Posts Tagged ‘General Fantasy

25
Nov
07

LeBron is King

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While I am on my Dwight Howard for MVP kick, I can’t deny the fact that LeBron James is doing something that hasn’t been done since the 1988-89 season; average at least 30, 8 & 8, when Michael Jordan averaged 32.5 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists. LeBron is averaging:

31.4 points, 8.1 rebounds, 8 assists with 1.92 steals and 1.62 blocks while shooting 49%

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Those are absolutely astonishing stats! He has a VERY long way to go to keep these averages up, but he has had a triple double in his last two games and looks simply unstoppable right now.

I mentioned in my Cavaliers Preview that LeBron worked on his shot mechanics during the summer and the hard work has really paid off! He is leading the league in scoring (as I predicted he would all season), his percentages are up as well; from 47.6% to 49.2% field goal and the biggest jump has been his three point percentage from 31.9% last year to 36.8% this year. The only reason the Cavs are respectable this year, is because of LeBron’s improved play. In fact, if Danny Ferry wasn’t so inept in building a team around LeBron, they would likely be the favorite to win the East again. Unfortunately the Cavs got worse this summer, while so many other eastern conference teams greatly improved.

Last year LeBron took it easy during the regular season, so he would have enough in his tank for the playoffs. Why has he turned it on so much this year? Maybe it’s because he realized how important home court advantage is (if they would have won 8 more games they would have had home court against the Spurs in the finals). It could be because he feels like he has something to prove after getting swept by the Spurs in his first finals appearance. The likely answer is that he knows he must play his best in order for his team to be competitive. It is a shame that the Cavs cannot put acceptable role players around the best, most unselfish superstar in the League. Imagine if LeBron had Jason Kapono to pass out too, or Jose Calderon manning the point? (I used two Toronto Raptors players because Bryan Colangelo has done a phenomenal job building a team around Chris Bosh) Nothing against Drew Gooden or Ilgauskas; I like both of them, but every other player on that team, aside from LeBron, should be coming off the bench in limited roles.

If LeBron can get this team in the top four of the Eastern Conference again, then he should and will get his first MVP! We’ll just have to watch and see if he can keep up this pace for 68 more games!

All that being said, I’m still pulling for Dwight! D12 for MVP!

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22
Nov
07

Gilbert Arenas out 3 Months

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I’m saddened by this news, because he’s on one of my teams. I hope he takes the time to get healthy. By now most of you have picked up Antonio Daniels, as I have, to make up for the lost. Daniels should have a good season. He will be very good for you in the assists column and will score enough points.

Andray Blatche is an interesting player. Most people are recommending you pick him up because of his last two games, and on a pure talent standpoint, I agree. However, Brendan Haywood is expected to be back next game, which should send Andray back to the bench. Although, with Gilbert out, the Wizards will need help in scoring and Andray can definitely do that. Also, if the Wizards continue to lose, they may decide to just start planning for the future and give Blatche more playing time so he can develop, if that happens Nick Young might also get a boost in his minutes and could be effective. Keep an eye on how this plays out.

20
Nov
07

Stock Watch – Andrew Bynum

Andrew Bynum has had a pretty good season so far, averaging 10.4 points and 9.4 rebounds in 24 minutes of play. Well, the injury to Kwame Brown should only help Bynum’s fantasy value. In fact, he started tonight against the Pacers, here’s his line:

17 pts, 10 rb, 1 stl, 4 blk, 100% FG Shooting 5 of 6 from the line in 29 mins

Granted, he played against a horrible defensive team in the Pacers with the likes of Troy Murphy and a hobbled Jermaine O’Neal guarding him, but he still impressed me. What I like the most is how BIG Bynum is playing. Yes, he’s 7′ and 275 lbs, but for the first time in his young career he is utilizing that size. If Andrew is within 5 feet of the basket, he’s dunking it. He simply reaches over his defender or extends around him and throws it down. He also has a very soft touch around the rim and a nice midrange jumper to compliment it. He has the ability to be a force on the defensive end with his super long arms, but still has a lot of work to do there; the 4 blocks tonight are a sign of that promise. That was the reason Kwame was starting; he’s the best lowpost defender the Lakers have.

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We are starting to see his potential and why The Lakers have refused to trade him. I would expect Andrew to average 12 points and 10 rebounds with 1.5 blocks and good percentages with the increased role. I know that’s not too far off what he’s currently averaging, but I simply don’t expect him to take that leap yet because he is so young and still has a lot to learn. That being said, he’s improving and could be setup for a big second half, especially if Kobe gets traded.

20
Nov
07

Waiver Wire Pickup – Jeff Green

Jeff Green got the starting nod tonight against the Grizzlies, and it was just a matter of time. I mean, Seattle was going to make this move, once they realized how uncompetitive they really are this year. I figure they just didn’t think it would be this early. What did Jeff do in his starting role?]

11 points, 14 rebounds (8 offensive), 1 assist, 1 steal on 4-12 shooting

Those are not great numbers, except for the rebounding, so why I am recommending you pick him up? Because he’s a very talented rookie who is going to get 30 minutes per night. Set you expectations accordingly, though. He will be up and down most of the year, just like Sean Williams. They will have good to great games followed by lousy ones. It’s just the way most rookies go. Even Kevin Durant is up and down; look at his stats for tonight.

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That being said, I am a big fan of young guys with potential, especially if you are in a keeper league. You never know who will blow up, and this early on…. why not take the risk. Last time there was a super talented draft (2003) we saw players like LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all have good to great rookie years. I’m not saying 2007 is as good as that draft, not yet at least, but why can’t we have some special rookie performances from any other guys not named Kevin Durant? Look at how many rookies are already starting for their teams:

Kevin Durant
Al Horford
Jeff Green
Yi Jianlian
Acie Law
Sean Williams

That’s a pretty high number of rookie starters. Most of whom are probably already owned in your league, so I am just adding one more to the list; Jeff Green. Green is a great hustle guy who is willing to get his hands dirty and do what his team needs of him, without the glory. On a personal note, The Supersonics are my favorite team, so I hope he goes on to have a great rookie year, and I can enjoy watching him and KD develop!

18
Nov
07

Waiver Wire Pickup – Sean Williams

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I discussed the potential of Sean Williams yesterday, and it didn’t take long for him to get the opportunity I was looking for. Here’s his stats from last night:

22 pts – 8 rb (3 off) – 2 stl – 2 blk – 64% FG Shooting, 8 of 10 from the line with 36 min

That is why The Nets drafted him. Reality is that Sean has the talent to have gone in the top 5 of last years ultra-talented draft, but he smoked weed and was suspended from his college team. I don’t advocate smoking pot, but there are far more serious crimes that one could commit. Besides, he’s in The League now, and his talent will dictate his future, not what happened in College. His talent is what should keep him in the starting lineup.

Coach Lawrence Frank has removed Nenad Krstic from the starting lineup, in an effort to shake things up for the struggling 4-6 Nets. Personally, I do think Nenad should be and will be starting soon; however, he is not without his weaknesses. Namely, his inability to hit the boards. His career high for avg rebounds per game in a season is 6.8! That is horrible for a starting forward/center who’s getting at least 30 minutes per game! Maybe this is the leason Coach Frank is trying to send him? I’m not quite sure, but the combo of Nenad and Sean Williams is perfect for this team. Krstic can space the floor and give Kidd another shooter to play with, while Sean can be the beast on the boards while manning the paint on the defensive end. Plus, Sean has a nice offensive repertoire as well! I’ve been saying it since they signed him, and I’ll say it some more, Jamaal Magloire is not a fit for this team! He’s one of the slowest players in the NBA. He gets the ball on the low block and sits there for a minimum of 5 seconds, while deciding what move he wants to make, allowing the defense to adjust. That is not what a fast paced, quick reaction team like the Nets want. But who am I? What do I know?

Truthfully, Lawrence Frank is the only one who knows what he has planned for this team. I’m just providing you with my thoughts on the situation. I truly hope and expect Sean to continue to start and get big minutes, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

15
Nov
07

Dwight Howard’s Dominance and Hidden Gems of the Night

Today most fantasy basketball sites will be discussing LeBron James, Joe Johnson or Dwight Howard. All three of them are compelling topics, especially LeBron and Dwight, since they faced off against each other in an overtime game that came down to those two superstars making plays at the end of the game for their teams. LeBron had a truly sick triple double with 39 pts, 13 boards, 14 assists and 2 blocks, but Dwight was clutch down the stretch and lead his team to victory. In fact, I wasn’t going to do this yet, but since Dwight is my favorite player in the NBA and has been since his sophomore season (I’ve owned him in my keeper league since then), I’ll finally take the time to breakdown his game and fantasy impact.

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(You got robbed, Dwight. Simply robbed.)

At the inception of this blog, I discussed how many fantasy experts rank Dwight Howard much lower than his actual worth because he has always had a horrible free throw percentage. I said it was a bunch of crap! Dwight was a budding superstar who only needed to work on his offensive footwork and shooting ability. Every offseason he worked on his offensive game and got better. He went from 12 ppg his rookie year to 15.8 the next and 17.6 last season. Following that pattern, you can assume that Dwight would improve at the ripe old age of 21, and he would average 20 ppg. Plus he is in the hunt for League’s leading rebounder every year and he’s starting to understand how dominant he can be on the defensive end too!!! Well, here’s what he’s averaging so far this season:

20.3 pts, 14.4 rb (3.3 offensive), 1.8 ast, 2.4 blk while shooting 52% from the field and 63% from the line.

Those are monster numbers in points, rebounds and blocks, plus his shooting is improving. Good shooting is about confidence, especially from the free throw line. He worked hard over the summer to improve, and his confidence in his newfound shot is growing every game. Look at his shooting mechanics. They are good. It’s all mental for him and it’s coming together nicely.

What’s scary for the rest of the league is that his season averages do not show his real potential. His game tonight, show’s Dwight’s potential:

35 pts, 16 rb (6 offensive), 2 ast, 4 blk, shooting 11 of 17 from the field AND 13 of 16 from the line!!

13 of 16 from the line! The best part about his performance from the charity stripe… he hit 2 free throws to win the game with 5 seconds left in overtime! Yes, he missed one in regulation that would have put them up by 4 with five seconds left, but he came back and made up for it here in OT. Stan Van Gundy had enough confidence in his young big man with 6 seconds left in OT and down by one, to run a play for Dwight off the inbounds, which forced a foul and sent him to the line. Has that ever happened to Shaq??? HELL NO! That demonstrates that Van Gundy knows Dwight is gaining confidence in his shot and is ready to put this team on his back to get them some victories! Well, Stan was right! Dwight sank both free throws and they won! LeBron posted a sick triple double, along with very good games from Drew Gooden and Ilgauskas, but they still won! To celebrate Dwight’s HUGE game, here’s a picture of Gemma Atkinson:

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Personally, I love the fact that people in the world of fantasy discount Dwight so much (the real world of NBA basketball understands how truly great he is and will be), because I drafted him in the 4th round in a yahoo head to head league! 4th ROUND!! Now if Gilbert will just continue to get healthy, I’ll be sitting pretty.

All right, enough about Dwight. I actually wanted to discuss the players that most people will not be talking about. The hidden gems, if you will, from last night. Let’s get started:

Josh Smith – I know he’s not a hidden gem, but I wanted to mention him because he was on his way to another GREAT all-around game when he strained his quad and was forced to leave early in the third quarter. In 18 minutes of play he scored 15 points, 3 boards, 3 assists, 1 steal and 5 blocks. 5 BLOCKS in 18 minutes!! Word is the stain was minor. I watched him walk off without even a limp, so let’s hope that’s true and he’s back in the lineup next game.

Andrei Kirilenko – Yes, he’s not a hidden gem either, but he’s the last player of this calibur that I’ll discuss here. I have to talk about AK47 because I have been hating on him for a long while now, so I made a point to watch a lot of the Jazz vs Raptors game to see how he does against a decent team. He really impressed me. My biggest question about him was his ability to be a defensive and offensive force without getting many opportunities within the offense (since that was what he was bitching about all summer), but he proved me wrong tonight. He was 1 of 6 from the field, so Andrei said forget about shooting, I’ll just do everything else! He had 8 points, 9 rebounds, 11 assists, 5 steals and 2 blocks! Simply incredible. He also put the lock down on Chris Bosh and kept him to 14 points with only 7 boards. Jerry Sloan must be doing a great job keeping his confidence high. I still have my doubts about him, but he’s winning me over with every game like this. If he can play with this type of redkless abandon and not care about his scoring, then Utah will be scary good and I will be the most wrong about a player that I have ever been.

Delonte West – I told you to pick up Delonte earlier today and I stand by that statement. He came off the bench tonight against the Heat, who they beat to get their first win!! Welcome back Dwayne Wade… your team sucks! Anyways, he played 29 minutes and had 16 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists. Nice line. Why did Earl Watson start??

Darko Milicic – I have liked Darko for a long time, and this year he’s showing everyone why. Tonight he posted 10 points, 13 rebounds, 1 assist, and 4 bocks. This is the second consecutive good game from Darko! He went for 20, 6 and 2 blocks the night before. We have a prediction board in my office, where you make a prediction and The Panel (a group of 2 or 3 coworkers) decide how much money you will owe or receive from the company pot, if you are right or wrong. I said Darko would average 12 points, 8 boards and 2.5 blocks per game. His average after 7 games:

12 points, 7.8 boards and 1.6 blocks

Damn, it’s too bad I got pissed off after the Grizzlies played the Rockets in the preseason, where Darko didn’t even start and he played like crap. I thought if he couldn’t secure a starting gig over Stromile Swift, then he really does suck! I went to the office the next day and paid the $12 I would have owed, if I was wrong! Damn, I can’t get my money back, but if Darko keeps up this performance and increases his blocks (as he is with each game), then at least I’ll have the moral victory of being right. That means more to me than $12 anyways!  Long Live Darko!!

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Jason Maxiell – McDyess was hurt for their game against Golden State tonight, so Maxiell got the start and he made the most of it. He had 14 points, 14 rebounds (4 offensive), 5 assists, 1 steal and 3 blocks! That is an incredible line! Why is this guy not starting? Maybe because Flip Saunders is a horrible coach? That’s my vote, if Max isn’t starting or getting at least 33 minutes per game from here on out!

Alright, it’s 1:30 am and my baby girl needs to eat, so I’ll stop writing. San Antonio vs Dallas tomorrow night. I hate the Spurs, but they get the win.

14
Nov
07

Waiver Wire Pickup – Delonte West

Luke Ridnour strained his left quadricep last night against the Magic.  Word is that he could be out for an extended period of time.  The man to step up… Delonte West.  I’ve actually been waiting all year for him to take the starting job away from the other two, Watson and Ridnour.  I just didn’t think it would take an injury. 

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Delonte is deceptively good.  He has a knack for doing something in most categories.  Last year with a young Boston team he averaged 12.2 points, 3.1 boards, 4.4 assists, and 1 steal a game.  I would expect about the same, maybe a little more from Delonte, if he gets the full-time gig in Seattle and plays at least 32 minutes.  In fact, last night he played 32 minutes and he had 6 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals.  The scoring was down because he had a horrible night shooting, just 2 of 11. 

 If he’s out there, go get him.