Points in the Paint

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Player Movement

Posted by Erik on June 28, 2008

TRADES

Richard Jefferson for Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons - The NETS are clearing cap space for an eventual bid to woo LBJ into their ranks and are making an investment (?) for the future in what they perceive to be a quality big man in Yi. Well, as far as Yi goes, I’m still a bit of a skeptic. So far he’s been 20% hype, 30% unfulfilled potential, 15% injured, 35% promising; as far as I can rate him based on last year’s performance. Based on last season’s real life and fantasy impact, he’s looking more Kwame Brown than Yao Ming so far… I guess the NETS are hoping he will emerge from his rookie cocoon as viable frontcourt presence. This move doesn’t really change the fantasy values of the players involved as far as I’m concerned. RJ was a proven, dependable, scoring swingman back in NJ, but he mostly had Kidd to get him the ball and run the offense for the team. I think he will fit in nicely running the floor alongside Michael Redd and Charlie Villanueva. Charlie will be the greatest fantasy beneficiary of this trade as his biggest playing time (PT) competitor at the PF slot has been shipped off. More playing time for Charlie, hopefully translates to better fantasy production. Fantasy managers like myself are waiting to see him reproduce his multi-cat production from his break out Toronto season.

Jermaine ONeal for TJ Ford and Rasho Nesterovic - Off the top, the big fantasy winner in this transaction isn’t even involved in it, and that’s Danny Granger. Danny shined everytime JO wasn’t playing, which was pretty much most of the season anyway. The Pacers are now HIS team and I expect this Multi-cat Monster to just explode this season. TJ guarantees a backcourt presence, especially since Jamal Tinsley has not been exactly the poster boy for consistent health in the past. I suppose two injury-prone PGs are better than one. On the other end of the deal, its Jose Calderon who I expect to benefit the most from this deal. With Ford gone, Calderon will now have license to dish out those assists of his with extreme prejudice. JO can now play mini Twin Towers with Chris Bosh and provide Toronto with its much needed frontcourt depth. JO was frankly slumping – well fine, more like downward spiraling fantasywise prior to this trade. I’m personally not holding my breath for a dramatic turnaround,¬† but hey, he could surprise his naysayers and turn a new leaf now that he’s in a new team playing in a new system.

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Year End Wrap-up

Posted by Erik on April 8, 2008

Yes, my blog died. It died a sad, sad death. It was abandoned. Over a month or so of neglect has pretty much killed it and driven away its regular readership. Health issues and other distractions kept me away from continually spicing things up. That being said I owe you, my regular readers, an apology. I also owe Rick, my only contributor, a serious apology for not even spending enough time to be able to review and publish his now stale posts; in my absence. Sorry man, “real life” took a bite out of my blog time.

I guess my dream to do consistent fantasy blogging has been dowsed – pretty much like Phoenix’s formerly scorching up-tempo offense.

Well inconsistency IS an issue you deal with rookies…

I guess there’s always next year…” – I’m sure that that also resonates in the minds of players in teams that are NOT making the playoffs and are off to the lottery to seek for fresh blood to build/re-build their beleaguered franchises around.

Well the year isn’t over yet. I dragged my aching bones out of bed and decided I might as well be one of the early birds who will recap the fantasy year that was. So I might as well do it, do it now, and go out with a BANG! So let’s get this party started…

In Fantasy Hoops LeBron maybe KING, but Chris Paul is a Fantasy GOD!

LeBron can really put up those fantasy numbers and even stuns fans and managers alike with his occasional, sick triple-doubles. He and Kobe Bryant made great MVP rivals throughout the season. Both superstars were great this year, but let’s address the big white elephant in the room. Who would have thought it possible that from the ashes of the Deron vs Chris Paul debates would arise the hands down BEST fantasy basketball player around today? Well I had an inkling it was coming. You all know about the sick, sick – did I mention SICK? – numbers CP3 churns out. If you own him, you obviously know what I mean as you watch him stamp his seal as being the number one PG in fantasy ball night in and night out. If you don’t own him, you can wipe that drool off your slobbering chops as you scheme on how to make sure you acquire him next year! He single handedly takes the top spot as having the biggest fantasy swing impact coming from this year’s draft. Come on! Who can resist 21 PPG at 49.6 FG% (awesome for a PG), 85,2% FT, 11.5 APG, 2.7 SPG? Plus don’t forget he leads the league with most games with 20+ points and 15+ assists… interesting stat for head to head players out there. It would be incomplete to appreciate Chris Paul’s “Stockton-like” (as his numbers closely resemble John Stockton’s all-time numbers) stats without giving some credit to his “Malone”. David West quietly produced a monster of a year in terms of stats in his own right, as he set new career averages in points, rebounds, blocks and FT%. David’s great performance simply reflects, again, on how great a player CP3 really is; as it shows that Chris has that knack that only the greatest players of the game (Magic, Jordan, Bird, Nash) have – the ability to make his teammates BETTER.

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Show Me Some Boobie!

Posted by Erik on January 26, 2008

After hearing the news that Cleveland starting SG Sasha Pavlovic may miss up to 2 months with a sprained foot, I was bubbling with elated anticipation at the thought that Daniel “Boobie” Gibson would return to the starting lineup. But alas my hopes were briefly extinguished by coach Mike Brown’s decision to start Ira Newble in his stead. – What the @#$%! was that about?

I, along with Boobie’s other eager fans, were hoping that he would get another crack at the starting job and be able to blossom as a suitable member of a supporting crew for LBJ. Well I’m not exactly a full-blown fan so-to-speak, it’s just that I enjoy following Boobie’s fantasy NBA career this year in particular because I’m proud to say that I scouted him as a SLEEPER as early as September! And believe me this kid’s got some skills. True, he’s on the smaller side, needing to further bulk up his 6’2″, 190 lb. frame; but man can he light it up from beyond the arc on a good night! He’s averaging 2.4 treys for the season from that range. It’s just unfortunate that LeBron’s passing game favors the team’s big men more as he prefers to pass deeper into the paint, to the open man, as the defense collapses on him when he drives in for a penetration. Boobie and his game would actually be flourishing in a team that had a solid big man to post in the paint and liked to kick out to ball to it’s shooters when the double team arrives.

What actually got me to believe that Boobie had potential this year was his 31 point performance in the Cavs’ Eastern Conference playoff stint versus the Detroit Pistons last year. Here’s a FLASHBACK. How many rookies do you know have stepped up like that in a high pressure playoff situation? He clearly he showed that he has what it takes to become an eventual force to be reckoned with. Fine he hasn’t exactly exploded on the level I was hoping he would but he nonetheless has produced more than respectable numbers thus far for someone who went undrafted in most fantasy leagues this year. So coach Brown, give him more opportunities to shine this year and show us some more Boobie in that starting lineup of yours!

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Dwight Howard: Orlando’s Shaq Version 2.0

Posted by Erik on October 8, 2007

Dwight Howard, one of today’s more coveted Tier 2 centers, is off to a good start in his young NBA career. A good all-around defensive player, who is slowly coming into his own in terms of offense. “If he’s so good, why is he in the second tier?”, you may ask. The answer is simple. With all his pluses, there is some bad that does come with the good, and that is his horrible, below 60 FT% (at 8.1 attempts) and his high number of turnovers (3.9). Aside from his fantastic FG% and annually improving point production, another interesting statistic of note is that this youngster has managed to stay healthy (played all 82 games all 3 years of career), in spite of being stationed in in no-man’s land (the Paint).

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My TOP 50

Posted by Erik on September 30, 2007

Who will YOU pick on draft day?


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I’ve decided to expand my original TOP 35 list to 50. This list represents my personal rankings of the TOP 50 players in Fantasy Basketball!

 

  1. Kevin Garnett – I believe his motivation this year is off the charts. So I decided to ride the anticipation, and hope he has an all-time best season.
  2. Kobe Bryant – Best Tier 1 SG in fantasy basketball today! If he gets the “help” he’s been whining for, watch out!
  3. Shawn Marion – Does everything but pass the ball, but can Phoenix keep him happy enough to stay?
  4. Dirk Nowitzki - Uh, can anyone say… “No drawbacks!”? + Hardly gets injured!
  5. LeBron James - FT% and TOs are his only “minor” achilles. Can take over games at will.
  6. Gilbert Arenas – Says he’s healthy and ready to start training camp!
  7. Steve Nash – Should have been last year’s MVP. Best PG in my book!
  8. Amare Stoudemire – If KG doesn’t get C-eligiblity, he’s the hands down NO. 1 center in the game.
  9. Jason Kidd – How many other PG’s rebound like power forwards? NONE!
  10. Dwayne Wade – His health issues got him a downgrade. He’s not going passed the first round though.
  11. Pau Gasol – Expecting bigger and better things from him this year!
  12. Yao Ming – Dare to dream he’ll play 78+ games! … and you’ve got a monster! Best FT-shooting center in the game.
  13. Tim Duncan – Solid choice to give you 20-10 and 2 BPG.
  14. Josh Smith – Last year was just the tip of the iceberg. . . still improving as we draft!
  15. Chris Paul – Injuries last year derailed his meteoric rise as a Tier 1 PG!
  16. Allen Iverson – Watch him make a comeback, now that he’s fully in Denver’s offensive groove!
  17. Marcus CambyIf he plays more than 75 games, you just drafted a first-rounder!
  18. Paul Pierce – Going to display Point-forward skills like never before!
  19. Deron Williams – Definite 2nd rounder or early 3rd at the latest. He’s expected to even get better this year!
  20. Rashard Lewis – Will he deliver the same “goods” in Orlando as he did in Seattle?
  21. Chris Bosh – Plantar fascitis may plague him this season.
  22. Ray Allen – Can anchor any team’s 3-pt scoring. . . but that’s all he might do this year.
  23. Andre Iguodala – Now that he’s adjusted to being “the man” in Philly, he’ll do well.
  24. Vince Carter – Is “Vince-sanity” a thing of the past? Not if Jason Kidd can help it!
  25. Joe Johnson – Calf injury was so last year. . . Monster Games are in this season for the No.1 man in Atlanta!

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Sleeper Spotlight: Centers

Posted by Riccardo on September 16, 2007

In a standard 2-center league, it’s common for managers to either overpay for elite talent (Yao Ming, Timmy Duncan, Chris Bosh, Marcus Camby) or end up with the dreaded center-by-committee carousel. Thankfully, last season saw the emergence of a new crop of useful young hybrid PF-Cs (Al Jefferson, LaMarcus Aldridge, Zaza Pachulia and even Darko Milicic) that should alleviate the scarcity somewhat. Still, in a standard 12-team, 2-center league, you can never get away from having to look at the Joel Pryzbillas of the world. (No, Joel is not a sleeper, he’s useless, even with Oden gone.)

Melvin Ely, Hornets – Ely just signed with New Orleans, and will back up Tyson Chandler and David West as the first big man off the bench. He was great with Charlotte when he got playing time, and West has been injury-prone.

Nene Hilario, Nuggets – Last year was Nene’s first year back from surgery. Predictably, he struggled. However, getting Marcus Camby’s backup is always worthwhile, especially when he has a huge contract and Denver has a reason to play him. Note that Hilario isn’t all that healthy himself, and got hurt during the FIBA tournament. Track his status leading up to the draft.

Chris Webber, Free Agent – Surprise! I’m not really sure if Old Man Webber will play, much less retain his C eligibility from the run with Detroit. If he lands with a team where he can get 30 minutes a night, you could do a lot worse.

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Sleeper Spotlight: Forwards

Posted by Erik on September 12, 2007

  1. Corey Maggette - Personally, I haven’t been much of a fan of this guy’s rocky injury-filled fantasy career. This year, I feel that same history will work in Corey’s favor in terms of undervaluing him. With Elton Brand out for most of the season, Corey will now find himself back in the Clips’ staring line up. He’s a former solid offensive contributor with his TOs and injuries as the main points against his better draft position. I look at him this year in a similar light to how I approached my view of Mike Miller last year in Pau Gasol‘s absence from the Grizzlies in the early part of the season. The injury and absence of the team’s main star will open up a lot of statistical opportunities for the star’s former supporting cast. Fear for his health, if you will, but as long as this guy can stay healthy… you can expect him to post good numbers for you.
  2. Andrea Bargnani - Here’s my favorite forward sleeper this year! I just have to share that I DO have a favorable bias for big (tall) men with finesse moves and a soft touch. I expect this year to be the year that he blooms and the world can see more reasons why he was worth being the overall 1st pick in the NBA’s 2006 draft. He will step up, especially with Chris Bosh‘s plantar fascitis posing a potential problem to the number of GPs this year. Let’s also not forget his additional experience this year, playing for Italy in the EURO championships. I feel Andrea’s worth a solid 10th round pick.
  3. Luis Scola - Yes I know he’s “technically” a rookie, but his maturity and international experience herald volumes of this big man’s potential. He WILL get his playing time this year at Houston because the team’s not exactly deep in the 4 spot and his style of play is probably the most easily attuned to new head coach, Rick Adelman’s motion-offense system. When (notice I didn’t say “if”) Yao gets sidelined this season for any amount of time due to injury, expect Luis to be an instant nominee to fill that 5 spot on the starting line up. Here’s a solid big man who can pass the ball, is used to physical play, and is simply reliable in the paint up to the mid ranges. He’s definitely worth a gamble in the last 2 rounds of your draft!

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Sleeper Spotlight: Guards

Posted by Erik on September 11, 2007

I know It has been a while since I last updated the blog, I was unfortunately sidelined with an injury. Anyway, I’m back and part of my rehab involves posting here on the blog. LOL!

I’m no guru and am going to be the first to admit that I’ve made a lot of “sleeper” choices that didn’t pan out in the past. Hear me out, however, I do know I have an eye for these things. I had the insight to pick Boris Diaw off the waivers early enough during his “1-hit wonder” year. Kevin Martin was a major cog in the machine that powered me to a very dominant 1st-place trophy last season.

So let’s get down to business. Here’s a list of guards I feel have a potential to produce beyond their draft day positions. Some of them are only worth going for in very deep 18-20 man leagues, while others are very workable in your standard 10-man league.

  1. Daniel Gibson - Here’s my personal favorite among the guard sleepers this year. Daniel “Doobie”Gibson’s spectacular playoff performance has become a ray of light, heralding a potentially good season this year. The Cavs coaching staff just has to realize that Doobie’s game is the exact help they’ve been looking for the last couple of seasons for the team. He’s a solid outside shooting option, who can also take the ball to the hole. With the Cavs focusing on defense, his 3-pt scoring will be a great boost in a department the team’s been needing some consistency in for sometime now. He’s going to be a steal at the very late rounds this draft day and a definite must-pick in deeper leagues. I consider his upside to be like a poor man’s second coming of Leandro Barbosa.
  2. Ricky Davis -I’ve discussed Ricky’s potential in a previous post. I foresee him to be solid offensive contributor.
  3. Monta Ellis - I’m looking to this guy to benefit the most from Jason Richardson’s departure from Golden State. He is a strong candidate to be asked to step up and help fill the scoring void left by J-Rich’s absence. I expect him to further solidify last year’s 77 game production of 16.5 PPG, 4.1 APG, 1.3 SPG, 2.9 TO avg; while shooting at 47.5 FG% and 76.3 FT%. He likes to drive to the hoop and thrives on the fastbreak. In the unfortunate but not highly unlikely event that Baron Davis goes down with an injury, look to Monta’s numbers to get even juicier. Until that point, however, expect Monta’s minutes to be challenged by rookie Marco Belinnelli, who already possesses a lot of the necessary physical and scoring tools to be an effective SG in the NBA.¬† I would like to qualify that you should temper your draft position of Monta vs other managers¬† who are on a high over last season’s MIP performance.
  4. Morris Peterson - Man, Mo Pete was one of last year’s biggest busts for me as far as draft day went. I really had very high expectations for this guy last season, touting him as the potential 2nd half of the Toronto “Bosh-Mo Pete 1-2 punch”. All of those visions quickly got flushed down the drain as I had to painfully witness his minutes and production plummet to the earth like a huge glop of lime flavored Jell-O. Now you must be asking, “If he was such a fantasy flop last year, why the hell do I think he’ll be a sleeper this year?” Well that was last season. Now he’s in a new team, got a new coach and CP3 quarterbacking the plays. I feel last season’s fall out will serve to devalue this still-capable scorer enough for some people to pick him at a very late round. Well I must admit Mo Pete’s potential is affected by Peja’s and Chris Paul’s health. With Paul healthy and Peja’s chronic back ails, there’s a decent window for Mo to fit in his own little niche in the Hornet’s line up, providing decent outside shooting and quality steals on the defensive end. After last season, he’s definitely a gamble come draft day but sometimes good Fantasy Seasons get defined by a “brave” Manager’s gamble that paid off…

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My TOP 35

Posted by Erik on September 5, 2007

My Basketball Big Board

Most people say that the first 2-4 picks in a Fantasy Draft are easy and things start to get interesting in the middle rounds. I agree with that, to a certain extent, but in the end managers have to know how to “build around” their first 3 picks and compliment those players’ abilities and stats. So these top 35 players represent the potential lot that will compose the first 3 rounds in a 10-man league. I took the liberty of modeling my list after Brandon Funston’s Basketball Big Board. . . I’ll update this in a month or so, most likely closer to Draft day.

  1. Shawn Marion – Can’t deny his across the board contributions with minimal drawbacks.
  2. Dirk Nowitzki – Great numbers. Best asset: “injury-immune” durability last few seasons.
  3. Kevin Garnett – Transfer to Boston won’t really hurt the numbers he puts up. I didn’t think I’d see the day, but he’s going to be even MORE motivated now that he’s got help.
  4. Kobe Bryant – I’m not a fan, but his numbers last season were just too awesome to ignore.
  5. LeBron James - FT% and TOs are still his “minor” Achilles.
  6. Steve Nash – He should have been last year’s MVP… still hungry for that elusive title.
  7. Gilbert Arenas - Offensive beast, but questions remain regarding knee rehab this past summer.
  8. Dwayne Wade – Injured with shoulder and knee problems, but Miami’s still HIS team and should eventually comeback strong.
  9. Amare Stoudemire – My first choice as top C in Fantasy… as long as Nash stays healthy.
  10. Yao Ming - Will this be the Fantasy “Year of the Yao”? If he stays healthy, Adelman’s system should work wonders for him and Houston.
  11. Chris Paul – I’m still drooling over what he can contribute over a 70+ game played season.
  12. Jason Kidd - Triple Double Machine, yearly defying Father Time.
  13. Tim Duncan - Still a solid choice at C; just compensate for his inconsistent FT%
  14. Rashard Lewis – Will get license to shoot at Orlando. Let’s see if he gets soft now that he’s sitting on a long term contract.
  15. Ray Allen – Hopefully will share KG’s enthusiasm about being part of Boston’s new BIG 3. He’ll still be lighting it up from the 3-point line.
  16. Pau Gasol - If he can stay healthy, he’s one of the more solid C’s on the market.
  17. Chris Bosh – Plagued with Plantar Fascitis & his spot will drop if he loses C-eligibility.
  18. Paul Pierce - Expect better things from him this year, now that KG and Ray Allen are here to help him out.
  19. Marcus Camby - MONSTER if he plays 70+ games, but frankly am not going to hold my breath.
  20. Josh Smith - You thought last year was good? Well you ain’t seen nothing yet!
  21. Andre Iguodala – Slops to his last season’s FG% and TOs, but he’ll get used to being the new AI in Philly this year.
  22. Caron Butler – Great numbers, few drawbacks. He’s still on an upward swing in Washington.
  23. Allen Iverson – Denver being Melo’s team will only help keep him away from injuries. Let’s see what a full season under Denver’s offense will do for his numbers.
  24. Deron Williams – Last year was just a taste of things to come. Trust me, you’ll regret not drafting him this early.
  25. Chauncey Billups – With the plethora of early PG picks, you can probably draft him a bit lower, unless you started by hoarding C’s.
  26. Michael Redd – People say he’s all offense, but his FT% impact does keep him above other “pure scorers”.
  27. Vince Carter – Will produce for you, but how well will depend Kidd’s health.
  28. Jermaine O’neal - C with injury problems, but if he can 75+ games, his numbers will keep you happy.
  29. Jason Richardson – New team, new numbers? We’ll have to see how he gels with Wallace over at Charlotte.
  30. Kevin Martin – Last year’s MONSTER of a sleeper! Now that he’s got his contract, let’s see if he’ll stay as productive… My best guess, we’ll still see some good numbers.
  31. Joe Johnson - Got hurt last year, but still great player on a bad team. Expect him to try to make a Fantasy comeback this year.
  32. Tracy McGrady -Injuries, FG% and TOs are still his bane, but hopefully Adelman’s offensive system will help him out in those areas.
  33. Al Jefferson – People can’t wait to see what he can do. I’m still on the fence if he’ll be able to live up to all the hype.
  34. Ben Wallace – His numbers took a beating last year, but still one of my favorite picks at the C slot.
  35. Carlos Boozer – He might lose his C-eligibilty, but still a 20-10, percentages machine, especially with Deron passing to him.

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Sleeper Spotlight: Al Jefferson vs Ricky Davis

Posted by Erik on September 5, 2007

Al Jefferson – A lot of people have been very excited to see what the big man Al Jefferson can do in Minnesota. Last year he averaged 16 PTS, 11.0 REBS, and 1.5 BLKS, shooting at 51.4% FG, 68.1% FT; while playing in 69 games for Boston. More than decent numbers for a big man. The hype is that his numbers will only get better now that he’s joined the star-depleted Timberwolves. He’s on his 4th year and still has to prove that he can be a consistent go-to guy in the paint for a team. The question a lot of people should be asking themselves is if he’s indeed worth his anticipated Fantasy draft position? The problem here is that there’s so much anticipation regarding Al’s expected production, he’s bordering on NOT being a sleeper. At this point, he should be at least a 20-10 guy with 1.5+ BLKS to merit his draft position. I’m one the guys hoping he’ll fit in the new-look Wolves, and be a monster of a C. Given the possibility that Center eligible players like Chris Bosh and Carlos Boozer may potentially loose their C status, he does appear to be sitting atop the fence between the 1st and 2nd string Center list.

VS.

Ricky Davis – Now this is the guy I really feel will be tasked to step-up for the Wolves, especially in terms of offense. This long forgotten Fantasy-viable pick averaged 17 PTS, 3.9 REBS, 4.8 ASTS, 1 STL, 1.5 3PTs, 2.6 TOs, while shooting at 46.5 FG% and 83.9 FT% in 81 games for the Timberwolves last season. Now that KG’s gone, the team will more likely look to Ricky to score on the break or slash to the basket for offense. His health permitting, Ricky will produce even better numbers this year. Without a decent PG distributing the ball, look for him to hit around 5-5.5 APG as he dishes to Al when the defense collapses on him when he slashes to the basket. The question still remains whether he can carry a team… Quick answer: NO.

VERDICT: I don’t think either Al Jefferson nor Ricky Davis can individually babysit the Wolves franchise through its rebuilding phase in this post-KG era. They’ll both have to bring their A games night in and night out for their team to get some W’s. Big Al’s C status edges him past Ricky. Come draft day, however, don’t forget this slashing scorer as his numbers this season may end up as a pleasant surprise especially if you can snag him at around the 6th, maybe 7th round.

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