I love objectively analyzing sports, but it has its downside too. It basically takes all of the oxygen away fromone of the time honored traditions of fandom, what I will call the “season of stupid hopes”. (The Ceremony of Innocence is Drowned as someone once wrote).
For instance, its June and, looking at things objectively, I already know the Bucks have at best a decent chance to make the playoffs, but they have a very slim chance of advancing past the opening round, and they have absolutely ZERO chance of winning an NBA championship. That’s kind of depressing, but its realistic. And sobering.
Same goes with NBA draft night. If you subjectively analyze the prospects through your blue and red NBA glasses, like every ESPN analyst does, then every tall skinny African American is potentially another Kevin Garnett, every three point ace reminds you of Ray Allen, every raw big man could be the next Andrew Bynum, and absolutely every tall white European with an outside shot is certain to be the next Dirk Nowitzki. But, in most cases, it just isnt so.
Yet, in the face of a mountain of evidence to the contrary, we repeat the same fantastic exercise every June. We willingly delude ourselves using absurd, largely physical comparisons. Comparisons that have little basis in statistical reality. For instance, remember when Kenny Fields was the next Marques Johnson, Bucks fans? Because he was a 6’7” small forward from UCLA. Or remember how Todd Day was going to be the next superstar? (I’m not sure why we thought that) How dumb do those notions seem now?
Here is the truth. Arturo shows on his genius draft model over at the Wages of Wins Journal that in fact very few of the players chosen last night will have any positive impact at all. At most 4 of them look capable of producing above average winning statistics, but almost 80% of them look as though they will be utterly incapable of making any significant impact on their new team’s fortunes (unless it is a negative impact).
That may be depressing, and it may render all the next day “Draft Report Cards” moot, and it may take all the fun out of sports, but its pretty truthful.
I’m all giddy about Henson, the Bucks choice, but the truth is, he won’t turn the Bucks around. According to Arturo, he’s just on the border of being “draftable”, and Arturo forecasts his rookie statline as decent at best, and probably below average. In short, Mr Henson aint gonna be Milwaukee’s new Lew Alcindor. In fact, the only player in the Draft who has ANY shot at having a franchise changing impact is the top pick Anthony Davis. After that, you’ve got a couple of possibly above average players (one of whom is second rounder Jae Crawford), then you have a handful of probably average players, and after that you’re left with pure junk.
Those are the ugly facts.
But the Bucks should be better, and that’s enough for me.