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Melo’s Return Will Be A Crossroads For J.R. Smith

Posted by Erik on January 30, 2009

Uh, this is MY team!

Uh, this is MY team!

Carmelo Anthony has gotten the go ahead to play on Friday. This, of course, is going to be good for the Denver Nuggets. What will his return mean to the now fantasy studly J.R. Smith?

Through the last couple of years, my fantasy basketball relationship with JR has been much like that of an undecided first-time, junior high couple. We’re on. He messes up, then we’re off. He has a huge game, then we’re on again. JR is not exactly the kind of player you want to own if you want some stability in your life. Saying that his young NBA career has been fantasy volatile must be one of the understatements of the year.

Throughout this season and the months just before, J.R. has been more of a fantasy conundrum than anything else. This was divined to be his year. His year! The experts said so and the stars seemed to be aligned for him to explode. He quickly disappointed dreamers with his lackluster performances off the bench, showing more of his inconsistent colors.

Can the New J.R. coexist with te Old Melo?

Can the New J.R. coexist with the Old Melo?

When Melo had to miss some time due to a fractured hand, J.R. eventually got inserted in the starting lineup. In the eight game string of recent starts that he’s had, he has only failed to score 19 or more points twice. He’s averaging 4.4 dimes and 2.1 treys over those 8 contests as well. George Karl and the Nuggets have leaned on J.R. to man up and mature as a player. The Nuggs integrated him as a key cog in its fast paced offense, but he has shown he can do more than that and has even been picking an average of 1.5 pockets a night on the defensive end.

What will happen to J.R. when Melo comes back? The Nuggets is Melo’s team. He gets priority for those all important touches. Will the new and improved J.R. be able to coexist on the floor with “Mr. Score from anywhere, anytime?” Melo’s return will be a key crossroad in J.R.’s NBA career.

He will have to learn his place in the team. He will have to be content to be more of a role player, playing a role of that of an outside shooter or secondary or even tertiary scoring option. Whatever George Karl decides to do with him, he will have to be open to accept it and make the most of his opportunities. It might not happen just yet, then again it might not ever happen at all. It will, odds are, take some time. Being a half-full glass kind of guy, I’d like to think it will happen sooner rather than later. Starting on friday, the ball will be in J.R.’s court. Let’s see what he can do with it.

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Posted in Fantasy Basketball, Injuries, NBA News & Rumors, Upside | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

More Learnings From an NBASE Rookie

Posted by Erik on January 29, 2009

I am now currently 3rd out of 44 in the Stinkytee.com‘s NBASE league. I guess I must be doing somethings right. My team’s not currently overplayed in its positions so that means the players I’ve been playing on my frequently rotating roster have been relatively effective in garnering me those coveted fantasy points. Speaking of which, for those of you who don’t know the NBASE fantasy points system is scored accordingly:

Statistical Category Fantasy Points
Field Goals Missed (FGMI) -0.46
Field Goals Made (FGMA) 0.54
Free Throw Missed (FTMI) -0.75
Free Throw Made (FTMA) 0.25
Points Scored (PT) 0.50
3-point Shots Made (3PT) 1.00
Total Rebounds (REB) 1.50
Assists (AST) 1.99
Steals (ST) 3.00
Turnovers (TO) -2.00
Blocked Shots (BLK) 3.00

So as you can see, defensive numbers are key in gaining some quality headway in this game. Players with good  block and/or steal to turnover ratios are prime candidates to fill any successful team’s roster.

A few weeks ago I decided to invest more than a third of my entire team’s NBASE $ value on one player, Chris Paul. His consistent steal and assist to turnover ratio is second to none in the NBA right now and he provides my team with consistency in that one spot I have him locked in at. I purchased him at around 135-ish NBASE$. You might say that 3 or so guys who are worth 40ish dollars would end up providing higher fantasy point totals combined compared to my singular Chris Paul. Allow me now to reiterate, the key word here is CONSISTENCY. I kind of regret letting go of Chris when awhile back I was able to purchase him at around $89. I used my gains from his increase in price to shuffle through some other players like Tim Duncan, Marcus Camby, and Andre Iguodala. From now until the end of the season, however, I’ve made the decision that CP3 is on my team to stay. I guess I will have to be content to cycle the remainder of my team’s value to ride good matchup trends and slide past injuries. I don’t regret putting so many of my eggs in the CP3 basket. Things are looking up. I just need to keep getting good reads in terms expected statistical performances. The challenge is to ride the players in their highs and sell them off just before they hit low points.

Prior to Danny Granger’s finger and elbow injuries, he and Troy Murphy were both mainstays as complements to my elite PG. I had to sell off Danny when his price dropped drastically $15 is a big drop which connoted a massive sell off. Troy’s low turnover to rebound and steal ratio is excellent. He and Rajon Rondo are currently my mainstays until I can re-purchase Danny G.

I have my eye on reacquiring KG, Tim Duncan, and maybe Vince Carter (yup he’s had several good games with ridiculously low TOs). I will need to buy and sell my guys at just the right time of course. In NBASE, more than any other kind of fantasy basketball game, timing is the everything.

Posted in Fantasy Basketball | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Thanks for the BLOCKS! – Zo Retires

Posted by Erik on January 23, 2009

alonzo-mourning_opt

Alonzo Mourning is ending is NBA career. Get some rest old boy! You deserve it. You played your heart out and eventually got your NBA championship ring.

zo-ring

Through the years Zo’s been a quality source of blocks for a lot of my fantasy NBA teams. Thanks Zo! Thanks for all those dunks, slams, blocks, swats, rejections and reactions of celebration and jubilation after the fact.

Raptors Heat Basketball

zo-flex

Zo’s career numbers: 17.1 PPG / 8.5 RPG / 1.1 APG / 2.8 BPG / 0.5 SPG / 52.7 FG% / 69.2 FT% / 2.6 TOs

You’ve not only been a fantasy force as far as blocks are concerned, but you have also been an inspiration to us all!

zo-poster3

Posted in Fantasy Basketball, Injuries, NBA News & Rumors | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Need 3’s? Three Point Shooters Are Abound!

Posted by Erik on January 16, 2009

statue-shot

My buddies from my original fantasy basketball league and I have always believed in the old adage:

Threes are the easiest stat to scrounge for in the free agent pool. You’ll almost always be able to find a three point shooter somehow.

While this is not a universal truth by any means, I found it to be a decently reliable generality as far as my experiences in fantasy basketball are concerned.

We’ve recently seen some chuckers put together at least a 3-game swing of consistency. If your fantasy team is in dire need of threes then, perhaps you might be able to find these guys lying around in your league’s FA pool.

At this stage in the season it should be clear to you, what your team needs to win, whether it be in Rotisserie or Head to Head. Fine these guys are basically specialists at what they do, but they’ve recently shown that they can be relied upon for some stable performances. Sometimes all you need to go up in your league’s roto rankings is several tree point shots more per game from your roster.

This guy's on FIRE!

This guy's on FIRE!

Here are some guys who are recently on fire and may be overlooked in your Yahoo! Leagues:

Daequan Cook PG/SG, Miami Heat (15% Owned) – For a guy who is currently 6th in the NBA in total three point shots made and 5th at average 3PM (2.4/G), he can simply fill up that category for your team in a jiffy! Specialist, you say? Well this specialist just came off a 24-point performance (7-11 from the field and 6-8 from beyond the arc) against the Bucks. He should be the first guy you look for in the pool if your team needs some treys.

Daniel Gibson PG/SG, Cleveland Cavaliers (22% Owned) – With the recent development of Delonte West injuring his wrist, expect Boobie Gibson to get some more playing time. He’s averaging 1.5 treys a game for the season and he also should begin to score a bit more now that he is due for some extra time on the court. He’s got some solid upside coming his way and as  Fantasy Basketball Jedi put it best, “It’s time for Boobie!

Bobby Simmons SG/SF, New Jersey Nets (21% Owned) – He’s making the most of Yi Jianlian’s absence due to injury and he’s actually the team’s secondary outside threat after Vince Carter. Over the last week he’s averaging 2.3 treys a game at a more than decent 56% percent overall from the field.

Nick Young SG/SF, Washington Wizards (23% Owned) – He’s been on fire lately! 28, 12, 30, 33 those are the numbers of what he’s been scoring over the last four games and at 2.0 treys per game over the last week, he may just be able to boost your points and your 3PM. Caron Butler’s been in an erratic slump for awhile now which you can possibly attribute to Nick’s stepping up of his offensive game. So keep an eye on them both.

J.J. Reddick PG/SG, Orlando Magic (3% Owned) – Don’t laugh! Seriously… JJ’s averaging 4 threes per game over his last 3 games. With Mikael Pietrus being out indefinitely due to a busted wrist, the Magic are looking for an alternate kick-out target for Dwight when he’s double/triple/quadruple teamed in the low block. JJ’s been able to steal some of Courtney Lee’s (current starting SG) thunder. Over the last 4 games, JJ’s been scoring in double figures and more than 20 minutes on the floor. He probably won’t be able to steal away the starting SG job from Courtney due to his being a defensive liability but expect him to keep his minutes up as long as he can keep on landing those long bombs!

Rodney Carney SG/SF, Minnesota Timberwolves (3% Owned) – Sebastian Telfair may have stolen Mike Millers starting role, but its Rodney’s recent offensive effectivity that has really kept Mike’s butt glued to the Wolves’ bench. Rodney’s put together a respectable 3-game string of double digit performances off the bench. Put together his 3.5 treys, 0.5 steals and 1.0 block averages over the last fantasy week and you’ve got yourself a reasonable candidate to fill the spot that the now ineffective Larry Hughes should very well vacate. Keep an eye on him!

Posted in Fantasy Basketball, Upside | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Chemistry 101: Some Things Just Shouldn’t Be Mixed

Posted by Erik on January 15, 2009

chemistry-lecture

Elton Brand (PF/C, Philadelphia 76ers) is recovering from the dislocated shoulder he suffered on Dec. 17. He’s practiced with the team and says the shoulder is feeling fine. Unfortunately and sad to say, the Sixers are doing fine in his absence as well. They’ve found a spark from last year’s chemistry and are actually playing some reasonably consistent fluid basketball. Now the question looms over every fantasy basketball manager who owns a 76ers’ head, What will be the impact of Brand’s imminent return to the lineup be?

Well let’s start with the obvious. For Elton Brand owners, well they won’t be exactly “toasting Bacardi like it’s their birthday”, but I am sure they will be pleased. Even if they get back the pre-shoulder-injury-underperforming Brand, it would still be better than ZERO production or most free agent pool pick-ups anyway.

The bigger issue will be for the managers who own Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Thaddeus Young… do people still own Samuel Dalembert? – Just kidding, he still has a 74% disappointed ownership in Yahoo!

Andre Iguodala and Miller have rekindled their offensive partnership and have been able to sneak in a few wins for Philly while Brand was away. Their scoring and assist averages got some upward bumps in the process. This of course, was putting smiles on their fantasy owners faces.

Well, very soon, the Brand reagent will be reintroduced into to the chemistry of what we remember as the Philadelphia Sixers of last year. As we in the fantasy world may remember from the start of the season, when this was first attempted, the reaction to Brands introduction wasn’t as “Eureka!” as expected. We saw a drop in the stats of Brand himself, Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, and the hardest hit of course was Samuel Dalembert.

Brand and the Sixers are not necessarily a bad elemental mix per se. It’s entirely possible that it is just a matter of it being a slow process for Brand to be properly and completely integrated into the Sixer molecule.

Sadly folks, this time around will pretty much be the same as the first mixture. Brand’s injury only served to delay his jelling with his new team and vice-versa. Expect both Andres and Sam-Dam’s stats to dip again. Brand will most likely be coming back to produce his 15.9/9.8/1.4 and his 35 minutes per game. Don’t sell off your Andres (Iggy and Miller) just yet. Fine, I wouldn’t fault you if you dumped your Dalemberts. Post all-star break is just around the corner and when the Brand reagent finally gets to bind properly with the other elements of the 76er compound, things should begin to stabilize from there. Until then Iguodala, Miller, and Young owners; simply buckle-up and get ready for another up and down ride. Well until then, Samuel Dalembert may be relegated back to fantasy dirt.

dirt-molecule

Long term, the biggest fantasy losers in Elton Brand’s eventual return will be the guys who’ve had to step up in his absence. Say goodbye to interim Louis Williams, Marreese Speights, Willie Green’s fantasy significance.

Posted in Fantasy Basketball, Injuries | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Every Rose Has Its Thorn

Posted by Erik on January 14, 2009

Captain Kirk is back!

Uh no, not this one...

Uh no, not this one...

This one. Kirk Hinrich, co-captain of the Chicago Bulls

This one. Kirk Hinrich, co-captain of the Chicago Bulls

Kirk Hinrich (PG/SG Chicago Bulls) played in his first game after undergoing surgery two months ago to repair a torn ligament in his thumb. He played  a respectable amount of minutes, 20:52. He score four points care of two of five shots from the field. He dished out 3 assists and got 1 steal.

Derrick Rose and Ben Gordon fantasy basketball owners alike are now a bit wary of Kirk’s return to active duty. Both Ben-Gor and D-Rose have gotten fantasy bumps due to their extra playing time in the wake of captain Kirk’s absence.

Thorn for my ROSE?

As a Derrick Rose fantasy owner myself (2 leagues), I am wondering what impact Hinrich’s healthy return will have on my guy. Personally, I would like to hope that head coach Vinny D (del Negro) will appreciate Derrick’s averages of 16.7 PPG and 6.2 APG and keep his minutes, currently 37:17, above the 30 mark. Then again, I’m not the coach and somehow I doubt that the Bulls’ coaching staff will plan their rotation around my fantasy basketball needs and whims.

I will be joined by the many Derrick Rose and Ben Gordon fantasy owners in closely watching the impact of Kirk’s return on our guys’ minutes and production.

rose-with-thorn2

So far things look positive for Derrick as he still managed to play 41:58 in Kirk’s first game back. It’s possible that Kirk may not actually end up being the thorn for my Rose.  Hopefully he and fellow injury-returnee Luol Deng will eat up the minutes of the less productive members of the Bulls’ roster.  The biggest loser so far in the rotation game appears to be Larry Hughes who just logged in a pitiful 7 minutes on the floor.

Kirk averaged 11.5 points, 6.0 assists, 1.1 treys, 1.2 steals and 31:41 minutes over 75 games for the Bulls last season.

It’s a little too soon to make a judgement on the true and actual fantasy impact Kirk’s return has on that of Derrick’s and Ben’s value. Let’s keep an eye on his second game back which is in a few hours and take it from there.

Posted in Fantasy Basketball, Injuries | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Fortuity: How a Yahoo! Glitch Got Me Mike Dunleavy

Posted by Erik on January 11, 2009

I recently started cashing in on my investment of taking a gamble on Mike Dunleavy Jr. (G/F) of the Indiana Pacers in my 18-man, head to head league (daily changes setting). He’s looking good, especially after that 22 point performance against  the Lakers off the bench. I can foresee him taking back his starting role in the next game or so.

What’s interesting about is that the thing, more like incident, that prompted me to make the move; was seeing Mike get picked up from the wires in my 13-man roto. There aren’t many active managers in that league and I guess a lot of managers didn’t really care to sit on him.

Seeing that pick-up was enough osmosis moxy for me to go ahead and risk a few games lost in the daily changes H2H.

Ironically, shortly after the news broke out (on Yahoo! player news & notes) that Mike was up to 20 minutes of practice, a glitch occurred. For a brief period, the old news of him being “out indefinitely due to tendonitis in his knee”, started to show when you clicked on that little envelope beside his name. It was the old December-ish posting that somehow, for some reason, got re-posted. If you were following the Mike Dunleavy news closely during that time, you know what I mean.

drunk-dunleavy

The guy who inspired me pick him, quickly dropped his acquisition for a sadly underwhelming Fransisco Garcia. This was fortuity at it’s finest. I was the most active manager with the best waiver priority. I got to grab Mike for a T.J. Ford I no longer had the patience to wait to be healthy. Yes, he was the least productive guy on my roster. A hopefully healthy Mike Dunleavy is obviously a far superior choice for my G spot (that’s GUARD slot, in case you are thinking of commenting something witty) than Ford any day!

I just find it ironic that someone else’s impatience paid off for me. I’m normally the one who’s impulsive and impatient when it comes to players.

I am fourth in the 13-man roto, trying to break into the “podium zone” and 4th to the last in the 18-man head to head; so I’m really counting on Mike’s last year’s performances to come back and his knee to hold up – because I can use all the help I can get.

Posted in Fantasy Basketball, Rave, Upside | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Chicken!

Posted by Erik on December 31, 2008

I’ve been really getting a better appreciation of the differences between daily and weekly changes over at my Yahoo! leagues. The fact that you can use the games of your bench guys in a daily roster change setting means that you can’t really afford to sit on injured guys. The leagues that I’m in that are set to daily changes all have max moves set so that people can’t “stream” players to their hearts’ content and so that fantasy teams aren’t managed in a Steve Kerr or Isaiah Thomas kind of way.

There is definitely more tactical combat involved in a daily roster changes league.

In the 10-man, “Battle of the Bloggers” league I’m in, I am around 8th or 9th out of 10 beacause I had to sit on the early season injuries of Deron Williams and Kevin Martin – basically my 2nd and 3rd round picks. Ouch! – yeah tell me about it. I took the hits but am getting ready to comeback and grab some W’s now that Deron and Kevin are getting healthy again.

In the 18-man head to head league that’s also set to daily roster changes where I am 13th, the likes of Gilbert Arenas, Monta Ellis, and Mike Dunleavy are all lounging around in the free agent pool. They’re just waiting for someone to take a gamble on their hopeful return to NBA action. Gil and Monta have both been picked up, kept for sometime, then dropped again as managers have difficulties living with one less effective roster spot on their teams. Watching them sit in the FA pool is like playing a game of “Chicken” with their injuries. Everyone wants to pick them up, but only at exactly the right time. Grab ’em too soon and your team is in for some losing weekly matchups. Wait on them too long and some other, gutsier schmuck will get acquire their fantasy services before you do. It’s a mini-game of balls and nerves.

chicken

Who you callin' a Chicken?

I recently caved and grabbed Mike Dunleavy off free agency. I am hoping that he will be up to speed or at least serviceable form in about 2 weeks. The news that he’s practicing for up to 20 minutes and that he’s involved in team scrimmages got the wishful bone in me itching to take a gamble on him. His recent viral infection is a minor setback. I am more concerned about how the rehab on his knees is progressing his eventual return to action.  Monta Ellis may be at least 2 more weeks away, but Mike looks like he will have the bigger impact – at least from the perspective of how much his team needs him. The Pacers really want their offense.

mma

So I’m crossing my fingers and locking down the hatches and tightening my belt – you get the point – that my team can sneak some wins here and there as we wait for Mike Dunleavy’s hopefully imminent return.

Speaking of Chicken… a few hours after I grabbed Mike, some other manager panicked and decided to grab Agent Zero as well. Some people just can’t handle the pressure of a game of Chicken, I suppose.

Carlos Boozer is going under the knife to solve his knee problems, but somehow I doubt that we will be seeing him in that particular free agent pool as he was drafted in the late first round; and that puts him on the “cant cut list”. Man, that must really sting for his fantasy owner in that league. Can’t trade him; can’t drop him; and so he’s basically just  dead roster weight.

P.S.

Have a Happy New Year! May 2009 bring a lot less NBA injuries…


Posted in Fantasy Basketball, Injuries | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The “Truth” is Out There…

Posted by Erik on December 19, 2008

baby_on_toilet

Thanks to Alltop.com for adding Points in the Paint to their Fantasy Basketball Blog listing. It’s a cool online magazine rack that’s pretty much got everything you might look for that’s of interest to you.

Other notable Blogs on it  are GMTR, 2RR, FBBJ, Hoops Fantasy, and many more. (and if you know what those acronyms stand for, then you probably have those sites, bookmarked and on speed dial/click…)

Check out the Fantasy Basketball Section and see what else is cooking out there in the Fantasy Basketball Blogging world.

Posted in Fantasy Basketball, Linkage | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

NBASE Strategy

Posted by Erik on December 18, 2008

Well this is the first year I’ve tried the NBA Stock Exchange (NBASE for short) over at NBA.COM.

It’s actually quite entertaining and a lot of  fun.

I don’t need to fret over not being able to have drafted the likes of LeBron, Paul, and Wade. I can pretty much own anyone I want or like, well as long as I have the NBASE dollars to spend on them, that is.

As most people who are in Yahoo leagues with me probably already know, I enjoy mixing things up when it comes to my teams. Whether it’s through free agent pick ups or through trades. I like playing a balancing act of sorts. Give a little here to gain a little there… This habit or preference of mine has both worked out for me and at times burned me in the past. And because of my proclivity for variety, I feel that the flexibility that NBASE provides in terms of ease of dropping (selling) and picking up (buying) players, is something that’s right up my alley.

I am currently 7th out of 44 in the League the people at StinkyTee.com invited me to join. At this point, I do not consider myself as an NBASE-expert by any close definition of the term thus far. On the other hand, I do feel pretty proud of my position in that league considering that this is my first crack at the game.

Here’s what I’ve learned so far in the couple of months I’ve been playing the game.

  1.  Have some roster mainstay “blue chips” for their consistent fantasy point contributions. About 3-4 guys seems good. For a time, I had Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh as my anchors. I recently did some tweaking and now I am anchored on Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Paul and Kevin Garnett.
  2. With the rest of your roster spots, micro-manage your team and get the most of hot streaks and favorable weekly schedules. 
  3. Slowly but surely try to make some money every now and then. Then you can upgrade your guys to more consistent guys as the season progresses. I feel this is the best way to maximize the trading mechanics and system of the game. 

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