Saturday, January 30, 2010

2010 NBA Mock Draft (Version 12)

1)    New Jersey Nets- John Wall- PG (Kentucky)

2)    Minnesota Timberwolves- Evan Turner- SG (Ohio State)

3)    Washington Wizards- Derrick Favors- PF (Georgia Tech)

4)    Golden State Warriors- Al-Farouq Aminu- PF (Wake Forest)

5)    Detroit Pistons- Ed Davis- PF (North Carolina)

6)    Sacramento Kings- Wesley Johnson- SG (Syracuse)

7)    Indiana Pacers- Xavier Henry- SG (Kansas)

8)    Philadelphia 76ers- Avery Bradley- PG (Texas)

9)    Utah Jazz (from New York)- Cole Aldrich- C (Kansas)

10) Milwaukee Bucks- DeMarcus Cousins- PF (Kentucky)

11) Los Angeles Clippers- Donatas Motiejunas- PF (Lithuania)

12) New Orleans Hornets- Patrick Patterson- PF (Kentucky)

13) Houston Rockets- Greg Monroe- PF (Georgetown)

14) Memphis Grizzlies- Willie Warren- PG (Oklahoma)

15) Chicago Bulls- James Anderson- SG (Oklahoma State)

16) Minnesota Timberwolves (from Charlotte)- Devin Ebanks- SF (West Virginia)

17) Miami Heat (from Toronto)- Larry Sanders- C (Virginia Commonwealth)

18) Miami Heat- Stanley Robinson- SF (Connecticut)

19) Oklahoma City Thunder- Solomon Alabi- C (Florida State)

20) Minnesota Timberwolves (from Utah)- Jan Vesely- SF (Czech Republic)

21) Portland Trail Blazers- Damion James- SF (Texas)

22) Oklahoma City Thunder (from Phoenix)- Gani Lawal- PF (Georgia Tech)

23) San Antonio Spurs- Luke Babbit- SF (Nevada)

24) New Jersey Nets (from Dallas)- Lance Stephenson- SG (Cincinnati)

25) Memphis Grizzlies (from Denver)- Dexter Pittman- C (Texas)

26) Orlando Magic- Armon Johnson- PG (Nevada)

27) Boston Celtics- Elias Harris- SF (Gonzaga)

28) Atlanta Hawks- Craig Brackins- PF (Iowa State)

29) Memphis Grizzlies (from LA Lakers)- Da'Sean Butler- SF (West Virginia)

30) Cleveland Cavaliers- Jerome Jordan- C (Tulsa)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

NBA Power Rankings- January 25th


1)    Cleveland (34-11)- (W-TOR, LAL, OKC) Last: 2

2)    LA Lakers (33-11)- (W-ORL, NYK; L-CLE, TOR) Last: 1

3)    Atlanta (28-14)- (W-SAC, CHA; L-OKC) Last: 3

4)    Boston (28-13)- (W-POR; L-DAL, DET) Last: 4


5)    Orlando (29-15)- (W-IND, SAC, CHA; L-LAL) Last: 5

6)    Denver (29-14)- (W-GSW, LAC, NOH) Last: 8

7)    Dallas (29-15)- (W-BOS, WAS, NYK; L-PHI) Last: 6

8)    San Antonio (25-17)- (W-NOH; L-UTA, HOU) Last: 7

9)    Phoenix (26-19)- (W-NJN, GSW; L-MEM, CHI) Last: 9

10) Portland (27-18)- (W-PHI, DET; L-WAS, BOS) Last: 10

11) Utah (25-18)- (W-SAS, NJN) Last: 12

12) Oklahoma City (24-20)- (W-ATL, MIN; L-MEM, CLE) Last: 11

13) Memphis (23-19)- (W-PHO, OKC; L-NOH) Last: 14

14) Houston (24-19)- (W-MIL, SAS; L-CHI) Last: 13

15) Miami (23-20)- (W-IND, WAS, SAC; L-CHA) Last: 16

16) New Orleans (23-20)- (W-MEM, MIN; L-SAS, DEN) Last: 15


17) Toronto (23-22)- (W-MIL, LAL; L-CLE, MIL) Last: 17

18) Charlotte (21-21)- (W-SAC, MIA; L-ATL, ORL) Last: 18

19) LA Clippers (20-23)- (W-NJN, CHI, WAS; L-DEN) Last: 19

20) Chicago (20-22)- (W-PHO, HOU; L-GSW, LAC) Last: 20

21) Milwaukee (18-24)- (W-TOR, MIN; L-HOU, TOR) Last: 21

22) New York (17-26)- (W-DET; L-LAL, DAL) Last: 22

23) Philadelphia (15-28)- (W-DAL, IND; L-MIN, POR) Last: 24


24) Indiana (15-29)- (W-DET; L-MIA, ORL, PHI) Last: 25

25) Sacramento (15-28)- (L-CHA, ATL, ORL, MIA) Last: 23

26) Detroit (15-28)- (W-BOS; L-NYK, IND, POR) Last: 26

27) Golden State (13-29)- (W-CHI, NJN; L-DEN, PHO) Last: 27

28) Washington (14-29)- (W-POR; L-DAL, MIA, LAC) Last: 28

29) Minnesota (9-36)- (W-PHI; L-OKC, NOH, MIL) Last: 29

30) New Jersey (3-40)- (L-LAC, PHO, GSW, UTA) Last: 30

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

2010 NBA Mock Draft (Version 11)

1)    New Jersey Nets- John Wall- PG (Kentucky)


I know, it's a real shock, right?


2)    Minnesota Timberwolves- Evan Turner- SG (Ohio State)


This is the first time I've had Turner this high in a mock draft, but I think his play will earn him a look here.  He has shown that he is fully recovered from his frightening back injury (His 20-point, 13-rebound, eight-assist performance against Northwestern on Tuesday should have erased all doubt.), and has displayed more consistency than Wesley Johnson as of late.  He doesn't have a dependable outside jump shot yet, but I get the sense that Turner really loves the game, which will motivate his development into an elite player at the next level.


3)    Washington Wizards- Wesley Johnson- SG (Syracuse)


The trade winds are still blowing in Washington and I would be shocked if something didn't happen before the trade deadline.  If the Wizards are able to blow up their core and void Gilbert Arenas' toxic contract, they'll be heavy hitters this summer.  I would expect Amare Stoudemire or Chris Bosh to be their target, and Johnson's end-to-end game would make a great inside-outside compliment with either of them.


4)    Golden State Warriors- Ed Davis- PF (North Carolina)


Davis has put up solid numbers as a sophomore (15.5 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks on 63% shooting), but I still question his motor and his heart.  He does have superstar potential and the Warriors could use some depth up front.  A small forward like Al-Farouq Aminu or Devin Ebanks is a possibility, as well.


5)    Detroit Pistons- Derrick Favors- PF (Georgia Tech)


Favors has been a very highly touted prospect from day one, but he appears to have hit a wall lately.  He is still putting up nice numbers for a good team, but teammate Gani Lawal has taken some of the freshman's hype.  Still, there is no doubt Favors will make the leap this summer, and someone will grab him in the top half of the lottery.  Detroit needs a back-to-the-basket big man more than anyone else in this draft, so they are a great fit.


6)    Indiana Pacers- Xavier Henry- SG (Kansas)


Indiana gets a steal in Henry at #6.  He is already a very solid player with an NBA body, and still has a lot of room to improve.  Granger and Henry will be a ferocious duo for years to come.


7)    Philadelphia 76ers- Donatas Motiejunas- PF (Lithuania)


Philadelphia could use an outside shooter like Johnson or Henry, but they'll settle for a big man who can stretch the floor.  Motiejunas is only 19-years old, and he'll need some time to mature, but with Marresse Speights on the roster and Elton Brand virtually untradable, the 76ers will be able to move him along slowly.


8)    Sacramento Kings- Avery Bradley- PG (Texas)


If the Kings believe, as many do (myself included), that Tyreke Evans is better suited to play off the ball, Bradley would be a very smart choice.  He has good size and is a tenacious defender, which would make him a good fit beside an undersized two-guard like Evans.


9)    Utah Jazz (from New York)- Al-Farouq Aminu- SF (Wake Forest)


I still think that this has the most trade potential of any in the top ten, as long as Utah's own pick lands in the top 17.  There is some real value here with players like Aminu, Cole Aldrich, and Willie Warren still on the board, and Utah could parlay it into a solid NBA veteran.  If not, Aminu is a good fit because of his versatility and athleticism.


10) Milwaukee Bucks- Greg Monroe- PF (Georgetown)


Milwaukee gambles again in the late lottery, and hits another homerun.  Monroe has huge upside, but his numbers have been mildly impressive in the Hoya's half-court slow-it-down system.  He'll develop into a great pro and be a huge upgrade over Hakim Warrick.


11) Los Angeles Clippers- Devin Ebanks- SF (West Virginia)


The Clippers could use a franchise point guard to go along with cornerstones Eric Gordon and Blake Griffin, but Willie Warren's point guard prospects are definitely a concern.  Also in question is how Al Thornton fits into the team's future plans.  I get the sense that his time in L.A. could be nearing an end, and in that case, Ebanks would be a nice replacement.


12) New Orleans Hornets- DeMarcus Cousins- PF (Kentucky)


Although Hornets fans hate to hear it, David West needs to be traded.  New Orleans simply can't contend as constructed and West is their most valuable asset not named Chris Paul.  If he does go, Cousins would do a nice job of replacing his offense, and make a nice fit next to Emeka Okafor.


13) Memphis Grizzlies- Willie Warren- PG (Oklahoma)


Warren was once considered a top five talent in this class, but his lack of outside shooting ability and questionable on-ball abilities have led his stock to slip.  Still, Memphis could use some depth in the backcourt, so they'll take a bit of a risk on him at #13.


14) Houston Rockets- Cole Aldrich- C (Kansas)


Houston has gone ice cold over the last couple of weeks and is now in danger of missing the playoffs.  If they do land in the lottery, they would love to land Aldrich, and may be willing to move up to #9 to get him.  Landing him at #14 is their dream scenario.


15) Chicago Bulls- James Anderson- SG (Oklahoma State)


I've had Anderson penciled in here for quite a while, and I'm sticking with it.  He'll probably be a 3-point specialist at the next level, but that is exactly what the Bulls need to open up the floor for Derrick Rose.


16) Minnesota Timberwolves (from Charlotte)- Jan Vesely- SF (Czech Republic)


In this scenario, Minnesota will get three first round picks for the second straight year.  Last year they traded one and kept two, but this time around I expect one to be used on an international prospect.  I haven't heard much about Vesely, but what I have read sounds very promising.  He has great size (6'11") and real tenacity defensively, which is a refreshing evaluation of a European prospect.


17) Miami Heat (from Toronto)- Lance Stephenson- SG (Cincinnati)


Miami will almost certainly have back-to-back picks in the middle of the first round, and I expect them to grab one big and one small.  Stephenson is far and away the best perimeter player available at this spot.  He has great athleticism and fantastic upside, and he would benefit from playing with a consummate professional like Dwyane Wade.


18) Miami Heat- Patrick Patterson- PF (Kentucky)


Patterson has limited upside after playing his full four years at Kentucky, but he seems to be a low-risk choice.  He'll be a good rebounder and a fairly efficient low-volume scorer with a good attitude.


19) Minnesota Timberwolves (from Utah)- Damion James- SF (Texas)


James has the potential to be one of the steals in this draft.  Like Patterson, he's largely a known commodity- he's a surprisingly effective rebounder with a smooth offensive game, but it's his intangibles that set him apart.  James is very competitive and provides good leadership.  He would be a great fit for a young Minnesota team.


20) Oklahoma City Thunder- Solomon Alabi- C (Florida State)


Alabi is another interesting prospect, because as we've seen, size sells in the NBA draft.  Alabi has a great frame (at 7'1") and surprising touch, but will definitely need some seasoning before he's ready to contribute at the next level.


21) Portland Trail Blazers- Stanley Robinson- SF (Connecticut)


Robinson is arguably the best athlete in college basketball, and he's a proven winner.  He will be a very useful rotation guy in the NBA.


22) Oklahoma City Thunder (from Phoenix)- Larry Sanders- PF (Virginia Commonwealth)


Sanders is a natural shot-blocker, but he's still lean and very raw.  He'll need to put on 20-30 pounds to stick in the NBA, but he has all the athletic skills.


23) Memphis Grizzlies (from Denver)- Gani Lawal- PF (Georgia Tech)


Memphis would love to find a replacement for Rudy Gay at this spot (Robinson would have done nicely), but instead they'll opt for some frontcourt depth.  Lawal is a great rebounder with an underrated offensive game, who could project to be a Drew Gooden-type player at the next level.


24) San Antonio Spurs- Dexter Pittman- C (Texas)


San Antonio is very deep with a young bench rotation, but they still lack a true backup center.  Pittman is very efficient and much more athletic than when he first arrived in Austin.  Opting for a foreign prospect is another possibility here.


25) New Jersey Nets (from Dallas)- Jarvis Varnado- PF (Mississippi State)


Varnado will be a specialist at the next level, but after watching the profound impact that Chris Anderson had in Denver last year, he should still hold onto the end of the first round.


26) Orlando Magic- Armon Johnson- PG (Nevada)


Johnson has great size (6'3") and has had a very productive junior season in Reno.  He is averaging 16.4 points, 5.1 assists, and 3.3 rebounds in the Wolf Pack's first 18 games.


27) Boston Celtics- Jerome Jordan- C (Tulsa)


Jordan has good size and has put up good numbers at Tulsa (albeit against mid-major competition).  Boston's frontcourt continues to get older, so an infusion of youth makes sense.


28) Atlanta Hawks- Craig Brackins- PF (Iowa State)


Brackins is a hybrid forward who's game resembles Charlie Villanueva or Yi Jianlian, but he has consistently put up good numbers for an overmatched Iowa State team.  He has been sliding down draft boards, but someone would be smart to grab him in the late first round.


29) Cleveland Cavaliers- Da'Sean Butler- SG (West Virginia)


Butler is a great shooter and a volume scorer with good size (6'7").  He could be a great sidekick for LeBron James moving forward, but would be ill equipped to be the focal point of the offense if LeBron bolts next summer.


30) Memphis Grizzlies (from LA Lakers)- Chris Wright- SF (Dayton)


Wright is an athletic small forward with the size to play smaller fours at the next level, a lot like Ryan Gomes when he came out of Providence.  Memphis could opt for a foreign prospect here instead.

Reaction to NBA Analytics- V2

At the half-point of the season, I would like to use my analytics to make some conjectures about the major NBA awards. I'll start with a couple of thoughts on the MVP race.


The likely MVP at the mid-point is LeBron James.


James has put together another spectacular season, averaging 29.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, and a would-be career-high 7.7 assists.  While his defensive stats are down slightly, he is still averaging over a steal and a block per game (for the third straight season), while committing just 1.7 fouls per contest.  He has also continued to improve his offensive efficiency, posting would-be career-highs in field goal percentage (51.1%) and 3-point percentage (37.2%), while holding steady at a respectable 78% from the free throw line. 

It is the standings, though, that show LeBron's true greatness.  After posting the NBA's best record a season ago, the Cavaliers got off to a 0-2 start before reeling off 31 wins in their next 40 games to take a 2.5 game lead in the Easter Conference.  James has been the unquestioned catalyst, posting by my count the best and most consistent first half of any player in the league.


The Dark Horse MVP at the mid-point, however, is Tim Duncan.


Duncan is arguably on the backside of his career at age 33, but his game looks perfectly fine.  Through 37 games, Duncan is averaging an even 20 points per game, along with 10.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.9 blocks.  He is on pace to set a career-high in field goal percentage at 55.2% and hasn't shot this well from the line (73.8%) since 2001-2002, when he shot a aberrant 79.9% from the charity stripe.

Duncan has also keyed a huge turnaround for the perennially successful Spurs.  Due to a lack of cohesion and rampant injury issues, San Antonio limped out of the gate to the tune of a 4-6 start.  However, they've won 21 of their last 30 and find themselves as the fourth seed in the Western Conference, just a game and a half behind second-seeded Dallas for the Southwest Division lead.  Duncan also finds himself among the top five most consistent players of the season's first half, along with James, Steve Nash, Chris Bosh, Rajon Rondo, and Dwyane Wade.


(Pre-Season Choice: James)


Rookie of the Year: Tyreke Evans


Evans got off to an under-the-radar start due to his playing largely out of position, and the huge hype created by Brandon Jennings' hot start.  However, after Kevin Martin was injured and Evans assumed the role of go-to perimeter scorer and ball-handler, the Kings really took off.

Sacramento has stumbled as of late, and looked truly awful since Martin's return (which leads me to believe that Evans is, in fact, better suited to play off the ball), but their struggles can't be blamed on Evans.  The rookie has averaged 20.8 points, five rebounds, and five assists in his first 36 professional games.  He has also been relatively efficient, shooting 45.9% from the field and 78.8% from the free throw line.


(Pre-Season Choice: Evans)


Coach of the Year: Mike Woodson


Woodson has done an absolutely fantastic job in Atlanta and is one of the best coaches in the NBA that no one has ever heard of.  The University of Indiana product and Larry Brown disciple has quelled displeasure over contract disputes (Josh Childress and Josh Smith), seamlessly integrated new talent (Al Horford, Mike Bibby, and Jamal Crawford), and erased a long-standing tradition of losing.  When Woodson took over in 2004-2005, the Hawks won just 13 games.  In the four seasons since, they've won 26, 30, 37, and 47 games, respectively.  This season, Atlanta is off to a 26-14 start, which leads the Southeast, the Eastern Conference's toughest division.  Their hot first half also has them on pace to win 53 games, which would be a Woodson-led increase for the fifth straight year.


(Pre-Season Choice: Flip Saunders [OUCH!])


Defensive Player of the Year: Gerald Wallace


Wallace is having a career year at the age of 27.  He has always been a good defender and an efficient scorer, but the 6'7" small forward is currently sixth in the NBA with 11.3 rebounds per game, while also gathering 1.7 steals and 1.1 blocks per game.  He is also the unquestioned leader of a Bobcats' team that has been one of the hottest in the league as of late.  (The Bobcats are quietly 8-1 since the start of the New Year.)


(Pre-Season Choice: Dwyane Wade)


Most Improved Player: Rajon Rondo


Rondo has parlayed his overwhelming success in last year's playoffs into a very strong 2009-2010 season.  Through 38 games, Rondo has averaged 13.8 points, 9.7 assists, and four rebounds per game.  He also leads the league with 2.5 steals per contest, and has shot a remarkable 52.8% from the floor.  He is yet to develop an outside shot (just 18.9% on the season) and still struggles from the free throw line (58.4%), but he has been a consistent leader for a championship-caliber team that has seen its "Big 3" miss 16 games already this season.

Gerald Wallace, Zach Randolph, and Joakim Noah will also be strong contenders for this award by the end of the season.


(Pre-Season Choice: Rodney Stuckey)


6th Man of the Year: Jamal Crawford


Award season could well become the Atlanta Hawks' show if things progress in the second half as they did in the first.  I've already picked Mike Woodson as coach of the year and now Crawford, who at this point is the runaway choice for 6th Man of the Year.  (Josh Smith has a real shot at Defensive Player, as well.)  Crawford has provided a huge infusion of energy and fearless scoring for a bench that badly needed just that.  He also provides Woodson with leadership and the flexibility to play either backcourt position.  Through 40 games, Crawford is averaging 17 points, 2.7 assists, and 2.5 rebounds in just 30.6 minutes per game.


(Pre-Season Choice: Jason Terry)


Executive of the Year: Rick Sund


Another award and another win for the Hawks.  (I think I mentioned something about that.)  Sund has done a great job of acquiring talent through the draft (Josh Smith, Al Horford, and Marvin Williams) and the trade market (Joe Johnson and Mike Bibby).  He also hired an unknown commodity in Mike Woodson, who turned out to be an elite head coach.  This year, though, he uncovered an absolute gem in Jamal Crawford.  Crawford had never been around a winning group in his career and has really flourished in Atlanta, allowing the Hawks to take the next step from playoff team to legitimate championship contender.


(Pre-Season Choice: Danny Ferry)



Finally, using ESPN's formula for player efficiency and my own analytics, I constructed a team of players on the rise; I call it the "Finally Getting It Together" Team.




1st Team:

PG-Raymond Felton (Charlotte)

SG-Randy Foye (Washington)

SF-Wilson Chandler (New York)

PF- Kris Humphries (New Jersey)

C-Samuel Dalembert (Philadelphia)


2nd Team:

PG-Derrick Rose (Chicago)

SG-Devin Brown (New Orleans)

SF-Martell Webster (Portland)

SF-Omri Casspi (Sacramento)

C-Mehmet Okur (Utah)


Honorable Mention:

Kyle Lowry-PG (Houston)

Damien Wilkins-SF (Minnesota)

Sonny Weems- SG (Toronto)

Robin Lopez-C (Phoenix)

NBA Analytics- January 15th

The following rankings determine the most effective and most consistent players on each NBA team.  Only players appearing in 50% of their team's games are eligible.  Effectiveness is measured using the mean of the player's fantasy value, calculated by ESPN's formula [Pts + Reb + 1.4*Ast + Stl + 1.4*Blk -.7*TO + FGM + .5*TGM -.8*(FGA-FGM) + .25*FTM - .8*(FTA-FTM)] and consistency is measured by the standard deviation of the player's ESPN values divided by the mean.


Eastern Conference


Atlantic Division


Boston Celtics:

Best Player: Rajon Rondo-33.5

Most Consistent Player: Rajon Rondo-.28

Most Inconsistent Player: Brian Scalabrine-1.28


New Jersey Nets:

Best Player: Brook Lopez-34.5

Most Consistent Player: Devin Harris-.32 (27 of 38 games)

Most Inconsistent Player: Sean Williams-.98


New York Knicks:

Best Player: David Lee-37.2

Most Consistent Player: Lee-.31

Most Inconsistent Player: Toney Douglas-1.02


Philadelphia 76ers:

Best Player: Andre Iguodala-34.2

Most Consistent Player: Iguodala-.30

Most Inconsistent Player: Jason Kapono-1.23


Toronto Raptors:

Best Player: Chris Bosh-41.1

Most Consistent Player: Bosh-.27 (Andrea Bargnani-.29)

Most Inconsistent Player: Pops Mensah-Bonsu-.88


Southeast Division


Atlanta Hawks:

Best Player: Joe Johnson-34.1

Most Consistent Player: Josh Smith-.34

Most Inconsistent Player: Mo Evans-1.06


Charlotte Bobcats:

Best Player: Gerald Wallace-33.6

Most Consistent Player: Wallace-.39

Most Inconsistent Player: Gerald Henderson-1.31


Miami Heat:

Best Player: Dwyane Wade-42.4

Most Consistent Player: Wade-.27

Most Inconsistent Player: Daequan Cook-1.02


Orlando Magic:

Best Player: Dwight Howard-35.3

Most Consistent Player: Howard-.33

Most Inconsistent Player: Anthony Johnson-.87


Washington Wizards:

Best Player: Gilbert Arenas-35.6

Most Consistent Player: Arenas, Caron Butler-.32

Most Inconsistent Player: Dominic McGuire- 1.27


Central Division


Chicago Bulls:

Best Player: Derrick Rose-30.5

Most Consistent Player: Rose, Joakim Noah-.34

Most Inconsistent Player: Jannero Pargo-1.31


Cleveland Cavaliers:

Best Player: LeBron James-51.4

Most Consistent Player: James-.24

Most Inconsistent Player: Daniel Gibson-.84


Detroit Pistons:

Best Player: Rodney Stuckey-28.0

Most Consistent Player: Stuckey-.34

Most Inconsistent Player: Austin Daye-.86


Indiana Pacers:

Best Player: Danny Granger-35.8

Most Consistent Player: Granger-.31 (21 of 38 games)

Most Inconsistent Player: AJ Price-.86


Milwaukee Bucks:

Best Player: Andrew Bogut-30.2

Most Consistent Player: Brandon Jennings-.44

Most Inconsistent Player: Kurt Thomas-.96





Western Conference


Southwest Division


Dallas Mavericks:

Best Player: Dirk Nowitzki-40.6

Most Consistent Player: Nowitzki-.33

Most Inconsistent Player: Rodrigue Beabouis-.77


Houston Rockets:

Best Player: Aaron Brooks-28.3

Most Consistent Player: Luis Scola-.35

Most Inconsistent Player: Chase Budinger-.84


Memphis Grizzlies:

Best Player: Zach Randolph-36.6

Most Consistent Player: Rudy Gay-.33

Most Inconsistent Player: Marcus Williams-1.04


New Orleans Hornets:

Best Player: Chris Paul-42.9

Most Consistent Player: Paul-.29 (29 of 37 games)

Most Inconsistent Player: Julian Wright-.94


San Antonio Spurs:

Best Player: Tim Duncan-39.7

Most Consistent Player: Duncan-.28

Most Inconsistent Player: Matt Bonner-.73


Northwest Division


Denver Nuggets:

Best Players: Carmelo Anthony-43.0

Most Consistent Player: Anthony-.30

Most Inconsistent Player: Malik Allen-1.18


Minnesota Timberwolves:

Best Player: Kevin Love-32.7

Most Consistent Player: Love-.24 (22 of 40 games)

Most Inconsistent Player: Oleksiy Pecherov-.99


Oklahoma City Thunder:

Best Player: Kevin Durant- 43.1

Most Consistent Player: Durant-.31

Most Inconsistent Player: Eric Maynor-.92


Portland Trial Blazers:

Best Player: Brandon Roy-36.9

Most Consistent Player: Roy-.33

Most Inconsistent Player: Jerryd Bayless-.90


Utah Jazz:

Best Player: Deron Williams-37.4

Most Consistent Player: Carlos Boozer-.32

Most Inconsistent Player: Kyrylo Fesenko-1.09


Pacific Division


Golden State Warriors:

Best Player: Monta Ellis-38.8

Most Consistent Player: Ellis-.34

Most Inconsistent Player: C.J. Watson-.78


Los Angeles Clippers:

Best Player: Chris Kaman-34.9

Most Consistent Player: Kaman-.30

Most Inconsistent Player: Steve Novak-2.41


Los Angeles Lakers:

Best Player: Kobe Bryant-42.7

Most Consistent Player: Pau Gasol-.34 (22 of 39 games)

Most Inconsistent Player: Josh Powell-1.41


Phoenix Suns:

Best Player: Steve Nash-39.7

Most Consistent Player: Nash-.27

Most Inconsistent Player: Earl Clark-1.39


Sacramento Kings:

Best Player: Tyreke Evans-33.4

Most Consistent Player: Evans-.35

Most Inconsistent Player: Ime Udoka-1.01


NBA Power Rankings- January 18th


1)    LA Lakers (31-9)- (W-DAL, LAC; L-SAS) Last: 1

2)    Cleveland (31-11)- (W-GSW, LAC; L-UTA) Last: 2

3)    Atlanta (26-13)- (W-BOS, WAS, PHO) Last: 4

4)    Boston (27-11)- (W-NJN; L-ATL, CHI) Last: 3


5)    Orlando (26-14)- (W-SAC; L-DEN, POR) Last: 5

6)    Dallas (26-14)- (W-OKC; L-LAL, TOR) Last: 7

7)    San Antonio (24-15)- (W-LAL, OKC; L-CHA, MEM) Last: 8

8)    Denver (26-14)- (W-MIN, ORL, UTA) Last: 9

9)    Phoenix (24-17)- (W-MIL; L-IND, ATL, CHA) Last: 6

10) Portland (25-16)- (W-MIL, ORL) Last: 10

11) Oklahoma City (22-18)- (W-NYK, MIA; L-SAS, DAL) Last: 12

12) Utah (23-18)- (W-MIA, CLE, MIL; L-DEN) Last: 13

13) Houston (22-18)- (W-MIN; L-CHA, MIA) Last: 11

14) Memphis (21-18)- (W-LAC, MIN, SAS) Last: 18


15) New Orleans (21-18)- (W-LAC, IND; L-PHI, DET) Last: 14

16) Miami (20-19)- (W-GSW, HOU; L-UTA, OKC) Last: 15

17) Toronto (21-20)- (W-NYK, DAL; L-IND) Last: 17

18) Charlotte (19-19)- (W-HOU, SAS, PHO) Last: 19

19) LA Clippers (17-22)- (L-MEM, NOH, LAL, CLE) Last: 16

20) Chicago (18-20)- (W-DET, BOS, WAS) Last: 22

21) Milwaukee (16-22)- (W-GSW; L-PHO, POR, UTA) Last: 21

22) New York (16-24)- (W-PHI; L-OKC, TOR, DET) Last: 23

23) Sacramento (15-24)- (L-ORL, PHI, WAS) Last: 20


24) Philadelphia (13-26)- (W-NOH, SAC; L-NYK) Last: 24

25) Indiana (14-26)- (W-TOR, PHO, NJN; L-NOH) Last: 27

26) Detroit (14-25)- (W-WAS, NOH, NYK; L-CHI) Last: 28

27) Golden State (11-27)- (L-CLE, MIA, MIL) Last: 25

28) Washington (13-26)- (W-SAC; L-DET, ATL, CHI) Last: 26

29) Minnesota (8-33)- (L-DEN, HOU, MEM) Last: 29

30) New Jersey (3-36)- (L-BOS, IND) Last: 30

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

2010 NBA Mock Draft (Version 10)

1)    New Jersey Nets- John Wall- PG (Kentucky)


I might as well start my subsequent mocks at #2.  This pick is a complete lock.


2)    Minnesota Timberwolves- Wesley Johnson- SG (Syracuse)


As the pro and college seasons progress, this choice seems to be more and more of a lock, as well.  Johnson has the ability to play both perimeter positions and should be an end-to-end contributor from day one.  His maturity and leadership would also valuable commodities on such a young roster.


3)    Detroit Pistons- Derrick Favors- PF (Georgia Tech)


Favors seems to be sliding down draft boards a bit, and mine is no different.  He has been uninspired and unimpressive as of late, and was completely overshadowed by teammate Gani Lawal in Tech's comeback win over Duke on Saturday.  With that said, he is a remarkable physical specimen with superstar potential and the Pistons need a lot of help up front.


4)    Indiana Pacers- Xavier Henry- SG (Kansas)


Henry has all of the tools to be the extraordinary player that Indiana thought it was getting in Brandon Rush.  Henry is an efficient scorer and an underrated defender, making him a great fit next to Danny Granger on the Pacers' perimeter.


5)    Washington Wizards- Donatas Motiejunas- PF (Lithuania)


Washington seems to have descended into full rebuilding mode with Gilbert Arenas out indefinitely (presumably for the remainder of the season).  Voiding his contract seems unlikely, but trading one of his running mates (Caron Butler or Antawn Jamison) looks so likely it's almost a certainty as we near the trade deadline.  Motiejunas has great size and range, and at 19-years old, as much upside as anyone in this draft not named John Wall.


6)    Golden State Warriors- Ed Davis- PF (North Carolina)


Golden State loves perimeter-oriented players who can shoot, but while Evan Turner, Al-Farouq Aminu, and Devin Ebanks are solid players, none appears to be the outside threat Don Nelson covets.  Instead, the Warriors sure up their frontcourt rotation with Davis, who is a good runner of the floor and a great rebounder.


7)    Philadelphia 76ers- Greg Monroe- PF (Georgetown)


Like Golden State, the 76ers could use a perimeter player with a consistent jump shot, but he just isn't available at #7, so Philadelphia opts for Monroe, another talented big man with huge upside.


8)    Utah Jazz (from New York)- Evan Turner- SG (Ohio State)


If the draft plays out this way, something tells me there could be a trade at this pick.  With quality point guards (Avery Bradley and Willie Warren), perimeter players (Turner, Al-Farouq Aminu, and Devin Ebanks), and big men (Cole Aldrich, Patrick Patterson, and DeMarcus Cousins) available at an affordable price, someone would be smart to move in for their pick of the litter.  Turner is the highest left on my board and provides a nice fit for Utah if they keep the pick.


9)    Chicago Bulls- Cole Aldrich- C (Kansas)


Joakim Noah has taken a huge step forward for the Bulls this season, but they still need a dominant offensive presence on the inside to take some pressure off of Derrick Rose.  Aldrich has the most refined post moves of anyone in this draft and is a pretty good value at #9.


10) Sacramento Kings- Avery Bradley- PG (Texas)


Tyreke Evans has been fantastic for the Kings, but his ability to run the point once Kevin Martin returns is still very much in question.  In either case, Bradley would give the Kings a remarkable amount of versatility with his defense and highly developed mid-range game.


11) Memphis Grizzlies- Devin Ebanks- SF (West Virginia)


Ebanks could be a seamless replacement for Rudy Gay, should he decide to change addresses this summer. Ebanks is skilled and athletic, with an unbelievable wingspan.  His game definitely needs some seasoning, but Memphis has shown a willingness to let its players learn on the floor rather than the bench, which would help Ebanks tremendously.


12) Los Angeles Clippers- Willie Warren- PG (Oklahoma)


Warren is a combo guard with questionable point guard prospects, but he has an undeniable ability to get to the basket and score the basketball.  The Clippers would love to get their hands on Bradley, but will settle for Blake Griffin's former teammate as consolation.


13) New Orleans Hornets- Al-Farouq Aminu- SF (Wake Forest)


Aminu is a great value at #13 and New Orleans could use an athletic three man, as it appears Julian Wright's time in the Big Easy is nearly through.  Aminu is a little raw, but he loves to get out and run, which should be music to Chris Paul's ears.


14) Utah Jazz- Patrick Patterson- PF (Kentucky)


Utah will need a backup for starter-in-waiting Paul Milsap after Carlos Boozer flees from Mormon country this summer, and Patterson will do the job quite nicely.  He will be ready to play on day one, and will likely have a long career ahead of him.


15) Milwaukee Bucks- DeMarcus Cousins- PF (Kentucky)


This pick probably depends on Michael Redd's address come June.  If Redd is still in Wisconsin, Cousins makes a lot of sense.  If the Bucks move Redd, however, Lance Stephenson would be a great choice to replace him.


16) Minnesota Timberwolves (from Charlotte)- Lance Stephenson- SG (Cincinnati)


Stephenson has all the skill of a top 10 pick and could develop into a superstar in the right system.  He could also end up a bust if he lands on a team without an established leader.  (Editors note: This is the same criticism I levied on Brandon Jennings before the 2009 draft, and look how that turned out.)


17) Miami Heat (from Toronto)- Jan Vesely- SF (Czech Republic)


Drafting a foreign player with this pick makes a lot of sense for the Heat.  They plan on being a major player in free agency this summer, so keeping an extra 1-2 million dollars in their back pocket could prove useful.  Additionally, Vesely has great size (6'11") and real grit defensively, which is unusual in a European prospect.


18) Miami Heat- James Anderson- SG (Oklahoma State)


Anderson has established himself as the premier jump shooter in the NCAA this season, and that perception will do wonders for his draft stock.  Miami seems to be all but through with the Daequan Cook experiment, and Anderson would make a nice replacement.


19) Oklahoma City Thunder- Jerome Jordan- C (Tulsa)


This is the dream scenario for the Thunder.  Not only do they land in the playoffs for the first time since their move from Seattle, but they also grab a very solid player at a need position. 


20) Houston Rockets- Solomon Alabi- C (Florida State)


Houston has a nice roster and will soon be rid of Tracy McGrady and his toxic contract.  Keeping Yao Ming healthy, however, still remains a concern.  Adding a true center with a huge frame (7'1") should take some pressure off as Yao returns from injury.


21) Portland Trail Blazers- Paul George- SF (Fresno State)


Portland lands a gem in George, an athletic small forward whose stock seems to be plummeting after he started the season with top-10 buzz. 


22) Memphis Grizzlies (from Denver)- Sheron Collins- PG (Kansas)


After passing on Warren with their first pick, Memphis lands Collins at #22.  Collins has limited upside, but good leadership qualities and a fantastic crossover dribble that should still be an asset at the next level.


23) San Antonio Spurs- Dexter Pittman- C (Texas)


Pittman is a local product and a very hard worker.  He also has great hands and underrated shot-blocking ability.


24) New Jersey Nets (from Dallas)- Larry Sanders- PF (Virginia Commonwealth)


New Jersey has some great pieces on the perimeter and a franchise center in Brook Lopez, but they could really use a shot-blocking presence at power forward.  Sanders is more skilled offensively than Jarvis Varnado, so he gets the nod.


25) Oklahoma City Thunder (from Phoenix)- Craig Brackins- PF (Iowa State)


Brackins has had a down junior year after dominating the Big 12 last season, but he should still land in the first round if he decides to declare.  Oklahoma City has an athlete in Jeff Green, and now a shot blocker in Jerome Jordan, so Brackins' face-up game would be a nice compliment.


26) Orlando Magic- Armon Johnson- PG (Nevada)


Orlando is one of the deepest teams in the league, but they badly need a backup point guard as they move forward.  With Collins off the board, and Kemba Walker struggling as of late, Nevada's Armon Johnson moves into the first round for the first time.


27) Atlanta Hawks- Gani Lawal- PF (Georgia Tech)


Atlanta gets a great value in Lawal at #27.  Lawal is a ferocious rebounder with an underappreciated offensive game, who seems like a mix of Reggie Evans' rebounding and Drew Gooden's athleticism.


28) Boston Celtics- Damion James- SF (Texas)


Boston has done a nice job of assembling a solid bench behind their big three, but small forward seems to be a little thin with Marquis Daniels lost to an injury.  James would give the Celtics versatility at the three or the four and be a Jared Jeffries-like defensive presence.


29) Cleveland Cavaliers- Da'Sean Butler- SG (West Virginia)


Butler has good size for a shooting guard (6'7") and can really shoot the basketball.  If Cleveland is unable to land another scorer (Michael Redd or Antawn Jamison, for example), Butler would be a nice substitute.


30) Memphis Grizzlies (from LA Lakers)- Stanley Robinson- SF (Connecticut)


Whereas Ebanks is a great athlete who will need time to learn, Robinson is a phenomenal athlete who will be able to play right away.  As a pair, they replace Gay's productivity and then some.  (Like Armon Johnson, this is Robinson's first inclusion in round one.)