Monday, January 31, 2005

Central Starr (1/31/05)

Today's Central Starr is: Al Harrington
Line for 1/31/05: 57%/0%/0/16/6/9/4/1/2
One 3-pointer short of a Marionesque stat line.

The runner-up for today is Dwight Howard:
Line for 1/31/05: 60%/100%/0/16/11/0/0/6/2
Any time a guy puts up 6 blocks, 60% from the field, and 100% from the stripe, it's a good night. Combine that with the double-double and you can almost see the money falling from the sky.

Count it.

Rick D's Weekly Top 10 (week ending 1/30)

So, first of all, it's pretty awesome that Yahoo offers somewhat "static" web pages... like the one I linked to in the title of this post... so you can see what I see exactly! At least until tomorrow when more games will have been played. It's what those in the corporate world might call "a view."

So, here it is (making it permanent - with Yahoo's O-Rank/Season Rank in [] ):
1. Allen Iverson [16/16]
2. Lebron [13/3]
3. Damon Stoudamire [122/24]
4. T-Mac [4/5]
5. Gilberto [22/8]
6. Dirk [5/2]
7. Q-Rich [92/9]
8. C-Webb [23/29]
9. Kyle Korver [201/18]
10. Marcus Camby [52/53]

Once again we've got some players who are ballin' outta control. Those would be Damon, Quentin, and KK. Camby is relatively BOC, but his season has been about what Yahoo expected of him.

Does anyone know how long Damon can possibly last? This seems somewhat unprecedented to me...

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Kobe Watch (1/30)

They said before the Heat/Rockets game today that Kobe would be out until Feb. 15th. Happy Valentine's Day to all Kobe owners! Or... to those who get to play Kobe owners until then. :)

Friday, January 28, 2005

Skiles' 12 man rotation

I was at this game (Bulls v. Bobcats, in case you were wondering; and I'm 2-0 now in live games)... I can't explain it. It didn't seem like the starters were letting the game get out of hand, sure they got outscored at the beginning fo the second half, but they bounced back; they were fighting. I think Skiles is lucky that his starters are all so young, or the short leash he has on them would break as the ran away from him.

My theory is this: This was the 3rd game in 4 days, and maybe Skiles felt the starters were tired... Also, the Bulls are playing Boston on Saturday (their 4th game in 6 days), so resting the starters is not a bad idea... especially if the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th men can still win the game.

I would view this more as an isolated incident of bizzare coaching (okay, so maybe not, but this is certainly at the extreme end of the Skiles Scale) ... and I wouldn't go out trying to find someone to replace Ben Gordon, Luol Deng, or even Chris Duhon. They all played pretty decently, and I don't understand why Ben Gordon didn't get more time AT ALL.

On the other hand, as a Bulls fan, it was impressive to see Pike, Wildman, and JP take over the game. JP (Jannero Pargo, for those who don't know) hit at least two pull-up jumpers over the long reach of Emeka Okafor, who could do nothing but shake his head in disbelief. He wasn't the only one with a bobble head last night, though...

Deng was on fire and I can't believe the didn't keep riding him for longer... Also, it wasn't like Skiles didn't substitue at all during the 4th quarter, cause he did bring in Adrian Griffin. I guess maybe they're all bench buddies and play more together in practice or something? It nearly defies description.

The final thought though is as I said before: It's unlikely to happen again. Perhaps in the 3rd week of February (4 games in 5 days), but that will be after the All-Star break, so the guys should be more rested. Maybe in late March when the games start piling on... but they'll probably be battling for a play-off spot at that point, so perhaps Skiles will recognize that the starters are starters for a reason and let them win games. Deng, Duhon, and Gordon probably aren't the be-all and end-all of your team (if they are, you've screwed up somewhere along the way), so keep an out for times when the Bulls play frequently, especially against poorer teams.

Next time, Skiles, give ME the rock.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Other Jefferson injured

BOSTON (AP) -- Celtics forward Al Jefferson, the team's top pick in last year's draft, left Wednesday night's game against the Indiana Pacers with a high ankle sprain and is expected to miss at least four weeks.

Paul Pierce Monday-Morning Quarterbacking:

Celtics forward Paul Pierce said Jefferson doesn't regularly tape his ankles for games, a mistake Pierce made as a rookie, too. "Hopefully, you're listening, Al," Pierce said to TV cameras after the game. "Got to tape those ankles, baby."

Thanks for that, Paul.

Fantasy Impact

Jefferson had been playing well, and getting more and more minutes and, I'm sure, to some was a Free Agent Savior.

Now that he's out, expect Walter McCarty to make a bid to step up his game to get the trade he wants. Good luck with that, Walter.

Jefferson's abscence also makes more time for Kendrick Perkins, who's playing time was already ratcheting up. As were his stats... 4 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2 blocks in 17 minutes over the last 5 games. Of course, Boston will probably let Mark Blount and Raef LaFrentz stay in the game longer now. Blount has been pretty average, not doing much considering the minutes he's had. LaFrentz, on the other hand, has been a pretty good option as a FC in most leagues. With 80% from the line, and 0.8 threes/game, he fills in spots that other centers don't usually give you. I'm a little worried about him putting more playing time on that knee, but if it holds up, you can look for a slight bump in his stats.

Count it.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

ive e he ock

Is everybody ready to pick and roll at the new Give Me The Rock?

Well, if you weren't before... you probably aren't now, considering nothing has really changed. Just the URL (aka web address). I'd tell you to update your RSS feed again, but if you're reading this then you already have or you're just reading it on the website, choosing to remain blissfully ignorant of the powerhouse technology known as RSS.

Whatever the case, I hope you enjoy Give Me The Rock.

ount t.

Pau Gasol to IL, please

Yahoo! Sports - NBA - Pau Gasol: "Jan 25 According to Memphis Grizzlies head coach Mike Fratello, Gasol could miss at least two weeks with an undisclosed left foot injury. As a result, the forward, who is the team's leading scorer and rebounder this season, has been placed on the injured list for the first time in his four-year NBA career. Ryan Humphrey was activated to fill the void on the roster."

Fantasy Impact

Stromile Swift likely will step into the starting lineup during Gasol's absence. Too bad for a friend of mine who needed Swift's extra output last week when he lost by 5 points at Center in my AOL league. (Combine that with Kobe's injury, and Amare's subpar performance due to Steve Nash's injury, and that same friend went 0-4 last week. Ouch.) Gasol's injury also opens up time for Brian Cardinal, who has not quite been doing what he does... or is supposed to do. Last time Gasol was out, Cardinal played 22, 31, and 35 minutes and did a little bit more of what he's supposed to do. I wouldn't say he's a must have, but if you've got someone averaging less than 9, 6, and 2 and need a Forward with a good FT% and the capability of hitting 3's, then he's your man until Gasol gets back.

In 39 games this season, Gasol has averaged 18.9 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.5 blocked shots in 33.9 minutes per contest. Swift clocks in at 9.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, 0.7 assists 0.5 steals and 1.8 block shots in 21 minutes per game.

Which one is the Hawks "Other Josh?"

Josh Smith: If he's not already picked up in your league. He should be. As in, you should pick him up. He's been playing well enough to get off the free agent list (taken by me) in my 10 team league. How good is that, you ask?

His last 5 games:
34 minutes, 43% FG, 72% FT, 9.4 rebounds (including 3.8 offensive), 2.4 assists, 1.2 steals, 1.8 blocks, and 8.6 points. The points, obviously, are the weak part, but as a GF, he does a good job filling in the other stats and provides you with versatility. Make sure you can handle his 2.6 turnovers before you bring him on board, but with everything else he provides, it's a good trade off.

Count it.

Change it up

Okay folks... just to let you all know, I think I've outgrown ... so I'll be upgrading as of tonight (slash tomorrow) to! Massive changes are underway! But you don't need to do anything! Well... you will need to update your RSS feed if you still want to be a part of the action... is a great place to start... That way I can track your every move... or at least track when you look at my posts. Then I can feel really popular. And stuff. Or something.

Everything else will pretty much be the same around here...

Thanks! Hope to see you over at!

Pick-up Games

Some players you should consider picking up (provided they're available):

Chucky Atkins - pretty much on fire in Kobe Bryant's abscence. He's #3 according to Yahoo over the last week. Pick him while Kobe's out, but be prepared to drop him when number 8 returns.

Dan Dickau - Starting in place of the oft-injured Baron Davis... scoring 27 points. Hornets are 5-5 over the last 10. Sure, I'm a little late to the party on this one, but it's possible that he's available, since his value fluctuates depending on how injured the Baron is.

Kyle Korver - he's very streaky, but since he was in somewhat of a slump before his latest breakeout he may still be available. Can't argue with 3.3 three-pointers over the last week, and 100% of 2.2 FT's over the last 5 games.

Chris Duhon - I just dropped him for Troy Hudson, and now I'm wondering whether to waste a move on undoing that action... He's been playing better than anyone could have expected, and filling in for Ben Gordon during his slump. With them both being rookies, it's hard to know when one will have the hot hand and the other will come up empty-handed. If you're in need of help at the guard position, consider picking up both of them as a sort of "put" move.

Eddie Griffin - he's once again on fire. Catch him if you can.

Derek Fisher - he's been playing well whenever Speedy Claxton has been out. When Fisher starts, he gets an extra 5-10 minutes of PT, giving him that much more time to rack up stats. Speedy looks to miss at least one more game.

Tony Allen - Celtics

Allen replaced Jiri Welsch as the starting SG for the Celtics, and played 27 minutes, shooting 9-11 from the field for 20 points to go with 6 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal, and a block.

Depending on how competitive your league is, you should consider picking him up. The more competitive the faster. If you can wait on his game tonight, do so... if you're worried someone else might grab him if he plays well again tonight, you might do well to pick him preemptively.

More basketblogs

So maybe fantasy basketball isn't as big in the blogging world as say "IT" or "video games" or even "blogging" itself... but it's starting to get hot. Check out these other recent entrants to the fantasy basketblog arena:

EasyMarksman and Fantasy NBA Blog.

EasyMarksman reminds me a lot of Give Me The Rock in it's self-effacing, yet useful style. Fantasy NBA Blog has a schedule across the top of their blog, so that tells you something in and of itself. They also have five authors, which also says something.

Another team blog recently discovered is: GH and Petey's Timberwolves Blog. They've been going since the start of the season, but I hadn't found it before... Just something else to add to the RSS reader. There are others... I need to update my side bar to highlight the best ones, but you can scroll on down to "Give Me Everything" to see all the blogs I read.

Count it.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Jim Jackson strikes a blow for all the overpaid stars out there

Here's the ESPN story.

I mean, I guess if my job paid me a million a year, and I'd been working for 14 years, and then my division was sold off to another company that I didn't want to work for, I might consider not going to work too. Especially cause there no championship of web application development or anything...

Fantasy Impact

Let's just start with the Suns/Jackson side... cause it actually matters.

Jackson will inherit at least 20 minutes a game, since that's what Jacobsen was playing. He'll increase those minutes since he can play both SF and SG for the Suns (this is why they talked so much about gaining depth with this trade). This will allow Phoenix to rest Q-Rich and the Other JJ a little more and save their legs for the playoffs.

Needless to say, Jimmy is a good pick up if he's available on the FA list. Owners who held onto him can feel somewhat vindicated. Jackson will likely continue to hit 2+ three-pointers, shoot well from the free-throw line (thought not take many attempts), and give you decent steals, rebounds, assists, and points. He's not someone to depend on for anything but 3's, but he's not a black hole in any category except blocks (and that is to be expected from someone who's 6-6 and 34 years old).

As for the Hornets, let's just say that none of the new Hornets are greater than 0% owned according to ESPN.

Casey Jacobsen will probably get about the same 20 minutes he'd played with the Suns. He'll be backing up JR Smith, and since the Hornets aren't quite as much of a running team as the Suns he might have a better chance to use his spot up shooting skills.

Magic Lamp (which will be his nickname once he hits it big), will be backing up Chris Andersen at Center, and maybe get some time at PF until David West and Jamaal Magloire come back. At that point, his PT will probably drop back to the 7 mpg he had in PHX.
Jackson Vroman is about as effective per 48 minutes as Jacobsen and Lampe, so I wouldn't expect him to play any more than he did with the Suns.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Arroyo to Pistons

Even though the Utah Jazz Blog is getting it from Chad Ford, I'm linking to him anyway in my effort to link to more basketblogs.

ESPN's Chad Ford is reporting that the Jazz are sending Carlos Arroyo to Detroit for Elden Campbell and a future first round draft choice.

This move would give Detroit a true PG, something they have been lacking. It would give the Jazz a first round pick and salary cap room in the coming off season. Elden Campbell would probably be waived. Some will say it was a quick hook by the Jazz to deal him so soon, especially given the fact he played so well last season and had a terriffic Olympic tournament leading Puerto Rico.

Fantasy Impact

Arroyo owners now can look forward at least to seeing him on the floor. I think everyone everywhere was probably dumping at this point... so he might be out there on the FA list. Arroy this year: 24.7 minutes, 40% FG, 84% FT, 1.5 reb, 5.1 ast, 1.8 TO, 0.7 stl, and 8.2 pts. It's clear that he'll be taking time from Lindsey Hunter and Chauncey Billups (give him some rest from playing 37 minutes/game). There is speculation that he'll also be playing point with Chauncey moving to the 2 and Rip to the 3, which would allow him some more PT, while not hurting the fantasy production of the other 2 very much. That would mean that most likely Tayshaun Prince will be playing less SF (though he could slide to the 4 against some smaller PF's).

I can easily see Arroyo getting back to 8, 5, and 2 in about 20 minutes for the Pistons. This will hurt Lindsey Hunter, but I doubt he's on anyone's team anyway. Billups' PT will also probably go down a few minutes a game, but the rest might do him some good. He produced very similar numbers to this year playing about 2 less minutes last year. It remains to be seen how much of his time Arroyo will actually take. Only Larry Brown can know that for sure.

As for the Jazz, I don't see Elden Campbell getting enough playing time backing up Curtis Borchardt and Mehmet Okur to be on anyone's fantasy team. And we'll have to wait a couple years to see what the draft pick produces.

Count it.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Fantasy Basketball Meet-Up

It's a slow day... I'm starting to burn through the drafts of things I'd written before and was saving for just such a day... that said:

If you haven't heard of, you can check it out starting with the Fantasy Basketball Meetup I created... Of course, I'm the only so far (hence posting it on the blog. :) ) If you're in Chicago, you should totally sign up! Because then we can go out and get drunk and talk about fantasy basketball without having to worry about cornering people who don't actually care about fantasy basketball! I hate it when they get all shifty-eyes and nervous like they have to go to the bathroom or something. Or when they say something about how they prefer college ball because the NBA players are all overpaid whiners. Don't even get me started on that (luckily, I've got Ben to help me keep the faith over instant messenger) ...

Count it!

WikiPedia - Basketball

This is kind of an entertaining read...

I decided to have a go of it and put in Eddy Curry. It's kind of addicting. Once I get a little more experienced, I might be more comfortable putting in my opinions of the big fella... but for now, I stuck to the facts.

Wik it. Wik it good. And what?

Wednesday, January 19, 2005


Thanks to Blazer Talk for the news...

Godzylla is here! Joel Przybilla pulled down 22 boards and scored 17 points last night against the Kings. After taking the starting role from Theo Ratliff, he's starting to look like a decent back-up center... for owners without a decent back-up center. 8 pts and 10 rebs over the last 5 games, with 30.2 minutes/game. He's actually pretty close to the league average on the season in rebounds and blocks for a center. And he's more than likely to be available in your league. He'll continue to dominate (if you can call it that) while SAR, Darius, and Zebo are out.

Now, if only the Blazers would play Travis Outlaw...


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Nash is (in) a freak (accident)

The bruised left thigh that sidelined Nash for the last 2 1/2 games is no longer a problem, but he twisted his back when backup point guard Leandro Barbosa stepped on his foot. Nash was in obvious discomfort after more than an hour of treatment.

Fantasy Impact

Looks like Little Joe Johnson will be the starting PG for the Suns since Leandro was so jealous of everyone talking about how Nash should be MVP that he stepped on his foot. Note to Leandro: Next time, hire someone to hit him in the knee with a retractable metal club. Only, make sure it's not someone to whom your shady boyfriend has ties. I'm sure you could find a disillusioned Timberwolves or Nuggets fan who'd been willing to do it on the cheap.

Amare's shooting has gone downhill (fast) without Nash, but the rest of his numbers are still solid. And of course, Shawn Marion is a fantasy monster, not to mention, MVP candidate. Casey Jacobsen is trying desperately to become a relevant fantasy player. Sorry to tell you Casey, but 7 points in 30 minutes is not quite going to do it.

Count it.


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Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Shawn Marion for MVP

Okay, so I really just wanted to write something controversial to see if I could get people to comment. So, here's my argument for why Shawn Marion should be MVP (only as of right now, of course).

First off, he's the #1 player in Fantasy Basketball. That really should be the only argument needed.

But, in case you happen to care about real basketball as well as fantasy... his PER is higher than that of Steve Nash's (23.34 to 22.49), whom many say is the MVP so far. If one can be an MVP without being the best player on the team, then Marion certainly deserves consideration. [I don't even want to get into the whole semantics issue of whether MVP means "best player" or "player who most makes the team they play for better"]

Marion shoots 84.6% from the line. This should be evidence enough that he deserve the award over Shaq. I would argue that the Heat would as good as they are now with the same line-up they had last year simply due to the gained maturity and experience of Dwyane Wade. Shaq used to be much more valuable, but as Danny Fortson has shown, he can be shut down. His ability to make free-throws should also put Marion above others like Duncan, and even Amare (another MVP canidate). They are FREE throws guys. If you can't make them, you don't deserve to be MVP. If those other guys were shooting 85% from the stripe, they'd easily be MVP's and we wouldn't have to worry about someone like Steve Nash or Shawn Marion threatening the crown.

The Matrix shoots 48% from the field. Most players shooting at that high a rate are inside players. However, Marion also hits 1.4 threes per game. He has an inside/outside combo that no other MVP candidate can claim. Marion is also getting more rebounds than he did last year, despite the emergence of Amare Stoudemire (another MVP candidate). He is improved from last year in almost every category, despite the additions of Steve Nash and Quentin Richardson. Marion is 4% higher in FG%, up .6% in 3PT% while making .3 more per game, grabbing 1.3 more rebounds than last year, including .2 more OREBs, .7 less TO's per game, same number of steals (an impressive 2.1), .2 more blocks (1.5), .1 less fouls per game, and .3 more points per game (despite Amare imcreasing by nearly 5 ppg). He is only down in assists because Nash handles the ball for the Suns now.

Without Marion, Nash and Man-Child would be nothing more than a faster version of Wade and O'Neal. Marion has recognized where to fit in on the team, in addition to stepping his game up this year, while playing less time than last year. He is not only the best player in fantasy basketball, but he is one of the best players in basketball right now and his prescence and ability to adapt to fit within a team make him the most valuable player in the league.

The views expressed in this article are the sole opinion of the author, and are not representative of the Give Me the Rock corporation or any of its subsidiaries.


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Blazer Talk: Club 54 and how to get there.

Stoudamire’s resurgence over the last month is startling. Through his first 21 games this season, Mighty Mouse was mighty quiet, shooting .319 from the field, .272 from 3-point range and averaging 10.2 points. Coach Maurice Cheeks even removed him from the starting lineup.But in the 15 games since then, he is .495 from the field and .492 on 3-pointers and averaging 17 points. Stoudamire, a career .408 shooter (.355 from 3-point range), has scored in double figures in 11 of the games despite averaging fewer than 24 minutes. Over the last four games, he is averaging 29.3 points.

So, maybe Damon is for real... He's only taking 20-30 shots before games now, and saving his legs for prime time. Of course, it's also a contract year for Damon... so maybe he's dialing for dollars... Either way, more promising than his other weekly top 10 buddy who's retiring at season's end.

Yahoo's Top 10 (Week Ended 1/17)

O-Rank in () [O-Rank is a multi-season kind of rank determined by Yahoo's statisticians)

1. Jason Richardson (41)
2. Damon Stoudamire (122)
3. Lebron James (13)
4. Nick Van Exel (145)
5. Dirk Nowitzki (5)
6. Jermaine O'Neal (48)
7. Jason Williams (81)
8. Larry Hughes (91)
9. Chris Webber (23)
10. Jason Kidd (43)

Fantasy Impact

With Arenas out of the top 25 and Paul Pierce hanging onto the 25th spot, I'm happy to see Jason Williams step it up to no. 7 (they're all on my team, if you hadn't guessed). The Grizzlies are playing well right now, so you might want to look at any Memphis FA's in your league. Fratello is not running quite as large a rotation, though, so make sure to check players' last 5 games.

As for the rest, I wouldn't count on Stoudamire to score 99 points every week, nor Nick Van Exel to make 5 treys a game. Lebron, Dirk, Jermaine, Webber and Kidd are all solid players. No surprise there. Larry Hughes is out now - as you can see, a definite unfortunate event for owners who took him late (avg. draft position on ESPN: 73.1) and watched him steal (literally) a position in the top 10 (no. 7 on the season).

And that about wraps it up.

Count it.


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Bryant out at least 2 weeks

In case you hadn't seen it...

Yahoo! Sports: "Lakers star Kobe Bryant will be sidelined at least two more weeks with a severely sprained right ankle.

Team spokesman John Black said before the Lakers faced the Utah Jazz on Monday night that the NBA's second-leading scorer was examined earlier in the day by team physician Dr. Steve Lombardo and foot specialist Philip Kwong.

A CT scan confirmed there was no fracture.

``Kobe will be re-evaluated in approximately one week,'' Black said. ``He has made improvement. He still can't put weight on his right foot.''

Black said there was no target date for Bryant's return.

``We're just saying a minimum of two weeks,'' Black said. ``We'll have a better idea next week.''

Should Bryant return in two weeks, he'll miss a minimum of six more games and eight overall."
Fantasy Impact

Good news for all those owners who rushed out to pick up Lakers players. Bad news for everyone who's got Kobe.

NBA Fan Blog: "The Christies" A Preview

Here's a piece of satirical fiction from Nuno over at NBA Fan Blog... It's a fun read.

NBA FAN BLOG: ESPN Presents "The Christies" A Preview: "JACKIE

Doug, it's addressed to you. It says quite clearly, 'These wives are in your neighborhood right now.' If this is just SPAM mail and you didn't ask for this, then how come they know where we live?"

Monday, January 17, 2005

Central Star (1/17)

Kenny Thomas posted 21 points, 15 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, and only 1 TO with 60% FG shooting, and 100% FT shooting. Another candidate for Central Star tonight was Chris Webber, but I like to look at lesser known players... and Thomas has not been playing as well as he did last year, so a stat line like the one from tonight is good for owners to see.

Thomas is probably undervalued by most owners right now, but his numbers over the past 5 games are getting close to what he had last year. Now would be a good time to get him from an owner who is tired of his underperforming.

Count it.


Larry Hughes Out 4-6 weeks

Excellent article on Hughes' abscence. I have to give that to AOL. They have much more in depth articles than Yahoo. The news system is just about on par... but I'm assuming they both probably look at the same sources, so that makes sense.

I'm also trying something new with the Technorati tags below. It's kind of like categories... since blogger doesn't provide that (yet???) ... You can go to the links below and see pages/articles/etc. of anyone who's tagged stuff as fantasybasketball or washingtonwizards ... we'll see how it works.

Technorati Tags

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Flash Basketball

I'm sure there are other sites with flash basketball games, but this one is quite simple to play, and somewhat amusing...

Count it.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Kobe News

"'It's the worst one I've ever had,' Bryant said. 'Crunching, instant throbbing. A lot of pain right now. I can't hop on one leg. My foot, when it's not weight-bearing, kind of jiggles a little bit, and that hurts like crazy.

'This one might be weeks, bro. It doesn't feel like a day-to-day thing.'

Bryant said he would be ready for the results of the MRI exam, whatever they may bring.

'Worst you can get is have a couple of tears in there,' he said. 'It's not season-ending by any means. It's just rest and recuperation. The guys will hold down the fort, I have no doubt.'"

Fantasy Impact

Clearly significant. Kobe owners are certainly waiting on pins and needles to hear the results of the MRI. As for owners of the rest of the Lakers, they are certainly hoping that Kobe is out like Ron Artest, Richard Jefferson, and Bobby Jackson (is this a season or what?). While Kobe is out, the rest of the Lakers are going to have to step up. (Could that be any more obvious?)

If you believe in the Ewing Theory, then now would be a good time to see what Lakers are Free Agents in your league. Possibilities include: Sasha Vujacic, who Forum Blue And Gold has been talking about forever, Caron Butler (but he's probably taken), and Chucky Atkins (not that I really have any faith in him to step up).

Of course, we still have to see how long Kobe is out, and how the other Lakers respond, before knowing each player's true value. But if you're in a competitive league, and/or you've got a player who's been underperforming, now might be a time to take a chance and see what happens. Often, that is what makes fantasy basketball champions.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Ford Out for Season

Yahoo! Sports: "Milwaukee Bucks guard T.J. Ford was ruled out for the rest of the season Thursday because he's recovering from spinal surgery.

Ford's spinal cord bruise continues to improve but has not healed enough for him to start any type of basketball activity, the team said after consulting with doctors. He has missed the entire season for the Bucks (12-21)."

Fantasy Impact

I don't think anyone was counting on him, but just to let everyone know, he's not going to be playing.

ET (Etan Thomas) set to return

Yahoo! Sports: "Jan 11 Wizards forward/center Etan Thomas will make his season debut on Wednesday. Thomas has missed all 32 games due to an abdominal strain. 'They just have to slowly work me in because everything is going well,' Thomas told the Washington Times. 'Brendan [Haywood] and Michael [Ruffin] are playing really well. I just have to work myself back in. I don't think there's a big rush for me to come in and do anything drastic.' Thomas re-signed with the Wizards this past summer, inking a six-year, $39 million deal.

Views: This is great news for the Wizards but not for fantasy owners. Thomas is a banger who will eventually earn 20-25 minutes per night. He'll potentially take away minutes from Haywood, Ruffin, Jared Jeffries, Kwame Brown, and Antawn Jamison. We're not worried about Thomas damaging Jamison's stats too much, but fantasy owners should still be wary of the situation."

That's right, I'm just a quote machine today... I was trying to figure out some way to combine all these posts into a kind of Update post, but they all seemed to be just different enough that I couldn't bear to hide them all under a single title.

Timmy Thomas

Yahoo! Sports: "Jan 12 Knicks forward Tim Thomas missed his second straight game on Tuesday due to a bruised left knee and strained right calf, and he told the New York Post that he does not feel like he'll be ready for Saturday's game against the Bulls. Thomas underwent an MRI on Monday, and the results confirmed the bruise and strain. Jerome Williams is starting in his place.

Views: If your fantasy hopes (or real NBA hopes) rest on Tim Thomas, you're in trouble."

This is why I need categories... Cause I could post this under the "Injuries" category... and not have to worry about the fact that I'm just regurgitating something from Yahoo's news. But then, I did go through the "recent news" on the Top 200 players on Yahoo (by season avg - the only way to go), and I felt like I had to come up with something to justify that 15 minutes of my life.

Count it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Kool Keith

Yahoo! Sports: "Jan 12 Forward Keith Van Horn was taken off the injured list on Tuesday after missing 18 games because of a bum ankle. He is expected to play tonight against the Hawks. Zendon Hamilton was put on the injured list to make room for Van Horn.

Fantasy Impact

Van Horn was averaging 17.2 points and 8.2 rebounds a game before getting hurt. He probably won't be coming back at full strength, but if you've been waiting for him to come off the IL, now is the time to get him back in your lineup.

Humor from


Perhaps what Mike wrote about Jefferson will help cheer up those owners who had been counting on his 6 turnovers a game...

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Nets' Jefferson out for season

Yahoo! Sports: "New Jersey Nets leading scorer Richard Jefferson will miss the rest of the season with a ruptured ligament in his left wrist.

Jefferson is expected to have surgery soon and he will be sidelined until at least late May, Nets president Rod Thorn said Tuesday."

How has this story not blown up all over the place? Perhaps it's because I'm practically scooping it? Or is it because RJ24 was only averaging 16.6 (22.2 on the season), 5.8 (7.3), 3.6 (4.0), on 35 (42) and 82 (84)% over the last 5 games? I mean, sure, maybe having Jason Kidd and Vince Carter join your team a quarter of the way through the season will hurt the averages... but did everyone just give up on RJ?

If you hadn't... now you can!

Fantasy Impact

Hurry and try to trade him to someone who doesn't know before it's too late!!!!

What it really means: Mo money, mo money, mo money for VC15 and JK6! Everyone on the Nets stands to benefit from this. The Nets don't have someone listed as an SF on their roster, so finding RJ24's immediate replacement is a bit of a head scratcher... My guess is VC15 moves to SF, Rodney Buford steps in as the SG. That's great news for all those people who'd been hanging onto Buford, waiting for his moment in the spotlight.

But really, Vince getting even more shots is something that Vince owners can certainly be happy about. Unless, somehow, even with Vince on your team, FG% is not a category you've decided to scrap. Cause that'll go down, but it should mean more points and 3's for Vince.

Perhaps NJ will get Ron Mercer back to take over at SG. I'm not holding my breath or anything, but it's a thought.

I suppose the Nets will revert to some form of the team that had won them all of 7 games before VC15 arrived... Good thing they waived Kaniel Dickens on the 5th only to sign him again yesterday to a 10-day contract. He's only 6-8, so maybe he can be their SF allowing VC15 to continue playing SG. Not likely, but I really have no idea what they're going to do. They don't even have someone on the (Yahoo) depth chart at SF beyond Jefferson...

Drop him and pick up the best FA available.

Players owned by 50 first Place teams - Message Board: "This information was gathered from the 50 'highest ranked' rotisserie teams in the Yahoo public leagues (as of a few days ago when I wrote this up). Of all the thousands of Yahoo leagues and 1st place teams, these are the 50 'best' of those 1st place teams. The chart shows which players are the most frequently owned by these top teams. For example; Lee Nailon is owned by 4% of the top 50 1st place teams."

There is some analysis that goes along with the list that LeapingShark posted on

Kings trade Christie to Magic for Mobley, Bradley

Sports - Kings trade Christie to Magic for guard Mobley, forward Bradley - "Christie, a 13-year veteran, was in his fifth season with the Kings, having started all 31 games and averaging 7.3 points, 4.9 assists and four rebounds. He had been slowed a bit at times this season with plantar fascitis.

Mobley, a 6-foot-4 guard, played his first six NBA seasons with the Houston Rockets before he was traded to Orlando in the summer. He had started 21 of 23 games for the resurgent Magic this season, averaging 16 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists."

Fantasy Impact

For the Magic, it means someone like Turkoglu will probably get a couple more looks at the hoop. Mobley was scoring 9 more points than Christie, so Franchise and Hill will probably get some more looks. Of course, without Mobley to keep defenses honest, those looks might not be as good as they had been.

Christie is capable of scoring in the 16 point range like Mobley, so his scoring will probably go up some, but I don't expect it to match Mobley's 16 points per game. If Francis holds a grudge against him for taking away his good friend Mobley, Christie may not get to spend a lot of time with the ball. While his scoring should go up slightly, the rest of his numbers will probably remain the same, as they're pretty much identical to what he's been putting up for years.

Mobley's numbers will be essentailly identical even if he can take over all of Doug's extra minutes (all 1 of them; but a difference of 4 over the last 5 games). His scoring is likely to go down, and I wouldn't expect him to get back to his previous rebounding (4.5) though, with Brad Miller and Chris Webber hanging around. Those guys grab more than than Howard and Battie, leaving even less for Mobley. But his %'s will be solid, and his assists, TO's, steals, and blocks should be about what he's been posting all year.

As for the rest of the Kings, they'll probably be about the same too. Mobley's ability to score might mean less points for the other guys, but take those 9 out of the other starting 4 and really, nobody is left hurting too much.

If you've read this far, you deserve to know that as of the time of this post, Cuttino is still playing for the Magic as well as the Kings and Doug Christie is playing for neither! I think that could impact Mobley's fantasy value! (Thanks Yahoo!)

Count it.

Pick up of the Week: Shane Battier

Where did he come from? His minutes are up slightly, but all of sudden he's decided to play some basketball. Over the last 5 games:

13.6 points (+5 over season average), 4.6 REB (-.2), 2.2 AST (+.9), 1.2 STL (+.2), 2 BLK (+1), .8 TO (+.1), 52.4 FG% (+7.3%), 73.7 FT% (-4.7%).

He's at #19 over the past month, and was #4 last week. Of course, he's been playing well enough that he's probably not available in most leagues... but if he is, take a runner at him (especially if you've got someone like Jim Jackson on your team).

He's outplaying James Posey and Mike Miller who've been relegated to filling in at SG while Battier has taken over the SF spot.

Fantasy Impact

He's starting to return to the promise he showed in 2001, but he's never been a consistent fantasy player... Grab him while he's on fire, and drop him once he's burned out for the next little matchstick. That's the way fantasy basketball is played...

Monday, January 10, 2005

Yahoo! Sports: The Skinny

Matt Romig turns from fantasy football to fantasy basketball... while he says his team is destined for "the crusha" he provides some good advice.

Players of the Week (ended 1/9/04)

Yahoo's O-Rank in ()

1. Mike Bibby (24)
2. Shawn Marion (8)
3. Kevin Garnett (1)
4. Shane Battier (174)
5. Tracy McGrady (4)
6. Gilbert Arenas (22)
7. Larry Hughes (91)
8. Shaquille O'Neal (12)
9. Baron Davis (14)
10. Jason Terry (34)

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Shep Interview: CEO Style

Among the first of the fantasy basketball bloggers, Shep (CEO of Give Me The Rock) has shown inconsistency in writing style, a preponderence of bad advice, and a distinct penchant for favoring personal favorites over statistically better players. Most recently, he has declared Steven Hunter a potential sleeper candidate for 2005, berated a reader in his comments, and started embedding irrelavant, unsightly ads in his posts. Despite his apparent desire to do everything wrong, readership of Give Me The Rock is at an all time high. Shep sat down with Shep this week to discuss Give Me The Rock, Fantasy Basketball, the NBA, and to hopefully not set him off on any rants.

Shep: So, your reader base at Give Me The Rock (GMTR) continues to grow. Do you attribute this to that fact that you post frequently, ping a lot of syndication sites, and link to everyone imaginable? Or is there something else that makes GMTR special?

Shep: Well, I have to say, I really can't believe how unbelievably lucky I am. I mean, I knew Vince was going to get traded eventually, but I really didn't factor that in to my decision to go after Chris Bosh. I've always been a Bosh fan, and he's usually very underrated, especially with inexperienced fantasy managers.

Shep: Okay... so luck certainly factors into it. Now, I'm sure your readers want to know what's up with the new ads you've been putting in to your posts...

Shep: Well, fantasy basketball is a very competitive industry. But here at Give Me The Rock we feel the market potential is great enough to include many different kinds of analysis and opinion sites. I'm not saying out site isn't the best, but it is for sure that when you get more people out there writing about fantasy basketball, they are all going to try to be better than the next guy. Really there's a lot of writers in this industry who just want the chance to be heard. Give Me The Rock is giving one such writer that chance.

Shep: Right... so, the ads? They're there. What made you decide to start advertising on your site?

Shep: I'm not sure I understand your question...

Shep: Okay. Moving on... Looking at the Top 25 players in fantasy basketball right now, who do you think is the biggest surprise?

Shep: Are we counting Kyle Korver or not?

Shep: Um, if you want...

Shep: Okay, cause really, how does a guy get to be 23rd on Yahoo when he's averaging 11 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists with only 42% shooting? Sure he's 89% from the stripe, and makes 2.7 bombs a game, but he only takes 1 free throw a game... and for someone playing 30 minutes a game, that's not impressive. Certainly not 23rd in this industry. Let's take him out. That leaves... I'd say Amare. I'm surprised that he's not higher [than 20th]. I mean, he's a FC, 26 points, 8 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, and 59% shooting. He takes 16 shots a night. At 59%. That'll practically win you a category right there. He's just throwing the ball on people's heads all night. And with his 71% FT shooting, he won't even kill a big ball team like Shaq or Duncan.

Shep: You used to post a lot about AOL vs. Yahoo... Any recent developments there? And what about the other services?

Shep: In this industry, you have to fight hard. AOL was fighting before, but then I think they started satisficing and moving their developers over to their spam-filtering department. Too bad, cause really, who cares about spam? I'd much rather have 500 messages in my Inbox and day-to-day results for my fantasy basketball than the other way around.

Shep: You mean 500 messages in your fantasy basketball and day-to-day results for your Inbox?

Shep: Exactly.

Shep: Gotcha. I noticed you just picked up Sebastian Telfair... can you explain that move?

Shep: I can't explain only 10 minutes a game for a guy who averages 18 points/40 minutes. I cannot explain the highest usage rate on the Portland Trailblazers, and an assist ratio rivaling that of Nick Van Exel. Okay, so maybe he's not that good. But the way people snap up players in my league, I had to leap before looking. Sometimes you land in the pool. Sometimes you land in the bleachers. That's just the way this industry is right now.

Shep: Yeah... I can't even remember my next question...

Shep: Okay, good, cause I have to go figure out who to pick up to replace Chris Wilcox. Who knew Chris Kaman was going to be so unproductive while hogging 20 minutes a game...

Shep: Count it.

For further information on Shep or Give Me The Rock, click on the text based advertisement below, or visit Give Me The Rock. Shep can be reached by email at

Friday, January 07, 2005

Blogs love Hoops

Is there a better way to start a Friday than a big ol' mess of love for all (or most) of the other basketball bloggers out there? And is there a better way to spend a Friday than visiting all of them and reading lots of fun posts?

Check out all these fanblogs I've found since the start of the season! I think most of them were just started this year (not that I've conducted any particularly scientific research on the subject) ...

Blog was the Word of the Year 2004 you know...

Fantasy Basketblog
Supersonics vs. the World
Hoops Junkie
Basketball Rules
NBA Fan Blog
BasketBlogger (French)

And then there's these fine gentlemen and/or ladies who seem (to me at least) to have been around a little longer...

Celtics Blog
Cavs Watch
OregonLive Blazers Blog
Blog Maverick
NBA Weblog
End of The Bench

And to show my true love for all these people who watch the games and bring forth their opinions, I'm not going to put an ad in this post. How's that for love?

Count it.

Update: For the integrity of this site, I've removed some of the links that were previously posted here. I believe that these sites were not started by fans of the game, but rather by a shrewd marketing department using blogs (and, among other news sites) to get cheap advertising. I've also removed the offending blogs from my sidebar links as well. They can be found under "Everything is Everything" if you care to seek them out.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Sell high? Or hang on for dear life?

That is a question owners often have to ask themselves... This time, I'm asking it about Jason Terry? Over his last 5 games Terry is averaging: 31 minutes (+6 over his 2004 season avg), 16 points (+6), 7.4 assists (+3.2), 3.4 rebounds (+1), 2 steals (+.5) on 59% FG shooting (+8%), and 82% FT shooting (+3%).

Looking at all those +'s it's hard not to think now would be a good time to convince someone that Terry is a fantasy all-star. Of course, it's also tempting to say to oneself "What if he keeps it up?"

We must remember that Marquis Daniels has been out for the last 3 games. And he's been taking up about 25 minutes of the Mavericks time. Granted, not all of that comes out of Terry's allotment, but it's got to come from somewhere. Another factor: Devin Harris's minutes have dropped by 8 (avg) in the last 5 games.

Normally, we'd just say, okay, the coach has realized that Terry is better than Harris and is giving him those minutes. And this is true for the most part. But, the coach we're dealing with here is Don "Nellie" Nelson, who is not renowned for his playing time decisions. Who's knows if Harris will do something to regain his favor, or if he'll turn to Marquis Daniels upon his return...

For now, I say, trust the stats and keep Terry. While his 3rd place ranking on Yahoo over the last week would be great trade bait, he is probably still undervalued (he's at 57th overall for 2004, compared to his season-to-season ranking of 34th).

He is that kind of talent. Let's hope Nellie keeps playing him "Over and Over Again."

Count it.

Kerr's high 5, low 5

"Dwyane Wade is dominated the fourth quarters of the Heat's 14-game win streak. He is Miami's Eric Gagne."

Thanks Steve for what is probably the best metaphor/analogy of the season.

Also of note: The Chicago Bulls are no longer in the bottom five! I'd like to thank Vince Carter, Keith Van Helsing, all of the Bobcats except Chukey, Antione Walker, and Jim Jackson for this honor.

I also have to thank Vince for waiting to leave Toronto until I acquired Chris Bosh. More on that later...

And one final hooray again, for Steve Kerr! I know you'll make some girl very happy some day.

Count it.

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Yahoo Eligibility (Hinrich G, McGrady SF?)

Kirk Hinrich is now a straight up G on Yahoo. Cause Duhon has been the starting PG on the Bulls for how long now? Okay then.

Also, Tracy McGrady has been starting at SF since the Rockets shipped off Jimmy Jax (has he been located yet?). If he gets GF eligibility, it will increase his value (Thank you, Captain Obvious!). Anyway, just something to watch out for...

In other McGrady news...
Kobe Bryant, along with Friday's opponents Tracy McGrady and Bobby Sura, will donate $1,000 for every point they score in Friday night's Lakers-Rockets game to UNICEF's efforts to aid the children affected by the tsunami disaster in Asia. Other NBA players contributing include Jermaine O'Neal, Pau Gasol, Jalen Rose, and Mike Miller, according to the Orange County Register.

That could be good news for fantasy owners if the guys decide to go easy on guarding the 3-ball in the name of helping those in Southeast Asia. Also kind of makes my donation look pretty skimpy.

Perhaps they'll even be allowed to use the multicolored moneyball, giving them an extra point for every shot they make with it.

Hooray for in-season charity games!

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Basketball Monster

Best Site EVER. Okay... maybe not, but then again... maybe... allows you to put in categories, points per category, select types of players, teams, etc... And then ranks them all for you to tell you who's the most valuable.

Guess you don't need me any more!

Count it.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Stephen Jackson

If Slashin Jackson is still a free agent in your league, do yourself a favor and pick him up. I don't really care who you have to drop nor what kind of moral conscience you have. If you have 12 or more teams in your league, and Jax is available, you owe it to yourself to pick him up. Unless you believe in superstitions like having bad characters on your team will make you have a bad team. I have that superstition, but it really only applies to Kobe Bryant, and I can usually find ways around picking him up.

Jackson's numbers for the year: 15.3 pts, 5 reb, 3 ast, 1.2 stl, .4 blk, 1.8 bombs, 2.7 TO on 42% FG and 88% FT. That's better than any other free agent you're going to find on the list unless you own all the teams in your league (like this guy - where you could pick up Q-Rich, Michael "The Shark" Finley, Keith Van Helsing, Cat Mob, and Reginald "Time" Miller, before you got around to sorry old Stephen Jackson).

Ask one of the guys from Starsky and Hutch would say "DO it."

Monday, January 03, 2005

Man-Child's Back-up

While Mr. Stoudemire is throwing down 50 points in the face and on the heads of the Blazers... backing him up is Steven Hunter. I point this out because Hunter is leading the league in blocks per 48 minutes (usually a hard category to fill up in fantasy basketball). His complete numbers per 48 minutes are: 19.9 pts, 10.5 rebs, 1.0 ast, 5 blks, and 1.7 TO. He's been putting up essentially the same numbers for his entire career, but only getting about 13 minutes.

John Hollinger has shown that players' numbers per 40 minutes stay pretty much the same no matter how many minutes they play (unless they are terribly out of shape). However, John also says that Hunter lacks defensive intensity, and any other marketable talent. His .14 steals/48 min demonstrate some evidence of that - his reb/40 min (at 8.6), though, are close to the likes of Juwan Howard and Drew Gooden (with whom he played in Orlando).

In fact, Hunter's numbers/48 min are close to that of Howard (of course, Howard is playing like an unfrozen caveman lawyer as opposed to a $200 million dollar man this season), and Howard is owned in 4.1% of ESPN leagues. That's infinitely better (by default) than Hunter's 0.0% ownage. If he could find his way onto the Raptors, Warriors, or Sonics, he might also be able to find a couple more minutes per game to show that he can be just as good as Loren Woods, Adonal Foyle, and Jerome James (.4, .5, and .0% owned, respectively). So if you've soured on Foyle after his "breakout" season in 03-04, and you're already constructing a list of sleepers for next year, see if Hunter remains with the Suns or if he heads North for a team in need of a real center. He could go as high as 108 next year.