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.