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Archive for the ‘Upside’ Category

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 »

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 »

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 »

It’s Time to go PRO…

Posted by Erik on January 9, 2009

Even though I started Points in the Paint as an experiment in an exercise to see if I could find a niche in the blogging universe for me to possibly “cash in” on something I enjoyed discussing (fantasy basketball), it turned out transmogrifying into a labor of love, a hobby of passion, a fountain of fulfillment – let’s stop there before things start to get melodramatic.

At some point, PitP, as some guys refer to this blog for short became a true outlet where I got to learn how to write and allow my not-universally-accepted humor to shine. I knew I had things to say and some of it had value to some people out there, but I never expected or dreamed that my thoughts, fantasy-madman rantings, and sometimes no-nonsense opinions would be appreciated by this many people. All of that changed my perspective on what I was really doing here. The respect I got from the community I found myself being a part of became food for my low self-esteemed psyche.

It is now a new year – a time for new beginnings… I will now be writing for the fantasy basketball blogging awesomeness known as Give Me The Rock. It was just amazing to be accepted by the one of the foremost fantasy basket-blogging authorities in the net.

Here is my first post on GMTR a few days back.

Points in the Paint is and will always be my baby and first blogging home and love. She will be migrating from wordpress.com, which has been a wonderful NBDL for me and my blogging, to Bloguin.com where I will be in the elite company of some fantastic blogs. It’s currently under construction.

When the new blog over at bloguin rises, expect some new and different things from me and PitP. I will be venturing into the uncharted (for me) waters of podcasting and will be inviting a “fantasy guru” to discuss fantasy basketball on the site.

So to everyone who likes what they’ve read, whether you agree with my thought or not, keep up with the latest from me over at GMTR and the soon to rise PitP!

Posted in Linkage, Site Updates, Upside | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Happy Holidays – Some Christmas Pickup Treats

Posted by Erik on December 29, 2008

christmas-stockings

It’s been a long and hectic stretch of holidays for me and I haven’t gotten a chance to really grab hold of the keyboard for far too long.

Anyway, here are some post christmas goodies that may still be hidden in some of your unchecked Christmas Stockings.

Daequan Cook (PG/SG, MIA) – He’s been hot as of the last few games. He doesn’t do much more than shoot those treys, but at least he provides you with some guaranteed minutes off the Miami bench.

Daniel Gibson (PG/SG, CLE) – Speaking of three-point specialists, Boobie Gibson is back from his toe injury and Wally World is out with an injury. He will be back as the first offensive option off-the-bench for the Cavs. He does provide a slightly more diverse stat array compared to Cook of the Heat, but has not been able to light it up from beyond the arc as consistently this year. Expect 24+ minutes from him, or more if LBJ blows out the opponents out of the water.

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (SF/PF, MIL) – I know it seems like he was a flash in the pan. He was picked up and dropped along with the rise and fall of his fantasy contributions. But as of late he appears to be the starter of choice at the swing slot for the Bucks. Charlie V’s health this season has been a huge waterloo, causing CV to be erratic; while Luc on the other hand has shown to be a bit more consistent. It’s time to pick him up again, but don’t expect to hold on to him for much longer.

Andrea Bargnani (SF/PF/C, TOR) – He’s riding the bench and his numbers are nowhere close to what they were with him as a starter and with that decline, many people got disenchanted with him and dropped him to the pool. If you can spare a bench slot, then sit him on it. You will never know when Jermaine O’Neal will miss another stretch of games. He is also a unique source of both treys and blocks.

Raja Bell – (SG, CHA) – He was slumping – ehem, adjusting – with some difficulty as he was getting used to the new offense and team composition over at Charlotte. He didn’t acclimate as smoothly and as definitevely as Boris Diaw. He will adjust and he will eventually become more and more consistent as he slides into his new role in his new team. If someone threw him, pick him up. He will invariably be a more solid choice over the briefly overachieving Jason Kapono in TOR.

Louis Williams and Mareese Speights (PG/SG & PF/C, PHI) – Both these guys have been the bigger standouts among the bench players who’ve stepped up their games in the absence of Elton Brand from the Philadelphia 76ers lineup. Williams will be good for some dimes and points at relatively good percentages, while Speights will be good for some boards and blocks.

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It had to happen sooner or later…

Posted by Erik on December 14, 2008

“Coach Maurice Cheeks Fired by Sixers!”

Image c/o nytimes.com

Image c/o nytimes.com

I wasn’t really surprised when this bit of news broke out. I was expecting it to happen, as I said in the title, sooner or later. Simply add him to the list of coaches who’ve gotten the axe due to their team’s poor performances.Hmm… Maybe the Bucks should FIRE Scott Skiles for insisting to start Luke Ridnour instead of the clearly more effective and productive Ramon Sessions (at least when he gets decent minutes).

On paper the Philadelphia 76ers are supposed to be a very competitive team. That’s been the problem. The “paper” hasn’t been translating itself into reality. 9 wins and 14 losses is not exactly how I would define looking good.

Fantasy values of all the Sixers have been unreliable, extremely erratic, and overall underwhelming to say the least.

With a new coach (Tony DiLeo) at the helm, I can’t see the Sixer players’ fantasy values to go anywhere but up. But then again, I’ve been wrong about things like this on many an occasion, so I’ll just say that we should wait and see what happens while crossing our fingers for the best. Expect things to be shaken up around in terms of player rotation and playing time over there at Philly. Keep an eye on your Philly players.

Is time to see some vintage Elton Brand? The Sixers sure hope so.

Is time to see some vintage Elton Brand? The Sixers sure hope so.

They just won a game under their new head coach over the Washington Wizards. I know it isn’t really saying much, but hey, at least it’s a start. Case in point, are the performances of Elton Brand and Samuel Dalembert. Elton had a decent line of 27-9-3-1-1. Now that’s a lot closer to the vintage Elton we drafted him for. He shot poorly from the line though (3 of 8), well you can’t expect new coach DiLeo to repair things overnight. Sam-Dam grabbed 17 boards, blocked a shot and not much else. Well this has been one his more productive outings over the past couple of weeks so it’s still a good sign.

Sheesh! This is another stiff reminder to me that patience is indeed a virtue. This change comes at a time very shortly after I’ve unloaded (traded away) my Elton Brands in two of my Yahoo! leagues. Sigh… que se ra se ra!

Elsewhere in the Fantasy Basketball Universe (which runs parallel to the NBA Universe)…

Dwight Howard (Sore Left Knee), center of the Orlando Magic missed a basketball game !

Yes folks it eventually had to happen sooner or later…

Give him a break! It's a sore knee. He'll be back in no time!

Give him a break! It's a sore knee. He'll be back in no time!

D-Ho’s been known for his reliable 82 game seasons prior to this one. But hell, give the guy a frickin’ break. So what if he misses a game or two? He’s taken his overall fantasy game to a whole nother level. In deep leagues, there are weeks where Superman can simply win you the big man cats by himself! That says a lot. It’s not as if Chris Paul can win you all the small ball numbers by himself, right? Fine maybe he can, save for the three pointers made category.

Hopefully, Dwight won’t be gone too long. I expect him to be back in opponent-pwning action in a game or so.

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

Phases of a Moon

Posted by Erik on December 13, 2008

For most of the season, Jamario Moon has been in sitting in former Raptors’ coach, Sam Mitchell’s bench with pretty much a “Do Not Disturb” sign hanging around his neck. This former starter at small forward had to give up much of his playing time to the more offensive oriented, 7-foot, Italian, Andrea Bargnani.  The Raptors’ front court got a bit more crowded this year when they acquired forward/center, Jermaine O’Neal from the Indiana Pacers for point guard T.J. Ford. Someone had to give up some playing time in favor of O’Neal and Sam Mitchell chose to go with an offensive front court and picked Moon to come off the bench. Bargnani put together some impressive performances and pretty much eclipsed Jamario’s fantasy value into weeks of darkness.

Fast forward several games into the season and many losses later… Sam Mitchell is fired by the Raptors and they named Canadian, Jay Triano as the interim  head coach of the Canadian NBA franchise.

Last December 10th, coach Triano got his first win as an NBA coach against the Indiana Pacers. Lo and behold who he decided to start at small forward on that day… Jamario Moon. Moon, in a season high 33 mins on the floor contributed a very respectable fantasy output of 17 points (58.3 % FG); grabbed 8 boards; passed the ball once; stole it twice; and swatted it away 3 times; while not committing any basketball related mistakes that statistically translated into turnovers.

Even though Andrea Bargnani has been getting more blocks prior to this game, it may behoove Coach Triano to once again give Moon another crack at a performance to keep his starting stint at small forward for the Raptors. He brings to the court more hustle and defensive intensity than his Italian, playing time rival.

Jamario has never been known for his scoring ability. After all, he only averaged a humble eight and a half points per game over the 78 games he played for the franchise last year. The thing is he brings athleticism and some intangibles; like hustle-defense and a role player’s mindset, every time he’s on the court.

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

From Injury Worry to Fantasy Wonder! – Jason Richardson to the Suns

Posted by Erik on December 11, 2008

TRADED!

TRADED!

Some people unloaded Jason Richardson after he underwent exploratory arthroscopic surgery last month. Those same people were probably  worried about his health. Richardson proved that he is well and returned to action as a slightly improved fantasy asset.

Now with Jason Richardson plus some fillers (a second round pick and Jared Dudley), being traded to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for – uh a bunch of fillers – Raja Bell, Boris Diaw, and Sean Singeltary; those same people who unloaded him wish they had him back.

Fantasy Breakdown:

Who wins?

Phoenix Suns – They get to boost Amare Stoudemire’s waning morale and keep him just that little bit happier, motivated and hopefully more productive. Sadly I disagree that adding Jason Richardson is the key to the Suns’ road to redemption. REMOVING Steve Kerr from management is still the solution. But this trade does soften the ill-timed “Shaq-Marion trade FUBAR”. We’ll see if he can make some more improvements.

Jason Richardson – It’s not as if he wasn’t a big enough scorer over at Charlotte. Now with Steve Nash handing him the ball on a silver platter, expect him to light up the scoreboard from pretty much everywhere on the basketball court. Expect scoring to go up slightly but more importantly expect his FG% to be better and more stable. Of course treys, those wonderful treys; MORE, MORE and MORE of them over at Phoenix. He should be able to get back to or even exceed last year’s averages in that category.

DJ Augustin, Gerald Wallace and Emeka Okafor – After J-Rich’s departure, these guys will have to really make it a team effort to compensate for the scoring void left behind.

Boris Diaw – I wouldn’t be surprised to see him inserted into the starting lineup right away alonside Raja Bell. He will be able to provide flexibility and some much needed court savvy. That’s what I would prefer. Somehow it’s more likely to see him and DJ Augustin come off the bench as offensive sparks. Who knows? I didn’t expect the Bobcats to trade J-Rich away.

Jared Dudley – He will see some time on the court. He will get that fantasy Nash-factor bump. Impact to his value may be minimal, but still keep your eye on him in deep leagues.

Who loses?

Charlotte Bobcats – Well good luck on your rebuilding plans. Let’s leave it at that.

Leandro Barbosa – He will now rarely see the light of day. Well not exactly. He will still get to relieve Steve Nash every now and again. But expect his scoring and treys to dip.

Phoenix Suns – They still have Shaq. Well to be fair, he’s really just there for his contract to expire, but a snidely remark about him and his occasional presence in the Phoenix lineup couldn’t be helped.

Raja Bell – He was not known for his scoring before. But now he will be feeling the biggest pinch of missing an elite passing PG finding him open on the wings for the trey.

Sean Singletary – Who? My point exactly. Don’t ask. Never you mind. Move along now.

Posted in Player Movement and Transactions, Upside | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

The Sun is Shining in Puerto Rico: Time to Pick Up Jose Juan Barea

Posted by Erik on December 7, 2008

The beautiful South American country of Puerto Rico or as it is officially called in Spanish – “Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico” – which translates to: Associated Free State of Puerto Rico; now has another thing to be proud of aside from its white sandy beaches. It now can be extra proud of its basketball export to the NBA, Jose Juan Barea (PG/SG, Dallas Mavericks)

Jose (or does he like to be called Juan?) has recently gotten his second starting duty at shooting guard for the Dallas Mavericks this evening against the Atlanta Hawks. He had a solid performance and logged in a cool 22 points (9-18 from the field and 4-5 from the line), 2 rebounds, 4 assists, and only 1 turnover; through 31 minutes on the floor. This performance is a pretty good sign, considering  he tallied 18 points and 4 assists in his first outing as a starter when the Mavs played the Phoenix Suns. He already was on my “deep league watchlist” the moment he did 15 points and 6 assists off the bench against the L.A. Clippers.

Yes folks, it’s now officially time to pick him up. I grabbed him in 4 of my 8 Yahoo leagues before tonight’s game against the Hawks, and it looks like my gamble may pay off some dividends. He’s a definite pick up in deep leagues. He will arguably outperform your “Jordan Farmars”.

Why should you pick him up?

  1. Well because it’s a string of 3 solid games.
  2. Coach Rick Carlisle seems adamant to keep Jason Terry contributing off the bench and no other starting SG has had close to a consistent contribution as Barea.
  3. Josh Howard’s eventual return to action doesn’t really hurt his value as much as it will Devean George’s. Jose’s points may dip a bit but things seem to indicate a possibility for him to switch to PG-mode when the Mavs want to preserve Jason Kidd’s minutes.
  4. The franchise may want to look at him as a future PG when Kidd retires and there’s nothing like on the job training with a great PG-tutor.


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Is David Lee A Biedrins-lite?

Posted by Erik on December 3, 2008

Image c/o NBA.com

David Lee’s 37-point (55.2 FG%) , 21 rebound performance last November 29th against the against the NY Knicks has now begged the question:

“Is this the begining of something great or was it just a fluke of nature that occurs only when two basketball teams play the sport with reckless abandon and wanton disregard for defense?”

Somehow, a part of me sees both scenarios as possible and truthful at the same time. I believe that the moves the New York Knicks have made have simply opened the floodgates for David Lee to explode this season. This white boy, known primarily for his hustle and spunk has had a consistent cult following in fantasy basketball circles over the last few years. But it’s only now that his fans, true and cult alike, can taste his juicy fantasy season-to-come (pulp bits and all!).

He’s recently followed up his monster game with a very respectable 19-point (7-11 from the field and 5-5 from the stripe), 12 rebound game against the Portland Trailblazers.

At this point in the game, one can’t help but compare David to another white big man on a team that  generally doesn’t focus on defense and is choc-full of guards and chuckers: Andris Biedrins of the Golden State Warriors.

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