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A First Look At the First-Rounders

All the teams have played a game or two in the preseason. This seems like as good a time as any to see how the first-round draft picks are performing at the pro level. We'll take a look at the available stats after the jump.
I pulled the data for all 30 first-rounders from NBA.com, mainly because they were the only reliable source for preseason numbers. Unfortunately, they didn't have raw scoring numbers (FG, FGA, 3P, 3PA, FT, FTA), only percentages. I think I'll run this worksheet several times throughout the season, so once the games start to count, we'll get better data and possibly run the numbers through more meaningful formulas (WS, WP, WP48, etc).

For this worksheet, I've normalized scoring, rebounding, assist, steal, block and foul numbers to 36 minutes for all the players. (Click on the image below to view a larger version.)


I'm not a big fan of google docs for spreadsheets. I'm not crazy about their behavior, so for this season, I think I'll just upload my Excel Spreadsheets to a folder and you guys can download if you're interested. Click here to download the First-Round Watch spreadsheet.

It's probably a little early for any deep thoughts on these guys. I will say that I'm shocked Thabeet hasn't been atrocious. He's nowhere near a top-two talent, but if he can stay on the floor, rebound the ball and block shots, he could carve out a decent career. Curry's shooting numbers are disappointing, but it looks like he's going to have a large role for the Warriors, he's leading all rookies in minutes so far.

Jrue and Ty Lawson are tied for the lead in three-point percentage, at 100%. I fully expect both guys to drop to at least 80% in the regular season from distance.

The most impressive rookie so far isn't on this list, DeJaun Blair is tearing it up for the Spurs. Maybe I'll include a couple second rounders in the next version.

Again, limited stats are available, these guys have only played a few games (4 at the most) in preseason, so there's nothing definitive to be read into any of this. I was curious as to how the draftees were looking, so I put the list together. As the season goes on, we may be able to pull some meaning from it.

I did, in fact, make it to the open practice on Saturday, but as some of you know, traveling with toddlers can be adventurous, to say the least. We made it through the doors at 11:05. The practice was already underway. I didn't see Eddie Jordan there, it was being run by O'Koren, Ayers and Lynum. They ran through drills for about 45 minutes, which I always find fascinating. Most of the drills were defense-oriented. Limited shooting, some layup/dunk lines (Willie actually put on a good show for the crowd).

To me, Brand looked skinny. From a distance, I actually mistook him for Stromile Swift, so that will hopefully help his agility. Iguodala looked slimmed down as well, but it could just be the aftereffects of training camp. There wasn't much to be gleaned from the players' performance. They were there because they had to be for the fans, they weren't there for a hard practice. Not after the game they played the night before. There was no scrimmage. If there was anything to take away from the practice, it was the coaching staff's attention to detail on the defensive end. They were stopping drills in the middle to make sure everyone was rotating properly. On offense, they worked on motion, spacing, dribble handoffs, etc. The fundamentals of the PO.

All told, it wasn't a wasted trip, but it wasn't essential either. I'm dying to see these guys in a real game, so any little scrap of action is worth it for me. The kids had a good time, it didn't last that long, so my wife was happy-ish. I'd definitely do it again, but there's really not much to report. If anyone else was there, what did you guys think?

by Brian on Oct 12 2009
Tags: Basketball | Draft | Preseason | Sixers |