Wednesday, July 4, 2012

3 comments Bill Simmons and Chad Ford Debate Who is the Biggest NBA Draft Expert Part 2

I'm back with Part 2 of the Bill Simmons-Chad Ford debate/mock draft about the 2012 NBA Draft. In Part 1, Bill Simmons used YouTube to scout Brad Beal after realizing he probably should watch more than four games to give an opinion on Beal's game. Chad Ford also revealed his extreme distaste for Austin Rivers in Part 1.

A small mistake made it clear for the 100th time that Bill Simmons in no way is qualified to judge college prospects. In his Draft Diary he mocked Michael Kidd-Gilchrist for being overwhelmed when he was interviewed at the draft. What Bill didn't know was that Kidd-Gilchrist has a very well-documented stuttering issue. Most people who follow college basketball or in any way scouted Michael Kidd-Gilchrist before the NBA draft knew about this issue. It was fairly common knowledge. Yet, Bill didn't know because he talks out of his ass sometimes and pretends to be informed on issues he isn't informed on. Then he gets defensive when he's made a mistake because his massive ego can't accept that Bill Simmons, the Boston Sports Guy, actually made a mistake.

Bill Simmons
Had no idea MKG had a stuttering problem. even though I was poking fun at him for being overwhelmed, we're still pulling it from the column.

How kind of you. I liked the porn reference in relation to Kidd-Gilchrist. It added some class. Then Bill gets snippy about his mistake, rather than apologize for the mistake like a normal human being would do.

Bill Simmons
PS: not trying to hide what I what I wrote. If someone wants to bitch about editing the column after the fact, that's fine.

This is how Bill's brain works. He isn't concerned that he somewhat criticized an 18 year old kid who suffers from a stuttering problem for being overwhelmed on national television. It doesn't come into his mind this is what people will be upset about. It's all about Bill. He's concerned people will think he edited the column after the fact. He even has the gall to get snippy about it all. Very frustrating.

I pick up at Part 2 where they are discussing Andre Drummond.

FORD: He's not a bad kid. He just doesn't know that he has to work at this to get great. But many of these players don't know that. If he gets with the right team and mentor and dedicates himself to becoming a good NBA player — he could do exactly what Dwight does and start dunking over everyone.

Yes, but you can't teach motivation. There is a reason most of the biggest busts of the last 25 years in the draft have been big guys. They are tall and teams take a chance on height, even when a player has 1-2 major red flags. Look at any list of high profile NBA busts and you will see the vast majority of those players are centers or power forwards. Maybe they just seem to bust harder.

It wouldn't take much for him to have a successful NBA career. He just has to try some. I'll gamble on that.

I would not gamble on that. Drummond has the ability and potential to be better than Andrew Bynum, but without the motivation and effort, he won't get there. I would not take a gamble on being able to motivate Drummond if there is a player who has 80% of his skill set available in the same spot. There may not be a guy like that in this draft. I think there is. When I say 80% of his skill set, that's 80% of Drummond's maximum potential and what he really produces could be different. I'm just not one to gamble on players getting motivated suddenly once they have gotten paid. If Drummond realizes 75% of his potential, he still would be a quality NBA center and much better than Fab Melo.

SIMMONS: In a vacuum, I'd agree with you on Drummond. Every summer, you smartly hammer home the concept of "tiers" — clearly, Drummond is the last talent in this "potential All-Star tier" before things drop to the Dion Waiters/Austin Rivers/Terrence Ross group.

Of course Bill Simmons agrees with Chad Ford. UConn didn't make the NCAA Tournament so Bill has never seen Drummond play. He has no choice but to agree. I would also take exception to his insatiable need to make lists. Waiters and Rivers are both potential All-Star players. They both have a skill set that can get them there. Bill really makes too many lists and in this case he is somewhat uninformed when making the list. I wouldn't put Waiters or Rivers outside of the "potential All-Star" tier.

SIMMONS: I like the way you're thinking here — if I'm picking in the top 10, ideally, I want someone with at least one world-class skill. For Kidd-Gilchrist, it's athleticism. For Beal, it's outside shooting. Except he only shot 34% as an 18 year old! Major red flag there! Beal should be fully developed as a shooter at this point in his career.

For Barnes, it's being friends with Kyrie Irving. And for Waiters, clearly, it's getting to the rack.

"Clearly" being defined here as "because Chad Ford said this is what Waiters does well." It's easier for Bill to parrot what Chad Ford says and then disagree with him on issues Bill feels more comfortable anything that doesn't relate to the draft.

Only one thing worries me: You're basically spending a top-eight on someone whose ceiling on a contending team might be "a totally devastating scorer off the bench who can carry your offense for seven-minute spurts."

That's not Dion Waiters ceiling. Not at all. Waiters ceiling is 20 point scorer and #2 scoring option on a NBA Finals-contending team. That is his potential. I'm not sure he'll ever reach that potential, but he plays like a Dwyane Wade-type guy.

Everyone needs pieces, and he's a piece. He's just not one of THE pieces.

Yeah, that sentence really doesn't make sense to me. He's A piece not THE piece. It all depends on your opinion of Dion Waiters.

FORD: Maybe. I think a lot see him as more of a sixth-man scorer off the bench. But there's a little Dwyane Wade in his game, Bill. Right team, right coach that lets him go crazy … he can be a better Monta Ellis.

Oh shit, Chad Ford has resorted to calling Bill by his first name in an effort to get his attention that he is incorrect on his (Bill's) evaluation of Waiters. Bill sees Waiters as a sixth man, most likely from his vast experience of watching Waiters in the NCAA Tournament, and Chad Ford thinks Waiters is better than that. Usually when Bill believes he may be wrong, he makes a joke and changes the subject quickly. Let's see if that happens.

SIMMONS: Let's make sure his cell phone can't take pictures, just to be safe. Moving to no. 9, let's agree that it would be hilarious if Joe Dumars dumped Ben Gordon and took Austin Rivers 24 hours later. We're halfway there.

It turns out he did. This is the template to divert attention Bill uses when an expert disagrees with him. The template tends to go like this:

1. Make a joke about the subject.
2. Change the subject to a new subject.
3. Make a joke about the new subject.

I'm not picking on Bill, he does this a lot when he is wrong about something he has said. In the first part of this discussion with Chad Ford when he realized he may be wrong about Beal, this is what Bill said:

I just spent the past 10 minutes watching his YouTube clips, so I'm totally ready to have an opinion here.

He makes a joke about the subject.

Beal is a few inches taller; really, he's more like a young Mike Miller,
He changes the subject to the NBA player Beal is really more like.

which means we're going to need permission from the Committee of Cross-Racial NBA Comparisons to make that comparison. I just asked them; they said they needed 24 hours.

Then Bill makes a joke about the new subject.

Anyway, everyone has Detroit taking UNC shot blocker John Henson even though he's 6-foot-11 but only weighs 216 pounds … which means he only weighs six more pounds than Grantland's Dave Jacoby

The whole thing makes me nervous. I can't think of any super-skinny shot blockers under 7 feet who actually made an impact in the NBA.

Bill should be nervous for the Hornets based on this comment, so why isn't he? The Hornets are drafting a 6'10" super-skinny shot blocker (222 pounds) with the first pick in the draft. Funny how Bill didn't mention this fear he has about Anthony Davis, but did mention it about John Henson. It's almost like the rules Bill makes up on the spot aren't well-thought out and sometimes be contradictory. So if he is going to be nervous about Henson, he should be nervous about Anthony Davis. I'm sure if Davis is an NBA bust, Bill will use this quote about Henson as proof super-skinny shot blockers never make an impact in the NBA...even though Bill never directly said this about Anthony Davis. He's always playing both sides of an issue. If Davis busts, Bill points to this quote about Henson, and if Davis is a star, Bill never said anything negative about him in the first place.

By the way, Bill Russell was 6'9" and played at 215 pounds. So once again, Bill not only has no point, but he is actually factually incorrect. A super-skinny shot blocker under 7 feet tall has made an impact in the NBA and he played for Bill's favorite NBA team. Bill Russell was a great shot blocker, right? I nitpick Bill sometimes, but other times his being wrong is obvious.

FORD: Breaking news: I'm trading New Orleans' no. 10 pick to the Pacers for Darren Collison and no. 26, then taking Austin Rivers for Indiana.

I don't know, would the Hornets take Collison back after trading him a few years ago? I guess this is their mock draft, they can do whatever they want.

SIMMONS: Plus, anytime you can trade down 16 spots to pick up a starter someone else deemed "expendable," you have to do it. I'm just relieved you traded Rivers to any team that didn't have the letters "B-O-S-T-O-N" in it.

Because God knows the Celtics don't have a need for an explosive scorer who can get to the basket and is willing to play defense. Who needs that when you have four players under contract for next season?

SIMMONS: We're on a run of Terrences! I was hoping everyone would keep picking backup centers and push one of the Terrences to Boston, but that's obviously not happening. I'm a Jones believer — played in a bunch of big games, has a definite position,

Translation: Bill has seen Terrence Jones play in six games this year and Kentucky didn't lose any of them, so he has to be a good player.

Also, Jones doesn't have a definite position. That is one of the best parts about him. He's versatile. He's not really a small forward and he isn't really a power forward. I wouldn't call him a tweener, but he does multiple things well. So he has no definite least in my opinion.
has the right pedigree,

What the hell does this even mean?

and he might even have a little chip on his shoulder that Kidd-Gilchrist went so much higher than him.

Why would Jones be upset Kidd-Gilchrist went before him? They don't play the same position, Jones wasn't projected to go in the Top 5 of this draft and these two players in no way have a rivalry.

My 15th pick (for Philly): Perry Jones III. He's too athletically frightening to dip into the second half of the draft. I just can't accept it. You should not be able to get Perry Jones with, say, the 19th pick. That's just stupid. And yes, I'm fully aware that Jones doesn't have a position,

Jones does have a position. He is a small forward, though he can play power forward in a pinch. He's just too skinny at this point to play power forward too often.

FORD: No, it's not weird. I was just thinking, this debate isn't nearly as snarky as in years past. I think we've both sort of figured this thing out. Let's run away and run a team together. What do you say?

As long as Bill Simmons could be the General Manager and offer eight first round draft picks for LeBron James (Who says "no" to this?), then Bill will be glad to run a team with Chad Ford. Now they just need to figure out who the VP of Common Sense will be.

SIMMONS: In the alternate universe in which Houston is keeping those picks, yes. As for the 17th pick, that's easy — Dallas needs to take promising 7-footer Meyers Leonard so he can be part of their inevitable Dwight Howard trade next February or next June. You know, after Deron Williams signs with Dallas and Mikhail Prokhorov banishes Billy King to Siberia.

It turns out the Rockets did keep their picks. I think this surprised nearly everyone.

Bill Simmons isn't a bad guy by any measure (his writing can irritate me, but I differentiate between a person's writing and him as a least most of the time I do), but he often comes off as that guy who just insists on cracking jokes all the time to the point it becomes annoying. He's like Robin Williams in that he has this schtick people find/found to be interesting or amusing and he always seems like he has to continue with it, even when there is no need to. This joke about Billy King is an example. It's like Bill is trying so damn hard to be funny and amusing it comes off as really forced.

SIMMONS: That pick has an Avery Bradley–like feel to it. We'll think he's a bust for, like, a year and a half, and then suddenly it will be like, "Whoa, Marquis Teague! Where did he come from???"

Because every comparison and analogy has to be compared in some way to a Celtics player. By the way, Avery Bradley was very close to being the top player in his recruiting class. It's his own fault he went to Texas to be coached by Rick Barnes, but he really didn't come from anywhere. He was already good at basketball and was still very young when he was drafted. So Avery Bradley came from being one of the top players in his recruiting class to having an average freshmen season at Texas, then declared for the draft. Basically he is the 2010 version of Quincy Miller if Bradley had knee issues coming out of college.

I'm really torn on Marshall. Love his game as a passer. So many other questions about him. I think he either ends up being really good like Andre Miller or he's UConn's Marcus Williams, who had many similar questions and never did much of anything in the NBA. Not sure there's an in-between for a guy like him.

Yeah, but Marcus Williams's questions were more like, "If you draft him, will your players have to worry about keeping their belongings locked at all times?"

In lieu of something actually productive to add, Bill Simmons makes a joke. The comparison of Marshall to Marcus Williams is not a very good one. Marshall is a much better passer and game IQ than Williams had coming out of UConn, plus Marshall has zero character questions. Maybe I've seen too much of Marshall play to be unbiased, but I don't see Marcus Williams in Marshall's game...other than the fact both players are left-handed.

SIMMONS: I can't give up 22. Take your mock offer and shove it up your mock ass. That's fine, at 21, we'll begrudgingly take the best offensive forward in this entire draft (Jared Sullinger) over St. Bonnie's forward Andrew Nicholson (a.k.a. "Hopefully David West With Deeper Range"). I swore before this mock draft that I would prevent the Celtics from ending up with anyone at 21 and 22 who couldn't have played a meaningful minute in the 2012 Finals.

Because as we learned in Part 1 of this discussion between Chad Ford and Bill Simmons, the 2012 NBA Finals and what type of basketball player played major minutes in that game is now the standard at which all NBA prospects will be judged. I think it's too much to ask to draft two players, one at #21 and one at #22, who could have played meaningful minutes in the NBA Finals. That is hitting on two players later in the first round who are part of a championship team's rotation.

Having said that, isn't Sullinger really a much more polished, saner version of Big Baby Davis, only if Baby could score on the low block and rebound more consistently?

So he is nothing like Big Baby in any fashion then? Because Sullinger can score on the low block and rebound well, while Big Baby isn't the low post scorer or as good of a rebounder as Sullinger is. So Sullinger is like Big Baby in that they are both hefty men who play basketball for a living. Other than that, I don't see very many comparisons. Sullinger was a really good pick for the Celtics, but I don't see the Big Baby comparison.

Don't we have a few years of evidence that Kevin Garnett thrives playing next to someone like that?

Someone who plays like Glen Davis does...yes, we do have evidence this works with Kevin Garnett? Someone who wants to be on the low block like Garnett wants to be? Not really. From what I have heard, Garnett doesn't particularly enjoy playing center and Sullinger is not a center. I would think Bill of all people would take this into account while fawning over Sullinger.

I'll be interested to see how Garnett and Sullinger, both guys who can play on the low block will work together. That's assuming Sullinger even gets in the Celtics rotation, which I think he will. Sullinger isn't like Glen Davis to me, so I don't think Bill can accurately compare Garnett thriving with Davis on the court with how Garnett will play with Sullinger on the court.

FORD: If Sullinger is your guy at 21, then I'm going with Tyler Zeller here with Boston's 22nd pick. Mostly because I want to see what swear words you are and aren't able to use on Grantland. But c'mon. He's gotta be better than Greg Stiemsma. Right? And he can play right away and he runs the floor very well. You gotta like that, right?

Absolutely. I would take Tyler Zeller to the Celtics in a heartbeat. I was praying he would fall to the Celtics so they wouldn't take Fab Melo. Zeller can run the floor, has a post-up game, has a mid-range game and really isn't as much of a wimp or any of the other words I have called him angrily in the past. Greg Stiemsma is not an NBA starting center and I think if you pair Zeller up with a shot blocking power forward like Garnett, he could be a starter. Fab Melo is a good shot blocker...and he blocks shots really well.

SIMMONS: I'm not talking to you anymore.

There's no reason to dislike drafting Zeller at #22 when he has been projected to go #10-#16 in the draft. The fact he went #17 was surprising to me. I'm not sure why Bill doesn't like this pick. We never know why Bill doesn't like this pick, the discussion just ends here. Quite possibly Bill saw Zeller play four games in the NCAA Tournament with Stilman White as the point guard and wasn't impressed. Since it seems the NCAA Tournament is all the college basketball Bill watched this season, I'm guessing that's the answer.


rich said...

He's too athletically frightening to dip into the second half of the draft. I just can't accept it.

The one thing the Sixers did right (after hyperventilating on draft day) is they got a guy who can play PF and SF. Perry Jones isn't playing much PF... meaning, he's Thad Young.

So Bill thinks the Sixers should draft literally the same guy they already have (and at about the same point in the draft) because he thinks Jones shouldn't be available at the 19th pick.

It's amazing the Bucks didn't hire him to be their GM.

We'll think he's a bust for, like, a year and a half

This is what I love about the "experts" they think that a bad year or two makes you a bust.

The kid is 19. At 19 I was still trying to figure out how to effectively hit on women without being able to use the "HS athlete angle"...

The same thing with hockey too (draft is typically 17-19 year olds), you see teams give up on guys like Voracek, JVR, etc. and trade them away because they haven't reached their potential... at 22.

When you draft a 19 year old, you have to give him time to not only mature mentally, but physically as well... while now trying to succeed playing against the best in the world.

It's like Jermaine O'Neal. Portland just gave up on him and he turned into an all-star in Indiana.

He's 19, if you're going to call the guy a bust when he's 20, then you're a moron.

we'll begrudgingly take the best offensive forward in this entire draft (Jared Sullinger)

Given that he said Oden shouldn't be number 1 because of the way he walked, he's now trying to talk up a guy who was red flagged by doctors because of his knees.

Keep up the good work Bill.

sptrfn said...

I agree with you on O'Neal, but I think that the Blazers traded him away at the time because they wanted to pick up another big man(Dale Davis) that they could throw at Shaq.

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, Jones is a SF. He is not going to be as good as Thaddeus Young IMO. I think Jones has a good chance on the Thunder to be good, but Bill is way off when discussing him being athletically frightening. This is where NBA GMs screw up. They see an athletic guy and think he's a basketball player. Jones can be a contributor, but Bill should accept where Jones was drafted b/c the will doesn't seem to be there.

I don't like calling guys under 21 busts either. Of course I still think Gerald Green deserved a better shot in the NBA too, so I probably give these kids too much leeway.

Bradley is a different case b/c he is a guy who was highly ranked out of HS and underachieved during college. So he had the talent, but just needed good coaching. The Celts have given him that so far.

I wouldn't call a guy a bust until he is 21 or so.

I forgot O'Neal was traded for Dale Davis. The trade made sense at the time I guess.

Sullinger was red flagged for bad knees, but he doesn't walk like an old man. There is a huge imaginary difference in Bill's mind.