Personal Pan Power Ranking: Draft Edition is third in a series of pizza topping- and NBA-themed power rankings. A Personal Pan ‘Za only has four slices, probably (has an adult ever ordered one? I’m trying to remember my childhood), so this feature ranks only four things.
Personal Pan Power Rankings #1
Personal Pan Power Rankings #2
#4: Andre Drummond (Drafted 9 to Pistons)
The draft analysis surrounding Drummond focused so much on his physical profile and the “high risk/high reward” aspect such that only teams probably thought about who he could really turn into as a player. There’s the Amare Stoudemire/Dwight Howard thing, both of which are silly. Early Amare played with one eye toward the basket at all times. Drummond will never roll to the rim as purposefully as Amare did, simply because so few do and because Drummond doesn’t get off on maiming; his on-court personality grows out of his love, not a desire to terrorize.
He loves to pass the ball—and at 18 he showed himself to be a clever college passer. Combined with his well-documented (and pejoratively documented) desire to play on the perimeter too much (an overstated problem that Jim Calhoun rooted out of him somewhat with profanity, benchings, and windsprints), Drummond could snatch a little of Boris Diaw’s game as he gets older and develops chemistry with Greg Monroe (another smart, skilled player). He’ll always smash it through when the ball’s within a few feet of the rim, and his aggression on the offensive boards will always be an asset.
Defensively, it will take a while for him to protect the rim and see the floor, and he’ll never be Dwight Howard. In college, he often got lost in rotations and his help D was lackluster. With coaching, though, he’ll play Tyson Chandler-level PnR D. As soon as NBA coaches get his footwork and mind in order, there will be no PnR coverage that will truly test his lateral quickness. Like, he’ll chase LeBron James and Dwyane Wade around the perimeter, then recover like a demon.
As one package: a mobile defensive player whose rim protection may never be as good as fans might want, and a complementary offensive player who sees the floor and loves to make team plays. Ironically, then, I’m quite certain that he categorically will not be a boom-bust guy, but instead an interesting and quality big man on a good team. Detroit could have an interesting future ahead of them with their fearless bulldog backcourt and more cerebral frontcourt, a reversal of the usual court-personality alignment that can lead to some very interesting high-post-centered sets from a smart coach like Lawrence Frank.
This is all down the road, though. Drummond’s going to be a mess next year, head-in-the-clouds type of stuff.
Counterintuitive pizza topping: Pancetta—looks like bacon, but so much more interesting than you first thought
#3: Terrence Ross (Drafted 8 to Raptors)
As the Raptor brass said: Shoots 3s, defends the wing, doesn’t need the ball. That’s a starting player on a good team. How’s that a reach again, at 8?
Uninteresting but extremely important, fundamental at this point, really, pizza topping: Red sauce
#2: Perrence Jones III (28 to Thunder)
Perry Jones as a stretch 4 on the Thunder’s second unit can be scary. With three facilitators in Maynor, Harden, and Collison, Jones will be able to cut to the rim, get open shots on Harden drives, take slower second unit 4s off the dribble, and run the floor and finish in transition. Eventually, he may be able to do a little Lamar Odom point forward stuff of his own. Frankly, I think he can become comfortable and effective in that role by next year, as long as the knee thing isn’t dire.
Lower your expectations and it can actually be a darn effective pizza topping: Sausage and peppers
#1: Harrison Barnes (7 to Warriors)
People don’t like Harry Barnes because he’s basketball-insecure. He’s got all manner of skills, but he’s practiced them in a vacuum and he thinks too much; he’s a teenager trying out pickup lines in the mirror before the party. He’s uncool. His team/branding smacks of helicopter parents arranging social outings with other kids.
Think of the space he’ll have, though. Curry: shooter; Thompson: shooter; Lee: mid-range shooter. Barnes should be able to pull off the jab-steps, fadeaways, and other isolation mid-range moves with a lot of room. On top of that, he’ll be able to lube up the offense by spotting up. He’s coachable and smart. He’s big and athletic enough to defend the wing.
If Bogut and Curry stay healthy, the Warriors are a low playoff team next year with room to grow.
Uncool pizza that nevertheless is delish: Cheese