Thursday, January 27, 2005

Midseason Awards

With most NBA teams having played between 40 and 42 games at this point, we’re right about at the midseason mark. So it seems like a good time to go ahead and dish out some midseason fantasy awards:

All-Fantasy First Team

PG LeBron James – A top-3 pick for the next 10-12 years.
SG Tracy McGrady – Scoring is down, but boards, assists, FG%, steals, and blocks are up.
SF Shawn Marion – If you let him slip out of the Top 5 next year, your league sucks.
PF Kevin Garnett – Still the best.
C Dirk Nowitzki – Having a career year with Nash gone.

Hey, no real surprises here. All of these players should have gone in the first round of your drafts, and at least 3 (KG, Dirk, and McGrady) were top 5 picks in most drafts. If nothing else, this should serve as a healthy reminder to NOT take risks early in your draft. The best players are the best players for a reason.

All-Fantasy Second Team

PG Dwayne Wade - Gets the nod over Nash because of his scoring and defense.
SG Allen Iverson - His transition to the point couldn’t be going better – his FG% and assists are up, his turnovers are down.
SF Rashard Lewis – Beats out Peja simply because it wasn’t expected.
PF Amare Stoudamire – Now that Nash is back, Amare is exploding again.
C Tim Duncan – Steady. Just, steady.

The surprising thing here is how mediocre a lot of the late-first round/early second round picks have been this year. Some due to injury (AK-47, Baron Davis), some suspension (Jermaine O’Neal), some for no real reason (Kobe, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Yao Ming). So this group is a little more rag-tag.

Most Improved Players

PG – Rafer Alston – His jump in assists (from 4.5 to 7.2) makes him a legit PG.
SG – Larry Hughes – If it wasn’t for his injury, he’d be all-fantasy second team.
SF – Bobby Simmons – Although he’s slowed down of late, particularly in percentages.
PF – Drew Gooden – In just 3 more mpg, he’s averaging 2.5 more points, 2.9 more boards, and shooting incredibly better both from the field and the line.
C – Amare Stoudamire – He’s shooting 57% from the field. Read that again.

Here, I tried to avoid people who you would expect to do better (second-year guys, guys who are just getting more minutes), and this is what I came up with. All of these guys are going to be drafted next year well ahead of where they were drafted this year, particularly Hughes.

Biggest Disappointments

PG – Carlos Arroyo – I don’t think anyone saw that coming. From future stud to no value in a single season.
SG – Gerald Wallace – A very popular pick in October, he just hasn’t realized his potential, and could go undrafted next year.
SF – Carmelo Anthony – I’m sorta inclined to give him a pass on this year.
PF – Lamar Odom – Maybe it’s just me who was disappointed, but I was expecting big things from Lamar this year. His rebounding has been great, but everything else points to a sub-par year in the shadow of Kobe.
C – Yao Ming – He doesn’t average 20 points, 10 boards, 2 blocks, ONE assist, or one steal. He’s not worth drafting before late in the third round next year.

Again, I tried to avoid people who are just getting older (like Sprewell, for example) or suffered through injury, etc.

So there you have it. Maybe later we'll throw in some other categories as well, suggestions are always welcome.

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