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.

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