Points in the Paint

Fantasy Basketball Opinions, Strategy & Tips

Posts Tagged ‘Philadelphia 76ers’

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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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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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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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.

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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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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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