C's pick Aaron Nesmith #14 overall

luckiestman

Son of the Harpy
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
19,656
When do you feel evaluation periods begin to matter? Small samples from a statistical analysis mean little however from a traditional evaluation the size becomes less relevant. Otherwise there would be as little reason to be excited about Ball, Wiseman, Achiuwa, Quickley, Pritchard, etc as there would be reason to be at all concerned about someone as clearly lost as Nesmith.
Seems like there is an asymmetry. Once someone shows they can do something a couple of times you believe they can do it more. However, just because someone hasn’t done something yet, it is harder to know if they will ever be able to do it.
 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
SoSH Member
Jan 15, 2004
19,507
Seems like there is an asymmetry. Once someone shows they can do something a couple of times you believe they can do it more. However, just because someone hasn’t done something yet, it is harder to know if they will ever be able to do it.
It is difficult even for 1st round draft picks to be effective NBA players. When a rookie shows that they have this ability then yes you increase the players floor and watch for growth or “the leap” especially in that second season. When a bewildered rookie hasn’t shown this ability the greater the chance that they will never reach that level. As recently as last year some were waiting for Dragan Bender to find his niche when it’s been apparent for 3 years that he wasn’t remotely close to being an NBA player. You’d want to see more Peyton Pritchard out of Nesmith early on than James Young......as this far all we’ve seen is the latter. If this doesn’t matter in the evaluation what exactly does?
 

nighthob

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
9,718
James Young’s biggest issue was that he didn’t work on his game (I can tell you that after the James Young Experience played Boston Danny & Co. have prioritized gym rats) and didn’t take coaching well. As far as I can tell Nesmith’s problem is that the game is moving way too fast for him now. I do expect that the game will slow down for him, though. He traditionally takes a year to adjust to new levels.
 

Imbricus

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 26, 2017
2,754
What worried me about him was everyone seemed to be reaching the "maybe the top shooter in his class" judgment based partly on a smallish sample size, his last year, when his playing time was cut short by the foot injury.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
7,453
Kiev, Ukraine
James Young’s biggest issue was that he didn’t work on his game (I can tell you that after the James Young Experience played Boston Danny & Co. have prioritized gym rats) and didn’t take coaching well. As far as I can tell Nesmith’s problem is that the game is moving way too fast for him now. I do expect that the game will slow down for him, though. He traditionally takes a year to adjust to new levels.
I'm obviously less high on Nesmith now than I was after the draft, just because he needs to be Bayesianly updated in a negative direction, which is HRB's point. The disagreement is how heavy that update should be.

The one data point that isn't getting mentioned much, and is relevant to nighthob's post here, is that he's at least showing improvement in defensive and offensive positioning, which indicates he's taking things seriously and studying.

Whether that will translate to on-court performance is an open question, but ability/willingness to learn at the NBA level are absolutely positive indicators, and need to be counterweighed (in some amount) against the negatives he's shown.
 

Eddie Jurak

Go Leafs Go
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2002
29,516
Melrose, MA
These lists are making my initial post seem conservative. If you can play in this league you generally show it right away.....much more often then appearing lost early then suddenly finding oneself.
Well, Nesmith has already been a failure in one sense: that there was some belief that he could step in and shoot right away, thus bringing one NBA-ready skill to the table that would see him carve out an immediate role. An offensive version of Semi, who was able to play right away because he could defend even though he wasn't a complete player.

But the Celtics have both hit and missed on mid-first picks who didn;t play in year 1, so it seems early to write him off as a complete bust.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
21,720
Both Langford and Timelord had injury issues in their first year.
  • Langford was on the inactive list 26 times and had 14 DNPs while appearing in 32 games with two starts
  • Timelord was out with knee issues and suffered an injury in the preseason. In July 2018, Timelord was revealed to have (PAES) in both legs. Centers traditionally take longer to develop.
I want to see Nesmith develop and play significantly more minutes in the latter half of the season.
TL wasn't playing serious minutes in his first year whether or not he was injured.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
21,720
It is difficult even for 1st round draft picks to be effective NBA players. When a rookie shows that they have this ability then yes you increase the players floor and watch for growth or “the leap” especially in that second season. When a bewildered rookie hasn’t shown this ability the greater the chance that they will never reach that level. As recently as last year some were waiting for Dragan Bender to find his niche when it’s been apparent for 3 years that he wasn’t remotely close to being an NBA player. You’d want to see more Peyton Pritchard out of Nesmith early on than James Young......as this far all we’ve seen is the latter. If this doesn’t matter in the evaluation what exactly does?
While I agree that it's much better for a first round draft to show that he belongs immediately, guys are so young that it can take some of them time to figure out how to belong. I mean the poster child (no pun intended) for this is Gerald Green (Note: with regards to Dragan Bender, people including me wanted to take a flyer on him on the chance he develops as the 13th to 15th guy on the bench - just like Tacko - not because anyone thinks that he's ready to contribute.)

Here's an interesting 4-part article on "draft busts" from the 2010-15 first round: https://fansided.com/2019/09/09/causes-nba-draft-busts-part-1-functional-strength/ While I don't agree with all of his conclusions, he has interestingnpoints. But more importantly, he does give examples of playersv- like Marcus Morris - who didn't do much in their early years (MM played in 17 games) but found their niche in the NBA.
 

mcpickl

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 23, 2007
3,545
Baynes missed close to 30 days in 2018 - 2019 Season. So yes, if Timelord was healthy, he would have gotten more minutes.

View attachment 38026
He almost surely wouldn't have gotten much more. He was the 4th center on the depth chart behind Horford(he started 59 of his 68 games at center), Baynes and Theis.

Theis was getting scraps in the rotation outside of games Horford and/or Baynes were out. The only games Williams got any real minutes were when Horford was out.

It's just rare that a late first rounder without much college experience is going to get to play real minutes on good teams.
 

The Mort Report

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 5, 2007
1,946
Winter Hill
My math might suck, but some numbers:
Curry's first 7 games: 207 min - 5/13 from 3 - 38%
Nesmith's first 7 games: 101 min - 9/26 from 3 - 35%

If Nesmith turns into a Reggie or Ray "lite" raining down 3's and nothing else it will probably make him a top 2-3 pick in the class. But worrying he is a bust this early is insane. Curry was also one of the better rookies from the second he took the floor to boot
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
7,453
Kiev, Ukraine
It’s good to see some shots finally falling for Nesmith.
Even better to see that he's looking more and more comfortable on defense, and Brad clearly feels the same way, since he's giving him more run. Got back-cut twice, but recovered well on one for a nice block that ended up going in. His length/athleticism look very good.

His defense is progressing well enough that I'm feeling very confident in the pick now. The jumpshot is clearly a matter of getting comfortable with where his shots will be coming from in the offensive flow.

Finally, he is more comfortable putting the ball on the floor than I expected.
 
Last edited:

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
11,445
Last two games:

7-11 from the floor (63.6%)
6-10 from three (60.0%)
20 points scored in 36 minutes

Also...7 rebounds.

Just statistical noise (and no I don't expect him to shoot 60% from three from here on out) or is it starting to click a little for him?
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
7,453
Kiev, Ukraine
Last two games:

7-11 from the floor (63.6%)
6-10 from three (60.0%)
20 points scored in 36 minutes

Also...7 rebounds.

Just statistical noise (and no I don't expect him to shoot 60% from three from here on out) or is it starting to click a little for him?
Yes, it’s starting to click for him. Those of us who paid attention to how he looked on the defensive end noticed that it was starting to click for him a week or so ago, when others were freaking out that he might be a bust.
 

128

Member
SoSH Member
May 4, 2019
2,752
Last two games:

7-11 from the floor (63.6%)
6-10 from three (60.0%)
20 points scored in 36 minutes

Also...7 rebounds.

Just statistical noise (and no I don't expect him to shoot 60% from three from here on out) or is it starting to click a little for him?
He's definitely looking more comfortable, and less like a lost sheep, out there. He's a nice combination of size/length and solid athleticism. He's not Jaylen Brown as an athlete, but he's not Grant Williams, either.
 

tbrown_01923

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 29, 2006
572
Hee has looked better over the last two games - and some shots falling would help that perception - but he seems much closer to being in the right place (more often than not). You can still see him thinking a bit - like the airball against cavs. The sequence was essentially: xhe was open, didn't get the pass, cut, got the pass behind him, returned to the corner - but by that point he was no longer "as open", and rushed the shot (it felt like "geesh I need to shoot as I was open"). But he looks to be studying and learning and will be able to overcome those types of mistakes by overthinking
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
21,720
Even better to see that he's looking more and more comfortable on defense, and Brad clearly feels the same way, since he's giving him more run. Got back-cut twice, but recovered well on one for a nice block that ended up going in. His length/athleticism look very good.

His defense is progressing well enough that I'm feeling very confident in the pick now. The jumpshot is clearly a matter of getting comfortable with where his shots will be coming from in the offensive flow.

Finally, he is more comfortable putting the ball on the floor than I expected.
AN looks pretty good at the top of Btad's scheme where he just prevents the ball handler in going in one direction and the switches on screens.

He is going to have problems staying in front of people but hopefully he'll understand where his help is so he won't give up easy bucket after easy bucket.

Encouraged by his play. Looks like PP's injury opened up minutes for others.
 

Jimbodandy

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
4,615
around the way
The falling shots is reassuring, but the better news is that he's getting run. Part of that is PPs injury, but part is that he's less lost. He's still thinking too much out there, but there are signs that it's slowing down for him. Brad trusts him.
 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
SoSH Member
Jan 15, 2004
19,507
The falling shots is reassuring, but the better news is that he's getting run. Part of that is PPs injury, but part is that he's less lost. He's still thinking too much out there, but there are signs that it's slowing down for him. Brad trusts him.
Is this where I’m snarky in saying that Brad trusts him with 20+ point leads vs the Cavs and Bulls bench after consecutive DNP-CD vs Philly? ;)

Seriously, it’s good that Nesmith bounced back from 4-21 shooting in his previous 4 games these past two nights even if they were in non-competitive situations. Baby steps.
 

Jimbodandy

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
4,615
around the way
Is this where I’m snarky in saying that Brad trusts him with 20+ point leads vs the Cavs and Bulls bench after consecutive DNP-CD vs Philly? ;)

Seriously, it’s good that Nesmith bounced back from 4-21 shooting in his previous 4 games these past two nights even if they were in non-competitive situations. Baby steps.
It's not snarky at all. It's a fair counterpoint.

I would argue that Brad still staples guys to the bench who have no idea where to go/be. Baby steps indeed.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
7,453
Kiev, Ukraine
It's not snarky at all. It's a fair counterpoint.

I would argue that Brad still staples guys to the bench who have no idea where to go/be. Baby steps indeed.
People are acting like this is some unknowable variable. Go watch the film. He’s a different guy from even 2-3 weeks ago in terms of knowing what is going on on both ends.

It’s fine to be bearish on Nesmith, but it has to be grounded in reality.
 

Jimbodandy

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
4,615
around the way
People are acting like this is some unknowable variable. Go watch the film. He’s a different guy from even 2-3 weeks ago in terms of knowing what is going on on both ends.

It’s fine to be bearish on Nesmith, but it has to be grounded in reality.
He seems lost a lot less frequently with each game, but really last night was the first time that he looked consistently dialed in to me. Like "this guy can help" dialed in.
 

chilidawg

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 22, 2015
2,558
Cultural hub of the universe
Most encouraging to me is him showing flashes of being at least decent at the myriad of things outside shooting. He's comfortable putting the ball on the floor and attacking closeouts, has made some nice passes, is an active rebounder and puts his length to good use defensively. Cautiously optimistic.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
11,445
If both Nesmith and Pritchard emerge as legit NBA rotation guys (or better), this will have been a hugely successful draft for Danny.
 

nighthob

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
9,718
He seems lost a lot less frequently with each game, but really last night was the first time that he looked consistently dialed in to me. Like "this guy can help" dialed in.
That was also a great sign. I know it's just the Bulls and all, but it was good to see him look unlost on defense. But I'm hoping that the threes starting to fall will help him slow the game down on the offensive end. Earlier in the year he was rushing shots and they were clanging. Having them go in will give him a much needed boost of confidence.

They definitely need to work with him on his terrible defensive footwork. But that's a summer job.
 

DannyDarwinism

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 7, 2007
4,605
He absolutely looks better, but him losing the cutter twice was pretty egregious. Certainly not enough to kill him over, but it was striking because of how rare it is for that to happen on the Celtics over the past couple of years, which I guess is a sign of a well-coached team. It happens to Jaylen occasionally (less and less now), so it's obviously not indicative of any major defensive flaw, but I did see some pretty meh defensive awareness from Nesmith at Vandy, so I'll definitely be keying in on him on the defensive end when I'm watching. He certainly has the size, strength and athleticism to be a good defender, he just needs to spend time watching film, getting his timing and rhythm down, and learning footwork. The hustle play to break up the Lavine dunk was great, and I love the aggressiveness with the ball. He has all the right tools to be a perfect complement to our superstars.
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
14,141
He absolutely looks better, but him losing the cutter twice was pretty egregious. Certainly not enough to kill him over, but it was striking because of how rare it is for that to happen on the Celtics over the past couple of years, which I guess is a sign of a well-coached team. It happens to Jaylen occasionally (less and less now), so it's obviously not indicative of any major defensive flaw, but I did see some pretty meh defensive awareness from Nesmith at Vandy, so I'll definitely be keying in on him on the defensive end when I'm watching. He certainly has the size, strength and athleticism to be a good defender, he just needs to spend time watching film, getting his timing and rhythm down, and learning footwork. The hustle play to break up the Lavine dunk was great, and I love the aggressiveness with the ball. He has all the right tools to be a perfect complement to our superstars.
Ugh, who let this guy back onto the board!
 

nighthob

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
9,718
He absolutely looks better, but him losing the cutter twice was pretty egregious. Certainly not enough to kill him over, but it was striking because of how rare it is for that to happen on the Celtics over the past couple of years, which I guess is a sign of a well-coached team. It happens to Jaylen occasionally (less and less now), so it's obviously not indicative of any major defensive flaw, but I did see some pretty meh defensive awareness from Nesmith at Vandy, so I'll definitely be keying in on him on the defensive end when I'm watching. He certainly has the size, strength and athleticism to be a good defender, he just needs to spend time watching film, getting his timing and rhythm down, and learning footwork. The hustle play to break up the Lavine dunk was great, and I love the aggressiveness with the ball. He has all the right tools to be a perfect complement to our superstars.
His defensive problems all trace back to that biblically awful footwork. I mean he's not Patrick Williams bad in that regard, but he's not far behind. And he doesn't have Patrick Williams' athleticism to rely on. That being said he's more than sufficiently athletic for the NBA. But Jaysus someone has to teach him proper footwork and sliding so that he's not chasing everyone.
 

TripleOT

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 4, 2007
3,676
20 points in 35.5 minutes on only 11 shots (6-10 from three) for Nesmith the past two games. Let’s see if he can build off this little taste of success. He’s exactly what this team needs off the bench
 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
SoSH Member
Jan 15, 2004
19,507
His defensive problems all trace back to that biblically awful footwork. I mean he's not Patrick Williams bad in that regard, but he's not far behind.
We need a name for this. I’ll nominate two, “AAU Footwork” and “One and Done Footwork.”

I lean to the former.
 

HowBoutDemSox

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 12, 2009
7,152
Article in the Athletic on Nesmith and how he's adjusting to the league and his new role. Some select quotes:
“It’s really just having a mindset of staying ready,” said first-year Celtic Aaron Nesmith. “Even in highly competitive games where I might not play as much or I might not get into the game, still just always being ready and having that mindset so that if my number does get called, I can come into the game to contribute and make plays to help us win the game.”

Nesmith fancies himself a sniper. He has long held a belief in his 3-point stroke, but opened his professional career with a cold streak. The rookie, who made more than half of his 3-point attempts as a sophomore at Vanderbilt, went 3 for his first 16 with the Celtics. In college, he would have racked up that many shots in just two games. He probably wouldn’t have been very bothered by such a small slump. But in the NBA, that rough spell took a full month to unfold. Nesmith played sporadically during that stretch. He appeared in fewer games than he missed due to DNP-CDs. He hasn’t earned a regular spot in the Celtics rotation yet, so he’s trying to stay ready for whatever chances he does receive.

“I’m just studying the game that’s being played in front of me,” Nesmith said. “Watching guys at my position, watching the way they move, the way they defend actions, tendencies of other players. Just making sure I’m mentally locked in and ready to go as soon as my name is called so I can contribute.”
Defensive improvement has been one priority for the 21-year-old. Though he still makes mistakes, Stevens pointed out how far Nesmith has already come on that side of the court.

“He’s actually done a pretty good job all the way through,” Stevens said. “He got back-cut (against the Bulls) but he’s into the body, he’s tough, he’s physical, he stays in plays. He got the deflection in transition (against the Bulls), and I just think he has a chance to be a good defender and he’s worked really hard at learning that. And then I think the game is slowing down a little bit on the other end, so that’s a good thing.”
“But it’s not fair to assess a guy or judge a guy based on limited game reps from the outside,” Stevens said. “Obviously (the coaches) get a chance to see guys every day but it’s hard to get a rhythm or for the game to slow down when you’re not playing lots of minutes in a row or you’re not getting these opportunities. So I think that it helps that he’s had a couple of games here where he’s played a little bit more.”

He definitely seems to be earning Brad's trust and the game appears to be slowing down for him, all good signs.
 

Jimbodandy

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
4,615
around the way
Fantastic quotes in that piece. Thanks for sharing.

Seems like another classic DA pick. Hard worker, committed to improvement, really wants to get on the court and make a difference. Pretty stoked reading that honestly.
 

radsoxfan

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 9, 2009
9,934
Right now I'll take Nesmith's career > Langford's career

Super small sample sizes and huge error bars still of course, but if I had to pick one I think I'd take Nesmith. Just didn't see much from Langford to be excited about, hope I'm wrong on that half of the take.
 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
SoSH Member
Jan 15, 2004
19,507
I love this coach-speak......

But it’s not fair to assess a guy or judge a guy based on limited game reps from the outside,” Stevens said. “Obviously (the coaches) get a chance to see guys every day but it’s hard to get a rhythm or for the game to slow down when you’re not playing lots of minutes in a row or you’re not getting these opportunities.
Read: Fans shouldn’t judge him for not getting minutes as it’s the coaches who see him every day......and are the ones that don’t give him minutes.
 

OurF'ingCity

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 22, 2016
5,344
New York City
I love this coach-speak......



Read: Fans shouldn’t judge him for not getting minutes as it’s the coaches who see him every day......and are the ones that don’t give him minutes.
Sure, but minutes are not always correlated with what the coaches think someone's talent level is. Taking Stevens at his word, he thinks Nesmith shows a lot of promise but there are a lot of guys ahead of him that can contribute more to winning games now.
 

reggiecleveland

sublime
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Mar 5, 2004
22,954
Saskatoon Canada
My math might suck, but some numbers:
Curry's first 7 games: 207 min - 5/13 from 3 - 38%
Nesmith's first 7 games: 101 min - 9/26 from 3 - 35%

If Nesmith turns into a Reggie or Ray "lite" raining down 3's and nothing else it will probably make him a top 2-3 pick in the class. But worrying he is a bust this early is insane. Curry was also one of the better rookies from the second he took the floor to boot
Curry? Reggie? Ray?
38333
 

chilidawg

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 22, 2015
2,558
Cultural hub of the universe
I love this coach-speak......



Read: Fans shouldn’t judge him for not getting minutes as it’s the coaches who see him every day......and are the ones that don’t give him minutes.
Nesmith was first off the bench against the bulls in the 2nd half, and has had more minutes the last two games than he has all season. Maybe the coaches are giving him minutes in recognition of the progress he's making. Just like they said in the article.
 

TripleOT

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 4, 2007
3,676
Nesmith mentor Khris Middleton’s first 100 NBA minutes, spread out over four months: 11-29 from the floor, including 2-7 from three.

Nesmith’s slow start means very little. It would have been great if he could have claimed rotation minutes from the start.

Shooting 3-5 from three in consecutive games is a good sign. Hopefully, he can continue to hit threes.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
7,453
Kiev, Ukraine
I love this coach-speak......



Read: Fans shouldn’t judge him for not getting minutes as it’s the coaches who see him every day......and are the ones that don’t give him minutes.
Except that this quote is coming just as he’s getting more minutes over the past few games, including being one of the first off the bench in a close game.

The “always double down when you’re wrong” schtick is boring.
 

bakahump

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jan 8, 2001
6,646
Maine
I think the point is if he can hit Hit 60% over a couple games + his College Credentials means the kid can hit threes. The fact that he has also shown some growth on Defense and shown a few flashes of other abilities is just gravy.

Will he be a HOFer like Reggie, Ray or Curry. No. Almost certainly not.
Will he be a 7-15 pt guy who can hit 3s? I think the answer to that is probably 80% yes.
Will it be this year? Or even next? Probably not. That doesnt mean he is useless or isnt going to contribute significantly to the Js Era.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
21,720
Right now I'll take Nesmith's career > Langford's career

Super small sample sizes and huge error bars still of course, but if I had to pick one I think I'd take Nesmith. Just didn't see much from Langford to be excited about, hope I'm wrong on that half of the take.
I think most SOSHers would agree with you. I will note that Brad had said that he sees Romeo as a 10-year NBA player if he stays healthy.

It's interesting because their strengths are almost exactly opposite. AN is a great shooter, looks to have good vertical athleticism, but struggles with the other athletic aspects of the NBA (particularly lateral movement and, well, defense). It will be interesting to see how he does at the rim. OTOH, Romeo is super athletic laterally (more so than vertically), can definitely get to the rim and score, can defend multiple positions, but can't shoot yet.

One might think that there is more likelihood of Romeo refining his shot than Aaron getting quick enough to keep folks in front of him.

I'm super anxious to see Romeo back on the court if you couldn't tell.