How Much Does the Combine REALLY Matter?

surve
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How Much Does the Combine REALLY Matter?

I havent gotten a chance to catch the combine this year but I saw a lot of it last year. One of the commentators (cant remember if it was Billy King or Jay Williams) said that the athletic tests are really for other sports....like football. My question is, what can you really see in the combine that adds or lowers points?

Here are some things that can skew data of players at the combine.

1. The drills- A lot of times the players dont understand how to "properly" do the drills. Sometimes they are going too fast and end up making mistakes.

2. The speed tests- some of these guys are really fast but dont know how to "run" like Wesley Johnson, he is really fast but when testing, he was running wide-open but barely even lifting his knees.

3. The vertical tests- these can come out any kind of way because some guys are better off two legs than one and vise-versa. Some guys came out with some really low scores and we know they are great leapers, others came out with with great scores and were not known for their jumping ability. Luke Babbit had one of the highest max verticals and Devin Ebanks had one of the lowest.

4. Shooting drills- doesnt necessarily reflect in-game ability. Xavier Henry couldnt hit the broad side of a barn when I saw him work out, but I seen Tyreke Evans hit countless 20-25 footers consecutively.

5. Strength- this is accurate but the thing is, the strongest guys (bench) are always going to be the older guys because they been in the weight room the longest. Last year the strongest young guy was Greg Monroe.

6. Body Fat- ehhh..this goes along with work ethic in some cases, but most of these guys know they need to improve, like Pittman was fat...but he has really decreased his body fat since being in the league I believe. Sometimes its in the genes, Terrico White is a natural athleted and last year was measured at only 3.7lbs body fat!

Notes:

Cousins test poor athletically, but what does that really mean as he was one of the best rookies this year?

Wayne Ellington tested better than Gerald Henderson athletically, but Henderson is slightly longer and obviously his game is athletically more explosive.

Stephen Curry tested good all-around when there were a lot of questions about his ball handling and athleticism.

Taj Gibson did not test well athletically.

Trevor Booker's stock rose probably because of his combine results...but anyone who has seen a lot of Booker should know he is an athletic freak with tremendous strength.

Devin Ebanks stock surely dropped because his results didnt support the claims that he was as great an athlete as believed.

etc.... and then lets not get started on Summer League


The8thDeadlySin
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Speaking of Ebanks, I tried

Speaking of Ebanks, I tried to tell everyone he was LONG and not ATHLETIC! Just like a few guys in this draft...

erez
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shooting drills

are important, but these players are usually scouted well enough before the combine that they know whose a good shooter and not...example jimmer...and i cant tell if by your post you mean tyreke evans is a good shooter, but tyreke cant shoot period...he has good ball handling and hes great at driving, but hes jump shot, decision making, lack of court vision, is holding him back from being a star and holding back the kings.

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Xavier Henry STILL can't hit

Xavier Henry STILL can't hit the broad side of a barn.

Tyreke is highly skilled and long, but he is a streaky shooter, not a pure shooter.

Evans had a better college season than Henry did. Plus, Evans scored more and actually looked like a first option.

I think the combine matters at extremes. For example, if Kemba was 5'9 then that would really have hurt him, but he turned out to be 6'1 in shoes. Jimmer is a decent 6'2 in shoes, but I think his vertical and all the athletic measurements will help or hurt him. It would make the difference between him being a projected sixth man and a projected starter.

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Yes, Tyreke is not a terrible

Yes, Tyreke is not a terrible shooter, he is streaky, in all-star games, throughout college, and in the pros he has shown enough confidence to put them up consistently and to hit a good number....but what I was saying was, if you looked at them work out, Reke looked like a pure shooter and Henry looked like he didnt need to be outside of 15'....obviously this perception is not necessarily reality as Henry is supposed to be known for his shooting whereas Reke is not.

surve
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@ Memphis Madness

to clarify my post, it wasnt to really say does it matter as far as draft stock, because it does, as you mentioned with Kemba. my point was as far as how good a player IS or is going to BE, is it a good indication? my opinion is absolutely not. Landry Fields didnt even attend so qualitatively, he was a relative unknown as far as athletic and skills testing. I think the combine results can be reassuring to a degree, like in the case of Steph Curry, everyone knew he could shoot, but his ball drills and athleticism were nothing but pluses in is favor.

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I think the Combine is

I think the Combine is useful, but just as an addition to the game tape the scouts pour over. It is probably nice to see a bunch of guys at once because you are trying to compare them against each other. I'm sure no one pays any attention to makes and misses during a shooting drill. Everyone knows that you can get hot shooting and cold shooting and that one set of drills doesn't mean anything.

I do think the measurement part and the no-step vertical test is really important. Players can learn a bit to be better running jumpers (and lots of basketball players don't know how to get the most out of that jump), but no-step is just pure athletic ability. Anyway, I think it is interesting.

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Yes, the combine is useful

Yes, the combine is useful for comparing a players athleticism with their "potential".

e.g. If Derrick Favors had short / slow measurements, it's a lot harder to justify picking him.

Whereas, Cousins. You're drafting him more for skills. He was more polished coming into the league, with obvious rebounding, low-post skills. We knew that he wasn't an athletic freak in terms of explosiveness. It kind of confirmed what we already knew about him.

Say cousins scored crazy metrics on speed and elevation? Then perhaps you re-evaluate. Maybe you bump Cousins up your draft list because now you think it's more probable that he has a couple extra notches that nobody has seen yet.

surve
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^^^thats my point...

Favors passes the eye test when it comes to athleticism, thats why he was picked that high anyway. Cousins athleticism was not a focal point coming into the combine. What ended up being a red-flag for Cousins was his body fat, which in a lot of peoples minds signaled that he had poor work ethic.

I mentioned Ebanks, I still think Ebanks is a good athlete, but he tested lower than expected at the draft. Willie Warren is another guy that didnt test well. Warren is a better athlete than what he showed at the combine, but he came in a little out of shape with a bad ankle injury. Maybe he shouldve skipped the tests. In Curry's case...like I said, his athleticism wasnt a focal point but when he tested good, it was gravy. Most of the data we already know to be true or false, with the exception of the measurements, but a lot of those tests and drills can be misleading.

In reponse to comparison, I agree with you wholly on that because some of the scouts may not have seen some of these guys up close before...like Gani Lawal who was dunking all over people at the combine. Its a good way to see how players interact with one another and their body language.

surve
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Lets go back to 05 Draft.

I see on this forum a lot of times where people say Chris Paul isnt very athletic, but he tested very good, much better than say a guy like Monta Ellis did. Also Paul tested better than Deron Williams...and DWill did not look very athletic in college to me, but he is very athletic, not elite, but very good. Why does Monta look so much more athletic than Paul? Variables maybe? Maybe Monta wasnt at his best at the combine?

I have seen writers say that Raymond Felton is not very athletic, I dont get that one, he was one of the fastest players in college and he has decent hops. At the combine he was the fastest in the sprints...and still people say he is not very athletic.

I am reading the same things about Irving as I am about Paul, speed you can somewhat measure, but quickness....not really, particularly with the ball. Paul, DWill, and Kyrie Irving are very quick with the ball.

I also think sometimes athleticism is underated by not factoring in the agility of a guy combined with his speed and jumping ability, mixed with his physical structure. Like in the case of OJ Mayo, he tested great, but people say he is very athletic. Same with Tyreke Evans. Take into account you are talking about guys that are 6'4" 200lbs and 6'6" 220lbs, respectfully.

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