Hoopscritic: 2015 Mock Draft – First Round

Hoopscritic: 2015 Mock Draft – First Round

Welcome to the first ever Hoopscritic draft. This was a draft where we went in a rotation, making the draft selections we thought would happen based on where the teams are currently slated. We did not take into account potential trades, as it is near impossible to predict those. So for all intents and purposes, we drafted based on the team needs or wants. We had each organizations best interests at heart, well some of us did. James H 1st Pick: Minnesota Timberwolves – Karl-Anthony Towns As the NCAA season started, all the talk was Jahlil Okafor as the hands down #1 pick, but as the year wore on and Kentucky destroyed teams, the tide turned to Karl-Anthony Towns. The contrast between Okafor, the “classic” skilled NBA big, and Towns, the fleeter footed athletic guy who can face up, are microcosms of the “Then vs Now” NBA debates. Towns is exactly who a forward thinking GM would dream up to play the 5, and Towns is exactly who I’m taking. Why: Towns is the prototypical modern NBA pivot man at 7 ‘ and 250 lbs, he has the size to bang with NBA bigs, but he’s shown the quickness to contain penetration on the perimeter and get back to protect the rim. He’s not a “freak athlete”, but he’s agile and moves extremely well,, displaying a nice shooting touch almost to the 3 point line. The guy shot 46% from 3 in high school, and images of him spacing the floor has GMs drooling. While Okafor is the far more polished interior scorer, Towns is no slouch, showing a...
DeMarcus Cousins is really good defensively

DeMarcus Cousins is really good defensively

  DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins is known as a lot of things around NBA circles, namely him being a talented offensive player with some maturity issues. The maturity issues are another story entirely, but Cousins finally received the recognition he deserved this season with his first All-Star selection and first All-NBA selection on the 2nd team. His 24.1 PPG, 12.7 RPG, 3.6 APG, 1.7 BPG, 1.5 SPG compares favorably to all-time great centers during their age 24 season. But the aspect of his game that is completely underrated by the national media is his ability to be one of the best defensive anchors in basketball. It sounds crazy as this is the Sacramento Kings we are talking about. His strides as a defensive player though, made the Kings competitive on that end into a league average defense. The major issue was he missed 23 games this year and the Kings were lost without him. The best way to show the massive improvements of Cousins is to compare him to other centers who are widely considered the best anchors and best defensive players in the game. For the comparison, we will use Joakim Noah, DeAndre Jordan, Rudy Gobert, Marc Gasol and Andrew Bogut. While defensive statistics still have a ways to go in terms of matching the accuracy of offensive numbers, there still is enough out there to get a decent picture of the impact of these centers. The statistics used will be the following: Defensive rebounds/100 possessions Blocks/100 possessions Steals/100 possessions Defensive Real Plus-Minus (DRPM) Opponent FG% at the rim Defensive On/Off +/- per 100 possessions Charges taken Defensive Rebounds/100...
How Going Small Had Big Changes for Warriors

How Going Small Had Big Changes for Warriors

After seeing a furious fourth quarter comeback fall just short in Game 3, Steve Kerr knew that his run-n-gun offense was being held back… by itself.   After firing on all cylinders during the first game, the Cleveland Cavaliers pulled out two close victories to take a 2-1 series lead over the Warriors.  Andrew Bogut, who started all season long at center, was not a big offensive threat but more of a solid post presence that Kerr felt like he needed.  At seven foot tall, Bogut did not light up the opponent with points but rather with rebounds and solid minutes.  Kerr knew that everything needed to be re-evaluated, if he expected his team to turn the tide in the Finals. That started with looking at the starting lineup and rotations.  Luckily for Kerr, he didn’t have to look far to find an NBA All-Star. After starting every single game of his NBA career, including being a starter on last year’s Warriors team, Kerr asked Iguodala to be the sixth man coming off the bench for this year’s team.  While I’m sure it didn’t sit well for the 2012 All Star and 2014 All-Defensive First Teamer at first, Iguodala answered the call every single time he was called upon for help.  This time, on the biggest stage in the NBA Finals. Iguodala did not disappoint.  In his first start of the entire season and post-season, he provided a much-needed spark with 22 points in 39 minutes.  However more importantly, Iguodala offered a promising defensive response to “limiting” LeBron James’ offensive production.  He held the King to a Finals-low 22 points...