Wednesday, November 24, 2004

If the draft were today...

What would it look like? I'd guess the Top 20 would be something like this:

1. Kevin Garnett (MIN) - Undisputed #1 for the forseeable future.
2. Dirk Nowitzki (DAL) - Assuming his ankle is OK, he's a 7-category force. You'd like to see a few more 3 pointers, but his FG% is up, so it's a nice balance.
3. Kobe Bryant (LAL) - Gotta get that FG% up, though. He should pick up a few more assists as he starts to learn how to play with this essentially new team, as well.
4. Lebron James (CLE) - I'm a believer. The kid is awesome.
5. Andrei Kirilenko (UTH) - His 5.1 blocks are 64% higher than the next best in the league (Shaq's 3.3). That's the equivalent of someone grabbing 25 boards per game. Dominant.
6. Tracy McGrady (HOU) - T-Mac will get his scoring up, don't worry. He's taking 7 less shots per game, which is expected, but once he gets comfortable, he'll start scoring more.
7. Tim Duncan (SAS) - I was surprised that I put him this low too, but the FT% problem is turning from an anomaly into a trend. Plus he gives you virtually no help in assists or 3's. Yes he's great, but he's a plus in only 4 categories and a huge minus in another.
8. Shawn Marion (PHO) - His rebounds are way up, but his FT% is down a bit. He's still an 8-category player, maybe the most complete one in the game behind LeBron.
9. Ray Allen (SEA) - He's playing the best basketball of his life right now, but you've gotta assume he'll come down a little bit.
10. Peja Stojakovic (SAC) - After a rough start, he's started to pick it up, and is hitting 3.6 3's per game over his last 5, with great FT% and decent all-around numbers.
11. Dwayne Wade (MIA) - I'm still worried about random injuries. He's already had one this year, but you can't ignore this kid's ability to fill up a box score. Surprisingly small amount of 3's from the guard spot, but his FG% (an amazing 52.6%) is probably a result of that.
12. Paul Pierce (BOS) - A solid pick this late. In fact, I probably shoulda put him about 3 spots earlier than I did. Sorry Paul, I guess you slipped just like in your real NBA draft.
13. Amare Stoudamire (PHO) - Wow. Just, wow. 28/9 with 1.8 blocks and a 59.3% FG%? Just, wow. Stupid Kwame.
14. Steve Nash (PHO) - This is a tough read. He's definitely playing over his head right now, but how much over? And how long will it last? All I know is, this make 3 Suns in the top 14, which says something about that team.
15. Stephon Marbury (NYK) - He just keeps doing what he does. Assists, 3's, steals, points ... nothing like consistency.
16. Chauncey Billups (DET) - It's amazing what shooting 48% instead of 39% from the field will do for ya. I'd like to see a few more assists from my 2nd-round PG, though.
17. Elton Brand (LAC) - His stats are down across the board, if only by a bit. The biggest concern for me is the blocks, which has slipped to 1.7, and was his biggest source of value the last few years.
18. Steve Francis (ORL) - He's baaaaaack. A triple-double threat with nice steals and ok percentages for a PG, he seems to be enjoying basketball again. But for how long?
19. Ben Wallace (DET) - He's becoming much more involved in the offense, but his blocks and boards are taking a slight hit. Don't forget what you're here for, Mr. Wallace.
20. Allen Iverson (PHI) - With a pretty smooth (thus far) transition to PG, Allen is as valuable as ever to your fantasy team.

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