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JakePA_Titan

Bleacher Report grades the 2017 NBA draft class.

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Grade: Incomplete 

How can an injured rookie be fairly assessed through 75 minutes?

Markelle Fultz tried to play hurt, and it didn't work. Shoulder discomfort forced him to pass up jumpers and alter his free-throw form. He didn't even attempt a three-pointer in four games. Through four games at Washington, he'd already been 8-of-17 from behind the arc.

Fultz shot 42.3 percent from deep last year and ranked in the 88th percentile in half-court jumpers off the dribble (1.021 PPP), per Synergy Sports. He might as well have played the first 75 minutes for the Philadelphia 76ers with a hand tied behind his back.

The situation could have been handled better by both sides. Fultz shouldn't have been playing if the pain was bad enough to make him change his game.

Philadelphia announced the soreness was finally gone and that he'd be reevaluated around the new year, according to The Undefeated's Marc Spears. Fultz's report card will show an incomplete until he's back to full strength with the jumper he'd used to build a No. 1 overall case.

 

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Grade: B

Some areas of Lonzo Ball's game have translated quicker than others. 

Averaging 7.1 assists, 6.9 rebounds, 1.4 steals and a block per game, his unteachable instincts have carried right over. Ball's basketball IQ and anticipation consistently show at both ends, whether it's on a pass, loose ball or defensive rotation. 

However, skill and athletic limitations have also been evident, leading to early inefficiency and difficulty scoring.

Ball has shot 43.0 percent inside five feet, and he's made just 30.8 percent of his pull-up jumpers and 28.0 percent of his catch-and-shoot chances. Converting at a 39.3 percent clip inside the arc and 27.5 percent clip behind it, Ball has struggled to finish in traffic and connect around the perimeter.

He's averaging 9.3 points, the fewest among the 41 NBA players who play at least 33 minutes per game. Ball has even had trouble generating offense out of pick-and-rolls (0.60 PPP, 14th percentile).

On the other hand, many of the good things he does won't show up in box scores. He ranks No. 7 in the NBA in potential assists. Fourth in passes made, Ball shows zero agenda at the point outside of getting his teammates open looks.

It still hasn't been the smoothest transition from college to the pros. The first step toward righting the ship will be getting that jumper back on track.

 

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Grade: A+

Among rookies drafted in June, only Donovan Mitchell is scoring more than Kyle Kuzma, who's averaging more points in the NBA (16.6) than he did as a junior at Utah (16.4). 

Improved shooting has been a major reason—Kuzma is making 1.7 threes per game at a 38.0 percent clip. He's already hit 46 triples through 27 games after making just 27 through 29 games last year and 52 total through three seasons in college.

He's also looked sharper as a shot-creator and one-on-one player. Only 4.9 percent of his offense has come out of isolation, but he's scoring an efficient 1.43 points on those possessions and shooting 57.1 percent on post-ups.

One of the more surprising stories early in the season, Kuzma has immediately established himself as the Los Angeles Lakers' No. 1 option ahead of Jordan Clarkson, Brook Lopez, Brandon Ingram, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Lonzo Ball.

And they got him at No. 27 overall, a pick they acquired by trading Lou Williams last February.

From a grading standpoint, Kuzma's production for a late first-round pick negates the fact he has the second-lowest defensive plus-minus among Lakers rotation players.

 

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Grade: B

It's been a rollercoaster start for Josh Hart, though he's back in the rotation after falling out last month. Hart has shot 50.0 percent so far in December after combining to go 0-of-12 through his first fives games of November.

He's recently coming off one of his more productive efforts of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Dec. 18.

Shooting 50.0 percent inside the arc and 11-of-30 behind it, Hart has been relatively efficient working off the ball. And he's flashed glimpses of the defensive toughness he established during four years at Villanova.

He hasn't shown enough scoring or playmaking ability to warrant a high grade, but all indications point to Hart becoming a regular role player in the Los Angeles Lakers rotation.

 

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5 hours ago, JakePA_Titan said:

Grade: A+

Among rookies drafted in June, only Donovan Mitchell is scoring more than Kyle Kuzma, who's averaging more points in the NBA (16.6) than he did as a junior at Utah (16.4). 

Improved shooting has been a major reason—Kuzma is making 1.7 threes per game at a 38.0 percent clip. He's already hit 46 triples through 27 games after making just 27 through 29 games last year and 52 total through three seasons in college.

He's also looked sharper as a shot-creator and one-on-one player. Only 4.9 percent of his offense has come out of isolation, but he's scoring an efficient 1.43 points on those possessions and shooting 57.1 percent on post-ups.

One of the more surprising stories early in the season, Kuzma has immediately established himself as the Los Angeles Lakers' No. 1 option ahead of Jordan Clarkson, Brook Lopez, Brandon Ingram, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Lonzo Ball.

And they got him at No. 27 overall, a pick they acquired by trading Lou Williams last February.

From a grading standpoint, Kuzma's production for a late first-round pick negates the fact he has the second-lowest defensive plus-minus among the Lakers rotation.

@Oiler FANatic, remember when you said late firsts aren't worth shit.

 

Traded Mozgov along with that god awful contract and Russell for Lopez and Kuzma.

 

Looks pretty good, huh?

 

Then you add Josh Hart who they drafted in the second round who has played well recently. As well as Bryant who looks the part to be a decent backup C but is probably a year or two away from meaningful PT imo.

 

Signing of KCP was a great addition. 

 

Then add Ball who has been shooting a lot better and finally being aggressive enough to put some points on the board.

 

Not a bad start to the new regime' rebuild, eh?

 

Just imagine if we are able to add Cousins and George or a combination of the sort. It might not come along so quickly ala the Thunder, but that team would be scary good going forward.

 

I honestly wouldnt be surprised if LA packages Randle with something(s) else to the Thunder for George at the dradline if the Thunder feel they can't compete for a title.

Edited by JakePA_Titan

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4 hours ago, JakePA_Titan said:

Just imagine if we are able to add Cousins and George or a combination of the sort. I honestly wouldnt be surprised if LA packages Randle with something(s) else to the Thunder for George at the dradline if the Thunder feel they can't compete for a title.

Neither Boogie nor PG13 would make LA a contender. Fans in New Orleans thought Cousins and Davis would be some sort of unbeatable Twin Towers, but they're barely even a .500 team right now. George never made Indiana a contender, he won't make OKC one either, so how would he make LA one?

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7 hours ago, Oiler FANatic said:

Neither Boogie nor PG13 would make LA a contender. Fans in New Orleans thought Cousins and Davis would be some sort of unbeatable Twin Towers, but they're barely even a .500 team right now. George never made Indiana a contender, he won't make OKC one either, so how would he make LA one?

Ahhh. I see you didn't want to touch the late round pick being worthless comment and how Kuzma just smoked yalls asses.

 

I understand you and others around here like sticking to things where you can make assumptions and avoid the facts but....

 

We just beat yall and took GSW to OT and almost won.....without those two. We also played CLE prety tightly. This team isn't as bad as ppl (like you) want to think.

 

If you think Indiana had the talent we currently do when he was there. Lol. They were 7th seed in the East. PG gets us 7th in the West, at the least. The addition of Cousins puts us in 5th, at worst. With a conference consisting of GSW HOU and SA, Ill take that. 

 

And as far as NO, they don't have the backcourt that we do. Its a team game and the next best notable player they have is Jrue Holiday. I like him but its not like hes special.

 

Ingram is putting up the numbers Jrue is, in his second year. Jrue is like a 8 year vet. They don't have a Kuzma or Randle or Ball or KCP. They aren't growing like we are. They simplt hoped two bigs could do it all.

 

They have a bunch of cast offs and put all their eggs in Davis and Cousins. You want to compare two Cs to a C and a wing player? That's lousy. The latter combo is much easier and more logical.

 

Much harder for two bigs to share the ball than it is a winger and C. That's why you usually see Davis have a big game or Cousins have one. They usually dont have big games at the same time.

Edited by JakePA_Titan

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11 hours ago, JakePA_Titan said:

This team isn't as bad as ppl (like you) want to think.

You mean people who aren't blind homers with purple and gold glasses on?

 

The Lakers just had what will be by far their biggest win of the season, enjoy it.

 

On New Year's Eve, expect no mercy. I hope the rematch is an absolute slaughter.

 

At 11-18, they're on pace to win 31 games. If they're very lucky, they might win 35.

Edited by Oiler FANatic

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On 12/21/2017 at 11:07 PM, Oiler FANatic said:

You mean people who aren't blind homers with purple and gold glasses on?

 

The Lakers just had what will be by far their biggest win of the season, enjoy it.

 

On New Year's Eve, expect no mercy. I hope the rematch is an absolute slaughter.

 

At 11-18, they're on pace to win 31 games. If they're very lucky, they might win 35.

And they just had the toughest two weeks they'll have in the NBA.

 

Not to mentiom being out basically our only C and another starter for away games.

 

And a lot of people in the media have been singing praises about the Lakers.

 

Its not all about wins when you're a team in rebuild mode.

 

But it sure does suck when you think youre a contender and lose back to back games against teams with more losses than wins.

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On 12/21/2017 at 10:07 PM, Oiler FANatic said:

At 11-18, they're on pace to win 31 games.

Now at 11-20, the Lakers are on pace to win 29 games. I guess that's still better than going 26-56, isn't it?

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All that matters is winning the title. We obviously weren't doing that this year. So everything else is nill and void.

 

And come Finals time, yall will be watching it the same way LA will be.

 

But as long as you're the best team in the regular season, that means something, huh?

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On 12/24/2017 at 1:28 PM, JakePA_Titan said:

What am I wrong about?

What aren't you wrong about? You're right about as often as the weatherman, not even that frequently. More like Punxsutawney Phil maybe.

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