul Pierce, a Raef Lafrentz.


Hasheem Thabeet can block shots. As far as I can tell, that's all he can do. A top-14 pick needs to be versatile and multifaceted. Stephen Curry can shoot, sure. But does he have the requisite handle to run an offense? Can he defend? These are the questions teams need to ask themselves before choosing. One dimensional players are pretty easy to pick up in free agency (see DeSagana Diop, Boobie Gibson) so it doesn't make sense to waste your chance at a true superstar in favor of a specialist.

Check out this mock draft from See how many potentially bad decisions area already forecast in the first 14 picks.

Pictured- Rubio. Warning! Violates Rules 1, 2, 3. And eats balls.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ainge's Year Of Tragic Transactions

As a lifelong Celtics fan, I hate to admit it but I think the title was a fluke, a one-time only deal. You might remember that Danny Ainge, long considered a dunce, was gifted KG by his old croney, Kevin McFail. And that led directly to the Ray Ray acquisition. There were myriad other factors that opened the door for Boston- Bynum and Ariza were hurt, Detroit was imploding, Thibodeau's strong-side defensive schemes took advantage of the new zone rules, etc. Whatever. The bottom line is that for one magical season, the stars aligned and Ainge was viewed as a good GM for the first time in his tenure.

I'm here to say that Danny Ainge is NOT a good GM. Want proof? Look no further than this transaction report of everything he's done since winning the ring last year. Warning: contains names like Darius Miles, Patrick O'Bryant, Shitbury, Mikki Moore. Definitely not for the squeamish.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Shitbury Curse- Update

Gotta give Shitbury props for his performance in the 4th quarter of Game 5. They don't win that game without him.

HOWEVER, in 13 postseason games, he's shooting 30% from the floor, 27% from 3. Yuck.

It's Amazing, Unless It Isn't

It's amazing
It's called a craisin
It's a cranberry plus a raisin

Sorry, I took some liberties with Kanye's lyrics. Hearing a song eight million fucking times will do that to a person.

The NBA would have us believe that everything is amazing, apparently. But let's look at the facts, shall we? Is it amazing that the world-champion Boston Celtics, even without KG, beat the mediocre Chicago Bulls? Is it amazing that the #2 seed Denver Nuggets pilloried the decimated Hornets and heartless Mavericks? Is it amazing that the Cavaliers stomped the pathetic Pistons and dinged up Hawks?

No, none of these things are amazing.

What IS amazing is how quickly people are jumping on the Nuggets bandwagon. Charles Barkley's picking them to win the crown, showing the world why he lost so much money in Vegas over the years. What IS amazing is how many times the NBA runs 'where amazing happens' spots in the course of one broadcast. What IS amazing is that Rajon Rondo can punch Brad Miller in the face and not get suspended while Ron Artest gets kicked out for a harmless shove. What IS amazing is how many people are counting the Lakers out because they're having trouble finishing off the plucky Rockets. What IS amazing is seeing dorky white guys do the wing-flapping gesture to show their love for Birdman Andersen. What IS amazing is how many pundits are questioning the coaching philosophy of Phil Jackson while praising George Karl in the same breath. That's more than amazing; that's fucking mind blowing.

LA will handle Houston in Game 7 and then we get to see whether Dahntay Jones is the 'defensive stopper' he claims to be, whether Nene can guard an actual center with a pulse, and whether Denver can win a series without home court. I'm saying no-no-resounding no.

Pictured: Birdman preparing for a crash landing.