I Believe in Time Lord...Why Can't You?

lovegtm

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Right.....except we weren't tanking last year. When the players see that winning is not the coaches #1 priority they have no reason to sell out for the coach. You can't play developmental players over veterans when winning is the goal.
Yeah this isn’t complicated at all, especially in the context of last year.
 

Devizier

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They are exceptions due to not many playing with elite PNR guys like Paul and Harden.....and to a lesser degree, Rubio. To not be a complete liability with their skillset they need to be in a perfect scheme with the right teammates. It's why some of us didn't like the idea of Capela being a target without having Paul/Harden as initiators.

The good news is that TL was able to show some semblance of an offensive game in college when teams weren't collapsing into a 2-3 zone against him and Tyler Davis. If he can get the game to slow down for him he has a chance to make it. This summer is going to give us some look into how well he's progressing.
I agree completely and it is a good thing for Williams that Kemba is on the roster, although he is clearly not in the Paul/Harden class.
 

Devizier

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Williams has bad comps because he's such a weird player. Similarity scores are scaled 1-100. His best comp (McCoy) is a 40. Basically the system doesn't know who to compare him to, which is why his projection is all over the map.
I would be stunned if any non-scouting projections could place him when he's only had ~250 professional minutes. The equivalent of 3 MPG over a full season.
 

lovegtm

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I agree completely and it is a good thing for Williams that Kemba is on the roster, although he is clearly not in the Paul/Harden class.
Gobert was very successful pre-Rubio on the Hayward/Ingles team. These guys need good PG play to succeed, but it’s not like having a top-5 player there or not is a deal-breaker.
 

Kliq

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They are exceptions due to not many playing with elite PNR guys like Paul and Harden.....and to a lesser degree, Rubio. To not be a complete liability with their skillset they need to be in a perfect scheme with the right teammates. It's why some of us didn't like the idea of Capela being a target without having Paul/Harden as initiators.

The good news is that TL was able to show some semblance of an offensive game in college when teams weren't collapsing into a 2-3 zone against him and Tyler Davis. If he can get the game to slow down for him he has a chance to make it. This summer is going to give us some look into how well he's progressing.
In the brief glimpses we got last year, I thought he actually looked pretty comfortable catching the ball on the elbow and make a quick decision on what to do, either swinging it or doing a dribble hand-off. For a raw big man, he showed a little more promise than I expected.
 

benhogan

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Right.....except we weren't tanking last year. When the players see that winning is not the coaches #1 priority they have no reason to sell out for the coach. You can't play developmental players over veterans when winning is the goal.
Huh? who on earth even suggested they were tanking?

TL played 85 minutes with Marcus Morris Jr. Why play him with MaMo, when he could have easily played those 85 mins with Horford and been more productive

It's just one of many examples of Brad masquerading MaMo as a 4 that hurt the Celtics.
 

lexrageorge

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I wonder how many of those 85 minutes were garbage time?

Stevens (and Ainge) probably figured that the best way to develop Williams last season was to limit the number of highlight reels that would show him getting owned by a veteran player. Last season was expected to be a redshirt year for TL, and that's how it worked out. Can't really blame Stevens for that.
 

Cellar-Door

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Huh? who on earth even suggested they were tanking?

TL played 85 minutes with Marcus Morris Jr. Why play him with MaMo, when he could have easily played those 85 mins with Horford and been more productive

It's just one of many examples of Brad masquerading MaMo as a 4 that hurt the Celtics.
Almost every game in which Williams played significant minutes last year was either garbage time in a a blowout, or during the time Horford was injured. It's really not that hard to look up game logs for a guy who played that little time.
 

benhogan

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Almost every game in which Williams played significant minutes last year was either garbage time in a a blowout, or during the time Horford was injured. It's really not that hard to look up game logs for a guy who played that little time.
Maybe I'm recalling this game too much or just feel that Brad played MaMo as a 4 way too much.

Probably both.
 
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mcpickl

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Maybe I'm recalling this game too much or just feel that Brad played MaMo as a 4 way too much.

Probably both.
He didn't have many other options.

The only legit 4 on the team was Horford, and they played him mostly at the 5.

Morris is at least kind of a tweener between the 3 and the 4.

Every other option was a 3.
 

benhogan

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He didn't have many other options.

The only legit 4 on the team was Horford, and they played him mostly at the 5.

Morris is at least kind of a tweener between the 3 and the 4.

Every other option was a 3.
HRB and I are just having our weekly purse fight...

and as always it boils down to Horford at the 4
 

bowiac

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Is there anything that indicates the people at 538 have any sort of expertise in this stuff?

Johnson and Zizic are pretty dumb comps for Williams, since if he busts he busts, and if he doesn't, his skillset and role will be completely different than that of those guys.
Neil Paine is very good, but essentially, no. CARMELO is not especially well regarded in the analytics community. A lot of the issues stem from somewhat strange decisions that 538 has made to use a k-nearest neighbors model for their player projections, which results in throwing out the bulk of the data, and force-fitting players onto their nearest comps, even if those comps are not particularly close. A striking example is Zion's 5-year projection, which has improving rapidly, and then declining somewhat inexplicably in 2023 and 2024, before improving again, etc...

25045

This sort of bounciness is indicative of an overfit, and appears to be caused by the fact that Zion doesn't have many close comps, but two of the players they're fitting Zion onto are Beasley and Blake Griffin, who both had brief declines a few years into their careers. This is a somewhat obvious example, but the issue is endemic to any player without a lot of great comps, which includes essentially all rookies. (See more here)

Additionally, the weighting of the metrics they've chosen are arbitrary (1/3 BPM; 2/3 RPM), which is always a bad sign.

CARMELO has performed well in the the ABPR projection contest the last couple years, that's not a long-run player projection contest, and isn't really germane here. As someone who has also performed very well in that contest, I can tell you the secret is mostly in getting your minutes projections correct (e.g., will Kanter play 15 MPG or 30 or will Kawhi play 55 games or will he play 70), how tightly you regress teams to the mean (e.g., will any team project to win fewer than like 24 games), and how you handle projections of players not yet on team rosters (e.g., the much maligned replacement level). 538 may very well do these things quite well - I don't know, but again, they're not super germane to player projections.
 

HomeRunBaker

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It anyone surprised that an analytical model named Carmelo is underachieving? Just sayin
 

lovegtm

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Neil Paine is very good, but essentially, no. CARMELO is not especially well regarded in the analytics community. A lot of the issues stem from somewhat strange decisions that 538 has made to use a k-nearest neighbors model for their player projections, which results in throwing out the bulk of the data, and force-fitting players onto their nearest comps, even if those comps are not particularly close. A striking example is Zion's 5-year projection, which has improving rapidly, and then declining somewhat inexplicably in 2023 and 2024, before improving again, etc...

View attachment 25045

This sort of bounciness is indicative of an overfit, and appears to be caused by the fact that Zion doesn't have many close comps, but two of the players they're fitting Zion onto are Beasley and Blake Griffin, who both had brief declines a few years into their careers. This is a somewhat obvious example, but the issue is endemic to any player without a lot of great comps, which includes essentially all rookies. (See more here)

Additionally, the weighting of the metrics they've chosen are arbitrary (1/3 BPM; 2/3 RPM), which is always a bad sign.

CARMELO has performed well in the the ABPR projection contest the last couple years, that's not a long-run player projection contest, and isn't really germane here. As someone who has also performed very well in that contest, I can tell you the secret is mostly in getting your minutes projections correct (e.g., will Kanter play 15 MPG or 30 or will Kawhi play 55 games or will he play 70), how tightly you regress teams to the mean (e.g., will any team project to win fewer than like 24 games), and how you handle projections of players not yet on team rosters (e.g., the much maligned replacement level). 538 may very well do these things quite well - I don't know, but again, they're not super germane to player projections.
Great answer wrt the details, thanks.
 

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lovegtm

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Nice article on TL's progression and what he is working on here:

Also interesting that he is trying to jump start the different colour shoes thing.
Great article, thanks. I liked this quote:

“I just love passing," Williams said. "I feel like I’m seeing plays ahead... I’m passing to you because I know this man is going to help over and you’re going to be able to swing it and get a wide open shot. I love catching the ball in the post and picking the defense apart on the opposite side. I feel like I have to get my passes more under control. Sometimes they get a little out of control sometimes. Take a little mustard off of them sometimes, but I feel like it’ll be good.”
I feel like people have been sleeping on him after the initial excitement wore off last year. You just don’t see many young, raw bigs who make the passes that he does.
 

sezwho

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Nice article on TL's progression and what he is working on here..
Yes, thanks this is exactly the question I was asking myself. I only watched the first two SL games so far (dvr’d all and catching up this weekend...Tacko!!!) but he still looks largely like the same occasionally directionless pogo stick to me.

Interesting point in there about stagnation of his development from being on the bench with the Cs due to team injuries. I would rather have seen him getting reps and coaching at that level than in Portland, but maybe I’m understating the opportunity for development? Maybe my bias in believing super athletic bigs coast through the G League remains as well.
 

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He looked much better in game 4 of SL. Some long passes downcourt.
 

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wade boggs chicken dinner

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Yes, thanks this is exactly the question I was asking myself. I only watched the first two SL games so far (dvr’d all and catching up this weekend...Tacko!!!) but he still looks largely like the same occasionally directionless pogo stick to me.

Interesting point in there about stagnation of his development from being on the bench with the Cs due to team injuries. I would rather have seen him getting reps and coaching at that level than in Portland, but maybe I’m understating the opportunity for development? Maybe my bias in believing super athletic bigs coast through the G League remains as well.
I think the general rule, playing is always better than not playing for development - particularly on the defensive end, where it's hard to learn rotation concepts without actually doing them.

But in TL's case, he's such a physical freak, he can get into bad habits in G League. For example, the article points out that he plays too high and doesn't have his arms out on defense. As we saw with Giannis, in the NBA, when players see open space, they attack it and generally do so successfully. In the G League, I doubt there's more than a handful of players who are going to make TL pay the way NBA players do.

In retrospect, what TL needed was to play 30 mpg on a bad team (like Mitchell Robinson) and hope that he develops good habits rather than bad ones.
 

lovegtm

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I think the general rule, playing is always better than not playing for development - particularly on the defensive end, where it's hard to learn rotation concepts without actually doing them.

But in TL's case, he's such a physical freak, he can get into bad habits in G League. For example, the article points out that he plays too high and doesn't have his arms out on defense. As we saw with Giannis, in the NBA, when players see open space, they attack it and generally do so successfully. In the G League, I doubt there's more than a handful of players who are going to make TL pay the way NBA players do.

In retrospect, what TL needed was to play 30 mpg on a bad team (like Mitchell Robinson) and hope that he develops good habits rather than bad ones.
Yeah, I think we'd all be a lot higher on him if he had had Robinson's environment (can't believe I'm saying that about the Knicks). That's why I think it's a good thing that the team is limited this year without a real 5: they can give him minutes, and everyone won't freak out as much if he makes some mistakes.
 

benhogan

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Nice article on TL's progression and what he is working on here:

Also interesting that he is trying to jump start the different colour shoes thing.
Good article, as always thanks for posting Wade!

absolutely love TL's checklist:
1. work on setting screens - be a Screening Machine
2. get in great shape
3. defensively- getting low, long, and loaded
4. using your voice as a deterrent
5. offensively keeping it simple
6. roll to the basket
7. no 18' jump shots at the moment
8. ball movement - passing


This was my favorite part of that piece:

"Williams took a few jumpers. He was not supposed to do that. One of them I broke the play off. Coach got on my ass," Williams said. "It’s just something I’ve been working on. Obviously, it’s not something I want to always settle for, which I did settle a couple of times yesterday. Just something I wanted to try.”
There’s a time and a place for Williams to take jumpers. Maybe someday down the road he’ll be OK at them. Right now, though, he needs to focus on doing the few things that will help the team win and then expand his game.
That’s the last shot I want people taking," said Celtics assistant and summer league head coach Scott Morrison. "We don’t want everyone going off tangent and taking those shots. We’d rather have Rob rolling for the dunk or setting a good screen so someone can get a 3 off of it." :redwine:
 
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benhogan

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I think the general rule, playing is always better than not playing for development - particularly on the defensive end, where it's hard to learn rotation concepts without actually doing them.

But in TL's case, he's such a physical freak, he can get into bad habits in G League. For example, the article points out that he plays too high and doesn't have his arms out on defense. As we saw with Giannis, in the NBA, when players see open space, they attack it and generally do so successfully. In the G League, I doubt there's more than a handful of players who are going to make TL pay the way NBA players do.

In retrospect, what TL needed was to play 30 mpg on a bad team (like Mitchell Robinson) and hope that he develops good habits rather than bad ones.
Brad should just play TL 10-15mpg. Just simplify his role on offense. The team will survive in the short term and prosper by seasons end.
 

Jimbodandy

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Brad should just play TL 10-15mpg. Just simplify his role on offense. The team will survive in the short term and prosper by seasons end.
I believe in this.

The floor for Rob last year for minutes was "in Maine"/DNPCD. We don't really have the luxury this year to sit him, so he's going to get time unless something awful happens.

10-15 is about right for the beginning, while he's stumbling through his learning curve. It will frequently hurt us, particularly on defense, but it's a good investment. As he gets better, he earns more time. Hopefully that's sooner than later. But he's gonna step on his dick in the first 20-30 games, and that's ok.
 

NomarsFool

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I've been a little mixed on TL in the SL. Game 4 was definitely his best game, which is pretty obvious. Other times (can't recall if he missed only 1 or if it was 2 games), he didn't really look that much like he was ready for the NBA yet.

My hope for this season is that with so many offensive weapons, the Celtics can afford to have TL out there for regular minutes without harming the team. I think his biggest liability is on offense, as I don't feel like he has much of a role there. Yes, he threw some long, good passes in Game 4 of SL - but he's nothing close to Al Horford with passing at this point in his career.

I think they'll probably give him some minutes on the floor at the 4 as well this season. We'll see.
 

benhogan

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I believe in this.

The floor for Rob last year for minutes was "in Maine"/DNPCD. We don't really have the luxury this year to sit him, so he's going to get time unless something awful happens.

10-15 is about right for the beginning, while he's stumbling through his learning curve. It will frequently hurt us, particularly on defense, but it's a good investment. As he gets better, he earns more time. Hopefully that's sooner than later. But he's gonna step on his dick in the first 20-30 games, and that's ok.
Exactly...how much worse can he be than Kanter on D?

30 games get the Celtics to Dec 15-20, when filler & picks can be dealt for need. We're going to have to see what we have in Kanter, Poirier and TL before deciding what to do with the 5
 

TripleOT

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I was at TL's coming out party when he bitch slapped a couple of AD's shots and came away impressed with how he moves and jumps for a guy that tall. In these summer league game, he rebounded, defended, and passed well, but still had to take a split second to think before he attacks with the ball. He looked incredibly uncomfortable when trying to post up or drive, except when he was driving instinctively that one play after a mid-court steal.

He could benefit from studying Montrezl Harrell's offensive game. If TL ever learns to use his quickness and springiness to catch the ball and attack the rim quickly, look out.
 

HomeRunBaker

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I think the general rule, playing is always better than not playing for development - particularly on the defensive end, where it's hard to learn rotation concepts without actually doing them.

But in TL's case, he's such a physical freak, he can get into bad habits in G League. For example, the article points out that he plays too high and doesn't have his arms out on defense. As we saw with Giannis, in the NBA, when players see open space, they attack it and generally do so successfully. In the G League, I doubt there's more than a handful of players who are going to make TL pay the way NBA players do.

In retrospect, what TL needed was to play 30 mpg on a bad team (like Mitchell Robinson) and hope that he develops good habits rather than bad ones.
The big difference here was that Robinson was one of the best prospects coming out of his HS class and was clearly ready to play NBA minutes last year. TL has never been at his level while showing in short minutes that he wasn’t at all ready for NBA minutes. I dislike this comp so much since it isn’t fair to portray TL as an elite prospect as Robinson was the last time anyone saw him play basketball prior to the draft.
 

benhogan

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The big difference here was that Robinson was one of the best prospects coming out of his HS class and was clearly ready to play NBA minutes last year. TL has never been at his level while showing in short minutes that he wasn’t at all ready for NBA minutes. I dislike this comp so much since it isn’t fair to portray TL as an elite prospect as Robinson was the last time anyone saw him play basketball prior to the draft.
Mitchell Robinson was ~ the 11th ranked prospect coming out of HS.
He skipped a year of development, by leaving WKU before the season started. Kudos for the Knicks snagging him in the 2nd round. He got time because the Knicks were in full tank mode. He put up stats on a team going nowhere, with other kids, mostly in blowouts. His per 36 and per 100 possessions stats were impressive. But similar to TL's.

TL was considered by some to be a lottery pick talent, but had maturity issues which hurt his draft stock. TL (27th pick) and Mitchell Robinson (36th pick) are the same age and the talent spread wasn't large during the draft and isn't huge now.

TL consistently needs 10-15mpg at the NBA level over the first 10 weeks of next season to see if he can be productive. If he is a disaster those 10 weeks, send him to Maine to work on his deficiencies or trade him.



 
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HomeRunBaker

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Mitchell Robinson was ~ the 11th ranked prospect coming out of HS.
He skipped a year of development, by leaving WKU before the season started. Kudos for the Knicks snagging him in the 2nd round. He got time because the Knicks were in full tank mode. He put up stats on a team going nowhere, with other kids, mostly in blowouts. His per 36 and per 100 possessions stats were impressive. But similar to TL's.

TL was considered by some to be a lottery pick talent, but had maturity issues which hurt his draft stock. TL (27th pick) and Mitchell Robinson (36th pick) are the same age and the talent spread wasn't large during the draft and isn't huge now.

TL consistently needs 10-15mpg at the NBA level over the first 10 weeks of next season to see if he can be productive. If he is a disaster those 10 weeks, send him to Maine to work on his deficiencies or trade him.
Rivals had Robinson 9th coming out of HS and a 5* prospect and Williams 67th. He was always thought to have oodles more overall talent than TL and showed as much last season when they played. I don’t think people realize how good Robinson was last year regardless of how the Knicks team performed.
 

lovegtm

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Rivals had Robinson 9th coming out of HS and a 5* prospect and Williams 67th. He was always thought to have oodles more overall talent than TL and showed as much last season when they played. I don’t think people realize how good Robinson was last year regardless of how the Knicks team performed.
Wasn’t TL generally considered to be a lottery pick following his freshman year? Seems to be massive cherry-picking to use the year before college rather than after a year there.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Wasn’t TL generally considered to be a lottery pick following his freshman year? Seems to be massive cherry-picking to use the year before college rather than after a year there.
TL was considered by many to be borderline lottery in the mid-teens. That isn’t the point. Robinson’s skillset was always of an elite level and wasn’t drafted high lottery only due to the weirdness of leaving school and being guided to not attend the combine. His on-the-court stuff was always considered elite.
 

lovegtm

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TL was considered by many to be borderline lottery in the mid-teens. That isn’t the point. Robinson’s skillset was always of an elite level and wasn’t drafted high lottery only due to the weirdness of leaving school and being guided to not attend the combine. His on-the-court stuff was always considered elite.
Right...the point is that, after scouts saw him in college, TL’s skillset was considered at around the 10-18 range, and Robinson’s in the 4-10 range. Citing their HS rankings as the baseline of comparison is disingenuous in the extreme, even if you think Robinson’s skillset is better (which I don’t disagree with).
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Wasn’t TL generally considered to be a lottery pick following his freshman year? Seems to be massive cherry-picking to use the year before college rather than after a year there.
Yes he was. Here's a good article that talked about his decision to go back to A&M: https://collegebasketball.nbcsports.com/2017/07/25/potential-top-ten-pick-robert-williams-discusses-decision-to-return-to-texas-am/.

One factoid - he played AAU ball with De'Aaron Fox and 'Arson Edwards!
 

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Robinson fell because he didn't play in college, which led to questions about his talent level in addition to any character concerns. High school scouting isn't as good as NBA scouting, and the quality of opposition is miles worse. Further, you cannot just presume a high ranked high school player who skips college has continued along the same developmental trajectory, so it's pretty reasonable to believe that the 9th best HS prospect is somewhat substantially worse a prospect by the time of the draft.

That's why no team wanted to use a lottery pick on Robinson. He just didn't have the data on him to support using such a pick.
 

benhogan

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Rivals had Robinson 9th coming out of HS and a 5* prospect and Williams 67th. He was always thought to have oodles more overall talent than TL and showed as much last season when they played. I don’t think people realize how good Robinson was last year regardless of how the Knicks team performed.
Robinson came out of HS a year later than TL even though they are the same age.

So the year Robinson was ~9, 10, 11 HS recruit, TL was being touted as a 9, 10, 11 NBA draft pick by those same services. The "oodles of more overall talent" is an ex-ante observation based on a SSS last year.

All of this is kind of irrelevant since the guy TL should be gunning for, as far as ceiling/development is Clint Capela. CC put up similar 1st-year #s as TL and made a nice jump in MPG his 2nd season on a competitive team, in meaningful games, under pressure (41-41 8th seed Rocket team)

Summer League showed a much more serious, aggressive and determined TL than I saw last. He was vocal on the court, in practice and showed emotion on the bench when he missed some shots. Hayward and Ainge have gone out of their way to mention seeing TL at the Auerbach Center this Summer. With the loss of Horford, MaMo, Baynes and even Yabu in the frontcourt, there should be more minutes for TL this coming season.

 
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benhogan

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I was at TL's coming out party when he bitch slapped a couple of AD's shots and came away impressed with how he moves and jumps for a guy that tall. In these summer league game, he rebounded, defended, and passed well, but still had to take a split second to think before he attacks with the ball. He looked incredibly uncomfortable when trying to post up or drive, except when he was driving instinctively that one play after a mid-court steal.
He could benefit from studying Montrezl Harrell's offensive game. If TL ever learns to use his quickness and springiness to catch the ball and attack the rim quickly, look out.
YES. Love Trez's energy/aggressiveness. That's another good guy for TL to emulate.

CC, Trez, TL all with very similar first seasons, all playing their 2nd seasons on competitive teams that just won't hand out development minutes to a bunch of kids (throw in Kevon Looney as another similar talent, trajectory, and situation).


 
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lovegtm

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This is beginning to feel like the Paul George/Jae Crowder discussion.
No, we're talking about two players who, after they had a chance to play at the college level, were seen by scouts as both having immense physical talent that should have put them in the lottery, as well as character concerns that dropped them out of the lottery. Mentioning how TL was ranked 67th out of HS is about as relevant as mentioning how he was seen in 8th grade, given that he had 2 years of college to base talent evaluations on. This is not a hard point to understand, even for someone whose schtick is never modifying a position ever.
 

Devizier

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This is beginning to feel like the Paul George/Jae Crowder discussion.
I mean, if you’re comparing Mitch freaking Robinson to Paul George, I’m happy to compare Williams to Jae Crowder. I’d honestly be excited if either player had as good a career as Jae when it’s all said and done.
 

HomeRunBaker

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No, we're talking about two players who, after they had a chance to play at the college level, were seen by scouts as both having immense physical talent that should have put them in the lottery, as well as character concerns that dropped them out of the lottery. Mentioning how TL was ranked 67th out of HS is about as relevant as mentioning how he was seen in 8th grade, given that he had 2 years of college to base talent evaluations on. This is not a hard point to understand, even for someone whose schtick is never modifying a position ever.
What am I modifying? Robinson never played in college so I'm not sure what you're referring to him playing at the college level. Their HS ranking was my inference that Robinson was more highly thought of than Williams and their play last year not changing my opinion of the two really not being comparable......and I think TL can become a rotation player in this league so it isn't like I'm hating on him or utilizing any "schtick."

We have one player who entered college as #67 who I feel could be a rotation player in this league and another who was #9 while showing me that he is going to be a long-time starter. I'm kinda surprised so many see these two on the same level after seeing them both play last season......but then again it is a Celtics board. ;)
 

bowiac

I've been living a lie.
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We have one player who entered college as #67 who I feel could be a rotation player in this league and another who was #9 while showing me that he is going to be a long-time starter. I'm kinda surprised so many see these two on the same level after seeing them both play last season......but then again it is a Celtics board. ;)
I don't think many see them as being on the same level today. I think people are lamenting that TL has fallen behind Robinson, which people are crediting to Robinson's chance to play through his struggles. I appreciate you somehow believe that the player taken nine picks later was somehow dramatically more highly thought of when drafted, but you can probably understand how the rest of us think that's bananas view, given you know, scoreboard. Neither here nor there with respect to them as prospects today however.

Anyway, your broader point stands - Robinson had a wonderful year, and would probably go in my top 5 in a redraft. He is now a dramatically better prospect than TL.
 

TripleOT

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Robinson got to play real minutes on a scrub, tanking team. Robinson and TL are a lot alike. Both can't shoot a lick, with a grand total of two shots outside the paint made between them, but can block shots, run the floor, rebound, and show enough mobility to possibly be good p/r defenders some day. Of course Robinson is going to look more advanced because he got to play.

The jury isn't out on who will end up the better player. I wanted the Cs to take Robinson, who is three inches taller, instead of TL, and think both can carve out careers as rim running shot blockers/rebounders/defenders. I like Robinson's attitude a lot better, for TL is a bit too laid back for my tastes. I think TL is a better passer and could actually become an offensive players some day. I don't know enough about Robinson to guess that he will ever get a jump shot.
 
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benhogan

Baynes Hogan (pending trade)
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Nov 2, 2007
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I don't think many see them as being on the same level today. I think people are lamenting that TL has fallen behind Robinson, which people are crediting to Robinson's chance to play through his struggles. I appreciate you somehow believe that the player taken nine picks later was somehow dramatically more highly thought of when drafted, but you can probably understand how the rest of us think that's bananas view, given you know, scoreboard. Neither here nor there with respect to them as prospects today however.

Anyway, your broader point stands - Robinson had a wonderful year, and would probably go in my top 5 in a redraft. He is now a dramatically better prospect than TL.
Last year was a nice draft. In no particular order, I like Luka, Trae, JJJ, Bagley, Ayton, SGA, Carter... After 1 season I'm not trading any of those guys potential for MR

Mitchell Robinson did great in his 20 no pressure mpg for a team going nowhere. He was allowed to make mistakes, not have to look over his shoulder, they even benched Kanter to roll out the red carpet for him. The other guys mentioned above had the spotlight on them, to varying degrees, and produced. Developing MR, Trier and Knox last season was the right move by the Knicks and MR was a fantastic value pick. But I do think a lot of MR's value was realized by being on a tanker.

I see TL having a lot of the same qualities as MR and hope Brad plays TL a consistent 15-20mpg on a Celtic team with less than inspiring defensive choices at the 5.
 
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bowiac

I've been living a lie.
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Robinson had the 2nd highest block as a rookie of all-time last year for anyone qualified for the MPG leaderboard. That led him to having the 5th highest BPM as a rookie ever.

That's not to say he's on track to be a star. Blocks are a goofy stat (and BPM is over-indexing on them). They're not super valuable by themselves, but rather they're a proxy for being tall and springy, but it's eye popping enough for me to sit up and take notice. He also graded extremely well on plus/minus data (e.g., RAPM, PIPM). And he had that year without having a ton of goaltends (18 only), which is a good sign that he's not a total knucklehead (e.g., closer to the Tim Duncan part of this chart than the Dwight Howard part):

25227

He probably doesn't have the upside of someone like Ayton, WCJ or even Bagley, but the terribleness of the Knicks may be hiding how good a year he had. It wasn't just a typical "energy big" kind of season. Reasonable minds can differ here however.