Thursday, February 10, 2005

Wishful Thinking

Sometimes it’s tough to look at the box scores and the morning and realize that there are a few things that you wish would happen EVERY TIME YOU READ THEM. Frustrating rotations, or some stupid little things that kill certain players’ value. So I’d like to go over a couple of things that, really, every fantasy player should hope for.

1. For the Blazers to clear up their front court mess.
This one is easy. Between Ruben Patterson, Zach Randolph, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Darius Miles, and Theo Ratliff, there are 5 guys who, given 30-35 minutes a game, have fantasy value. Thanks to some injuries, each one has had value at some point this season. But now Randolph is back, Reef will be back soon enough … and everything will go back to the way it was. It seems like one of them is always on the trading block, but nothing has happened yet.

2. For Sam Mitchell to be fired as the coach of the Raptors.
One of the unspoken creeds in the NBA is that any time that a player is arguing with a coach, the organization has to side with the coach – unless the player is a huge star. But that’s not the case with Rafer Alston, who’s certainly a good player, but no superstar. Some of GM Rob Babcock’s comments give us some good reason to think Mitchell could be out the door, like: "Sam will have to find a better way to deal with Rafer, he has to learn a better way." With Mitchell out the door, we might finally see some consistency from Alston. However, Rafer’s not the only one struggling under Mitchell.

Chris Bosh is having a breakout year, but for some reason only played 23 minutes against the Cavs on Tuesday. Donyell Marshall, who at times can be a top-20 fantasy player due to his versatility, has been dreadfully inconsistent. Eric Williams, who had modest value on the Nets earlier in the year, now is lucky to even get on the court for the struggling Raptors. Needless to say, there aren’t many fantasy players that want Mitchell around. Or NBA players, for that matter.

3. For the Bulls to stop playing Othella Harrington, Chris Duhon and Andres Nocioni so damn much.
OK, so I understand that this is a young team, and you’ve got to figure out what’s working and what’s not and all that good stuff. But here’s a telling stat for you: in the Bulls’ 23 wins, Eddy Curry has averaged 30.3 minutes per game. In their 23 losses? He’s averaged just 23.8. Playing Othella Harrington (and Antonio Davis when he’s healthy) is NOT helping. Plus, if this is a "young, delevoping" team, then play your young, developing players!

Meanwhile, Chris Duhon’s main goal in life, I’m convinced, is to take assists away from Kirk Hinrich, which he does to the tune of over 4.5 per game, while hardly scoring at all or contributing in any other way. Hinrich’s minutes are fine, but his assist numbers are pretty much where they were last year. He’s capable of better.

Finally, all you need to know about Andres Nocioni can be found at this absurdly complex website: 82games.com. What you might notice on the Bulls’ page is that Nocioni’s presence on the court is pretty awful. His being on the court costs the Bulls over 15 points every 100 possesions. Playing Luol Deng more regularly, Scott Skiles, is not such a bad idea.

4. More Teams in the Playoff Hunt.
The more teams that are in the hunt for the playoffs, the better. No one likes to see a player stop performing just because the playoffs are out of reach. That’s a pretty cheap way to go about winning a league – although, a win IS a win. Either way, the important thing is that as many teams as possible believe they have a reasonable shot at the playoffs for as long as possible. Right now in the East, I’d say that only 10 teams have a decent shot at the playoffs, and in the West, it may be 11 teams. That’s not too great an amount. In fact, next week, we’re going to look at some of the teams who are out of the hunt, and what that may mean for their players.

So there you have it. A fantasy player can dream, can’t he?


3 Comments:

Blogger MKD said...

Think you're right on about Sam Mitchell. The combination of him and GM Pete Babcock is a humiliation to the entire city of Toronto. I mean, I know they were desperate, but tell me what you propose to gain by hiring the former GM of... the Atlanta Hawks?! Something ugly is in the water up there. They should thank God for Chris Bosh and do everything in their power to make him happy.

As far as the Blazers frontcourt, I count six people who have fantasy value--the five you mentioned, plus Joel Pryzbilla. Tonight he went for 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 blocks. Whoa! He can block like Ratliff and rebound like Randolph. He'll score somewhere in between. I'm starting to doubt that Miles will ever play big minutes under Mo Cheeks again... Let's see what happens when Reef comes back...

11:10 PM  
Blogger MKD said...

Sorry... I guess their GM is actually Rob Babcock, brother of Pete Babcock. Petey is just their director of NBA personnel, responsible for free agents and trades. Yikes! In fairness, though, they did get a lot back for a Vince Carter who wasn't any good anymore... Oh wait, no. That's not true at all.

Looks and feels like a real family operation up there in Toronto... And not in a good way. I say fire em all.

11:16 PM  
Blogger bv said...

personally, i feel like sam mitchell - not the babcocks - is the problem up north. he's fought with pretty much every player there, which can't be a good sign, and forced them to trade Carter, and has thusfar ruined their signing of Alston.

As for przybilla ... i'm not buying it. sure he had a good game last night but he had a TOTAL of 2 points in his previous 2 games. One game doth not a fantasy stud make.

9:40 AM  

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