I just found out that the draft is in two hours, so…good timing!
So Matthew Yglesias has a post about Ty Lawson, arguing that he should go higher in the draft than he’s projected to go (21st by nbadraft.net). He was criticized for being short (6’0″), even for a point guard, and not fast enough. I just don’t get the speed complaint, since Lawson was possibly the fastest player currently in college.
The height issue is possibly even weirder. As for the height issue, the weirdest thing is that Yglesias’ comment thread didn’t mention the most relevant comparison. Namely, three years ago, UNC sent Raymond Felton, an extremely fast 6’1″ guard to the NBA, and that’s…working out nicely. They have a similar style and played the same system in college. And Lawson has at least one thing going on Felton–his three point shooting was substantially better than Felton’s. Actually, Felton had bad 3-pt shooting in college, and continues to be bad in the NBA, while Lawson is an outstanding three point shooter. There are differences–Felton is actually a mutant who can just throw the ball through defenders to make a pass, and he’s probably faster than Lawson by a bit. Still, Felton fully justified his status as the 5th pick, so it feels safe to say Lawson would justify a lottery pick.
Last fun stat, Lawson’s assist-turnover ratio? 3.48, which is just sick. And it’s doubly important, because he always looks out of control, like he’s about to throw the ball in one direction and then careen into the stands. But the stat shows that’s just an illusion.
Tacked on at the last minute: I see that Felton’s PER isn’t great, so maybe I was followed by superficially impressive stats. Hollinger points out that the Bobcats made an obvious mistake playing Felton at the 2. Or maybe I’m just out of my league trying to comment here–I don’t really follow the NBA, except sometimes during playoffs and to check on players I liked in college.
Watching the draft: When I saw that Minnesota had drafted Ricky Rubio, Jonny Flynn and Ty Lawson, I thought of the scene in The Dark Knight where the Joker faces three of a dead mobster’s henchmen, breaks a pool cue in half, and tells them he’s taking auditions, which will conclude in 5 minutes. I think that’s a much better storyline than trading Lawson.