Bucks Diary

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What's happened to Kevin Love?! (and my other rookie mistakes)

I've been bashing John Hammond for using the Bucks lottery choice to select Joe Alexander. Let's examine my less than stellar record.

Last June I guaranteed three of the prospects in the NBA Draft would be big win contributors; Michael Beasley, Kevin Love, and Derrick Rose. Thus far, I'm wrong on the first two. Only Rose has a marginal Win Score that would qualify him as a positive win contributor (+0.017). Thus far I think he's the Rookie of the Year. Meanwhile Beasley has been horrible and Kevin Love looks like a man who is seeing ghosts.

In tonight's road victory over the Detroit Pistons, Minnesota's best game of the season thus far, Kevin Love regressed even further. He took two shots in 17 minutes of action and both came back to him stamped "Return to Sender". That basically sums up his central problem. He's getting more of his shots blocked than he is used to, and he has no clue what to do about it.

My question is this. Where is Kevin McHale? If there was one thing McHale was genius at, it was altering release points on his inside shots. How come he's not passing any of his knowledge on to Love? Or is he, and it just hasn't sunk in? Either way, I'm not totally bailing on Love, but he's looking frighteningly like Sheldon Williams.

A rundown of my draft mistakes

Here is a brief rundown of the mistakes I have thus far made on last year's draft, with each player's Marginal Win Score per minute in parenthesis. Remember, any positive number indicates above average Win Contribution, any negative number indicates below average Win Contribution:

1. Michael Beasley (-0.077)
This guy is a much bigger disappointment than Kevin Love. Love hasn't lived up to expectations, Beasley has been awful. He's not rebounding very well, he's not shooting very well, and he's turning the ball over way too much. That's the trifecta of disaster.

2. OJ Mayo (+0.004)
I said this guy would be a bust, because of his poor collegiate production. So far, he's been an average player, which is pretty good for a rookie. Basically, he's doing it with defense and by limiting his turnovers. As I said in the runup to the draft, defense is one area that is very difficult to assess... I have to think of some way to do so.

3. Brook Lopez (+0.039)
Technically, I said this guy was a "mixed bag" prospect, but he's hardly been that. He's been excellent. Mainly, again, what he's been doing is suppressing his counterpart opponent's production. His offense, and particularly his rebounding, has been underwhelming. But his defense, particularly his eFG allowed, has been superlative. He's allowing his covers to shoot a paltry 41%. That'll get it done.

4. Mareese Speights (-0.110)
Here, its defense again... this time complete lack of it. Speights offensive production has been excellent. Unfortunately, his counterpart opponents can say the same thing... only much louder. His covers are shooting a nearly astronomical 65% from the field, and are rebounding at Moses Malone rates. In my defense, however, I think had he been drafted by the Bucks Coach Skiles might have coaxed a better effort out of him than that.

5. Javalle McGee (-0.007)
McGee has looked much more competent than I would have expected. He had all the tools, I just questioned whether he could produce. So far, he's done all right.

6. Chris Douglas-Roberts (-0.162)
He's only played 35 minutes, but he hasn't been all that great in those 35 minutes.

7. Roy Hibbert (-0.159)

Here are the rookies I "sort of" hit on:

1. Ryan Anderson (+0.095)
To be honest, I was pretty luke warm on Anderson. I said he looked like he could be a contributor because of his production in college. So far he has been.

2. Anthony Randolph (-0.050)
I begged the Bucks not to pick this guy. But I guess so far he's been better than Joe Alexander, so I guess I should be careful what I wish for. Although I'm actually more comfortable with Alexander than I think I would have been with Anthony Randolph.

3. Jerryd Bayless (-0.157)
Actually, I don't think this call was anything special. I mean, he's a skinny, undersized shooting guard who doesn't shoot a real high percentage from the field. How tough was it to foresee him struggling?


At November 24, 2008 at 3:33 AM, Anonymous paulpressey25 said...

Beasley was one guy I never liked. Whenever Greg Stiemsma can put the wood to you in a tournament game, that is a big red flag. Add in Beasley being undersized and having motivational issues and the Heat have a problem. This is why Riley was so angry when he didn't win the lotto.

I can't bang on Bayless too much, since he hasn't gotten much playing time behind Brandon Roy and Dan Marjerle part II out in Portland.

If you were going to do ROY voting now, I think my ballot would look like this:

1) Rose
2) Mayo
3) Lopez
4) Luc Richard
5) Morrow

What happened to Gallinari? Is he injured or just not ready to play?

At November 24, 2008 at 6:53 AM, Anonymous paul said...

Yep press that's about how I'd have the ballot. I think Gallinari had a back injury that was going to sideline him for a few months.

Another good read Ty - Mayo and Randolph have both surprised me a bit too.

At November 25, 2008 at 1:09 AM, Blogger TCW said...

I don't mind being wrong, I'm wrong all the time, that's the fun of writing the blog.

The thing that frustrates me is I can't draw any conclusions from it. What about Love and Beasley told us they would slump in the pros after being so productive and dominant in college?

For that matter, what about Adam Morrison and Kevin Durant singled them out for the same kind of dropoff?

And how do you spot a guy like Mayo or, to a far greater extent, Chris Paul... guys who are able to elevate their games when they move to the pros?

At November 25, 2008 at 1:14 AM, Blogger TCW said...

Oh, yeah, I think I read something about Gallinari being injured.

The thing that kind of scared me about Beasley was how much he reminded me of Walter Berry. But that's not evaluation. That's just Draft Hack nonsense (you know... "Upside: Wayman Tisdale; Downside: A less athletic Kenny Fields"). That kind of bullshit is just fraught with error.

At November 25, 2008 at 8:30 PM, Anonymous Blake said...

For some reason I never saw Love as a good player in the NBA, even after all your predictions for him.


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