Can’t believe it’s almost here!
The 2011 NBA Draft is set to kick-off Thursday night, and you bet your ass I’m leaving work early and staying up all night on Twitter eating candy.
Thanks to Doug Smith yesterday, and Bryan Colangelo today, we have a look into the Raptors potential picks:
Brandon Knight, PG, Freshman from Kentucky
Kawhi Leonard, SF, Sophmore from San Diego State
Bismack Biyombo, C, 18 year old from Spanish League
Jonas Valanciunas, C, 19 year old from Lithuania
This is great news for me, as most of you guys know how I feel about these players. Something that sticks out to me is that all of these players are above average at the defensive end.
But, one player in particular sticks out to me above the rest.
Bismack Biyombo is ridiculously intriguing.
With the hiring of defensive-minded Dwane Casey announced today (as Head Coach of the Raptors), there’s no question that the Raptors front office is turning over a new leaf. It’s time to focus on defense, and there is no better defender in this draft than Bismack Biyombo.
Many experts labelled Biyombo as a PF because of his 6’9.5 height; however, thanks to a 7’6 wingspan, he has a standing reach of 9’3.5. For comparison, that is the same standing reach of Dwight “Superman” Howard.
Also, Biyombo sports a mere 4.2% body fat at 245 pounds. That is insane. That is less fat than Larry Sanders and 25 extra pounds of muscle. Imagine Larry Sanders with an extra 25 pounds of muscle.
This is what he looks like without that 25 pounds:
Although Biyombo didn’t participate in the athletic testing of the Combine, he has been heralded to have elite athleticism, which is demonstrated by his monstrous putback dunks and dominant shot-blocking.
For all of those reasons, I’m confident Bismack Biyombo is a Center in this league.
But let’s get back to his shot-blocking, because it is nothing short of elite:
In a mere 17 minutes per game, Biyombo was able to lead the second best league in the world in blocks, at 2.3 blocks/game, or 5.4 blocks/40 minutes. He is 18 playing against grown men. Professional basketball players. These aren’t college students.
Unlike most young bigmen, he was able to keep his foul-rate low with 2.0 fouls/game, or 4.7 fouls/40 minutes. That gives him a blocks-to-fouls ratio of 1.15.
To demonstrate the meaning of this, here’s a list of the best blocks-to-fouls ratio in the NBA last year:
- Tim Duncan: 1.23
- JaVale McGee: 0.83
- Andrew Bogut: 0.77
- Andrew Bynum: 0.76
- Serge Ibaka: 0.74
- Chris Andersen: 0.73
- Dwight Howard: 0.72
Again, Biyombo was 1.15. Although I agree it’s hard to transfer these numbers between leagues, many have said that shot-blocking generally translates to the NBA.
Biyombo was also able to average 12 rebounds/40 minutes this year. Again, as an 18 year old playing against grown men.
So here is where I get a little bit bold.
What kind of player will Bismack Biyombo be in the NBA?
Hollinger has said that Biyombo’s absolute basement of potential is above that of Ekpe Udoh (#6 overall pick in last years draft).
In my opinion, based on all of the statistics of his physique and his stats abroad, I think at the very least, he brings a lot of Ben Wallace to a team, and at best, he could be as dominant as Dwight Howard. Those players are both multiple-time winners of Defensive Player of the Year. They also can’t hit free throws, but I never said Biyombo could, or should, have to!
So, you just rolled your eyes and said “well why isn’t Biyombo the #1 overall pick?”
The answer, I think, lies in the fact that most people (including NBA GMs) hadn’t even heard of this guy until a few months ago. He is mysterious, and mysteries are scary. But the facts are here, in this blog post. Yes, he could bust and make me look foolish because of his inability to run offense other than offensive rebounds and put-backs, but Ben Wallace had the same problem, and he dominated the league.
My pick for the Raptors is Bismack Biyombo, whether it be at #5 or with a lower pick, I’m on board for a chance at Ben Wallace.
Want to have a friendly argument, or talk about anything Raptors and/or NBA Draft?
Find me on Twitter @RaptorsRhetoric