FanPost

The lies we tell ourselves: The Rebuttal

USA TODAY Sports

This was supposed to be the next post in my series, but due to the overwhelming response I received from my first post, I'd say a rebuttal is due. I'd write this all in the comments on the other post, but that would prove to be quite lengthy, so let's try it here.

First off, I guess I am "that guy". Admittedly, it was a mistake to call the points I made lies without giving definitive proof to support that claim. Given the response I received, be sure I won't make the same mistake again. That being said, my previous post was my stand-alone opinion, with no supporting facts, as that got shred for lack of facts, I'll supplement them here.

There is a reason I didn't entitle my post "Why the Celtics Suck," and that's because I don't believe they do. Looking at what I've put together below however, I'm less excited about this team then I was before and this really wasn't fun for me, but I can be "that guy with a different opinion," and apparently unless everything I say is supported by rock solid fact, it'll get shredded: so here are the facts.

Kelly Olynyk

Here is a complete listing of every player drafted 13th overall from 1980 to last year:

13th Overall NBA Draft Picks

Year

Player

Drafted From

Drafted By

2012

Kendall Marshall

North Carolina

Phoenix

2011

Markieff Morris

Kansas

Phoenix

2010

Ed Davis

North Carolina

Toronto

2009

Tyler Hansbrough

North Carolina

Indiana

2008

Brandon Rush

Kansas

Portland

2007

Julian Wright

Kansas

NO

2006

Thabo Sefolosha

Switzerland

Chicago

2005

Sean May

North Carolina Jr.

Charlotte

2004

Sebastian Telfair

NY HSSr.Â

Portland

2003

Marcus Banks

UNLV Sr.

Memphis

2002

Marcus Haislip

Tennessee Jr.

Milwaukee

2001

Richard Jefferson

Arizona Jr.

Houston

2000

Courtney Alexander

Fresno St. Sr.

Orlando

1999

Corey Maggette

Duke Fr.

Seattle

1998

Keon Clark

UNLV

Orlando

1997

Derek Anderson

Kentucky

Cleveland

1996

Kobe Bryant

Lower Merion HS

NO Hornets

1995

Corliss Williamson

Arkansas

Sacramento

1994

Jalen Rose

Michigan

Denver

1993

Terry Dehere

Seton Hall

LA Clippers

1992

Bryant Stith

Virginia

Denver

1991

Dale Davis

Clemson

Indiana

1990

Loy Vaught

Michigan

LA Clippers

1989

Michael Smith

Brigham Young

Boston

1988

Jeff Grayer

Iowa State

Milwaukee

1987

Joe Wolf

North Carolina

LA Clippers

1986

Dwayne Washington

Syracuse

New Jersey

1985

Karl Malone

Louisiana Tech

Utah

1984

Jay Humphries

Colorado

Phoenix

1983

Ennis Whatley

Alabama

Kansas City

1982

Eric Floyd

Georgetown

New Jersey

1981

Danny Schayes

Syracuse

Utah

1980

Rickey Brown

Mississippi State

Golden State

Obviously we all know that Kelly Olynyk was drafted 13th this year by the Dallas Mavericks, and then traded to the Boston Celtics. So let's ask ourselves the question, what is a reasonable and realistic expectation for us as fans to have of Kelly in his first year? Well lucky for you, I've crunched the numbers.

Kendall Marshal

Year

Team

G

Min

M

A

Pct

M

A

Pct

M

A

Pct

Off

Def

Tot

Ast

TO

Stl

Blk

PF

PPG

2012-13

PHO

48

14:35

1.2

3.1

37.1

0.5

1.5

31.5

0.2

0.3

57.1

0.1

0.8

0.9

3.0

1.2

0.5

0.1

1.0

3.0

Markieff Morris

Year

Team

G

Min

M

A

Pct

M

A

Pct

M

A

Pct

Off

Def

Tot

Ast

TO

Stl

Blk

PF

PPG

2011-12

PHO

63

19:30

2.8

6.9

39.9

0.7

2.0

34.7

1.2

1.7

71.7

1.1

3.3

4.4

1.0

1.1

0.7

0.7

2.8

7.4

Ed Davis

Year

Team

G

Min

M

A

Pct

M

A

Pct

M

A

Pct

Off

Def

Tot

Ast

TO

Stl

Blk

PF

PPG

2010-11

TOR

65

24:36

3.3

5.7

57.6

0.0

0.0

N/A

1.1

2.0

55.5

2.6

4.5

7.1

0.6

0.7

0.6

1.0

2.8

7.7

Tyler Hansbrough

Year

Team

G

Min

M

A

Pct

M

A

Pct

M

A

Pct

Off

Def

Tot

Ast

TO

Stl

Blk

PF

PPG

2009-10

IND

29

17:36

2.8

7.8

36.0

0.0

0.1

0.0

2.9

3.9

74.3

2.1

2.7

4.8

1.0

0.7

0.6

0.3

2.4

8.5


Brandon Rush

Year

Team

G

Min

M

A

Pct

M

A

Pct

M

A

Pct

Off

Def

Tot

Ast

TO

Stl

Blk

PF

PPG

2008-09

IND

75

24:00

3.2

7.7

42.3

1.0

2.8

37.3

0.6

0.9

69.7

0.5

2.7

3.1

0.9

1.0

0.5

0.5

1.7

8.1


Julian Wright

Year

Team

G

GS

MPG

FG%

3P%

FT%

OFF

DEF

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

TO

PF

PPG

07-08

NOH

57

1

11.2

0.533

0.417

0.635

0.6

1.5

2.1

0.7

0.5

0.2

0.60

0.75

3.9

Thabo Sefolosha

Year

Team

G

Min

M

A

Pct

M

A

Pct

M

A

Pct

Off

Def

Tot

Ast

TO

Stl

Blk

PF

PPG

2006-07

CHI

71

12:11

1.5

3.6

42.6

0.2

0.6

35.7

0.3

0.6

51.1

0.5

1.7

2.2

0.8

0.8

0.5

0.2

1.4

3.6

Sean May

Year

Team

G

GS

MPG

FG%

3P%

FT%

OFF

DEF

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

TO

PF

PPG

05-06

CHA

23

1

17.3

0.409

0.000

0.766

1.8

2.9

4.7

1.0

0.7

0.5

1.43

2.52

8.2

Sebastian Telfair

Year

Team

G

Min

M

A

Pct

M

A

Pct

M

A

Pct

Off

Def

Tot

Ast

TO

Stl

Blk

PF

PPG

2004-05

POR

68

19:36

2.5

6.3

39.3

0.3

1.0

24.6

1.5

2.0

78.9

0.1

1.4

1.5

3.3

1.8

0.5

0.1

1.8

6.8

Marcus Banks

Year

Team

G

GS

MPG

FG%

3P%

FT%

OFF

DEF

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

TO

PF

PPG

03-04

BOS

81

2

17.1

0.400

0.314

0.756

0.4

1.3

1.6

2.2

1.1

0.2

1.54

2.11

5.9

Now you're probably wondering why I've outlined these ten players. I'd like to give us a picture of what an average 13th overall pick produces for their team using data from the past decade. I'll do this by creating a fictitious "Player A." Player A is just the average of all ten of these players productions in their rookie years.

Interestingly, 3 out of 10 (30%) of these players are no longer even playing in the league. I'm sure the teams who drafted them didn't expect that, and were hoping they'd have a longer and more purposeful career. Much like we hope the same for Kelly I might add.

Now, Player A only averages 18:02 minutes per game. Some people have suggested on this site that Kelly Olynyk may well start this coming season, but in reality no 13th overall pick has started consistently for his team in the past decade. In fact, only two (Davis and Rush) have put in 6th man minutes (20-25) per game. So what's a more realistic expectation for KO? That he starts or that he comes off the bench, for roughly 18-19 minutes per game? Going off of past performances and hard data, the answer would be the latter in reality.

Player A averages 6.31 points per game, 1.45 assists per game, and 3.24 rebounds per game with 1.08 turnovers per game. Now I know what you're saying, "That includes guards and wings! That's not accurate at all!" This is true, but as far as the average 13th overall pick in reality this is what he looks like. To be honest, Player A isn't very impressive; on the average, over the past decade the 13th overall pick is a role player; nothing more, nothing less. That's exactly what I am expecting and what I think is a reasonable and a realistic expectation of KO based off of data obtained over the past decade.

Now as for what is likely for KO to average as a 13th overall pick playing the PF/C, we can't really tell that from the above numbers because of the guards and wings included. Luckily for us, 4 out of 10 of these 13th overall picks were PF's (none were true Centers,) so lets look at what Player A averaged if we only include those players (Davis, May, Hansbrough, and Morris.)

Using only the big men as a guide; Player A averaged 7.95 points per game, 5.25 rebounds per game, and 0.90 assists per game. This is a far cry from the 15 and 6 we were discussing on my original post. It's clear that the 6 rebounds may be an obtainable goal, but the points may end up being the difficult part.

Now I know, you're screaming at your computer right now about how KO is an offensive player, those big men weren't, and therefore Kelly could score 15 points a game. Here's the problem with that though. We can't really know that, because KO hasn't stepped foot on the court yet. He could be the biggest flop since Kwame Brown, we don't really know. The fact is though, everything I've pointed out so far indicates that it is far more likely and probable that Kelly is average or slightly above the average, given the data collected over the past decade. We may guess and assume that KO can/could score 15 points a game, but realistically his chances are slim.

But what about sample size you ask. This is only four players, and they're hardly big name guys. We can't really draw conclusions from a sample size this small can we? For all we know KO could be special, a draft steal, and play better then all of these 13th overall picks. After all Kobe and Karl were drafted at 13th, and they're certainly better than Brandon Rush or Sean May, so how can we really know that he won't average 15 and 6? Great point! So now let's look at the average of all players who were drafted from the 1st pick to the 13th pick in the past decade at the Center or Power Forward position, what did that Player A average?

8.4 points per game and 5.24 points per game. That's it. That's the first year averages of every player picked for the PF or C position since 2003.... a decade ago. If you are picking a big man from the draft, this is what you can realistically expect from them. Some may overachieve, some may underachieve, but bottom line is, this is the average. Only two players in the past decade, Emeka Okafor and Blake Griffin have proven capable of scoring 15 points a game and averaging 6 or more boards a game, keep in mind Griffin was a first overall pick, and Emeka a second. That means that only 4% of all big men drafted in the past decade have proven capable of this feat... 4%! And those guys were both TOP picks. To put this in perspective, there is a better chance that the big man you drafted over this past decade didn't make an NBA roster last season (for reasons other than retirement,) 20%, then there is that he averaged 15 and 6 his rookie season. Are we starting to get a picture of what are realistic expectations are for KO yet?

To wrap this all up, I'll say this. Some have argued that Kelly Olynyk could average 15 and 6 this coming season. I'll give my response in two parts. The first part being the facts, there is a 4% chance that Kelly is capable of doing this based on 10 years worth of data. Now I'm no math whiz.... but I'm pretty sure that means the odds are completely against Kelly being able to do this. Now here's the second part, my opinion. Kelly Olynyk will not be in that 4% club. He's nowhere near as good as either of the two guys who have done it. I do believe Kelly will be good down the road, but I'd put the rent money on him not making the elite club of 15 and 6. I can't say definitively that he won't, but 96% of the time he doesn't.

I realize this doesn't quell all the problems with my initial post, but I'm pretty damn tuckered out from writing this, so I'll end here. I hope my numbers and logic have helped you see what has been historically true and real in this league for the past decade. Perhaps I'll address the Rondo issue in my next post, but as for now.... I think I'll take a nap. Cheers!

P.S. ~ Told you it would end up being a 2,000+ word tome.

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