Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pistons draft Brandon Knight

Well, A+ Joe D. It took some luck and predictably unpredictable drafting, but you got Brandon Knight. He was one of the 4 players I didn't we had a chance of getting. Granted, it's another guard, but you gotta take the BPA. This grade goes higher if you can get rid of Rip, Gordon, or Stuckey. Higher than an A+ you ask? We will have to invent one. Z? Do you think it just rolls around to Z?

COLLEGE CAREER

As for the type of player Knight is, he averaged 17.3 points and 4.2 assists per game as a freshman at Kentucky. He will not be a classic pass-first PG, but more of a scorer like Derrick Rose or even Chauncey B-B-B-B-BILLUPS!!! He also improved dramatically as the year went on. He was named Most Outstanding player of his region in the NCAA Tournament. All SEC, All SEC Freshman team, and actually broke last year's Kentucky Freshman scoring record. Dude is legit. Oh, and he eliminated Ohio State.



HIGH SCHOOL


I am a big recruiting fan, so I have known about Brandon Knight for a long time. And Knight was the number one player in the country for a majority of his senior season. He was also only the third junior to be named Gatorade Player of the year, joining Greg Oden and Lebron James. He won the award again as a senior. When the final recruiting rankings were released, he was the #6 player over all to both Scout and Rivals.

NEXT SEASON


Who knows? Tracy McGrady averaged 23 minutes per game. Will Bynum? 18.4. Then add in starters Rip and Stuckey. Something's gotta give. I have to hope Knight gets major minutes, if not starts from day one. You now have 2 legit building blocks in Knight and Monroe. Austin Daye and Jerebko are nice pieces. That's it. I would keep Stuckey if I could get rid of Hamilton and Gordon. Imagine a starting 5 of Knight, Stuckey, Daye, Monroe and Big Ben. Good and young with Ben's defense. Is it a playoff team? Probably not, but it's a start. Plus they have two more picks. The third pick of the second round (#33 overall) and the 22nd of round 2 (#52 overall).

Overall, I give it an A+. He wasn't supposed to be there at #8. Hell, he didn't even work out for Detroit. But it was like Nick Fairley. I didn't even consider him when Detroit was on the clock, because I never thought he would be available. Until I say Jay Bilas' "Best Available" ticker, I figured we would draft a Morris brother, or Kemba Walker. I am stoked. I also wouldn't be surprised if he's traded soon. He doesn't fit the biggest need right now.

2011 NBA Draft Primer

It’s that time again, Pistons fans. Time for Joe Dumars to throw a dart and select the newest members of our team. For every triple-20 (Monroe, Jerebko) he throws, he also hits the wall (Darko, Daye, the narcoleptic Walter Sharpe).  Rarely does he hit a solid 15 to close it out (Stuckey). So it is more exciting than the NFL draft in that you never know what’s gonna happen.

My love of the NBA draft started in 1991 when Larry “Grandmama” Johnson was drafted by Charlotte first overall. I watched him beat Duke in the NCAA Final, and was a huge fan. Plus I had a teal starter Hornets jacket. This one in fact...


I thought I was the SHIT in that jacket. And as it turned out, I was. I got pooped on by a seagull on the left shoulder while feeding the fish outside Reflection's restaurant in Belleville. Ironic, huh Alanis?

Anywho.... My love continued when Chris Webber went number one overall in 1993. Timeout aside, I loved Webber. I saw him play in Ypsi when he was a senior at Country Day when my sister sang the National Anthem. Then he got traded right away for Penny Hardaway. My first introduction to the business side of sports.

Up next was 1995. I was at my dad's softball game when I heard the Pistons got Grant Hill. As much as I hated Duke (and still do for that matter) I liked Grant Hill. Of course had I known the teal era was forthcoming, my excitement would have been tempered.

The next big one for me was 2003. Darko. Fuck.

So now I will provide my guide to tonight's festivities.

The Pistons draft 8th (barring a trade, more on that in a bit) in one of the weakest drafts in recent memory. How weak? A mormon that will shoot anytime after he reaches mid-court is a lottery-lock.

There are 4 players that have a less than 1% chance of lasting until 8th.

Kyrie Irving-PG Duke. Almost a lock to go #1 to Cleveland.

Derrick Williams-F Arizona. High floor/ low ceiling.

Enes Kanter-C Kentucky/Turkey. Looks like a randomized create a prospect from NBA Live.

Brandon Knight-PG Kentucky. Joins Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans, and John Wall as Calipari PGs.

Any of those guys in Detroit would get an A+ in my book. Another way to get an A+ is for Joe D to get rid of any of the following: Rip, Ben Gordon, Villanueva. They are expensive and shitty. Give up what you have to. Take on bad contracts. Just ship them out.

Assuming Detroit still picks 8th, there are some talented players available. I will break them down into grade-levels.

A

Jonas Valanciunas- Lithuanian (hello bias) C with huge upside. He has buyout concerns, so he may slip. Otherwise he's a top-5 talent.

Bismack Biyombo-Conganese. Congolian? Congan? He's from Congo. He brings blocks and dunks. A local favorite.

Jan Vesely-Huge Czech SF that projects to Andrei Kirilenko when he was still good.

These guys have A upside and huge bust potential. This team needs to swing for the fences.

B

Kemba Walker-UCONN PG. Undersized, but can definitely score. Led UCONN to the Title.

Chris Singleton-Florida State SF. A personal favorite, but may be a reach at #8.

Tristan Thompson-Texas PF. Meh. Should be good, not great.

Kawhi Leonard-SDSU SF. Like Thompson with slightly more boom/bust potential.

C

Marcus Morris or Markieff Morris Kansas PFs. Twinsies that will be seperated. How will they react. Marcus is the better player, fwiw.

Klay Thompson-Wash. St SG. Son of NBA player. Drug charges. Skinny. Good shooter.

F

Jimmer Fredette-BYU SG. National sensation. Adam Morrison but short. DO. NOT.WANT.

Anyone else gets an F as well. I can't see it being anyone else which means it will be some 5'6'' Eskimo with great intangibles.




Monday, June 20, 2011

Why Justin Verlander will win the AL Cy Young

With Adrian Gonzalez killing it in Boston (told you so), Miguel Cabrera will probably be on the outside looking in when the MVP is announced. Granted, it's only June but these things can be predicted this early. But Verlander is absolutely killing it in 2011.  Here is a chart of the important pitching categories:

Category
Value
AL Rank
ML Rank
Wins
9
T1
T1
ERA
2.54
4
7
WHIP
0.85
1
1
K
110
1
3
CG
4
T1
T1
QS
14
1
1
QS%
0.88%
2*
T2*
K/9
8.93
7
22
K/BB
4.23
4
7
BAA
1.81
2
2

Yeah.

The asterisked values for Quality Start Percentage are because the leader has only 1 start on the year. You will also notice the severe drop-off in K/9. Welcome to the advantages of pitching in the National League. His number 7 ranking isn’t great, but he’s top-5 everywhere else.
But as we all know, it isn’t all about the stats. Also in JV’s favor are:
*       His No-Hitter
*       His recent track record of success, dating back to 2006
*       Being the “Ace” on a team in playoff contention
*       His closest competitors are CC Sabathia and Jon Lester
*       CC isn’t a real name
*       Jon Lester rhymes with molester
*       Shit. The stats above were from last night.

So, as you can see, I have made a Perry Mason-esque argument for JV to win. This means he will need Tommy John surgery in August.