Monday, May 23, 2005

Playoff vs. Payoff

Ah, the playoffs. The "second season" of the NBA. Unlike the regular season where you can catch maybe 5% of the games played in the NBA on TV (unless of course you pay for the package), in the playoffs, you can see just about every game. With everyone watching, a player’s performance in the playoffs can drastically improve his stock in next year’s draft. But is what you’re seeing in the playoffs a sign of things to come, or just a hot streak that happens to be caught on national television? Post-season studs can really go either way the next year. For example:

In 2002, 19-year-old rookie Tony Parker went from 9.2 points and 4.3 assists in the regular season to 15.5 points and 4 assists in the postseason, and all of a sudden his draft stock shot through the roof. The next year, he pretty much matched his playoff production, with 15.5/5.3, a steal, and a three. He might not have turned into a stud PG like some predicted, but he's certainly been a servicable point guard and should continue to be one for a long time.

In 2003, Troy Hudson (aka that guy you always think is Latrell Sprewell, but really it’s Troy Hudson) made a name for himself in the playoffs despite being on Minnesota, and thus playing in only one series. In 6 games, he put up 23.5 points, 5.5 assists, 2.8 3’s and 1.3 steals. Of course, the next year, he got hurt, played in only 29 games and this year got demoted to 3rd string PG behind journeyman Anthony Carter. He certainly wasn’t able to live up to the expectation that he created for himself.

In 2004, another rookie, Dwayne Wade, had his coming out party in the playoffs. After putting up an impressive 16.2/4.0/4.5 during the regular season, he established himself big-time in the playoffs, with a couple of game-winning shots, leading the heat in scoring (he was third during the regular season) and adding about 2 points and 1 assist to his regular-season averages. Wade came out this year and blew away the predictions of even his biggest supporters – his 24.1/5.2/6.8 placed him among the fantasy elite.

As you can see, playoff studs can have widely varying payoffs the next year. Later this week, we’ll tell you why you should avoid Jerome James next year, take a closer look at Manu Ginobilli, and get excited about Sam Dalembert.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

interesting as usual

6:30 PM  

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