This will be a short article, mainly intended to lay out a few thoughts that are too long for twitter. I am really excited about the Wiggins pick, and have a half formed idea on how to develop him.
Archive for June, 2014
As recently as last Thursday afternoon, the Cavaliers draft strategy seemed set. They were poised to draft Joel Embiid, the 7-1 center from the University of Kansas, who many draft analysts considered to be the tip of the consensus top-three, that also included fellow Jayhawk, Andrew Wiggins, and Duke forward Jabari Parker.
The discovery of a stress fracture in Embiid’s right foot — and his subsequent surgery that inserted two screws to stabilize it — sent the Cavs and the entire NBA draft into a weeklong whirl-a-baloo of trade rumors and a dizzying back-and-forth between the remaining two, Wiggins and Parker.
In the end, the Cavs stayed put and went with Wiggins, a 6-8 200 pound SG/SF whose length and elite athleticism immediately helps out the Cavs’ soggy perimeter defense and finally extinguish the tire fire that has been their small forward position since the summer of 2010. Wiggins possesses jaw-dropping athleticism and, until Embiid’s emergence, was considered a lock to be the first player taken in this talent-laden draft. While he is by no means a finished product, he excels in the open court, which should have Cavs fans readying their salivary glands in anticipation of all the above-the-rim finishes off passes from Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters. His shooting is inconsistent, but the form on his shot is good enough to expect his long range accuracy to only get better.
Mallory and Nate will be consuming craft beer (drink responsibly) and live blogging the 2014 NBA draft. #GoCavs
Holy cow! I’m late. A long trip to New Jersey to get some Great Lakes (I swear) has resulted in me being late. But HOLY MOLY ANDREW WIGGINS! Thoughts?
2nd Pick is (no surprise) Anth…errr Jabari Parker. What do you guys think? Perfect fit? I’m glad he’s near home, at least? Who should Philly pick?
Nate: Mallory, So I’m drinking Fat Head’s Sunshine Daydream Session ale. You?
Mallory: I’m freezing some GLBC Wright Pils. Lets hope it’s cold in time for me to make fun of LA.
3rd Pick is…JOEL EMBIID! Nate is probably excited about this, because he loves broken down centers (which there are now two of in Philly…)
Some observations from the floor of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY leading up to the 2014 NBA Draft:
•Still a lot of conflicting reports about the Cavs intentions with the first pick. Andy Katz tweeted that the team had decided who they would pick but was still deciding if they’d keep the pick. A lot of other people have been telling me that they’re hearing that the pick’s staying put. A lot could change in the next 30 minutes, but the smart money (which, for the record, I have never had enough of to either make more or lose it all) is on the Cavs decision makers being “unified” on who they are going to pick … unless someone blows them away.
Who doesn’t love a mock draft? At this point, we’ve all read dozens. Why not one more!? CtB’s mock now has 25% more mocking! For the first pick, we all got together and voted, and then we went by order of seniority to pick everyone else in a classic snake draft. Riveting, right? Aside from the 18 trades that will happen, tonight, we’re sure this is exactly how it will play out.
Sights and sounds from the NBA Draft media session at the Westin Hotel in Times Square:
Each year, the day before the draft, the NBA does its best Jaws impression, taking its top prospects — as if by the bucketful — and dumping them into the blogger-bloodied water to be picked clean of everything from how they felt they were utilized in their college offense to their favorite video game to play (spoiler: it’s almost always “Call of Duty”). This is the one time of year where these elite athletes will watch us perform. They are ushered into a hotel conference room 8-10 at a time, shown to a small round table bearing their name — time for a deep breath, maybe a count to ten — and then it’s all arms, microphones, shouts for their attention and just a general jostling for position as every media member tries to get his/her question in and still have time to hit all the other tables. Good journalism, it seems, makes for bad manners.
Welcome to the NBA, gentlemen. We will continue to behave like this.
Dr. Jacob Loeffelholz is the Director of Perduco Sports. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him a few times to talk hoops, analytics, fantasy sports, the Browns draft, etc etc. He rubs elbows with the Daryl Moreys of the world each year at the Sloan Conference and has worked various problems as a consultant for a number of pro teams. I wanted to get his take on the Cavs, the Finals, the upcoming draft, and to get a sense of how analysts scout the college game. If you’ve got Wiggins/Parker debate syndrome you’ll find Jacob’s thoughts on what the Cavs should do at the 48 minute mark.
Podcast Introduction: 0:00-3:26
Jacob’s Background: 3:27-7:30
SportVu Data: 7:30 – 13:04
The NBA is a Business: 13:04 – 15:30
Are they reading blogs?: 15:30 – 16:50
Griff and the Cavs: 16:50 – 18:00
College Analytics: 18:00 – 29:18
Last Year’s Draft: 29:18 – 33:00
Kawhi and the Spurs: 33:00 – 48:00
This year’s draft for the Cavs: 48:00 – 1:02:20
Other guys in this year’s draft: 1:02:20 – 1:06:58
LeBron Sending a Message?: 1:06:58 – 1:11:20
Tom Bragging about his Fantasy Team: 1:11:20 – 1:12:27
The Paper that he references (the one that Mark Cuban read) can be found here: