Monday, November 29, 2004

Imperial Hubie

This past weekend was a time to give thanks. And nobody was more thankful than owners of Pau Gasol and Jason Williams, because Memphis Grizzlies coach Hubie Brown decided to step down because of "health reasons." Brown, as you probably know, was pretty much the Anti-Christ when it came to your fantasy team. Nobody on the Grizzlies averaged more than 30.6 minutes per game this year, severly damaging the value of all the team's starters. Rumor has it that part of the reason Hubie left is because some people in the organization (i.e. Jerry West) didn't really appreciate his splitting of the minutes. So now, with assistant coach Lionel Hollins in charge - temporarily, at least - the Grizzlies might be on their way to producing some serious fantasy contributors. Who's affected? The following:

The Benefactors
Pau Gasol, F/C - It's not like you're going to find him on your waiver wire, but Gasol should start seeing closer to 38 mpg under the new regime, and could be a legit 20/10 guy now. Think Elton Brand, but with slightly fewer blocks.

Jason Williams, PG - An uptick in minutes (look for about 34 mpg as opposed to the 26 he's currently getting), will mean increases in points, steals, assists, and 3's.

Mike Miller, G/F - Before being traded to Memphis, in 2002, Miller enjoyed about 37 mpg in Orlando, scoring 16.5 ppg with 5.8 boards and 1.8 3's. Look for a return to those kind of numbers, and grab him if he's on your waiver wire.

The Losers
Lorenzen Wright, F/C - Matchups, schmatchups! The reason Wright has only gotten 1 start and 17 mpg over the last 2 games is that the new regime doesn't like him. And neither do we.

Earl Watson, PG - Watson is the guy you always thought about when you needed assists. Well you don't even have to think about it anymore. His minutes will drop from 20 to 12, and his value from minimal to none.

The Injured
Stromile Swift, F/C - Look out. The Fantasy Basketblog favorite is awesome. He's gotten over 30 mpg 3 times this year, and averaged 19.3 points, 8 boards, and 2.3 blocks. If he gets 30 mpg once he returns from his eye injury (and we think he will, with the recent developments involving Lorenzen Wright), he'll be averaging those kind of numbers, about 4th round value.


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