07
Nov
07

First Week Review

I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a few days, but with a 3-week old beautiful baby girl and my 2 year old son…. Spare time is hard to come by. That being said, my daughter is finally sleeping at night between feedings, so I am ready to go again!!! Let’s get started.

We’ve had a full week of NBA basketball pass us by and as expected, there are players who have exceeded, disappointed and fulfilled expectations. Before we dissect the players at the top of my list, let me put insert the customary disclaimer… IT’S ONLY BEEN A WEEK!!!! Things will likely even out and go back to normal, but every year there are players that fall into one of the categories above and stay there. The trick is finding out which is true.

Exceeding Expectations

Chris Paul
4 games: 18.8 ppg – 5.5 rb– 12.5 aast– 3 stl– 0 blk– 48% shooting

I know we all expected big things from CP3 so putting him on this list is somewhat questionable, but DAMN he came out firing. 12.5 assists through 4 games!! You think he was pissed about all the attention Deron Williams got last year? I don’t expect him to continue to average over 12 assists, but I honestly don’t think it’s unrealistic for him to average 9.5 – 10 assists per this year. He’s that good, and his team needs him to facilitate everything for them. The steals are also nice and he should continue to dominate in that category with 2 per game.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas
4 games: 17.3 ppg – 14 rb – 0.5 ast – 0.50 stl – 1 blk – 50% shooting

After averaging a dismal 11 points and 7 boards last year, Big Z is back! He looks like he’s in better shape (maybe it’s just because he’s clean shaven, though) and moving extremely well. The Cavs need him and Drew Gooden, who is also starting out nicely, so I expect him to continue to post good numbers. The great thing about Big Z is that he may have been on the waiver wire when the season started, if you are the lucky guy that got him, you should enjoy his production all year. Obviously don’t expect 14 boards per, but 17 points with 9 rebounds is something to hope for.

Chris Kaman
3 games: 17.3 ppg – 14.7 rb – 1.3 ast – 0.67 stl – 2 blk – 55% shooting

Everyone knew the two players that would benefit the most from Elton Brand’s injury was Corey Maggette and Chris Kaman, but BOY OH BOY has Dom Woganowski steeped up (if you don’t know the Woganowski reference – see There’s Something About Mary).

chris-elliot.jpg

He came out the gate with 26 points and 18 boards in the first game! He’ll be a great play at center as long as Brand is out and I hope he keeps up the progress even when he comes back. The clips really need him.

Brendan Haywood
3 games: 10 ppg – 13.7 rb – .067 stl – 3 bls – 52% shooting

Staying with the Center theme, we move to Haywood. Haywood has always been a guy with talent, but he’s never put it together for a full season. This is a great start, but I’m not buying. I just don’t think he has the heart and motivation to keep it up all year. However, it’s a great start, so IF you’re a believer, go get him.

Andrei Kirilenko
4 games: 10.8 ppg – 6.8 rb – 5 ast – 0.50 stl – 2.5 blk – 44% shooting

Those who have read this blog know that I am NOT a fan of AK47, at least not on the Jazz. His stats look like he’s primed for a bounce back year, UNTIL you look break down his game by game performance. He posted a combined 17 boards, 14 assists and 8 blocks in his two games against the Golden State Warriors, who by the way he also dominated in the playoffs last year. In the other two games against Houston and the Lakers he posted 10 boards, 6 assists and 2 blocks. The fact is; he’ll do well against the warriors because of their style of play and size. Plus, the Jazz own them, so they don’t mind giving Andrei more opportunites to shine because they usually have the game in hand from the get go. Don’t buy into this hype. He’ll be better than last year, but only marginally.

Mike Dunleavy
3 games: 22.3 ppg – 9 rb – 3.7 ast – 0.67 stl – 0.33 – 49% shooting

WOW, what a start for Dunleavy! Granted, JO was out the first game and Troy Murphy is still out, so I expect his numbers to decrease quite a bit, but 17 ppg, 6 boards and 3 assists is what I see him doing this year. That being said, he is a perfect fit for O’Brien’s up-tempo 3-point happy system, so he might surprise me. A friend of mine who’s in love with him says I’m dead wrong.

Fulfilling Expectations

Kevin Garnett
2 games: 22.5 ppg – 16.5 rb – 5.5 ast – 3 stl – 1.5 blk – 51% shooting

KG is hands down the best fantasy player and in this blogger’s humble opinion, the best player in the entire LEAGUE. For those who doubted his fantasy dominance after the trade to Boston… SHAME ON YOU! I know it’s only been two games, but I will not put a cap on what KG will achieve this year. He’s incredible.

Josh Smith
3 games: 16.3 ppg – 9.3 rb – 4 ast – 3.33 stl – 3.67 blk – 32% shooting

J-Smooth started out very slow the last two years…. NOT THIS YEAR! He is doing EVERYTHING through 3 games. Yes, his scoring is down a bit from expectations and his shooting average is abysmal at 32%, but both of those will increase as the season goes on. He should average 20 ppg with 45% shooting (he’s a career 44% shooter) and his steals will likely be around 2 per, but I believe he will lead the league in blocks, so that should stay above 3 per game. Love the assists!!! KEEP IT UP JOSH!!! I actually bought an Atlanta Hawks sweatshirt this week because of you! In fact, I’m wearing it now, as I’m writing this.

Deron Williams
4 games: 24.5 ppg – 3 rb – 9.3 ast – 1.25 stl – 0.25 blk – 55% shooting

Deron is cashing in on the expectations everyone put on him after his playoff run last season. However, I think he’s shooting too much for Sloan’s taste, so I can see his scoring decrease to around 20 per and his assists to get closer to, if not slightly over 10 per game, in an effort to get everyone involved. He is a great talent, and one of the top 4 points guards in the league! He’ll be an allstar this year!

Zach Randolph
3 games: 19.3 ppg – 13.7 rb – 1 ast – 0.67 stl – 0.33 blk – 45% shooting

You were looking for points and rebounds when you drafted him, and that’s just what you got. Nothing else, but that doesn’t matter because he has never done anything more. He’ll be 19 & 10 when the season is done.

Disappointing Expectations

Gilbert Arenas
3 games: 21.7 ppg – 5.3 rb – 4 ast – 1.67 stl – 0 blks – 33% shooting

He is also shooting 6% from the 3-point line!!! OUCH! He’s already had his knee drained this week! I hope he’s fine and he comes out of this, because I drafted him in my office league (I MUST win that league because of this damn blog). I have nothing more to say other than….. PLEASE GOD, HEAL GILBERT’S KNEE AND ALLOW HIM TO BE THE GILBERT WE ALL KNOW AND LOVE!!!!

Vince Carter
4 games: 15.3 ppg – 6 rb – 4.8 ast – 1 stl – 0.5 blk – 33% shooting

Here’s another superstar who’s shooting a wonderful percentage from three – 20%. I’m not sure what to make of VC’s horrible start other than the health of Richard Jefferson. I already stated that I expected Vince’s averages to take a hit this year with RJ and Nenad back, but I didn’t see this, so I would think he’ll be just fine. He will likely average 20 ppg with 5 boards and 5 assists. His percentages have to go up.

Chris Bosh
4 games – 12.8 ppg – 5.3 rb – 1.5 ast – 0.75 stl – 2.25 blk – 40% shooting

One more elite player with an awful start! I’m not buying this one either. He has started slow, but his numbers are skewed a bit because they got killed by the Bucks last night, and Mitchell played all of his starters less than 20 minutes. Bosh will be fine. Don’t worry about him. He’ll be 20-10 by the end of the year.

Luol Deng
4 games: 15.5 ppg – 7.3 rb – 1.5 ast – 2.25 stl – 1 blk – 46%

His stats are not horrible, but the expectations surrounding him are ENORMOUS! I mean, Chicago refuses to trade for Kobe without Deng in the package and Kobe refuses to go to Chicago unless he remains a Bull. I would guess that Chicago’s 0-4 start has a lot to do with Luol’s slow start, as well as everyone else on that team! In fact, add Kirk Hinrich and Ben Wallace to this list too!! I think Luol and the Bulls will be fine. The Kobe trade rumors must have been a lot for this young team to handle.

David Lee
3 games: 10 ppg – 7.3 rb – 1 ast – 0.33 stl – 0.67 blk – 58% shooting

It’s a big mistake for Isiah to be playing Lee less than 30 minutes a night (he’s getting 25 right now), but as long as the Knicks keep winning, I doubt it will change. There’s your hope, Lee owners! The Knicks will start losing and Isiah will be forced to play him more, or trade him.

Mo Williams
3 games: 12 ppg – 2.7 rb – 3 ast – 1 stl – 0 blk – 43% shooting

Last year was a contract year for him, and they had quite a few injuries, so is this what we should expect from Mo from here on out??? I hope not, I also own him in one of my leagues! This better not be the classic, “player plays well in contract year and sucks once he gets paid.” I say he’ll go back to last year’s form, but that might only be because I own him.

There you go. I hope this makes up for a week of absence. I’ll be back again tomorrow to give you more of my unsolicited thoughts. Enjoy the games tonight.

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