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Thread: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 2 - Brandon, #13's, and the Rookie Year)

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    Default So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 2 - Brandon, #13's, and the Rookie Year)

    This is Part 2 of my Draft Analysis. If you want to revisit the methodology and explanation, follow this link:

    http://www.pacersdigest.com/apache2-...38&postcount=1

    For the second installment, I'm taking a closer look at the history of the 13th pick. As with the previous, I based my analysis on the draft classes 1982 through 2007. Since one of our first round draft picks, Brandon Rush, was taken with the 13th pick, I thought I'd look a little closer at that draft position.

    First, let's look back at my synopsis on the 12-17 picks grouping:

    Quote Originally Posted by count55
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    Picks 12 to 17 - (156 picks since 1982, 155 played)

    The Accolades

    Rookie Awards - There have been no Rookies of the Year during this time frame. About 15% of the players taken between 12 and 17 were named to either the 1st or 2nd rookie team.

    All Star Appearances - 16 draftees in this group, or about 10%, have been named to at least one All-Star Game. 10 (6%) have made multiple appearances.

    All NBA Teams - Only about 6% (10) of this group have been named to at least one All NBA Team (1st, 2nd, or 3rd). Eight of these (5%) have earned this honor multiple times.

    All Defense Teams - Just seven players in this group (5%) have been named to All Defense team (1st, 2nd, or 3rd), all of them earning multiple mentions.

    Individual Awards - Though this is clearly an incomplete sample, Clyde Drexler is the only player that has already been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

    Surprisingly, three players (Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and Karl Malone) have been named league MVP. Our beloved Ron-Ron is the lone Defensive Player of the Year. There have been three Sixth Man of the Years (Dell Curry, Aaron McKie, and Corliss Williamson), and five Most Improved Players (Dana Barros, Jalen Rose, Alan Henderson, Jermaine O'Neal, and Hedo Turkoglu). There have been no Finals MVP.

    Production Groups

    Code:
    1. Group 1	1.3%
    2. Grp 2	3.2%
    3. Grp 3	11.0%
    4. Grp 4	27.1%
    5. Grp 5	31.6%
    6. Grp 6	25.8%
    Picks 13 - (26 picks since 1982, 26 played)

    The Accolades

    Rookie Awards - There have been no Rookies of the Year during this time frame. About 23% of #13's were named to either the 1st or 2nd rookie team, compared to 15% of all players taken between 12 and 17.

    All Star Appearances - 4 draftees (Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone, Dale Davis, & Sleepy Floyd) in this group, or about 15%, have been named to at least one All-Star Game. 2 (8%, Bryant & Malone) have made multiple appearances.

    All NBA Teams - Only about 8% (2, Kobe Bryant & Karl Malone) of this group have been named to at least one All NBA Team (1st, 2nd, or 3rd). Both of these have earned this honor multiple times.

    All Defense Teams - Just two players in this group (8%, Kobe Bryant & Karl Malone) have been named to All Defense team (1st, 2nd, or 3rd), all of them earning multiple mentions.

    Individual Awards - Though this is clearly an incomplete sample, no players have been inducted to the Hall of Fame from this group. Clearly, however, Karl Malone and Kobe Bryant are sure-fire HOFer's.

    Unsurprisingly, Kobe Bryant and Karl Malone have been named league MVP. There have been no Defensive Players of the Year, but Corliss Williamson earned Sixth Man of the Year, and Jalen Rose (with the Pacers) nabbed a Most Improved Player award. There have been no Finals MVP.

    Production Groups

    Code:
    1. Group 1	7.7%
    2. Grp 2	0.0%
    3. Grp 3	19.2%
    4. Grp 4	30.8%
    5. Grp 5	30.8%
    6. Grp 6	11.5%
    Here are the Group 1 (the stars) and Group 5 & 6 players...(the flops):

    Group 1: Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant

    Group 5: Thabo Sefolosha, Marcus Banks, Jeff Grayer, Pearl Washington, Ennis Whatley, Joe Wolf, Julian Wright, Courtney Alexander

    Group 6: Sean May, Michael Smith, Marcus Haislip
    Conclusion on the #13

    There have been two pantheon players taken during this time frame @ 13: Karl Malone and Kobe Bryant. They certainly help the percentages, but they are most certainly outliers.

    There have been some good pros to be taken at 13 (Richard Jefferson, Sleepy Floyd, Dale Davis, Jay Humphries), but 92% of the players fell in to Group 3 or worse. Essentially, history says there's only a one in five chance of getting a Group 3 (Above Average, starting quality producer). Meanwhile, the chances of a flop are twice that.

    Brandon Rush, the #13, and Rookie Production

    The other thing I wanted to look at here is to see what kind of production this slot has given during the rookie year. While my overall sample had 26 years of draft class, I only had access to the game logs from the 1986-1987 season forward. Therefore the following analysis only has 23 in the sample.

    It should be noted that the four players that were excluded (Sleepy Floyd, Ennis Whatley, Jay Humphries, and Karl Malone) were very productive players as rookies. In fact, Karl Malone had the highest AdjPR in the sample at 15.94, while Ennis Whatley's 12.78 would've been higher than anyone else in this sample. However, I wanted to track YTD production and show trends, and that data was not available to me.

    So, with a series of Charts, I'm going to show you what the #13 looks like:

    The Top 5 Players: 1. Jalen Rose (Den95); 2. Derek Anderson (Cle98); 3. Richard Jefferson (NJN02); 4. Dale Davis (Ind92); 5. Pearl Washington (NJN87)



    The Bottom 5 Players (worst first): 1. Jeff Grayer (MIL89); 2. Marcus Haislip (MIL03); 3. Corliss Williamson (SAC96); 4. Sean May (CHA06); 5. Terry Dehere (94LAC)



    The Fizzlers (Players who started strong, but faded): Jeff Grayer (MIL89); Joe Wolf (LAC88); Loy Vaught (LAC91); Sean May (CHA06)



    Injuries played a huge role in three (Grayer, Wolf, & May), but Loy Vaught played in 73 games.

    The Hockey Sticks (Slow starts, but climbing at the end): Jalen Rose (Den95); Sebastian Telfair (Por05); Kobe Bryant (LAL97); Courtney Alexander (Dal&Was01)



    Now, obviously these are just rookie numbers. Pearl Washington had the 8th worst career among the 26 #13's sampled, while bottom five member Corliss Williamson became a Sixth MOY and a very productive player.

    After compiling this data, I rolled in Brandon Rush's production through December 15th (the Wizards game). The chart below shows Brandon's performance, along with the best and worst (for the season), as well as a couple of players of interest:



    Through last night, Brandon had played in 23 of 24 games for the Pacers, producing an AdjPR of 7.00. This is good for 9th among all #13's through 12/15 of their rookie year. If he stays at this level for his entire rookie season, he would finish right on the breaking point between Group 4 and Group 5, posting the 7th best season for #13's in the sample.

    Though Group 4 is not a dream, we should probably be pleased with this production out of the #13 slot. It is above the median for the group, and there's good reason to be optimistic about Brandon himself. Despite briefly losing his spot in the rotation, his almost 23 minutes per game is 7th among #13's. Also, in the two games since returning to his spot in the rotation, he's posted Player Rater numbers of 16 and 13 (after only getting double digits in 3 of his previous 21 games).

    This chart also shows a positive trend:



    This is definitely early, but it is something I expect to updated on a weekly or bi-weekly basis for the rest of the season. The upward trendline is a positive sign, but, as shown in the "Fizzlers" above, it proves nothing yet.

    As always, cold, hard numbers lack the ability to completely distill the qualities of a player. To this point, I've been very happy with Brandon Rush. I believe these numbers show him to be an above average #13 pick, and they cannot quantify what I consider to be one of his greatest strenghts: his on-the-ball defense.

    Within the next week, I will repeat this exercise for Roy and the #17 pick. Once this is established, I should be able to update this tracking for the two of them on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. (Assuming, of course, there's any interest in this.)
    Last edited by count55; 12-17-2008 at 07:24 AM.

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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 2 - Brandon, #13's, and the Rookie Year)

    Count, this is fascinating stuff. Personally, I'd be really interested to see it on a consistent basis. Thank you very much for posting this...

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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 2 - Brandon, #13's, and the Rookie Year)

    You may want to get a copyright on this stuff... Good freakin work count...

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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 2 - Brandon, #13's, and the Rookie Year)

    Keep 'em coming, great stuff.

    One interesting thing, as a sidenote, is that you can sort-of see the "rookie wall" on these graphs, between Feb./March. Probably more variables at this range of picks (i.e. playing time), but I bet a study of picks 1-4 would show a very good trend on that rookie wall. This could make for some unique research.
    Last edited by imawhat; 12-17-2008 at 04:23 AM.

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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 2 - Brandon, #13's, and the Rookie Year)

    good stuff

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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 2 - Brandon, #13's, and the Rookie Year)

    At this point, a smartly-used top-5 pick is probably the best thing that could happen to this franchise.

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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 2 - Brandon, #13's, and the Rookie Year)

    Wow, great post. really facinating stuff. Thanks for taking the time to chart this and post it.
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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 2 - Brandon, #13's, and the Rookie Year)

    Quote Originally Posted by Quis View Post
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    At this point, a smartly-used top-5 pick is probably the best thing that could happen to this franchise.
    Not just this franchise. Every franchise.

    And not just right now. Pretty much always.

    The difficulty is that well-run franchises don't get top-5 picks without trading for them.
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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 2 - Brandon, #13's, and the Rookie Year)

    Count I swear you have come to be my favorite poster on this forum.

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    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 2 - Brandon, #13's, and the Rookie Year)

    Quote Originally Posted by Quis View Post
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    At this point, a smartly-used top-5 pick is probably the best thing that could happen to this franchise.
    I don't disagree, but the post wasn't really about what we need so much as what we have.

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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 2 - Brandon, #13's, and the Rookie Year)

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem View Post
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    Not just this franchise. Every franchise.

    And not just right now. Pretty much always.

    The difficulty is that well-run franchises don't get top-5 picks without trading for them.

    The problem with this statement is that it's often top-5 picks - or at least top-10 picks - that begin the process of turning poorly-ran franchises into well-ran franchises. That's where we're at now. We've proven we're bad enough to be in the top-5 pick discussions, no matter whether that's the fault of current or past decision makers. There's no point in denying it. Instead, do what I do - accept it and realize that if we play our cards right, this teams future can get a lot brighter in a hurry.

    I'm sure I'll be badmouthed for this, probably even told I'm not a real fan - but I'd take an 07-08 record of 22-60 & O.J. Mayo over an 07-08 record of 36-46 & Brandon Rush any day of the week. And I'm starting to come around on Brandon.
    Last edited by Quis; 12-17-2008 at 10:14 AM.

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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 2 - Brandon, #13's, and the Rookie Year)

    Here's an additional look at Brandon's numbers. In this chart, you can see both the trended YTD line and the individual game results.

    Last edited by count55; 12-17-2008 at 01:58 PM.

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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 2 - Brandon, #13's, and the Rookie Year)

    Quote Originally Posted by Quis View Post
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    The problem with this statement is that it's often top-5 picks - or at least top-10 picks - that begin the process of turning poorly-ran franchises into well-ran franchises.
    Statistically, I don't think that's true.
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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 2 - Brandon, #13's, and the Rookie Year)

    Either do I. Often times a team that finds itself picking in the top five has poor management & poor coaching to go along with lack of talent. There are some exceptions like when a injuries deplete the team for a season etc...

    Hawks since '99-'00 season
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    13 1st round picks
    7 top tens
    4 top fives
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    14 1st round picks
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    2 winning seasons ( one .500 season)

    Warriors post 50 win season in '93-'94
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    2 winning seasons

    Clippers since the move from San Diego in '84
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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 2 - Brandon, #13's, and the Rookie Year)

    Love it, Count, love it! Thank you!

    Again, more from me soon, but for now let me thread one of my "findings" into your research.

    Although the metrics I use are somewhat different, let's say that each year all GMs had a crystal ball to see future rookie productions. Let's also say that, pick by pick, each GM selects the best player still available.

    I know,

    In other words, the value of the 13th pick is set equal to the average (over at least several years' worth of rookie classes) overall value of the 13th most productive rookie.

    My analysis suggests that the 13th pick, then, has a predicted value of 290 for the first year, 210 for the second year and 165 for the third. Dividing by 30, we see a corresponding interpretation of 9th man as a rookie, 7th (or 8th) as a second-year player, and 6th as a third-year player; i.e., a strong rotation player with the potential to become a starter. IMO, Rush fits that description nicely.

    Perhaps a fair summary statement to capture our comments is: "Drafting is doggone difficult; it is NOT an exact science and mistakes are all too common. Nevertheless, talent remains after the top players are chosen, and a reasonable expectation for a well-chosen selection at #13 is for that player to develop quickly into a productive rotation player."

    I, too, will be delighted to see your (biweekly?) updates on Rush and Hibbert as the season progresses. Thanks again!
    Last edited by DrFife; 12-17-2008 at 01:46 PM. Reason: Legibility

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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 2 - Brandon, #13's, and the Rookie Year)

    NOPE!

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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 2 - Brandon, #13's, and the Rookie Year)

    Update on games through 12/23:







    Brandon has played in four games since my last analysis. He has started all four, the first as part of a small lineup to match up with Golden State, the next three due to Marquis Daniels' illness. The Pacers are 2-2 in those games, defeating Golden State and Philly, losing tough games to the Clippers and the Nets.

    As you can see from the charts, Brandon brought his AdjPR up to 8.36. Over this four game stretch, his AdjPR was a very impressive 16.5. His game against the Nets helped mightily, as it was a 30 PR game, but the three games previous averaged 12.0. He scored relatively well, averaging just over 14 points per game, but his rebounding was very good at over 7 a game, and he averaged just under 2 steals per game in this stretch.

    The negatives were clearly his shooting, as he shot only 35% in this stretch. However, he finished strong in this regard. After shooting only 9 of 39 in the first two games, he shot 4 of 9 against Philly, and a very impressive 8 of 12 (should've been 9 of 12 or 8 of 11, with FT's if they called that blatant foul on Vince Carter, but, I digress.)

    At this point, Brandon is very productive for a #13 pick. He shows signs of being an excellent basketball player, but he needs to become more consistent, particularly in shooting. If he were to work out his shooting woes and learn how to be a smarter, more effective defender (right now, he's just living on his size and athleticism), he definitely has the tools to be a good starting shooting guard.

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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 2 - Brandon, #13's, and the Rookie Year)

    These posts are just simply amazing, count55. Thanks for sharing.

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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 2 - Brandon, #13's, and the Rookie Year)

    These posts make me feel so very inadequate.

    But I love reading them anyway.

    Thanks again, Count!
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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 2 - Brandon, #13's, and the Rookie Year)

    Good stuff though I guess I have a problem with this:

    Group 5: Thabo Sefolosha, Marcus Banks, Jeff Grayer, Pearl Washington, Ennis Whatley, Joe Wolf, Julian Wright, Courtney Alexander

    Group 6: Sean May, Michael Smith, Marcus Haislip
    You label those the flops but in that group you have Julian Wright who's just 21 and just entering his second season, Sefolosha who's 24 and just entering his 3rd season and Sean May who's just entering his 3rd season coming off a major injury and last year, when healthy, was an 11 and 7 player.

    I'd argue against calling any of them flops at this point but Wright in particular - IMO putting him in that category is ridiculous.

    Love the trendlines though. Really good.
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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 2 - Brandon, #13's, and the Rookie Year)

    Well the fizzlers have some guys who didn't get to play right away and saw that small games out of whack PR that even your normal guys had in the first weeks of the season. Then beyond that we are just now hitting that point where they started some surprisingly steady curves downward.

    I would say that given what we have seen from Rush so far and his trending that this is not realistic to expect (the sloping off I mean). As mentioned, he struggled to get PT at times and hit that benching.

    Rush is with a coach that's been less reluctant to just run the young guys out there and he's still been able to earn good minutes most of the time. He's not expected to be the main scorer and he's not devalued like Kobe was by being a HS player. Most of the top guys showed that they rather quickly found their range, and then in some cases started to slowly trend upward.

    I think Rush is going to push into the 4 category for sure simply because nothing he's done so far is remarkably different from what he showed at Kansas last year. He is playing "his" game except that his shooting has been slightly off. And it certainly appears that he is still GAINING JOB's confidence rather than splashing on the scene in a big way only to fizzle a bit.


    One note about the fizzle point - consider the length of the NCAA season and that 25-30 games is when you'd start to be wrapping it up. I can see Brandon, like many players, hitting that wall where they realize they aren't even halfway done yet.


    I have to hand it to JOB, Rush was seeing his numbers drop consistently after hitting 2 peak games and it seems like maybe the DNP did kick his game in it's rear.



    Count - I love the season long trending. That's the real stuff to put things in perspective.

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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 2 - Brandon, #13's, and the Rookie Year)

    Goldfoot's post is the best one yet on the "value" of top picks. As I've said before, of course winning teams have a top pick on the roster. ALL TEAMS HAVE A TOP PICK on the roster. Top 5-10 guys linger in the NBA longer. Dunleavy is a top 5 pick, so when the Pacers win it all we can point to Dun as the answer.

    Typically winners are built on lucky losing/drafting, getting that magic can't miss pick (didn't need a #1 to get Jordan or Bird BTW) or brilliant trading. It's better to get the guy after someone else has found out he's not a bust than to risk your own pick.

    SMART drafting is the real key if you want to build that way and the Pacers proved you didn't need really high picks to do that. Smits was important but they could have won games without him too, maybe not as much but they would have been good just with Jax, Reggie, Detlef, Dale, Tank (if you keep Det as the #2 scorer without Rik on the team).

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Goldfoot View Post
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    Either do I. Often times a team that finds itself picking in the top five has poor management & poor coaching to go along with lack of talent. There are some exceptions like when a injuries deplete the team for a season etc...

    Hawks since '99-'00 season
    1 1st round playoff exit
    13 1st round picks
    7 top tens
    4 top fives
    0 winning seasons


    Bulls since last championship '97-'98
    2 1st round playoff exits 1 semifinals
    14 1st round picks
    10 top tens
    7 top fives
    2 winning seasons ( one .500 season)

    Warriors post 50 win season in '93-'94
    1 playoff appearance
    15 1st rounders
    7 top tens
    4 top fives
    2 winning seasons

    Clippers since the move from San Diego in '84
    3 1st round exits 1 semifinal
    34 1st round picks
    19 top tens
    10 top fives
    2 winning season (one .500 season)

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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 2 - Brandon, #13's, and the Rookie Year)

    I think the current Blazers are the perfect example of brilliant management and also a little luck. They made some tremendous moves to walk away with the two best players in one draft (Roy, Aldridge), and then used some luck to have Oden fall into their laps. Getting a top five pick doesn't guarantee you anything, you hope management knows what they are doing, and let's be honest, a top five pick this year means even less considering the slim pickings up top.

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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 2 - Brandon, #13's, and the Rookie Year)

    Quote Originally Posted by DisplacedKnick View Post
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    Good stuff though I guess I have a problem with this:



    You label those the flops but in that group you have Julian Wright who's just 21 and just entering his second season, Sefolosha who's 24 and just entering his 3rd season and Sean May who's just entering his 3rd season coming off a major injury and last year, when healthy, was an 11 and 7 player.

    I'd argue against calling any of them flops at this point but Wright in particular - IMO putting him in that category is ridiculous.

    Love the trendlines though. Really good.
    Yes, I had noted in the original thread of this series (with the methodology) that some of the players were merely unfinished products. Basically, I labeled the categories as "flops" in (somewhat lazy) shorthand. Essentially, I was merely listing what the numbers were saying. (I also noted in the original thread (on the overall draft) that I tried to avoid rationalizing any numbers, being as arbitrary as possible. I needed to show the warts in order to make sure I had full disclosure for the reader. I agree with Hollinger in keeping the statistics relatively unadjusted, but where I differ with Hollinger is that I don't consider them to necessarily be "the whole truth".)

    I'll buy that the jury is out on Sefolosha and Wright. They're just sitting there based on what they've done thus far. It remains to be seen what they can do. Sean May, third year notwithstanding, I strongly expect to finish his career exactly where he's sitting. He was somewhat short for his skills to begin with, and he's adding a weight problem and continued injuries (he's out indefinitely with tendonitis in his knee) to that problem.
    Last edited by count55; 12-25-2008 at 08:30 PM.

  25. #25
    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: So, What does a draft pick get ya? (Part 2 - Brandon, #13's, and the Rookie Year)

    With an update through 12/30...





    After having his best game of the season, Brandon has backslid, particularly the last two games. He's been very passive and ineffective.



    As the graph indicates, another disturbing trend has developed. Brandon has strong games, I begin to say positive, optimistic things about him, followed by him going into a slump. Therefore, from this time forward, I will no longer say anything good about him.

    Brandon Rush is a ninny, and his mother wears army boots.

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