Fantasy hoops thoughts

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Maybe you'll disagree with me. Good; I want to hear from you. One of the great joys of fantasy is debating the fine points with another person who is just as interested as you are, and doing it just for the fun of it. Maybe you'll agree with me. Good; I want to hear from you too. Tell me what other topics would pique your interest. I want this to cover material that you need, so any and all feedback is welcomed.

On that note ...

• Methinks the window has closed for acquiring rookie Russell Westbrook. If it wasn't enough for the team to hand him the starting gig, surely his 30-point performance on Saturday night has caught the attention of fantasy GMs everywhere. Hopefully you managed to enlist his services in your league. He'll deliver a good amount of points and steals with decent assists for a backup fantasy PG (probably 5.0/game or so), and he can even pitch in on the boards when the matchup is right (5-plus rebounds in seven of his last 14 games, including seven, nine, and 10-rebound performances). Just look the other way as he turns the ball over 3-plus times most nights and cross your fingers he can continue to improve in his shooting from the field.

• Methinks you need to take a look at a couple of stat lines here:

42.7 FG%, 92.4 FT%, 2.4 3PT, 18.5 PTS, 4.1 RBD, 3.0 AST, 1.0 STL, 0.2 BLK, 1.9 TO

49.1 FG%, 92.0 FT%, 2.2 3PT, 18.4 PTS, 3.7 RBD, 2.7 AST, 0.8 STL, 0.1 BLK, 1.8 TO

Know what you're looking at? The first one is Ray Allen's before the All-Star Break in 2007-08. The second is Ray Allen's through his first 21 games this season. Looks like the same player, so what is my point? Here's what Allen did after the break last season:

48.7 FG%, 88.7 FT%, 2.5 3PT, 15.6 PTS, 2.9 RBD, 3.3 AST, 0.7 STL, 0.3 BLK, 1.5 TO

Those certainly aren't bad numbers, but if you own Allen, you're enjoying his peak performances now. He isn't the same player in March and April, because his 33-year-old body just doesn't hold up through 82 games like it used to. You know what to do.

• Methinks that, if I've got anything remotely resembling a "man crush" on an NBA player, it has to be Chris Paul. But I won't watch him most nights, because I didn't manage to land him in one single league this year, and it just irks me to watch how amazing he plays for other teams. OK, maybe I do watch, and he's a freak of nature at the PG position. If you're lucky enough to own him, enjoy the equivalent of LaDainian Tomlinson five years ago in fantasy football.

• Methinks there's been some sort of Invasion of the Body Snatchers phenomenon going on in Toronto. Who is this Anthony Parker imposter? For a guy who entered this season with a career 47.7 field-goal mark, I'd expect much better than the 39.8 percent he currently sports. His boards are also down from 3.9 and 4.1 the past two years, currently sitting at 2.9. The shooting should come around, but I doubt he gets many more rebounds so long as Jermaine O'Neal stays healthy and seven-footer Andrea Bargnani is starting at the three spot. But he is posting career highs in 3PT (1.7), STL (1.6), and AST (2.3) so far this year. Either way, he's a decent buy-low target, so long as you know that he won't be pulling down double-doubles any time soon.

• Methinks it was about time the Kings bit the bullet and handed the starting PF role to deserving second-year big man Spencer Hawes. We all knew that Mikki Moore was just a stopgap until they could identify their PF of the future, and the team isn't quite sure where to play Jason Thompson, who can contribute at every position but PG. Baseball has guys like that, and they use them in a utility role to fill in at various positions. I foresee a similar role for Thompson off the bench, but that doesn't guarantee minutes, so you have to think about finding a replacement if you own him in non-keeper formats. Thompson won't carve out a full-time role so long as Brad Miller remains on the roster and healthy.

• Methinks too many touts went "all in" on Elton Brand heading into this season. I had him pegged for 18 and 9 in the first revision of my projections and was only convinced to move him up after some heated internal discussions about the guy. In his past month (13 games), he has averaged 17.6 PTS, 9.2 RBD, and 1.8 BLK. I'm very glad I didn't waste a first-round pick on the no. 72 overall player this past month, because according to Yahoo!, the following center-eligible players were worth more over those same 30 days: No. 67 Spencer Hawes, No. 66 Zach Randolph, No. 61 Andrea Bargnani, No. 55 Paul Millsap, No. 53 Joel Przybilla, and No. 17 Nene Hilario.

• Methinks that, as a father myself, I can relate to Tyson Chandler these days. If you're a parent, you surely remember the exhausted haze you experience during the two or three months following a birth. Chandler missed the contest at Denver on Nov. 27 due to the birth of his son, and in the three games since his return, he has totaled 21 points, 20 rebounds, 1 steal and 4 blocks and shot 5-for-9 from the stripe. Those were totals; his per-game averages were 7.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, 0.3 steals, and 1.3 blocks. He was already having a down season, and if he will be sloshing around the court tired for the next three months, I'd be concerned to own him this year. Hopefully you didn't reach for Chandler before the ninth or tenth round in your draft, because surely you know not to pay for a career year, right?

• Methinks the entire rotation in Memphis is just too much trouble for my patience. Call it hasty; call it short-sighted; but I had to jump ship on Marc Gasol in one league when the team decided to start career bust Darko Milicic ahead of him over the weekend (note that I had a boatload of center-eligibles and no guard/forward types on the whole roster). Sure, Gasol went for 21 points and 7 rebounds on Saturday, but how many times do you think he'll hit 7-of-9 shots from the field? He was back in the starting lineup on Monday with one of his best lines of the year. Either it was a mirage, or maybe you should go ahead and call me hasty after all. Seems we all make mistakes along the way, no?

• Methinks it's time to reconsider my disdain for Chris Duhon as a fantasy asset, because he's looking pretty impressive with D'Antoni's offensive scheme plus the new playmates the team brought to New York in the salary dump trades. If you don't believe me, look at his last 30 days of numbers: 41.1 percent shooting, 86.2 percent from the line, 1.5 3PT, 12.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, 9.1 assists, 1.2 steals. I bet you didn't know he did so much in treys, steals and assists while averaging double-figure scoring, unless you are one of his fantasy owners. Even bad teams can help your fantasy team, no matter how ugly they can be to watch at times. And the Knicks are actually pretty fun to watch if you don't care about defense.