It's easy to get more excited about the Timberwolves than a rational person would; they have what looks like an easy pick for rookie of the year in Rubio (actually Leonard is just about as good but I'll wager a lot of money that he's not going to even be in the top 5 in votes), and arguably the game's best power forward in Kevin Love (if he'd only stop whining).
As I watched in disbelief as Darko Milicic hit his fourth bucket in the first quarter I thought to myself, "Self, Darko looks better this year. I don't want to stab myself in the eye every time he touches the ball." And since I am a very firm believer that one should almost never believe ones' self in these situations without checking the numbers, I did just that. Caveat: Sample sizes Yadda Yadda Yadda.
Ok, I'm really hard at work adding a ton of new features to the site and trying to improve the player comparison engine (which I really need to brand somehow). But in the meantime I'd like to join in the general ridiculous media frenzy of drawing insane conclusions from miniature sample sizes. Yes, I'm talking about that trend that's causing Celtic bloggers to examine lottery picks after starting 0-2, and has the Knicks media inquiring about players' ring sizes after their home opener win. So I'll look at the Timberwolves and draw some ridiculous conclusions.
Over on the Wages of Wins today, Andres Alvarez claims that the Orlando Magic had the worst management in the NBA last year. And I agree, the Magic were bad. But...
During the lockouts, we hear a lot about "parity" and lots of rhetoric about how it's hard for small-market teams can compete with large-market teams. Why isn't anyone asking the obvious question about what this has to do with total player compensation?
The one time of the year when everyone seems to enjoy giving out grades is after the NBA Draft. More than any other sport, fans seem to place faith (or, in the case of some GMs, at least hope) that the draft can change their team's fortunes. I suppose this is because is because basketball is played with 5 players, so any player influences (approximately) 20% of your team's production at any given time on the court, while baseball fields 9 (10 if you count the DH) and football 11. And of course, football and baseball rosters are much bigger, and they draft more players, so a far smaller percentage of drafted players actually make the roster. In the NBA, in contrast, the 1st round picks have guaranteed contracts, and as the book Stumbling on Wins points out, playing time is highly correlated to draft position and salary. In other words, once owners and managers shell out a lot of money for a prospect, they are reluctant to give up on that prospect.