October 05, 2010
Why a picture of Derrick Favors(notes) alongside Avery Johnson? Well, apparently Derrick Favors looked really good in a preseason game on Sunday, contributing 14 points and nine rebounds in limited action, and though it's hard to tell if this play will translate into NBA greatness after one preseason game against limited competition, based on his draft status and obvious gifts, we're pretty optimistic on this one.
The same can be said about the newest version of Basketball Prospectus' "Pro Basketball Prospectus 2010-11," which was just released. I have yet to purchase a copy, nor have I cracked a page, but it seems like a winner from the word go.
Now, while I would suggest you delve into Yahoo! Sports' 2010-11 NBA Preview Magazine first, for a whole batch of extended advanced stats and exacting commentary, the work of Kevin Pelton and Bradford Doolittle is not to be missed.
My favorite element behind their work probably has to do with the idea behind trending. That NBA players (no matter how good, bad, or middling) often follow similar career trajectories of those who have come before them, knowledge is often lost on a lot of fans (so caught up, as we all are, in the day-to-day minutia behind this league) who just can't seem to understand why a player on their favorite team won't be able to keep it up next season, or why a worker on an opposing team might take it up a notch next season.
Honestly, the book is worth it even if Pelton and Doolittle were humorless drones, just a liaison between you and the numbuhs. The warming element is that they're not. These are class writers, rife with insight and humor, and if last year's version of the Prospectus was any indication, they care about you as a reader, and as a fan.
Short of already having a copy in my basement, where I'm clearly working from, I can't ask for much more.