Mr. Anderson: Could he be the One?

Some of you might have been surprised by the numer of minutes that Mr. Anderson logged last night. Truth be told, they were padded a little by RJ’s foul trouble, but if you look back at the Spurs’ last two inaugural games by Rookies you’ll see that if the Spurs are high on their young buck they will play them.

DeJuan Blair beasted it up for 22 minutes in his first game as a Spur and rung up 14 points in the process, and Mr. Hill sweated it out for 16 minutes while dropping 11 points.

But all of that, is only part of the story. Tonight when I was putting my youngest to bed, I was struck by a question. That question: how do the Spurs’ recent draft picks rank against the top pick from their respective classes? Since Neo only has one game under his belt making that comparison is going to be tough, but I’ll give it a shot any way.

Admittedly, one game is a small sample size to work with — it’s quite minute actually, kinda like your chances of ever hooking up with that one girl from high school — but this is my blog post and I’ll do with it what I please.

Another admission that must be made is that number one draft picks will undoubtedly play a different role than the 20th, 26th, or 37th pick. Throw in the fact that the draft lottery winner is most likely a sucky team, and now your pushing a slippery rock up a steep hill. Oh well, no one said things have to be easy.

Setting up some sort of arbitrary standard to judge against seems like the way to get us out of that predicament. Here’s my straw man: per 40 minute point total for the first game in each of their careers. So then, if you take a look at the first game per 40 minute scoring averages of Anderson, Blair, and Hill in comparison to those of John Wall, Blake Griffin, and Derrick Rose this is what you come up with.

  • James Anderson, 14.8pts/40 to John Wall’s 15.9pts/40
  • DeJuan Blair, 25.5pts/40 to Blake Griffin’s 20.5pts/40
  • George Hill, 27.5pts/40 to Derrick Rose’s 13.75pts/40

To be clear, I am not suggesting that Anderson, Blair, and Hill are going to have more illustrious careers that Wall, Griffin, and Rose.  What I am trying to do though, is cast the Spurs’ recent drafting efforts in the proper light.  A lot of people, myself included, have assumed that the Spurs haven’t really done a good job of drafting in the Pop/RC era — minus of course Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili — but this exercise maybe shows that conventional wisdom is not quite right on that front.  Then again, I could just be making a mountain out of a mole hill.

  • brandin

    I like this post good work, except i disagree with drafting in the Pop/Rc era. They had Scola who we couldn’t afford the buy out from his international team so we had to trade his rights. We have drafted the three u named Hill, Blair, and Anderson and don’t forget Nando De Colo who is expected to be a solid player and that Tiago guy is pretty good too. And to remind you these are picks that are no lower than 20 in the draft. I don’t think theres been a team in the nba who done a better job scouting and drafting players.

    • Mike

      brandin, I agree with you on your points. I feel that the three guys that we drafted and Tiago are going to put in some good work this season. Anderson looked sharp. Hope Tiago gets some PT Saturday.

    • bdiddy

      I’ll give you that there were some flops, but the value the Spurs have rung out of their picks…particularly over the last four season should be highly commended


    So does anyone know when Splitter will start??? I think it is up to him, RJ and Hill and Blair if the Spurs want to make another push top the Western conference finals. Also we could use the help of Anderson and Bonner. The story since 08 when we were knocked out of the conference finals against L.A. have been. 1. Can the big 3 stay healthy??? (Because we all know that they will always produce.) 2. Can we get some young, athletic, reliable, clutch role players that can play defense and shoot the 3 and spread the floor?? 3 If we can have this I watched the phoenix game last night and they have plenty of 3 point shooters that are reliable and can hit the 3. I still think we need some more. For me the West is really up for grabs. I think Kobe is masking his injury a little but definetly spots 2-8 are up for grabs in the West. Also if we have the rights to nando de colo when will he finally see some playing time??? I heard that the guy can shoot and he is a pretty good 3 point shooter
    BEAT L.A. SINCE 2000

  • jasonjanti

    NEWS FLASH FOR POP and Bufford. On the loss to the Hornets tonight. We lost by 9 points. I’m sure between Splitter and De Colo they could’ve scored atleast 5 each. So instead of being 1-1 we could be 2-0. Oh yeah I forgot there not playing yet for whatever reason. We’re saving them for the Rodeo Trip. 1. These games count, and especially when your at home. 2. Timmy still needs help…. Where is it. Where is Splitter and why isn’t he starting yet??? He still can’t be injured. 3. What on earth is Ginobli shooting 11 3 pointers for??? Are you serious. That Nando guy could’ve helped make some 3 pointers. Where’s he at??? If we own the rights to him when are we going to play him. Just saying…..
    4. With the West becoming more young and athletic I hope coach POP doesn’t think we are just going to coast through the regular season while resting our starters and wait for the rodeo trip to start playing well.
    5. if we can’t even beat the Hornets at home then how are we supposed to beat Dallas, Phoenix, or the Suns??? Jus saying. THESE GAMES MATTER (EVEN IF IT’S ONLY THE 2ND ONE OF THE SEASON.) WELL THERE GOES OUR CHANCE FOR 82-0. BEAT L.A. SINCE 1999

    • bdiddy

      Splitter has been injured, but is expected to log some time tonight.

      As for De Colo, he has a contract with his European team, so the Spurs can’t play him because he’s not signed to the team. Also, he may have some talent, but he was just a second round pick so don’t go expecting the moon.