Sunday, 30 August 2015

Go Spurs Go!








(Thursday, 2 April 2015)

Saturday, 29 August 2015

My favourite NBA legends and John Starks

Just kidding about Starks. He is an NBA legend too, but mostly for the New York Knicks fans. I have never been their fan, but watching Starks was always memorable, mostly in a good way. He put all his heart in playing basketball and it was spectacular. Starks was a great dunker, but he was also a good 3-point shooter.

The video below is quite inspiring with a perfectly fitting song. At first I couldn't understand the main lyrics, so I spent some time searching for the song. I spare you the trouble – it's “Comin' from where I'm from” – from a song with exactly the same title by Anthony Hamilton.

Please notice Starks' awesome dunk over Horace Grant with Michael Jordan close by (from 1:36 in the video below - showed 3 times from different angles).



Below there are video highlights of my favourite two NBA legends, who stood out from the rest because of their passing ability.

The first one is Clyde Drexler, who was an incredible dunker, but also a great passer and defender. He finished his career with over 22000 points, over 6000 assists, over 6000 rebounds and over 2000 steals – the ONLY (!!!) NBA player to ever do it.

Plese notice Drexler's behind the back passes (from 2:33 in the video below).



The second one is the best NBA player ever, considering players' heights – John Stockton. He finished his career with over 15800 assists (over 3700 more than the second on the all-time list Jason Kidd!!!) and over 3200 steals (over 500 more than the second on the all-time list Jason Kidd!!!). Even though he is only 185 (6-1) tall, he still grabbed over 4000 rebounds and shot with 51.5 % from the field!!!

Please notice Stockton's very long perfect pass at 2:21 in the video below (showed twice almost from the same angle).



(Saturday, 6 September 2014)

Friday, 28 August 2015

Assisted (by John Stockton with Kerry L. Pickett)


What a beautiful book! If you like John Stockton as a basketball player then you must read it. My rating: 10/10

This book is a real autobiography, meaning that basketball is only one of many things John Stockton writes about. Of course his basketball career is always in the background, but he tries (successfully) to explain what other people and what other things helped him become the person he is. In turn it explains what made him such a great NBA player, but from this book you will NOT learn what a great player he was. There are only hints of his greatness, for example his Dream Team selection.

Stockton starts with his Hall of Fame induction, but it is clear that he doesn't want to brag about it. This first chapter is just an explanation what made him write his autobiography. To sum it up: during his Hall of Fame induction speech he was not able to even mention many people who deserved to be mentioned and Stockton felt bad about it. That's why the rest of the book is filled with names of all the people who were important to him throughout his life, on and off the court.

There are no basketball stats in the book. And there is no detailed description of his NBA career. There are only flashes of his memories, but they are both fun and insightful. Stockton describes some little know facts from his life, but he also gives his honest comments on some of our world's aspects. He isn't afraid to write even about a few things that are not quite “politically correct”. And he gets his point very well.

I must say that I have imagined young Stockton a little differently. From this book I have learned that he did some really stupid things, just like any one of us. And he was very lucky to get away unhurt. Well, maybe not quite unhurt – he had a silver tooth when he was young because he had lost the real one in a bike-jumping accident.

Stockton describes some memorable moments of his career, but he picks them the way he likes. Some of them are totally inconsequential for the reader, but important to Stockton. On the other hand he is very modest and writes about some things in a by-the-way kind of way. Not to brag, but to simply state a fact. Stockton omitted some of his personal achievements altogether – he doesn't even mention that he was named the 1993 All Star Game MVP (together with Karl Malone) or that he was the leader of the NBA in assists for so many years.

There are numerous black and white pictures throughout the book, but there are also 14 pages (right in the middle of the book) of a fine paper (clearly better than the rest) featuring many great-looking colour pictures. A very nice addition.

When I was reading this book I thought: “Oh man, what a great story! I have quote it. And this one, too. And this. And this. Damn it! I would have to quote half of the book! Wait… Would that be legal?” The main problem with quoting Stockton is the fact that he tells his stories in a very thoughtful way and it is impossible to quote a part of them without altering (losing) their meaning. Below there are some quotes to give you only a hint what the book is like.

    With my whole world seemingly at my side and the rest of the world tuning in, I listened to a brilliant acceptance speech by David Robinson. Friendly, confident, and seemingly completely at ease, he delivered a heartfelt and genuine oration without the aid of notes or a teleprompter. I was so impressed with David that I began to think of twenty ways I should change my own remarks. Sensing my distress, Nada tapped me on the hand, smiled, and whispered, “Yours is good. Just go ahead with it.” She helped me more with those few words than she will ever know.

    Mom and Dad were great at finding individual time for all of us kids but it was often in the flow of their workday. I think that is something that is missing in our modern culture: kids working with their parents. It was both enriching and fun, and provided time for some pretty good talks.

    I knew I had to tell Dad about this collision. I worried about it for hours. When he saw the damage, he managed a signature head scratch before asking if anyone was hurt. “No,” I replied. “Were you horsing around?” he asked. “No”, I echoed (not this time, anyway). “Well, the car is only a tool. Take it and get an estimate tomorrow,” he replied. I was surprised at his soothing and thoughtful response but shouldn't have been. Dad was at his best when things went badly. Even today, at eighty-four, he rallies when we need him the most.
    My relief was erased a month later when Mom and Dad informed me that due to the ticket and the accident I would have to pay for my own insurance. The premiums would reflect my recent driving record. I was going to have to mow a lot more lawns and shovel a lot more snow if I wanted mobility. My lack of protest might have surprised my folks. I think they expected some negotiation at least.

    Coach [Dan Fitzgerald] even talked when he drove. Everyone buckled up in his car, and it had nothing to do with the law. While driving, he would spend more time looking and gesturing to the backseat while delivering one of his gems than he did watching the road. I think Coach drove by Braille, listening for honks and relying on the rumble strips on the road's edge to stay in his lane.

    My contract was guaranteed for two years, but I felt certain it would be only a one-year hitch. I didn't doubt my own ability at that point but was convinced the Jazz would soon realize their mistake and send me packing. Everything was based from that point forward on that notion. I would save money and live sparsely so I had something to show from the whole experience. It was a mind-set that worked for me. I would practice and play as if there were no tomorrow. In this hunkered-down mentality, I was oddly comfortable and relaxed about the challenge. The way I saw it, I really had nothing to lose.

    Over the years I watched how Larry [Miller] treated his employees. He made it his business to know a little about each of his numerous workers. Getting to know them by more than their name was a priority. Striking up conversations with all employees within the organization without regard to their station was part of his method of operation. He made saying thank you a trademark. Larry treated people well even after he succeeded. I used to joke with him when he would take me out driving in his Shelby Cobra on mountain roads or at his race track: “It's good to be the king!” The beauty of Larry was that he shared the blessings he had with others. He was a good king.

    (…) Most of the comments I remember from Coach [Frank] Layden had more to do with how to be a good person than how to become a good basketball player, although the two roles often ran together. I frequently recall his sage advice to me at our first meeting: “Don't change who you are now that you've arrived.”

    Coach [Frank Layden] was hysterically funny yet serious about his work. He told jokes often as a method of making larger point about a game or life. He frequently spoke in public with a distinctive style. People would roll in the aisles at his self-deprecating deliveries such as “I have to hurry; they feed me every fifteen minutes,” a reference to his ample girth. Coach also had a special ability to use humor to relieve tension. One time when we were watching film from a previous game, the camera zoomed in on Coach's popped shirt button, which had exposed his belly. Because we were coming off a couple of losses, the tension in the room was palpable. Nobody wanted to show a reaction of any kind. From the back of the room, Frank bellowed, “I need a sign that says, 'Space available.'” We all busted our seams laughing. By the way we won the game that night.


(Monday, 6 April 2015)

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Clyde The Glide: My Life in Basketball (by Clyde Drexler with Kerry Eggers)


What a unique book! If you are Clyde Drexler's fan it's perfect.
My rating: 10/10

This book, like the title says, is mostly about basketball. There are some parts about Drexler's private life, but they are in the background. The main part of the book is all about basketball.

Around half of the book was written by Clyde Drexler himself and the other half are quotes made by his family members, friends, coaches and teammates. All those quotes were gathered by Kerry Eggers who had come up with the idea of writing such a book about Drexler. In his introduction to the book he writes that he spoke with more than 60 people in the process. Here's an interesting part of the introduction:
    Many of his friends and teammates took the opportunity to deliver some verbal jabs. Clyde never flinched, never asked to have the anecdote removed or altered. He took it in good fun and with the affection that it was intended, and he seemed to thoroughly enjoy it all.

The quotes in the book are mixed with Drexler's narration in a very thoughtful way, so they compliment each other as best as they can. But it is not obvious when you flip through the book without actually reading it. At first look I thought that the book could be a disappointment, but I was sooo wrong. It turned out that all those quotes are in fact even better than Drexler's parts, mostly because they praise Drexler so much.

Drexler himself stayed true to his character – a modest guy who doesn't want to brag about himself. I think it was hard for him to write about his own achievements because he was such a big star throughout his basketball career. He decided to take a matter-of-fact approach to write about himself, but his narration about everything else is great. I enjoyed especially the parts about Drexler's teammates and coaches from his best teams – the teams that made it to the NBA finals. You can feel his fondness and his great respect for all those people.

Clyde Drexler describes his basketball career in a pretty detailed way. There are his basic stats, his personal records, his awards, his team's regular seasons results and summaries of his team's every playoff series. Some years are described more thoroughly than others, but that is something obvious – every one of us has some favourite moments from his (or her) past.

It's fun to read so many good things about Drexler, but there are also some things that I was really surprised about, for example the fact that Drexler had a very strong character as a player.

Here are some quotes to give you an idea about the book:

    When the Cougars [University of Houston] were recruiting Michael [Young], they asked him who was the best player he played against. He said, “That's easy. The kid at Sterling.” They said another player's name. Michael said, “No, not him, Clyde Drexler.” They were shocked.

HAKEEM OLAJUWON: After practice [at University of Houston] I was invited to join the players at a pickup game, and there I got to see Clyde's skills. I was impressed with his competitiveness and the fact that his game was not just one-dimensional. He had a complete game – he ran the floor so well, his rebounding and scoring, and one of his specialties was his ability to make steals.

HAKEEM OLAJUWON: (…) I don't know how he did it, but he positioned himself so that every time a shot was blocked it went right into his hands. The ball goes up, everybody fights for it, it gets grabbed by somebody – that's Clyde. When a ball gets swatted away and somebody saves it – that's Clyde.

DENISE PINK [Clyde's sister]: (…) He could spontaneously dunk in a way that people had never seen. If I were to say: “OK, Clyde, count to three and do this dunk,” he couldn't do it. But put him in a game situation and he would always improvise and execute like no other. It was amazing.

    Coach Lewis [University of Houston] didn't want to stop practices too much to talk while you were playing. I thought that was pretty smart. I hated coaches who stopped things every couple of minutes. Let the players play while they are sweating and in a flow. When we were through, Coach Lewis would go to the chalkboard and talk about things. He would stop a scrimmage only if it were necessary. Unless you lose a tooth, keep playing. If one got knocked out, he might stop playing for a minute.

JIM NANTZ: Clyde was exceedingly polite and thoughtful. He was someone who, the minute you met him, you liked him.

HAKEEM OLAJUWON: (…) His jump shot was suspect because all they [NBA scouts] ever saw was him running the floor and jamming. He had a very good jump shot, but no one knew it because he dunked all the time.

STU INMAN: (…) The thing that came through from conversations with all of them [college coaches] was that Clyde was the glue on that team. (…) They said he did what he had to do to win a game. His ego never interfered with his will to win. When we brought him for a personal workout and an interview, he impressed everybody with his intelligence. He was a straight shooter, a no-nonsense guy, and he had his life together. I remember noting in our pre-draft material he was working at a bank in the summers, a job that related to the course of study he was involved in at the university.

STU INMAN: (…) Bruce [Ogilvie] called me after Clyde had taken the [psychology] test, and he asked me – it was meant as a joke – is there any way he could have gotten the answers ahead of time?

DARNELL VALENTINE: One day at practice [during Drexler's first NBA season] Clyde threw a behind-the-back pass. That wasn't a part of Jack Ramsay's philosophy about the game. In fact, that was the exact opposite of how Jack felt basketball should be played. Jack said something to Clyde about it. The very next play, Clyde came down and threw another behind-the-back pass. I mean, the rest of us all kind of looked at Clyde like, “Whoa.” Nobody dared to do that with the Doctor. But Clyde had enormous self-confidence, and most of the time could back it up, and I always admired that in him. He believed in himself so much, believed so much in his abilities, that he was not going to be denied.

KIKI VANDEWEGHE: (…) I can remember quite clearly talking to Jack [Ramsay], who had just traded what amounted to five players for me. I said, “Look, you need to play Clyde. He is the best player on this team.” Jack looked at me like I was crazy. He said, “I just traded five players for you, and you are telling me Clyde is a better player?”

BOB COOK: (…) He never had a physical complaint before a game, like a lot of guys would. “That's an excuse for failure,” he would say. He never played the injury card, and I always admired that.

DWIGHT JAYNES: (…) Mike [Schuler] told me, “I used to think Clyde was a tough guy to coach. By today's standards, he is a choir boy.”

TERRY PORTER: (…) He had his moments with the coaches, but on the floor, he always tried to encourage his teammates. The only player I played with who approached his greatness was Tim Duncan. Clyde was the best perimeter guy I ever played with, hands down.

    I worked hard every summer to stay in shape. I didn't work out on stationary machines. I ran and lifted weights and went to the gym and shot every day. I spent five, six, seven hours a day working out every summer. That is how I got better.

    Every day was a new adventure with that group. Danny [Ainge] hadn't received his contract extension, supposedly because management had run out of money on the rest of our deals. At Christmas, Danny bought boxes of chocolates for everybody and gave them out on the plane. He handed Petrie a box; when Geoff opened it, it was empty. “Sorry, I just ran out of chocolates,” Ainge told him. Everybody just roared. Petrie was good-natured about it. He had to admit it was funny.

KARL MALONE: If you were starting a team and looking for a two guard, you would choose Michael [Jordan]. The second one would be Clyde. There is no shame in that. That is just the way it was. Clyde was a remarkable player in all ways. I have a great deal of respect for him.

    The first time I got the ball [after his trade to the Houston Rockets], we were in our set offense, and all of a sudden, my guy left me to double-team Hakeem [Olajuwon]. I was thinking, “I'm not used to this. Defenders just don't leave me like this.” I had an open shot inside the key, looked around, and didn't know what to do. Hakeem had the biggest smile on his face. He said, “Shoot, Drex, shoot!” I traveled, and then I threw up an airball. I'll never forget that. At our next timeout, we went back to the huddle, and Rudy [Tomjanovich] was laughing. Hakeem said, “Drex, you are going to kill people playing on this team.”

    When I look back at my career, one of the most rewarding things has been my relationship with fans. It is always hard for me to imagine how a professional athlete wouldn't fully appreciate those people who are so supportive and, in reality, pay their salary. I have a problem with athletes who don't extend fans the simple courtesies of an autograph, a handshake or a smile. Those guys just don't get it. The fans have always been great to me.


(Sunday, 3 May 2015)

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

The Admiral: The David Robinson Story (by Gregg Lewis and Deborah Shaw Lewis)


My rating: 9/10

This is a great book, but it may be divided into two separate parts and this is exactly how I will review it.

I. The David Robinson Story – the years 1966-1991.
This part starts from chapter 2 and it ends in the middle of chapter 13. It is around 80 pages long.

My rating: 10/10

There is a HUGE amount of interesting things about David Robinson. For example I didn't know that he was such an intelligent kid, but there is also a deeper story behind it. Before he was old enough to show his intelligence his parents were worried for whole three YEARS if his brain was OK – as a 6-month baby he got jammed between a bed and a wall in such a way that he was not able to breathe. When his mother found him he was already blue because of the lack of oxygen and he did not start breathing on his own even after she freed him. She saved his life by doing a CPR – she was a nurse and she knew the procedure, but doing something like this on her own little baby was a challenge. Nobody knew how long he had not been breathing, so nobody could tell if his brain was damaged or how much it was damaged.

I was surprised that David Robinson was gifted not only towards basketball, but also many other things like mathematics, electronics or music. He actually chose to study at the Naval Academy in Annapolis for its educational standards, not basketball. Then in the middle of his studies, when it was already clear that he could end up in the NBA, he had to make a decision whether to stay in the Navy or change the college. The stakes were very high because by staying and then graduating from the Naval Academy he would then be required to serve in the Navy for FIVE years instead of playing in the NBA right away. Before he finished his studies it was clear that he would have to serve for only 2 years, but when he made his decision to stay in the Navy it was equally possible that it will be 5 years of service, not 2. Can you imagine any other person making such a decision?

II. The David Robinson Story – the years 1991-2012.
This part consists of chapter 1 (a kind of introduction), the second half of the chapter 13 and the remaining chapters of the book (from 14 to 20) – around 64 pages in total.

My rating: 8/10

Most people know that David Robinson was a truly good person, but I was surprised how much religious he became in the year 1991. And he was not afraid to speak about it in public. This spirited part of his life is emphasized in this part of the book. To me it was not really an issue, but I was somewhat disappointed that basketball was pushed too far into the background. There is most basic info about his NBA achievements and awards, but I was very annoyed that some things were described almost pathetically, for example the San Antonio Spurs' playoffs runs.

This part of the book is interesting for a whole different reason – it's remarkable how truly good a person David Robinson has become, being already an NBA star. Wow!

Please, notice that the things quoted in the chapter 1 are taken out of context and can be wrongly understood – not a good way to start a book. At first they seem like a wishful-thinking, but in later chapters it becomes clear why and in what circumstances David Robinson said such things.

Please, remember that David Robinson is not an example because of what he did as a very famous and rich person, but what values made him to do all those things. It's obvious that a normal person, with normal salary, would never be able to do some things David Robinson did.

Summing up:
The book is AWESOME for David Robinson's fans who are interested in his early years and for people, especially young people, who would like to read about a real superstar who values other things more than wealth and career.

Here are some quotes to give you an idea about the book:

    Soon David's intelligence began to create problems in the classroom. He would finish his work faster than any of the other children and got everything right. But once he was finished, he would distract the other children who were still working.

    One evening when David was five years old, Mr. Robinson had been playing piano with David next to him. Then Ambrose got up and walked into another room. A few moments later he was surprised to hear a familiar tune. David's parents walked in to see David at the piano playing the same song his father had just been playing.
    “David!” his father exclaimed. “How did you learn to play that song?”
    “I just watched you play, Dad” David explained.

    David liked VMI [the Virginia Military Institute] well enough. But he was practically awestruck when he came home from a weekend visit to the Naval Academy [in Annapolis]. “Wow, Mom!” he exclaimed. “The lab set up is better than any college I've visited. They have so much equipment I couldn't believe it. But I can't make up my mind.”

    The physical demands were also tough. To start with, all midshipmen were expected to swim one hundred meters – four lengths of the pool. David couldn't make it. So he was assigned to a swimming class where he had to swim for forty minutes at a time. He also had to dive off a tower thirty feet high. It would take him a while to conquer his fear and learn to make the dive without thinking.

    The classes themselves were tough – thermodynamics, navigation, advanced calculus, physics, computer science and technology, contemporary American literature, advanced computer programming, celestial navigation, advanced numerical analysis, computer data structures, partial differential equations, and economic geography. The homework load nearly overwhelmed him that first term. “Most days we had too much,” David says. “The rest of the time we had way too much.”

    But they quickly noticed how graceful and athletic he was. His roommate Hootie Leibert recalls a required three-week course in gymnastics. “David was so big I didn't think he could do it. But after the rest of us looked bad, he got up on the parallel bars and started making these fancy moves and doing all sorts of stuff. It only took him a week to do everything required to get an A in the course.

    That was it. David had made his decision. He had chosen academics over sports.
    David never anticipated the reaction. He was praised in speeches and editorials all over America for his character. People were more impressed than ever. Here was a young man who chose commitment, loyalty, learning, and national service over celebrity and wealth.

    Not only had David led the league in scoring in 1994, but he was also the NBA's top rebounder in 1991 and led the NBA in blocked shots in 1992. David and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are the only two players in NBA history to achieve this trifecta.

    (…) While other franchises plowed through difficult periods of dissension and it's-my-team lip-flapping, nary a word of jealousy between Robinson and Duncan ever became public, if, indeed, any was uttered at all.

    David is also motivated by gratitude and the realization that he has been tremendously blessed. “I've been given ridiculous favor. When you're in a position of influence, with access, you can be a voice. I like to say, 'If you have a strong voice, don't whisper.' ”

(Sunday, 3 April 2016)

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Videos of John Stockton

Below there are some videos of John Stockton that I found on Youtube. I wanted to post them together with this review: Assisted (by John Stockton with Kerry L. Pickett), but the post would be too long.

I wrote some things about Stockton here: My favourite NBA legends and John Starks, but I have to point out one more thing – John Stockton played for 19 seasons (exactly 1504 regular season games) and retired when he was 41 years old, finishing with CAREER averages of 10.5 assists and 13.1 points per game. That's a CAREER double-double average !!! From 1504 games !!! How awesome is that ?!?!?!



The second and third videos show Stockton in the game 6 of the 1997 Western Conference Finals (Stockton's highlights and the whole game respectively). In the book Assisted Stockton himself describes his buzzer-beater in this game as his favourite moment in the NBA. But he “forgets” to mention that in this game he in fact scored 11 of the Utah Jazz's last 14 points. That's Stockton's modesty, again.



There is one thing I wonder about – when the game gets tied at 100 there are 22.4 seconds on the clock, but the next play starts with Utah Jazz having the ball again and there are only 2.8 seconds on the clock. Does anybody remember what happened in between these plays?



The last video shows the 1993 All Star Game. That game was a unique one, for many reasons. Most notably the game was quite tight and intense, for an ALL Star game, and the ending felt like a playoff game. John Stockton, together with Karl Malone, was named the game's MVP.



(Monday, 6 April 2015)

Monday, 24 August 2015

Videos of Clyde (The Glide) Drexler

Below there are some videos of Clyde Drexler that I found on Youtube. I wanted to post them together with this review: Clyde The Glide: My Life in Basketball (by Clyde Drexler with Kerry Eggers), but the post would be too long.

I wrote some things about Drexler here: My favourite NBA legends and John Starks, plese reade it first.



The second video shows Drexler's phenomenal dunk from his college times, when he was a member of the legendary Phi Slamma Jamma.



The third video is Drexler's TOP 20, kind of. My favourite play is numbered 18 - Drexler's finger-roll over David Robinson. Cool.



The next two videos show Drexler together with the Portland Trail Blazers. They were such a fun team: Clyde Drexler, Jerome Kersey, Terry Porter, Buck Williams, Kevin Duckworth and Clifford Robinson, among others.





The last two videos show Drexler teams' best seasons: 1991-92 (Portland Trail Blazers) and 1994-95 (Houston Rockets).





(Sunday, 3 May 2015)

Sunday, 23 August 2015

A picture of Mario Elie

I am currently reading a great autobiography book written by John Stockton with the assistance of Kerry L. Pickett, titled “Assisted”. I am going to review it in detail, but I need some time to do it. I have already searched Youtube to find some videos of Stockton to post them together with the review. In one of the videos I saw a picture that made me smile. I have to share it.

I am talking about the picture of Mario Elie looking at the Utah Jazz players celebrating John Stockton's 3-pointer at the buzzer that sent them to the 1997 NBA Finals. Elie's expression is ice-cold, but whoever remembers this player knows how ironic this picture is.


When I look at this picture I imagine Mario Elie's thoughts: “So, this is the feeling when somebody else makes a clutch 3-pointer at the buzzer. Hmmm …”

Usually it was Elie who made such shots for the Houston Rockets, winning 2 NBA titles by the way. Three years later (in 1998) he signed with the San Antonio Spurs and was making cluch 3-pointers again, winning another NBA title. Please, notice the reaction of Gregg Popovich in the second video at 3:21.





(Monday, 30 March 2015)

Saturday, 22 August 2015

San Antonio Spurs are the NBA Champions! Again! Congratulations!

San Antonio Spurs are the NBA Champions! Again! Congratulations!

San Antonia Spurs has been my favourite NBA team for a very long time, mostly because of Tim Duncan – one of the best basketball players of all time. I have always liked Duncan for his calm and professionalism. Many people have called him boring, but winning an NBA Championship is not about excitement, but about getting the job done. And Duncan lead the Spurs to 5 NBA Championships! And to 16 regular seasons with at least 50 wins!

On the site:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Duncan
I found a good comment made by Duncan himself: “If you show excitement, then you also may show disappointment or frustration. If your opponent picks up on this frustration, you are at a disadvantage.”

Here’s is a link to a very interesting, eye-opening article about Tim Duncan as a person:
http://www.poundingtherock.com/2014/6/15/5811100/nba-finals-spurs-tim-duncan-mystery-revealed

Tim Duncan alone couldn’t have achieved so much without a significant help from his teammates, obviously. Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Boris Diaw, Danny Green, Tiago Splitter, Patric Mills, Marco Belinelli, Matt Bonner, Aron Baynes, Jeff Ayres and Cory Joseph – they all did a great job this year. The best job, however, did Gregg Popovich, who was able to coach the San Antonio Spurs into a perfectly-working team. This is what basketball is all about: team play. Here’s a San Antonio Spurs 2014 tribute:


And here’s what a 37-year old guy from Argentina was able to do in the game 5 of the NBA 2014 finals:


Here’s why Kawhi Leonard was named NBA 2014 finals MVP.




Kawhi Leonard seems like another great franchise player for the San Antonio Spurs. When Duncan was drafted in 1997 the biggest such player was obviously David Robinson. But there was another player then who spent almost his entire NBA career with the Spurs – Sean Elliott. I just had to mention him, because he was the author of the Memorial Day Miracle. It happened in the game 2 of the 1999 Western Conference Finals, during the 1999 playoffs which ended with the first NBA Championship for the San Antonio Spurs. Elliott really pulled off a miracle then – he had to catch a very difficult inbound pass (almost intercepted by Stacey Augmon), keeping his right foot from stepping on a sideline (he placed the foot in a slightly unnatural angle), but it got him off balance and he had to dribble once not to be called for travelling, then he had to launch a 3-pointer still balancing over the sideline and keeping his heels from touching the line (he jumped using only the fronts of his feet) and he had to shoot the ball in a very high arc not to be blocked by Rasheed Wallace (who jumped VERY high, but was too far away). And the shot went in! A miracle!


Sean Elliott was a good shooter, but he was also known for his explosive style of play close to the basket. Please, take a look:


(Monday, 16 June 2014)

Friday, 21 August 2015

San Antonio Spurs Tribute - The Beautiful Game

When I search Youtube for some NBA videos I choose only movies with some good music. Today I found three videos that are AWESOME. I can't believe that I had not found them earlier. Well, maybe the very beginning of the second movie is not perfect, but its ending is definitely perfect.







(Saturday, 9 April 2016)

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Ste-phen-omenon Curry

Stephen Curry is a phenomenon. I like that guy because to me basketball has always been all about shooting. Not dunking, but shooting. And he can shoot from VERY far.



.

(Wednesday, 10 February 2016)

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Happy 40th birthday Tim Duncan!

(Originally posted on Monday, 25 April 2016)



Tuesday, 18 August 2015

I think it's over

(Originally posted on Friday, 20 May 2016)

This was the San Antonio Spurs' best regular season ever, but Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili had their worst personal playoffs numbers. I think neither of them will return for the next season. But it's OK – they did more than enough to make their fans happy.







Monday, 17 August 2015

Great song for a great tribute video!

(Originally posted on Friday, 22 July 2016)





Sunday, 16 August 2015

First baskets in the NBA by chosen players

What a cool video! I have to share it.



(Wednesday, 10 February 2016)

Saturday, 15 August 2015

This made my day

(Originally posted on Thursday, 5 May 2016)

I've always liked David Robinson and this GIF made my day.


Monday, 10 August 2015

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Tim Duncan – the luckiest NBA center ever

(Originally posted on Wednesday, 10 August 2016)

Tim Duncan is one of my favourite NBA players ever, but I do NOT like it when he is called “the best power forward ever”.

Tim Duncan was very LUCKY to be drafted by the San Antonio Spurs – a team with a fantastic center David Robinson. I think that in most of the other teams Duncan would play at center, because it would be better for the team. While playing with David Robinson, it was not necessary.

Duncan was doubly lucky that he played with David Robinson - he didn't have to worry about the strongest opponents (centers), especially in defence, and he and Robinson had both easier time against most of the other teams because it's very hard to defend against two big men, especially as gifted as they were.

Robinson was smart enough to accept a different role in the franchise that was “his” in the whole previous decade. He focused on defence and let Duncan carry the San Antonio offensively, especially in clutch times – this was the only thing at which Tim Duncan was clearly better than David Robinson.

David Robinson did a great job playing as a secondary, yet tremendously gifted big man, next to Duncan, for whole FIVE years! Duncan won 2 NBA MVP awards in that time. And let's not forget that David Robinson was the NBA MVP himself (in 1995).

Overall I am against comparing players according to their nominal positions. The best players are the ones who can do whatever is needed to win games. Moreover the nominal position is the position at which a particular player starts a game, but much more important thing is how many minutes he plays at this position and how many minutes he plays at a different position.

During the 2003 playoffs David Robinson started at center, but played only 23.4 minutes per game. There was another nominal center Kevin Willis, but he played only 5.1 minutes a game. Tim Duncan started at power forward, but he played 42.5 minutes per game, so he played AT LEAST 14 minutes per game at center, not at power forward.

One could argue that a team can play without a center and that Duncan was power forward all the time. Well, I wouldn't agree with that because a power forward guarding a center is doing the center's job. And in offence if there is no center then the power forward has more possibilities to drive to the basket, so he is NOT a classic power forward either.

The most important reason I consider Tim Duncan as a ceter is the fact that since the 2006-2007 season Tim Duncan is listed as center! That's 10 seasons of his career!

Beside David Robinson there were also other great players in San Antonio when Tim Duncan started his career, most notably Sean Elliott who was the 3rd pick in the 1989 draft. Moreover Duncan played for a great coach – Gregg Popovitch. I think Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovitch enhanced each other's legacies significantly. Lastly the San Antonio Spurs organization, as a whole, was a dream come true to Duncan. He was very lucky to be drafted by such a great team. The luckiest NBA center ever!


















Saturday, 8 August 2015

Funny San Antonio Spurs GIFs and JPGs

(Originally posted on Saturday, 13 August 2016)

Here are some funny San Antonio Spurs GIFs and JPGs plus one extra non-Spurs funny GIF.







































Thursday, 6 August 2015

Comparing NBA MVPs

(Originally posted on Saturday, 23 September 2017; changed on 27 May 2018)

This post will be updated after every NBA season.

This is the newest (2018) version of my comparison of the NBA MVPs. My current calculations for the “MVP value” are based on the values of NBA statistics that I calculated here:
How to compare NBA players comprehensively

The MVP value works two ways. On one hand it’s just another verification of the values of NBA statistics (most of the actual NBA MVPs have the highest MVP value too), but on the other hand it also points out some cases that can be considered controversial.

All the statistical data I used I found on this site:
http://www.basketball-reference.com/

I created my formula for the MVP value inspired by the data found on this site:
https://www.reddit.com/r/nba/comments/2j2oen/a_look_at_the_seeding_of_past_mvps/

It's clear that I had to take into account also the number of wins achieved by particular teams. Obviously a player from the worst team will never win the MVP award. I made my calculations with the reference point of 60 wins in a season:

MVP value = overall value * (1 + (team wins – 60) / 60)

The formula means that for every 6 team wins above 60 a player from that team gets +10 % of his overall value and -10 % for every 6 team wins below 60.

As you can see I use total overall value, without calculating per-game overall value. Why? Because a player who was injured for some time was automatically less valuable to his team in that season – his team had to play some games without him. He was also less valuable to the league as a whole – he did not attract bigger attendance in the games he missed.

Moreover, if I were to make calculations based on per-game overall value then I would have to use another reference point showing minimum number of games that would make a player “eligible” to win the MVP award. I have no idea what such minimum number of games should be. Total values are objective in their own way (in a particular season).

To find the needed data I used the (awesome) player season finder and the (awesome) team season finder:
http://bkref.com/tiny/9SWSZ
http://bkref.com/tiny/29FM3

Obviously an MVP voting is not entirely based on personal statistics and team wins (even though in most cases it would be enough), so I will list top-3 players in each year (and the official MVP if he was outside the top-3).

The best players according to my values of basketball statistics and my MVP value formula are listed below. The official MVP is marked by an asterisk. TW means “Team Wins”.

1. James Harden (2016-17):   2316.4   (TW: 55)
2. Stephen Curry (2016-17):   2299.3   (TW: 67)
3. Russell Westbrook (2016-17)*:   2041.5   (TW: 47)

1. Stephen Curry (2015-16)*:   3039.2   (TW: 73)
2. Draymond Green (2015-16):   2046.9   (TW: 73)
3. Klay Thompson (2015-16):   1933.1   (TW: 73)

1. Stephen Curry (2014-15)*:   2322.9   (TW: 67)
2. James Harden (2014-15):   2059.4   (TW: 56)
3. Chris Paul (2014-15):   1846.7   (TW: 56)

1. Kevin Durant (2013-14)*:   2482.4   (TW: 59)
2. LeBron James (2013-14):   1896.4   (TW: 54)
3. Blake Griffin (2013-14):   1787.4   (TW: 57)

1. LeBron James (2012-13)*:   2475.0   (TW: 66)
2. Kevin Durant (2012-13):   2352.1   (TW: 60)
3. Russell Westbrook (2012-13):   1801.8   (TW: 60)

1. Kevin Durant (2011-12):   1712.6   (TW: 47)
2. LeBron James (2011-12)*:   1639.4   (TW: 46)
3. Russell Westbrook (2011-12):   1299.4   (TW: 47)

For the season 2011-12 I used a different reference point (48 games) because the season was shorter than usual (66 games). I used a similar proportion: 60/82=0.732 and 48/66=0.727. The shorter season explains why the MVP values are much lower.

1. LeBron James (2010-11):   2042.3   (TW: 58)
2. Derrick Rose (2010-11)*:   1931.5   (TW: 62)
3. Kevin Durant (2010-11):   1791.1   (TW: 55)

1. LeBron James (2009-10)*:   2389.2   (TW: 61)
2. Kevin Durant (2009-10):   1883.2   (TW: 50)
3. Dirk Nowitzki (2009-10):   1785.1   (TW: 55)

1. LeBron James (2008-09)*:   2634.0   (TW: 66)
2. Kobe Bryant (2008-09):   2141.7   (TW: 65)
3. Pau Gasol (2008-09):   1899.4   (TW: 65)

1. Kobe Bryant (2007-08)*:   2058.0   (TW: 57)
2. Chris Paul (2007-08):   1924.8   (TW: 56)
3. Amar'e Stoudemire (2007-08):   1874.7   (TW: 55)

1. Dirk Nowitzki (2006-07)*:   2187.2   (TW: 67)
2. Steve Nash (2006-07):   1758.1   (TW: 61)
3. Shawn Marion (2006-07):   1745.9   (TW: 61)

1. Dirk Nowitzki (2005-06):   2130.7   (TW: 60)
2. LeBron James (2005-06):   1903.7   (TW: 50)
3. Shawn Marion (2005-06):   1883.1   (TW: 54)

9. Steve Nash (2005-06)*:   1598.3   (TW: 54)

It seems to me that Dirk Nowitzki should have won the MVP award in 2006 (he was third in the voting behind LeBron James), so in total he should have won the award two times.



1. Amar'e Stoudemire (2004-05):   2045.3   (TW: 62)
2. Dirk Nowitzki (2004-05):   2021.5   (TW: 58)
3. Shawn Marion (2004-05):   1936.6   (TW: 62)

8. Steve Nash (2004-05)*:   1552.7   (TW: 62)

It seems to me that Amar'e Stoudemire should have won the MVP award in 2005 (he was only 9th in the voting).

1. Kevin Garnett (2003-04)*:   2288.1   (TW: 58)
2. Peja Stojakovic (2003-04):   1742.5   (TW: 55)
3. Jermaine O'Neal (2003-04):   1573.6   (TW: 61)

1. Tim Duncan (2002-03)*:   2135.7   (TW: 60)
2. Dirk Nowitzki (2002-03):   2119.6   (TW: 60)
3. Kevin Garnett (2002-03):   1935.1   (TW: 51)

1. Tim Duncan (2001-02)*:   2196.1   (TW: 58)
2. Dirk Nowitzki (2001-02):   1804.4   (TW: 57)
3. Kobe Bryant (2001-02):   1745.7   (TW: 58)

1. Shaquille O'Neal (2000-01):   1942.6   (TW: 56)
2. Tim Duncan (2000-01):   1826.3   (TW: 58)
3. Dirk Nowitzki (2000-01):   1681.4   (TW: 53)

7. Allen Iverson (2000-01)*:   1575.2   (TW: 56)

It seems to me that Shaquille O'Neal should have won the MVP award in 2001 (he was third in the voting behind Tim Duncan), so in total he should have won the award two times.

1. Shaquille O'Neal (1999-00)*:   2673.2   (TW: 67)
2. Karl Malone (1999-00):   1859.9   (TW: 55)
3. Kevin Garnett (1999-00):   1705.1   (TW: 50)

1. Karl Malone (1998-99)*:   1131.2   (TW: 37)
2. Tim Duncan (1998-99):   1126.1   (TW: 37)
3. Shaquille O'Neal (1998-99):   1005.7   (TW: 31)

For the season 1998-99 I used a different reference point (37 games) because the season was shorter than usual (50 games). I used a similar proportion: 60/82=0.732 and 37/50=0.740. The shorter season explains why the MVP values are much lower.

1. Karl Malone (1997-98):   2220.0   (TW: 62)
2. Michael Jordan (1997-98)*:   2000.9   (TW: 62)
3. Tim Duncan (1997-98):   1750.8   (TW: 56)

1. Michael Jordan (1996-97):   2527.7   (TW: 69)
2. Karl Malone (1996-97)*:   2376.5   (TW: 64)
3. Scottie Pippen (1996-97):   2008.1   (TW: 69)

1. Michael Jordan (1995-96)*:   2782.1   (TW: 72)
2. David Robinson (1995-96):   2325.0   (TW: 59)
3. Karl Malone (1995-96):   1937.3   (TW: 55)

Please notice that the MVP value of Michael Jordan from the season 1995-1996 was the highest until the season 2015-16 when Stephen (Stephenomen) Curry beat it with his phenomenal 3-point shooting on a team that won 73 games . But no matter what, Michael Jordan was faaar above any other player just because of one thing: reverse layups! He could regularly score in situations where hardly any other player would ever succeed.





1. David Robinson (1994-95)*:   2478.9   (TW: 62)
2. Karl Malone (1994-95):   2183.4   (TW: 60)
3. Shaquille O'Neal (1994-95):   2104.0   (TW: 57)

1. David Robinson (1993-94):   2305.5   (TW: 55)
2. Hakeem Olajuwon (1993-94)*:   2278.4   (TW: 58)
3. Shaquille O'Neal (1993-94):   2020.7   (TW: 50)

1. Hakeem Olajuwon (1992-93):   2308.7   (TW: 55)
2. Michael Jordan (1992-93):   2260.1   (TW: 57)
3. Charles Barkley (1992-93)*:   2228.7   (TW: 62)

1. Michael Jordan (1991-92)*:   2613.0   (TW: 67)
2. Scottie Pippen (1991-92):   2127.1   (TW: 67)
3. Karl Malone (1991-92):   2010.7   (TW: 55)

1. Michael Jordan (1990-91)*:   2571.6   (TW: 61)
2. David Robinson (1990-91):   2234.5   (TW: 55)
3. Karl Malone (1990-91):   2102.6   (TW: 54)

1. Michael Jordan (1989-90):   2473.1   (TW: 55)
2. Magic Johnson (1989-90)*:   2311.0   (TW: 63)
3. Karl Malone (1989-90):   2176.5   (TW: 55)

1. Michael Jordan (1988-89):   2151.9   (TW: 47)
2. Magic Johnson (1988-89)*:   2142.6   (TW: 57)
3. Karl Malone (1988-89):   1839.9   (TW: 51)

1. Michael Jordan (1987-88)*:   2279.5   (TW: 50)
2. Larry Bird (1987-88):   2275.0   (TW: 57)
3. Clyde Drexler (1987-88):   1857.5   (TW: 53)

1. Magic Johnson (1986-87)*:   2449.9   (TW: 65)
2. Larry Bird (1986-87):   2278.6   (TW: 59)
3. Kevin McHale (1986-87):   2089.7   (TW: 59)

1. Larry Bird (1985-86)*:   2600.8   (TW: 67)
2. Magic Johnson (1985-86):   1835.2   (TW: 62)
3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1985-86):   1820.2   (TW: 62)

1. Larry Bird (1984-85)*:   2611.1   (TW: 63)
2. Magic Johnson (1984-85):   1957.1   (TW: 62)
3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1984-85):   1883.4   (TW: 62)

1. Larry Bird (1983-84)*:   2172.2   (TW: 62)
2. Robert Parish (1983-84):   1692.0   (TW: 62)
3. Adrian Dantley (1983-84):   1575.0   (TW: 45)

1. Moses Malone (1982-83)*:   2216.7   (TW: 65)
2. Larry Bird (1982-83):   1945.2   (TW: 56)
3. Magic Johnson (1982-83):   1821.4   (TW: 58)

1. Larry Bird (1981-82):   2053.1   (TW: 63)
2. Julius Erving (1981-82):   1918.3   (TW: 58)
3. Magic Johnson (1981-82):   1848.5   (TW: 57)
4. Moses Malone (1981-82)*:   1842.5   (TW: 46)

1. Julius Erving (1980-81)*:   2107.7   (TW: 62)
2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1980-81):   1993.4   (TW: 54)
3. Larry Bird (1980-81):   1966.4   (TW: 62)

1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1979-80)*:   2354.2   (TW: 60)
2. Julius Erving (1979-80):   1965.1   (TW: 59)
3. Larry Bird (1979-80):   1876.0   (TW: 61)

1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1978-79):   1875.5   (TW: 47)
2. Moses Malone (1978-79)*:   1767.9   (TW: 47)
3. Elvin Hayes (1978-79):   1611.5   (TW: 54)

1. George Gervin (1977-78):   1674.6   (TW: 52)
2. David Thompson (1977-78):   1507.7   (TW: 48)
3. Bob McAdoo (1977-78):   1488.4   (TW: 43)

9. Bill Walton (1977-78)*:   1348.6   (TW: 58)

The season 1977-78 was a unique one. Bill Walton had played very well until he suffered a season-ending injury. Most importantly his team's record was 48-10 with him and 10-14 without him. His team's overall record (58-24) was still the best in the league and the next team's record was 55-27. It can be projected that Walton's team would have won 68 games if he had stayed healthy and Walton's MVP value would be 2235.4 then – much bigger than anyone else's. Such numbers were decisive, but George Gervin was a close second in the voting. As I wrote before, total values are objective in their own way (in a particular season), but this case was an exception.

1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1976-77)*:   2439.4   (TW: 53)
2. Elvin Hayes (1976-77):   1805.1   (TW: 48)
3. Julius Erving (1976-77):   1710.4   (TW: 50)

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

The best NBA drafts and the GOAT list

(Originally posted on Sunday, 17 June 2018)

This is the newest and the best version of my comparison of the NBA drafts (the careers of NBA players). This time I took into account also the playoff “legacy”, so it is also the GOAT analysis.

My calculations are based on the values of NBA statistics that I calculated here:
How to compare NBA players comprehensively

All the statistical data I used I found on this site:
http://www.basketball-reference.com/

At this point I would like to thank Mike from the above site who in 2016 answered my plea for more precise NBA draft data by explaining to me how I could gather the required data in a very easy way. Mike explained to me that I can “filter by draft year for searches in the player season finder and can set the search for career stats”, with this example:
http://bkref.com/tiny/ifje3

Thank You Mike!

My analysis was based on the data for the seasons starting with the season 1976-77 up to the season 2017-18. I didn't care for the earlier years because in 1976 the NBA merged with the ABA and after that the NBA players' job became more difficult.

I did analyse the drafts before the 1976 draft (mostly because of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), but because I ignored some of the seasons (all the seasons prior to the season 1976-77) the values of those drafts are by definition not quite comparable to the draft 1976 and later drafts. Nevertheless, some of the players, most notably Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who was drafted in 1969, played so long and were so good that they ARE comparable to the players drafted in 1976 or later.

I also analysed the careers of players who were never drafted in the NBA (mostly because of Moses Malone). Such players were “ignored” in different drafts (different years), so I didn't create a “no-draft” class, but I did include them in the GOAT list.

Comparing careers of NBA players is very difficult and controversial. Some players were playing great right from the start of their career and some other needed some time to start playing great. Some players were extremely durable and played a huge number of games and some other suffered serious injuries and played much less games. Some players ended their careers right after the peak of their careers when they were relatively young and some other played much more seasons end ended their careers when they were relatively old. Comparing all those players by the stats for their whole career is definitely not correct. I tried to do it myself, but the results were always twisted – either the players like Karl Malone were overvalued or the players like Vince Carter were undervalued.

Another very important problem is the fact that some players are remembered better because they won more championship rings and some other players are frowned upon because “they were great players nut they didn't win a ring.” I hate this fetish (number of championship rings), but I decided to take into account, somehow, the NBA playoffs.

I decided to compare players according to the best seasons of their careers. But what does the phrase “the best seasons of their careers” really mean? The crucial question is this: what about very good seasons that were cut short because of injuries? Imagine 2 players who played 40 games in the regular season each – the first one played 40 games and then got injured and missed also the playoffs and the other one was recovering from an injury and missed the first 42 games of the regular season, but later played also in the playoffs. If the first player had a better per-game average then who was actually “better”?

I decided to be as precise as I could, but it meant that I had to do it the hard way. I had to take into account that players had played different number of games (both regular and playoff games) in different seasons. Moreover I decided to “punish” those players who had played too few games overall.

First let's analyse what kind of career is long enough to be the reference point for all the other careers. Well, 900 regular season games seems like a perfect reference point – it's like 11 full seasons with only 2 games missed (11*82 = 902). Or 10 full seasons and 2 seasons with 40 games (10*82 + 2*40 = 900). Or 8 full seasons and 4 seasons with 61 games (8*82 + 4*61 = 900).

Now, what about the playoffs? Well, this is a bitch. I do NOT analyse the number of rings because it’s a freaking misunderstanding (it’s totally unfair). I’ve read a perfect question that for me ended such discussions once and for all: “Was Luc Longley (3 rings) a better player than Patrick Ewing (0 rings)?” Surely not. I know Luc Longley was not a star and played with Michael Jordan, but this is a perfect example that NBA championships are all about team, not individuals.

Without a good team no NBA star will ever win a ring. Even with a good team he is not guaranteed to win a ring, because there are many good teams every year and the winning team can be only one. What’s worse there have been super-teams that accumulated many GREAT players, which made it easier for them all to win a ring (or more rings) and more difficult for everybody else to win a ring (or more rings).

Also think about this: there are 30 NBA teams right now – if they were to win 1 title one after another then a player who wants to play on 1 team during his whole career would have to play for 30 (THIRTY !!!) seasons to be guaranteed to win a ring. Impossible. In reality there are many NBA teams that have NEVER won a single title! Being drafted by such a team should NOT be a “death sentence” as far as “player’s legacy” is concerned.

How about the number of playoff games, then? Well, it's also a bitch. In 2018 playoffs there were exactly 164 games, so the average number of playoff games per EVERY team was ONLY 5.47!!! It means that ON AVERAGE 11 such post-seasons would bring ONLY 60 playoff games for each team/player!!! How does it compare to the fact that Derek Fisher played in 259 playoff games and Tim Duncan in 251 playoff games? Obviously to play a lot of playoff games you have to be good yourself, but it's definitely not enough. You also have to play many seasons AND to constantly have good teammates and a good coach. It means that you have to play for a team that for a long time is not going through a rebuilding process. Good luck with that!

I decided to take a whole different approach and I checked how many players played at least 900 regular season games in the seasons from 2003-04 to 2017-18 (all the seasons with 30 teams). There were 26 such players:
http://bkref.com/tiny/Oud4s

Then I made a similar list but for the playoff games and I checked how many playoff games were played by a player who was at the 26th place on this list. It was 105 playoff games:
http://bkref.com/tiny/hGLQf

So 105 playoff games would respond to 900 regular season games, but there was a problem – it would mean that 1 playoff game would be equal to 8.571 regular season games. It felt unnatural, so I rounded it to a full number (9). This way I decided that my reference point for the playoffs would be 100 playoff games (900/100=9).

Well, 100 playoff games is a very good reference point – on average it's like 11 seasons with 9 playoff games plus one additional playoff game. It's like 11 seasons advancing to the second round of playoffs, every single year. It's really tough – almost all NBA stars were eliminated in the first round of playoffs OR did not even advanced to the playoffs at least twice in their careers. Of course the more seasons played the easier to reach the reference point (100 playoff games). We can look at it from yet another perspective: without any “playoff surprises” it's like 11 seasons when a team is at the 3rd or 4th seed! ELEVEN seasons with such high seeds! For many players it would be a dream come true.

In fact this playoff reference point may seem like a little unfair for the players drafted by permanently weak teams, but my methodology of calculating the draft/GOAT value actually allows to “swap” some playoff games (less than 100) for regular season games (more than 900). I analyse the final values according to the combined reference point: 1800 total games (900 + 100*9), so the same reference point can be reached this way: 1125 + 75*9= 1800. But it means that a player would have to play in 3 more regular seasons (in 14 seasons in total instead of just 11 seasons), so his draft/GOAT value would be calculated also from seasons that were far from his peak.

The reverse is also true – players with many playoff games need less regular season games to be comparable, which means that they can be judged by fewer seasons (by the very peak of their careers). For example the combined reference point can be reached in 8 seasons with 81 regular season games and 16 playoff games each (8*81 + 8*16*9 = 1800). Such players have to be lucky because their peaks as players have to be also peaks for their teams for whole 8 years! That is something VERY rare.

The combined reference point should make everybody happy. Personally, I am very happy with this idea of mine.

There is one more very difficult thing to analyse about the number of playoff games. Such a number was very different in earlier times than it is today (for the same seed). Below there is a summary of how the NBA playoffs look in different times (the years mean the playoff years, so for example the year 1977 refers to the season 1976-1977 ending in 1977 playoffs):

1) 1977-1980: teams – 22, playoff teams – 12, first round – best of 3 or bye,
2) 1981-1983: teams – 23, playoff teams – 12, first round – best of 3 or bye,
3) 1984-1988: teams – 23, playoff teams – 16, first round – best of 5,
4) 1989: teams – 25, playoff teams – 16, first round – best of 5,
5) 1990-1995: teams – 27, playoff teams – 16, first round – best of 5,
6) 1996-2002: teams – 29, playoff teams – 16, first round – best of 5,
7) 2003-2004: teams – 29, playoff teams – 16, first round – best of 7,
8) 2005-2018: teams – 30, playoff teams – 16, first round – best of 7.

How should I compare such a mess? Fortunately in every case all the rounds past the first round were the same (best of 7), but the first round alone is a nightmare.

Let's start with the easier thing. Please notice that in the playoffs 1984-1988 as many as 16 teams out of 23 were playoff teams. That's 69.6 %! It means that the players who played in those seasons had an easier time accumulating playoff games than players who played in other times.

Let's analyse the more difficult conference (in many seasons one conference had 1 team more then the other):

1) 1977-1980: teams – 11, playoff teams – 6,
2) 1981-1983: teams – 12, playoff teams – 6,
3) 1984-1988: teams – 12, playoff teams – 8,
4) 1989: teams – 13, playoff teams – 8,
5) 1990-1995: teams – 14, playoff teams – 8,
6) 1996-2002: teams – 15, playoff teams – 8,
7) 2003-2004: teams – 15, playoff teams – 8,
8) 2005-2018: teams – 15, playoff teams – 8.

Now let's calculate the average seed of an average team:

1) 1977-1980: average team's seed – 5.5, playoff teams – 6 (0.9167),
2) 1981-1983: average team's seed – 6.0, playoff teams – 6 (1.000),
3) 1984-1988: average team's seed – 6.0, playoff teams – 8 (0.7500),
4) 1989: average team's seed – 6.5, playoff teams – 8 (0.8125),
5) 1990-1995: average team's seed – 7.0, playoff teams – 8 (0.8750),
6) 1996-2002: average team's seed – 7.5, playoff teams – 8 (0.9375),
7) 2003-2004: average team's seed – 7.5, playoff teams – 8 (0.9375),
8) 2005-2018: average team's seed – 7.5, playoff teams – 8 (0.9375).

The playoff reference point (100 playoff games) is set for current times, so we have to calculate everything relatively to the playoffs 2005-2018 (for example the first multiplier is calculated as 0.9167/0.9375):

1) 1977-1980: 0.9778
2) 1981-1983: 1.0667
3) 1984-1988: 0.8000
4) 1989: 0.8667
5) 1990-1995: 0.9333
6) 1996-2002: 1.0000
7) 2003-2004: 1.0000
8) 2005-2018: 1.0000

So in this regard (number of playoff teams relative to the overall number of teams) the hardest playoff games to achieve (a little more than today) were in the playoffs 1981-1983 and the easiest (significantly easier than today) were in the playoffs 1984-1988.

Now we will tackle the more difficult part of the playoff games problem – the first round. To compare the 3 different playoff systems we have to make some assumptions. Let's imagine a believable scenario (mostly below-expectations playoffs) that would actually be a dream come true for most of the current teams/players. Let's start with the current system with the best of 7 first round. The number in the brackets shows the number of total playoff games played in a particular year.

1) the team improved significantly, but still missed the playoffs (0),
2) seed #8; lost 0-4 (4),
3) seed #6; lost 2-4 (6),
4) seed #4; won 4-2 and lost 1-4 (11),
5) seed #2; won 4-1 and lost 3-4 (12),
6) seed #1; won 4-0, won 4-2 and lost 2-4 (16),
7) seed #2; won 4-0, won 4-1, won 4-2 and won 4-1 (20),
8) seed #3; won 4-1 and lost 3-4 (12),
9) seed #5; won 4-3 and lost 2-4 (13),
10) seed #7; lost 2-4 (6),
11) the team went into re-building mode, missing the playoffs and the player retired.

Total number of playoff games: 100 (the playoff reference point).

The above scenario would by definition look different with the best of 5 first round. The total number of playoff games would be 90 (in the first round there would be 3 wins instead of 4 AND in the season 9 there would be also less losses: 2 instead of 3).

The scenario in the best of 3 or bye first round would look much different. The total number of playoff games would be 65 (in the first round the seeds #1, #2, #7 and #8 would NOT play any games, in other cases there would be 2 wins instead of 4 AND in the seasons 3, 4 and 9 there would be also less losses: 1 instead of 2 in the seasons 3 and 4 and 1 instead of 3 in the season 9). Again we have to calculate everything relatively to the playoffs 2005-2018 (for example the first multiplier is calculated as 100/65):

1) 1977-1980: 1.5385
2) 1981-1983: 1.5385
3) 1984-1988: 1.1111
4) 1989: 1.1111
5) 1990-1995: 1.1111
6) 1996-2002: 1.1111
7) 2003-2004: 1.0000
8) 2005-2018: 1.0000

Finally we can calculate how many regular season games is worth 1 playoff game (results are rounded to full numbers):

1) 1977-1980: 9 * 0.9778 * 1.5385 = 14
2) 1981-1983: 9 * 1.0667 * 1.5385 = 15
3) 1984-1988: 9 * 0.8000 * 1.1111 = 8
4) 1989: 9 * 0.8667 * 1.1111 = 9
5) 1990-1995: 9 * 0.9333 * 1.1111 = 9
6) 1996-2002: 9 * 1.0000 * 1.1111 = 10
7) 2003-2004: 9 * 1.0000 * 1.0000 = 9
8) 2005-2018: 9 * 1.0000 * 1.0000 = 9

Now we can calculate the draft/GOAT value of NBA players. The reference is 900 regular season games and 100 modified playoff games that are worth as much as 900 regular season games, so 1800 games in total. It's hard to quickly describe how I calculate the draft/GOAT value, so I will show it on example: Larry Wright who was drafted in 1976 and played in 6 regular seasons and 4 playoffs (1 ring). It goes like this:

1. Gather the data for the regular season (the link shows only the first sub-page, but you have to copy all the sub-pages to one txt/csv file):
http://bkref.com/tiny/AXqSF

2. Gather the data for the playoffs (the link shows only the first sub-page, but you have to copy all the sub-pages to the same txt/csv file as the data for the regular season):
http://bkref.com/tiny/CqO9d

3. Open the file in a spreadsheet and insert an extra column that identifies the regular season stats (“r”) and the playoff stats (“p”).

4. Calculate the overall value for every season and every player and assign the multiplier for the playoff games (“sum-if” function). I assign the multiplier for all the lines (including “r” lines), but I actually use it later only in the “p” lines. For Larry Wright it would be like this:

r; 1976-77; 78 games; 622.7; 14;
r; 1977-78; 70 games; 581.2; 14;
r; 1978-79; 73 games; 662.7; 14;
r; 1979-80; 76 games; 532.1; 14;
r; 1980-81; 45 games; 336.2; 15;
r; 1981-82; 1 game; -1.7; 15;
… (other players)
p; 1976-77; 8 games; 56.2; 14;
p; 1977-78; 21 games; 158.2; 14;
p; 1978-79; 18 games; 128.9; 14;
p; 1979-80; 2 games; 19.7; 14;

5. Calculate the modified number of playoff games and the modified overall value in playoffs. For example let's focus on Larry Wright. All the following calculations are done without any rounding, but I show you values rounded to 1 decimal place to be easily readable.

r; 1976-77; 78 games; 622.7; 14; 0 modified playoff games; 0.0;
r; 1977-78; 70 games; 581.2; 14; 0 modified playoff games; 0.0;
r; 1978-79; 73 games; 662.7; 14; 0 modified playoff games; 0.0;
r; 1979-80; 76 games; 532.1; 14; 0 modified playoff games; 0.0;
r; 1980-81; 45 games; 336.2; 15; 0 modified playoff games; 0.0;
r; 1981-82; 1 game; -1.7; 15; 0 modified playoff games; 0.0;
… (other players)
p; 1976-77; 8 games; 56.2; 14; 112 modified playoff games; 787.4;
p; 1977-78; 21 games; 158.2; 14; 294 modified playoff games; 2215.2;
p; 1978-79; 18 games; 128.9; 14; 252 modified playoff games; 1803.9;
p; 1979-80; 2 games; 19.7; 14; 28 modified playoff games; 275.6;

Please notice that the average for the modified values is the same as the average for the unmodified values (for example 787.4 / 112 = 7.0 and 56.2 / 8 = 7.0).

Save the file as a spreadsheet file (NOT csv/txt).

6. Copy all the data and paste it as values (without any formulas).

Save it as a new file (just in case).

7. Sort all the data according to players and seasons:

r; 1976-77; 78 games; 622.7; 14; 0 modified playoff games; 0.0;
p; 1976-77; 8 games; 56.2; 14; 112 modified playoff games; 787.4;
r; 1977-78; 70 games; 581.2; 14; 0 modified playoff games; 0.0;
p; 1977-78; 21 games; 158.2; 14; 294 modified playoff games; 2215.2;
r; 1978-79; 73 games; 662.7; 14; 0 modified playoff games; 0.0;
p; 1978-79; 18 games; 128.9; 14; 252 modified playoff games; 1803.9;
r; 1979-80; 76 games; 532.1; 14; 0 modified playoff games; 0.0;
p; 1979-80; 2 games; 19.7; 14; 28 modified playoff games; 275.6;
r; 1980-81; 45 games; 336.2; 15; 0 modified playoff games; 0.0;
r; 1981-82; 1 game; -1.7; 15; 0 modified playoff games; 0.0;

8. In the lines “r” add the modified number of playoff games and the modified playoff total values from the same season:

r; 1976-77; 78 games; 622.7; 14; 0 mod. pl. games; 0.0; 112; 787.4;
p; 1976-77; 8 games; 56.2; 14; 112 mod. pl. games; 787.4; 0; 0.0;
r; 1977-78; 70 games; 581.2; 14; 0 mod. pl. games; 0.0; 294; 2215.2;
p; 1977-78; 21 games; 158.2; 14; 294 mod. pl. games; 2215.2; 0; 0.0;
r; 1978-79; 73 games; 662.7; 14; 0 mod. pl. games; 0.0; 252; 1803.9;
p; 1978-79; 18 games; 128.9; 14; 252 mod. pl. games; 1803.9; 0; 0.0;
r; 1979-80; 76 games; 532.1; 14; 0 mod. pl. games; 0.0; 28; 275.6;
p; 1979-80; 2 games; 19.7; 14; 28 mod. pl. games; 275.6; 0; 0.0;
r; 1980-81; 45 games; 336.2; 15; 0 mod. pl. games; 0.0; 0; 0.0;
r; 1981-82; 1 game; -1.7; 15; 0 mod. pl. games; 0.0; 0; 0.0;

9. In the lines “r” calculate the number of total games and the total values. Then calculate the per-game average:

r; 1976-77; …; 190; 1410.1; 7.4;
p; 1976-77; …; 0; 0.0; 0.0;
r; 1977-78; …; 364; 2796.4; 7.7;
p; 1977-78; …; 0; 0.0; 0.0;
r; 1978-79; …; 325; 2466.6; 7.6;
p; 1978-79; …; 0; 0.0; 0.0;
r; 1979-80; …; 104; 807.8; 7.8;
p; 1979-80; …; 0; 0.0; 0.0;
r; 1980-81; …; 45; 336.2; 7.5;
r; 1981-82; …; 1; -1.7; -1.7;

10. Copy all the data and paste it as values (without any formulas).

There were several players who played some playoff games in a season when they did NOT play in any regular season game, for example Tracy McGrady in the season 2012-13. You can find such seasons with an appropriate spreadsheet formula, but it's not really necessary because the value of such games was minimal. If you do find them then in such seasons you should now (when there are no formulas) change “p” into “r” and copy the modified number of playoff games and the modified overall value in playoffs to the columns with the total games and the total values (which for “p” lines are by definition 0 and 0.0).

Save it as a new file (just in case).

11. Sort all the data according to “r”, players and seasons.

r; 1979-80; …; 104; 807.8; 7.8;
r; 1977-78; …; 364; 2796.4; 7.7;
r; 1978-79; …; 325; 2466.6; 7.6;
r; 1980-81; …; 45; 336.2; 7.5;
r; 1976-77; …; 190; 1410.1; 7.4;
r; 1981-82; …; 1; -1.7; -1.7;
… (other players)
p; 1976-77; …; 0; 0.0; 0.0;
p; 1977-78; …; 0; 0.0; 0.0;
p; 1978-79; …; 0; 0.0; 0.0;
p; 1979-80; …; 0; 0.0; 0.0;

13. Delete all the lines “p” (to make the file smaller).

12. Calculate the cumulative numbers of total games and the cumulative total values:

r; 1979-80; …; 104; 807.8; 7.8; 104; 807.8;
r; 1977-78; …; 364; 2796.4; 7.7; 468; 3604.2;
r; 1978-79; …; 325; 2466.6; 7.6; 793; 6070.8;
r; 1980-81; …; 45; 336.2; 7.5; 838; 6406.9;
r; 1976-77; …; 190; 1410.1; 7.4; 1028; 7817.0;
r; 1981-82; …; 1; -1.7; -1.7; 1029; 7815.3;

13. Larry Wright did not reached the combined reference point of 1800 games, so we have to “punish” him for this – we have to divided to final cumulative total value by 1800 (NOT by the cumulative number of total games):

r; 1979-80; …; 104; 807.8; 7.8; 104; 807.8; 0.0;
r; 1977-78; …; 364; 2796.4; 7.7; 468; 3604.2; 0.0;
r; 1978-79; …; 325; 2466.6; 7.6; 793; 6070.8; 0.0;
r; 1980-81; …; 45; 336.2; 7.5; 838; 6406.9; 0.0;
r; 1976-77; …; 190; 1410.1; 7.4; 1028; 7817.0; 0.0;
r; 1981-82; …; 1; -1.7; -1.7; 1029; 7815.3; 4.3;

This last value is the draft/GOAT value. Please notice that in individual seasons Larry Wright had a season value around 7.5, but his draft/GOAT value is significantly lower – he played in too few games (regular as well as playoff games) for his “legacy” to be comparable to other players.

12b. I have to show you what I do with players who reached the combined reference point of 1800 games, for example Robert Parish who was also drafted in 1976. His total games, total value and per-game average in a particular season AND the cumulative numbers of total games and the cumulative total values in the crucial lines were this:

… (seasons 1981-82, 1988-89, 1986-87, 1978-79, 1984-85, 1989-90, 1982-83, 1983-84, 1979-80)
[By the way, please notice that the season 1981-82 was better than 1988-89 because of the playoffs, NOT because of the regular season.]

r; 1990-91; …; 171; 2993.9; 17.5; 1752; 33585.5;
r; 1980-81; …; 337; 5726.9; 17.0; 2089; 39312.4;

… (1987-88, 1992-93, 1985-86, 1991-92, 1976-77, 1993-94, 1977-78, 1995-96, 1994-95, 1996-97)

13b. Because the combined reference point is exactly 1800 games we have to calculate the cumulative value for exactly 1800 games (NOT 2089 games). So, in the line that the cumulative number of games crossed 1800 we have to LOWER the cumulative total value by the amount corresponding to the number of games ABOVE 1800 games. In this case it would be 289 games, but I have to show you the precise per-game season average:
(1800 – 2089) * 16.9938 = -4911.2

Only now we can calculate the precise draft/GOAT value (the final total value is divided by 1800):

r; 1990-91; …; 171; 2993.9; 17.5; 1752; 33585.5; 0.0; 0.0; 0.0;
r; 1980-81; …; 337; 5726.9; 17.0; 2089; 39312.4; -4911.2; 34401.2; 19.1;

Please notice that in later seasons (that were on average weaker) Robert Parish could have an awesome game, but such a game is not taken into account because from the gathered data I could analyse only totals for the whole seasons.

Please notice that I selected the "best 1800 games" NOT the first 1800 games nor 1800 straight games. This seems to be more fair to players who got injured early in their careers and reached the peak of their careers later than usual OR who got injured in the middle of their careers and had a couple of unusually weak seasons before recovering from the injury.

This method is actually very natural because a relatively recent draft can’t be judged properly right now (the players from that draft played in too few games).


My GOAT list of comparable NBA players is below.

The 50 best NBA players in the seasons from 1976-77 to 2017-18 (including players drafted before 1976):

1. Michael Jordan:   31.4
2. LeBron James:   30.5
3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar:   29.0
4. Hakeem Olajuwon:   28.9
5. Larry Bird:   28.0
6. Shaquille O'Neal:   27.5
7. Kevin Durant:   27.4
8. Charles Barkley:   26.8
9. Magic Johnson:   26.7
10. Karl Malone:   26.3
11. Kobe Bryant:   26.0
12. Dirk Nowitzki:   25.8
13. Tim Duncan:   25.3
14. Moses Malone:   25.3
15. David Robinson:   24.4
16. Julius Erving:   24.0
17. Kevin Garnett:   23.8
18. Patrick Ewing:   23.3
19. Clyde Drexler:   22.9
20. Dwyane Wade:   22.5
21. Chris Paul:   22.5
22. John Stockton:   21.3
23. Kevin McHale:   21.0
24. Scottie Pippen:   21.0
25. Paul Pierce:   20.6
26. Dwight Howard:   20.6
27. Russell Westbrook:   20.5
28. Pau Gasol:   20.5
29. Alex English:   20.3
30. Isiah Thomas:   20.2
31. Stephen Curry:   20.1
32. James Harden:   20.1
33. Reggie Miller:   20.0
34. Steve Nash:   20.0
35. George Gervin:   19.7
36. Ray Allen:   19.6
37. Jason Kidd:   19.6
38. Allen Iverson:   19.5
39. Gary Payton:   19.4
40. James Worthy:   19.2
41. Carmelo Anthony:   19.2
42. Robert Parish:   19.1
43. Vince Carter:   18.6
44. Chauncey Billups:   18.6
45. Shawn Marion:   18.5
46. Kevin Johnson:   18.4
47. Jack Sikma:   18.2
48. Gus Williams:   18.0
49. Dominique Wilkins:   17.8
50. Adrian Dantley:   17.7

The list is perfect! And very interesting. Most notably Hakeem Olajuwon is at the 4th place (he is almost never in the GOAT discussions) and Larry Bird is clearly better than Magic Johnson (they are always compared to one another). I am glad that I finally found a way not to overrate Karl Malone, but he is still in the top 10. And I still think that he is usually criminally underrated.



This is the box-score for the game:
http://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/199001270UTA.html

On the list above there are 5 players who have not reached the combined reference point of 1800 games (900 regular season games and 100 playoff games or its equivalent) yet, but who are still active: Chris Paul (1711 games), Russell Westbrook (1585 games), Stephen Curry (1435 games), James Harden (1632 games) and Carmelo Anthony (1602 games). Until they reach the combined reference point every single game with a positive overall value (the value of a turnover is negative and the scoring efficiency can also be negative) will improve their draft/GOAT value. Stephen Curry's draft/GOAT value can increase this way the most because he played the fewest number of games.

Now we can analyse the drafts. I decided to add only the value of the top 15 players in a particular draft. Why? Because a total value of several mediocre players can overshadow a value of an all-star. It wouldn't be right.

I have to point out that some players were drafted twice and one player was drafted even three times! However only 2 such players were good enough to get into the top 15: Mark Eaton (drafted in 1979 and 1982) and Arvydas Sabonis (drafted in 1985 and 1986). I counted their draft/GOAT value only for the last draft they were drafted in.

Please notice that by drafts I mean the NBA drafts – some players drafted before 1976 were drafted in the NBA but played in the ABA anyway. For example George Gervin was drafted in 1974, but he was playing in the ABA since 1972-73. He actually started to play in the NBA in the season 1976-77 after the ABA merged with the NBA.


The best NBA drafts (with players who played in the analysed seasons – from 1976-77 to 2017-18):

1. Draft 1984: 210.6
1. Michael Jordan (31.4), 2. Hakeem Olajuwon (28.9), 3. Charles Barkley (26.8), 4. John Stockton (21.3), 5. Sam Perkins (15.4), 6. Otis Thorpe (14.6), 7. Jerome Kersey (13.9), 8. Kevin Willis (13.6), 9. Michael Cage (8.5), 10. Alvin Robertson (8.0), 11. Jay Humphries (7.4), 12. Vern Fleming (7.3), 13. Sam Bowie (4.8), 14. Ron Anderson (4.6), 15. Tony Campbell (4.1)

2. Draft 1985: 200.2
1. Karl Malone (26.3), 2. Patrick Ewing (23.3), 3. Terry Porter (17.1), 4. Detlef Schrempf (15.3), 5. Charles Oakley (14.5), 6. Joe Dumars (14.5), 7. Chris Mullin (14.3), 8. A.C. Green (13.2), 9. Xavier McDaniel (10.1), 10. Hot Rod Williams (10.1), 11. Tyrone Corbin (9.7), 12. Mario Elie (9.3), 13. Gerald Wilkins (8.5), 14. Wayman Tisdale (7.0), 15. Michael Adams (6.9)

3. Draft 1996: 198.4
1. Kobe Bryant (26.0), 2. Steve Nash (20.0), 3. Ray Allen (19.6), 4. Allen Iverson (19.5), 5. Peja Stojakovic (13.6), 6. Jermaine O'Neal (13.1), 7. Marcus Camby (13.0), 8. Antoine Walker (12.9), 9. Derek Fisher (11.1), 10. Zydrunas Ilgauskas (10.9), 11. Stephon Marbury (10.0), 12. Shareef Abdur-Rahim (8.2), 13. Erick Dampier (7.5), 14. Kerry Kittles (7.4), 15. Malik Rose (5.6)

The best draft – the draft 1984 suits my taste perfectly. Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon and Charles Barkley were all simply awesome! John Stockton was awesomely durable and he was a fantastic pass-first point guard. Jerome Kersey played a big role in a spectacular fast-break team Portland Trail Blazers AND he improved his scoring significantly in the playoffs during the best 3 years of that team. Kevin Willis and Otis Thorpe were sooo TOUGH and sooo businesslike! They were all true professionals! The best NBA draft ever!







Some of you could argue that I should use more than 15 top players from every draft and then the 1996 draft would be the best. First of all I don’t think that analysing so many players would be right. Yes, the depth of a draft is important, but should non-star players really decide on which draft was better? I don't think so.

Out of curiosity I made a detailed comparison of the top-3 drafts (up to the top-30 players). It turns out that the 1996 draft would never be the best! The depth of the 1985 draft was even bigger than the mythical depth of the 1996 draft. In fact even the 2003 draft had a bigger depth than the 1996 draft.

I will show you a detailed comparison of the top-5 drafts (up to the top-30 players) because it builds a bigger picture. The yellow colour points out the best out of 5 players/drafts, the blue colour shows the second out of 5 players/drafts and the orange colour points out the third out of 5 players/drafts:


When I look at this picture I am sure that the depth of top-15 players is the perfect way to compare the NBA drafts, but the drafts whose values are very close to each other should be considered equal.

The remaining NBA drafts are:

4. Draft 2003: 187.6
1. LeBron James (30.5), 2. Dwyane Wade (22.5), 3. Carmelo Anthony (19.2), 4. Chris Bosh (16.9), 5. David West (14.2), 6. Boris Diaw (11.3), 7. Kyle Korver (10.6), 8. Kirk Hinrich (9.8), 9. Josh Howard (8.4), 10. Mo Williams (8.3), 11. Leandro Barbosa (8.3), 12. Kendrick Perkins (8.1), 13. Zaza Pachulia (7.2), 14. Nick Collison (6.8), 15. Chris Kaman (5.6)

5. Draft 1987: 180.7
1. David Robinson (24.4), 2. Scottie Pippen (21.0), 3. Reggie Miller (20.0), 4. Kevin Johnson (18.4), 5. Horace Grant (16.9), 6. Mark Jackson (14.4), 7. Derrick McKey (11.7), 8. Kenny Smith (9.6), 9. Armen Gilliam (8.2), 10. Reggie Lewis (7.3), 11. Olden Polynice (7.0), 12. Muggsy Bogues (6.9), 13. Ken Norman (5.3), 14. Reggie Williams (5.0), 15. Kevin Gamble (4.5)

6. Draft 1999: 178.2
1. Shawn Marion (18.5), 2. Manu Ginobili (16.8), 3. Lamar Odom (16.0), 4. Richard Hamilton (15.9), 5. Jason Terry (15.4), 6. Andre Miller (13.7), 7. Elton Brand (13.1), 8. Baron Davis (12.8), 9. Metta World Peace (12.7), 10. Andrei Kirilenko (9.2), 11. James Posey (8.1), 12. Corey Maggette (7.3), 13. Wally Szczerbiak (7.2), 14. Steve Francis (6.2), 15. Jeff Foster (5.3)

7. Draft 1981: 173.1
1. Isiah Thomas (20.2), 2. Larry Nance (16.4), 3. Buck Williams (15.8), 4. Tom Chambers (15.6), 5. Mark Aguirre (15.4), 6. Danny Ainge (12.8), 7. Eddie Johnson (12.8), 8. Rolando Blackman (12.4), 9. Alton Lister (8.8), 10. Danny Schayes (8.6), 11. Orlando Woolridge (8.2), 12. Herb Williams (7.7), 13. Kelly Tripucka (7.0), 14. Jay Vincent (5.9), 15. Gene Banks (5.5)

8. Draft 1977: 171.2
1. Jack Sikma (18.2), 2. Walter Davis (16.5), 3. Marques Johnson (15.4), 4. Norm Nixon (15.0), 5. Cedric Maxwell (14.2), 6. Robert Reid (12.4), 7. Bernard King (11.9), 8. James Edwards (10.6), 9. Greg Ballard (9.4), 10. Tree Rollins (9.2), 11. Otis Birdsong (8.3), 12. Rickey Green (8.1), 13. Eddie Johnson (7.6), 14. Ray Williams (7.5), 15. Brad Davis (7.0)

9. Draft 1998: 169.2
1. Dirk Nowitzki (25.8), 2. Paul Pierce (20.6), 3. Vince Carter (18.6), 4. Mike Bibby (14.4), 5. Rashard Lewis (14.3), 6. Antawn Jamison (13.8), 7. Al Harrington (8.5), 8. Jason Williams (7.8), 9. Larry Hughes (7.8), 10. Cuttino Mobley (7.3), 11. Rafer Alston (6.5), 12. Nazr Mohammed (6.0), 13. Matt Harpring (6.0), 14. Bonzi Wells (5.9), 15. Raef LaFrentz (5.8)

10. Draft 2001: 161.3
1. Pau Gasol (20.5), 2. Tony Parker (16.9), 3. Joe Johnson (16.1), 4. Zach Randolph (15.4), 5. Richard Jefferson (13.2), 6. Tyson Chandler (11.6), 7. Jason Richardson (10.5), 8. Shane Battier (9.6), 9. Mehmet Okur (8.5), 10. Gilbert Arenas (7.9), 11. Gerald Wallace (7.4), 12. Samuel Dalembert (6.7), 13. Brendan Haywood (6.3), 14. Vladimir Radmanovic (5.4), 15. Troy Murphy (5.2)

11. Draft 1983: 157.2
1. Clyde Drexler (22.9), 2. Byron Scott (14.9), 3. Derek Harper (14.1), 4. Dale Ellis (12.7), 5. Doc Rivers (11.5), 6. Jeff Malone (10.6), 7. Thurl Bailey (10.1), 8. Rodney McCray (8.8), 9. Antoine Carr (8.3), 10. Sedale Threatt (8.2), 11. Craig Ehlo (7.9), 12. Mark West (7.8), 13. John Paxson (7.3), 14. Ralph Sampson (7.2), 15. Darrell Walker (4.9)

12. Draft 1979: 151.6
1. Magic Johnson (26.7), 2. Bill Laimbeer (16.2), 3. Sidney Moncrief (14.6), 4. Bill Cartwright (11.7), 5. Vinnie Johnson (11.1), 6. Calvin Natt (9.4), 7. James Donaldson (9.2), 8. Johnny Moore (8.5), 9. Jim Paxson (7.9), 10. Dave Greenwood (7.1), 11. Cliff Robinson (6.5), 12. Allen Leavell (6.2), 13. Kyle Macy (5.8), 14. Reggie King (5.3), 15. Clint Richardson (5.2)

13. Draft 1978: 151.4
1. Larry Bird (28.0), 2. Maurice Cheeks (16.8), 3. Mychal Thompson (13.4), 4. Michael Cooper (12.7), 5. Reggie Theus (10.7), 6. Mike Mitchell (10.7), 7. Wayne Cooper (8.2), 8. Dave Corzine (8.0), 9. Gerald Henderson (7.6), 10. Purvis Short (7.3), 11. Micheal Ray Richardson (6.5), 12. Terry Tyler (6.0), 13. John Long (6.0), 14. Clemon Johnson (4.9), 15. Mike Evans (4.6)

14. Draft 2004: 151.3
1. Dwight Howard (20.6), 2. Andre Iguodala (14.4), 3. Josh Smith (13.2), 4. Luol Deng (12.0), 5. Trevor Ariza (11.9), 6. J.R. Smith (11.7), 7. Al Jefferson (9.7), 8. Jameer Nelson (9.0), 9. Devin Harris (8.2), 10. Ben Gordon (7.3), 11. Tony Allen (7.3), 12. Shaun Livingston (7.2), 13. Kevin Martin (7.0), 14. Anderson Varejao (6.5), 15. Delonte West (5.2)

15. Draft 1995: 151.0
1. Kevin Garnett (23.8), 2. Rasheed Wallace (16.2), 3. Michael Finley (15.1), 4. Antonio McDyess (11.9), 5. Jerry Stackhouse (11.2), 6. Damon Stoudamire (9.7), 7. Kurt Thomas (9.1), 8. Brent Barry (8.6), 9. Joe Smith (8.5), 10. Eric Snow (8.1), 11. Greg Ostertag (6.7), 12. Corliss Williamson (6.2), 13. Theo Ratliff (6.2), 14. Travis Best (5.6), 15. Eric Williams (4.2)

16. Draft 1992: 148.6
1. Shaquille O'Neal (27.5), 2. Alonzo Mourning (15.2), 3. Robert Horry (13.5), 4. Latrell Sprewell (13.2), 5. P.J. Brown (11.8), 6. Doug Christie (9.3), 7. Christian Laettner (9.1), 8. Jim Jackson (8.7), 9. Clarence Weatherspoon (7.0), 10. Tom Gugliotta (6.5), 11. Anthony Peeler (6.4), 12. Walt Williams (5.6), 13. LaPhonso Ellis (5.2), 14. Jon Barry (4.9), 15. Oliver Miller (4.5)

17. Draft 1974: 146.7
1. George Gervin (19.7), 2. Jamaal Wilkes (15.5), 3. Maurice Lucas (15.2), 4. Bobby Jones (15.0), 5. Truck Robinson (9.8), 6. Scott Wedman (9.8), 7. Bill Walton (9.3), 8. Mickey Johnson (8.8), 9. Tom Henderson (8.7), 10. Brian Winters (8.1), 11. John Drew (7.5), 12. Billy Knight (5.5), 13. Phil Smith (5.2), 14. Campy Russell (4.7), 15. Tom McMillen (4.0)

18. Draft 1988: 144.8
1. Hersey Hawkins (13.9), 2. Dan Majerle (13.8), 3. Rik Smits (13.7), 4. Rod Strickland (12.7), 5. Anthony Mason (12.2), 6. Mitch Richmond (11.7), 7. Danny Manning (9.6), 8. Grant Long (8.0), 9. Brian Shaw (8.0), 10. Vernon Maxwell (7.8), 11. Charles Smith (7.3), 12. Chris Morris (7.1), 13. Vinny Del Negro (6.5), 14. Rony Seikaly (6.3), 15. Steve Kerr (5.9)

19. Draft 1989: 144.2
1. Shawn Kemp (17.2), 2. Vlade Divac (15.6), 3. Tim Hardaway (13.6), 4. Clifford Robinson (13.1), 5. Glen Rice (13.1), 6. Mookie Blaylock (12.2), 7. Sean Elliott (10.9), 8. Nick Anderson (9.6), 9. B.J. Armstrong (8.2), 10. Sherman Douglas (5.7), 11. Dana Barros (5.6), 12. Danny Ferry (5.1), 13. Blue Edwards (5.1), 14. George McCloud (4.6), 15. Pooh Richardson (4.6)

20. Draft 1982: 143.6
1. James Worthy (19.2), 2. Dominique Wilkins (17.8), 3. Terry Cummings (16.6), 4. Ricky Pierce (12.2), 5. Fat Lever (10.6), 6. Paul Pressey (9.6), 7. Mark Eaton (9.4), 8. Sleepy Floyd (8.9), 9. LaSalle Thompson (6.5), 10. Craig Hodges (6.3), 11. Cliff Levingston (5.8), 12. Rod Higgins (5.6), 13. Trent Tucker (5.4), 14. Terry Teagle (5.1), 15. Fred Roberts (4.9)

21. Draft 1993: 139.9
1. Chris Webber (17.3), 2. Sam Cassell (14.9), 3. Anfernee Hardaway (12.9), 4. Nick Van Exel (12.0), 5. Allan Houston (11.5), 6. Bryon Russell (10.0), 7. Jamal Mashburn (9.1), 8. Rodney Rogers (8.5), 9. Vin Baker (7.9), 10. Ervin Johnson (6.5), 11. Lindsey Hunter (6.3), 12. George Lynch (6.3), 13. Shawn Bradley (6.1), 14. Isaiah Rider (5.6), 15. Lucious Harris (4.9)

22. Draft 2008: 139.0
1. Russell Westbrook (20.5), 2. Serge Ibaka (13.0), 3. Kevin Love (12.8), 4. George Hill (10.7), 5. DeAndre Jordan (10.0), 6. Derrick Rose (9.0), 7. Mario Chalmers (8.2), 8. Roy Hibbert (8.0), 9. Nicolas Batum (7.6), 10. Brook Lopez (7.5), 11. Goran Dragic (7.4), 12. Eric Gordon (6.6), 13. Courtney Lee (6.3), 14. Ryan Anderson (5.9), 15. Robin Lopez (5.6)

23. Draft 2005: 138.2
1. Chris Paul (22.5), 2. Deron Williams (15.5), 3. Monta Ellis (9.4), 4. Marcin Gortat (9.4), 5. David Lee (8.6), 6. Raymond Felton (8.3), 7. Andrew Bogut (8.2), 8. Lou Williams (8.1), 9. Marvin Williams (7.7), 10. Andrew Bynum (7.4), 11. Danny Granger (6.9), 12. Jarrett Jack (6.9), 13. Channing Frye (6.8), 14. Brandon Bass (6.6), 15. Amir Johnson (6.1)

24. Draft 1976: 138.0
1. Alex English (20.3), 2. Robert Parish (19.1), 3. Adrian Dantley (17.7), 4. Dennis Johnson (17.1), 5. Lonnie Shelton (9.8), 6. John Lucas (9.7), 7. Johnny Davis (7.8), 8. Mitch Kupchak (6.2), 9. Quinn Buckner (6.0), 10. Mike Dunleavy (5.2), 11. Bob Wilkerson (4.7), 12. Larry Wright (4.3), 13. Wally Walker (3.9), 14. Sonny Parker (3.1), 15. Paul Griffin (3.0)

25. Draft 2007: 135.0
1. Kevin Durant (27.4), 2. Al Horford (16.5), 3. Marc Gasol (12.7), 4. Mike Conley (10.7), 5. Joakim Noah (9.4), 6. Thaddeus Young (8.6), 7. Jeff Green (7.9), 8. Marco Belinelli (5.9), 9. Glen Davis (5.5), 10. Rodney Stuckey (5.2), 11. Corey Brewer (5.1), 12. Arron Afflalo (5.1), 13. Jared Dudley (5.0), 14. Spencer Hawes (5.0), 15. Wilson Chandler (4.8)

26. Draft 1975: 134.6
1. Gus Williams (18.0), 2. Darryl Dawkins (13.7), 3. Alvan Adams (13.5), 4. Dan Roundfield (11.1), 5. Lionel Hollins (10.1), 6. World B. Free (9.9), 7. David Thompson (9.0), 8. Junior Bridgeman (8.7), 9. Marvin Webster (7.7), 10. Kevin Grevey (7.4), 11. Rich Kelley (7.0), 12. Bob Gross (5.9), 13. Ricky Sobers (5.6), 14. Joe Meriweather (3.5), 15. Bill Robinzine (3.4)

27. Draft 1986: 133.9
1. Jeff Hornacek (16.7), 2. Ron Harper (12.9), 3. Dennis Rodman (12.7), 4. Mark Price (10.5), 5. Brad Daugherty (10.4), 6. Chuck Person (9.8), 7. Nate McMillan (9.2), 8. John Salley (8.7), 9. Dell Curry (7.8), 10. Arvydas Sabonis (7.6), 11. Johnny Newman (7.5), 12. Kevin Duckworth (7.0), 13. Roy Tarpley (4.5), 14. Johnny Dawkins (4.3), 15. Scott Skiles (4.1)

28. Draft 1997: 132.5
1. Tim Duncan (25.3), 2. Chauncey Billups (18.6), 3. Tracy McGrady (14.7), 4. Stephen Jackson (10.6), 5. Tim Thomas (8.8), 6. Antonio Daniels (7.8), 7. Keith Van Horn (7.5), 8. Bobby Jackson (6.5), 9. Anthony Johnson (5.3), 10. Tony Battie (5.3), 11. Austin Croshere (5.2), 12. Derek Anderson (4.7), 13. Brevin Knight (4.4), 14. Anthony Parker (4.0), 15. Alvin Williams (3.7)

29. Draft 2009: 131.9
1. Stephen Curry (20.1), 2. James Harden (20.1), 3. Blake Griffin (11.6), 4. DeMar DeRozan (10.4), 5. Jeff Teague (9.6), 6. Danny Green (8.0), 7. Jrue Holiday (7.7), 8. Taj Gibson (7.1), 9. Ty Lawson (6.3), 10. Darren Collison (6.3), 11. DeMarre Carroll (5.6), 12. Brandon Jennings (5.2), 13. Patty Mills (5.2), 14. Tyreke Evans (4.8), 15. Ricky Rubio (4.0)

30. Draft 1994: 130.5
1. Jason Kidd (19.6), 2. Eddie Jones (13.9), 3. Grant Hill (12.4), 4. Jalen Rose (10.6), 5. Juwan Howard (9.6), 6. Glenn Robinson (9.2), 7. Donyell Marshall (8.3), 8. Aaron McKie (8.0), 9. Brian Grant (7.9), 10. Charlie Ward (6.2), 11. Wesley Person (6.0), 12. Howard Eisley (5.7), 13. Voshon Lenard (5.2), 14. Lamond Murray (4.5), 15. Eric Piatkowski (3.4)

31. Draft 2002: 124.1
1. Carlos Boozer (15.3), 2. Amar'e Stoudemire (15.2), 3. Tayshaun Prince (13.1), 4. Nene Hilario (10.9), 5. Caron Butler (10.1), 6. Matt Barnes (8.6), 7. Drew Gooden (8.2), 8. Yao Ming (8.0), 9. Mike Dunleavy (7.9), 10. Luis Scola (6.9), 11. John Salmons (5.8), 12. Rasual Butler (3.9), 13. Nenad Krstic (3.8), 14. Ronald Murray (3.6), 15. Chris Wilcox (3.0)

32. Draft 1980: 123.1
1. Kevin McHale (21.0), 2. Kiki Vandeweghe (12.8), 3. Andrew Toney (10.1), 4. Rick Mahorn (9.3), 5. Kurt Rambis (8.6), 6. Mike Gminski (8.6), 7. Joe Barry Carroll (7.4), 8. Darrell Griffith (7.3), 9. Larry Smith (6.3), 10. Rory Sparrow (6.0), 11. Bill Hanzlik (6.0), 12. Mike Woodson (5.5), 13. Jeff Ruland (5.2), 14. Larry Drew (4.7), 15. Darwin Cook (4.1)

33. Draft 1990: 122.1
1. Gary Payton (19.4), 2. Toni Kukoc (11.7), 3. Derrick Coleman (11.4), 4. Antonio Davis (11.3), 5. Elden Campbell (11.0), 6. Kendall Gill (8.0), 7. Tyrone Hill (8.0), 8. Cedric Ceballos (7.2), 9. Dennis Scott (6.4), 10. Dee Brown (5.6), 11. Terry Mills (4.8), 12. Loy Vaught (4.8), 13. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (4.5), 14. Bimbo Coles (4.4), 15. Felton Spencer (3.6)

34. Draft 1991: 118.4
1. Dikembe Mutombo (16.4), 2. Steve Smith (13.3), 3. Dale Davis (11.9), 4. Larry Johnson (11.2), 5. Rick Fox (9.6), 6. Terrell Brandon (8.2), 7. Kenny Anderson (8.1), 8. Stacey Augmon (6.7), 9. Greg Anthony (6.1), 10. Luc Longley (6.0), 11. Billy Owens (5.0), 12. Chris Gatling (4.5), 13. Bison Dele (4.3), 14. Bobby Phills (3.6), 15. Eric Murdock (3.5)

35. Draft 2006: 111.5
1. LaMarcus Aldridge (15.5), 2. Rajon Rondo (15.4), 3. Paul Millsap (14.1), 4. Kyle Lowry (11.9), 5. J.J. Redick (9.2), 6. Rudy Gay (8.1), 7. Thabo Sefolosha (6.1), 8. Randy Foye (4.6), 9. Andrea Bargnani (4.3), 10. Brandon Roy (4.3), 11. P.J. Tucker (4.1), 12. Jordan Farmar (4.0), 13. Ronnie Brewer (3.8), 14. Daniel Gibson (3.3), 15. Tyrus Thomas (2.8)

36. Draft 2011: 103.6
1. Klay Thompson (13.7), 2. Kawhi Leonard (12.3), 3. Kyrie Irving (10.6), 4. Jimmy Butler (8.0), 5. Tristan Thompson (7.7), 6. Isaiah Thomas (7.0), 7. Jonas Valanciunas (6.6), 8. Kemba Walker (6.3), 9. Reggie Jackson (5.1), 10. Markieff Morris (4.7), 11. Enes Kanter (4.7), 12. Iman Shumpert (4.4), 13. Nikola Vucevic (4.3), 14. Chandler Parsons (4.2), 15. Marcus Morris (4.2)

37. Draft 1970: 97.6
1. Dan Issel (14.8), 2. Bob Lanier (11.4), 3. Calvin Murphy (9.2), 4. Billy Paultz (8.3), 5. John Johnson (7.7), 6. Tiny Archibald (7.1), 7. Sam Lacey (6.3), 8. Dave Cowens (5.8), 9. Rudy Tomjanovich (4.8), 10. George Johnson (4.7), 11. Randy Smith (4.6), 12. Gar Heard (3.5), 13. Coby Dietrick (3.5), 14. Charlie Scott (3.3), 15. Pete Maravich (2.5)

38. Draft 2000: 94.6
1. Kenyon Martin (13.0), 2. Jamal Crawford (12.6), 3. Hedo Turkoglu (11.3), 4. Mike Miller (9.1), 5. Michael Redd (6.8), 6. Quentin Richardson (5.8), 7. Morris Peterson (5.3), 8. Jamaal Magloire (5.1), 9. Desmond Mason (4.7), 10. Eddie House (3.9), 11. DeShawn Stevenson (3.9), 12. Keyon Dooling (3.9), 13. Eduardo Najera (3.6), 14. Stromile Swift (2.9), 15. Joel Przybilla (2.7)

39. Draft 1972: 87.4
1. Julius Erving (24.0), 2. Bob McAdoo (11.0), 3. Paul Westphal (8.9), 4. Henry Bibby (6.0), 5. Don Buse (5.5), 6. Chris Ford (5.4), 7. Steve Hawes (5.1), 8. James Silas (4.9), 9. Kevin Porter (3.5), 10. Dave Twardzik (3.4), 11. Brian Taylor (2.5), 12. John Gianelli (2.1), 13. Charles Dudley (1.7), 14. Jim Price (1.7), 15. Ollie Johnson (1.6)

40. Draft 2010: 86.7
1. Paul George (12.4), 2. John Wall (10.0), 3. DeMarcus Cousins (6.4), 4. Evan Turner (5.8), 5. Greg Monroe (5.7), 6. Gordon Hayward (5.7), 7. Lance Stephenson (5.7), 8. Derrick Favors (5.4), 9. Al-Farouq Aminu (5.1), 10. Eric Bledsoe (5.0), 11. Avery Bradley (4.7), 12. Patrick Patterson (4.5), 13. Hassan Whiteside (3.7), 14. Ed Davis (3.6), 15. Greivis Vasquez (3.1)

41. Draft 1973: 78.9
1. Caldwell Jones (13.1), 2. Larry Kenon (8.2), 3. George McGinnis (7.6), 4. Doug Collins (6.4), 5. M.L. Carr (5.6), 6. Jim Chones (5.2), 7. Mike Bantom (4.5), 8. Swen Nater (4.4), 9. Dwight Jones (4.2), 10. Kermit Washington (3.9), 11. Allan Bristow (3.7), 12. Harvey Catchings (3.3), 13. Mike Green (3.1), 14. Kevin Kunnert (3.1), 15. John Williamson (2.7)

42. Draft 2012: 78.7
1. Draymond Green (13.1), 2. Damian Lillard (9.4), 3. Anthony Davis (7.8), 4. Bradley Beal (7.8), 5. Harrison Barnes (6.6), 6. Jae Crowder (5.2), 7. Khris Middleton (4.9), 8. Andre Drummond (4.8), 9. Dion Waiters (2.9), 10. Terrence Ross (2.8), 11. Mike Scott (2.8), 12. Austin Rivers (2.7), 13. John Henson (2.7), 14. Maurice Harkless (2.7), 15. Terrence Jones (2.6)

43. Draft 1971: 68.3
1. Artis Gilmore (14.3), 2. Fred Brown (8.8), 3. Randy Smith (4.6), 4. Mike Newlin (4.6), 5. Tom Owens (4.6), 6. Spencer Haywood (4.5), 7. Mike Gale (4.4), 8. Sidney Wicks (3.5), 9. Clifford Ray (3.3), 10. Dave Robisch (3.1), 11. Charles Johnson (3.0), 12. Larry Steele (2.5), 13. Darnell Hillman (2.5), 14. Austin Carr (2.5), 15. Jim Cleamons (1.9)

44. Draft 1969: 61.9
1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (29.0), 2. Bob Dandridge (8.7), 3. Steve Mix (7.9), 4. Jo Jo White (3.6), 5. Lucius Allen (2.1), 6. Bingo Smith (1.9), 7. Mack Calvin (1.8), 8. Norm Van Lier (1.7), 9. Butch Beard (1.3), 10. Herm Gilliam (1.2), 11. Wil Jones (1.0), 12. Willie Wise (0.7), 13. Willie Norwood (0.6), 14. Fatty Taylor (0.3), 15. Fred Carter (0.3)

45. Draft 2013: 54.5
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo (6.2), 2. C.J. McCollum (4.9), 3. Steven Adams (4.9), 4. Victor Oladipo (4.4), 5. Rudy Gobert (4.4), 6. Otto Porter (4.3), 7. Dennis Schroder (4.1), 8. Kelly Olynyk (3.5), 9. Mason Plumlee (3.3), 10. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (2.8), 11. Gorgui Dieng (2.5), 12. Allen Crabbe (2.3), 13. Andre Roberson (2.3), 14. Tim Hardaway (2.3), 15. Michael Carter-Williams (2.3)

46. Draft 2014: 36.4
1. Clint Capela (4.7), 2. Marcus Smart (4.0), 3. Andrew Wiggins (3.1), 4. Nikola Jokic (2.5), 5. Jordan Clarkson (2.3), 6. Rodney Hood (2.3), 7. Dario Saric (2.2), 8. Elfrid Payton (2.2), 9. Joel Embiid (2.0), 10. Julius Randle (2.0), 11. Kyle Anderson (1.9), 12. Jusuf Nurkic (1.9), 13. Jabari Parker (1.9), 14. Jerami Grant (1.8), 15. Aaron Gordon (1.8)

47. Draft 1968: 33.9
1. Elvin Hayes (15.8), 2. Wes Unseld (9.6), 3. Ron Boone (3.0), 4. Don Chaney (1.9), 5. Herm Gilliam (1.2), 6. Otto Moore (0.5), 7. Jim Eakins (0.5), 8. Chuck Williams (0.5), 9. Tom Boerwinkle (0.4), 10. Rich Jones (0.2), 11. Fred Foster (0.1), 12. Zaid Abdul-Aziz (0.1)

48. Draft 2015: 29.1
1. Karl-Anthony Towns (3.8), 2. Terry Rozier (3.4), 3. Myles Turner (2.7), 4. Josh Richardson (2.0), 5. Kristaps Porzingis (1.8), 6. Larry Nance (1.8), 7. Devin Booker (1.8), 8. Frank Kaminsky (1.6), 9. Justise Winslow (1.6), 10. Kelly Oubre (1.6), 11. Norman Powell (1.5), 12. D'Angelo Russell (1.4), 13. Bobby Portis (1.4), 14. Delon Wright (1.3), 15. Willie Cauley-Stein (1.3)

49. Draft 2016: 17.5
1. Jaylen Brown (2.7), 2. Ben Simmons (1.9), 3. Malcolm Brogdon (1.4), 4. Domantas Sabonis (1.2), 5. Taurean Waller-Prince (1.2), 6. Jamal Murray (1.1), 7. Dejounte Murray (1.1), 8. Buddy Hield (1.0), 9. Pascal Siakam (1.0), 10. Jakob Poeltl (0.9), 11. Brandon Ingram (0.9), 12. Thon Maker (0.9), 13. Marquese Chriss (0.8), 14. Patrick McCaw (0.8), 15. Caris LeVert (0.8)

50. Draft 2017: 10.6
1. Jayson Tatum (2.2), 2. Donovan Mitchell (1.9), 3. OG Anunoby (0.7), 4. Kyle Kuzma (0.7), 5. Jordan Bell (0.6), 6. Lauri Markkanen (0.6), 7. John Collins (0.5), 8. Dennis Smith (0.5), 9. Josh Jackson (0.4), 10. Dillon Brooks (0.4), 11. Lonzo Ball (0.4), 12. Bam Adebayo (0.4), 13. De'Aaron Fox (0.4), 14. Jarrett Allen (0.4), 15. Josh Hart (0.3)

51. Draft 1965: 8.5
1. Rick Barry (5.5), 2. Gail Goodrich (1.3), 3. Dick Van Arsdale (0.3), 4. Jim Fox (0.3), 5. Tom Van Arsdale (0.2), 6. Bob Love (0.2), 7. Bob Weiss (0.2), 8. Keith Erickson (0.2), 9. Bill Bradley (0.2)

52. Draft 1966: 6.3
1. Cazzie Russell (2.1), 2. Lou Hudson (1.8), 3. Dave Bing (1.1), 4. Dick Snyder (0.9), 5. Jack Marin (0.3), 6. Freddie Lewis (0.1), 7. Jim Barnett (0.0)

53. Draft 1967: 6.1
1. Earl Monroe (2.3), 2. Louie Dampier (1.5), 3. Walt Frazier (1.3), 4. Phil Jackson (0.7), 5. Byron Beck (0.2), 6. Dale Schlueter (0.1), 7. Mike Riordan (0.0), 8. Mel Daniels (0.0), 9. Jimmy Jones (0.0)

54. Draft 1964: 4.6
1. Paul Silas (4.6)

55. Draft 1962: 2.7
1. John Havlicek (2.7)

56. Draft 1963: 0.3
1. Nate Thurmond (0.3)

Obviously the drafts before 1976 are undervalued by definition (less season analysed for players drafted before 1976), but even then some of these drafts are quite high on the list.