The Rules of Pacers Digest

Hello everyone,

Whether your are a long standing forum member or whether you have just registered today, it's a good idea to read and review the rules below so that you have a very good idea of what to expect when you come to Pacers Digest.

A quick note to new members: Your posts will not immediately show up when you make them. An administrator has to approve at least your first post before the forum software will later upgrade your account to the status of a fully-registered member. This usually happens within a couple of hours or so after your post(s) is/are approved, so you may need to be a little patient at first.

Why do we do this? So that it's more difficult for spammers (be they human or robot) to post, and so users who are banned cannot immediately re-register and start dousing people with verbal flames.

Below are the rules of Pacers Digest. After you have read them, you will have a very good sense of where we are coming from, what we expect, what we don't want to see, and how we react to things.

Rule #1

Pacers Digest is intended to be a place to discuss basketball without having to deal with the kinds of behaviors or attitudes that distract people from sticking with the discussion of the topics at hand. These unwanted distractions can come in many forms, and admittedly it can sometimes be tricky to pin down each and every kind that can rear its ugly head, but we feel that the following examples and explanations cover at least a good portion of that ground and should at least give people a pretty good idea of the kinds of things we actively discourage:

"Anyone who __________ is a liar / a fool / an idiot / a blind homer / has their head buried in the sand / a blind hater / doesn't know basketball / doesn't watch the games"

"People with intelligence will agree with me when I say that __________"

"Only stupid people think / believe / do ___________"

"I can't wait to hear something from PosterX when he/she sees that **insert a given incident or current event that will have probably upset or disappointed PosterX here**"

"He/she is just delusional"

"This thread is stupid / worthless / embarrassing"

"I'm going to take a moment to point and / laugh at PosterX / GroupOfPeopleY who thought / believed *insert though/belief here*"

"Remember when PosterX said OldCommentY that no longer looks good? "

In general, if a comment goes from purely on topic to something 'ad hominem' (personal jabs, personal shots, attacks, flames, however you want to call it, towards a person, or a group of people, or a given city/state/country of people), those are most likely going to be found intolerable.

We also dissuade passive aggressive behavior. This can be various things, but common examples include statements that are basically meant to imply someone is either stupid or otherwise incapable of holding a rational conversation. This can include (but is not limited to) laughing at someone's conclusions rather than offering an honest rebuttal, asking people what game they were watching, or another common problem is Poster X will say "that player isn't that bad" and then Poster Y will say something akin to "LOL you think that player is good". We're not going to tolerate those kinds of comments out of respect for the community at large and for the sake of trying to just have an honest conversation.

Now, does the above cover absolutely every single kind of distraction that is unwanted? Probably not, but you should by now have a good idea of the general types of things we will be discouraging. The above examples are meant to give you a good feel for / idea of what we're looking for. If something new or different than the above happens to come along and results in the same problem (that being, any other attitude or behavior that ultimately distracts from actually just discussing the topic at hand, or that is otherwise disrespectful to other posters), we can and we will take action to curb this as well, so please don't take this to mean that if you managed to technically avoid saying something exactly like one of the above examples that you are then somehow off the hook.

That all having been said, our goal is to do so in a generally kind and respectful way, and that doesn't mean the moment we see something we don't like that somebody is going to be suspended or banned, either. It just means that at the very least we will probably say something about it, quite possibly snipping out the distracting parts of the post in question while leaving alone the parts that are actually just discussing the topics, and in the event of a repeating or excessive problem, then we will start issuing infractions to try to further discourage further repeat problems, and if it just never seems to improve, then finally suspensions or bans will come into play. We would prefer it never went that far, and most of the time for most of our posters, it won't ever have to.

A slip up every once and a while is pretty normal, but, again, when it becomes repetitive or excessive, something will be done. Something occasional is probably going to be let go (within reason), but when it starts to become habitual or otherwise a pattern, odds are very good that we will step in.

There's always a small minority that like to push people's buttons and/or test their own boundaries with regards to the administrators, and in the case of someone acting like that, please be aware that this is not a court of law, but a private website run by people who are simply trying to do the right thing as they see it. If we feel that you are a special case that needs to be dealt with in an exceptional way because your behavior isn't explicitly mirroring one of our above examples of what we generally discourage, we can and we will take atypical action to prevent this from continuing if you are not cooperative with us.

Also please be aware that you will not be given a pass simply by claiming that you were 'only joking,' because quite honestly, when someone really is just joking, for one thing most people tend to pick up on the joke, including the person or group that is the target of the joke, and for another thing, in the event where an honest joke gets taken seriously and it upsets or angers someone, the person who is truly 'only joking' will quite commonly go out of his / her way to apologize and will try to mend fences. People who are dishonest about their statements being 'jokes' do not do so, and in turn that becomes a clear sign of what is really going on. It's nothing new.

In any case, quite frankly, the overall quality and health of the entire forum's community is more important than any one troublesome user will ever be, regardless of exactly how a problem is exhibiting itself, and if it comes down to us having to make a choice between you versus the greater health and happiness of the entire community, the community of this forum will win every time.

Lastly, there are also some posters, who are generally great contributors and do not otherwise cause any problems, who sometimes feel it's their place to provoke or to otherwise 'mess with' that small minority of people described in the last paragraph, and while we possibly might understand why you might feel you WANT to do something like that, the truth is we can't actually tolerate that kind of behavior from you any more than we can tolerate the behavior from them. So if we feel that you are trying to provoke those other posters into doing or saying something that will get themselves into trouble, then we will start to view you as a problem as well, because of the same reason as before: The overall health of the forum comes first, and trying to stir the pot with someone like that doesn't help, it just makes it worse. Some will simply disagree with this philosophy, but if so, then so be it because ultimately we have to do what we think is best so long as it's up to us.

If you see a problem that we haven't addressed, the best and most appropriate course for a forum member to take here is to look over to the left of the post in question. See underneath that poster's name, avatar, and other info, down where there's a little triangle with an exclamation point (!) in it? Click that. That allows you to report the post to the admins so we can definitely notice it and give it a look to see what we feel we should do about it. Beyond that, obviously it's human nature sometimes to want to speak up to the poster in question who has bothered you, but we would ask that you try to refrain from doing so because quite often what happens is two or more posters all start going back and forth about the original offending post, and suddenly the entire thread is off topic or otherwise derailed. So while the urge to police it yourself is understandable, it's best to just report it to us and let us handle it. Thank you!

All of the above is going to be subject to a case by case basis, but generally and broadly speaking, this should give everyone a pretty good idea of how things will typically / most often be handled.

Rule #2

If the actions of an administrator inspire you to make a comment, criticism, or express a concern about it, there is a wrong place and a couple of right places to do so.

The wrong place is to do so in the original thread in which the administrator took action. For example, if a post gets an infraction, or a post gets deleted, or a comment within a larger post gets clipped out, in a thread discussing Paul George, the wrong thing to do is to distract from the discussion of Paul George by adding your off topic thoughts on what the administrator did.

The right places to do so are:

A) Start a thread about the specific incident you want to talk about on the Feedback board. This way you are able to express yourself in an area that doesn't throw another thread off topic, and this way others can add their two cents as well if they wish, and additionally if there's something that needs to be said by the administrators, that is where they will respond to it.

B) Send a private message to the administrators, and they can respond to you that way.

If this is done the wrong way, those comments will be deleted, and if it's a repeating problem then it may also receive an infraction as well.

Rule #3

If a poster is bothering you, and an administrator has not or will not deal with that poster to the extent that you would prefer, you have a powerful tool at your disposal, one that has recently been upgraded and is now better than ever: The ability to ignore a user.

When you ignore a user, you will unfortunately still see some hints of their existence (nothing we can do about that), however, it does the following key things:

A) Any post they make will be completely invisible as you scroll through a thread.

B) The new addition to this feature: If someone QUOTES a user you are ignoring, you do not have to read who it was, or what that poster said, unless you go out of your way to click on a link to find out who it is and what they said.

To utilize this feature, from any page on Pacers Digest, scroll to the top of the page, look to the top right where it says 'Settings' and click that. From the settings page, look to the left side of the page where it says 'My Settings', and look down from there until you see 'Edit Ignore List' and click that. From here, it will say 'Add a Member to Your List...' Beneath that, click in the text box to the right of 'User Name', type in or copy & paste the username of the poster you are ignoring, and once their name is in the box, look over to the far right and click the 'Okay' button. All done!

Rule #4

Regarding infractions, currently they carry a value of one point each, and that point will expire in 31 days. If at any point a poster is carrying three points at the same time, that poster will be suspended until the oldest of the three points expires.

Rule #5

When you share or paste content or articles from another website, you must include the URL/link back to where you found it, who wrote it, and what website it's from. Said content will be removed if this doesn't happen.

An example:

If I copy and paste an article from the Indianapolis Star website, I would post something like this:
Title of the Article
Author's Name
Indianapolis Star

Rule #6

We cannot tolerate illegal videos on Pacers Digest. This means do not share any links to them, do not mention any websites that host them or link to them, do not describe how to find them in any way, and do not ask about them. Posts doing anything of the sort will be removed, the offenders will be contacted privately, and if the problem becomes habitual, you will be suspended, and if it still persists, you will probably be banned.

The legal means of watching or listening to NBA games are NBA League Pass Broadband (for US, or for International; both cost money) and NBA Audio League Pass (which is free). Look for them on

Rule #7

Provocative statements in a signature, or as an avatar, or as the 'tagline' beneath a poster's username (where it says 'Member' or 'Administrator' by default, if it is not altered) are an unwanted distraction that will more than likely be removed on sight. There can be shades of gray to this, but in general this could be something political or religious that is likely going to provoke or upset people, or otherwise something that is mean-spirited at the expense of a poster, a group of people, or a population.

It may or may not go without saying, but this goes for threads and posts as well, particularly when it's not made on the off-topic board (Market Square).

We do make exceptions if we feel the content is both innocuous and unlikely to cause social problems on the forum (such as wishing someone a Merry Christmas or a Happy Easter), and we also also make exceptions if such topics come up with regards to a sports figure (such as the Lance Stephenson situation bringing up discussions of domestic abuse and the law, or when Jason Collins came out as gay and how that lead to some discussion about gay rights).

However, once the discussion seems to be more/mostly about the political issues instead of the sports figure or his specific situation, the thread is usually closed.

Rule #8

We prefer self-restraint and/or modesty when making jokes or off topic comments in a sports discussion thread. They can be fun, but sometimes they derail or distract from a topic, and we don't want to see that happen. If we feel it is a problem, we will either delete or move those posts from the thread.

Rule #9

Generally speaking, we try to be a "PG-13" rated board, and we don't want to see sexual content or similarly suggestive content. Vulgarity is a more muddled issue, though again we prefer things to lean more towards "PG-13" than "R". If we feel things have gone too far, we will step in.

Rule #10

We like small signatures, not big signatures. The bigger the signature, the more likely it is an annoying or distracting signature.

Rule #11

Do not advertise anything without talking about it with the administrators first. This includes advertising with your signature, with your avatar, through private messaging, and/or by making a thread or post.
See more
See less

So...What's a draft pick get ya? (Sidebar #2 - All American Boys)

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • So...What's a draft pick get ya? (Sidebar #2 - All American Boys)

    Yeah...this is ridiculously long...sorry

    Ever since the possible selection of Tyler Hansbrough was first entertained, there has been a sharp up tick in the intensity of the long-lived debate over the value of a player's college resume. To some degree, it's a subset of the tools vs. production debate that has been evolving over the last thirty years.

    There is no simple, straight forward answer that sways the argument one way or the other. Choosing one path exclusively over the other can generously be described as foolish, or more harshly described as self-defeating and suicidal. Each approach has had its successes, and each has had its failures.

    Examples and anecdotal information have peppered this discussion. While the anchor of most people's position is their opinion of Tyler Hansbrough, it expanded to touch on the large issues of Potential vs. Resume and Athleticism vs. Skills.

    This analysis will not solve this dilemma. It will, hopefully, provide some broader perspective, as well as a foundation on which we can understand how well players are able to replicate college excellence at the NBA level.

    The Metrics

    This all started with my first "So, What's a draft pick get you?" thread, and you can refresh your understanding of its methodologies, strengths and weaknesses by clicking on the link.

    Once again, I am using the Player Rater, calculated as:

    PR = (Pts + Reb + Ast + Stls + Blk - TO's - Missed 2pt FGs - Missed FT's)/Games Played
    This calculation is further adjusted for a reliability factor, which is basically the player's percent of team's games played. Put simply, if a player plays 41 of 82 games, his Gross PR is multiplied by 50% to get the player's adjusted PR.

    I have also collected the information on Accolades earned in the NBA career, such as MVP's, All-Star appearances, etc.

    The Population and Sourcing

    I would love to do a deep dive on all of the players, being able to break it out between 4-yr Seniors, Early Entry College players, High School Players, and Euros/Foreign Players. Regrettably, the data I have does not have an easy way for me to break this out. I hope to do it in the future, but it will not be immediately forthcoming.

    For this reason, (and because of the ample discussion on Tyler Hansbrough) I have focused on players who have had highly successful college careers. While I have the complete data set from the overall analysis, I have sliced out all players who were voted All-Americas since 1982. Here is a further parsing of the population:

    - I used the "AP All America" Teams as my slice, and I got this information from There are other All America teams, Sporting News as an example, but this was the most readily available, and appears to be the oldest.
    - Further, I wanted to identify the College Player of the Year (CPOY). had the histories for three (3) separate awards: AP, Wooden, and Naismith. I am using all three, so if these awards were split in any year, then there would be more than one CPOY in that season.

    For references and spins, I have also looked specifically at 1st Team All Americas, and the Non-All Americas. These are for players who were drafted between 1982 and 2008. In this sample, there were 303 All Americas and 1,257 Non-All Americas for a total sample size of 1,560 drafted players. Of these draftees, 1,287 have actually played in the NBA, while 273 have never seen action.

    Looking at it from the top of the here, are the big broad numbers:

    Exhibit A – Summary of Results

    All America or Not

    Excluding players from 2009, you get 323 players named to the AP First, Second, or Third All America Teams. This sample includes all 303 players who were drafted, of which 292 actually have played games in the NBA.

    There were 20 All Americas who were not drafted at all, seven (7) of which ended up making an NBA team. The most successful of these were Udonis Haslem and Pat Garrity. Since this is a draft analysis, none of these players are included in the data.

    When contrasting this against the non-All Americas (including High School and Foreign Players) at a high level, you will see a much higher success rate over this time frame among the All Americas. At this point, it’s probably useful to remind everyone of the the “Groups” and what they mean (a fuller explanation can be found in the original thread of this series):

    Group 1 - AdjPR of 22 & above. This would be the crème de la crème of these draft picks (from a production perspective). You know who to expect here: LeBron, MJ, Shaq, etc.

    Group 2 - AdjPR of 17 to 22. These players would be high production players, bona fide starters, some All-Stars and some good possibility HOFer's. Examples include Clyde Drexler, Patrick Ewing, James Worthy, Scottie Pippen, and the like. Also, the occasional stat whore lands in this group.

    Group 3 - AdjPR of 12 to 17. These are well above average producers. They would almost all be considered starting quality players. In some cases, there are some high quality players with low reliability factors. Examples include: Chris Webber, Hersey Hawkins, Detlef Schrempf, Richard Hamilton.

    Group 4 - Adj PR of 7 to 12. These are slightly above average producers. Some are starters, some injury prone all-star talent, some just good solid players. Examples include: Leandro Barbosa, Toni Kukoc, Paul Pressey, Kurt Thomas.

    Group 5 - AdjPR of 3 to 7. These are disappointments and mediocre players. They give below average production and tend to have shorter than average careers. The best of these are players like Chris Mihm, Freddie Jones, and Luc Longley.

    Group 6 - AdjPR of less than 3. It'd be easy to call these busts, but they're really just the fringe players. There are a few out-and-out disasters (Chris Washburn leaps to mind), but most of these guys are folks like Brooke Steppe, Scott Hastings, and Josh McRoberts, who either never got or haven't gotten a real look at playing time.
    As noted above, looking at the distribution of All Americas vs. Non-All Americas shows that the former All Americas skew to the higher production groups, while the opposite is true for Non-All Americas. Here is a graphical representation:

    Exhibit B: Distribution by Production Group

    One-third of the college AA’s landed in Group 1, 2 or 3, or became starting quality producers. For the overall sample involved, only one in seven were in these groups, and only about one in twelve Non-AA’s had this level of production. However, these figures don’t tell a complete story.

    First, we must recognize that the AA’s total is less than one-quarter of the Non-AA’s. The smaller denominator allows each individual performer to have a bigger impact on the percent distribution. However, that cuts both ways. It also means that the Non-AA’s had four times as many chances to produce top players. The relative sizes of the two subsets have more impact on the volatility of the distribution than the direction, though.

    Second, and far more importantly, we must look at the draft profile for these two groups. Exhibit C below shows the distribution by Draft Group:

    Exhibit C: Distribution by Draft Group

    Just looking at the draft distribution indicates that the All Americas were generally expected to succeed. Over 50% of them were taken in the top 11 picks, and over 87% were taken in the top 30 picks (or the equivalent of a present day 1st round pick). Over 56% of the Non-AA’s were selected in the “Second Round” (picks 31-60), while only about 11% were taken in the top 11.

    Also, it’s important to remember that in the “Tools vs. Production” argument, that the Production players have tools, too. This is one of the reasons that I noted this would not offer any groundbreaking answers on that issue in this analysis. I’ll probably come back to it a little later, simply because I can’t resist overreaching, but for now, I want to bring it back to the question that I think we can address, or at least give a statistical framework.

    Is College Success a Good Predictor of Success in the NBA

    As usual, there isn’t really a straight answer to this question. To start, I’ll just give you the non-answer answer of, “Broadly, yes…specifically, not particularly.” Sucks, doesn’t it?

    Broadly, yes

    Regardless of where we stand in the “Tools vs. Production” debate, it is important that we all recognize some things as being intuitively true.

    First, the tools needed to excel in the NBA also make it highly likely for the player to succeed at the college level. Second, players who perform at a very high level in college are at least above average in talent, physical abilities, and commitment. Many times, they are near the top in these attributes. Third, success, as a general rule, breeds success. Whether it’s the experience, the hunger, the opportunities, or a certain je ne sais quoi, I honestly couldn’t tell you. It is a truism, but one amply supported.

    This is supported statistically by the analysis shown in Exhibit A at the top of the post. Almost 34% of the All Americas in this study became (or are) Group 1, 2, or 3 players., as compared to only about 13% of the general population. Even breaking the comparisons down by draft group shows an advantage for College All Americas in most cases.

    Exhibit D: % of Group 1, 2, & 3 Players by Draft Group

    The differences are more pronounced when you compare the AA’s to the Non-AA’s.

    Exhibit E: % of Group 1, 2, & 3 Players, All Americas vs. Non-All Americas

    So, it seems to me that the position:

    A player who had a very successful college career has a better than average chance of being a successful NBA player.
    is not only a relatively sound position, but probably the most prudent initial position to take, particularly when dealing with the really high achievers at the college level.

    However, this statement:

    Player X was a great college player, so he will be a great (very good/highly successful) player in the NBA.
    Ehhhh…not so much.

    Specifically, not particularly

    So, what the **** do I mean by this? Well, first, there is no guarantee that that the player will achieve, or even approach the same level of success or achievement reached at the collegiate level. Of the 323 All Americas in this study, only 43 have been named to an All NBA team. Only 71 have made All Star teams, and 23 earned All Defense honors.

    Of the 32 former College Players of the Year, 14 have become All Stars, while only 5 have earned All NBA Honors. Four (Robinson, Jordan, Shaq, Duncan) have been named MVP, while three (Robinson, Jordan, Camby) have been named Defensive Player of the year.

    Sidebar-”Frick”-ing the College Honors

    It seemed reasonable to me to draw parallels between being named All America and being named All NBA. In some ways, you could argue that making an All NBA team is numerically more likely than being named All America. Of course, this is specious reasoning.

    First and foremost is the talent level, which is much, much higher in the NBA. The most straightforward way to put this is that every single player in the NBA has the talent to play college ball, while only a small percentage of college players each year are capable of earning a spot in the NBA.

    Second, there is a built-in expiration date on great college players. No player can play more than four years, so there is a constant turnover that allows new faces to earn top honors. In the NBA, you have players like Jordan, Robinson, Duncan, and others who become fixtures on the All NBA teams for a decade or more. Some very good and great players spent their entire pro careers in the shadow of guys like these.

    Another major issue is the quality of players who either left college early (after one or two years) or bypassed it entirely. Six of the 15 players on the three 2009 All NBA teams never played a single college contest (three on the first team alone). It was nine of 15 the prior year, including four the five on the first team. Over the past 15 years or so, CPOY’s and All Americas were given to players who did not have to beat out LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Yao Ming, Jermaine O’Neal, or Dirk Nowitzki, just to name a few.

    All of these lead me to believe that the college honors deserve at least a small asterisk, if only when considering how well they translate to the NBA. I freely admit that, like the infamous 61*, it is a little bit (perhaps, more than a little) petty. However, like that infamous number, it is a valid footnote in a statistical analysis.
    As percentages of the samples, the All Americas continue to outpace the others, but the correlation between College and NBA Accolades is not very direct.

    Second, you cannot look at any individual player’s resume at lower levels and predict success in the NBA. (This is not just limited to college ball, as it would extend to international play, as well.) Each case is different, and each has different advantages and disadvantages. The most articulate summation I can think of comes from JayRedd in the “Take a step back…” thread.

    Originally posted by JayRedd
    Those of us who are a little disappointed today think Tyler just doesn't have the basketball tools to translate the understanding of fundamental basketball he showed at UNC into NBA-level production. He doesn't have any defined way to score points or stop other people from scoring points at this level. And, based on the evidence I have seen of him over the past four years, he isn't likely to develop an arsenal of new ways to do either of those things. He plays the game in a certain way that has been effective for him throughout his life, but that style has been mainly based upon out-muscling, out-quicking, out-hustling and, sure, even "out-fundamentalling" players who were incapable of matching him in those areas. When he begins playing against people who all cannot only match him in those areas but greatly supersede his abilities in them, I believe his ability to influence a game will become significantly diminished.
    Therefore, many fans and NBA talent evaluators need more than just production to believe that a player can make it at the next level. They need to see why the player succeeded, and understand how it will translate to the NBA.

    They will tell you that the players in the NBA are bigger, stronger, and faster. They will tell you that the games are longer, and the competition is more talented. They will tell you that the season is longer, and there is no more cupcake pre-conference schedule. They will tell you that the games are longer and scheduled more closely together, with a much, much more extensive travel schedule.

    They will tell you all of these things, because they are true.

    Then they will look at a particular player, and try to understand where and how he fits in the NBA. They’ll look at size, athleticism, position, and skills and try to project. It’s always a crap shoot, but it’s actually a pretty sound approach.

    However, they’ll also go back and look at history to try to find an exemplar. They look for a player who is similar (enough) to the current player to try a project a parallel path. Ricky Rubio becomes Steve Nash or Sarunas Jasikevicius. Tyler Hansbrough becomes Jeff Foster or Brian Cardinal.

    Where looking for tools is sensible and reasonable, looking for exemplars is problematic and fraught with pitfalls. In my opinion, it is this search for a correct “player comparison” that can potentially create bias.

    I keep thinking tomorrow is coming today…

    …so I am endlessly waiting…(Adam Duritz – “St. Robinson and his Cadillac Dream”)

    In this year’s draft, the Indiana Pacers selected one of the most decorated college players in quite some time. He was a Consensus 1st team All America in his Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years, and Consensus 2nd team as a Freshman. For the AP All America teams used in this analysis, he had two 1st Team, one 2nd Team, and one 3rd Team nod. He won the AP, Wooden, and Naismith awards as College Player of the Year in 2008. His other records and awards are too numerous to mention. Finally, he is coming off a national championship at North Carolina

    Sidebar – College Players of the Year gettin’ no love

    When Tyler Hansbrough fell to the #13 spot, it was only the fifth time that a College Player of the Year had not been taken in the top 10. The four previous were Walter Berry (14th, 1986), David West (18th, 2003), Jameer Nelson (20th, 2004), and JJ Redick (11th, 2006).

    Berry played for four teams in his craptacular three year career, while JJ Redick has been largely blah in his first three years with the Magic.

    West established himself as a quality scorer with New Orleans in his third year, and has maintained his production for the past four season. Nelson was potentially on his way to an MIP award before an injury shortened his season.
    Yet, despite his solid gold resume, this choice was greeted with mixed emotions, to say the least. This is no surprise, as the opinions on Hansbrough were pretty well divided. An unscientific poll conducted on Pacers Digest in the run up to the draft had 27 in favor of drafting the UNC product and 27 opposed. Another 13 felt he was “overrated,” while 6 felt he was “underrated.”

    The cases for each have been stated and restated, almost ad nauseum, so I won’t linger on them. A very sketchy thumbnail of each would be:

    Pro: He’s a proven winner with an impeccable work ethic who excelled in a top program at the highest levels of college basketball.

    Con: He has questionable size and athleticism, and many of the things that worked well for him against smaller, less talented college players will not succeed in NBA.
    So, that leaves us with two basic questions, each important for very different reasons. The first question is, “Will Tyler Hansbrough be a good NBA player?” To that, I say, “tomorrow is not coming today.”

    The answer to this question is months, if not years away. It will not be answered in the Summer Leagues. It will not be answered in training camp. It may not even be answered, completely, in the first year or two or three of his NBA career. He, like every other NBA player, will have to prove himself over and over and over again. This process will take time and patience, and claiming to know the answer today, one way or the other, is simply foolish.

    It is the second question, however, that interests me at this point.

    Was Tyler Hansbrough a “good” pick?

    I didn’t like it. I didn’t like it for a lot of the reasons that JayRedd outlined. I tend to be unimpressed by arguments like winner and heart and toughness and hardworker, particularly when they all precede any discussion of actual basketball skills. While Tyler has demonstrated all of these traits at the college level, he (like every other draft pick) has proven nothing at the NBA level.

    Also, I worry that some of Tyler’s traits, while admirable, could be counterproductive at the next level. Hansbrough strikes me as a hammer in search of a nail, at all times. The problem is, I don’t think that approach will do him much good in the NBA…at least not without some moderation. He will need to learn when to bully, and when to finesse…when to stand strong, and when to bend to the flow. He’s not big, strong, quick, or talented enough to force the issue all the time. He will have to work twice as hard to be half as successful in the NBA. He will have to learn how to survive in the NBA, before he can even contemplate trying to become the player he was at the college player.


    That is not the question at hand.

    The question is was this a good pick…a good decision? And my answer to that is, simply:


    I don’t say, “Yes” because I think that Tyler was the best player available. It is almost a foregone conclusion that someone drafted after Tyler will have a better career. By the same token, there’s a very good chance that Tyler will have a better career than one or more of the players drafted ahead of him. This isn’t a specific comment on Hansbrough, but simply the nature of the NBA draft.

    I say, “Yes” because I think it was a choice that makes a good deal of sense when you look at the situation surrounding this particular pick.

    Sidebar – NBA Scouting and the Draft…Damned if they do…

    If there’s one thing certain about the NBA Draft, it’s uncertainty. The miss rate in the NBA draft is very high. Over the past 30 years or so, about 50% of the 1st round picks (1-30) and 90% of the 2nd round picks (31-60) have basically washed out or not played. That only includes Group 5 and Group 6 players, and it doesn’t even consider players who, though relatively productive, were still disappointments for where they were drafted.

    Despite the uncertainty that has been demonstrated time and time again, few things are as highly valued as draft picks. Fans and media view them as gold, and expect their team to convert on every pick. Therefore, NBA front offices become damned if they do, damned if they don’t on Draft Night. This creates a perfect environment for armchair GM’s and second guessers everywhere.

    However, the more analysis I do on the history of the draft, the more respect I have for the job that is done by NBA front offices and their scouting staffs. Yes, there are some that are better than others, but in an environment where everyone makes mistakes, I believe they do a pretty good job overall of slotting the draft prospects.

    Exhibit F: Distribution of Results by Draft Group – All Players

    This shows how the production (Group 1, Group 2, etc) of each of the Draft Groups (1 to 4, 5 to 7, etc) is distributed. What you’re looking for here is both the peak of each line and its orientation on the x-axis (left to right).
    The peak for each successive draft group moves to the right, meaning each group got successively, less productive. This seems to me to provide some validation to NBA scouting and projections. Despite the well publicized misses like Kwame Brown, Darko Milicic, and Jonathan Bender, the slotting of the talent has been right a lot more often than it has been wrong.

    Exhibit G: Distribution of Results by Draft Group – CPOY’s and 1st Team AA’s

    Exhibit G shows a similar distribution, though the smaller sample size makes for some slightly different curves.

    I find it useful to remember that drafting is essentially a form of forecasting. You’re trying to collect as much information as you can today in order to make your best guess at what will happen tomorrow. As much as they might try, it will never become a pure science. The more I analyze, the more comfortable I am that these guys actually know what they’re doing…at least as well as they can.
    So, why does it make sense?

    There was no one in the draft that filled the team’s specific needs. - There was not dominating point guard, and there was no big, shot blocking four that could anchor our defense. It was a point guard deep draft, but none of the PG’s available at 13 looked like the long-term answer. The athletic fours (Clark & Johnson) will probably end up as ‘tweeners. (We heard comments on draft night that Bird and O’Brien both thought Johnson was clearly a wing.) Blair may have been the strongest argument, but, IMO, he brought just as many doubts as Hansbrough did, and clearly, no one in the league was willing to risk a guaranteed contract on his knees.

    Hansbrough had demonstrated a high level of success in a major program at the college level. - While it is true that this is not a great predictor, this study does show that players with Tyler’s pedigree tend to perform relatively well at the NBA player.

    Hansbrough’s measurables were solid. – While none of his measurables were jaw-dropping, the proved to be much better than feared. He’s big enough, in height and reach, to play the four, and he had pretty good agility and sprint times.

    Hansbrough was strong in workouts. - Hansbrough had impressed in workouts, not just here, but in New Jersey, Atlanta, and Chicago.

    He fits the culture we’re trying to build. - By all accounts, he gives a lot of effort, and he’s coachable. He fits the mold of the players brought in last year: Rush, Hibbert, and Jack.

    He wasn’t particularly a reach. – Though he had spent much of his college career being projected in the 20’s, he did move up after the combine. He had been mentioned as high as 11th to New Jersey in mocks shortly before the draft. It seems that Bird’s plan, was to trade with Chicago, moving back to 16th (and 26th) and taking Hansbrough there. However, that fell apart when Charlotte took Gerald Henderson, Chicago’s target. Since that deal was off the table, Bird took his target, Tyler. It also seemed, from some reports, that Chicago had Hansbrough high on their list, perhaps #2 behind Henderson.

    In all honesty, I doubt that I’ll ever get excited about this pick. But there wasn’t really anybody on the board who would have excited me either. I probably would have chosen James Johnson, or possibly, Eric Maynor…but I can’t say either with any conviction.

    However, this is the basic difference between being an observer and actually having to run a team. For us, the draft pick captures our imaginations and fills us with anticipation. For Bird and the rest of the front office, it is a decision that they must make wisely. They cannot afford to waste it. What they did in this case was make what was basically the “grown up” decision.

    In an amazingly weak draft, made what amounted to a Billy Beane-type pick. It wasn’t sexy, and it wasn’t exciting, but it was sound. Though I had fears otherwise, I now think that the Pacers have added a piece that will help them in the future. He will also probably fit well in the locker room and have some appeal with the fans. In a draft where it was going to be difficult to get someone useful, I believe they got something useful. Though they went safe, it was a prudent time to go safe. I doubt that there was another player whose reward would have been worth any additional risk.

    It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if Brandon Jennings had fell, because that would have put their decision to the test. He is the type of player whose reward I think would be worth the risk. It’s also going to be important that Bird not get completely trapped in the conservative approach…but that dilemma will arise another day.

    For now, I think we did everything with this pick that could be reasonably expected. I’m hopeful that Hansbrough can follow the path of David West and Jameer Nelson, carving out a good career after being picked later in the draft.

    For now…I’ll go back to endlessly waiting.
    Last edited by count55; 07-12-2009, 08:48 AM.

  • #2
    Re: So...What's a draft pick get ya? (Sidebar #2 - All American Boys)

    Ugghhh, after reading some of your long diatribe I felt like I was back at college
    digesting massive quantities of material to be spewed forth on a test and then
    forgotten. I give you credit for the effort.

    As far as Tyler goes at worst I believe he will be the back up pf in the future
    with the starter coming in trade or next years draft. And he may very well be the
    starting PF of the future. Time will reveal all.


    • #3
      Re: So...What's a draft pick get ya? (Sidebar #2 - All American Boys)

      Well done, sir.


      • #4
        Re: So...What's a draft pick get ya? (Sidebar #2 - All American Boys)

        Posts like this are a joy.

        I appreciate the attention to detail, the work, and the formatting. I have kept my opinion on the pick to myself for the most part, as it's a work in progress. Much of my draft day disappointment came from wanting players to fall to us or big flashy deals to land in our lap.

        In reflection, the pick has really grown on me. I'm still cautious, but optimistic.


        • #5
          Re: So...What's a draft pick get ya? (Sidebar #2 - All American Boys)

          Very nice work. I love seeing analyses like this.

          If I'm calculating correctly there are 8 All Americans drafted in Hansbrough's range that became Group 1-3 players. I'd love to see that list for a comparison, if it's easy to grab.

          I'm a bit confused looking between Exhibit D and Exhibit G. What I'd really like to know is how many of the All Americans taken in Hansbrough's range became Group 4 players, but I'm not sure I understand the distribution in Exhibit G. According to Exhibit D, 18.2% of his range becomes Group 1-3 players, but Exhibit D is showing 11.1% through Group 3.

          Am I looking at this incorrectly?


          • #6
            Re: So...What's a draft pick get ya? (Sidebar #2 - All American Boys)

            Originally posted by imawhat View Post
            Very nice work. I love seeing analyses like this.

            If I'm calculating correctly there are 8 All Americans drafted in Hansbrough's range that became Group 1-3 players. I'd love to see that list for a comparison, if it's easy to grab.

            I'm a bit confused looking between Exhibit D and Exhibit G. What I'd really like to know is how many of the All Americans taken in Hansbrough's range became Group 4 players, but I'm not sure I understand the distribution in Exhibit G. According to Exhibit D, 18.2% of his range becomes Group 1-3 players, but Exhibit D is showing 11.1% through Group 3.

            Am I looking at this incorrectly?
            I'm sorry, it probably wasn't particularly clear. Exhibit D is All of the All Americas, but Exhibit G was only CPOY's and 1st Team All Americas, which is a smaller sample.

            You're right: There were 8 All Americas that became Group 1-3 players. They were:

            Group 2

            Clyde Drexler

            Group 3

            Al Thornton
            Jalen Rose
            Michael Cage
            Mookie Blaylock
            Ron Artest
            Sleepy Floyd
            Troy Murphy

            When it gets cut down to the just the 1st Team AA's & CPOY's, Sleepy Floyd and Troy Murphy are the only Group 3 Players. Nick Collison is the only Group 4 player. The rest of that list shakes out like this:

            Group 5

            Clifford Rozier
            Gary Grant
            Harold Miner
            Juan Dixon
            Walter Berry

            Group 6

            Mateen Cleaves


            • #7
              Re: So...What's a draft pick get ya? (Sidebar #2 - All American Boys)

              Count, what do you do in your spare time? MVP indeed!


              • #8
                Re: So...What's a draft pick get ya? (Sidebar #2 - All American Boys)

                Originally posted by count55 View Post
                I'm sorry, it probably wasn't particularly clear. Exhibit D is All of the All Americas, but Exhibit G was only CPOY's and 1st Team All Americas, which is a smaller sample.

                You're right: There were 8 All Americas that became Group 1-3 players. They were:

                Group 2

                Clyde Drexler

                Group 3

                Al Thornton
                Jalen Rose
                Michael Cage
                Mookie Blaylock
                Ron Artest
                Sleepy Floyd
                Troy Murphy

                When it gets cut down to the just the 1st Team AA's & CPOY's, Sleepy Floyd and Troy Murphy are the only Group 3 Players. Nick Collison is the only Group 4 player. The rest of that list shakes out like this:

                Group 5

                Clifford Rozier
                Gary Grant
                Harold Miner
                Juan Dixon
                Walter Berry

                Group 6

                Mateen Cleaves
                Thank you very much! The chart differences make sense was late and I misread it.


                • #9
                  Re: So...What's a draft pick get ya? (Sidebar #2 - All American Boys)

                  Awfully good post, great read. This complements really well that in-depth scouting report from another poster. I particularly liked the Sidebar "Damned if they do…" sidebar. Just a question: any particular reason to use the AdjPr as the primary metric? (it's an issue of no importance, but it's kind of an uncommon stat and that made me curious).


                  • #10
                    Re: So...What's a draft pick get ya? (Sidebar #2 - All American Boys)

                    Originally posted by cordobes View Post
                    Awfully good post, great read. This complements really well that in-depth scouting report from another poster. I particularly liked the Sidebar "Damned if they do…" sidebar. Just a question: any particular reason to use the AdjPr as the primary metric? (it's an issue of no importance, but it's kind of an uncommon stat and that made me curious).
                    Well, when I started the series, I wanted a single metric, but I didn't have a complete formula for PER. Also, I didn't necessarily want to adjust to any kind of per minute basis. I was looking for straight production.

                    The PR comes from old books I had back in the '80's called Basketball Heaven by Martin Manley. I always kind of liked it, because it read like PPG, so it made some intuitive sense.

                    Also, using it, I could focus on production only. The guys around here will tell you I'm a stat-head, and I use them a lot, but I also try very hard to keep them in perspective. In this series, I prefer to look at larger groups to allow for some smoothing.

                    As I mentioned it the first post of this series, this would tell who was more productive...not necessarily who was better.

                    It's not a perfect tool, but I don't think it's telling me any lies.


                    • #11
                      Re: So...What's a draft pick get ya? (Sidebar #2 - All American Boys)

                      I missed the link to the "So, What's a draft pick get you?" thread when reading this one. I'm now going through the series. Very interesting stuff.