Bucks Diary

Friday, June 06, 2008

NBA Draft: Thoughts on the predraft measurement results


I'm so wrapped up in the Finals I forgot about the release of the measurements. I'm just browsing them now, and I'm just going to free associate here. Let me make one preliminary comment about height.

Preliminary Thought: Standing Reach is the only relevant basketball "height"

To me, your basketball height is your standing reach. That's the only relevant measurement. Who cares how high the top of your head goes. This isn't soccer.

I'll take the shorter guy with the greater standing reach any day. He's closer to grabbing the basketball on a rebound, he's more difficult to shoot over, he's more able to shoot over others. All of those things are useful in basketball. I cannot think of one advantage traditional "head height" affords a player.

1. Thus Beasley's height is just fine and his bench rules
Everyone is buzzing about how short Michael Beasley is without shoes. They miss the point. His standing reach of 8'11 is right in line with power forwards (usually 8'10 to 9'1). He's actually surpassed my "height" expectations. And his bench press is 19 times! That screams "I'm ready to produce at the 4". The numbers he produced in Orlando should be lifting his stock, not dropping it. (Although I read in True Hoop that he came across as a bit of a flake).

2. Derrick Rose, though, seems a bit shorter than advertised
Derrick Rose's standing reach of 8'2'' is not that impressive at all. It puts him amongst the "smallest" players in the draft. I suppose it doesn't matter that much for a point guard, but I considered him in the mold of the "bigger" point guards like Jason Kidd and Deron Williams. Russell Westbrook, who I would have swore was "shorter" is actually taller with an SR of 8'4''. I'm trying to access draftexpress.com's historical measurements to see what Williams' SR was, but I'm having trouble at the moment. Woah, I just accessed it. Deron was also 8'2'', so that alleviates that somewhat. Rose, after all, is a natural point guard.

3. Same concerns with OJ Mayo
Mayo is only 8'3''. Even more than Rose, I had him pegged as a sort of Michael Ray Richardson big guard. Not anymore. I wish I could access that historical database for comparisons, but I dont' think you can function at the 2 with that short an SR. I know Michael Redd's is around 8'6''.

4. Eric Gordon exposed as well
Eric Gordon's SR is only 8'2''. That is the final straw. I thought he was too small to play the 2 in the Association, now I know he is. If the Bucks draft him, I will go into a Green and Red depression that will land me in the loony bin. I will give him this though... for a little guy he's strong as an oxe. He benched it up 15 times. Can that make up for the other stuff? Probably not, but at least I'm going to respect him now.

5. And Jerryd Bayless is even smaller!
I'm just randomly looking up the names of these so-called top prospects, and here is the overrated Bayless at 8'1! That's barely tall enough for point guard, let alone 2 guard. Whoever drafts him will regret it. Again, though (I'm adding stuff as I notice it, if some of these seem disjointed) I notice he pushed the barbell up 10 times. That should shame some of those big men who couldn't do that many. Good for him. It shows he's serious.

6. They must have Ewing's SR wrong
I'm very intrigued by Patrick Ewing Jr as a late pick or free agent signing. I love his intangibles. Everytime I watched Georgetown he caught my eye. Anyway, they have his no shoe height at 6'6'' and his SR at 8'1. That's impossible. Especially since his wingspan is 7'0''. Unless his arms are attached to his hips, his SR has to be higher. The reason I bring it up is because if he is in fact 9'1'', my "interest" in him just went up exponentially. Greg Oden was 9'2'' I believe. Think about that, a guy with Ewing's versatility and Oden's effective height. Very intriguing.

Note: Woops, I just read that Ewing did all of 2 bench presses. That's abysmal, and it won't cut it in the NBA. That is weak. I tested myself on the weight they use last year... its not that heavy. I did 15 presses at 185 (actually closer to 14.5), and I'm not exactly what you'd call Joe Atlas. So you gotta do better than two, dude. That shows your not that serious. Ewing just dropped off my radar. On the other hand his vertical leap is off the charts. I have to think on this guy some more.

7. Joe Alexander is rising fast on my charts
Check out Joe Alexander's numbers. First of all, his SR is 8'10'', very good for a 3, and adequate for a 4. Then, look at his bench press. Twentyfreakinfour! The guy is Hercules. So, lets put it together: As I recall he's got a record of productivity, now we know he has height, and he's got strength. And the word is he's a hard worker. I know Antlerheads are going to kill me in the Comment section, but I would not be disappointed to see him go to the Bucks at 8. Not one bit.

Woah. I just saw something else. By my reckoning, he's the fastest guy in the draft. Unless I'm mistaken, he's only guy to run the 3/4 court in 2.99. He's just clinched himself in my top 3. I need people to start making arguments for and/or against him, because he has just become Bucks Diary's favorite. This dude is a monster. He's getting a "Bucks Prospect" profile in a couple of days. Hang on, let me convert that into a one push maximum: people, that calculates into a 514 pound bench max! Mother of mercy! I've got two questions: Is he on the juice? And, why isn't he make oodles playing tight end on some NFL team???

8. Devon Hardin is another one I might get to like
Devon Hardin is a center out of California with pretty good Win Score numbers as I recall. Now I see he's got good 5 man SR at 9'1.5, and he bench pressed it 20 times. I don't see why he's rated so low. He's another guy I'm going to look into.

9. Deandre Jordan just scored points
DeAndre Jordan doesn't impress me as a player, but this does... his SR is 9'5.5!! By comparison, Yao Ming's SR is 9'7''. Oh my. He's almost got Yao Ming size! And Dwight Howard is only 9'3.5''. This Jordan has suddenly piqued my interest. That's outstanding size. I'm slightly concerned with his lack of strength (he did 9 presses), but the size has me very intrigued.

10. Mixed bag with Kevin Love
Kevin Love's SR is slightly disappointing for a big man at 8'10'', but its borderline. His strength is good though (which is more important, I believe, for rebounding). Can you believe his standing vertical is 29''. As i recall, that's better than the Great Kevin Durant did last year. I wouldn't have bet money on that one.

Note: I just did a quick search. Most power forwards who have been measured are at least 8'11''. In fact, LeBron is 8'11''. Boozer is 9'1.5. Al Jefferson is 9'2''. No wonder he can get away playing center. He's got center SR height! But 8'10'' might be okay. Joakim Noah is 8'10.5. So is David Lee. Love might do alright.

11. Look at Carl Landry from last season
Here's further proof that rebounding is about strength. Carl Landry boarded like a madman last year, and he stands only 8'6.5, but he benches 21 times, and he weighed a robust 248. You have to remember, 90-95% of all rebounds are grabbed below the rim. Being able to hold your ground and lean people out of your way is therefore at a premium.

12. For Badger fans only: The Polar Bear's athletic juggernaut
Check out the Polar Bear, Brian Butch's numbers. His SR is great at 9'0'', but he can't jump over the Peshtigo phone book, he's amongst the slowest guys tested in the 3/4 court run, and he only benched it up 9 times. The Polar Bear!

13. Brook Lopez has a strength, but its not strength
Lopez measures up at an impressive SR of 9'5''. But, on the other hand, he only benches 7 times, which won't cut it for a big man, and probably explains why he doesn't rebound very well (again, strength and the ability to hold position is often more important)


At June 6, 2008 at 4:22 PM, Anonymous Moin said...

Joe Alexander was born in Taiwan, went to high school in Beijing, is fluent in Mandarin and jots down notes in Chinese. SOLD! (I'm a bit biased.)

At June 7, 2008 at 2:11 AM, Anonymous glenn said...

The Polar Bear! I love it!

At June 18, 2008 at 4:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this site. I'm kind of surprised Beasley is only 6'7". I always thought he looked taller. He's got long arms though so it shouldn't be a problem. I'm really surprised by Love's vertical: 35 inches! He's constantly criticized for a supposed lack of athleticism, but his speed and jumping numbers weren't bad, and he dominated DeAndre Jordan. As a freshman he posted great numbers against Pac 10 competition. I've gone on too long, but Love should average double digits in rebounds over the next decade (along with everthing else he does well).

At June 26, 2008 at 4:13 PM, Blogger jack.shang.lu@gmail.com said...

Yao Ming probably got the highest standing reach in the NBA although players like JaVale, Shaq, Gasol, and Kendrick are within three inches of Yao in standing reach despite the fact that Yao is at least four inches 'taller' than any of them. Yao's 7,5" barefeet (7,6" in shoes) and his standing reach apparently has been measured at 'only' 9,7" because of his relatively short arms (unlike most players his wingspan is actually shorter than his own height whereas a shorter guy by there was Pavel Podkolzin (an inch shorter in head height) who had a 9,8" standing (an inch higher than Yao's) and a 7,8" armspan (three inches better than Yao's). Too bad he didn't get drafted though because if he did he would have been the first Russian to be in the NBA.

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