Points in the Paint

Fantasy Basketball Opinions, Strategy & Tips

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.

It’s good to be GAY! – Year of the G/Fs

Honorable mention to CP3’s stellar performance this year is the bumper crop of many guard-forwards who out performed their respective fantasy draft positions to end up drastically boosting their real life and fantasy teams. Guys like Rudy Gay, Mike Dunleavy, Hedo Turkgolu are some key players who really stepped up their games this year. Across the board, their numbers made considerable leaps and bounds as these players found themselves finding and fitting more comfortably in their respective roles in their teams. Of the 3 players I mentioned, it is Rudy Gay who has the greatest load to carry as we wind down the season. He has been christened by the Grizzlies as its new “franchise” player, opting to build a new team around him. This was sealed as the team shipped off their former franchise player, Pau Gasol to the LA Lakers. Rudy seems up to the task as he even stole some of Pau’s “thunder” early in the season as he emerged as the team’s most productive and most impactful player. It will be interesting to see next season if Rudy will truly be up to the task of carrying the franchise. Will he fold under the pressure or will he fully blossom into the superstar everyone is expecting him to be? I can’t wait to find out! – So what round will you be drafting Mr. Gay next year?

The Big Men

Before the season started, I had Pau Gasol pegged to be the best center at the end of the year. Sadly his injury-plagued and frankly uninspired play while he was with the Grizzlies sort of put out that torch. In the end, props have to be given to 3 guys in particular; Amare Stoudemire, Marcus Camby, Dwight Howard.

Amare takes the trophy for No. 1 center as far as I’m concerned. He started off slow while he was hampered by an injury early in the season, but soon consistently produced new career high averages in points, blocks and FG%. Then he simply went wild when the Suns traded away Shawn Marion (who eventually fell from fantasy grace), officially secured being the primary recipient of Steve Nash‘s awesome dishes! Now, with Shaq in the team, Amare’s PF eligible again; and THAT my friends just spikes his value even more as it makes him even more versatile (fantasywise at least).

Marcus Camby had only ONE true drawback coming into this season as a fantasy pick, his durability. Now that he’s played majority of the season, managers that gambled on him are beaming with pride as their teams, more likely than not took down the top spot in the block category in their respective leagues – a guy with a 3.7 block average has a tendency to have that effect. It was a pretty solid year for Camby this year, as he complemented his block average with an impressive 13.3 RPG all at only 1.5 TOs/PG. Amare simply contributes in much more cats and Marcus’s efficient and dominant defensive numbers aren’t enough to compete. Nonetheless, stay healthy Marcus! You’re still a beast on those big man numbers, keep it up!

Shaq v.2.0 and then some – that’s pretty much how I’d describe Dwight Howard this year! Mr. “Slam Dunk Champion” may sting your team in the FT and TO departments but 14.4 RPG and 20.8 PPG at a hair under 60FG% is just sick! It doesn’t hurt that he leads the league in double doubles too! Most “experts” don’t like Dwight because of his drawbacks, but I’m fond of him because of the outlook for his future improvement. Remember how everyone was saying the the sky’s the limit in terms of what LeBron can achieve a couple of years back? Well, Dwight’s got a foothold on the center version of that outlook as far as I’m concerned. He just need to step up his “D”, work out on the 15-foot line, and watch those TOs and perhaps we’ll eventually see the emergence of the new true “most dominant” big man around…

FLOPS of the YEAR

Gilbert Arenas – An early to mid definite first round fantasy pick this year, Agent Zero turned out to be a fantasy ball equivalent of his nickname; as injuries (knee surgery) allowed him to play a measly 8 games this year. It stings when your first rounder burns you out like that, but hey; injuries are part of the game and “there’s always next year…” Unfortunately this year’s performance, or lack there of; as the case may be, will weigh heavily on Gil’s free agency aspirations this coming season. This season will also ripple into his next season’s draft position. He’ll definitely be on my High-Risk/Reward pick list. At what point in next year’s draft would YOU pick him?

Yao Ming – Just when you thought it was FINALLY going to be his year… he’s suddenly out for the rest of the season, disappointing his many fantasy owners who were relying on him as their front-court cornerstone. In my book, Yao officially DOES NOT HAVE NBA DURABILITY! That being said, he’s officially off my first round options. Sorry, but at the way things are going with Yao’s unreliable health; I would rather take a second round pick in Al Jefferson’s almost complete season to a Yao Ming’s frailty-ridden half season performance.

Jermaine O’Neal – What a wuss! He starts out the pre-season with statements that he’s in great shape and looking forward to the coming season, etc. etc. BS, BS, etc… Plays a a few crappy games and then leaves the majority of the season, blaming “whoever” it is that “rushed” him back from the injury he was recovering from last season…. <as sad violin music plays in the background>. So much for this former young phenom as he’s suddenly yesterday’s news with NBA fans looking to the new breed of phenom in Andrew Bynum (injury set back aside). Sorry bub, you’ve barely escaped my “I will never draft Ron Artest” Club, but the bottomline is that I now rate and rank you somewhere in the lackluster Darko season zone; which is something like an 11th round pick next year… oh but then again, I’d still have to think about it REAL hard coz Joel Przybilla might still be available then I’d have to make a tough decision right there…

Andrea Bargnani – “Il Mago” didn’t turn out to be much of a magician at all this season, in fact he seemed more like a hoax more than anything else. After being drafted this year in the 6th or 7th rounds by most teams in fantasy this year, this former No.1 NBA draft pick, turned out to be a HUGE disappointment. He started out the season as the Raptors’ starting center, but wound up finding himself erratically starting games at that position and from the bench. This was most likely due to his highly inconsistent play which was often characterized by him getting into early foul trouble in many a game. Hey Dre! You’re not a rookie anymore! So stop doing those cheap rookie fouls! He and doctors attributed his poor performances to fatigue, as he played all summer in the Euro Basketball tournament for Italy. This only exemplifies his lack of physical and psychological maturity as a player. Sorry Il Mago, but you’re going to have to take your disappearing act somewhere else next season’s draft day, as you will definitely be nowhere in sight as far as I am concerned.

I’m keeping my eye on these guys for next season’s draft:

Here’s a list of guys (in no particular order) I’m hoping to snag in next year’s draft, at the right round of course…

Rudy Gay, Devin Harris, Andrew Bogut, Hedo Turkgolu, David West, Danny Granger, Andre Miller, Jamal Crawford, Samuel Dalembert, Mo Williams, Brandon Roy, Baron Davis, Stephen Jackson, Jason Richardson, Mike Dunleavy, Peja Stojakovic, LaMarcus Aldridge, Carlos Boozer, Deron Williams, Andrew Bynum, Andris Biedrins, Antawn Jamison, Manu Ginobili

The End

That’s pretty much it from me for this season’s fantasy writing. Again, I apologize for my disappearing act. I’ll try to do a better job next season. See you all then…

P.S. Chris Paul RULEZ!!!

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