Points in the Paint

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Posts Tagged ‘Andre Miller’

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.

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No Longer The Name BRAND We Once Knew

Posted by Erik on December 19, 2008

Things just went from bad to worse for the Philadelphia 76ers. Elton Brand is out for one month. He dislocated his shoulder and actually both a minor tear and fracture. He doesn’t require surgery but WILL need the time off for his shoulder to heal.

... and I drafted Elton Brand as my first round pick!

... and I drafted Elton Brand as my first round pick!

Tack on this missed time to the time he’s already lost for your fantasy teams during his strained hamstring episode and compound it with his more than underwhelming contributions; and you officially have yourself the biggest fantasy bust-to-date. Both his shooting percentages, his points, and blocks are showing far too much contrast from the expectations people had for him coming into this season. 44.7% from the field at 15.9 PPG is not what his owners were drafting him for in the middle of the first round of their fantasy drafts.

I chose him over Mike Dunleavy mainly because of his much higher draft position at the beginning of the season. I’ll gripe and whine about Mike in some other rant post. But, for now folks, Brand owners are some of the biggest losers in Fantasy Basketball today. Fantasy Basketball is such an emotinal rollercoaster at times. I was happy I unloaded Elton due to his poor performances. Then the Sixers fire coach Cheeks and Elton has a respectable game. Then I wished I was more patient. Elton’s now out for a month and now I’m glad I was lucky enough to get some value for him.

Well the season’s not over yet; and it would be a vile shame to see another player unseat him from this position.

storm-of-sadness1

I guess we will see some of last year’s Sixers in action. Look to Thaddeus Young, Louis Williams, Willie Green and perhaps even Marreese Speights (who? He’s the guy comes it at power forward for the Sixers every once in awhile when they suffer a blow-out loss.) to contribute some efforts to make up fro Brand’s absence. They won’t have coach Cheeks to guide them through this period. Let’s hope that the fresh perspective in the coaching huddle can slap together some wins in the meantime.

Thad Young might see a return to the starting line-up. He will have a chance to redo his efficient scoring start this season. Well while it lasted, before he got sent to the bench.

Expect bigger contributions from Andre Iguodala and Andre Miller. Andre will be the biggest fantasy beneficiary as he’s now back to the “Go to guy” position he held last year for the team.

Samuel Dalembert is still a big question mark as far as I am concerned. I am not sure how he can realign his game to be the sole man-in-the-middle for Philly (at least for a month); Both he and Elton have been hugely disappointing for their owners.

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Underwhelming Beginnings and Early Slumps

Posted by Erik on November 16, 2008

Sorry guys. I know it has been awhile. I’m having a crap of a time trying to juggle blogging and work and home life lately.

It’s really frustrating. I miss blogging… a lot. Hopefully this week will give me some openings to get some extra blog time.

Anyway, I’ve had this one on queue for some time because I wanted enough games to pass in order to accurately claim that these players’ starts are truly underwhelming. As each game rolled on, however, some guys flirted with being on this list while others left it. This isn’t a “Buy Low” kind of list per se. Well it can be if you feel the stars are properly aligned for these guys to bounce back and strong. It’s simply a list of some  players that I had expected to play at a certain level but are not quite living up to my expectations.  Here we go…

The MATRIX Unplugged

Shawn Marion (Heat) – I suppose it’s finally official; the Matrix is no longer the stud who used to drop numbers all over the stat sheet at an efficient clip that he used to be. Ironically, his health reliability has also taken a hit as well. Based on the 7 games he’s played in, Shawn he has managed to show that he does have some “D” left in him but his boards, points, treys, and gawd-awful FG% have taken hits. His feild goal percentage is a full 8.5 points down, while his FT% is 10.2 points down from the Phoenix Marion we once knew, loved, and drafted early in the first round. He just doesn’t get the same open looks he used to get when Nash was feeding him the ball on the break. It may take some time for him to learn how to work well with Dwyane Wade, but regardless of when and how he jels with the rest of the Miami Heat; he will still end up closer to a 2nd rounder’s value as opposed to a Top 10 pick.

Parallel Peaks and Valleys

Speaking of the team and teammates Shawn Marion left behind, Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire (Suns) aren’t really making the kind of fantasy noise people were expecting them to make out of the gate.

Steve Nash has had a sluggish start so far, putting together a string of sub par games as of late. In the 9 games he’s played to date, Steve’s managed to drop his points (down 4.6 PPG), FG (down 5%), assists (down 3.7). and treys (down 0.8). Is his slump caused by the loss of former coach Mike D’Antoni? Is it his age (34)? Is it a combination of both? Is it global warming? Is it going to get better? For God’s sakes, man! Wake up, Steve!

Amare Stoudemire did start out strong and even got a Monster of a game under his belt. He’s not exactly part of the list. Recently, however, Amare’s been missing the effectiveness and efficiency of his PG’s game and assists. He’s had a string of 3 poor games. Here’s his line for the last 3 games, 13.7 PPG at a horrible 40.4 FG%; 6.7 RPG and 3.7 TOs/G. Let’s hope this is just a slump and that he isn’t truly dependent on Steve Nash’s quality performances.

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Stinky Tee’s Expert’s League (Roto Format)

Posted by Erik on October 19, 2008

I was invited to join the Stinky Tee’s Expert’s League. I was pretty honored when I read the email in my inbox asking if I was interested, as I don’t really see myself as much of an expert at all. Just an avid fantasy-head, really.

The league was set-up over at Yahoo! It’s a 12-man roto format, with 9-cat array, and 13 roster spots (PG, SG, G, SF, PF, F, C x2, Util x2, Bench x 3). We just finished our live draft several of hours ago.

The Rotisserie format is all about building a BALANCED team. For roto, I wanted to have a team with reasonably good percentages because those 2 cats are generally injury resistant. I also didn’t want to ignore TOs. So I thought of patterning my draft close to 2RR’s H2H draft over at the GMTR mock, but without punting treys. As I formulated this game plan, I suddenly realized – or more like remembered – how challenging roto drafting can be!

This is my first roto draft for the season and I considered myself pretty rusty as I have been preparing mostly for H2H leagues recently. Yes both formats are THAT much different!

All 12 managers made it to the live draft! This was nice, but at the same time I found myself missing the reliable O-rank auto-pick predictability of the absentee drafter. So this was definitely more challenging than your garden variety public league. That’s for sure.

I was a bag of nerves as I had just woken up and didn’t have any coffee in my system yet. – I know it’s not a convenient excuse to draft poorly – So sue me!

I found myself with 2nd drafting position. Here’s how my draft went.

1. (2) Amare Stoudemire – You can’t really go wrong with the “Best Center” in fantasy hoops to start off your team. Other people might have preferred to pick Kobe or LeBron at this spot, but I figure Man-beast is of comparable quality and has the added bonus of being C eligible.

I generally like picking a PG and a C in my first 2 picks so I had my eye on Chauncey Billups and Jose Calderon. But I also was thinking of grabbing David West like Brendan (of 2RR) did at the mock or even Kevin Martin who I am really high on for this year. In hindsight I should have picked either of them instead of getting locked on the best O-ranked player available which was…

2. (23) Jose Calderon – I know that he would probably been available in the 3rd and would be good to put up efficient guard stats (projections of: 9.4 APG, 1.2 3PG, 1.4 SPG 1.5 TOs) at 50% FG and 90 FT%. After CP3 I rate him as the 2nd best model of efficiency at the PG position. I am higher on his upside than on Chauncey’s expected downside. If I went for KevMart or David West at this spot and committed to grab JC in the 3rd I probably wouldn’t have been tempted to grab…

3. (26) Marcus Camby – I know the “experts” are not too hot about him this year – then again when were they ever?. Camby in the 3rd is a fair downgrade to match all the worries. And I said to myself, “This is ROTO! GPs aren’t as critical here as in H2H.” As long as Camby gives me 11.5 boards while swatting 2.8 balls a night (notice I projected a downgrade from last year), over 60+ games then his totals are pretty decent. Plus his 1.5 TOs were just too sexy to resist! Ha Ha Ha!

So my laughter subsided, when I realized I just bounced 2 effective “non-scorers” in Jose and Marcus. With low TOs come low point contributions… Oh well, it’s been 3 rounds and I think I can still salvage this. At this point I want some Treys to balance my big man + assists numbers. I had Hedo on queue, coz his 5 dimes are just sexy like that. Unfortunately he got picked before my turn came, so I chose a reasonable alternative in…

4. (47) Mike Dunleavy – Just the right three point shooter that the doctor ordered for my team, Ultra-efficient. Fantastic FT% (83.4) and how many guys can toss the ball from behind the arc twice per game and still maintain 47.6 FG%? I like this pick. At this point I was looking to bounce to another worthwhile scorer to improve on that cat. I had Michael Redd on target but I changed my mind at the last minute and chose to go with;

5. (50) Andre Miller – Yes I know he’s NOT a scorer and his scoring will go down even further now that Elton Brand’s in town. His 49 FG% from the guard position was just so tasty to pass up in the fifth. Mo-will and Devin Harris were taken in the 4th; and Dre was the last guy from my tier 4 PG list who was available. It’s too bad he can’t shoot treys. No worries though, as I was able to grab

6. (71) Mike Miller – Another solid 3-point shooter who has great FG% (50.2 last season). He’s a solid rebounder and a decent passer. I like my Mikes. This one, I expect to do well in Minny. I expect him to get a lot of kick-out passes as the opposing defense collapses on Al-Jeff. On the flipside, he’s got a good enough court sense to find Big Al when he’s open and drop him a couple of dimes every now and then. I feel my treys are more solid now. It’s just that I feel that I’ve ignored points a bit too much.

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GMTR Mock Draft Analysis: Round 4

Posted by Erik on September 22, 2008

At this point it should be very clear what the drafters are up to – well at least to them it should. Whether they’re going for a balanced, well rounded team or whether they have isolated and targeted specific categories to dominate or at least be competitive in; the drafters have chosen and locked the cornerstones for the teams they intend to build. Remember this is 9-cat, head to head.

ROUND 4

Pick Round Fantasy Team Player Position
37 4-1 Alpha_Terrance Carmelo Anthony SF
38 4-2 Points in the Paint Paul Pierce SF
39 4-3 SA Spurscasters Andre Iguodala SG
40 4-4 Sexy Time Yao Ming C
41 4-5 OKC Thunder Jason Richardson SG
42 4-6 GiveMeTheRock Vince Carter SG
43 4-7 Doneycat Mike Dunleavy SF
44 4-8 Bucko Ray Allen SG
45 4-9 REAL Batman Brad Miller C
46 4-10 Jeff’s Jawai-nots Hedo Turkoglu SF
47 4-11 2nd Round Reach Andre Miller PG
48 4-12 Epicte Ron Artest SF

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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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