Friday, June 26, 2009

NBA Draft Debriefing 2009 Part 1: How Did We Do?

The NBA draft is in the books, and while the talent level of the players available in this draft may not be as exciting as it was in past seasons, the amount of talent that changed teams over the past week is astonishing. We'll start with a review of my picks and how they compare to what actually happened. The number after the player is how early or late I was in picking them. A plus sign means I was early, a minus sign means I had them going later.
  1. Clippers - My pick: Blake Griffin. Correct!
  2. Grizzlies - My pick: Ricky Rubio. +3
  3. Thunder - My pick: Hasheem Thabeet. -1
  4. Kings - My pick: Jordan Hill. +4
  5. Timberwolves - My pick: Tyreke Evans. -1
  6. Timberwolves - My pick: Stephen Curry. +1
  7. Warriors - My pick: DeJuan Blair. +1...ROUND
  8. Knicks - My pick: James Harden. -5
  9. Raptors - My pick: DeMar DeRozan. Correct!
  10. Bucks - My pick: Gerald Henderson. +2
  11. Nets - My pick: Jrue Holiday. +6
  12. Bobcats - My pick: Brandon Jennings. -2
  13. Pacers - My pick: Terrence Williams. -2
  14. Suns - My pick: Austin Daye. +1
So obviously DeJuan Blair was my big misread. How he managed to slip through all those teams at the bottom of the first round is utterly beyond me. I knew I put him higher on my projections than most mock drafts had him, but the fact that no playoff team thought he was worth their first round pick is astonishing.

Jeff Van Gundy said all night that maybe the most reliably predictable aspect of a game is rebounding, and Blair was a monster on the boards. He's long, he's strong, and he's got a serious motor. No joke, when the Wizards passed on Blair with their second round pick, I felt like I was watching a championship piece slip through their fingers. And of course, the San Antonio Spurs were happy to gobble him up at pick 37.

The other surprise for me was Jonny Flynn going at number six to Minnesota. He's undersized even for a point guard, and you simply don't find many NBA stars who are undersized. I honestly like Ty Lawson more than Flynn. Time will tell whether I'm seeing this correctly, but I stand by my mock.

Other than Blair and Flynn, though, I think we here at Joe & Joe did a pretty good job of handicapping the draft. We got two lottery picks correct, four more we missed by just one slot, and two more by just two slots. That's pretty good in my book.

Part 2 of our 2009 NBA Draft Debriefing will look at how teams tried to improve themselves through the draft, as well as through trades in the days leading up to the draft. And I'll probably bring up DeJuan Blair seven or eight more times. See you then.

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