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Mo help for LBJ!

Posted by Erik on August 14, 2008

6-player, 3-team deal, blah… blah… blah… I just realized that by the time most people come around to reading my BLOG, they already know the latest in NBA news. I think I’m getting a better understanding of my readership and following. On that note, I’m not going to waste anymore of anyone’s precious time by rewriting the NBA/Fantasy NBA news that’s out there. Read about the deal HERE.

With that out of the way, let’s get down to my thoughts on the matter. Bottomline, the fantasy impact of the deal is all about the PGs involved and/or affected by the deal. The forwards involved are incidental and have little to no fantasy impact – unless of course you plan to play in a really deep, sick, 20-man slugfest of a league; and even then I highly doubt that the likes of Joe Smith, Desmond Mason, and God forbid Adrian Griffin will strike your fantasy fancy.

Down LOW for the Mo

Down LOW for the Mo

First on the block is of course the highest rated guard, Mo Williams. I like his acquisition for the CAVS and subsequently, of course, for LeBron James. Cleveland (LeBron) was – frankly still IS – in dire need of another scoring option and and Mo Williams was probably the best choice available to them in this year’s very lean PG market. Mo displayed a very solid season last year, his 14 DNPs being his only real bane on the fantasy cats. He’s decent a defender (1.2 SPG), he can distribute the ball (6.4 APG), and he can also contribute on offense (17.2 PPG, 1.4 Treys/G). So he will be a great partner for LBJ, right? I’d actually hold off on any fantasy accolades for the guy, at least until mid February. The thing is, from a fantasy stand point, LBJ doesn’t mix well with guards. He normally has the ball in his hands, drives to the hoop and either finishes the play or does a drop down pass to one the Cavs’ “big men”. That’s how his style of play has been working and he does that more often than kick out the ball to the guards at the top of the key or on the wings. OK, I don’t doubt Mo will be able to contribute offensively, since he does have the capability to create his own shot; but we will have to wait and see if Cleveland can really use him as a TRUE PG and not just as some schmuck (no offense Delonte) who’s supposed to bring down the ball – hand it to LeBron – and let HIM decide what comes next. Mo’s play making skills will really be put to the test this year as he will be teamed up with a truly elite forward who DOES like to pass the ball himself as well. Overall, I’m on Mo’s fantasy downside – with an expectation of his numbers dropping; but I would be more than happy for him to prove me wrong this year. Speaking of Delonte, I suppose he will have to give up starting PG role to Mo, but I like him as a starter and I am hoping he’ll see some solid playing time at the starting SG slot this year.

Luke Ridnour and Earl Watson – These guys were competing for playing the time last couple of years like 40 year old virgins at a party at the PLAYBOY mansion. Unfortunately, Luke got nailed by injuries and Earl took most of last year’s starts. But the past is past, Luke’s moved on to the Bucks; and now these boys no longer have to look over each other’s shoulders to see if they’re going to lose their starting PG slot to the other guy. Bottomline this is decent fantasy upside for these guys, who by the way are quite reasonable tertiary fantasy PG options. Enjoy your starts guys! Hopefully you’ll produce some usable PG stats this year. 13 PPG and 5-6 APG with a little less than horrendous FG%,  a steal and a trey every now and then, too much to ask for? I sure hope not.


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New Home for Ricky Davis

Posted by Erik on July 29, 2008

The Clippers have signed Ricky Davis. I think it’s a brilliant move for the new look Clips franchise. I really see Ricky as being a good swingman component in their offense and his game can potentially complement Baron’s (Davis). I disagree with the idea that he should serve as “instant offense” off the bench. I feel the team will be better served by starting Ricky over Cuttino Mobley or even Al thornton, who still needs some ways to go in terms of his development. Hey I’m no caoch, but I personally think the  “Double Davis” one-two punch combo will be pretty effective in an up-tempo, run and gun type of offense.


Now for the numbers… bottom line it will really depend on whether or not he starts, but let me go out on a limb here and take an upside shot for the guy. 15.4 PPG, 3 RPG, 4 APG, 1.3 SPG, 44-46 FG% and 1.5 threes per game. I also figure coach Mike Dunleavy will appreciate his usefulness and give him around 30+ mins per game.  In fairness to the guy, I feel his poor production in Miami was more a matter of coaching incompatibility. With a new coach, new team, and system; I think it’s reasonable to expect him to bounce back from last year’s production.

Other Signings

Andris Biedrins – Overpaid at $63M over 6 years? Dropping Dimes seems to be a bit worried that he might be, even comparing Andris’ per 36 min production to Anderson Varejao. I’d like to look at the move as a long term one. He is decent long term investment for the team and we should look at the fact that he is only being currently under utilized in Don Nelson’s system – sometimes playing Al Harrington in extended minutes at the center slot. Within his six year contract, Andris can still improve and not to mention that “the Don” might not even being coaching the Warriors for as long a period. I foresee him (Biedrins) to up his numbers slightly from last year’s. He’ll definitely still be a double-double stud and even though his limited scoring production won’t get much of a bump GMTR puts his effective FG% impact at 55%.

Kwame Brown – 2 year deal with the Pistons. YAWN! Waste of good money by the franchise. He won’t even match Nazr Mohammed’s erratic numbers when he was their occasional C. I’m not going to waste more of MY time writing about this; as I have a vague suspicion that the Nuggets’ acquisition of Renaldo Balkman from the Knicks will somehow have a more significant impact both in real life and in fantasy ball.

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Consolation Prize or Upgrade?

Posted by Erik on July 16, 2008

Camby now a Clipper

Camby now a Clipper

The L.A. Clippers, somehow pull off a miracle and land a TOP quality center in the form of Marcus Camby, from the Denver Nuggets. They got him in exchange for the option to exchange 2nd round picks in 2010. (More on NBA.COM)

WTF?!? Yup, that was pretty much my initial reaction… Man, talk about getting something for nothing. This trade is up there with the Pau Gasol – Kwame Brown exchange of last season. I guess the Nuggets are giving up on a shot at the playoffs this season… well I suppose they are reorienting their plans for the future. I’m pretty sure they could have gotten a much better deal for parting with such a solid defender as Camby. Hmmm… I wonder what the Nugget management was smoking when this deal went down? In fairness to them, it IS a bit too early to spell out what they are planning for the franchise’s future. There are still moves and deals they can make before the season begins to get them on track to make a run for the playoffs this year.

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L.A. Exodus

Posted by Erik on July 10, 2008

Corey Maggette signs with GSW… Elton Brand signs with the 76ers… Baron Davis finds himself signing with a now, dead-end team… Can the Clips snag some hope in the free agency market i.e. Josh Smith, Emeka Okafor… ?

The L.A. Clippers have a gutted roster, large salary cap space, and no silver lining in its immediate future.

Elton Brand‘s departure marks an immediate shift in the franchise’s prospects for future development. He was supposed to be a great cornerstone for them to build around. They even sought out the services of star PG, Baron Davis, with the hopes of presenting the air of being western conference contender. But, alas, Brand is off to the city of brotherly love; where I expect his nightly 20-10-2 nightly production to be a huge boon to the franchise’s bid to be a serious threat in the east. I expect his presence in the 76er’s roster to impact positively on everyone else there too. Andre Iguodala’s TOs will finally take a dip downward as he no longer has to be the sole offensive option. He’s always been a good passer, so expect him to find Elton open in the paint and drop one or two more for Brand stuff it easily. Andre Miller’s assists should als go up – how can they not with a solid big man like Brand as the recipient of his dishes? Hopefully, Samuel Dalembert’s games played (GP) will go up as he can now count on another solid inside presence in the paint to help him stay away from injuries. Overall, Brand and his teammates can be expected to put up marginally better fantasy numbers than last year.

Corey Maggette has flown the coop and is off to the Golden State Warriors (GSW).  He will hopefully help fill the scoring void left by star PG, Baron Davis’ departure. Somehow, it obviously won’t be the same as Baron’s court sense and play making abilities will be sorely missed. It appears that there will much more playing time for Monta Ellis at the PG slot on the distant horizon. The warriors will need Monta’s ability to break down the defense through his quick-footed penetration into the paint. Corey, on the other hand, was the Clips’ leading scorer for several (injury-ridden) seasons. Fantasywise, I consider Corey to still be a big question mark. Not so much for doubts about what he can produce, but more for the lack of his health’s reliability. I am hoping for Monta to evolve and become a far superior Tony Parker (high FG with decent passing ability). Stephen Jackson will pretty much have a re-do of last year’s performance, which isn’t too bad by any fantasy standard as he was able to light it up from beyond the arc while providing good “D” (stls) on the other end of the floor.

Now that the Clippers’ two best players have left the team, who is left? Well if Baron Davis pushes through with signing with them, then I suppose he will end up being their “new” cornerstone. 24 PPG, 7.5-8 APG, 1+ SPG, 2+ 3ptPG; high TOs and low %s all around are what I expect BD to deliver. Chris Kaman has proven that he is capable of being a solid inside presence (while healthy) as shown by his early performance last season before he was slowed and sidelined with back problems. If he can stay healthy, expect him to be a solid fantasy contributor. Cuttino Mobley was able to be part of a good backcourt tandem with his former teammate in the Houston Rockets, Steve Francis. Perhaps, there’s still a little bit left in him for a new chemistry with Baron to blossom. I know it’s a bit of a stretch but hey, we’re really scraping the bottom of the Clippers barrel here.

Clippers can look at this EXODUS as a challenge to renew itself under a different paradigm. It’s not what they wanted, but we all know we don’t always get what we want…

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The Suns Loom Larger… and Slower

Posted by Riccardo on February 4, 2008

I read the rumors yesterday, but didn’t believe it. Now it’s done. Suns GM Steve Kerr just traded the #1 fantasy player of the past three seasons to Miami for The Big Aristotle, who hasn’t been fantasy-relevant in five years.

Extremely curious. Shaq still has two years at $20m per on his contract. Marion is in his walk year. Was there really nothing better out there?

The thinking might be that Shaq’s been a winner in every city he’s played. Finals in Orlando, three rings in LA, one ring in Miami. This Phoenix team is arguably the best collection of players he’s ever had around him. He still has the elite guard, and Nash is every bit as good a player as Hardaway, Bryant and Wade. O’Neal is older and slower, but he’s quite possibly going to be the FIFTH option on the floor, behind Stoudemire (who shifts to PF), Nash, Hill/Diaw, and Bell.

But is he going to be healthy? That’s the big gamble. The Suns will be good enough to make the playoffs without Shaq, so they can sit him and let him heal, then bring him back three weeks before the playoffs. And then they pray that Nash can make it all work on the floor.

Call me crazy, but I think that this will work. The NBA is wide open at the top right now. The Spurs are vulnerable if Parker’s out for the rest of the season. The Celtics aren’t as good as everyone seems to think they are. The Rockets are underaciheving again. Dallas is always an adventure in the playoffs. That leaves the Lakers in the West, and then the Pistons in the Finals. That’s doable, because neither will have a solution for a healthy Shaq even at his advancing age.

BUT, we’re here for the fantasy.

Shaq (SELL): He’s hurt, and I don’t think they’ll put him out there a whole lot before the playoffs. If there’s a big Phoenix fan in your league, sell him for what you can get.

Marion (BUY): Are you kidding me? No more Nash, so expect his FG% to fall and his TO to rise, but he’s now option 1b on a very bad team with an injury-prone superstar. I don’t expect him to sign long-term with the Heat. He wants to be The Man, and the Heat are Wade’s team. If Wade goes down, and he probably will, look for a bunch of monster games.

Nash (HOLD): He loses a huge weapon, but that’s never really stopped him. I don’t see any downside, and he may actually score a bit more

Wade (HOLD): Look, if you have him, you’re not scared of his injuries, and having another threat will at least free him up a little more. Personally, I wouldn’t touch this guy with a 10′ pole. If he goes down, Marion’s gonna be a monster.

Stoudemire (BUY): Oh, look, no more other guy who rebounds and dunks. Amare’s now Nash target #1, and his points and boards should experience a slight uptick. But he still can’t play a lick of defense.

Marcus Banks (WHO?): Oh yeah, the Heat got Marcus Banks in the deal. Banks isn’t very good, but he’s better than anyone else the Heat have to run the point. He’ll play, and if he does anything positive, he just might stick (see Telfair, Sebastian) and can be a handhold for the truly desparate.

Me, I wanna see the first Suns-Heat game where Shaq suits up. That should be entertaining.

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The Spanish Acquisiton

Posted by Erik on February 2, 2008

The first of many blockbuster deals that are expected to take place before the trade deadline has finally come to fruition. It appears that the Los Angeles Lakers have struck gold, Spanish Gold, in the form of Pau Gasol! In one of the most brilliant moves this franchise has made since their acquisition of Kobe Bryant to pair him off with Shaq, the Lakers have snagged Pau Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies for Kwame Brown – letting go of this liability is almost as great as the actual acquisition – and Javaris Crittenton, plus 2 future first round picks. Well in fairness to the Grizzlies this is a cap space feeing move as they’re most likely going to make more moves in the future to rebuild around Rudy Gay.

Let me say that I feel the Lakers got away with highway robbery! Uh, getting something for nothing seems like it to me… I suppose that the Grizzlies are content to build around their new, recently blossomed centerpiece in Rudy Gay… because I, somehow, doubt Kwame Brown will suddenly make a miraculous turnaround in terms of both on-the-court and fantasy impact. On the other hand, the Lakers have put together another inside-outside, Dynamic Duo. You can’t help but compare it to LA’s former Center-Guard combo of Kobe and Shaq. But I feel it’s bordering on an apples and oranges comparison as Pau and the Diesel, aside from being both C eligible players, are very different and so Pau will most likely be interacting and complementing Kobe in a different way as well. Shaq, back in the day, was an “unstoppable” powerhouse in the paint, while Pau carries a more fluid, Euro-style, of offensive game. What will also be interesting to observe is how Laker Coach, Phil Jackson’s coaching will improve Pau Gasol’s game. We can remember how much influence he had in providing focus to the “Big Aristotle”, leading to their championship run.

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Recent Signings

Posted by Erik on February 1, 2008

In the midst of the hullabaloo of teams trying to find a new home for a “Kidd ” from Jersey, there has been a small flurry of free agent signings in the NBA as teams are adjusting to their needs. Some of these moves stem from teams needing to adjust to the situation of their injured players or because Nellie’s the coach and he says so – and you don’t want to piss of “the Don“. Let’s take a look at the Fantasy impact of these moves and players, if any.

Chris Webber – It looks like we won’t be seeing much more of Chris in the stands watching games in his thousand dollar suits. Well at least until he gets injured. He’s signed with the Golden State Warriors, getting the full endorsement of former coach Don Nelson. On paper he’s a good fit for the Warriors’ up-tempo, ball-sharing style of play, as Chris is considered to be one of the NBA’s premier passing big men. Unfortunately, he’s been notorious for being more “passer” than “big man”, as he’s been known to be a liability when he’s guarding the NBA’s other “true” big men. If Chris gets any significant playing time, the player who stands to lose the most is Al Harrington, GSW’s resident outside scoring big man, who is more outside scorer than big man. Chris will most likely find himself averaging 20 or so minutes as he’s capable of upping the team’s basketball IQ while on the floor. I wonder, however, what kind of shape is Chris in, not having played in an NBA game since last year’s playoffs with the Pistons. So far Don’s changed the starting lineup a multitude of times and it appears that no one has guaranteed minutes other than BD ( Baron Davis), Stephen Jackson, and just recently Monta Ellis. So Webber will not be a source of stable fantasy production. He is, however, a much more viable PF/C pick up option than anyone available on the market right now. He’ll arguably out perform Seattle’s low-end PF/C crop of Kurt Thomas, Chris Wilcox, Nick Collison- who are all most likely owned in most leagues right now. But he’ll still be a far cry from your Rasheed Wallaces or your Emeka Okafors. I can see him performing more along the lines of Troy Murphy or Mehmet Okur’s flim-flammy seasons-to-date.

Fantasy Impact Rating: 6-7 of 10

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More than the Numbers

Posted by Erik on January 15, 2008

The Lakers lost Andrew Bynum to a dislocated knee cap and a bone bruise. He will be out 8 weeks (Read More). This definitely throws a monkey wrench into the cruising Laker machinery. Without a legitimate post presence close to Andrew’s caliber on the LA roster, Coach Jackson will have to weave some magic in order to keep the franchise’s winning ways on track. Up to this point he’s been averaging 13.1 PPG, 10.2 RPG, with 2.1 BPG at an efficient 63.6% FG, 69.5% FT and 1.5 TOs.

More than his numbers, the Lakers will be missing a dependable presence in the middle. This youngster’s improvement has been fun to watch. Slowly but surely, Andrew’s aptitude for the game and his growing understanding of his role in the LA offense has weighed in significantly in his steady improvement. With Chris Mihm still at least 2 weeks away from a full recovery and with Kwame Brown being a prime contender in challenging Eddy Curry as arguably the worst, overpaid Center currently in the Fantasy NBA, the Laker coaching staff may have to dig deep and give Ronny Turiaf some serious minutes. For now, Andrew will be missed more for the lack of viable alternatives. But keep an eye on his return and how he fares out for the rest of the season.

On the fantasy front, I am not going to hold this injury against Andrew, I will still consider you as one of my preferred secondary centers for next year’s fantasy season. I predict that next season may finally be Andrew’s break out Fantasy year!

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Not the Time for Ego

Posted by Erik on January 5, 2008

Damon Stoudamire wants out of the Memphis Grizzlies. Why? Apparently because Mike Conley Jr. finally took the starting point guard position away from him. (Read More) Whatever happened to the kind and helpful Point Guard veteran who took the young rookie under his wing? Was his “mentorship” merely an act? Whatever the truth behind the issue is, his agent has gone public and has dished out more disappointing statements than his client has dished assists.

“For the Grizzlies to demote Damon because of his age and because of the team’s record is unacceptable,” Goodwin said. “They’re going to have to do right by Damon – move to get him out of there or restructure his contract so he can be bought out. Mr. Heisley is a good, compassionate man. But we’re not going to sit back and watch Damon’s career rot.”

They’re not going to sit back and watch his career rot? Come on Aaron (Godwin), wake up and smell the formaldehyde! Your client’s career has been in necrosis over the last 3 years. There was a clean way to do things. I don’t feel there was a need to air out dirty laundry this way.

Damon and his agent could have approached the Memphis head office and kept this as an internal matter. His agent is only serving to further damage Damon’s image with all of his inflammatory statements. He’s adding a selfish light to his client’s perceived disposition. Just remember Aaron…

” There is no “I” in TEAM. “

and FYI, basketball is a TEAM sport.

All the same, it does favor the Grizzlies management to ship off Damon. It’s about time to head to the drawing board and begin rebuilding anyway. Mike Conley may be the team’s point guard of the future and this may be an opportunity to speed up his learning process and let him acclimate to PRO ball ASAP.

Health permitting, Damon may a have a couple of seasons left in him. The question will still remain, however, whether or not those may be considered as productive seasons. . .

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Im back!

Posted by Erik on January 2, 2008

I’d like to apologize to all my readers for my month-long absence. I’ve been on the injured list, and now am still listed as day to day.

It’s a new year and a new beginning. By the way, Happy New Year to everyone out there in the BLOGosphere!

I’m back and ready to regularly update my blog with NBA fantasy goodies for everyone to snack on!

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