Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Monster Board Basketball: Fantasy Leaderboard

The following leaderboard was developed through acute analysis of fantasy value, current and expected production, injury status, and my own personal biases.  Look for the leaderboard to come out bi-weekly, with updated rankings partially based on your comments.   

1 Lebron James, Cle, SF
On pace for another career year--plus, shooting over 50% for the 1st time
2 Chris Paul, NO, PG
Back at it again; averaging 14 assists and 3.5 steals since his return
3 Kobe Bryant, LAL, SG
Still putting up fantastic #'s--hopefully finger injury doesn't set him back
4 Dirk Nowitzki, Dal, PF
Continuing extraordinary play from last year—over 1 steal and 1 block per
Kevin Durant, OKC, SG/SF
Averaging almost 31 pts per game over past 9
Chris Bosh, Tor, PF/C
Can somebody say contract year? Bosh’s stats are up across the board
Steve Nash, Pho, PG
Averaging over 2 more assists per game than last year and points are up too
8 Carmelo Anthony, Den, SF/PF
Averaging over 30 points on nearly 50% shooting, with good rebs, assts, steals
9 Dwayne Wade, Mia, PG/SG 
Assists still low from previous years, and shooting % way down
10 Pau Gasol, LAL, PF/C
B2B 20 rebound games, averaging 90% FT and still over 4 assists
11 Deron Williams, Uta, PG
Entered new level--averaging 30pts and 13 assists over past 3
12 Brandon Roy, Por, PG/SG
As advertised, picked up play in Oden's absence--26 pts/past 6
13 Jason Kidd, Dal, PG
Old man keeps doing it—not many pts, but everything else is where you’d expect it, including over 2 3’s per
14 Danny Granger, Ind, SG/SF
Turns out his foot has become the problem, not his knees
15 Brook Lopez, NJ, PF/C
With return of Harris, averaging 23pts and 11 rebounds over past 6
16 Chauncey Billups, Den, PG
Quietly doing what he does—20 pts/past 8
17 Tim Duncan, SA, PF/C
FT and shooting % are above career averages, and still doing everything else
18 Josh Smith, Atl, SF/PF
Shooting is still up over 50%, and leading the league in blocks
19 Andre Iguodala, Phi, SG/SF
Finally have a win with Iverson, but Iggy's production remains
20 Carlos Boozer, Uta, PF/C
FT% has dipped almost 10%, but pts, rebounds and assists still good
21 Joe Johnson, Atl, PG/SG/SF
Past 6 shooting over 50% and 7 assists per
22 Antawn Jamison, Was, PF
Still an elite level player, 3 30+ point games over past 6
23 Andrea Bargnani, Tor, PF/C
Picked it up even more where he left off last year--pts, rebs and %'s all up!
24 Amare Stoudemire, Pho, C
Averaging 22 pts and 10 rebs over past 4, but blocks down
25 Gerald Wallace, Cha, SF/PF
Averaging 12 rebounds per and shooting % has skyrocketed since arrival of Stephen Jackson
26 Monta Ellis, GS, PG/SG
Has come back down to earth lately, but definitely Warriors franchise player
27 Kevin Garnett, Bos, PF
Shooting nearly 70% over past 7, as a result pts are on the rise
28 Al Jefferson, Min, PF/C
Monster #'s since Love's return--nearly 20 pts and over 12 rebs over past 7
29 David Lee, NY, PF/C
Playing big minutes, and shooting nearly 66% over past 7
29 Paul Pierce, Bos, SG/SF
#'s are starting to average out as Celts have won 11 in a row
31 Marc Gasol, Mem, C
Continuing to impress--still averaging over 60% shooting
32 Baron Davis, LAC, PG
Shooting has dipped below 40%, but minutes have been increasing
33 Caron Butler, Was, SG/SF
Butler et al. struggling to get it together right now--assists way down
34 Vince Carter, Orl, SG/SF  
Assists, rebounds and points on the rise

Looking in...

Dwight HowardDevin HarrisMarcus CambyNene Hilario, Rudy Gay, Al Horford, Rajon Rondo, Mo Williams 

Now it's your turn!  Who am I missing?  Who should be out of the top 34?  Let me know what your thoughts are and I'll tell you if you're wrong.

T-Mac is Back!

Tracy McGrady made his long awaited season debut on Tuesday night when the Rockets took on the Detroit Pistons.  This move came contrary to Houston coach Rick Adelman's previous statement about not having McGrady suit up in the absence of Trevor Ariza.  T-Mac ended up playing nearly 8 minutes, scoring 3 points (a 3-pointer) and gingerly grabbing 3 rebounds.

Some believe the change of heart to let McGrady play came partly due to the fact that the Rockets would be unable to move him if enquiring teams were unable to see McGrady play under the stresses of game action.  Plus, Ariza's 1 game suspension was a perfect guise to get Tracy back on the court.

Let it be noted that Houston won the game against a Detroit team that finally had Rip Hamilton back in his 2nd straight game.  Hamilton ended up scoring 21 points, adding 4 rebounds and 4 assists.  However, the Pistons fell 107-96, but still hold on to the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference.

As for the future of T-Mac in Houston, Rocket's brass look to work him into short minutes over their next several games.  After that, who knows?  Look for McGrady to eat up minutes from Kyle Lowry, Chase Budinger, and Shane Battier.

What do you think; will there be any contending teams willing to take a chance on a trade for T-Mac?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Drunken Porn Driving Escapades: The Eddie Griffin Story

Recently, I was reminded of a basketball related story by a friend of mine, and fellow fantasy basketball junkie.  Manager of "Hanes Shredders" in the 420 Championship, he currently resides in 4th place, exactly 4 games ahead of my sorry ass team--Hofe's Horndogs.  Although I am feeling optimistic, as Kevin Love has been exceptional in his 2 games back from injury, and all but one of my players is finally healthy--Michael Redd, I'm looking at you!

Anyway, back to the story.  This is one of suspensions, porn, alcohol, an in-car DVD player, a motor vehicle, a train crash and little bit of basketball--this is the story of Eddie Griffin.

Eddie Griffin, 7th pick of the New Jersey Nets in the 2001 NBA draft, died over 2 years ago at the age of 25 after his SUV collided into a freight train.  Now, it was well-know that Griffin was a drinker, and liked to drive his SUV after downing a few.  In fact, Griffin had previously been arrested for smashing into a parked car while driving drunk and masturbating at the same time he was watching a porn video on his in-car DVD player.  That sounds like a lot of stuff to be doing at once, while jerking it!  No wonder he got into an accident--rookie mistake, one of the reasons he slipped to the 7th overall pick.  

I digress, back to the fiery crash.  Griffin ignored a railway signal, drove through a barrier and into a moving train.  His body was so badly burned that they needed to use dental records to ID him, as he wasn't carrying any identification.  The legend is that Eddie was on another one of his drunken porn driving escapades, and in an attempt to rid himself of a boner that just wouldn't de-bone he tried to pull off the ultimate orgasm, which involves a person climaxing while racing over a railroad track just ahead of a speeding train; do it right, and you're psycho.  Do it wrong, and you're Eddie Griffin.  I believe they call it "Choke the Train".  Check out these guys' version of the Choke Train!

Eddie Griffin lived too short a life.  Unfortunately, it seemed he had many problems and abused alcohol to hide from them.  He was often suspended during his brief NBA career, and even missed almost an entire year due to alcoholism.  As one writer put it, "I understand the tragedy of death, especially for someone so young, but I have to salute Griffin: that's a helluva way to go out." 

We'll miss your crazy antics, Eddie.  Farewell.   

Monday, December 7, 2009

Week 7: Who's In, Who's Out?

Week 7 of the National Basketball Association is upon us, and as per usual there are a number of key players who are injured and out, as well as a few who have a possibility of returning soon.

Greg Oden of the Portland Trailblazers is officially out for the remainder of the season after having successful surgery on his left patella.  Oden was visibly upset after his injury, feeling as if he has let his team down--unfortunately, Greg, they were probably expecting this after seeing how your first 2 seasons have gone!  Dump him now and see if Joel Przybilla is available on your waiver wire, as he has been named the starting C for the remainder of the season.  Look for Oden's absence to have an effect throughout the Trailblazers' lineup, with both LaMarcus Aldridge and Juwan Howard also spending time at C.  In addition, Portland will be trying desperately to trade Andre Miller in order to get another big man in their lineup, despite Miller being quoted recently as saying that he doesn't mind coming off the bench now, as it is helping him stay young and fresh.

Danny Granger was taken off a plane on Sunday in a wheelchair due to a heel injury that was re-aggravated during Saturday's game versus the Clippers.  Coaching staff are bracing for the worst as they await Tuesday's MRI results.  It looks as if Granger will miss this week even if test results show no damage, and could miss considerable time if things end up bad for the 5th year player.  As a result of his injury, look for Dahntay Jones to eat up the minutes lost by Granger, and should be started in most leagues as he has proven abilities.

Andrei Kirilenko of the Utah Jazz will be a gametime decision on Monday night, versus the San Antonio Spurs due to lingering back pains.  Supposedly he was feeling better at shootaround, so perhaps he will be in the lineup come gametime.  Needless to say, if he isn't playing tonight, he should be back within the next couple games.

Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince have yet to return from their injuries, although both are getting dangerously close to a full recovery.  Upon returning, look for Hamilton and Prince to be rusty, as both have been off for over a month now and will need some time to get into game shape.  Hang in there with both of these players, as they should have considerable roles on a Detroit Piston team that as of right now has only one starter starting from last year's team--that would be Rodney Stuckey!

Lastly, Allen Iverson is set to make his return debut in Philadelphia tonight against the Denver Nuggets.  He will be starting and will get plenty of minutes, as Jrue Holiday is out with a shoulder injury.  Louis Williams's owners should be happy with today's news of a starting backcourt of Iverson/Williams upon the return of Big Louis from his jaw injury.  Owners were preparing for the worst when it was revealed that Iverson was coming to town, but can breathe a sigh of relief with this news.  Williams will still be out for several weeks, but should be held onto if you can afford to wait for his return.  Additionally, Williams may be available on waiver wires, as many fantasy owners dropped him because of his injury and Iverson--again, pick him up if you have an open spot and could use what he has to offer.

As I always say, with injuries comes a flurry of activity on the fantasy waiver wire as new players are given more minutes and more opportunities on their respective teams.  It is during these times that you need to watch stats closely and jump on players when you see a trend of decent performances.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Weepy Iverson Finds A New, Old Home

Former Vancouver Memphis Grizzly, Detroit Piston, Denver Nugget, Philadelphia 76er Allen Iverson, found a new, old home back in Philadelphia.  The 76ers have signed Iverson to a 1 year, non-committal deal that will have him be the starting PG on a 5-14 team that is struggling in the Atlantic Division

Iverson will replace the injured (broken jaw) Louis Williams, hoping to bring a spark back to Philadelphia that hasn't been seen since...well Andre Iguodala pretty much rocks the Wachovia Center every home game.  Needless to say, the Sixers haven't won a playoff series since 2003, when Mr. Iverson was in town the first time!

As a result of missed opportunities, attendance in Philadelphia has been on the decrease, making the Iverson move just as much about finances as it is about putting together a quality team.  The city of Philadelphia embraced Iverson during his first stint with the club, and was never really ready to see him go.

AI claimed to dream about his return to "The City of Brotherly Love" in a teary, heartfelt press conference on Thursday, saying "I want to retire here."  Die hard fans are eating it up, as #3 Philadelphia 76er game jerseys are flying off the shelves throughout the city in anticipation of Iverson's Monday night debut against Denver.

In Fantasy Basketball World (FBW) the ramifications of this move will continue to unfold throughout the season.  As stated earlier, head coach Eddie Jordan has declared Iverson the starting PG for the team for the remainder of the season; meaning Louis Williams is out of his starting gig upon returning from the DL.  Williams' owners take a double whammy with his injury, as they will already be without his services for 8 weeks, and now the loss of starter's minutes upon his return.  You should possibly think about getting rid of Williams now, if you haven't already, although he did play a significant bench role last year as a substitute for Andre Miller.

Allen Iverson should be picked up in most leagues if you are in need of a PG.  He will be sure to give you big minutes, more than likely 20+ points, decent assists, steals and 3's.  Not to mention, there is a good chance he may light a spark in this team (Elton Brand we're looking at you) and make the players around him better, along with their fantasy value.  With a change in PG's, adding a seasoned veteran like Iverson should open up Philadelphia's offense and provide players like Brand more open looks at the basket. 

I can't see Andre Iguodala's value decreasing any, as his place on the team has been solidified since Iverson's first departure.  The Sixers are still going to need him to fill the stat sheet night in, night out if they are going to have any chance at making it to the playoffs. 

However, there is a possibility that Thadeus Young's productivity may see some negative impact upon the arrival of Iverson; look for fewer shot attempts from the 3rd year starter with AI heaving them up possession after possession.

Real life trades and acquisitions always provoke a flurry of activity in FBW, which makes for exciting times of anticipation and possible angst.  It looks as if Allen Iverson should be owned if he is available on your waiver wire, and chances are you may be too late already.  Now if you are able to get him, which player are you going to drop?  Don't make the wrong decision!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

34 and Under: Fantasy Basketball Leaderboard

The following leaderboard was developed through acute analysis of fantasy value, current and expected production, injury status, and my own personal biases.  Look for the leaderboard to come out bi-weekly, with updated rankings partially based on your comments.   

1 Lebron James, Cle, SF
Rebounds are the only thing that’s down from last year, everything else is up
2 Chris Paul, NO, PG
Before injury was filling up the stat sheet, but out another 3 weeks
3 Kobe Bryant, LAL, SG
Playing more min. than expected due to Gasol injury—points monster so far
4 Dirk Nowitski, Dal, PF
Continuing extraordinary play from last year—over 1 steal and 1 block per
5 Dwayne Wade, Mia, PG/SG
Only 1 slight disappointment, assists are over 2 fewer per game from last year
6 Kevin Durant, OKC, SG/SF
Picked up his play from first few games and is where we expected him to be
7 Chris Bosh, Tor, PF/C
Can somebody say contract year? Bosh’s stats are up across the board
8 Danny Granger, Ind, SG/SF
He’s doing it again this year, but his knees could be a problem
9 Steve Nash, Pho, PG
Averaging over 2 more assists per game than last year and points are up too
10 Pau Gasol, LAL, PF/C
Although only several games played, averaging ridiculous #’s, including over 4 assists
11 Carmelo Anthony, Den, SF/PF
Averaging over 30 points on nearly 50% shooting, with good rebs, assts, steals
12 Brandon Roy, Por, PG/SG
Scoring down from last year, as he tries to make it work with Miller/Blake
13 Deron Williams, Uta, PG
On pace to do what was expected of him--high pts, assts, % + 3’s and steals
14 Carlos Boozer, Uta, PF/C
Don’t like him, but he’s averaging over 20 and 10, plus 84%FT
15 Jason Kidd, Dal, PG
Old man keeps doing it—not many pts, but everything else is where you’d expect it, including over 2 3’s per
16 Tim Duncan, SA, PF/C
Keeps doing it year in, year out—even FT% is up!
17 Paul Pierce, Bos, SG/SF
FG% is up around 50%, with almost 5 rebs and assts and scoring near 20
18 Josh Smith, Atl, SF/PF
Monster this season—everything is up, including 4 assts and 9 rebs per game and making 53% FG + his blocks!
19 Brook Lopez, NJ, PF/C
Doing what everyone thought he would on the worst team in the NBA—FG% has room for improvement
20 Chauncey Billups, Den, PG
Quietly doing what he does—hopefully assts will rise along the way
21 Andre Iguodala, Phi, SG/SF
 Always a bright spot for the Sixers as he fills the stat sheet
22 Amare Stoudemire, Pho, C
Has made a good return from eye injury, although rebs are quite down
23 Andrea Bargnani, Tor, PF/C
Picked it up even more where he left off last year--pts, rebs and %'s all up!
24 Antawn Jamison, Was, PF
After being back from injury for only 6 games, has instantly returned to form
25 Joe Johnson, Atl, PG/SG/SF
Assists are a bit down, but this team is rolling and so is he
26 Gerald Wallace, Cha, SF/PF
Finally getting his FG% to match the rest of his play—massive rebounds!
27 Monta Ellis, GS, PG/SG
Goodbye Jackson, hello Ellis! Averaging over 29 pts per game over past 9, including 45/42
28 Caron Butler, Was, SG/SF
Scoring and steals down, we’ll see how he and Arenas manage together
29 Kevin Garnett, Bos, PF
Starting to play more min., and still averages a block/steal and over 7 rebs
30 Vince Carter, Orl, SG/SF
Finally starting to pour it on--over 20 pts in 6 straight games
31 Baron Davis, LAC, PG
Playing elite level ball right now, pts a bit down and can't help but think he'll get injured
32 David Lee, NY, PF/C
Up more than 2 pts per game from last year, rebs a bit down but still 10+
33 Marc Gasol, Mem, C
One of those elite 2nd year players who have stepped up their game in every category
34 Al Jefferson, Min, PF/C
Everything is down for Jefferson, but the return of Love should give him some support

Looking in...

Dwight Howard, Jose Calderon, Devin Harris, David West, Marcus Camby, Greg Oden, Nene Hilario, Rudy Gay, Al Horford

Well, now that I've completed it send me your comments and let me know if I'm right on or way off--I can take it!  Also, let me know if you can think of a more "catchy" title.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Big Z Snubbed

Did you hear about this one?  During Saturday night's home game against the Mavericks, Zydrunas Ilgauskas of the Cleveland Cavaliers was set to become that team's all-time leader in games played.  He even had family members and friends flown in for the game to help celebrate the momentous occasion.

But no!  The Cavaliers snubbed their record tying center (currently at 723 games played), as coaching staff decided not to put him in the game, finishing the game with a DNP--coaches decision! 

Both Big Z and Lebron James are pissed at coach Mike Brown's negligence to put Ilgauskas into the game, despite the 12 years of service on the only NBA team he has ever been a part of.  Loyalty is hard to come by these days, and it seems like it doesn't pay off in the end.  Normally a franchise would go all out for a circumstance like this, but obviously Ilgauskas is the farthest thing from Cleveland management's mind.

Understandably, Big Z was very low key during Monday's practice, and didn't even take part in the team's football scrimmage game after the practice.  He opted to shoot a few baskets at the other end of the court and quietly dodge out in order to escape the media.

I can't imagine this is going to end up very good for any of the people involved in this situation, and Big Z may even want out if things aren't cleared up soon.  Cleveland brass are so worried about re-signing James this offseason that they have forgot about one of their all-time greats. 

Shame on you, Cleveland Cavaliers.

Frank Out, Nets Still Lose

Turns out the New Jersey Nets didn't make fired coach, Lawrence Frank, man the helm for the winless team's Sunday night tilt versus the Lakers.  Thankfully, Frank won't have his name engraved in stone beside a team who have now lost 17 games in a row, tying a record in the process.  Nets management also wanted to spare Frank of the ominous record.

New Jersey will try to take the record on Wednesday night, versus Dallas.  "Being the worst at something just comes natural to me", Devin Harris was overheard saying in the locker room after Sunday's loss to the Lakers.  "I ain't ever been the same after that white guy in jeans schooled me on the playground last year", Harris went on to say.  Seriously, check out that video!  Also, check out my "Twilight vs NBA" video while you're at it too.

Fantasy wise, you have to think (hope) that changing up coaches should have some positive effect on a team, especially when the team has nowhere to go but up.  Hopefully the offense will be opened up a bit, making scoring more frequent, meaning more stats for your fantasy players.  In addition, Harris has only been back for a few games since his injury, and with him running the offense things should also open up; not to mention his points, assists and FG% should climb back to where they were last season.

Look for Courtney Lee to be inserted back into the starting lineup.  He has struggled off the bench since his return from injury 4 games ago, but will more than likely be relied upon quite heavily once he is 100%.  Lee was New Jersey's big acquisition this past summer, and many were looking to him to fill the void that Vince Carter left behind; a tall order, but Lee should post decent numbers most nights.  He is widely open in many leagues right now.

I have Chris Douglas-Roberts on my team, and have been quite pleasantly surprised by his play thus far; although, if you remember, CDR had a very good training camp and preseason as well.  I'm hoping all of this good stuff from him continues late into the season.  However, I am slightly skeptical of him keeping up this pace and have been trying to sell high on him right now.  With the return of Harris, Lee and soon to be Yi things aren't looking so good for me (yes, I tried to make that rhyme)!  CDR should still get plenty of minutes, but look for his production to drop slightly.

So, are the Nets going to beat the record to become the #1 losers?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Frank-ly Speaking: Nets Have Had Enough

It seems like the New Jersey Nets have finally decided to give coach Lawrence Frank the boot.  Management was trying to give him a bit of time, as the Nets had a plethora of injuries to begin the season.  But now it is time to go.

Devin Harris has returned from his injuries as well as Courtney Lee (perhaps), but the Nets still haven't been able to celebrate this season; their closest thing to a win was a 1 point loss to the Miami Heat on November 14. 

The crappy thing about this deal is that although Frank (and everyone else who follows basketball) knows he is done coaching the team, the Nets still need his services on Sunday for their game against the Lakers.  What a raw deal!  What do you think are the chances the Nets can pull out a win in this game?  The only possibility they have is if the team can finally rally around their fired coach to give a final farewell. 

On the other hand, Frank might as well go down losing and get his name into the record books, tied for the most consecutive losses in NBA history.  Although he won't be able to be a part of the stand alone record (18 straight losses) on Wednesday night versus the Dallas Mavericks, as it is expected that General Manager Kiki Vandeweghe will take over as interim head coach.  

Perhaps Kiki will help get the Nets their first win, avoiding the ominous record.  Or maybe the Nets will go 0-82 and just hope that their new Russian billionaire owner can get them the hell out of New Jersey and into a nice new arena in Brooklyn--stat!  Either way, it's going to be a long season for anyone affiliated with the Nets. 

Whatever the case, I just hope CDR keeps up his strong play!

You've Redd the Writing on the Wall: Michael's Got to Go!

Michael Redd missed Saturday's home game loss against the Orlando Magic due to the sore left knee that made him miss 9 games earlier this season.  After a surprise start to the season, Milwaukee has now lost 4 in a row and remain only 1 game above 500.  Redd had only returned to play in 3 games (1 as a starter) before he had to sit this one out, and is questionable to play in the Bucks next game on Monday night versus the Bulls.  After his last games against the Thunder, Redd stated that he wasn't able to move around the court like he wanted to and felt stiffness in his knee.

None of this sounds very optimistic for Redd owners (that's me!), as he has been injury prone since the 06/07 season where he missed 29 games, not to mention the whopping 49 games he missed last season!  Unfortunately, if you have Redd in a non-keeper league you don't have much choice but to hold onto him, as none of the reports have stated (yet) that he is shutting it down for any extended period of time.  You would be stupid to simply drop him for another player who doesn't possess half of the potential of Redd.  If you are able to trade him, possibly a 2 for 1, that would be your best bet.  However, it's doubtful that anyone in your league would want to take the chance on him, unless they are big Redd fans.

On the other hand, if you own Redd in a keeper league I believe you need to get rid of him.  Again, hopefully you could get something for him in a trade, but you should set your sights low and just take whatever deal you can get at this point--it seems like he is only going to cause you headaches and stress all year long, and quite possibly for the rest of his career!  I picked up Redd in the 7th round of our Fantasy draft and new he was a risky pick, but like most who drafted him had hoped that there was a possibility he might be able to stay healthy.  However, it seems the 30 year old has seen the best of his career pass him by--and now I have him on my team! 

Owners of Redd need to do what they can to load him off on someone else.  Which means if anyone from my Fantasy League is reading this don't be surprised if you are inundated by Redd trade offers!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Iverson to Come Out of Retirement, Join Sixers

After several days of retirement and 3 turkeys later, disgruntled ex-NBAer Allen Iverson may be set to make his long awaited return to the court.  Current PG, Louis Williams, suffered a broken jaw in Tuesday's 1 point loss to the Washington Wizards, and will be sidelined with a wired jaw for 8 weeks.  Williams has been one of the bright spots for the 76ers this year, averaging 17.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game. 

Williams' presence will be sorely lost on this struggling team, as rookie Jrue Holiday has had to fill in under his absence.  This is where Iverson comes in; 2 months without a seasoned PG is obviously too long to find out whether a rookie can run a team.  Reports are stating that Philadelphia have serious interest in Iverson, and may sign him as soon as next week.  "We simply can't just ignore the upside he'd bring, not with our situation" a team source said on Friday.  There's no denying that this franchise and its fans would be gushing at the fact that they may be able to get one of their all-time greats back--a savior if you will.  At least that's what they're hoping!  I'm sure 76er brass are most giddy about the potential for increased ticket sales and more revenue.

Supposedly, former coach Larry Brown (now coach of the Charlotte Bobcats) is even trying to get into contact with Iverson in order to tell him to not give up on the NBA.  Brown thinks Iverson still has a lot to give the league, and his retirement is premature for the talents he still possesses.

With this news, all signs are pointing to a grandiose return of Allen Iverson--shocker!  I suppose if he is available on your waiver wire you should go pick him up, as he more than likely will post good numbers.  As for when Williams returns, I guess we'll just have to wait and see how the 8 week audition for Iverson has gone to see who will be the starting PG.  We all know of Allen's distaste for coming off the bench, and perhaps by that time the fans may agree with him.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Put Your Left Hip In, Pull Your Right Hammy Out

It's the weekend again, with a full slate of games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Happy belated Thanksgiving to any American readers (I really have no idea who's reading this shit)!  Hopefully no one got trampled during any "Black Friday" shopping excursions; then again, it's bound to happen.  What do I give a crap how you spend your Thanksgiving?  I already had mine over a month ago.

Let's get to it...

Mike Dunleavy is set to make his regular season debut on Friday night, versus the Dallas Mavericks.  Dunleavy missed all but 18 games last season, and has missed all 13 games for the Pacers this season due to a knee/hip injury.  Obviously he is set to come off the bench, and staff will be monitoring his minutes to fewer than 20 per game until he can get his legs under him.  Dunleavy hasn't played since February 8, 2009 versus Washington.  In addition to Dunleavy, Danny Granger has proclaimed that he would give it a go after missing 1 game with one of those pesky sprained left knee ligament thingy's.  Be wary of any missed time for Granger in games to come; he has had knee problems in the past.

In Cleveland, Shaquille O'Neal is set to return after missing the past 6 games with a strained shoulder.  Shaq hasn't played since November 12 versus Miami, and will probably be a bit rusty, although Cav's staff says they will not be putting him on a minute restriction so feel free to get him back into your fantasy lineup if you have the room.  O'Neal's stats have been down significantly to start the season, and he has only averaged just over 24 minutes per game this year, down 6 minutes from last year. 

Elton Brand will be a game time decision for Friday's matchup against the Hawks after missing 1 game due to a pulled right hammy.  Brand had finally got it going over his last few games, after a very slow start to the season.  Even if he did return for Friday's game, you would have to expect him to be slower than before the injury.  Brand is tough to read this year, and you may want to try and trade high if he has a couple more good games in a row.

Hate what you read? Like it?  Looking for advice/a second opinion?  Send me your comments below...let me know I'm full of it, or give me some more story ideas.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Iverson Set to Retire, Play McGrady One-on-One

After 14 years and 889 games in the league, Allen Iverson is set to retire from the National Basketball Association.  His announcement (sort of) came today, exactly one month before Christmas.  Coincidence?  I think not.  Okay it probably is, I'm just saying, only one month until holiday time! 

Iverson released a statement to a Philadelphia Inquirer columnist earlier in the day, stating "I still have tremendous love for the game, the desire to play, and a whole lot left in my tank. I feel strongly that I can still compete at the highest level."

Umm, yeah, Allen that doesn't really sound like much of a retirement speech.  It sounds more like a Brett Favre sort of thing, which we all know means "I'm coming back to the game as soon as someone wants me."

Perhaps Tracy McGrady should just retire too, and the 2 of them can play one-on-one against each other and reminisce about the old times.  I'd pay a dollar to see that!  Imagine it; McGrady would be off to the side, crunched over in the fetal position, clutching his ailing knees and back.  Meanwhile, Iverson would be complaining that this was too much like "practice", bitching about the Grizzlies not starting him and the Knicks not picking him up.  The score would end up 2-0 for Iverson because McGrady wouldn't be able to stand up, and as Allen was muttering his way off the court he would happen to toss the ball over his shoulder, in spite, and it would end up going in. 

Congratulations Mr. Iverson, you're finally a winner!

T-Mac Shmee-Shmac

There's a controversy a brewin' in Houston; Tracy McGrady says he is ready and willing to play (again), but Rockets brass aren't allowing it--this time!  According to T-Mac, he's feeling ready to go whenever the Rockets are ready to put him in.  Last week McGrady even put on his uniform and did pre-game warm-ups because he was so excited to get back into action.  However, Houston staff is saying that they aren't going to put him into a game until they feel confident he will be able to play game in and game out.  They site their reasons as being that the Rockets have good chemistry between players right now, and they don't want to mess that up by having McGrady in and out of the lineup.

It seems the Rockets finally have it right in regards to T-Mac.  We all remember last year, Tracy was constantly in and out of the lineup with no one ever knowing when he would be playing or not.  There comes a time when a pro athlete needs to ask themselves, "what's best for the team?"  Unfortunately, I'm not sure McGrady has ever asked himself that question, as it seems to many outsiders that it's always been me, me, me with McGrady.  Did you know that over his 12 year career, T-Mac has averaged a measly 65 games per year?  That's not even including this year where he's already missed 14 games, and counting.  

Let's get one thing straight, we all know how good McGrady's stats have been over his career.  His averages of 22.1 points, 1.3 threes, 6.1 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1 block per game are astounding.  Not to mention the 02/03 season with Orlando where he averaged 32.1 points.  But, things have been going downhill ever since McGrady's first year in Houston where he played in a remarkable (for him) 78 games, second most in his career next to the 99/00 season with Toronto--which was his last season with the Raptors.  

Not to say that most pro athlete's careers don't eventually go downhill after a certain amount of time in their respective sports, but it is how one carries oneself through this transition that makes the athlete.  In addition to the stats, highlights and game winning shots, it's how a player conducts themselves on and off the court that most people remember over time.  Of course some of us also tend to remember those 'boobs' who never shut up about themselves and think they are better than the game.  What will Tracy McGrady be remembered for? As his career is seemingly winding down, I guess we'll soon see.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Week 5 Possible Pick-up Preview Post

As week 5 of the NBA is upon us, your fantasy basketball league has probably already seen a few roster position shake-ups.  And, with the adding and dropping of players comes a steady flow of new waiver wire pick-ups for you to contemplate adding to your team.  The following players are a few of those pick-ups you might want to consider:
  • Mike Dunleavy--Indiana Pacers (SG/SF) Dunleavy is nearing a return and could pay off big for owners.  Although it will probably take him several games to get into full action, he has tremendous upside if he can remain healthy.  Look for him to take some minutes from Dahntay Jones and Brandon Rush.
  • Drew Gooden--Dallas Mavericks (PF/C) With the absence of Dampier, Gooden has come on strong over the past 4 starts, averaging nearly 15 points, 13 rebounds and over a block in 36 minutes.  If he can keep any part of that going he should be rostered in most leagues.
  • Anthony Morrow--Golden State Warriors (SG/SF) As I have stated in previous articles, now is the time get him if he is still available!  There is a 50/50 chance he is not sitting around waiting to be picked anymore, let's just say I hope you got there soon enough.  In a starting gig, and a whole 48 minutes of action on Friday, Morrow scored 23 points on 61.5% shooting, with 6 rebounds, 4 3's, and 2 steals.  Not to mention, he's shooting close to 90% from the charity stripe!
  • Beno Udrih--Sacramento Kings (PG/SG) Again, with the absence of one player, comes the emergence of another.  In 7 games as a starter (Kevin Martin is out until January), Udrih has averaged 17 points, 5 assists, over 1 three and 37 minutes of action, and he still is owned in less than 50% of leagues!
  • Darren Collison--New Orleans Hornets (PG) I'm like a broken record, but Chris Paul has been injured for over a week now and won't return for close to 3 more weeks, and Collison has stepped in nicely over his 5 games as a starter.  He capped Saturday night off scoring 22 points, to go with 11 assists, 2 3's, and a perfect 4/4 from the line.
  • Marcus Thornton--New Orleans Hornets (PG/SG) With a rotisserie of players going through the SG position for the Hornets Thornton has been a quiet producer.  Over the past 6 games he has averaged 18 points, including over 2 3's and rebounds, and 1 steal per game.  He ended up playing over 38 minutes in Sunday's game, scoring 24 points and 5 3's, and might end up winning the starting SG position if he keeps playing like that.
  • Mickael Pietrus--Orlando Magic (SG/SF) It seems as if  apple Pie-trus has won the starting SF position, even with the return of Rashard Lewis (Lewis is starting at PF).  Although he doesn't fill up the stat sheet, Pietrus can normally be relied on for his scoring and 3's.  If you need a boost in either of those categories take a look at him. 
With managers starting to panic, and fantasy basketball teams starting to unfold, comes an entire new crop of players on the free agent list for you to take a look at.  Don't be shy when it comes to picking up players; if you wait too long the next big thing will pass you by and end up being on someone else's team (a la Brandon Jennings).  Then you won't be able to sleep at night because you won't be able to stop thinking about your team, and you'll wake up with cold sweats thinking why, why?!?  Have at least one roster spot on your team that you are always willing to move for a "hot" pick-up, and just do it!  If it doesn't work out, there will almost always be another player to fill your needs.

Good luck!

By the way, I finally moved out of the basement in my fantasy league, going from 10th to 6th in a 12 team league thanks to a 7-2 victory this past week.  So I know what I'm talking about, ha ha!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ask The Hofe

Well, it's the start of the weekend, which means there are going to be a crap-load of NBA games over the next few days.  With more games comes more decisions on what to do with your Fantasy team.  Do you sit someone in favour of another player, or possibly you're gearing up to make a big trade this weekend?  Anyone looking for advice or a second opinion, feel free to post your queries in the comment section below and I'll do my best to give you some direction on where to take your team.  Whether you're a seasoned Fantasy Basketball veteran or a first year newbie, everyone could use a little advice sometimes.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Iverson, Grizzlies Bid Adieu

Allen Iverson and the Grizzlies have parted ways.  This news doesn't come as a shocker, as most have speculated that Iverson's recent leave from the team had the inklings of a permanent separation by the 2 parties. 

So now what for fantasy owners?  Errr, ummm, I guess the good news is that Iverson has already commented that he is not done playing this year and would accept a bench role in the right situation.  Come on, really?  Really, Allen?  You couldn't last more than 3 games in Memphis before you got your non-title-winning ass out of town.  Furthermore, it only took you 1 game to make sure anybody who would listen to you knew of your displeasure for coming off the bench and how you would not have it.  Not to mention, this all coming after missing the entire pre-season due to injury.  Allen, you were the one who signed with the Grizzlies, you were a free agent and could have signed anywhere; it's not like you were traded.  

There is some speculation that the Knicks may possibly want to sign Iverson, and do what with him I'm not sure.  He would probably fit in great with that loser team (sorry David Lee), and they would probably only sign him for a year, freeing up space to try and sign Lebron come summertime.  D'antoni, keep him on your bench just like you did with Starbury last year.   

As speculated by "The Hofe" yesterday, Raja Bell will indeed opt for season ending surgery.  This announcement comes only a day after he was traded, along with Vladimir Radmanovic, to the Golden State Warriors.  I guess he would rather go under the knife than have to play under Nellie.  Plus, his contract is up at the end of the year and he will need to be healthy if he is going to entice any bidders.  Like I stated yesterday, this is going to free up a bunch of time for both Curry and Morrow.  Pick them up if they're on your waiver line.  Go, now!

In other Golden State injury news, Kelenna Azubuike is also done for the season with a torn patella that will need surgery and 6 months recovery.  Azubuike was a hot pick-up last week as he was a named a starter for the foreseeable future, later pouring in 31 points against Minnesota.  Let me state again: Curry and Morrow are going to get minutes, along with Maggette.  Go get one of them if they are waiver available!

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Hofe's Predictions Ring True and Disgruntled Jackson Gets Traded

If you read my post on the Top 3 Fantasy Rookies, you saw that I ranked Brandon Jennings as my # 1 pick for best rookie, thus far; I also later selected him in my poll question to win the Rookie of the Year award come springtime.  Not a day after me touting Jennings' abilities, he scores 55 points on 34 FG attempts, making 61.8%, including 7 threes, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists, for the win I might add--I guess I should also add they were playing a lowly Golden State team.

Speaking of Golden State, the Warriors (and by Warriors I mean Nelson) have finally traded the bellyaching Stephen Jackson.  He, along with Acie Law (didn't he used to have Roman Numerals after his name?), have been aquired by the Charlotte Bobcats for Raja Bell and Vladimir Radmanovic.  

In Fantasy world, this trade is going to affect the value of some players.  Jackson should get a boost in his #'s, as he'll come to a Charlotte team that has the lowest scoring average amongst all 30 NBA teams.  They are going to look to him to score, and will probably play the SG position left behind from the departure of Bell.  Sticking with Charlotte, DJ Augustin will probably continue to see decreased minutes and production, as I'm sure Jackson will see significant minutes.  I own both Diaw and Wallace, and expect to see their numbers improve as well; Wallace's FG% can only go up from 35.4%!

The implications for Golden State are a little more blurry.  Whether or not Raja Bell will have a starting role is yet to be seen.  Who knows, maybe he'll even opt for that wrist surgery he was contemplating a couple weeks back.  This will probably open up more time for Curry and Anthony Morrow; especially because Azubuike is out with a possible season ending patella injury.  Anyway, the only thing certain with the Warriors is that Don Nelson is a crazy nutjob who should not be coaching in the NBA.


Twilight vs The NBA

Should I Stay or Should I go: Men Beware!

This coming Friday, November 20 is opening day for the second installment of the Twilight Saga, New Moon.  "Who cares" you say; "why are you telling me this, and what is it that I fear about handsome, bloodsucking men?"

While I can't help you with your constant feelings of inadequacy, I can inform you that you are going to have to make a difficult decision this Friday when your significant other informs you of her plans for a "date night" involving you, her, and Robert Pattinson.  Perhaps any other night you may oblige her, as we all know what vampire movies do to women (let's just say anything goes when you leave the theatre, and possibly even during the movie!).  However, on this Friday you're compliance may be somewhat more difficult;  I have 3 words for you:  Orlando at Boston.  And, 4 more: possible Eastern Conference showdown.  You've got Howard, Carter, Nelson, and the recent return of Lewis versus Garnett, Allen, and Pierce, not to mention Rondo.  As of the time this article was written (view current standings), each team had 3 losses; Boston was trying to stay atop the Atlantic Division, and Orlando was trying to keep pace with Atlanta and Miami in the Southeast Division.  Not only a great matchup between 2 of the Eastern Conference's best, but you have alot more to lose than just a good Friday night watching sports on the couch, with a beverage of your choice, while your girlfriend watches Supernanny in the bedroom.  Don't forget the waiver wire pick-ups you'll be missing!  So, whatcha gonna do tough guy?...  

Go to the movie and you'll make your spouse happy and content (plus you're almost guaranteed some action).  Or, stay home, watch the game, and keep up-to-date on the 9 other games on tap that night.  It's a tough call; don't go to movie and you're definitely not "getting any" for an indefinite period of time.  Or, go to the movie and miss out on one of the best matchups of the year thus far.  Not to mention, while you're out watching pale-skinned men sink their chompers into other pale-skinned men, all of your fantasy basketball buddies will be keeping a keen eye on all of the games of the night and snatching up any potential breakout players. 

It's your choice. 

Isn't it?      

Friday, November 13, 2009

Top 3+ Rookies of the 09/10 Season

Even though the season has really just begun, there are already a handful of rookies who are making a name for themselves, and should be rostered in most leagues.  As for the #1 and #2 draft picks of this year's NBA draft, their potential is still up in the air.  Blake Griffin is still owned by 73% of Yahoo! fantasy owners, but has yet to play due to a knee injury which will keep him sidelined for at least another few weeks.  Further posts on this subject may have him on the list, but as for now--not!  Hasheem Thabeet, the #2 pick, has a wopping 4 points and 11 rebounds in 7 games this year, on a Memphis Grizzlies team that has more than their fare share of issues (we'll chat about you, Allen Iverson, in a later post)!  Also, Thabeet will be sidelined for some time with a fractured jaw after colliding into teammate Zach Randolph's head.  Now that's a noggin' floggin'.  

Top 3 Fantasy Rookies

1.  Brandon Jennings--Milwaukee Bucks (PG)
Move over Luke Ridnour!  Jennings has been lighting up the stat sheet since game 1, where he nearly triple doubled with 17 points to go along with 9 rebounds and 9 assists.  He has kept that pace up in the absence of Michael Redd and averages a modest 20 points (on 45% shooting), 4 rebounds, 5 assists, nearly 2 3's, and over 1 steal after 6 games.  His points may dip a bit if Redd comes back healthy, but this guy is good to go!  Get him rostered.

2.  Tyreke Evans--Sacramento Kings (PG/SG)
This year's 4th pick of the NBA draft has been a good one thus far, and should continue to produce for some time.  The 6'6 PG, who has moved over to SG in the absence of Kevin Martin, is averaging a healthy 16 points, 4 + rebounds/assists, 1.5 steals, and 7 FT attempts a game.  He capped off last week hitting 16/19 FT attempts against a good Utah team, and followed that up going 10/10 against the Thunder!  Evans' shooting % is a little low at just under 40%, but don't let that stop you from picking him up if you can.

3.  Jonny Flynn--Minnesota Timberwolves (PG/SG)
Flynn is actually ranked higher than both Jennings and Evans on Yahoo! fantasy charts, but gets the #3 rank here possibly due to the impact and minutes he is playing.  Minnesota has another talented young PG in Ramon Sessions, which allows Flynn a little less than 30 min. a game.  Nonetheless, he is averaging 15 points (48.5%), 3.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists, almost 1 three a game, and over a steal in 9 games thus far.   

Honourable Mentions (#4 and more)
  • Stephen Curry--Golden State Warriors (PG/SG) Curry had a few promising starts to the early season, but as Don Nelson does, lineup changes have him coming off the bench where he has been less productive. We'll see how this all plays out, but he should be good for more minutes and a starting role again sometime soon. Right Don???
  • Taj Gibson--Chicago Bulls (SF/PF) With Tyrus Thomas out from his pull-up incident, Gibson has been putting up some decent starter numbers. He capped off a loss to the Raptors going for 18 points, with 5 rebounds, and 2 assists/steals/blocks!
  • Dejuan Blair--San Antonio Spurs (SF/PF) If Tim Duncan ever goes down for an extended period of time, watch out for Blair (and don't think it's a stretch for that to happen)! Although he isn't living up to as much of the hype he created during the preseason, he is still averaging a healthy 7.3 rebounds and almost 7 points per game on 60.5% shooting.
  • Omri Casspi--Sacramento Kings (SF/PF) Here's another guy that's going to benefit from the injury to Kevin Martin. Against Golden State this week, Casspi played 35+ minutes, scoring 12 points (all 3 pointers) with 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. Keep your eye on this guy.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

National Basketball Absurdities: Top 3 Most Stupid Injuries of the 09/10 Season (yes, already!)

1. Glen (Big Cry Baby) Davis--Boston Celtics

Before I even get into Davis' ridiculous, self-inflicted injury, did everyone check out Big Baby's crying episode last year due to KG yelling at him? With that being said, I hear that Davis also wants to be in the NFL after his basketball career--there's no crying in professional sports, sorry Adam Morrison! I digress. Big Baby was able to wipe away those tears enough to get into a drunken fight, back in October, in an SUV his best friend was driving, resulting in a broken thumb and at least 6 weeks on the bench. Can you imagine the tears that probably flow from this guy when he's drunk--"I love you man!"

2. Francisco Garcia--Sacramento Kings

Garcia was involved in a freak weightlifting accident. The promising G/F for the Kings was touted in middle to late rounds in most fantasy leagues until the exercise ball he was lifting weights on burst! The random event resulted in Garcia breaking his wrist, requiring surgery, and not being able to return until around the All-Star break. Tough luck Fran.

3. Tyrus Thomas--Chicago Bulls

After a promising 08/09 campaign, fantasy managers had high hopes for Thomas. Yet this extremely talented forward, who had an extremely slow start to the season, set the bar too high I guess--literally! Tyrus is expected to miss 4-6 weeks after a pull-up incident during another freak weightlifting accident caused him to tweak his arm.

Note to all NBA players: stay away from the exercise facilities, go home, smoke a big fatty and relax...I can't afford anymore injuries to my team!