Tuesday, November 30, 2004

ESPN.com - NBA - New Orleans' Magloire out up to three months

"NEW ORLEANS -- New Orleans Hornets center Jamaal Magloire will be out up to three months with a dislocated right ring finger, the team announced Monday.

Magloire suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of the Hornets' 95-86 loss at Phoenix on Friday and had flown back to New Orleans for treatment. A release from the team said Magloire would be in a splint for eight weeks and in rehab for four weeks after that, but the injury would not require surgery."


Fantasy Impact

Magloire should be headed to the IL, so if that's available to you, stash him there. He was averaging 14 and 9 before the injury, so he's definitely worth keeping around. Magloire doesn't have a history of injury (having played 82 games for the past 3 seasons), so it will be interesting to see how quickly he can heal.

If you're one of those people who wants to buy low, you can probably try that with Magloire now, since he'll be back to help you make the patented 'late run' at the playoffs.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Yahoo! Sports - NBA - Anthony out of lineup with ankle injury

"DENVER (AP) -- Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony missed Monday night's game against the New Orleans Hornets because of a sprained right ankle.

The second-year player, averaging 19.6 points and 6.2 rebounds, missed his first game of the season. He is undergoing treatment and hopes to play in Thursday's game against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Anthony hurt the ankle in a win over Houston on Saturday. He was headed to the basket on a fast break when Bob Sura bear-hugged him and the two went tumbling out of bounds."


Fantasy Impact

Shouldn't be too impactful. No harm, no foul... wait a second...

Kirilenko may miss the next month

"News
Forward Andrei Kirilenko's knee injury may be more serious than originally thought. He will be place on the injured list and is expected to be out up to one month because of a sprained MCL in his right knee, according to ESPN. The injury was sustained on Saturday night against the Spurs.

Views
Fantasy owners will have to take Kirilenko, who is leading the league in blocks, out of their lineup and get used to see him on the bench for the next few weeks. Raja Bell and Matt Harpring will see extended minutes while Andrei is recuperating."


Fantasy Impact

HUGE!!! Well... mostly cause I'm playing a guy with AK on his team this week. :) But seriously, this guy has been a monster... having him on the IL is a downer the size of Utah itself. While Fanball expects Bell and Harp to see extended minutes, I'd expect Moke and C-Booz to bring their game up a few steps (kind of like Rocky, y'know... when he ran up those steps or whatever).

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Nash hurt in Suns' 7th consecutive triumph


"Team spokeswoman Julie Fie said Nash was cleared to play in Phoenix's game at Utah on Tuesday."


Fantasy Impact

One bad night for Nash owners... but it appears that he's ready to go. And he should have some time to rest with no game until Tuesday.

The Sports Network - 76ers Activate McKie from IL

"Philadelphia 76ers guard Aaron McKie was activated from the injured list prior to Friday afternoon's contest against the Washington Wizards.

McKie had been sidelined with a shoulder injury suffered against the New Jersey Nets on November 10. He strained his left rotator cuff while making a pass during the third quarter of Philadelphia's overtime win.

In five games this season, including three starts, McKie is averaging 1.0 points, 2.2 assists and 1.6 rebounds per outing. The Temple product was drafted by Portland with the 17th overall pick in the 1994 NBA Draft.

To make room on the roster for McKie, the 76ers placed guard Kevin Ollie on the injured list with a lower back strain. Ollie, who was traded to the Sixers along with Kedrick Brown by Cleveland for Eric Snow over the summer, has averaged 0.7 points and 0.3 rebounds in three games this season."


Fantasy Impact

Well, he's back, if that's what you mean. The impact here is pretty clear.

Shawn Marion & Yahoo

A concerned reader (as well as some forum posters) writes:


What's the deal with Shawn Marion not qualifying for PF in Yahoo! Leagues? This is extremely odd, because Amare qualifies as a Center. Look at the minutes of their last game:

Q. Richardson 40
S. Marion 42
A. Stoudemire 37
S. Nash 31
J. Johnson 42
L. Barbosa 22
C. Jacobsen 15
J. Voskuhl 11

The only players that could play center are Stoudemire and Voskuhl, and they combined for 48 mintes. So who's playing PF if it isn't Marion? Q-Rich? Joe Johnson? I've sent an email to one of Yahoo's fantasy guys, and you may want to put this link up for any of you readers that are equally annoyed:

http://add.yahoo.com/fast/help/us/sports/cgi_harmon


He's got a good point there. Of course, I don't have Marion on my team, so I'd encourage everyone to just wait and see if he gets eligibility, but if you want to write, I felt I couldn't deprive you of the link, since it was provided to me.

Jamaal Magloire to IL?


New Orleans center Jamaal Magloire broke his right ring finger in the final minute of Friday night's 95-86 loss to the Phoenix Suns.

With their top 2 scoring options down, the Hornets will be looking for David Wesley, Darrell Armstrong, & Lee Nailon to pick up the scoring load.

Lee Nailon is starting to look like a super waiver wire pickup right now.

I would guess that Chris Andersen will get the start at center. Andersen is mister block-o-matic, so he could be an excellent short term pickup for a team in need of blocks. Maybe PJ Brown could shift to center for periods each game, with David West coming in to play PF and grab more rebounds."


Friday, November 26, 2004

NBA Standings

In fantasy basketball sometimes, we tend to lost focus on the NBA as a whole with a focus more on individual players and performances. (At least I do this... when half way through the season, I realize I don't even know who'd make the playoffs right now)

So, this season I'm attempting to be more dedicated to the big picture. It's difficult when my "teams" are the Bulls (tied for last in the league right now) and the Blazers, who, despite a 6-5 record, wouldn't be in the playoffs right now. Which is why I wanted to comment on the league in the first place. I know the comparisons between East and West are as old as the sport itself... but lets just take a look:

As of the morning of Nov. 26th, the 8th place team in the west is Denver with a record of 6-5. Minnesota and Portland also have winning records at 6-5, tying them for 8th place. Minnesota! Tied for 8th! Also of note, the Clippers are 6-6 (50%) and the Rockets are 6-7 (46%).

Now for the East... 8th place goes to Detroit (another "!"), their record? 5-6 (45%). In 7th is New York, also 5-6. Indiana, best in the east is 9-3. Over in the West: Seattle, and Phoenix are at 11 and 10 wins respectively.

It's still early in the season, obviously (we're not even through with November yet)... but we all know that the sort of effort you need to give in the East to make the playoffs is no where near the caliber needed in the West. (On a personal note) this sort of thing has frustrated me to know end while rooting for the Blazers. If only the Bulls could put together even a mediocre team in the East, I'd have something to be happy about come playoff time. But, if both of my teams again fail to qualify, I can also take heart in hoping for the demise of the Lakers.

That's that.

ThePittsburghChannel.com - NBA - Cavs Activate Jackson From Injured List

"Cleveland, OH -- The Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday activated rookie guard Luke Jackson from the injured list.

Jackson had missed the past five games with right knee patella tendinitis. Jackson, who was the 10th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, played two minutes and scored a career-high four points in Wednesday's 92-76 win over Detroit."


Fantasy Impact

Given minutes, I can see Jackson being a good outside threat for the Cavs. Of course, Lebron opens things up for everyone, as does Ilgauskas on the inside. If Jackson can prove he can hit from the outside, he's got a chance.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Tim Thomas :(

"Nov 23 Thomas scored nine points on 1-of-9 shooting in 22 minutes Tuesday night in the Knicks' 104-88 victory over Atlanta.

Recommendation: Thomas' season continues to spiral and it can only be a matter of time before his role changes for the negative. The speculation in New York is that Allan Houston (knee), who may begin scrimmaging later this week, will start at small forward when healthy."


That's from Rotowire via Yahoo Sports... Not looking good for double T. He's still playing slightly better than Trevor Ariza, but mostly because he's getting more minutes. Could this be the end of the line for the Timinator?

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

CBS.SportsLine.com - NBA Clippers rookie to miss at least a month

"Los Angeles Clippers' rookie Shaun Livingston, a 19-year-old player taken with the fourth pick in the NBA draft, will miss at least two months because of a dislocated kneecap."


Fantasy Impact

Too bad... Livingston was showing signs of heating up. He probably wouldn't have been a real fantasy factor, except in very deep leagues, but the Clippers surely won't be in any rush to get him back in the lineup. He was averaging 5 pts, 2 rebs, and 2.6 assists.

CBS.SportsLine.com - NBA Nowitzki out 'some games'

"Dirk Nowitzki missed the Dallas Mavericks' game against Minnesota on Monday night and will miss several more because of a sprained ankle, adding the team's best player to an already lengthy list of hobbling players.

"We're kind of pleased with how he was walking today," Mavs coach Don Nelson said. "He will miss some games, not as serious as we thought when he first did it." "


Fantasy Impact

No telling as to how many games "some" is... He'll probably be out the rest of the week (3 games) ... And Dallas only has 3 games the following week. I'm sure there will be updates on his progress before then. Daily lineup changers can keep their ear to the ground. Weekly changers, check the news on Sunday and see if his status has changed. It's a tough call whether to take a possible 2 game week with a hobbled Dirk, or go with your backup...

Fantasy Basketball Meetup

As the title suggests, I've start a fantasy basketball category at Meetup.com. So, no one else can claim credit for that. Ha!

http://fantbball.meetup.com/

There is only one group (indeed, only one member) so far... If you like Fantasy Basketball (why else would you be here), go ahead and start up your own group for your locale. Or, if you live in/near Chicago, join the Chicago meetup! It'll be tons of fun once it's not just me hanging out with myself.

Count it.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Pacers-Pistons Video

The title links to a Detroit news station. If you run the video in Internet Explorer and set it to a high bandwidth you can get a fairly clear resolution. It's a video of the broadcast of the game.

I still haven't seen all the angles (things like the actual beer being thrown onto Artest, if such a shot exists, nor Jermaine tackling the guy who came onto the court). I hadn't seen Artest hitting another guy on the court, though.

I've been very hesitant to pass judgement - mostly because everyone else has probably covered every argument you could make. I'm of the opinion that both sides were in the wrong, and the whole thing was a chain of one poor decision after another.

It seems too callous to try to create a fantasy impact for this one, especially since it's pretty obvious what the ramifications are. If you want to solicit advice, you can try the FantasyRef forums, or RealGM forums. Needless to say, you can drop Artest. Keeping Jermaine, or trading him for someone who will produce about equal value are the only decisions you can make with him. Stephen Jackson is somewhat more hazy. Ben Wallace will be back next week. Everyone else should be back soon.

The best thing I can say is that it'll give everyone something to talk about at the watercooler - at least for a couple days.

That is all.

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

AOL vs. Yahoo (by Player)

Below is a comparison of Tim Duncan and Zach Randolph's games from tonight (11/21). You can see from the stats the if you're in a H2H league, you're probably more pleased with Duncan's numbers... +1 Reb, +1 Assist, +1 STL, +3 BLK, -3 TO... But Zebo comes out +6 Fantasy Points (at least the way AOL scores it). My guess is that for the beginner, the Fantasy Points system is easier since you only have to worry about amassing as many fantasy points as possible... whereas in a H2H league in Yahoo, you have to balance your team in as many categories as possible. I'm just happy to have Timmy and Zebo throwing down 74 fantasy points in my AOL league. Hawt.



PlayerFGM-A3PM-A FTM-AOREB REB ASTSTLBLKTOPF PTSFPTS
Duncan, Tim (C/F, SA) 8-20 0-0 10-15 7 15 2 1 3 3 3 26 34
Randolph, Zach (F, POR) 11-22 0-0 6-6 8 14 1 0 0 0 1 28 40

ESPN Fantasy Basketball 2005: Fantasy Spin: Suspensions hit hard

In case you hadn't heard... Here's the suspensions, and ESPN's fantasy impact analysis.

"The Pacers-Pistons brawl wasn't fun for anyone, but if you're the unlucky owner of one or more of the main combatants, chances are your fantasy basketball team will be feeling unlucky soon. And the fantasy basketball world will be very much affected by these ramifications, as three of these four players suspended - Indiana's Ron Artest and Jermaine O'Neal and Detroit's Ben Wallace - were among the best in the game and consensus top-three rounds draft picks recently, and surely owned in every league. The fourth player, the Pacers' Stephen Jackson, is owned in 99.4 percent of leagues. So these aren't irrelevant benchwarmers that fantasy owners can ignore. Someone in fantasy hoops may have all four of these players (I actually have three of them on one of my teams). With the announcement of the league suspensions - Artest will miss the season, O'Neal 25 games, Jackson 30 and Wallace 6 - here are the fantasy ramifications."

Friday, November 19, 2004

At least StatTracker isn't $9.95 anymore...

Yes, indeed. It appears that Yahoo has taken away any form of live updating of fantasy basketball statistics until I give them at least seven dollars and ninety-five cents.

If they keep up this way (ie: If AOL continues to give me free live scoring) only their pre-installed customer base will keep them afloat. As more and more things start to work in AOL, the more and more I start to like them better. Yahoo still has some features that are not even a glimmer in AOL's eye, but seeing as they've been around for at least 5 more years, I should hope that was the case.

Trading

The trading situation at each service has it's ups and downs. I like AOL's interface for creating trades better, since they show you both teams side-by-side. The player's names aren't hyperlinked on this page, but with the rate that AOL is improving, I can see that happening soon. Yahoo requires that you select players from the other team before decided who to give up from your own team. Not a daunting task, but it could certainly be better. They do make up for this, though, by showing you the players and their stats on the confirm page. However, as has been a gripe of mine since the beginning of my time with Yahoo, the stats are season totals (or weekly, or monthly totals). It's not that giving me season totals is necessarily a bad thing. But giving me season totals without saying how many games someone has played is a bad thing. That forces me to open up each player's profile page to be able to accurately compare them. (Remember, I don't have that great of a memory, so I have to switch back and forth between player profiles a lot - especially when a trade involves more than one player from each team).


Why Yahoo can't simply give averages instead of totals boggles my mind somewhat. Perhaps no one has informed them that this is a problem... I'm not saying they need to replace the season totals, since I'm almost sure that is relevant to some people (I can understand other's preferences, even though they may not match my own)... but couldn't they at least offer the option of viewing averages as well as totals? It doesn't seem like it would be that hard to implement.


Still not ready to declare a winner on the trade interface... The picking up and dropping of Free Agents is a dead heat as well.



CBS.SportsLine.com - NBA Bender out indefinitely with knee injury

"INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Indiana Pacers forward Jonathan Bender's chronically injured left knee has taken yet another turn for the worse.

Bender will be out indefinitely to allow scar tissue to heal, the latest in a series of injuries.

'It's not good,' Bender said after practice Thursday. 'The doctor's re-evaluated it and I'm going to sit out for (a while).'"


Fantasy Impact

Well... I'd say don't play him until he gets better.

NY Daily News - Isiah willing to deal Sweetney for Curry

"Isiah Thomas had another conversation with Chicago Bulls GM John Paxson in recent days, and it now appears that Thomas would be willing to trade Michael Sweetney for Eddy Curry.

Thomas, the Knicks president, believes that Sweetney has a big upside, but Sweetney is a power forward while Curry is a 22-year-old, agile 6-11 center. Several executives feel that Curry will flourish once he leaves Chicago, his hometown."


Hawtness!

If Chicago can deal Curry for Sweetney and Portland gets Vinsanity... this may well be the best basketball week I've known in a long time.

Update: Just wanted to throw this in: Bulls.Blogspot.com. I don't know how this trackback thing works... or else I'd track him back. Maybe some kind reader can help me out...

Fantasy Impact


Curry and Sweetney would both probably do better with this trade. On the one hand, NY could probably afford to let Curry play some PF (since they have a center or two... maybe...?). That's certainly his more natural position.

Sweetney would be the starting center for Chicago, would get lots of PT and would be surrounded by a team of talented youngsters. It would take any pressure off of him to perform (as I'm sure there is on everyone in New York). And it would make me happy.

ESPN.com - Stein: NBA scoring feeling Sonic boom

"In [another] remarkable chapter of the Sonics' stunning 7-1 start, on Tuesday in Philly, they became the first team ever to attempt more 3-pointers than two-pointers in one game, shooting 18-for-39 from behind the line and 18-for-38 inside it.

Ever."


That's crazy.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

FOXSports.com - Davis out with inflamed disc in lower back

"NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Hornets guard Baron Davis will miss at least five games after being put on the injured list Wednesday because of an inflamed disc in his lower back."


Fantasy Impact

doesn't seem like an inflamed disc is something that a person should go to the IL for... but then, I've never had one, so I shouldn't talk. Anyway, from my calculations, it appears Davis will miss 3 of 5 games for the Hornets next week. Too bad, because 5 game weeks are great for fantasy stars. Needless to say, take him out of your lineup for next week.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Dampier and Terry Hurt


"Dallas Mavericks center Erick Dampier left Tuesday night's game against Phoenix with strained hip, then guard Jason Terry was lost to a sprained ankle.

Both injuries were listed as day-to-day.

Dampier will skip practice Wednesday in hopes of being able to return Friday night at home against the New York Knicks.

'I'm going to take a little time off and see how it feels,' he said.

Terry will have an MRI Wednesday to determine the degree of his sprain. X-rays showed there was no break and the lack of immediate swelling left the Mavericks hopeful that he won't be on the shelf for too long.

Dampier was hurt late in the first quarter. He banged against a Phoenix player in the lane and grabbed his left thigh. He hobbled around until the next dead ball, then was helped to the locker room.

Terry went down seconds into the second quarter. He was chasing Phoenix guard Steve Nash when their feet became entangled and Terry rolled his right ankle. He also had to be helped to the locker room."


Fantasy Impact

Dampier sounds like he should be okay. If you've got Jason Terry, you might be a little more worried. Keep checking the news... Obviously if he hits the IL you can stash him there (in Yahoo), but usually an ankle roll isn't too bad. I think it may be because they import Canadian medicine not yet approved by the Fed to treat sports stars.

The difference between sleeping and awake

Just as important as picking sleepers for the year is to recognize who the sleepers were last year, and what their actual value is. Prime example: Samuel Dalembert. He was a sleeper last year, probably undrafted in many leagues, an unproven youngster who threw back 2.3 shots per game last year.

Flash forward: Everyone now knows who he is. He's on the map. 2.3 bpg will get you on the map. But 4th round on the map?? Dalembert was taking at the beginning of the 4th round of 5 drafts conducted on FantasyRef.com. (Quick... 12x4=48... +2 = 50. That means he's the 50th best player in the league? ) This is not just one draft, or one manager... 5 separate people in 5 separate leagues thought he was the 50th best player in the league.

Placing a proper value on awakened sleepers is every bit as important as picking new sleepers. It's these small battles where the wars are really won or lost.

Count it.

Update on AOL vs. Yahoo (aka Pt. 2)

This can be considered part 2 of my comparison of Yahoo and AOL's fantasy basketball services...

Results (aka Stats)

They've been changing things on nearly a daily basis since before the season started... and things still aren't all there. They did make it easier to find current and past results, but player-by-player results are still not available. You can only view your total points by position vs. the other team you're playing. As a friend put it "How hard is it to put the results in? Just tell me where to write the code, and I'll do it!"

I'll have to check again tonight, but I think Yahoo took away live updating when they ended their StatTracker free trial. If that is the case, and AOL continues to provide live updates while adding in a competent results page, I will change the winner of this category to AOL. If Yahoo thinks they can get away with charging me $7.95 just to have live updating they're wrong about that. That is something that should be free. I'm okay with them making me (and others) pay for StatTracker... but not providing results that can be refreshed on a web page is a basic necessity. Managers should be able to check those scores at night before they go to bed and not be forced to check in the morning after the games are all over.

Winner: Yahoo (cause I have yet to see all of AOL's results)

Trading/Free Agents

Evidently, AOL decided that since Yahoo only offered search of players by last name, they didn't need to do any better than that. Frankly, it kind of sucks. It's hard to spell some of these guys names. You think they could implement a partial work search so something like "James" would come up with LeBron, Jerome, and even James Posey... Really, how hard would that be? As my friend said "How hard is it [to look up guys by last and first name]? Just tell me where to write the code, and I'll do it!" It's probably in SQL right?

That said... I like AOL's system for Trading and picking up Free Agents. That really means that it works, and it's a fairly painless process. Oops... I just checked, I'm not sure that you can pick up free agents anymore... You see, this is the growing pains AOL is going through.

Winner

Draft

That's right! The draft tab is still there! Thank you AOL!!!! Where are the draft results on Yahoo?? Can you find them? And when you do, can you sort them by round, team, position, etc.? I didn't think so.

Winner: AOL

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

ESPN.com: Page 2 - Them is crazy numbers

"The numbers were an extension of my devotion. Like a monk transcribing sacred texts in some cloistered bell tower, I scribbled and figured as a measure of commitment."


I like this article, and Eric Neel's obsession with numbers... I'm a numbers guy myself (not a great one, mind you - I don't have a great memory), so it heartens me to see others who pore over numbers like I do. Sometimes, I just sit there and watch StatTracker(TM).

The Sports Network - McGrady back in Rockets' lineup

"Houston Rockets All-Star guard Tracy McGrady returned to the court Monday during the team's 80-69 victory over the New Jersey Nets at Continental Airlines Arena.

McGrady, who had missed the Rockets' last two contests due to a strained right hip flexor, scored 14 points in 38 minutes. The NBA's leading scorer in each of the past two seasons looked rusty at times, hitting just 6-of-15 shots and managing just one rebound. However, McGrady did dish out four assists and racked up four steals in a solid all-around outing."


Fantasy Impact

McGrady is clearly not "back" yet... Although 4 steals is a good thing. But as a first round pick in most leagues, we have to expect more from him. The Rockets are playing 5 games this week, though, so if McGrady can put in some time in all of those games, it should be a good week for him. Playing that much coming off an injury might not be a good idea, though, especially for someone like McGrady. I don't see him playing major minutes against Atlanta or the Clippers, since the Rockets should be able to win those games without a lot of input from him.

The Sports Network - Bobcats activate 2 from IL

"Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) - The Charlotte Bobcats Monday activated guard Keith Bogans and forward/center Jamal Sampson from the injured list.

Bogans was acquired by Charlotte on November 1 in a trade with Orlando that sent Brandon Hunter to the Magic. The 6-5, 215-pound Bogans played in 73 games as a rookie and averaged 6.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists per outing."


Fantasy Impact

We all know that Bobcats players are virtual gold mines when it comes to fantasy basketball... the key is picking the right ones. Put Bogans on your watch list and see how much PT he gets. 6.8, 4.3, and 1.3 for a rookie could me big things for someone on the Bobcats.

Monday, November 15, 2004

P.O.V

Here's another feature - which I can perhaps run every Monday - called POV. It's the fantasy basketball world from my point of view... This Monday, I have an interesting observation about who's carrying my team (no small feat, considering how much I'm struggling). This week, the "carrying the team" gameball goes to a trio of white guys and the man who some thought would never play again: 1. The Illest Gauskas, 2. Keith Van Helsing, 3. Lou Rid, and my 6th round draft choice: Grant Hill.

Gilbert Arenas played well, too, but as my second round choice, I expect him to do his part.


"'Ridnour -- or whatever the hell his name is -- he knocked down a lot of shots, too,' Grizzlies center Lorenzen Wright said."


And that's just my Yahoo team.

I went with Illgau and Van Wilder on my AOL team and both pretty much won me their respective categories (Center and Forward). Sure Timmy D helped out in the Forward cat, but I was losing it going into Sunday before Keith Von Trapp pulled 37 fantasy points out of his rectal cavity. I don't care that he couldn't come through and win it for the Bucks (sorry, Bucks fans), cause he won it for me. And in fantasy basketball, that's all that counts!

On a side note, how much do I love fantasy points? It's so much better than Yahoo's H2H category stuff... I don't really like how AOL gives you 2 points for an offensive rebound and 1 for everything else... but, I still like the idea of the fantasy point system.

If you've read this far... go ahead and leave me a comment on who's carrying your team.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Tracy McGrady - Start/Bench?


"Nov 14 Tracy McGrady missed his second straight game, a loss to the Lakers on Saturday, with groin and hip injuries. 'Every time I try to explode, there's a sharp pain,' McGrady told the Houston Chronicle. 'It's going to be a process that's going to be lingering around. Whether or not I can tolerate the pain, that's going to be the question.'

Views: McGrady remains day-to-day, and the Rockets have a back-to-back early in the week. With four games this week, it will be tempting to use T-Mac in your lineup, but we recommend that you strongly consider an alternative if he's got three or four games. T-Mac could easily sit both Monday and Tuesday before returning late in the week."


Fantasy Impact

I have to agree with Fanball on this one. If you've got someone who's going to be playing 3-4 games, I'd take them over McGrady this week. Luol Deng, I'm looking at you.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

ESPN.com - NBA - Nets' Mercer (knee surgery) could miss 6 weeks


"EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New Jersey Nets guard Ron Mercer is scheduled to undergo left knee surgery Monday and could be sidelined for up to a month.

Signed to a two-year, $3.3 million deal in the offseason, Mercer averaged 9.3 points in his first three games. He sat out the last two games with a swollen knee."


UPDATE

The New Jersey Nets Saturday placed guard Ron Mercer on the injured list. Mercer is scheduled to undergo left knee surgery on Monday and could be out of action for up to four weeks.



Let's see how quickly Yahoo updates...

Yahoo! Sports - NBA - James Posey on Injured List


"Nov 12 As feared, Posey has landed on the injured list of the Memphis Grizzlies. The swingman, who averaged 13.7 points per game in 2003-04, has been limited by a sprained right foot since the beginning of training camp, and he has just 11 points in three contests this season. Forward Ryan Humphrey was activated to fill the void on the roster.

Advice: Shane Battier will continue to start for the Grizzlies in Posey's absence. The team does not have a timetable set for Posey's return, but he will be forced to miss at least five more games."

Friday, November 12, 2004

More Bandwagoneering

Jumping On

Marquis Daniels - as if you didn't know...
Amare Stoudemire - Is there such a thing as a top 20 sleeper?
Trevor Ariza - Knicks rookies looking better than vets... and getting the PT to match
Jason Hart - He's hot and on the Bobcats - a winning combo!

Jumping Off

All of the Bulls - show me the consistency!
Eddy Curry - gets mentioned twice (by union)... he can't possibly be traded somewhere where he'll have more opportunity to demonstrate his talent...

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Mavs' Finley to miss some time


"Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Dallas Mavericks guard Michael Finley is expected to miss Thursday's game against the Miami Heat with an ankle injury.

The 31-year-old Finley suffered a second-degree ankle sprain during Tuesday night's loss to the Orlando Magic. X-rays taken after the game were negative.

Finley, the 21st overall pick in the 1995 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns, is averaging 17.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists in five games this season.

The injury could sideline the Wisconsin product for the next four to five games. Dallas is 4-1 on the young 2004-05 season."


Fantasy Impact


The Mavs play three more games this week (including the one on Thursday). They only play three games the week after that. At 4-1, they're probably not likely to rush Finley back too soon. If you're in a league with weekly lineup changes, I'd be hesitant to put him in next week. Keep a close eye on the news, and be sure to check for any updates on Sunday.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Yahoo! Sports - NBA - Suns 94, Bulls 74


"Phoenix held the Bulls to 33 percent shooting, including a dismal 1-of-21 from 3-point range."


I can't help but think: "1-21, one sip'll make a [person] flip." What's that from? Snoop? Dre? Something like that...

Oh, those lovabulls... There is so much fantasy potential there... Maybe next year when Deng and Nocioni have more consistency and Eddy Curry gets his mammoth-sized derriere out of Chicago...

If this were a fantasy league, you might be able to convince a newbie to trade you Amare for Curry and Chandler: "Look, I've got two guys who can do as much (well, almost as much) as your one guy, plus they have like 20 years experience on him. They've got the potential to be like two of your guy." Maybe the Bulls can resign them to huge 1-year deals and then trade them to a team who wants salary cap space.

NBA.com: T-Mac Hurt in Rockets Victory


"After McGrady, a two-time scoring champion, went to the locker room with an apparent hip injury after the third quarter, Howard scored eight of Houston's first 10 points in the fourth period. "


Fantasy Impact

Well, I was wondering how all of a sudden Juwan Howard had 20 points. Yes, I was refreshing my browser over and over during Veronica Mars last night.

More importantly however, is my girlfriend's basketball team, on which she made T-Mac her #1 draft pick. McGrady said after the game "Right now, I don't know if I will be ready to go next time," McGrady said. "But right now, we'll treat it and see how it is tomorrow. As of now, I don't think I could play, but I don't want to look at it like that. I definitely want to come out and try to play Thursday."

I'm hoping that McGrady (no stranger to playing hurt) lets it rest this time. He doesn't have to carry the team like he did in Orlando, so for his long-term health's sake, I think he should take a game off.

Knicks-Sixers Recap from KnickerBlogger.Net

KnickerBlogger.Net: "he Knicks big guys were either to join in the perimeter attack (Kurt Thomas on the pick & roll) or do what Nazr Mohammed did. The Knicks' starting center scored the first of his two first quarter field goals by waiting for a guard to dish the ball after being doubled team on a penetration drive. The second one Nazr earned with an offensive rebound and put back.

However things changed with about 3 minutes left. The Knicks dumped the ball in the low post to Michael Sweetney. It seemed natural to see New York work out of the post. Sweetney didn't spin continuously in the paint & muscle his way to a jump hook like Larry Johnson used to. He didn't hold the ball for 10 seconds and drive toward the middle to take a strong running shot in the lane like Patrick Ewing did in his day. Instead the second year player deftly spun to the paint and gently dropped a finger roll into the net.

In fact Sweetney asked for the ball two more times at the start of the second quarter, and the Knicks feed it to him for post-up scores. The announcers declared it was the first time they've ever seen him asking for the ball. That's a long way from the 'wide-eyed rookie' I described him as less than a year ago."

Fantasy Impact

It appears that everyone who's wanted to get up in Mike Sweetney's jock (and those who have been lucky enough to actually get there) have been rightly justified. I, on the other hand, picked Tim Thomas. I'll justify that by saying that I was going for a small ball team for the first time ever, and perhaps I didn't have all "nuances" quite right... I'm 3-5 so far in Yahoo with my small ballers, and tied at 4-4 so far this week... in case anyone cares.

ESPN.com - NBA - Recap


"Chris Webber had 21 points, 11 rebounds and 11 of the Kings' 31 assists in their first victory of the season, 108-92 over the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night."


Fantasy Impact

That means 10 extra Fantasy Points for AOL managers who have signed Webber. Not a bad way to roll into week two.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Brevin Knight won't be starting Wednesday (11/10/04)

Charlotte Bobcats point guard Brevin Knight said Tuesday he is definitely out of Wednesday's road game against the Milwaukee Bucks after spraining his left wrist in Saturday's victory against the Orlando Magic.

That's from the Charlotte Observer... which I'd link to, but they want me to register with them. Sorry, guys. Not gonna happen.

Fantasy Impact

If you've got Knight on your team (and I think people might since everyone who can make a basket on the Bobcats is considered Fantasy Gold) and you can make daily changes... you probably want to put him on the bench.

Monday, November 08, 2004

It's a little something called: The Bandwagon

It's so easy, especially at the beginning of the season, to drop players you drafted for other players who tear it up in their first couple of games (Bobby Simmons, anyone?). It's fun to read people's posts on discussion boards... "Adonal Foyle hasn't blocked any shots, should I drop him?" (Well, I wouldn't have picked him in the first place, but now that you got him... give him more than 2 games!)

So, here it is - sure to be at least a weekly feature on GMTR - The Bandwagon! Yee-ha!

Jumping On

Danny Fortson - didn't I tell you he was a sleeper? I did...
Bobby Simmons - can he keep it up? Where is he hiding the steroids?
Alonzo Mourning - Can you say Kidd-knee? (Oh, lord, I think I just killed myself with that one!) OR: What you didn't is that it was a Bionic Kidney!
Antonio McDyess - he scored 9 points! Is he back???
Fred "Don't call me Freddie" Jones - with all those injured on the Pacers, someone's gotta score, right?

Jumping Off

Chucky Atkins - pass the ball to Kobe and he scores... where's the assists?
Luke Ridnour - Sophomore slump? Or just too many injuries for the Sonics?
Adonyl Folye - 4 blocks in 3 games? That's not 2.5 blocks per game! What's wrong with him?
Ben Gordon - 0 for 6 while Luol Deng and Andrews Nocioni tear it up into double OT... Oh, but he came back with 17 the next game. I'm still on board with the Gord.

--

Speaking of Jason Kidd... one of the places the Nets are looking to trade him is San Antonio... couldn't he just as easily have signed with them a year ago and avoided demanding a trade? Did he actually think the Nets were going to beat Indiana and/or Detroit when he re-upped?

Count it!

Sprained ankle delays Brown's return

Story here:

"Kwame Brown now has a sprained left ankle to go along with his broken right foot, probably delaying his return to the Washington Wizards until December.

Brown sprained the ankle during practice last week. He has been recovering from surgery on a broken bone in his right foot, which he injured during a summer pickup game.

While there had been no firm timetable for Brown's return, he previously said he hoped to practice at full speed by the end of the month. He said Sunday the ankle injury most likely will sideline him until December."


Fantasy Impact

I think everyone was expecting KB to bust out this year, but for now at least, he's just looking busted. At least he's on the IL (on Yahoo at least), so you can pick up someone to fill in for him.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Comparing Services (AOL & Yahoo)

We'll start the first of this multi-part series with comparing the various set-up and draft features available in the two leagues. (If anyone wants to add a comparison of other services like ESPN or CBS Sportsline, feel free to comment or email me)

Setting up the league

Both services provide Roto and H2H options. Yahoo! also provides a Points based system, but, considering that AOL's system is kind of inherently points-based, it's not surprising they don't offer this option. Of course, AOL only lets you use their point values... perhaps in the futute you can give up your chance to win a Plasma TV for the chance to choose the point values for your league.

AOL only offers 10 or 12 team leagues... and their set-up options seem more obscure or hidden, but that might be because I had prior experience with Yahoo. Another drawback of AOL's league setup is the inability to change options once the league is created. If you choose a live draft, and decide you want to change to an email draft, you have to create an entirely new league to do so. I even emailed support and they confirmed that this was the case.

At the same time, AOL's limited options for league setup actually make it easier - especially, I imagine, for beginning commissioners. If you don't plan plan out your Yahoo league in advance, it can take a while to wade through all the options they offer until you've atually got a league.

Both services need to have better help available during the league creation prcess. Something like pop-up windows would be nice.

The Draft

AOL seemed to have a wider array of draft times (no matter what kind of draft you choose to run), but that could be because this is their first year and don't have as many participants as Yahoo does. AOL also supports an email draft - which, frankly - is awesome. It's identical to a slow live draft that people implement via bullentin board, or with the commissioner emailing the league. AOL does all the emailing and lets you set the time limit for picks.

Draft List

AOL's draft list is clunky, but I noticed that they improved it between the time I set up my league, and when I participated in the draft. They added an option to move a player to a number that you input, which is nice. Yahoo doesn't have that option, but the rest of their draft list interface is much smoother. It doesn't require refreshing the page after every change, but it still involves a tremendous amount of clicking to move players around. It's improved over last year's, but it's not (and neither is AOL's) as good as I'd like.

Trading Draft Picks

I don't see a way (other than offline draft) with either service to trade picks during the draft. This probably doesn't matter to a lot of people, but in my offline draft (with more experienced players), there was quite a bit of pick trading taking place. Just something for them to look at implement (particularly AOL with the email draft).

--

Okay... that's enough for now. As we go on into the season, I'll review both services Live Score Tracing features, Player Trading and Free Agent Pick-Up interfaces, User Interfaces in general, integration of NBA news as well as integration with other services offered by the companies. Scoring in the leagues will also be covered in a future post - probably by itself... cause it's a big difference.


Friday, November 05, 2004

My Teams: Yahoo (FantasyRef) League

This league is 12 teams, H2H, with 16 players on each team. I was picking 11th out of 12. Standard categories. I traded my second round pick down to get two picks in the 6th round (that's why I didn't have a pick in the 16th round)

PG - Gilbert Arenas, Wizerdz (2.12)
SG - Paul Pierce, Celtics (1.11)
G - Michael Finley, Mavericks (3.11)
SF - Kieth Van Horn, Bucks (5.11)
PF - Juwan Howard, Rockets (8.02)
F - Grant Hill, Magic (6.02)
C - Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Cavs (4.02)
C - Mehmet Okur, Jazz (7.11)
Util - Latrell Sprewell, Wolves (6.12)
Util - Tim Thomas, Knicks (9.11)
Bench - Ben Gordon, Bulls (10.02)
Bench - Trevor Ariza, Knicks
Bench - Luke Ridnour, Sonics (12.02)
Bench - Damon Jones, Heat
Bench - Troy Hudson, Wolves
Bench - Nick Van Exel, Blazers (15.11)

My Teams: AOL Keeper League

This team is in a 10-team H2H keeper league (that means you start 4 guards of any kind, 4 forwards of any kind, and 2 centers. Leaving 2 players on the bench. If I had my say, I would have added another 2 players to the bench spots, or else made you only start 3 guards and forwards). I had the 2nd pick in the draft.

G: Hamilton, Richard (G, DET)
G: Jones, Fred (G, IND)
G: Redd, Michael (G, MIL)
G: Tinsley, Jamaal (G, IND)
F: Duncan, Tim (F, SA)
F: Croshere, Austin (F, IND)
F: Randolph, Zach (F, POR)
F: Van Horn, Keith (F, MIL)
C: Ilgauskas, Zydrunas (C, CLE)
C: LaFrentz, Raef (C/F, BOS)
B: Wallace, Ben (C/F, DET)
B: Nocioni, Andres (F/G, CHI)

Yahoo! Sports - NBA - Voshon Lenard likely out for the season

Yahoo! Sports - NBA - Voshon Lenard: "Nov 3 Starting shooting guard Voshon Lenard suffered what has been diagnosed as a torn left Achilles tendon in Tuesday's season-opening loss to the Lakers. Lenard will undergo an MRI on Wednesday, but trainer Jim Gillen told the Rocky Mountain News Lenard will undergo surgery and that there is a 'definite possibility' Lenard is done for the year.

Views: Since the team's only backup shooting guards are Greg Buckner and Rodney White, neither of whom are good enough to get serious minutes there, the Nuggets are likely to patch together a lineup based on matchups from game to game. Coach Jeff Bzdelik said Carmelo Anthony is likely to get more minutes at the two, but we'll also probably see more of Earl Boykins and Andre Miller in the same backcourt. In that case, the team will have to look for a third point guard to back up both Boykins and Miller. We'll have to wait and see exactly how the minutes shake out, but Boykins may be the biggest beneficiary of this injury, while Lenard owners will have to look elsewhere for scoring and three-point shooting. Also, if Carmelo gets enough starts at the two to qualify as a guard in your league, his value would increase as well."

AOL Fantasy Sports - Dallas Situation

Read this article if you have players on Dallas and are frustrated (which, unless you've got Dirk, you probably are).

Thursday, November 04, 2004

ESPN.com: Page 2 - Let's get it started ...

ESPN.com: Page 2 - Let's get it started ...:

"'I'm banking on the inevitable Vince trade, followed by the Ewing Theory carrying them to the playoffs. Done deal. Etch it in stone. I don't care if they trade him to the Clippers for Kerry Kittles, Mamadou N'Diaye, Papadou N'Diaye and Frankie Muniz ... they're making the playoffs. I'm not sure how many times this needs to happen before you believe me.

Here's the bigger issue ...

Now that the Sox have won the World Series, here's my new sports wish for 2004. And I'm not kidding about this. Just once in my lifetime, when this situation unfolds like with Vince and the Raptors, I want to see the team say, 'You know what? Screw you. You signed a contract to become our franchise player, and now you don't want to live up to that obligation? Fine. You're sitting on the bench. Don't worry, we'll pay you. You'll get your checks. You're just getting a DNP for the next five years. We're making an example out of you. You will never play for us again. And you won't play anywhere else, either.'

Imagine that. Vince banished to the bench, game after game, month after month, until he shapes up and stops bitching about playing for Toronto. It would be the sports equivalent of sending a prisoner to the hole. Like every NBA fan wouldn't be rooting for the Raptors after that?"


Thank you Bill Simmons. This is why he gets paid to write, and I just have my little ol' blog... :)

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Sprewell takes hard line on deal with Wolves

Sprewell takes hard line on deal with Wolves

Sprewell is basically demanding to be traded if he doens't get a contract extension. Okay, he's stupid, but he's on my team...

Fantasy Impact

This is going to bad until he either gets a deal or gets a trade. I don't think he's going to play well while unhappy... but if he gets traded to someone like the Hawks (please, Lord, please) his fantasy value will increase dramatically.

Rant

How did the NBA get to the point where unhappy players control everything? Sprewell is making more money than most people make in their life, and he wants more??? I'm sorry, dude, bite the bullet... Especially since he's playing on a "winning" team. For anyone's sake, does it get much better than that? Sure, it's not Bill Gates good, but it ain't all that bad either... I hope the Wolves don't give him an extension, and I hope no one else does either. Teams are so concerned about the salary cap and the luxury tax, they need to make players realize they can't pay them as much as they'd like to think they're worth.

Okay, enough editorializing...

Maybe Spree for Vince? Yeah, send him to the Raptors and kill 2 birds with 1 trade.

FOXSports.com - Allan Houston to start season on injured list

FOXSports.com - Allan Houston to start season on injured list: "Houston will start the season on the injured list because of chronic pain in his left knee. He sat out the final 32 games of the regular season and the playoffs last season with knee pain. He averaged 18.5 points for the Knicks, who were swept by the New Jersey Nets in the first round."

Fantasy Impact

Did anyone _not_ know that Houston has a history of injuries? If you drafted him, throw him over on the IR and see who's on the FA list...

ThePittsburghChannel.com - NBA - Cavs Place Wagner, Diop On IL

ThePittsburghChannel.com - NBA - Cavs Place Wagner, Diop On IL: "Cleveland, OH -- The Cleveland Cavaliers announced their opening night roster on Monday and guard Dajuan Wagner and center DeSagana Diop were among those placed on the injured list."

Just in case you were wondering... Not a good sign for old D-Juan... his stock has been dropping since he entered the league... I don't see it coming up any time soon.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Rookie to fill Nash's old spot


DALLAS -- Rookie Devin Harris, not veteran Jason Terry, will open the season as the Dallas Mavericks' starting point guard.

The Mavericks acquired Harris, the fifth overall pick in the draft, to eventually replace Steve Nash as the leader of their fast-paced offense. When Nash left in free agency and Dallas acquired Terry from Atlanta to help ease Harris into the lineup.

But Harris was so impressive in the preseason that coach Don Nelson decided to hand over the reins from the start -- Tuesday night at home against Sacramento.

"I'm looking forward to the opportunity and trying to make the most out of it," Harris said.



Fantasy Impact


That's pretty huge. We'll see how Harris deals with the pressure. For the time being though, picking him up to fill a PG position is probably not a bad move. He doesn't lack for people to pass to, that's for sure.

Yahoo! Sports - NBA - Bobcats trade Hunter to Magic for Bogans

Yahoo! Sports - NBA - Bobcats trade Hunter to Magic for Bogans:

"CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- The Charlotte Bobcats traded forward Brandon Hunter to the Orlando Magic on Monday in exchange for guard Keith Bogans.

Bogans was selected out of Kentucky by Milwaukee with the 43rd overall pick in the 2003 draft but was traded to Orlando on draft night. He appeared in 73 games as a rookie, averaging 6.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists.

Hunter was picked by the Bobcats in the expansion draft after playing his rookie season in Boston, averaging 3.5 points and 3.3 rebounds in 36 games."


Fantasy Impact

On a team like the Bobcats, Bogans could tear something up. He looks to be a better option than Eddie House as a backup SG, and could become the starting SG if he proves good enough to let Gerald Wallace take Jason Kapono's spot at SF. Bogans has a better outside game than Wallace, so he'd seem like a better fit at SG.

The Magic should be able to use Hunter after stacking themselves up somewhat at the G positions... I don't seem him getting enough time to be of any real fantasy value, but I'll let you know if that changes.

Count it.