Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Calling fantasy basketball obsessors

If you have any data on a rotisserie league you were in last year (I'm thinking like something in a spreadsheet form) could you click that link that says it will allow you to email me and then attach your file(s) to that email and send it? I didn't keep my data from last season (and I hope I'm not the only one who keeps track of Rotisserie stats on a spreadsheet).

Quick, name the top 156 players in the NBA!

8 x 13 = 104
10 X 13 = 130
12 x 13 = 156
14 x 13 = 182
16 x 13 = 208
18 x 13 = 234

Depending on the number of teams in your league, you'll need to know at least 104 players on a first name basis. If it's your first (or second) time playing fantasy basketball, try for half of the number above.

The numbers above also demonstrate how important the draft is in fantasy basketball. For 8 team leagues, the draft is much more important in basketball than it would be in baseball, and at least as important as it is in fantasy football. Playing in the bigger leagues lessens the impact of later rounds of the draft, because there will be chances to pick up players from the free agent pool who can contribute. Guys like Brian Cardinal and Damon Jones usually went undrafted last season, but when other players on their teams got injured, they stepped up their game and people took note. In big leagues, noticing who's injured and who's filling in for them is important; once again, it's not so important in smaller leagues since many of the players hurting themselves weren't drafted anyway.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Top Scorers Cont'd... (21 - 30)

Moving right along...

21. Michael Finley, Mavericks: Increase. The Shark Fin represents something of an enigma to me. I've never really seen him play. When I've been able to see the Mavericks, he hasn't demonstrated to me any distinct style. There's certainly a plethora of players who I've not had the opportunity to view, but none of them were 21st in scoring last year. The fact that I've seen him more in NBA Street that on the court doesn't affect my prediction for him, though.

22. Richard Jefferson, Nets: Increase. Bringing in Ron Mercer to take over for K-Kitt (aka Knight Rider, aka Villanova Supernova) and K-Mark (aka Blue Light Special) is like getting K-Reev (aka Canoe) to fill in for NFL Players.

23. Mike Bibby, Kings: Decrease. Bibby is someone Team USA could have used. A pure point guard who can hit outside shots like Marbury could have been doing the entire time. But unless Stojakovic pulls an Abdur-Rahim, Bibby's ppg will be below what he had last year (see also: Chris Webber).

24. Ron Artest, Pacers: Level. The addition of S-Jack (below) might lower Artest's output, but Jackson's ability to slash (the word They always use in reference to Jackson) will also help open up shots for teammates (like Artest).

25. Stephen Jackson, Pacers: Decrease. Speaking of Slashing Jackson (another new nickname, thank you very much): Now that he's with the Pacers, his mutant power to score 18 ppg will be neutralized by the fact that the Pacers have 2 other scoring options before him.

26. Rashard Lewis, Sonics: Level. The Booth-for-Fortson deal is not likely to impact Lewis. The Sonics are mainly unchanged beyond that.

27. Pau Gasol, Grizzlies: Increase. P-Gas is still climbing his upside mountain. I'll let you know when he reaches the peak. Until then, especially if he's an FC is your league, he's as good as gold (even without a medal to prove it).

28. Richard Hamilton, Pistons: The Pistons haven't reinvented the wheel, installed a new engine, or done anything really, outside of changing the oil. The departure of M-Oke, while unfortunate for the team, also means that his rising star won't be casting it's glow over any of the others in Auburn Hills. If anything, Okur leaving is a boone to Hamilton's fantasy value.

29. Yao Ming, Rockets: Increase. Put T-Mac on any other team (excluding teams with Shaq, and teams that used to have Shaq) and the number 1 option becomes the number 2 option. The Ming Dynasty is only gaining more experience and with it, momentum.

30. Eddie Jones, Heat: Decrease. Put Diesel into the Heat Engine and it's not going to be good for the unleaded fuel. (Keep an eye for a trade here... there have been rumours).

Friday, August 27, 2004

Diamond in the rough (Marquis Daniels)

Buried in this article on Fanball, their reporters divulge the information on a top sleeper candidate. It's none other than the Mavericks' Marquis Daniels.

Fantasy Impact

As the starting 2-guard for the Mavs, M-Dan looks to improve on the outstanding numbers he posted once given the chance last season. His minutes jumped to 42 in April of last season (from anywhere in the range of 4 to 17) and he scored 20 ppg, added 6 rebounds and 5 assists in that stretch. Since the Mavs have eliminated the logjam in their lineup, they should no longer be irresolute with respect to scoring. Daniels will be the 4th, perhaps 3rd, option for the Mavs. I wouldn't expect those April-style numbers from him (his playoffs stat lines suggest that was a bit of an outlier of a month), you can gauge him somewhere in the range of 16, 6, and 3, and toss in a steal or two according to Fanball. As an undrafted second-year player, he's a prime candidate for what They call a "sleeper."

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Marbury makes some 3's

Seriously, it's about time someone on the USA team hit a 3-pointer. I couldn't believe that Starbury or AI couldn't come up with something better - though I can forgive Iverson because of the broken thumb (even though he plays broken all the time). It wasn't all that long ago (the 2001 All-Star game) when Kobe and Marbury took turns dropping bombs on each other (and their respective teams). I know the Starb is supposed to be the point guard on Team USA - and don't get me wrong, he's been doing a fine job with that - but he's what they ("they") refer to as a "shoot-first point guard." I've also seen Iverson launch many a devious 3-pointer during the regular season, so perhaps he just considered this his vacation from draining shots from long distance. (Because he doesn't appear to be taking time off from reckless shooting)

Fantasy Impact

None really... Except maybe that you can count on Marbury and Iverson to make at least 1 three-pointer per game again this season. Now that they've miraculously "remembered" how to shoot. (I think Team USA just needed to remove the collective monkey from their backs)

(Also, I think I may have set a record for most parenthetical statements per sentence and/or word with this post )

Portland Trailblazers sign Joel Pryzbilla

Joel Pryzbilla was signed by the Portland Trailblazers.

Fantasy Impact

J-Pryz will be backing up Theo Ratliff at the center spot to kick things off. If Ha can make an impact as a rookie, he might be able to take that spot... but the Blazers have been looking for someone besides Stepania to play the 5 since they traded Dale Davis. Playing for Hotlanta, Joel came up with 8.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. With less playing time in the Rose City, I wouldn't expect that much from him... But if you're from Portland (or maybe you went to Minnesota) he could be a good 3rd center in deep (and I do meant deep) leagues.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Give Them The Rock?

In trying to see how highly ranked I am on google (not that these things really concern me, but whatever...) I came across this AWESOME video featuring, well, I'll let the description from the site fill you in:

For most of today's NBA stars, the rock is life. Jamming, shooting, dishing, and swatting the Rock are what dreams are made of. With the game on the line, the best in the game all say "Give Me the Rock!"

For David Robinson, Hersey Hawkins, Mark Price, and at least a dozen other NBA stars, the Rock means more than life on the hardwood. Their Rock helps them face the full-court pressure in their careers, families and personal lives, and brings them unltimate victory.

In "Give Me the Rock!" these NBA stars give you 38 minutes of their best. Network analyst Clark Kellogg takes you inside the minds and hearts of some of the game's greatest. Packed with rockin' game highlights, behind-the-scenes footage and exclusive up-close interviews, this fast-paced video will make you say, "Give Me the Rock!"


This thing is only $9.99!! I may have to have it!

I'm a little surprised they didn't mention A.C. Green (if you check the site, I think you'll see what I'm talking about). Who doesn't miss the abstinence bear?

I'm Kukoc for Cocoa Bucks!

The Bucks have re-signed forward Toni Kukoc. When he joined the league, I wanted Kukoc to be huge. He was a left-handed white guy (much like myself, although I play basketball right-handed) in a time when left-handed white guys were rare. T-Kuke never exploded like I'd hope and now left-handed white guys aren't quite as rare.

Fantasy Impact

Maybe his dashing European look can land him Vanessa Williams - I hear she's going to be available soon. That doesn't have anything to do with his ability to play ball, nor should it be construed to mean that he plays at all like Rick Fox.

The Bucks haven't changed much since the end of last season, so I wouldn't expect Kukoc's numbers to change much either. He'll spend most of his time at the 3 and some at the 4. Michael Redd, Desmond Mason, and Keith Van Horn will constitute the bulk of the scoring for the Bucks, but Kukoc will still be able to get in with his 8.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg, and 2.7 apg. His percentages are not great, I'm not gonna lie to you. I'd pick him up in deep leagues, or get him from waivers if one of the guys mentioned above gets injured.

Monday, August 23, 2004

More Scorers (11 - 20)

More slow times in the offseason. This is the reason I took it upon myself to fill in this time with fantasy news. I'm like those FOX shows that ran during the summer last season (not in quality, but in the idea that I'd fill in when times got lean for addicts like me)... While everyone else has already given your their thoughts and flown off to some sunny island, I am here to bring everyone with a browser or RSS reader analysis to prepare for the coming fantasy basketball season. I even turned down a request to play in a fantasy football league so I could focus on my core competency (well, that and I've got enough other things to do already anyway).

So, without futher preamble, here's more on of the top scorers from last season.

11. Shaq: Stud. Unquestionably going to be awesome in Miami. 21.5 ppg last season... Sky's the limit. And now that he's not a Laker, I can pick him with a clear conscience.

12. Carmelo Anthony: Level. K-Mart's arrival will probably take away some look that Carmelo got last season, but at the same time, he will become more mature as a player and is still the Nuggets #1 option. Also have to factor in that he's only a 2nd year player and he's playing in the Olympics during the offseason. Could be some tired legs by the end of the season...

13. LeBron: Increase. Despite the addition of several shooters around him, LeBron only set the bar last season. Like Carmelo before him, he is playing the Olympics. It might have an effect on his scoring towards the end of the season, but if Cleveland is fighting for a playoff spot, he'll get his points.

14. Corey Maggette: Increase. Kerry Kittles can probably take over the share of the scoring load that Quentin Richardson left behind, but there's also the possibility that Elton Brand and Corey Maggette will step in to fill some of that void.

15. Stephon Marbury: Level. Stephon will perform. There is not a lot of chance for him to increase, especially with Jamal Crawford on the team, but he will be the same scoring point guard he's always been.

16. Jermaine O'Neal: Level. Swap out Al Harrington for Stephen Jackson and what do you have? Jermain getting another 20 ppg. Nothing new here.

17. Zach Randolph: Increase. Zach has just about reached his scoring threshold as it stands. The Blazers aren't done playing Let's Make A Deal, so future trades could impact how many looks Zebo gets; as it stands now, though, he'll likely get a few more buckets than last season.

18. Sam Cassell: Decrease. After his back problems in the playoffs, not that Minnesota picked up Blake Stepp, a PG, in the draft. They also re-signed backup PG Troy Hudson. I would expect the T-Wolves to take it easy on the minutes with Sam to make sure he's healthy come next June.

19. Shawn Marion: Level. The addition of Q-Rich and Stevie Nash don't bode well for Marion's scoring output. However, he's not afraid to pass the ball, and so I would expect an increase in his assists despite having a new PG on the team. The Suns should be a hugely fun team to watch as their lineup of Matrix, Q-Rich, Stevo, and Stud-emire (does he have a real nickname?) run up and down the floor all day. Marion also grabs boards, steals, and blocks shots. Just in case your league counts those.

20. Jason Richardson: Increase. Increase like crazy. Even with Troy Murphy healthy and Mikey Dunleavy maturing, someone has to fill in for NVE, Erick Dampier, and - dare I say? - Brian Cardinal. That's a lot of points that Eduardo Najera is not going to be picking up. And there is no one on the Warriors who has proven they can score like J-Rich. He's not bad if you're looking for rebounds (6.7) or assits (2.9) either. Both of those number will be consistent.

Count it.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Vin Baker

I can't take any cheap shots at Vin Baker. I mean, the guy can play. He just has a drinking problem.

That said, when I saw the headline: Knicks re-sign Vin Baker, part of my brain (the optimistic side, maybe...?) wanted to think it said Knicks resign Vin Baker.

Fantasy Impact

Thomas (Isiah, sp? That's how ESPN had it...) said Vin was a solid contributor off the bench and (now I'm interpreting what he said here) wanted to give him a clean start from the beginning of the season. He averaged 18 minutes, but played well when given more time. However, the Knicks have acquired Jerome Williams in the offseason, and I can see that cutting into Baker's playing time. If Baker can get his FG% back up to the 50% he was shooting in Boston last season, I can see him posting 11, 6, and maybe 1 or 2 assists. He shot 57% through the 4 Knicks play-off games... so it's certainly possible. That would put him just above the league average, making him a worthy pick for a 12 team league. I'd prefer to look for someone who might score less and get more rebounds or blocks, since points are much easier to come by. And of course, he doesn't have upside like other PF's you could pick up.

Out of the Woods

Loren Woods was probably a decent choice as a second round pick. However, from what I saw of him in college, it doesn't surprise me that his transition has been less than stellar. He never seemed to play with any intensity in college. He was just kind of a big guy who was athletic enough to play basketball. I haven't seen him in the NBA since he's been with Minnesota and Miami (neither of which I get to see play often in the markets I've been in; not that I would have actually seen him play anyway)... Perhaps he's picked up a little bit of fire along the way, since his minutes have been increasing... I know, though, that if I were a GM, I would not have drafted him. I just don't like guys like that. I want someone like Ben Wallace; someone who works hard and shows that they're working hard, and that they have heart and they believe in themselves. But that's neither here ... nor -->.

Fantasy Impact

Woods adds frontcourt depth to the Raptors, but that's about it. With Chris Bosh and Rafael Araujo (both of whom have shown intensity when I've seen them) as the only other centers the Raptors have, Woods should be able to bump his minutes up from the 13 he got in Miami. The Raptors would probably like to start him at the 5, so they can move Bosh to PF. If that is indeed the case, he stands to probably double his minutes. Best case: 7, 7, and 1 block. If he brings his FT% back up to around 78% (from the 60% he shot last season) he becomes a decent back-up center in 12 team leagues.

Keep in mind 2 things:
1) His points will always be limited by the fact that he's on a team with Vince Carter, Jalen Rose, and Donyell Marshall - all of whom are not shy about shooting the ball.
2) He played in only 38 games the last 2 seasons. Whether you think that gives him an experience deficit or an energy surplus is up to you.


Thursday, August 19, 2004

Don't be fooled

Just because GOOG has shot up 17 points in it's first day of trading, don't think that Googs (aka Tom Gugliotta) is going to put up 17 points a game with the Celtics.

Just wanted to make sure no one does anything they'll regret.

Pavlovician Response

[Enter Aleksander]
Aleksander: D'ost thou dream? If thou ist asleep as I am, thou must dream. I dream of a time, call it: playing time, in which I will move like a cat down the court, a black cat perhaps; crossing over others' paths before dropping three-balls in the eyes of my enemy. My stroke so fluid it makes jealous the self-gratifiers. my skills cut from the diamonds of Serbia-Montenegro.

A new king is in power, or rather, I have entered his prescence. He is a loving kinng who wishes no more than to distribute his wealth. But alas, his prince has left him. Many suitors are sure to follow, but I am the one of which he dreams - though he has never slept. And so, I sleep, and dream, through hot summer nights. I dream of minutes with which come points. I dream because I am still asleep, but I will awaken, and my dreams will become reality.
[Exeunt]

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Bring a towel, cause it's gonna be wet! (or at least Damp)

I'm really working hard on topping the famous (infamous?) headlines they churn out in New York. It's fun.

Anyway, so, it appears that in another week or so Erick Dampier will join the Mavericks in exchange for Eduardo Najera. There's some other guys in the deal, but when your name starts with Chri and ends with aettner, everyone knows it's not worth talking about...

Fantasy Impact (Damp-in-here)

Dampier is the Mav's starting center now. The only other C's on their roster are followed by R's (and Bradley, if you count him). With Laettner and Najera out of Dallas, that leaves Dampier with 33 mpg. He may get all of that and more since it would allow Dirk to stick to the PF spot almost exclusively. With Nash out of the scoring column, there is certainly room for Dampier to step in and get 12 and 12 again. Along with his 53% shooting and 2 blocks per game, he has upside like Mt... Well, I don't think there are any mountains in Texas with as much upside as Dampier has right now. Nothing is going to dampen his spirits.

Fantasy Impact (Najera)

Najera may be able to take over Dampier's 25 mpg. Even if he does manage that (a big IF with the Warriors fielding Adonal Foyle at Center and Troy Murphy at PF), he's not going to come up with his 12 and 12. Not going to happen. With Dallas he had about 7, 5, and 1. I'd expect about those numbers but not much more.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

In other news, Jimmy cracked corn

The Celtics signed Tom Gugliotta and the Bobcats traded Predrag Drobnjak to Atlanta for a second round draft pick.

Fantasy Impact

If anyone is hurting for Googs' 4 points and 4 rebounds, or Drob's 7 and 4 during the season, they're really going to be hurting... That said, the Hawks have a pretty awesome trio of white centers. And they're going to need every one of them to stop hurricane Shaq.

Monday, August 16, 2004

FantasySports@aol.com

CNet News is the first to give me the story on AOL's fantasy sports - free to everyone now. You still have to sign up for an AOL screen name, but a lot of people probably already have one from using AOL's instant messenger. That said, it looks like it might be good. Of course, AOL is too late for the baseball season, but they still have some fantasy baseball news. It's also got bid and draft options for picking football teams, and support for keeper leagues (at least in the draft system). I will have more on this as the time draws nearer to the fantasy basketball season and more info becomes available regarding the company's hoops offerings.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Bulls sign Nocioni

http://www.nba.com/bulls/news/nocioni_signed_040715.html

Read that and this: http://bulls.blogspot.com/2004/08/newest-bull.html

And whatever you do, watch the video of Nocioni taking Garnett to the hole.

PS: He's white.


Fantasy Impact

I have no idea. If he still has the goatee, he could be th next Dirk or the next Toni... That puts him anywhere in the range of about 10 points if he's backing up Ben Gordon... Max of 18 if he's starting. Probably 4 rebounds and 4 assists. This is all pure conjecture, but at least I'm basing it on other European players... You've got Gordan Giricek, who's a little smaller, with 14, 5, 2.5, and 1 steal in his rookie year in the NBA for Orlando. Perhaps also, Aleksander Pavlovic, who averaged 5, 2, and 1 but only played 14 minutes for the Jazz (I should write more on him... perhaps later...)

So, really, I'm just excited that the Bulls have someone who totally schooled Kevin Garnett (even though he probably got it thrown right back in his face on the other end).

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Ssssshhhh... He's a sleeper (D-Steve)

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/players/3422/news

DeShawn Stevenson came out of high school. He's been in the league for 4 years. He's ready to blow up. Last season in 26 games with the Magic, he got 11 ppg, 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and almost 1 steal. He's like a baby in the cradle about to wake up. It's no coincidence that most players coming from high school take about 4 years before they reach their full NBA potential. I'd argue for them going to college instead, but I guess they might as well be learning from the pros and making money to go along with it.

I don't think I'd take Stevenson above where his numbers from last year would probably put him, since he'll be backing up Cuttino Mobley (aka C-Mob) and not starting anymore. But his shooting with the Magic was only 40%, and he started taking more 3's and improved his rebounds and assists by about 1 per game. His minutes will probably go down, but he should be more efficient than last year, so if he plays well enough, he could end up splitting time with Mobley. He's definitely got more upside than many players who will give you 11, 5, and 3. Of course, his free throw shooting is AWFUL, so bear that in mind.

Lord Have Mercer on the Nets

"They" say that Ron Mercer is now a Net. Now, he's been playing pretty poorly the past few seasons, but give a brother a chance! They cut him down to 13 minutes in San Antone, so of course he's not going to produce like he did with Chicago. But, now that's he's on a team that clearly has a void to fill, it's time to see if he can ramp it back up. The Nets need his minutes something fierce.

Fantasy Impact

Mercer will likely be filling in for the recently departed Kerry Kittles. So, that should give him about 30 minutes to work with. Kittles averaged 13 points last season, and Mercer is certainly capable of that kind of ouput given those 30 mpg. However, Mercer is still the poor man's (or just the Nets') version of KK. He'll shoot a lower FG% (40%), possibly the same FT% (77% or so), and will make less 3's (close to 0). He'll probably get about 4 boards and 3 assists per game. Mercer will also likely give you 2 TO's and 1 steal, where Kittles was just the opposite of that. Keep in mind that while Mercer went to Kentucky, Kittles is from Villanova, and that might actually matter to someone in your league... Trust me. It might.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Top 50 Scorers (1-10)

Well, the basketball news has slowed down significantly since last week... So, I've decided to actually write an article. I don't exactly have tons of free time on my hands, so I'm starting with a simple analysis of the top scorers from last season and how they should perform in the upcoming season (with respect to points only). I'll add other stats to my spreadsheet as I go for further (and more in depth) analysis. After all, the major sites don't have anything better in the way of fantasy basketball yet anyway. Their all so concerned with fantasy football. I look football a lot (and I think the recent football games [2004] are better than the same year's basketball games), but I don't have time for being an authority on both. At least not right now...

(As a side note, I don't think there's anyone in the top 50 scorers [I've got the top 10 below] who would be a bad pick if you're looking for someone to fill up the points category. That said, points is probably one of the easier stats to acquire - not that it's trivial, of course - just that's it's easier to influence than something like FG%).

Here we go:

1. Tracy McGrady - Houston Rockets: T-Mac led the league with 28 ppg last season. Of course, he was also on the worst team in the league. Now he's got the Ming Dynasty as his team's primary scoring option. I have to think his scoring will go down, but with Y-Ming collapsing defenses, he may get better looks than he had last season. I'll go with less points, but not too much less. Final answer.

2. Predrag Stojakovic - Sacramento Kings (?): Mr. December has asked for a trade and rumor has it he's peeved about the Kings letting his buddy Divac go to the Lakers. When C-Webb came back last season, P-Stoj's scoring went from 25 to 21 ppg. I'd be looking at somewhere in the 20-21 range for this season, putting him in the top 20, but not the top 10.

3. Kevin Garnett - Timberwolves: Same as last season (24 ppg). No reason things are going to change.

4. Kobe Bryant - Lakers: K-Bry is most certainly going to do more scoring than last season. Sure, he's got L-Od, and C-But to fill in the hole left by Shaq-O's departure. But he's not going to let them shoot it is he? Really? I don't think so. The Lakers are his team now. I can see him getting up to the 28 point range where T-Mac was last season.

5. Paul Pierce - Celtics: The Truth should be getting more open looks (hopefully) with running the offense in Boston. If that doesn't increase his point totals, it should at least improve his miserable 40% shooting (30% behind the arc).

6. Baron Davis - Hornets: B-Dave is money. His FG% is pretty bunk, but he'll put the ball in the hoop.

7. Vince Carter - Raptors: Vinsanity will once again be the #1 scoring option on the Raptors. This is assuming he doesn't get traded. At least not to the Heat, the Lakers, the Spurs or the T'Wolves. I think those are the only teams he could be on that would cause his scoring output to drop. His health is always a ?, but his scoring never is.

8. Tim Duncan - Spurs: 22.5 last season = 22.5 this season. The Barrister (as I have now dubbed Brent Barry) will take over H-Turk's scoring. Everything else is pretty much the same.

9. Dirk Nowitzki - Mavericks: Without A-Jam, Antoine Skywalker, and S-Nash around, Dirk should up his scoring from 22 back to his 2002 level of about 25. Without Jamison, SkyWalker, and Fortson around he'll probably pick up more rebounds as well. Not that he was ever not a first round pick, but I'd say put him up there.

10. Michael Redd - Bucks: M-Redd is "reddy." He's the #1 option on the Bucks, and their other options are Desmond Mason, Joe Smith, and KVH. The league knows about him, though, and they know what the Bucks other options are... so he might see more defense than in the past. He'll still be right around 20 ppg since he'll get the looks, but the pressure might lower his FG%.

So, that's 10 right there. I'll come with the rest when I get there... Also, after looking at a couple sites, I noticed that NBA.com only gave me players who played a minimum number of games or scored a minimum number of points. The guys left off the list are hard to overlook, though, so my omission doesn't mean that you should forget about Allen Iverson or anyone like that.

RotoTimes on Boozer

Here is an excellent article on the fantasy impact of Carlos Boozer's move from Cleveland to Utah. And since both locations are about as boring as they come, I'm sure he'll spend plenty of time working on his outside shot.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Quickly! Before nobody cares! (Rick Fox)

So, evidently Rick Fox has filed for divorce from Vanessa Williams. I guess he had enough of people calling him Mr. Vanessa Williams, and he's decided to become his own man. Of course, it says the two had been separated, so it wouldn't surprise me if she initiated the separation, and he was like "I'd better break up with her before she dumps me." Okay, that's probably a really mean thing to say... but look at the man's hair! Perhaps all the styling product affected his ability to reason.

Fantasy Impact

Well, I'm sure a lot of men's fantasies will be impacted by this news. As for the world of basketball, I can't believe that anyone is really going to care if Fox is depressed and can't manage more than 3-4 points a game next season. I read in some article about it that he was considering retirement as an option to continuing sucking. Seems like a poor time to file for divorce when you're finally going to stop travelling around the country for 8 months out of the year. But I've never been married, so what do I know?

If he does retire, look for Ricky Davis, Jumaine Jones, and maybe even rookie Justin Reed to pick up Fox's 20 minutes, 5 points, and 4 rebounds per game.

In related news: Thanks to Yahoo for taking Mr. Vanessa Williams picture down from his profile page! I was able to fully scour the depth of his career without being reviled by his hideous mug.

Monday, August 09, 2004

ESPN's Fantasy Spin on the Payton Trade

Read this. Then read this.

Tell me I'm not all over fantasy basketball. ESPN should just hire me. I bet I could do it for less than they're paying Graham Hays.

And I won't even ask who's analysis was more entertaining.

Count it.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Bill Simmons' take on the Glove trade

Click the title. He knows what he's talking about.

I forgot about Payton making the Vengeance Scale. And I'm not privy to all this insider information... To be a real columnist...


Payton and Pierce could be fierce

Okay, so I just made up the title of this post. It's not necessarily true or anything. But it sounded clever cause it rhymes.

So... where the hell are we? (Is it just me or are there a ridiculous amount of trades going on this off-season? All the more reason to get some good fantasy analysis!)

According to Yahoo (and others):

The Los Angeles Lakers resumed their makeover Friday by trading Gary "The Glove?"Payton and Mr. Vanessa Williams (Rick Fox) to the Boston Celtics for Chucky "Not the Diet Guy" Atkins, Marcus "Could Be Money" Banks and Chris "Wishes He Made More Money" Mihm.

The Celtics also received a conditional first-round draft pick and cash in the deal and sent a second-round pick to the Western Conference champions.

So... I'm glad the Lakers got rid of Rick Fox. Actually, not true. I would have rather they kept him, so I could focus my disgust more easily instead of having to split it between two coasts (see also: Kobe Bryant is an Ass Clown). At least being located in Chicago will make it easier for me to heckle Mr. Williams' used-drug-dealer-John-Travolta-Greaseball-wannabe-pimp-and/or-player hairdo. Seriously, worst hair ever.

This is almost sort of one of the fairer trades I've seen this off season. At least it's got that going for it. And it will make these teams fun to watch. They should both be running their asses off to create offense, since the don't have any legitimate post players (well, okay, the Lakers do. I just hate to admit it... but any team could run their half court set through Vlade Divac and be sweet).

Fantasy Impact (Gotta Love the Glove)

Even with Shaq and Kobe on the team, Gary managed 14 ppg on 47% shooting last year. In Boston, there won't be any triangle "holding him back." His points should increase back to around the 19 or 20 he had with Milwaukee and Seattle in 2002, even though he is older. Being able to run with Paul Pierce and Ricky Davis should give him some good assist opportunities, and I would expect him to surpass the 5.5 he had with the Lakers. This clearly makes him a good early round selection for this year's fantasy drafts.

As for Rick Fox? I couldn't bear looking at his stats with his ugly mug staring at me.

Fantasy Impact (Chucky Atkins?)

Atkins will obviously be the starting point for the Lakers now (since Derek Fisher is gone and Payton went with this trade). He'll be less of an option than he was on the Celtics, however, since the Lakers still have more talent than the Celtics (and don't expect Kobe to give Chucky, let alone anyone else, his shots). Marcus Banks could be a sleeper, but I'm not ready to commit to that (maybe next year). He busted out a couple 20 point games last season, but he might get a little lost in the Lakers rotation. Both of them should be able to increase their assist totals since they'll have more reliable targets to get the ball to (as opposed to the 1 they had in Boston). Atkins has 5 apg and Banks 2 last year. If Chucky knows what's good for him, he'll be more selective with his shots, and work on getting the rock to his teammates. I wouldn't bother taking Banks unless your league is really deep. Atkins is a decent pick for mid-sized leagues or later rounds in 8 team leagues. Also he'd be fun to have on a team with someone like Eddy Curry, so you post the following in your league forum: "I'm gonna get Atkins on Eddy Curry so he can break his fat ass down and make him get some damn rebounds." Keep in mind that the recent signing of Damon Jones by the Heat makes him a better pick for a PG than either of the guys I just talked about.

Crawford traded... finally...

To quote this Yahoo article:

The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that guard Jamal Crawford has verbally agreed to a seven-year deal worth at least $56 million that will eventually land him in New York. The Bulls are planning on sending Crawford and forward Jerome Williams to the Knicks for forward Othella Harrington, guard Frank Williams, center Dikembe Motombo, and center Cezary Trybanski.

Crawford was the Bulls' leading scorer last season, but he never jelled with coach Scott Skiles, so his future was cloudy at best in Chicago. Even though the Knicks are paying him close to $60 million, he'll still have to fight for shots with Stephon Marbury and Allan Houston. Unless another deal is made (or until Houston gets hurt again), Crawford will see fewer opportunities in New York than he did in Chicago. As for the Bulls, Jamal's departure leaves minutes open for rookie Ben Gordon, if he is ready to handle them.

I'm not sure what made Chicago feel compelled to go through with this trade. It's almost like a bad fantasy league where people feel like just because someone proposes a trade they're compelled to somehow make it work out. For what the Bulls are getting, I would have rather kept an unhappy Crawford. I think the Bulls look more promising than the Knicks right now anyway, so I don't know why Crawford couldn't wait a little while. Sure, it'll be a couple years before they fully mature (if they don't ship off all the pieces they have in place now), and maybe it's just because I'm biased, but - even without Crawford - this Bulls team will be good. This trade, however, reminds me of one involving Elton Brand a few years ago...

Fantasy
Impact

As mentioned above, Crawford won't get as many shots in NY as he did in Chicago. This might actually help his percentage, though, since he may actually be forced to take good shots. Of course, if Stephon is tired out from the Olympics (at least somewhat), Crawford may become the Knicks best option, leading him to once again hoist the ball at will (see also: Antoine Walker).

Jerome Williams will probably fill up the hole that Othella Harrington is leaving, so you can expect those kind of numbers from him (they're pretty close to what he was doing already anyway).

Fantasy Impact

Frank Williams will be the backup point to Kirk Hinrich, and perhaps Jannero Pargo. This might be his chance to make a run at the shooting guard position, since he's fairly well suited for that (except for being undersized for a SG, but then, so is Ben Gordon). Othella Harrington (a la Vice Versa) will take over the role played by Jerome Williams, so you can probably expect those kind of numbers from him (6,6).

Frankly (haha! oops...) - no seriously - I'd like to see Hinrich, Gordon, Deng, Chandler, and Curry starting. Sure it would be probably the youngest starting line ever (except for maybe the one the Clippers use to have), but it would show promise of a brighter tomorrow. I realize Bulls fans have been blessed, so I shouldn't be complaining about having to wait for another championship caliber team, but I was in Portland when Jordan was in Chicago, so I didn't get to enjoy any of it!

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Corliss & Coleman

I not quite sure what to say about this trade. I mean, Philly wanted to get rid of Coleman, so that's cool, but does Detroit really need another big man? And why do the 76ers need Williamson? They've got Glenn Robinson (listed as SF), they've got Kedrick Brown, Kyle Korver, and they just drafted Andre Iguodala. I'm looking at their roster and I can't really figure it out.

Fantasy Impact (Corliss)

Corliss will probably be getting about the same playing time in Philadelphia as he did with the Pistons. He should be playing behind Glenn Robinson at the SF spot. He'll probably be good for 8-12 points and 3-4 rebounds. His 50% field-goal shooting is attractive. In fact, "We like that he has a high field-goal percentage," Sixers general manager Billy King said at yesterday's press conference in the Lexus room of the Wachovia Center. He did go on to support my doubts by saying "Nothing is going to be easy in training camp this season. Guys are going to be fighting and competing for starting spots, which is a good thing. With a young player like Andre [Iguodala] and other athletic guys like Brian [Skinner], Samuel [Dalembert] and Kedrick [Brown], I think we have a great mix of talent." I think by "athletic guys" he meant "small forwards." And by "fighting for starting spots" he meant "we have too many of them."

Fantasy Impact (Coleman)

Samuel Dalembert is going to see a lot of time at center now that Coleman is gone. He had 8, 8, and 2 blocks a game last year. He's a sleeping giant about to awaken. Count it.

As for Coleman, he'll be backing up the Wallaces in Detroit, along with Elden Campell and Antionio McDyess. I can't see him getting much more time than he had in Philadelphia, and as unimpressive as his numbers were there, I can't recommend him as anything more than a 6 and 6 if you're lucky. Combine that with his FG and Ft percentages and it's not looking good.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

The Iceberg is Getting Closer (Rodney Rogers leaves)

Rodney Rogers has jumped off the Nets ship for the Hornets. Good move Rodney. Someone on the Nets needs to warn the captain about the iceberg, 'cause right now Bruce Ratner is sitting in the hold of the ship guarding the treasure chests and can't see outside.

Fantasy Impact

Rogers is expected to start for the Hornets and should be able to post about 8 and 5. Not a sentence I'm going to end an exclamation mark with, but it might be enough for the deeper leagues out there. Ratner, on the other hand, is going for leagues about 20,000 times deeper than those Rogers will be valuable in.

Count it.

Bill Simmons on Team USA

This article from ESPN.com doesn't even require an Insider subscription!

He says pretty much everything pretty much everyone is thinking. I won't elaborate further (though I probably could)... since it doesn't really have a fantasy impact.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

'Toine's Gone

So it appears that Antoine Walker is going to be with Atlanta Hawks next season, and Jason Terry and Alan Henderson are going to be with the Mavericks (I just looked at the Mav's roster, by the way, and it's HUGE! - They have 19 people now that Toine has been cashed in for 2 more players).

Fantasy Impact (Antoine)

Antoine should be huge. He and Al Harrington are all the Hawks have going for them... Which may or may not be better than last season... When Walker was with Paul Pierce in Boston he put up about 20, 8, and 5 for about 4 seasons straight. I expect more of the same from him in Atlanta. "Put it up, Antoine! It'll go in eventually!" will certainly be what he thinks the crowd is chanting.

Fantasy Impact (Jason Terry)

The fantasy outlook is not so promising for Jason Terry. As I mentioned, he's going to the overloaded Mavericks. They have been clearning some space by getting rid of Fortson and Walker, but they still have players who are going to get more time with the rock than Terry. As the starting point guard (according to ESPN), Terry should be able to keep decent assist and rebound numbers. But with Dirk, Stackhouse, and Finley ahead of him in terms of options, his points are almost surely going down.

Kwame's Foot

According to this article, Kwame (Brown, not Jackson) will be ready for training camp after having foot surgery today. I'm sure if something goes wrong, the press will be alerted.

Fantasy Impact

It's too bad, because, as the article says, he was looking really good. He has been steadily (if slowly) improving since he joined the league. If he recovers as anticipated, he should maintain a draft position around where he was last year. With no real history of injury (not that he's been around long enough to have a history of anything), he should be a relatively low risk pick.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Sharee-ee-eef Don't Like It!

So we all know Shareef (I think we're on a first name basis), has been demanding to be traded from the Blazers so he can have a starting role somewhere else. To be honest, I don't blame him. I hate that players can demand trades and get them, but I think that in situation's like Shaq's and Shareef's it may be somewhat warranted. (Shaq deserved the trade just for putting up with Kobe so long) Shareef is going to be sitting on the bench behind Darius Miles and Zach "Zebo" Randolph. This much makes sense, especially after his play last season. But here's why I sympathize: The Blazers are not going to be good enough to come close to winning a championship for at least 3-4 years (sorry, but adding NVE is not going to do it), and by that time Shareef is going to be getting a little old. As someone interested in the fantasy aspect as well as the basketball of it all, I say, "get him to another team and let him put up the numbers he is capable of while he's still in his prime." It's too bad New Jersey shipped Kittles off to the Clips because with KK, NVE, Miles, Randolph, and Ratliff (healthy) the Blazers would have actually looked pretty good.

Fantasy Impact

If Shareef can't be traded, he'll be stuck on the bench as I mentioned above. He'll likely produce numbers equivalent to those from the second half of last season (after he was traded to Portland). If he remains in Portland, it may just upset him enough that he'll want to show other teams what they missed by not trading for him. Just as a big deal has been made about Shaq wanting to prove that he was the true money player in LA, Shareef will have a chip (granted, a much smaller chip) on his shoulder as well.

If Shareef does get traded to a team where he can be in the starting line up, we can expect numbers more a long the lines of those he has put up for most of his career (19, 9, 3).

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Danny Fortson

The title-linked article talks about Danny Fortson. While he was a fantasy bust last year, that wasn't so much his fault as the Mav's overloading their roster. Mark Cuban likes forwards, can you tell? Anyway, the article got me thinking about whether Fortson can get back to the 16 and 16 he had in 2000 (granted, he only played 6 games), or even the 11 and 11 he had in 2001 (playing in 77 games). That sure would make him a good pick-up. I'm not sure if it qualifies him as a sleeper...

If he can get back to a double-double average, the Sonics have pulled off one of the better trades I've seen in a while.

Fantasy Impact

The article mentions that he'll be competing for the PF spot with Vladimir Radmonovic, Reggie Evans, and Nick Collison. They also say the Radman will spend some time at SF, and that Collison may play the 5 against smaller centers. Both of those statements make sense. Collison hasn't played in the NBA yet, so his minutes will likely be limited as he gains more experience. Evans has been given minutes, but hasn't been able to produce like Fortson has in the past (at least not yet). Yahoo has Evans listed before Radmanovic on the Depth Chart, but I find that hard to believe.

Don't bother with Booth (who was traded for Fortson) unless your league is approaching 18 teams deep.