Points in the Paint

Fantasy Basketball Opinions, Strategy & Tips

Posts Tagged ‘J.R. Smith’

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.

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

NBA Week One: First Impressions

Posted by Erik on November 4, 2008

This is a hodge-podge and mish-mosh of some random observations over the course of the NBA’s first week.

Before I begin, let me say that everything here should be taken with a grain of salt. This is, after all, just the first week. Only 2 to 3 games have been played by most players. So all of the ups and downs; and rants and raves you read here are all just first impressions.

Stud Sightings

Chris Paul – Wow! What an awesome PG! Blah, blah, blah… He’s the hands down BEST player in fantasy today. He didn’t get hit by some random meteor from Alpha-Centauri to stop him, so he simply just began the season like he will continue to play the rest of the season – with unadulterated Awesomeness!

Danny Granger – He had an awesome start and almost singlehandedly kick the defending champs in their championship-winning tushies. He has shown that he can do a lot. I just wonder if he can keep up his pace when his partner in crime, Mike Dunleavy rejoins the Pacer line up.

Josh Smith – Want sick? Josh’s stat line over the first couple of games is what’s really sick! 15-10 with 3.5 BPG, 3.5 SPG, 1.5 3PG. Monstrous? Hell yeah! But as I said earlier, take all of these things with a grain of salt. Josh probably won’t be averaging those numbers throughout the season, but damn those numbers really lit up those stat sheets.

Jose Calderon – It appears all the hype and anticipation was well worth the drool-flooding wait. Jose is now truly an elite passing PG. OMG! 79 more games of his efficiency and production, please! 18 PPG at 50% FG, and 9.7 APG is just like the old Steve Nash, only without the cat-killing TOs.

Chris Bosh – You can’t really mention Jose Calderon in a rave section of a post or article without mentioning Chris. You can now add both these guys to the elite PG-PF/C combos. Their names are now in the echelon of Deron-Boozer, CP3-West, Nash-Amare. Scary! 26-10 at 54 FG% and 80 FT% (10 attempts) is definitely nothing to sneeze at.

Andris Biedrins – A couple more months of his production at this level will instantly catapult AB into the elite C status. He’s proving to everyone that he’s indeed worth every penny the GSW decided to pay him. Monster of a C! Wow! I can’t wait to see how he will end up this season in everyone’s rankings.

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Posted in Fantasy Basketball, Linkage, Upside | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Allen Iverson for Chauncey Billups: Fantasy Impact

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.

Fantasy Impact

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’sĀ  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: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Redemption Trifecta and Steep Learning Curves, Part 1

Posted by Erik on October 29, 2008

My mettle as a Fantasy Basketball fanatic was recently tested as I engaged in an attempt to draft for 3 leagues whose live drafts started within the span of three hours. I was desperately trying to regain focus and emotional stability after my tumultuous GMTR Readers’ League draft.

We learn wisdom from failure much more than success. We often discover what we will do, by finding out what we will not do.

– Samuel Smiles

Dinner and a Draft

The first draft was for my original Fantasy Roto League with my buddies. My friend, Frogs, invited me over for a Draft Party that evening. We had pasta, chilli, and barbecued pork.

The league is a 13-man, 9-cat, rotisserie format, with 14 roster spots to fill (PG, SG, G, SF, PF, F, C x 2, Util x 2 and Bench x 2)

Dinner started later than usual, but as soon as it did the dinner table was filled with lively and interesting conversation. As we were planning to break out the dessert, I received a text message from one of my buddies over at the league complaining about his internet connection and how he was having some problems. I replied with a short but sympathetic message. I then saw the clock on my cellular phone and it was 9:05! This is how the chaos began… (profanity has been dialed down in this version)

Me: Dude! Crap! It’s 9:05! The draft started already!

Frogs: Shit! Shit! Shit! – Runs to his PC

(I scamper to set-up my laptop)

Me: Oh my God! We probably missed the first round!

Frogs: No! Maybe even two rounds!

Me: Nooooo! <thought bubble: Thank God I pre-ranked!>

(I’m first to log-in and launch into the Live Draft applet)

Me: Dude! We missed two rounds. I am 6th and you’re 13th. I got Brand and Josh Smith. You got Granger and Bosh.

Frogs: I got who? I’m last? Oh hell no! Crap! If I knew I was last, I would have bounced Bosh and Al-Jeff! Ugh!

Me: Don’t worry man. There’s nothing that can go wrong in the first 2 rounds that we can’t compensate for in the next few rounds. It’s roto!

Frogs: Argh!

Side note: For whatever personal reasons he may have, Frogs NEVER pre-ranks. I always do. Perhaps after this harrowing experience, he may change his mind about pre-ranking.

Ok it wasn’t the best of starts for any Live draft, but I didn’t mind my core. Here’s how my team eventually panned out:

1. (6th pick) Elton Brand PF/C – AUTOPICKED. Not a problem here as far as I’m concerned. I don’t mind drafting a team (roto especially) around a solid big man and that’s exactly how I view Elton to be this year in Philly.

2. (21st pick) Josh Smith SF/PF – AUTOPICKED. I’m actually kind of surprised Josh reached me. I normally see him get reached for earlier in this league. I normally would have preferred to have paired my drafted top tier center with a top tier PG, but Josh was a welcome autodraft consolation. He solidifies my blocks cat while providing me with a lot of other strong contributions in various other cats.

3. (32nd pick) Rudy Gay SF/PF – Since the drop off of PGs passed me and I didn’t really feel like gambling on Jason Kidd. David West was still on the board but I felt that I had to start transitioning into some small guy numbers and Rudy was the best transition pick on the block. I really like his upside this year and I can’t wait to see what kind of season he will bring. I simply couldn’t pass up on his talent at this spot.

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

Of Caffeine Crashes and Gag Reflexes: My GMTR Readers’ League Team

Posted by Erik on October 22, 2008

Let me start off with my B.S. excuses as to why I drafted so poorly.

  1. Unlike for all the other drafters present, the draft was at 9 A.M., my time.
  2. I woke up late
  3. I was harassed to make it to work on time.
  4. Grabbed a few cans of Mountain Dew and some grub to wake up my brain for the draft, thus risking being late even more. – stress levels were building up at this point.
  5. Drank the said beverages too quickly – 10 mins before the draft began. – Was now wired as hell.
  6. Was looking over my shoulder every few minutes as I actually had some work to do while the draft was ongoing.

After the draft was over I had to proceed with the rest of the day and with it my responsibilities at work. After I pissed away the caffeine from my body, I crashed and felt like crap. I took a look at my team and felt a bit of vomitĀ  gurgle and griggle as if it wanted to come and slap me in the face for drafting a team like I did.

This isn’t false humility at all. I ended up drafting a “Not-so-big-ball” team. No it isn’t “Midball” either – just in case any of you want to get funny.

But WTF, is a “not-so-big-ball” team? Patience, all will be revealed in the end.

I was in 7th Draft Position. I’ve always felt the mid positions had the least control, and I’ve never been too happy drafting in the middle of the mob. And boy, was I ever in the midst of a mob of mean, monster-drafters!

The first 4 picks went pretty much as predictably as you can set your atomic clock by the certainty that Yao Ming won’t play 70 games this season.

“Mr. Defending Champ”, Patrick of GMTR, shocked us all by picking Marion at 5th! Elton Brand got picked 6th, and I was now in a conundrum as to either pick Dirk or KG!

Round 1 (Pick 7) Dirk Nowitzki – An excellent choice for a big to go with almost any type of small ball strat! He hardly misses any games and looks quite hungry this season to go for that elusive championship. Whether he achieves his goal or not is for another story altogether and another blog post. My point is, he’s motivated. So I now had my eye on Chauncey and Danny Granger, but alas, they both went before my 2nd round pick came around. By the way, so did Deron Williams. Yes folks, bad sprain and all. So I was left with reaching for Steve Nash or Rashard Lewis. Baron Davis was on the board but it’s my policy to stay clear of injury risks. I also found it way too early to go for Jose Calderon or even J-Rich!

I don’t know what came over me. As I ended up reaching for;

Round 2 (Pick 18) David West – I decided to go for another PF who shoots at decent percentages and doesn’t turn the ball over too much. I should have gone with Kevin Martin at this point, or even a Steve Nash pick wouldn’t have been so bad. Oh well, it wasn’t such a bad pick. I actually have David on my upside list this year.

“So big-ball it is.”, I told myself. “Ok let’s not force the small guys, but get some bigs with good FT% and hopefully we can get something going here.”

Enter gag reflex moment, stage left;

Round 3 (Pick 31) Yao Ming – I’m an idiot. I’m a moron. I got enchanted by Mr. 50 Games Played’s 80+ FT% and commited an unforgivable mortal sin. Yup, I’m the knucklehead who drafted Yao Ming in the 3rd round. I’m the guy I normally snicker at during live drafts. I’m the dork who now has to find some spiritual link with an omnipotent force in the universe to beg for Yao to play more games than Tom Brady. This should have been Andrew Bynum, Brad Miller or heck even Agent Zero games played ’til ’09.

What the hell was I thinking? Really?

I don’t really know at this point.

I’m going to try and blame being too wired on too much Mountain Dew or something. But we all know that’s just a load of B.S. right there.

Ugh!

How retarded is it to trash your own pick in your own blog?

Never mind.

Let’s move on.

Please?

Round 4 (Pick 42) Mike Dunleavy – Great percentages (46 FG%) for a 3-point shooting guard…

Mike, I’m sorry but I’m not in the mood rave about my picking you while I still have some 2-week old egg-foo-yuck, trying to come up my esophagus.

Oh, to hell with this crap!

This is not cathartic at all.

Let’s just finish this.

This, I guess, is blogging in its purest form;

No real editing, just writing as the thoughts come to mind.

I can’t really see my team that clearly right now. I suppose it’s both the caffeine crash and the Yao pick.

I’m sorry readers. Unsubscribe to PitP. I won’t blame you. There’s nothing I can say or do that will ever re-earn your respect with regards to fantasy hoops.

Here’s my team as a whole, round by agonizing round, well after the 2nd at least. The guys in BLUE are the picks I’m pretty happy with at their spots. The guys in RED are the picks I’m not too happy about. The uncolored picks, I’m simply lukewarm about.

  1. Dirk Nowitzki – 7th pick
  2. David West – 18th pick
  3. Yao Ming – 31st pick
  4. Mike Dunleavy – 42nd pick
  5. LaMarcus Aldridge – 55th pick
  6. Jason Terry – 66th pick
  7. Tony Parker – 79th pick
  8. Anthony Parker – 90th pick
  9. J.R. Smith – 103rd pick
  10. Ricky Davis – 114th pick
  11. Luis Scola – 127th pick – If I didn’t draft Yao in the first place, I wouldn’t have had to reach for Scola at this spot!
  12. Andray Blatche – 138th pick
  13. Earl Watson – 151st pick

In a nutshell, I suppose you can say my team is modeled after my first round pick, Dirk. It’s got some bigs who really don’t rebound or block much but shoot at good percentages; it’s relatively light on the TOs and it shoots treys. It doesn’t have any real passing or steals in the mix.

Just before I hit the Publish button, I’d just like to say that I’m not a quitter. I’m going to make up for my drafting blunders, fighting tooth and nail. I’m glad I can still trade and work the wire as the season progresses. It ain’t over ’til its over! And believe me, I’m gonna bring it.

For a more informative and insightful run down of his team, read Jedi’s more level headed analyis of his team.

Brendaaaaan! Buddy! Please do a complete league breakdown at 2RR so I can least watch someone else trash my team. I just can’t stomach to do it myself.

I’m going to take some painkillers (as I don’t have any Valium handy) and go to bed now. Hopefully this will all feel like bad dream tomorrow.

Posted in Draft Analysis, Fantasy Basketball, Rant | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »