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#3 - Houston Rockets @ Golden State Warriors
Clippers1121 » 05/19/18 » 10:15am
05/21/18 » 1:47pm
Clips looking to move up and draft Porter from Missouri?
angelfan1958 » 05/21/18 » 10:07am
05/21/18 » 1:17pm
2018 NBA Playoffs
V-Ice » 04/13/18 » 3:53pm (Page: 1, 2, 3 … Last Page)
05/21/18 » 1:08pm
ClipperSisyphus » 05/20/18 » 8:42am
05/21/18 » 1:06pm
2018 Youtube thread of draft prospects
Dyce » 04/10/18 » 9:30pm
05/21/18 » 12:25pm
The Clippers might be interested in moving up in the draft, and are intrigued by Missouri wing Michael Porter Jr.
Per today’s article by the Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, the Clippers are “open” to moving up in the draft, and have some interest in forward Michael Porter Jr., in particular. The Clippers have the 12th and 13th picks in the draft as well as other assets that could net them a higher pick, and this is not the first time that they’ve been rumored to want to move up.
Porter Jr. was one of the top high school prospects in the class of 2017, but had an injury-riddled season for Missouri, leaving just a few minutes into his first game, and not returning until the last two games of the season. His injury, herniated discs (in his back), is a really bad one, and frequently returns to plague players again even years after their surgery. Even before the injury, there were question marks about Porter’s defense and playmaking, but now, the biggest doubt is definitely whether he will return to his full level of athleticism, and if he can stay healthy for multiple, long NBA seasons.
If Porter can reach the heights he showed in college, and is able to stay on the court, he could undoubtedly be one of the steals of the draft. But he is also a tremendous risk. If the Clippers truly would move up for him, they would have to be very confident in his health going forward. It’s a trade that would truly take guts to make.
There’s also a strong possibility that the Clippers would move up for players outside of Porter Jr., or even that the interest in him is a potential smokescreen. The draft in particular is a time to be wary of everything you hear around players and teams, but O’Connor is a legit source, and the Clippers have been mentioned as a candidate to move up in the draft before.
We will have more on the Clippers as they start to conduct private workouts and interviews, but for now, stay tuned for my follow-up article to my piece on college big men (the next topic is wing players) and Lucas’ big picture offseason series.
Here are some brief thoughts on how to use the measurements made at the NBA Draft Combine, as well as on what’s going on with all the blowouts in the Conference Finals.
I discuss the NBA Draft Combine and its importance to the evaluation of prospects, as well as the lopsided Conference Finals Games and the adjustments that the Rockets might make to catch the Warriors. I then touch on the EuroLeague Final Four games (the two that Real Madrid took part in), and take questions from Twitter.
The face-to-face meetings with prospects at the NBA draft combine this week was the most significant part for the Clippers.
They had already seen somewhere between 40 to 160 games on tape and in person on many of these players.
When the Clippers try to make sense of all the information before they...
The Clippers put in work on the first day of the NBA Draft Combine, interviewing several players who might be available to them at the 12th and 13th picks.
Not much real news comes out at the NBA combine, as teams keep their interest in players tight to the vest. However, outside of athletic and size measurements and mostly meaningless 5 on 5 scrimmages, players do start interviewing with teams. Those interviews are, of course, secret, yet just the sheer presence tells something about who teams are looking at. Most teams do their due diligence and interview just about all the players who are roughly in their draft range, however, so even that doesn’t always mean much of anything. Basically, the combine (and the period from now until the draft) is a time of unfounded rumors and overreactions to every little piece of news that is available.
The news is the news, on the other hand, and the Clippers started their interview process on the first day of the draft combine. They interviewed Michigan State wing Miles Bridges and Alabama guard Collin Sexton, and showed an appreciable interest in Kentucky guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. All three players are in the Clippers’ approximate draft range, though Bridges and Sexton have generally been mocked to go a little higher than the Clippers’ picks at 12 and 13.
Brad Turner’s article in the LA Times has some interesting quotes from those guys, and all seem aware of the possibility of being drafted by the Clippers. More importantly, the prospect of being drafted by the Clippers didn’t appear to scare them, as it may have a decade or two ago. Take everything with a grain of salt, as players nowadays (even straight out of college) are too media-savvy to reveal any public dismay or dislike, but that still has to be a good sign.
The combine continues today at 12 PM PT on ESPN 2, and the Clippers’ interview process will roll along as well.
Discuss the combine and draft stuff below!
As the end of a long Thursday at the NBA combine was reaching its conclusion and three of the players the Clippers have interest in drafting made their way to be interviewed by the media, owner Steve Ballmer eased his way into that room with a knowing look.
He spoke to the media, but politely declined...
Which college stats are important for big men’s success in the NBA, and why?
In past years, I have looked at several draft classes of wing and point guard prospects and compared their college stats to NBA advanced metrics to see what the correlation might be between the two sets of numbers. This year, for the first time, I did the same with big men, running regressions on prospects from the 2010-2015 draft classes.
A little clarity on my methods before jumping into some of the data and analysis. I only looked at players who played at least 600 or so NBA minutes, ignoring those with only brief stints in the league, or those who didn’t play at all. While examining those busts to see if any of their college stats could have predicted their failures would be interesting, their sample size in the NBA is just too small, and their advanced stats in the NBA might be misleading because of it. Maybe in the future I’ll look at all those prospects who never got a shot in the NBA or only a limited one, but for now, this analysis will be on players who really played in the league.
Second, I understand that “big men” is a large bucket to generalize 80 something prospects over half a decade’s worth of time. I tried to include every player in those six draft classes that has played most of their minutes at power forward or center in their time in the NBA (not in college). I understand that a stretch power forward like Patrick Patterson is a very different player than a plodding center like Jahlil Okafor, and that breaking down the “big man” category into smaller sections could prove useful as well going forward. I stayed away from that this year because it gets tough to classify players as the groups get smaller and smaller, and it’s difficult to find the cut-off line. So for this year, power forwards and centers were grouped together.
As always, I only look at the stats from the prospects’ last two seasons in college-- if I’m filling out the spreadsheet for a senior, I ignore his freshman and sophomore years. I think that too many upperclassmen get penalized for their age, and as “age” is a separate category in my regression analysis, I don’t need to drag the stats of the juniors and seniors down further. I also don’t use per-40 stats, mostly because if players are going to make it in the NBA, they should be able to play big minutes in college. Sure, some coaches don’t play their best players as much as they might, but maybe there is some limitation to the player that they know about, hence the lack of minutes.
With all that said, here are the simplified results of the regression analysis. Significant means that the statistic, on its own, explained at least some of the variability in the NBA advanced statistics at some level. Model-usable indicates that while not useful by itself, the inclusion of that stat strengthened the overall model of correlation. Insignificant suggests, simply, that the college stat had no real bearing on the players’ advanced metrics in the NBA.
Now that the relevant statistics have been determined, here’s a brief look at the impact each of them had on the final models. Any stat labeled ‘positive’ means that the prospects had better advanced statistics when that value was higher. ‘Negative’ designates the opposite: the lower values in that category translated to superior advanced numbers.
For the most part, the coefficients of the variables make sense. The counting stats (rebounds, assists, blocks) have positive coefficients, meaning that the higher those numbers are, the better the prospect is. Age has a negative coefficient— younger players generally turn out superior advanced statistics in the NBA. This confirms the general consensus that younger prospects have more upside than older college players. The two coefficients that go against the grain are points per game and three-pointers per game, both of which are negative when common sense would lean towards their being positive.
The three-point variable can be explained away with relative ease. Most big men in the sample (even those who became proficient three-point shooters in the NBA) didn’t take many outside shots in college. That means that a handful of players who took a lot more threes skewed the sample somewhat (Ryan Kelly and Robbie Hummel being prime examples of this). Points per game being a negative factor is somewhat more complicated, and more interesting. Many of the most prolific big men college scorers of the past decade (who played in the NBA) were busts in the league, especially upperclassmen (Luke Harangody, Andrew Nicholson). By contrast, quite a few big men who didn’t score much at all in college have been extremely successful in the NBA. Why is scoring a negative for big men prospects?
I have a couple of thoughts on this. The first is that in college, the physical differences between freshmen and seniors, especially for big men, give more mature players a large advantage. A 22-year old senior, fully developed and muscled, can dominate younger and more talented/skilled players in college. That physical edge will probably be gone in the NBA, especially if it is dependent on strength/size rather than athleticism. Similarly, players who develop physically earlier than their peers might not work on their skills as much as they should, as they don’t need finesse to score. Therefore, some big men who are potent scorers in college might actually be disadvantaged later in their careers.
The second point is related to the first: The college and NBA games are very different from one another. College basketball promotes much less pick and roll offense, and is generally less free-flowing than the NBA, instead featuring pointless passing around the perimeter and post-ups of big men. In the NBA, while certain big men are a consistent matchup advantage in the paint and are fed there frequently, the game is more perimeter-oriented. Most NBA big men score via the pick and roll, putbacks on offensive rebounds, and running the court in transition rather than through bully-ball in the post. That difference in scoring method can mean that some players’ scoring in college doesn’t translate to the NBA. The primary function of big men in today’s NBA, at least for most teams, is not to score in isolation at all, but to provide rim protection on defense, set hard screens and picks on offense, and let shots be created for them, either via the roll or spotting up along the perimeter. High-scoring big men in college, even if they are extremely skilled post players, don’t always check off those boxes.
Rebounds and blocks can also come from a place of physical advantage. However, while sheer height and size can lead to accumulating both stats, athleticism and basketball instincts come into play just as much, if not more. Assists, too, can be the result of a system or unstoppable play in the post. Yet if players don’t have the vision and basketball IQ to move the basketball smartly and correctly, they won’t rack up assists regardless of other factors. This is particularly true for big men, who don’t have the ball as much as point guards, and are therefore reliant on their reading of the court to generate assists rather than piling them up through usage rate and ball dominance alone.
I don’t think that big men’s scoring numbers in college should be ignored, or that players who score more are worse prospects than those who aren’t scorers at the NCAA level. However, just like everything else, a player’s scoring should be examined to see if it is being accomplished in a method that might translate to the NBA. In general, I value a big man’s blocks, rebounds, and assists more than his scoring (or even efficiency), as I believe they are better indicators of a prospect’s functional athleticism and basketball instincts/IQ. In a week or two, I will apply this data to the 2018 draft class to see which prospects stand out in a good or bad way, and determine the direction I think the Clippers should lean if they have a choice to make between several similarly-ranked big men prospects.