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Official 2006-2007 Fantasy NBA Thread

This is where PEX players can ask about tips and advice regarding anything NBA Fantasy basketball. Leagues are going to form anytime soon.

Anyways, just to get the ball rolling.

I belong to a yearly 12 team roto league which allows us to retain 5 players from the previous year.

I've decided to retain the following: Kobe, Felton, Nelson.

I am however still undecided on the following, so this is where I need help: Nocioni, Dalembert, B. Miller

I still have Zach Randolph on my team, but his bad attitude last year makes me want to just drop the guy.

Which two would you pick for the final 2 slots and why?

Thanks!:D
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Comments

  • Kailan start ng Fantasy NBA? I'll definitely pick Kobe. He's a constant in my teams. :lol:
  • KobeWanKenobiKobeWanKenobi PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    @ALVs

    If your league counts FG Percentages, I'd steer away from Zach Randolph. Randolph takes a lot of shots and makes a lot of misses so he could be a detriment to your team in the long run.

    Brad Miller is better than Dalembert statistically. Theoretically in a Fantasy League, you need to have one of the top ten centers and Miller is one of them.

    Nocioni is the best player for the Bulls in the playoffs. He might get even better. However, there is the possibility of a burnout after the World Championships. But still Nocioni is possibly a better choice than Randolph.

    In conclusion, take Nocioni and Miller.
  • If this was a Yahoo league with a standard 2 C-format, I'll take Miller and Dalembert in a heartbeat. Miller will not get you any blocks, but he contributes in most cats - especially in assists and shooting %'s. Dalembert on the other hand, may be injury prone, but his block totals still rank among the best in the league. And as good as Nocioni may be, there's a slew of more promising SF's who should be available in the later rounds such as Marvin Williams of the Hawks and even the oft-maligned Mike Dunleavy (with Don Nelson as the Warriors' head coach). And Randolph? I don't think he's keeper material anymore with the arrivals of Aldridge, LaFrentz and Magloire in Portland.
  • no hoops.sports.ws for the season:(
  • Fantasy Team Previews: Phoenix Suns
    By Adam Madison, TalentedMrRoto.com
    Updated September 11, 2006 - 11:13 a.m.

    2005 OVERVIEW

    Lesson learned: never doubt the Suns. The story of the year was Amare Stoudemire – the absence of Stoudemire and how the Suns hardly skipped a beat without him. At the time, the Suns seemed to undergo a very rough off-season after their surprise 62-win 2004 team. They traded Joe Johnson¸ a then 25-year-old multi-dimensional minute-logging swingman, for Boris Diaw, a failed 23-year-old first round prospect whose passiveness held back his talent. They acquired a 33-year-old undersized center in the form of Kurt Thomas in exchange for the 25-year-old Quentin Richardson and signed Raja Bell, who was mostly known as a scrappy bench player, to replace Johnson. To make things worse from this already supposed downgrade, Stoudemire underwent microfracture surgery late on October 18th, a dreaded knee injury that threatened his participation for the entire season with possible career-lasting effects. Rightfully, gloom and doom was abound; the Suns would go on to an underwhelming season, in the process proving the naysayers correct in that an offense-first team has dubious and fleeting success.



    Fantasy talent permeates in the Suns lineup, with Nash and Marion leading the way.
    (Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty Images)

    It wouldn’t be an interesting story if the Suns fulfilled those predictions, would it? The fairytale ending: Steve Nash, possibly the best basketball player on the planet, repeated his MVP season en route to another career year, buoying the Suns to a first-place finish in the Pacific Division and 54 wins. Despite losing their top scorer, Amare Stoudemire (26.0 points per game, 55.9% field goal shooting in 2004-05), the Suns finished first in points per game, again. Bell and Diaw were specifically splendid: Bell played in 79 games, logged 37.5 minutes a night, and shot an NBA-leading 44.2 percent from behind the arc, while Diaw played in 81 games, shot more than 52 percent, and was one of just two players – along with Jason Kidd and LeBron James – to average at least six assists and six rebounds per game.

    Despite the loss to the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals, the Suns had an extremely successful year by all accounts: they got deeper in the playoffs without Amare Stoudemire; they improved their defense; and with the emergence of Diaw and Bell, they set themselves up for a serious NBA Finals run this season. With that said, however, there are still a few questions: Will Amare be as explosive as he was before the knee surgery? Can they count on Kurt Thomas after he missed 29 games with injury and played in just one postseason game? Even assuming Amare is one hundred percent healthy, how will Stoudemire and Diaw coexist after Diaw became the go-to option on the pick-and-roll and in the post later in the season? Will Steve Nash, the sole irreplaceable player on the team, be able to stave off decline and injury another year despite being 31 years old? If these questions are dealt with correctly – a simple task relative to last year – the Suns have as good a chance as anyone else in the league to be the next NBA champions.

    ADDITIONS:
    Marcus Banks, PG
    Jumaine Jones, SF

    LOSSES:
    Tim Thomas, SF
    Eddie House, SG
    Brian Grant, PF

    PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:
    C – Stoudemire, Amare
    PF – Marion, Shawn
    SF – Diaw, Boris
    SG – Bell, Raja
    PG – Nash, Steve

    WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN 2006

    It’s the same tune that has been sung in the past two years: every offensive player involved with the team who receives at least 20 minutes per game is automatically on the fantasy radar. The rotation goes 10-deep, and the Suns may be the only team in the league where three or four bench players, along with each and every fantasy starter, can have quite a bit of fantasy value.

    Each of the four returning starters should reprise the same value they had in 2005, more or less; the only wild card is Amare Stoudemire. It’s worth harping over: Stoudemire is the key to take this team from being one of the three or four best teams in the NBA to being the very best team in the NBA. As of now, Stoudemire’s knee looks ready to go but don’t become lulled into a sense of security until multiple actual games have been played – Stoudemire looked all right in his abrupt March comeback last spring, but all was not well.

    Off the bench, it’s mostly sharp-shooting: Marcus Banks, Leandro Barbosa, and the Joneses (Jumaine and James Jones), should all provide copious amounts of three-pointers with elite percentages from beyond the arc. While that may be all they provide, 150-200 three-pointers means a lot during a season. If all goes well, Kurt Thomas, their lone dependable big man off the bench, should only need to log about 25 minutes off the bench. If he gets hurt, the Suns are painfully thin behind him, but a healthy Thomas should be just fine for spot starting duty and will bring in a solid amount of points and rebounds.

    What was lost in the story of 2005 was that the Suns were a legitimately improved defensive team. After finishing 29th in opponent’s field goal percentage in 2004-05, they finished a respectable 17th in the category in 2005-06. While the team will never be a defensive juggernaut, mere respectability defensively combined with the most potent offensive attack in the league by quite a distance, equals another divisional title and a legitimate chance of becoming the NBA’s top team.

    KEY BENCH PLAYERS / POSITIONAL BATTLES

    While the starting players are etched in stone, the Suns carry quite a stable of versatile players who can play different positions. Another plausible lineup would be Diaw at center, where he played much of last year (including the playoffs), Stoudemire at power forward, and Marion at small forward, returning the latter two to their natural positions. Marion and Diaw could also switch positions - the idea being that Marion is much better at defending quicker perimeter players and is one of the best help defenders in the league but struggles in the post, where Diaw could use his length to an advantage.

    Off the bench, newly-acquired Marcus Banks should eat into some of Leandro Barbosa’s playing time, and they are similar players – Banks is quick and loves to slice in and out of the lane just like Barbosa, but passes more and is a more able defender. Banks will take more of Nash’s point guard duties while Barbosa will play in the role that suits him best: offense-first two-guard off the bench where he is free to attack the basket without the traditional responsibilities of a point guard.

    Jumaine Jones was signed after postseason hero Tim Thomas left Phoenix for greener pastures in LA. Jones provides one main thing: threes. Jones loves to shoot and although he only shot 34.3 percent from behind the arc last year, he was also overextended in a starter’s role. As a role-player on an elite team, expect Jones to shoot as he did in Los Angeles the year before: 39 percent or better. The Suns love to shoot the three, and their offensive system relies upon space, letting the best offensive players – Nash, Diaw, and Stoudemire – create and dish to the deadly spot-up shooters on the outside. In this kind of setting, don’t be surprised to see Jumaine Jones set another career high in three-pointers made.

    PLAYERS WE LOVE

    It’s impossible to witness the display Boris Diaw put on in the playoffs and not get giddy. Confidence led to Diaw gradually get more active offensively in Phoenix, and by playoff time he was at the top of his game, routinely torching defenses with both his passing and scoring skills. A skilled ball-handler, Diaw is especially deadly on the pick-and-roll with Nash because he can dish to an open shooter, go off the dribble, or shoot an open 18-footer with equally dangerous precision. Combine that with his long reach defensively and Diaw regularly fills up the box score with a little of everything, from points, rebounds and assists to steals and a limited number of turnovers. The only potential pothole is the return of Stoudemire – Diaw will no longer be the only option in the halfcourt set. Regardless, head coach Mike D’Antoni and two-time MVP Steve Nash refuse to allow miscommunication in the offensive system, and Diaw should be a safe lock to repeat last season’s breakout year or better it. Oh, yeah: he’s also center-eligible.

    PLAYERS TO AVOID

    For those risk-averse, Amare Stoudemire will leave you questioning your belief in him. Center-eligible in most fantasy leagues, Stoudemire offers the very best combination of points and field goal percentage of any big man – if healthy. Of course, Stoudemire is also a freak of nature athletically, accustomed to always being one of the top two athletes on the court no matter the situation. If any of that athleticism slips away, it will be that much more difficult for Stoudemire to dominate. There is also the problem of his surgically repaired knee flaring up on him with swelling, causing him to miss a dozen or so games. Stoudemire’s buzz-worthy name means he will never fall far enough in value for him to be a sleeper, so you either have to buy into his stock all the way or totally avoid him. The Suns have proved they can be one of the very best teams in the league without him, so the pressure is on Stoudemire to make this work, or we may be at risk of seeing a Chris Webber situation here. It’s not entirely an end-of-the-world situation, and Stoudemire’s potential can easily make up for any question marks in health. Yet in a lineup loaded with fantasy-worthy starters, he represents the closest thing to a red flag.

    BOTTOM LINE

    The Suns are a fantasy owner’s dream: high scoring offense, with most of the production spread out evenly among the stars. With Steve Nash running the point, everyone in a Suns uniform is worth a look. No other team is as deep or as productive from a fantasy standpoint. The return of Amare Stoudemire will rule the headlines, and he’ll be this season’s ultimate high-risk, high-reward player.
  • Fantasy Team Previews: Denver Nuggets
    By Isaiah Barney, TalentedMrRoto.com
    Updated September 12, 2006 - 9:56 p.m.
    2005 OVERVIEW

    The 2005-06 Nuggets had pretty much the same problem that the Nuggets have had for the last few years. They do not have a shooting guard. Or more accurately, I should say a guard that can shoot. Or even more accurately, they have guards that can shoot the ball, but they don’t have any guards that can make a shot. They tried DerMarr Johnson, they tried Greg Buckner, but in the end, they just couldn’t get any consistent production at the shooting guard slot. With this deficiency, the Nuggets shot a league-low 32.5 percent from behind the arc and connected on just 4.3 three-pointers per game. Opposing teams dared Denver to shoot from the outside, packing their defense in to protect against Carmelo Anthony, Andre Miller and the rest of the Nuggets.



    Carmelo and K-Mart will applaud the arrival of J.R. Smith at shooting guard.
    (Brian Bahr/NBAE/Getty Images)

    Perhaps a bigger problem was the health of the Nuggets’ frontcourt. A harbinger of things to come, the only frontcourt player without an injury concern, Nene, went down with a torn ACL in the first game of the season. To make matters worse, Kenyon Martin and Marcus Camby missed a combined 52 games on the year and the Nuggets were left to rely on the unproven Francisco Elson at center. To help combat the injuries, the Nuggets acquired a big time rebounder in Reggie Evans from the Sonics. Still, their inability to spread the court and lacking inside presence hurt the Nuggets in the postseason as they took it on the chin in five games against the Clippers.

    The biggest story of the 2005-06 season was Carmelo Anthony’s coming out party. Anthony showed the dominance of his Syracuse days by putting up 26.5 points per game on a highly efficient 48.1 percent from the floor and 80.8 percent from the line. George Karl’s influence has clearly helped ‘Melo grow into an intimidating force on the offensive end. Although Carmelo took his game to a new level last season, he may be more valuable to his real-life team than he is to your fantasy squad. He’ll have to improve in some of the “other” categories (mainly rebounds, assists and three-pointers) to bring his game to the next level in the fantasy world.

    The Nuggets definitely made some good moves in the off-season by acquiring uber talented J.R. Smith from the Bulls for Howard Eisley and two 2007 second-round draft picks. The other move the Nuggets made this summer was acquiring Joe Smith for the self-proclaimed “Kobe-Stopper”, Ruben Patterson. Acquiring a solid power forward-center type to back up Marcus “Glassman” Camby was a smart move by Denver’s front office.

    With the general core of the team back for the 2006-07 season, the only question left is whether Kenyon Martin will still be on the team once the season starts. As of right now he still is, and it looks like his mega-contract will continue to keep him real close to his good friend George Karl.

    ADDITIONS:
    J.R. Smith, SG
    Joe Smith, PF/C


    LOSSES:
    Ruben Patterson, SF
    Francisco Elson, PF/C

    PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:
    C – Marcus Camby
    PF – Kenyon Martin
    SF – Carmelo Anthony
    SG – J.R. Smith
    PG – Andre Miller

    WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN 2006

    The Nuggets addressed their glaring need for a shooting guard during the summer with the acquisition of J.R. Smith. The question is, was it enough? Denver's SG spot definitely became more athletic with J.R. taking over, and Smith has the ability to spread the court with his long-distance shooting abilities. The only other hope for some outside shooting is from Julius Hodge, the first-round pick from 2005. Hodge is still recovering from three gun shot wounds after he was attacked leaving a club in April 2006. Even if Hodge does successfully come back, he’s a long shot to contribute from the outside being that he is more of a slasher than an outside gunner.

    One bright spot in the off-season was the play of Carmelo Anthony at the FIBA World Championship. Throughout the whole tournament (minus the forced three at the end of the Greece semifinal game), Carmelo was the most consistent and best player on the U.S. squad. He’s starting to look and act like one of those players that can make everyone on his team better.

    Overall talent should not be an issue for the Nuggets. They are clearly one of the most talented teams in the NBA. Andre Miller is an assist machine, Carmelo provides the scoring and Camby and Martin can wreak havoc on the boards. With Nene coming back from knee surgery and the addition of Joe Smith to the frontcourt, the Nuggets could have one of the best frontcourts in the league - if they can stay healthy. With five legitimate fantasy players and one late-round sleeper in J.R. Smith, the Nuggets could be fantasy gold in 2006-07.

    KEY BENCH PLAYERS / POSITION BATTLES

    It’s a battle of health for the starting power forward spot in Denver. Nene will return from knee surgery that kept him out of action for the entire 2005 season, while K-Mart missed time with a knee injury and posted career lows in steals (0.8) and blocks (0.9) while putting up only modest numbers in points (12.9) and rebounds (6.3). Martin has the upper hand due to his shut-down defensive abilities, but Nene will push him for time, so both should see plenty of minutes in the Denver frontcourt. With both of these players being huge injury risks, it looks like whoever stays healthier will be the player that sees the most action.

    Although both Andre Miller and Earl Boykins are both listed at point guard, George Karl likes to use the two guards on the court at the same time. With the lack of a SG presence on this team, Karl has been forced to mix things up and use Boykins as a shooting guard at times. The Nuggets’ backcourt gets cloudier now that J.R. Smith is in town, and Boykins could lose some minutes as a result.

    PLAYERS WE LOVE

    It is always nice to be able to find a sleeper here or there at the center position, seeing as it is the most scarce position in fantasy basketball. Nene will provide that for your team this year. Due to his injury at the beginning of last season, he will be a forgotten man this year. He will need to play well to earn that max contract he signed during the summer and will provide a solid source for field goal percentage, rebounds and blocks to go along with that elusive steals category. Let it be known, Nene has averaged 1.4 steals a game during his career.

    A very late-round sleeper candidate is J.R. Smith. In his rookie campaign with the Hornets, he averaged just more than 10 points per game in only 24 minutes of playing time. With all the defensive attention on ‘Melo, Smith should be able to roam freely and use his athleticism to score effectively. For a late-round selection, he could bring a huge reward for such a small risk.

    PLAYERS TO AVOID

    With his dominant performance in the WBOC, Carmelo Anthony may be a bit overvalued this season. It is not so much that Anthony will have a bad year because he has progressively improved every year since he left Jim Boeheim’s basketball factory. It is more the fact that his average draft position is much higher than it should be for a player who does not contribute across the board. ‘Melo can certainly score like his rivals Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, but Wade and James contribute heavily in the defensive categories while Anthony does not. To be fair, ‘Melo’s percentages make him a terrific fantasy player, but don’t reach too early to get a player whose main contribution comes in the easiest category to get off the waiver wire - points scored.

    This should go without saying, but Marcus Camby is a risky acquisition. Sure, he’s got the whole high risk/high reward thing going for him, but the risk may outweigh the reward here. Now that the NBA does not have the injury list, Camby absolutely kills your team when he goes down due to injury. When healthy, Camby is an absolute fantasy beast. Problem is, Camby has played in an average of 55 games per year during the last four seasons.

    BOTTOM LINE

    The 2006-07 Denver Nuggets team is going to look very similar to the Nuggets teams from the last few years, and I am not just talking about their powder blue jerseys. The Nuggets will continue to see opposing defenses pack it in and dare them to shoot from the outside. J.R. Smith should be able to spread the court a little, and Joe Smith should help bolster an injury-prone front court. Overall, expect more or less the same out of most of the Nuggets in terms of fantasy value.
  • Fantasy Team Previews: Los Angeles Lakers
    By Adam Madison, TalentedMrRoto.com
    September 13, 2006 - 9:24 a.m.
    2005 OVERVIEW

    The Lakers are in the midst of an interesting project. After the disaster that was the 2004-05 season, Lakers management knew there was no choice but to actively rebuild the roster. They drafted their center of the future, then 17-year-old Andrew Bynum, with the tenth overall pick, traded for 23-year-old Kwame Brown and rewarded 24-year-old Smush Parker’s impressive training camp with the starting point guard job. The Lakers also decided to show faith in the progression of 25-year-old Lamar Odom, hoping he could transform into a true second star behind Kobe Bryant. It’s rare to see a lottery team push a youth movement and still expect to make the playoffs the following year, but that was the goal. The average age of the starting lineup was just a hair over 25.




    Will Lamar Odom finally flourish as a fantasy stud alongside Kobe Bryant?
    (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images)

    A year later, with a successful playoff appearance under their belts, it looks like it was a wise decision. The Phoenix Suns did knock them out of the first round, but the Lakers pushed it to seven games and were even up three games to one at one point. A pessimist might notice the end result and call it a collapse, but they brought a 54-win team to the brink of elimination when many wondered if they would even win a game.

    In an attempt to build on this end-of-the-season momentum, the team made the decision that more firepower was needed. Vladimir Radmanovic was signed to a five-year, $31 million free agent deal, and the move represented management’s line of thinking: the Lakers can be a threat in the Western Conference without abandoning the long-term rebuilding process, as Radmanovic is just 26 years of age. With their first-round draft pick, they selected Jordan Farmar, a 19-year-old point guard out of UCLA. Farmar is raw but explosive, and one can again see the long-term plan for the franchise in the logic behind this selection. By keeping the team competitive yet still building for the future, the Lakers prevent a losing atmosphere from permeating the traditionally successful franchise and give the young players much-needed experience.

    ADDITIONS:
    Vladimir Radmanovic, PF
    Jordan Farmar, PG
    Shammond Williams, PG
    Maurice Evans, SG
    J.R. Pinnock, G


    LOSSES:
    Devean George, SF

    PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:
    C – Kwame Brown
    PF – Lamar Odom
    SF – Vladimir Radmanovic
    SG – Kobe Bryant
    PG – Smush Parker


    WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN 2006

    Yeah, I’m sure you know it’s Kobe’s team, but in the playoffs, we saw an odd sight indeed: Kobe not shooting. Kobe averaged more than 27 shot attempts per game in the regular season in 41 minutes per game. In the playoffs, he shot less than 22 times per contest despite nearly 45 minutes played per game. While it was a small sample size – just seven games – and it was mainly due to a concentrated effort to pound the ball inside against an undersized team, it could be a harbinger of things to come. Radmanovic has no problem shooting the rock, and he shoots it well from the outside – he made almost 42 percent of his three-pointers. The much-maligned Kwame Brown played exceedingly well in the second half of the season. It’s still Kobe’s team but don’t be surprised to see more production from the role players.

    What was lost in the shuffle of all of Kobe’s scoring antics is that Phil Jackson did a great job of molding this collection of young talent into a team with an identity. Jackson has always preached defense for his teams, and later in the year it started to pay off. After allowing Sacramento to score 114 points on March 14, they allowed just two other teams to score more than 100 points - one of which was an overtime game, and the other a game against the Suns. As a whole, they allowed just 94.3 points per game during their last 17 regular season games, and even held the Suns under their season average for the first four games in their playoff series. For comparison purposes, that would put them eighth in the league in opponent points per game. Radmanovic is by no means a defensive improvement, but if they can be a top ten defensive team in the league, the Lakers become one of the best sleeper teams in the league.

    KEY BENCH PLAYERS / POSITION BATTLES

    Kwame Brown seemed to gain Phil Jackson’s faith as the season wore on and did start 49 games, but Chris Mihm, the normal starting center, missed 23 games with an injury. Mihm has been injury prone throughout his career – in seven seasons, he’s missed 23 or more games five times and has never played a full season. In addition, he is a free agent after this season, so this season should be the year where Brown fully takes over the center position. Of course, most people expected Brown to start at the beginning of last year, but he ended up in the doghouse until January. Jackson has no problem showing tough love toward Brown, so make sure Brown is in shape and ready to play when training camp hits.

    PLAYERS WE LOVE

    Kwame Brown, how thou teases. Say it with me: this is the year Brown establishes himself as a viable NBA starter. As noted earlier, Kwame flourished once January hit, and while he still showed inconsistency, he was slowly improving: he scored double digits 18 times out of 22 games, including the playoffs. Kwame became very efficient from the field as he shot nearly 59 percent in 30 games after the All-Star break, averaging 29.6 minutes per game. In his last 31 games – from March on, including the playoffs – he averaged 11.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, 0.7 blocks, and shot a whopping 58.2 percent from the field. Those are more than adequate numbers for your third center, and because Brown is disliked by so many fantasy owners, you won’t have any problem landing him late in your draft. If Brown gets even a few more shot attempts per game, or a few more minutes per game, he could get you 15 points and eight rebounds – something only four centers did last season.

    The best player in the playoff series versus the Suns was not Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Shawn Marion, or Boris Diaw. It was the enigma Lamar Odom, who mixes in occasional greatness with frustrating inconsistency. Odom went off on the Suns, routinely torching Shawn Marion in the post. Odom averaged 19.1 points, 11.0 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.1 blocks, and shot nearly 50 percent from the field to boot. While he did have many factors in his favor in the series – the Suns’ undersized front court and tempo-pushing offense helped, as well as the Lakers’ dedication to their front court – Odom was incredible the entire second half of the season. He averaged 16.3 points, 9.2 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.7 blocks, 1.2 three-pointers, and shot 53 percent from the floor after the All-Star break…eye-popping numbers. While some of it has to be attributed to playing over his head (there’s no way Odom is a 43 percent shooter from beyond the arc), one can’t entirely write it off. Odom is talented enough to put up these kind of numbers and more. Odom thrived in his second year under Phil Jackson and the triangle offense; he was extremely efficient, the team’s best rebounder, and the emphasis on spacing and ball movement resulted in the second-highest assist average of his career. A motivated Odom can be one of the best players in the league, and if he can manage to stay healthy again, Odom’s name will be thrown into list of elite fantasy performers.

    Only six players in the entire NBA averaged at least 1.5 three-pointers and 1.5 steals per game: LeBron James, Jason Kidd, Gilbert Arenas, Kobe Bryant, Eddie Jones, and Smush Parker. Only Parker played in all 82 games. For an undrafted free agent, a 24-year-old just looking for a roster spot, to do that? Parker even has upside – don’t forget that this was the first significant playing time he has ever had in his career. It showed at times, and he did seem to tire: he shot just 39.7 percent in April, and an even worse 33.3 percent in seven playoff games. A full season under his belt should help him, and note the in-season improvement – his field goal percentage, free throw percentage, rebounds, and assists all improved. The Lakers are still thin at point guard (Farmar is a year or two away and Shammond Williams is merely a bench stop gap), so Parker will be reprising the same role he had last year. Feel confident with Parker as your number two point guard.

    PLAYERS TO AVOID

    One-trick ponies can bring value, but there’s something about Vladimir Radmanovic: he offers almost nothing of value outside of three-pointers, yet still gets taken much earlier in drafts than he should. There is nothing inherently wrong with Radmanovic – he’s all right for what he does – but players who only get three-pointers and do little else are not a rare commodity. Radmanovic’s defensive problems often put him in a coach’s doghouse – he’s too big and bulky to defend small forwards, but not physical enough to give power forwards a tough time. Phil Jackson has no problem laying down the law against any player who looks uncommitted, and he has Brian Cook to do virtually the same thing as Radmanovic – Cook is a career 39.6 percent shooter from long-range.

    BOTTOM LINE

    Phil Jackson has done a great job of guiding one of the youngest teams in the league to be a competitive one. Last year was a learning process for many of the players, and while they learned, Kobe Bryant gunned up the shots and points to take the pressure off them. Now, armed with playoff experience, a full season of learning from Jackson and more confidence, expect more help for Kobe. Odom is making that jump from a good NBA player to a borderline great one, and both Smush Parker and Kwame Brown should be better than last year to cement themselves as serviceable fantasy starters. Do not expect too much from Radmanovic, though; Phil Jackson likes what he knows, and he knows Luke Walton and Brian Cook better than Radmanovic. As a whole, this team is deeper and more experienced than last year. Instead of respectability, the goal is to make a push for home court in the playoffs. It’s not too far out of their grasps.
  • Fantasy Team Preview: Seattle SuperSonics
    By Josh Whitling, TalentedMrRoto.com
    September 14, 2006 - 9:36 a.m.
    2005 OVERVIEW



    Will Chris Wilcox emerge as a fantasy star now that he has the chance to shine in Seattle?
    (Fernando Medina/NBAE/Getty Images)

    The Sonics ended a disappointing 2005 campaign with a strong push after acquiring Chris Wilcox and Earl Watson near the trade deadline, and head coach Bob Hill grew more comfortable running the team he took over when Bob Weiss was fired less than halfway through the season. During the past few years, Hill has reportedly studied more basketball and gained more game-related knowledge than the rest of his coaching career combined, so he’ll have a clear, well-thought out game plan coming into the 2006 season. He has two All-Stars to complement a core of young players that have Sonics fans thinking the playoffs should be within reach again this year.

    The most significant off-season happening wasn’t game-related, as the ownership group led by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz sold the team to an Oklahoma City-based ownership group. This left Seattle residents in a state of shock with premature mourning for a franchise that seems destined to please Okies in a year. This ups the stakes for the team, as much of their future rides upon what kind of product is on the court this year – the team will remain if a new arena deal is struck, and that will be largely determined by the amount of area support received. Regardless, the Sonics have many fantasy-relevant players, including a few who could be set for breakout seasons, regardless of the off-court turmoil.

    ADDITIONS:
    Saer Sene, C
    Mickael Gelabale, F
    Denham Brown, F
    Yotam Halperin, G

    LOSSES:
    Mikki Moore, C
    Mateen Cleaves, PG
    Mike Wilkes, F

    PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:
    PG – Luke Ridnour
    SG – Ray Allen
    SF – Rashard Lewis
    PF – Chris Wilcox
    C – Robert Swift


    WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN 2006

    Much of the Sonics’ success rides on their point guard and center play. This year is make or break for Ridnour, who puts up nice assist, steal and free throw percentage numbers but lacks the points and threes you want from a starting guard. Luke’s a gym rat who has never relied upon his physical acumen to succeed, and now that he has some real pressure behind him in Watson, his motivation to achieve has increased. Watson came in and contributed immediately, prompting Hill to play him in the fourth quarter down the stretch, much to Ridnour’s dismay. Ridnour actually came out and expressed his frustration to the media but quickly apologized. The Oregon alum was fifth in the league in assists-per-turnover - a stat that comes in handy in turnover leagues where most seven-assist players come along with three turnovers to boot. In addition, he has consistently worked on his three-point shot. Ridnour should be able to post 7.5 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.0 threes and be one of the best free-throw shooters in the league - enough to make him a better mid-round pick than many of the aging point guards out there. But if you draft Ridnour, do your best to handcuff him with Earl Watson because there’s an outside chance Watson is starting by January if Ridnour doesn’t take the step I expect him to. Watson is a stud in his own right – one of the few bench players definitely worth drafting in all leagues and a great sleeper pick due to that outside chance he’ll start.

    Swifty and Petro will both improve, and most post-draft analysis scorned the Sonics for drafting Sene when explosive swingmen Ronnie Brewer and Rodney Carney were still on the board, but the reason they passed is because they believe Gelabale is that man. They drafted the 6’9” Frenchman – the third on the roster – in the second round of the 2005 draft and let him play overseas for a year. His athleticism is through the roof and he’s a sound perimeter defender, but he’s skinny and will take time to adjust to the NBA. He and Damien Wilkins will fight for the backup minutes at the small forward position, although if one proves he can play guard, there should be decent minutes to be had behind the aging Ray Allen, as there is no true backup two-guard on the roster. The team is set at the 1-4 positions with little room for a new starter to break in, although more than one of their bench players should be able to contribute. Most of the team’s success relies upon how much the young talent steps up this year, and if one of the centers and Ridnour do so, I’ll be a happy, happy man.

    KEY BENCH POSITIONS / POSITION BATTLES

    Robert Swift/Johan Petro – Give the early edge to Swift for the starting center spot, although this is a battle that will be waged in the preseason. The entire world scoffed when the Sonics drafted Swift then laughed when he was a no-show during his first NBA season. But Swift has put on the pounds most of us put on in college (although his was due to hitting the weights, not late night Taco Bell runs) and has the potential to be a day-in, day-out fantasy starter at center with his two-plus blocks per game potential. Petro can play some four, run up and down the floor like a guard and has been working on his mid-range game, making him much more versatile than Swift but more difficult to work into a consistent offensive game plan. Swift will be the better fantasy player this season and worth owning for his blocks alone, although both have bright NBA futures ahead of them. So bright, the main motivation for drafting Sene was as a preemptive move for when another team lures either Swift or Petro away with big bucks when they become free agents.

    Nick Collison/Chris Wilcox – In a matchup of footwork and pick-and-rolls versus slam dunks and cornrows, Wilcox has the edge. Mired behind Elton Brand in LA for years, Wilcox finally exploded with the Sonics, averaging 14.1 points and 8.2 rebounds in 30 minutes per game after the trade, including countless alley-oops and two-handed thunderjams. Yes, thunderjams. Collison had been groomed to take over this year at the four, but Wilcox’s upside and explosiveness are far too great, which will likely relegate Collison to about 20 minutes per game (around what he had last season). He can play some backup center, so it’ll be interesting to see how Bob Hill manages the quintet of Wilcox, Collison, Petro, Swift and Sene at the four and five. Sene will undoubtedly get the least minutes, but Collison is likely second in line and not worth drafting in fantasy leagues now that Wilcox has been locked up for the next three seasons.

    PLAYERS WE LOVE

    Rashard Lewis - Rashard spent the off-season focusing on his ballhandling and defense. This off-season regimen could equal an uptick in assists and field goal percentage since he could be more inclined to drive with more control over the rock. His steals and blocks should improve as well, so even though he looks asleep on the floor at times, he is a terrific fantasy contributor in numerous categories. And getting that many threes out of a forward is ridiculous. He also showed up to camp with the best abs of his career (no joke). Think about it, Rashard’s role in the offense will be bigger than it’s ever been; his post-up game is improving; and he’s still just 27 (!). Plus, he's primed to step up while Ray Allen faces constant double-teams.

    Chris Wilcox – Seventeen and eight should be easily attainable for Wilcox, but where he really makes his money is in field goal percentage, perhaps the hardest category to strategically plan for. Weezie will average more than the 30 minutes per game he did with the Supes last year, meaning that his points and boards should increase, and he has a legitimate shot at averaging around 60 percent from the field. If any player on the team is set to explode, Wilcox is the one, and he should be attainable in the later rounds of your fantasy draft. If you want a player with a high ceiling that has 20-10 potential down the road (best-case scenario this year), grab Wilcox and enjoy the ride.

    PLAYERS TO AVOID

    Ray Allen – Now before you flood my inbox with tirades asking how could I tell you to avoid an All-Star, keep in mind this is all relative to his overall fantasy value. Allen will likely be drafted in the late first round of many drafts. I typically avoid drafting a guy coming off easily his best season – which saw the most three-pointers made in a single season ever – in the following season’s draft. I think Ray will still be a star, but his numbers will inch closer to the 2004-2005 season. Furthermore, the aforementioned lack of a backup shooting guard means that Ray will be overworked, so he could either respond with bigger numbers or tire down. Don’t avoid him all together; just avoid him as your first overall pick, since there are question marks surrounding Mr. Shuttlesworth.

    Nick Collison – See above. Wilcox will be seeing most of the minutes. Plus he’s consistently in foul trouble. Sorry, Nick.

    Saer Sene – There’s no room behind Swift and Petro for him to contribute significantly, although he should be the top rookie in blocks per 48 minutes.

    BOTTOM LINE

    I love this team. I bleed green and yellow, although it mixes together to make red. Their overall record will be better than last year, and the young talent will improve. Fantasy owners will pray that either Swift or Petro emerges as the clear favorite, because if one does he will have fantasy value at the shallowest of positions. Overall, all five of the Sonics’ starters should pan out to be fantasy-worthy, so keep an eye on how they perform in training camp since their names will be spotted all over your draft list.
  • 2006-07 Dallas Mavericks Fantasy Team Preview
    Isaiah Barney
    September 15, 2006

    2005 OVERVIEW:


    2005 was quite a year for the Dallas Mavericks. During the regular season they were up to their normal tricks; cruising along around the top of the standings of the Western Conference. Their most memorable game of the regular season was probably when Kobe Bryant, AKA “The Black Mamba” torched them for 62 points in three quarters of play. Despite that particular game, Dallas’ defense was much improved from the days of Don Nelson. Avery Johnson did a great job of making his players disciples of his defensive message. Much of this defensive presence can be credited to DeSagana Diop. He was a flop in Cleveland, but the Mavericks found something useful in this one-time lottery pick. They decided to turn him into a Ben Wallace type of the west. As the season progressed, he started to take time away from another disappointing big man, Erick Dampier. Eventually, Diop would become the starting center and ended up averaging 1.8 blocks a game. The off-season signing of Greg Buckner plus the increased role of Devin Harris are signs that the Mavericks are starting to put the “D” back into Dallas. Buckner is a defensive specialist and Devin Harris is a pesky ball hawk. Expect Avery Johnson to play all three of these defensive minded players at once to control the tempo in 2006-07.



    As the season progressed Avery decided to play Harris and Jason Terry together in the backcourt. This allowed Terry to score more and not have to worry about chasing around the other point guard. Harris is a more conventional point guard while Terry is more of a scoring point guard, so the relationship worked like a charm. This lineup change is the reason why the Mavericks got past their arch-nemesis San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Final. What? You say it wasn’t the final? How is that possible? The two best records in the West in a series against each other seems like a definition of a final to me. Anyways, back to your regularly scheduled preview. By Avery playing Harris and Terry together it forced the Spurs into a style of play they were not accustomed to. Additionally, the Mavericks got an extra bonus from Harris with his scoring average jumping from 9.9 PPG in the regular season to 12.7 PPG against the Spurs. Terry’s average also jumped from 17.1 PPG in the regular season to 19.7 against the Spurs.



    In the Finals, the Mavs employed the same strategy and it worked until Dirk missed those free throws in Game 3 to secure, for all intents and purposes, a Finals Championship for the Lone Star state. The Mavericks were never the same team after those misses and eventually coughed up their chance to win the Championship. Sure Dwyane Wade’s Super Human performance had something to do with it. Ultimately, if Nowitski makes those free throws Avery Johnson would have been able to bring home the trophy. By most standards the Mavericks had an extremely successful season and could be in line to end up back in the Finals again this upcoming year.

    Additions


    Maurice Ager, G

    Austin Croshere. F

    Devean George, G-F

    Anthony Johnson, G

    Greg Buckner, G-F





    Losses


    Darrell Armstrong, G

    Josh Powell, F

    Adrian Griffin, G-F

    Marquis Daniels, G



    Projected Starting Lineup


    C – DeSagana Diop

    PF – Dirk Nowitski

    SF – Josh Howard

    SG – Jason Terry

    PG – Devin Harris



    WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN 2006:


    The main contributors for Mavs are coming back for another run at the Finals. All of the starters and the first two guys off the bench (Jerry Stackhouse and Anthony Johnson) will be fantasy worthy. Avery’s rotation should go about 9-10 players deep and should have 6-7 fantasy relevant players.



    Three of the five starters should retain the same fantasy value as last year with a slight increase for Josh Howard and Devin Harris. Dirk will continue to be his David Hasselhoff loving self and Jason Terry will continue to contribute high field goal percentage and three-pointers. Josh Howard’s increase should simply come from a young player progressing and learning how to be a scorer in the NBA. Howard should improve on his averages of 15.6 points, 1.2 steals and 6.3 rebounds per game. Howard is a solid contributor in just about every category and is much more valuable in leagues that count turnovers, given his 1.3 turnovers per game.



    The largest jump in value should come for Devin Harris. He showed during the playoffs that he can contribute if he is given the minutes. If Avery continues to give Devin the 25-30 minutes per game he saw in the playoffs, he could be in for a big season in 2006-07.



    Coming off the bench for the Mavericks this year they will have quite a talented bunch to choose from: Jerry Stackhouse, Anthony Johnson, Maurice Ager, Erick Dampier and Austin Croshere. If there are any injuries in the starting lineup, expect any of these subs to fill in admirably.



    I expect the defense to continue to get tougher in Avery’s second year of duty. During the summer, he had the chance to bring in some free agents and draft picks that will fit in very nicely with his system.



    Key Bench Players/Positional Battles


    Expect Avery Johnson to move Jason “the Jet” Terry over to the two-spot much more this season to open up some playing time for Devin Harris. The acquisition of Anthony Johnson from the Pacers should give Avery the chance to play Terry at the shooting guard position exclusively if he so wishes. Harris is expected to be the starter, but the veteran Johnson should push him for minutes.



    The key battle off the bench should be between Maurice Ager and Jerry Stackhouse. If Ager can come out and prove that he deserves a spot in the rotation, Avery should oblige to keep Jerry fresh for later in the season. Keep an eye on this battle, if there is an injury to any of the starting guards, the winner of this battle will have some fantasy relevance.



    If DeSagana Diop reverts back to his ways from Cleveland it will open the door for Erick Dampier to step in and try to earn his mega-contract. Did I just say Erick Dampier and earn his mega contract in a sentence? I am sorry about that. Seriously though, if Diop starts slow, look for Avery to give Dampier a shot to earn back his starting spot.



    Players We Love


    How can you not love Josh Howard. He was a late draft pick back in the 2004 NBA Draft (29th Overall) and he will be a mid-round draft selection in your fantasy draft. For the round that you will be able to draft Howard in, he is a must have for any team. He contributes in just about every category and does not hurt you in any category. He is a young player who is beginning to develop into a superstar alongside Dirk and is well worth the risk compared to the reward he could offer.

    Players To Avoid


    Even though the center position is extremely shallow, there is no need to draft DeSagana Diop in all but the deepest of deep leagues. Although his blocks do come in handy in a very scarce category, the depleted numbers in every other category are not worth the pick up. Although he’ll block a ton of shots, his scoring (1.8 points per game) his rebounds (4.6 per game) leave a lot to be desired.

    Bottom Line


    The Dallas Mavericks are a dumbed-down fantasy version of the Suns. They’ll run and gun but they also play some defense. I expect a season similar to last year for the Western Conference champions. As long as the Mavericks do not have to go against their kryptonite, Kobe “Bean” Bryant, every night they should have a solid year both in real life and fantasy.
  • Fantasy Team Preview: Los Angeles Clippers

    By Adam Madison, TalentedMrRoto.com
    September 16, 2006 - 9:36 a.m.

    2005-06 OVERVIEW

    Elton Brand has long been a standout, but quietly one of the league’s best players since the day he entered the league. With career averages of 20.3 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.1 blocks, and a field goal percentage of 50.1 percent, Brand is one of just three current players to have averages of at least 20 points, 10 rebounds, two blocks, and 50 percent from the field. The other two – Tim Duncan and Shaquille O’Neal – are sure-fire Hall of Famers.

    Will Corey Maggette's tenacious style of play lead to more injuries this season?
    (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images)

    Yet Brand was still underrated for one sole reason: team success. If you’re not an exceptional talent at a young age, and your team isn’t a consistent threat for the postseason, you’re not truly a “superstar.” Brand suffered from this sentiment each and every year, and while people did praise the man was a great basketball player, it was usually a backhanded compliment. It was an acknowledgement that yes, Brand was a superb player, but he was a superb player on a losing team, so what’s that worth?

    If the Clippers can reiterate their success from last season, Brand, while, for the most part, being the same player, will see his stature catapult. Prior to the acquisition of Brand, a curse was placed on the Clippers, and the team was everybody’s favorite joke. Even Brand’s arrival in 2001 couldn’t change things; even though the Clippers finished just four games under .500 that season, they still missed the playoffs, and had won less than 40 percent of their games in the Brand Era before 2005 .

    Ah, glorious 2005-06. With 47 wins, the Clippers finished in second place in the division, snapped their 12-year sub-.500 streak and finished with the ninth-best record in the NBA. Even more surprisingly, the Clippers pushed hard in the playoffs, finishing just one game away from the Western Conference Finals. Brand was a legitimate MVP candidate – partial thanks accredited to Sam Cassell, no doubt – and the Clippers, stocked with young talent from perennially-high draft positions in the past, believe they can become a stable force in the Western Conference powerhouse.

    To wit, the Clippers made few changes: they allowed Vladimir Radmanovic, a sharp-shooting 6’10” small forward acquired in the middle of the season for Chris Wilcox, to depart during free agency, and added Tim Thomas, a – surprise, surprise – sharp-shooting 6’10” small forward. The Clippers did not add an immediate presence to their team through the draft, either – their 2005 lottery selection, Yaroslav Korolev, is still a project, and this year - lacking a first-roundpick - they selected Paul Davis with the 34th overall pick. All in all, the Clippers are smartly built around young talent – Shaun Livingston, Chris Kaman, Quinton Ross, Corey Maggette, and Brand, with the average age being just 24 – and veteran players, with Cassell the eldest at 37, but Thomas and Cuttino Mobley both in their thirties. The idea is sound – any decline the older players have should be off-set by the younger players’ improvement – but it remains to be seen if the Clippers can truly improve on last year’s impressive season with the majority of their roster unchanged.

    ADDITIONS:
    Tim Thomas, SF
    Paul Davis, C
    Aaron Williams, PF

    LOSSES:
    Vladimir Radmanovic, SF
    Walter McCarty, F

    PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:
    C – Chris Kaman
    PF – Elton Brand
    SF – Corey Maggette
    SG – Cuttino Mobley
    PG – Sam Cassell

    WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN 2006

    Many things really clicked for the Clippers last year, but the change did not happen overnight. Coach Mike Dunleavy has worked for years to instill a proper defense into the Clippers. Plus, in 2004-05, they were a playoff contender before injuries to Maggette, Marko Jaric, Kerry Kittles, Kaman, and Chris Wilcox mounted. The Clippers have done a great job of finding cheap talent and making the best of it – Bobby Simmons, Rick Brunson, and Quinton Ross have all come from nowhere to make large impacts on the team – and as a result they have been able to slowly bring along their top young talent into the meld of quality you see today.

    The Clippers did not change much from last year, and not much should change fantasy-wise as a result. Kaman and Livingston showed significant improvement throughout the course of the season, and Ross stepped up as a true elite defender against quicker guards – especially point guards – while stepping in for Maggette. In Mobley, Kaman, and Brand, they have three positions taken care of – none of the three are significant injury risks – so the questions arise at small forward and point guard. Cassell, if healthy, is the starter, but at age 37, good health can not be assumed for anyone. If Cassell goes down during the midst of the season, and Livingston plays well in his absence, a potential murkiness arises: how do you balance a superstar level of talent in Livingston with the wily veteran who gives the team the best chance to win this season but not for future seasons? Maggette, the other question mark, is a fierce competitor that has no problem banging bodies on his way towards the basket, but whose unwilling determination to get to the line has resulted in a litany of injuries. Maggette is treading into the realm of injury prone, but his offensive prowess is tempting for fantasy owners. If such problems arise, expect to see the same decision-making from Clippers brass this year: gradually play Livingston more as the season moves along and limit Maggette’s minutes by splitting with Ross.

    KEY BENCH POSITIONS / POSITION BATTLES

    Quinton Ross is a plain vanilla fantasy option without much value on his own, but he is of vital importance in assessing Corey Maggette’s fantasy value. Bringing Maggette off the bench upon his return in March paid dividends for the team: Ross, who was quickly emerging as a Bruce Bowen-ite on defense, presented the Clippers with a conundrum: how do we get our best pure scorer significant playing time without losing our best defensive stopper? The solution was to start Ross and bring Maggette off the bench as the best sixth man in the league. It worked well. After a rough start, Maggette was lighting up second-team defenses and actually ended up putting up the best per-minute stats in his career. Of course, fantasy players want to see 33-35 minutes per game, not 29, but the Clippers’ plans aren’t yet known. So far they have entered the off-season with a “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality, and considering this rotation between the two players got them deep into the playoffs, don’t totally dismiss the notion.

    PLAYERS WE LOVE

    It’s rare to see elite players – especially those six years into their career – truly improve their game and take their game to another level, but that is exactly what Elton Brand did last season. Brand set a career high in points scored with 24.7, an extremely high total for a traditional power forward such as Brand, and managed to approach, match, or exceed career highs in field goal percentage, free throws attempted and percentage made, turnovers, blocks, and personal fouls. Playing with Sam Cassell helped – let’s not forget Cassell was a big factor in Kevin Garnett’s MVP season – but Brand also worked out vigorously to make himself slimmer for the season. As a result, he vastly improved his jump shot, making 47.5 percent of his jump shots after shooting 41.8 percent in 2004-05, 38.9 percent in 2003-04, and 37.5 percent in 2002-03. Brand felt much more comfortable from farther out, attempted more shots and scored more points. As one can see, Brand has slowly but steadily improved his jump shot during this time. While he may not shoot exactly as well as he did last year, it was not a fluke. Expect Brand to be just as dominate this year as he was last year. In the same amount of minutes per game, Chris Kaman improved his field goal percentage, free throw attempts, free throw percentage, rebounds, steals and points. The key to Kaman’s superb season was rather simple: the Clippers let him play with fouls. Kaman has always fouled a lot, as silly bone-headed fouls have often put a crimp in otherwise spectacular play, but the Clippers decided to simply let him play through it and see if he’d adjust on his own. Even though he still averaged three and a half fouls per game on the season, he ended up cutting his fouls by 0.3 in the second half. After averaging 3.7 and 3.8 fouls per game in November and December, he did not average more than 3.4 fouls in any single month from January on. Talent shines through in the end, and the longer Kaman learns to stay on the floor, the better the stats he’ll pile up. Considering he’s just 24 years old and has a contract to play for, he should again play the best basketball of his career.

    PLAYERS TO AVOID

    Sorry to pick on you, Corey Maggette, but what can I say – the facts speak for themselves. What makes Maggette so good on the offensive end is the same thing that leads to his injuries: aggressiveness. Watch Maggette play, and you see a bulldozer. He’s physically cut with the mindset to put those physical abilities to the best use. Maggette’s favorite play is to drive inside the lane from the perimeter, create contact, and get to the line. Maggette does this very well – he is always one of the leaders in free throw attempts and free throws made when he’s healthy – but it also leads to nagging injuries, such as the foot injury last year that some even briefly opined could threaten his career. While Maggette came back and showed he could still ball, there has to be some worry about a player turning 27 in November who has missed 66 games in the past two seasons. Worse, because he is prone to turning the ball over – he had more turnovers than assists last year – and is poor at best defensively, Mike Dunleavy may feel he is better coming off the bench, especially considering how enamored he was with Quinton Ross last season. With Elton Brand, Sam Cassell, Cuttino Mobley, and even Chris Kaman’s improved offensive ability, the Clippers really do not need 20 points a game from anyone else; as a result, Maggette can ill afford to get injured again, as his job – assuming he enters the season as a starter – may not be there when he returns.

    Shaun Livingston may be the most gifted passer to enter the league since Jason Kidd, but the Clippers’ newfound team success is bad news for his fantasy value, because it means the team is playing for the present first and the future second. While a year ago it was easy to see Livingston taking over the point guard job as the season progresses, the Clippers can legitimately be a great team, a true threat to any other team; as a result when Sam Cassell is healthy, Livingston is going to take a backseat. His best chance at significant playing time is a Maggette injury, as his size – at 6’7” – means the Clippers can get away playing him alongside Cassell at shooting guard or even small forward in a small lineup. Barring a significant injury to Cassell, Livingston’s a ball of potential without playing time. In the long-term, it is a good thing – he still needs to work on his perimeter shooting, strength, and defense – but in the interim, it’s best that you temper your expectations for him.

    BOTTOM LINE

    The Clippers are one of the rare teams in a position to be an extremely good team right now while simultaneously setting up nicely for the future. Realistically, the Clippers are truly one step away from doing severe damage in the league, but they showed last year to be a tough matchup for any team. While the strategy of minimal roster change following a successful season has backfired on many a team, the Clippers’ youth at key positions should cover up any decline in its veterans, and as a result the team should replicate last year’s success, if not necessarily build on it. For one more year, the Clippers can get by with what they have. Fantasy-wise, this is very true, too; very few roles have changed and playing time expectations should be mostly the same for each player. With that in mind, the players you liked or disliked last year are, by and large, the very same players you liked or disliked last season. There is a benefit to this, of course: knowing what to expect means you can recognize and acquire the positive value without much second-guessing.
  • ceedeeceedee PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    ALvs wrote:
    This is where PEX players can ask about tips and advice regarding anything NBA Fantasy basketball. Leagues are going to form anytime soon.

    Anyways, just to get the ball rolling.

    I belong to a yearly 12 team roto league which allows us to retain 5 players from the previous year.

    I've decided to retain the following: Kobe, Felton, Nelson.

    I am however still undecided on the following, so this is where I need help: Nocioni, Dalembert, B. Miller

    I still have Zach Randolph on my team, but his bad attitude last year makes me want to just drop the guy.

    Which two would you pick for the final 2 slots and why?

    Thanks!:D

    its best if you give us the remaining 9 players whom you didnt protect. and let us decide whom you're going to be your final 2 keepers.
  • kailan ba ang start ng yahoo fantasy nba? late sept daw pero ala pa din. Last year kasi sep 16 mayroon na pero ngayon wala pa din. Excited na ako.
  • ceedeeceedee PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    ^^ baka this coming week, magkakaroon na.
  • ah. sana nga. ready na lineup ko. ready na ako maggamble basta statstuffer. timing lamang nang injury ang importante.
  • K. Bryant (LAL - SG)
    S. Dalembert (Phi - C)
    B. Diaw (Pho - SG,SF,PF,C)
    I. Diogu (GS - PF,C)
    R. Felton (Cha - PG,SG)
    R. Gomes (Bos - SF,PF)
    B. Miller (Sac - C)
    M. Miller (Mem - SG,SF)
    J. Nelson (Orl - PG)
    A. Nocioni (Chi - SF)
    K. Perkins (Bos - PF,C)
    Z. Randolph (Por - PF)

    If may dumagdag na player sa fantasy league namin, we're going to initially retain three players instead of six... If three, I think I'm going with Kobe, Brad Miller, and Boris Diaw... If six, then add Jameer Nelson, Raymond Felton, and Andres Nocioni to the list... choices choices:D
  • funny thing, I was able to acquire felton, nelson, and nocioni through pickups...

    diaw, i was able to get by trading tony parker... LOL!
  • FREE Article
    2006-07 Detroit Pistons Fantasy Team Preview
    Tony Targan
    September 17, 2006

    2005 OVERVIEW:


    The Detroit Pistons finally got their due during the 2005-06 NBA season. Four All-Star selections, a record consecutive games streak for the same starting five, the best regular season record and home court advantage throughout the playoffs: They had it all. This hard-working bunch from the Motor City was on cruise control and Pistons fans were revved up for another NBA finals run. Then something funny happened on the way to their happy ending. After barely surviving the Cavaliers, the Pistons got torched by the Heat in the Eastern Conference finals.



    After watching Miami go on to beat Dallas in the NBA Finals, many Pistons observers felt that their defensive-oriented approach was now pass? in the new offensive-minded NBA. Although Detroit made a legitimate effort to re-sign Ben Wallace, the four-time defensive player of the year left town for the greener pastures ? and greater greenbacks ? offered by the Chicago Bulls.



    To many, Big Ben was the face of the Pistons and the heart and soul of their suffocating team defense. His departure creates a huge hole, but also opens the possibility that the Pistons will have to step on the gas offensively rather than rely on deflating the other team's tires on defense.



    Additions


    Nazr Mohammed, C

    Ronald Murray, SG

    Ronald Dupree, SF

    Cheick Samb, C

    Will Blalock, G



    Losses


    Ben Wallace, C

    Maurice Evans, SF



    Projected Starting Lineup


    C ? Nazr Mohammed

    PF ? Rasheed Wallace

    SF ? Tayshaun Prince

    SG ? Richard Hamilton

    PG ? Chauncey Billups





    WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN 2006:


    The Pistons thrive on challenges, and probably play better with a chip on their shoulder than they do as frontrunners. Last season was all about proving that they could win without Larry Brown as head coach. This season, the team will have to overcome the loss of Ben Wallace.



    The emphasis on greater offensive production could be a bonanza for Pistons players. Last season, the team averaged 96.8 points per game and only Richard Hamilton (20.1) topped 20 PPG. Chauncey Billups (18.5), Tayshaun Prince (14.1) and Rasheed Wallace (15.1) are all capable of scoring more. With more shots should also come more free throws, three-pointers, rebounds and assists. On the "flip" side (expect this phrase to become a clich? on a team with both Flip Saunders and Flip Murray), both steals and blocks will be down without Big Ben patrolling the lane.



    Key Bench Players/Positional Battles


    Starting Center ? The burden of filling Ben's big shoes falls squarely on recent acquisition Nazr Mohammed. In reality, this is an impossible act to follow, and Mohammed won't come close to Wallace's multi-category contributions. But Mohammed will rebound the ball: he ranked ninth in the NBA with 14.4 rebounds per 48 minutes, so the center job is his to lose. If you don't have faith in Mohammed, you could roll the dice with Antonio McDyess, who seemed to get stronger as the season went on. In the playoffs, McDyess averaged 7.6 points, 6.1 rebounds, and shot 55.9 percent from the field in only 20 minutes per game, and could definitely benefit from an up-tempo offense.



    Reserve Shooting Guard ? Ronald "Flip" Murray could provide the Pistons with much-needed scoring punch off the bench in a role reminiscent of Vinnie "the Microwave" Johnson. Murray averaged 13.5 PPG after being traded to the Cavaliers in mid-season, but he won't come close to the 36.7 MPG he got in Cleveland. Battling Flip for minutes will be the Carlos Delfino, who has yet to live up to the promise he displayed as a member of the 2004 gold medal Argentinean Olympic team.



    Players We Love
    Tayshaun Prince was the only Pistons' starter not to be named an All-Star last season, yet he was their most consistent performer at times, especially in the playoffs when he averaged 41 minutes per game. Prince is exactly the sort of multi-category performer that helps wins fantasy leagues, as he does a little bit of everything. His numbers ? 14.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 0.7 steals and 0.5 blocks ? were down last season, but he should bounce back as he will be relied upon more heavily this year without Big Ben in town.



    Rasheed Wallace is no longer the other half of "Wallace X 2" but he might be the better fantasy value, especially if he qualifies at center. Few big men can fill it up from three-point range like Sheed, and his other averages are impressive too: 15.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.6 blocks.



    Players To Avoid
    Nazr Mohammed's biggest problem is that he will be unfairly compared to Ben Wallace. The weight of those expectations may be too much to bear for a role player whose career averages are only 19 minutes, 7.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 0.5 steals and 0.6 blocks per game. At 29, he still has some productive years left, but do not expect a huge jump over his career numbers despite the probable increase in minutes.



    Bottom Line


    The Pistons are a resilient bunch, and they will find a way to compete in the "shoot first, ask questions later" NBA. Last season, freed from Larry Brown's offensive shackles, Detroit showed that they could play more up-tempo at times. This season, without Ben Wallace, they will have no choice but to outgun their opponents. All of this means that Pistons starters should be a good value on draft day. The "Stones" ? as they are known in Detroit ? should renew their "Shattered" hoop dreams and be more than just "Respectable." While it might be "Just My Imagination," I boldly predict that Rip, Chauncey, Tayshaun and Sheed will bring great "Satisfaction" to their fantasy owners this year.
  • Fantasy Team Preview: Sacramento Kings
    By Tom Lorenzo, TalentedMrRoto.com
    September 18, 2006 - 6:44 a.m.
    2005-06 OVERVIEW

    With Chris Webber shipped off to Philadelphia late in the 2004-05 season, Sacramento’s 2005-06 season began with a new face of the franchise: Peja Stojakovic. The 6’10” sharp-shooting Serbian got his wish to become the leader of a Kings franchise looking to decorate the rafters of Arco Arena with a NBA championship banner. Well, Peja, be careful with what you wish for. After Peja’s bout with bum knees and the Maloof brothers realizing that one-dimensional scorers who shy away from the defensive side of the ball aren’t necessarily franchise players, it didn’t take long before the Kings sent the dismal Stojakovic packing to Indiana for everyone’s favorite “Tru Warrior,” Ron Artest. This was a risky move since most were certain that Artest would not be happy playing in Sacramento. Many were also concerned with Geoff Petrie pairing Artest with former “Jail Blazer,” Bonzi Wells, especially with Bonzi’s reputation for being tops in the “bad attitude” department.


    What can you expect out of Ron Artest now in his first full season with the Kings?
    (Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty Images)

    Bonzi’s issues, however, were with his inability to remain healthy. Bonzi played in only 52 games and averaged a fair 13.6 points per game. Not exactly what you’d want from a guy demanding $10 million per year.

    Sticking with the theme of Bad Knees, the Kings signed veteran Shareef Abdur-Rahim, a career 20 point per game scorer, to a six-year deal worth $40 million. Not bad for a former All-Star, right? Well, Shareef managed to post the worst numbers of his 10-year professional career by putting up lows in points per game (12.3) and rebounds (5.0). Brought in to fill the role that Chris Webber left behind, Abdur-Rahim only started 30 games in 2005 and lost the starting role (after suffering a broken jaw) to a solid power forward in Kenny Thomas. Kenny had a nice year with 7.5 rebounds and 9.1 points per game on 50 percent shooting from the field.

    Two bright spots for the 44-38 Kings were Mike Bibby and Brad Miller. Bibby continued to improve posting a career-high 21.2 points per game while making 192 three pointers, also a career-best. Miller, who has been one of the most consistent centers during the past five seasons, put up a solid 15 points per game while grabbing eight rebounds per contest. We also shouldn’t forget that Brad shot 82 percent from the free throw line, which is pretty impressive for a seven-footer. With the play of Bibby and Miller and 40 games out of Ron Artest in the second half of the season, the Kings were able to grab the eighth seed in the Western Conference. Though they lost in the first round of the playoffs to the San Antonio Spurs, a few minor tweaks to the roster, including the addition of John Salmons and Loren Woods in the off-season and a full year of Ron Artest alongside Bibby and Miller, could bode well for the Kings in the upcoming 2006-07 season.


    ADDITIONS:
    John Salmons, SG
    Loren Woods, C
    Quincy Douby, SG
    Louis Amundson, PF

    LOSSES:
    Bonzi Wells, SG
    Jamal Sampson, PF
    Sergey Monya, F

    PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:
    C – Brad Miller
    PF – Kenny Thomas
    SF – Ron Artest
    SG – Kevin Martin
    PG – Mike Bibby

    WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN 2006

    Not much happened in the off-season for the Sacramento Kings. They did lose Bonzi Wells and his demands of $10 million per year and replaced him by slotting Kevin Martin into the starting shooting guard slot, while signing former Sixer John Salmons to help in coming off the bench. Bonzi seemed to have come alive during the playoffs last year by scoring 23.2 points with 12 rebounds per game against the San Antonio Spurs. That’s not typical of what you’d get from Bonzi Wells, but a young Kevin Martin and an unproven John Salmons won’t necessarily make up for the loss of Wells at the two-guard position.

    Maybe the biggest off-season move came when the Kings let head coach Rick Adelman go and signed 41-year-old Eric Musselman to a contract during the summer. Musselman, one of the youngest coaches in the league, most recently coached the Golden State Warriors in 2002 and 2003. He is known for his strong defensive mind and, in 2003, Musselman was a runner up for the NBA Coach of the Year award. I suspect that Musselman will do his best job trying to keep Ron Artest out of trouble. If he does so, this may end up to be the biggest off-season move for the Kings.

    The Kings used the 2006 NBA Draft to snag one of the best perimeter shooters from the college ranks in Quincy Douby, out of Rutgers. However, don’t look for him to get much playing time. With his small frame, it’s hard to imagine Douby matching up successfully with most shooting guards in the NBA. With a quiet draft and a few minor signings during the summer, look for the real fantasy value in 2006-07 to come from the usual suspects: Artest, Bibby, and Miller.

    KEY BENCH POSITIONS / POSITION BATTLES

    Kenny Thomas had a nice 2005-06 season beating out former All-Star Shareef Abdur-Rahim for the starting PF position. I suspect that not much will change in 2006-07 because Abdur-Rahim, who has been labeled as a “soft” player in the past, has never been one to rise to the occasion. Shareef had not sniffed the playoffs until last season, where he played in six games with the Kings and averaged only 9.2 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. Were Shareef Abdur-Rahim able to gain his All-Star form, you could see a nice position battle here at the power forward position. However, it is currently Kenny Thomas’ spot to lose.

    You may see a position battle at the two-guard spot between Kevin Martin and John Salmons. Salmons was brought in after a career year in Philly averaging 7.5 points per game in only 25 minutes. Kevin Martin had slightly better stats, logging 26.6 minutes per game and scoring at a 10.8 per game clip. Martin also showed some improvement in 2005-06 by putting up 13.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, 0.7 steals and 1.3 three-pointers per game in 41 starts for the Kings. Other than Kevin Martin having a slightly better shooting touch than John Salmons, I figure the position will be won by the player who shows more hustle on the defensive end of the ball.

    PLAYERS WE LOVE

    It’s hard not to think that Ron Artest won’t regain his dominant form on defense. If Artest can put up more than 2.5 steals per game to go along with .75 blocks per game, it’s possible to see Ron become a top-20 talent in the league. His hustle on both ends of the court makes for easy transition buckets and quite a few takeaways on help coverage. Look for Artest to have a big year if he can remain out of trouble and on the court for 75-plus games this year.

    Another obvious choice is Mike Bibby. He has improved his scoring average each year since joining the Kings in 2001. Last year Bibby scored 21.1 points per game, made 192 three-pointers and shot 85 percent from the free throw line. One thing to know about Bibby is that he is not a “pass first” point gaurd. With that being said, his career average for assists per game is 6.4. Those aren’t bad numbers for a scoring point guard. In fact, the only starting PG with a higher scoring average last year was Gilbert Arenas.

    Though Kenny Thomas won’t “wow” you with his numbers, he averaged a double-double and his career numbers stand at 10.7 points and 7.4 rebounds per game just two years ago. He also shot 50 percent from the field last year and is a presence on the defensive end of the court. He’s a nice player to pick up in the late rounds if you need a PF to fit into your lineup.


    PLAYERS TO AVOID

    I’ve all but given up on Shareef Abdur-Rahim. His name may make some fantasy players draft him on merit, but he’s coming off his worst NBA season, averaging a career low 27.2 minutes per game. Plus, there are the never-ending questions about his knees. Again, as noted earlier, Shareef is not the type of player to rise to the occasion and prove to the naysayers out there that he has returned to his 20-and-10 self.

    Francisco Garcia is another player I would wait on. The Kings drafted Garcia out of Louisville where he was praised as one of the best three-point shooters in the country. Well, in his rookie season Garcia shot only 28 percent from beyond the arc. Is there room for improvement? Sure. But, I suspect that Garcia has a long way to go before he gets the chance to right his rookie season shooting woes.

    BOTTOM LINE

    I don’t see much surprise coming from the 2006-07 Sacramento Kings. Other than Ron Artest, Mike Bibby and Brad Miller, the rest of the roster may be filled with a few fliers and a few players who don’t even merit a spot on a fantasy team. There may be a surprise or two (Salmons, Martin, or Thomas) but until we see flashes once the season starts, there may not be much mystery in the 2006-07 Kings.
  • umm question, how do we continue last year's PEx Y! Fantasy NBA
  • Does anybody here experience the same problem with ufc.nba.com? Thing is, I can't seem to access the friggin' website. It just keeps on loading for about 3 minutes then the "cannot find server" error message would appear. I disabled all the internet security features already (e.g. firewall) but still I get the same error message. Need help badly. :(
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