2011 NBA Draft Meta-Review

Posted on August 18, 2011 by


Devin Dignam (of NBeh? “fame”) is the Toronto Raptors writer for the Wages of Wins Network. His background with the Raptors gives him unique insight into many areas including the draft, overpaid players and overrated players.

To (finally) wrap up my coverage of the 2011 NBA draft, I would like to perform a meta-review. What is a meta-review? A review of reviews! By looking at other writers’ draft reviews, I hope to glean new insight into the typical draft review process and see how my reviews stack up with the rest of them.

This post was inspired by wiLQ over at Weak Side Awareness, who pointed out that most reviewers hand out top-heavy scores, and Jeff Briggs over at Real Clear Sports, who performed his own analysis on the matter. As such, I am relying on some of Jeff’s data, and will be using the same method that he used. What is the method? As stated by Jeff:

Scores are tabulated like a regular GPA. An ‘A’ is a 4.0, an ‘A-‘ is a 3.7, ‘B+’ a 3.3, ‘B’ a 3 and so on. (no extra points were given for an A+ as not all graders used the A+ option.

The Writers

Here in Canada, most of our GPAs are graded out of 10, but I can humour our neighbours to the south and go with the method as outlined above. Based on that method, what do the average GPAs look like, and how do my grades compare to the other writers?

As you can see, I am relatively stingy when it comes to giving out grades. Whereas the average GPA of the other writers was 2.90, my average GPA was 2.55. I have no problem with that result; that means that I show the lowest tendency to succumb to grade inflation of all the writers involved. Additionally, the standard deviation of my grades is the largest, which means that I made the most use of the entire range of all possible grades. Given the fact that one grade, ‘F’, already covers 50% of the entire grading scale, this is very important.

Of the other writers, Chad Ford, CBS Sports, and NBADraft.net show the least restraint when it comes to handing out good grades. NBC Sports, Pro Basketball Talk, and the Houston Chronicle are all clustered together in the next tier, and SB Nation and I are off by ourselves at the bottom. As for standard deviation, other than myself and SB Nation, the other writers are all clustered together near 0.70. Final verdict when it comes to each individual writer: kudos to me, and to a lesser extent SB Nation; better luck next time for everyone else.

The Teams

I’d also like to see how my individual grades compare to the other writers. In particular, were there any teams that we disagreed about?

The average difference between my grades and the other writers was -0.30, and the standard deviation was 1.31. Eight teams fell outside that range: I graded New York, Miami, and New Jersey significantly higher than the other writers, and graded Washington, Detroit, Memphis, Minnesota, and New Orleans significantly lower than the other writers. The other writers (as a group) and I gave almost identical grades to Milwaukee, Sacramento, and Boston; as a matter of fact, with the exception of Chad Ford (who awarded them an ‘A-‘), every writer gave the Celtics a ‘B’, so the Celtics win the consensus award. The teams with the most disagreement were the Lakers, Sacramento, and Minnesota. Appropriately enough, that means that the T-Wolves win the discord award.

A match too good to last....

 – Devin