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The Boxscore Geeks Show: Art Rondeau Re-Returns

Art Rondeau is back to talk Kristaps Porzingis, NBA shooting, and Lonzo Ball!

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Show Notes

Kristaps Porzingis is below average -- check out his player comparison here.

Art has some insight on subtle tweaks Porzingis could make to his game to become a productive player.

We mention Tim Duncan used the backboard for his offense and this could help out Kristaps.

Art has a fun defensive terminology for how Porzingis should play: "T-Rex Arms."

This upcoming draft has many players that are bad at free throws. Art has some theories about why college players don't get as much focus on free throw shooting. A fantastic point Art makes too is that many young players try to focus on getting a bulkier upper body to look good for the draft. Of course, changing your body mass impacts your balance, which impacts free throws. This smacked very much of Moneyball biases still affecting players.

We do discuss Lonzo Ball and his shot. Tune in!

You can follow Art on Twitter to see what he's up to. We, of course, bring up the Allan Houston Case Study, which shows one of the biggest impacts of coaching I've seen in NBA data. Check it out if you haven't.

Thanks for bringing Art in, in part for the eye test crowd. "Go up like a rocket, not out like a jet when shooting. Good stuff. The Knicks perimeter defense has been a sieve and that might explain Porzingis' fouls. You'd have to sit through a game to know for sure. Villanova won a national title last year and Jay Wright said after the game that they recruit players that can shoot free throws.
Bill Russell revealed something telling this weekend in the NYT. He was asked whether he'd like to play with today's 3 point rules. He said he wouldn't he preferred to play to his strengths and for many players today shooting a three is they only way they know how to score (I'm thinking of Carmelo Anthony regularly standing at the 3 point line waiting for the ball during the Olympics.).
Re: Steph Curry, paradoxically, being a great shooter makes a player "quicker" and harder to guard.
And, are those backboard shots mid-range shots?
For context, Porzingis is a below average big but about average as a PF. New York's team defensive adjustment was pretty bad too - maybe that's on him, maybe it's not.

I can see why teams are excited about him. He's 21. He doesn't have a lot of good statistical comps - the closest might be Raef LaFrentz, who was unfortunately derailed by injury.

While there aren't great comps, what reasonable ones there are imply that his 3rd season is going to be a big deal. Chris Bosh had a not-too-dissimilar sophomore season before breaking out in his 3rd, for instance. On the downside, he could be derailed by injury like LaFrentz, or settle into a middle road into more of a Serge Ibaka / Rip Hamilton type.

Point being he's still early on the age and experience curve, and even a typical trajectory from here looks like a very good player by the time he hits his second contract. That's a good draft pick! The risk for the Knicks is the hype - if he doesn't improve and ends up a Rip Hamilton level player on a max contract in a couple years, well, that's not a franchise killer but not going to turn anything around for them.
Porzingis is exciting because he already does a lot of the big man stuff you want to see from a young player, and is already producing decently for his age, he's just got to cut down on fouls and keep improving, and he could turn into a good player.

Our main issue with him is his value is too high right now - he's being valued like someone whose already a star, when the odds are that he'll never get there. The trader rumors surrounding him had the Knicks asking for more than CHI got for Butler or LAC got for Paul, which is ridiculous.
I would ask for more than CHI got for Butler or LAC got for Paul if I were the NYK.

Neither of those trades are particularly good comparisons - Paul was going to walk out the door anyway, and CHI is getting panned for giving Butler away - but more importantly I wouldn't compare Porzingis to Butler or Paul, but to the draft picks you'd put on the other side of the scale. Would you rather have Porzingis, given what we have seen so far, or a top 3 pick in the next draft? While he's not a star yet by any means, he's a lot more certain than the coin flip of a top 3 pick.

Also, if you think about the incentives in those trades, which side should the Knicks be on - the one trading picks for veterans, or veterans for picks? Put another way, what kind of veteran contracts would you have had to give Hinkie for Embiid, and why should the Knicks ask for Porzingis be any different?

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