Posted by Erik on January 30, 2009
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 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.
Posted in Fantasy Basketball, Injuries, NBA News & Rumors, Upside | Tagged: Carmelo Anthony, Carmelo Anthony Injury, Denver Nuggets, J.R. Smith, J.R. Smith Upside | 2 Comments »
Posted by Erik on November 28, 2008
Fearless Prediction: Old and reliable to unseat Young and unreliable
Antonio McDyess is headed back to Detroit. He’s decided to re-sign with the Pistons and probably wants to end his career there. He will only be able to rejoin his former team this December 7th as part of a rule that 30 days has to pass after his trade to the Denver Nuggets along with point guard Chauncey Billups and not-so well known center Cheikh Samb for point guard Allen Iverson.
In the meantime coach Curry has been using Kwame Brown as starting center. (Dramatic pause) … Ok you can swallow whatever you almost upchucked just now, but yes Kwame has been flashing is “classic” fantasy underwhelming play for the past several games now.
Fear not, little ones. It won’t be long until the “Dice” comes back to the motor city and retakes his rightful place in the Pistons’ starting line up. I am an occasional betting man and I would be more than happy to wager some meager amount or more to call it that Antonio McDyess and whatever he’s got left in his tank will be able to consistently outperform Kwame “OMG! What have you done, Michael Jordan?” Brown’s youthful inconsistency and incompetency.
Kwame has been uninspiring and fantasy undesirable thus far in even the deepest of leagues. I feel that it won’t be the same case for Antonio and his return. What he has lost in terms of explosiveness along with the wear and tear of his knees, he has compensated for in terms of “bulk and boxing out”. If you’re in a deep league and you own one of those teams that’s clinging onto the likes of Carl Landry to anchor its flimsy front court, then rolling the dice on Antonio to give you 10-7.5 with a smidge under a block a night, might just be what the doctor ordered. It might just be worth it to drop your Robin Lopez (yup him, not Brook) for McDyess just to see what he can muster from those old bones. He might just serve as a servicable “big man” pick this early December.
Posted in Fantasy Basketball, Player Movement and Transactions, Upside | Tagged: Allen Iverson, Antonio McDyess, Chauncey Billups, Cheikh Samb, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Kwame Brown, McDyess Return | 1 Comment »
Posted by Erik on November 4, 2008
We all knew this would happen sometime before the trade deadline this season. It just so happened that it came sooner rather than later. Two teams who want to begin rebuilding, the Detroit Pistons and the Denver Nuggets, decided to swap some PGs and threw in a franchise reunion for Antonio Mcdyess in the process.
Would you have traded one for the other in fantasy basketball? Well their teams did. Denver wanted to offload A.I.’s expiring contract for salary cap space so that it can begin rebuilding. Detroit wanted to to get a jump start at building a team that will be a title contender ASAP. Sorry Joe (Dumars); the Celts, Cavs and uh Raptors (?) may have a thing or two to say to stifle your plans.
Expect both their numbers to be erratic for the first couple of weeks as they adjust to their new teams and coaches. It won’t take long though, as both of them are reliable vets and they’ll get acclimated sooner rather than later.
This trade has more upside for Chauncey as his coach likes an up tempo offense and Chauncey can flourish in open court basketball.
There is now a question for the answer. Can he play at the point once again? George Karl, his former coach played him at SG and he did well. Can his new coach motivate him to work with his new teammates as Detroit’s point guard?
This trade will hamper Rodney Stuckey’s fantasy progress as A.I. needs more playing time than Chauncey. So he will have to keep Allen’s seat over at the bench a lot warmer and for a lot longer than expected.
J.R. Smith who started off the year pretty well is now at the cusp of a starting position and this simply boosts his fantasy upside. He will get more opportunities to improve on his good fantasy start.
Antonio McDyess can help fill the “Camby void” by committee along with Nene and K-Mart. His age and his knees will take their toll in the running offense environment that he’s in now. Don’t expect any sort of major fantasy resurgence from Antonio.
Posted in Fantasy Basketball, NBA News & Rumors, Player Movement and Transactions, Upside | Tagged: Allen Iverson, Antonio McDyess, Chauncey Billups, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, J.R. Smith, Rodney Stuckey | 2 Comments »