Friday, September 02, 2005

Offseason Overview: San Antonio Spurs

Well, the rich keep getting richer, huh? Fresh off another NBA Championship, the Spurs have lost Tony Massenberg, Mike Wilks, Glenn Robinson, and Sean Marks, and replaced them with Fabricio Oberto, Nick Van Exel, and Michael Finley. Rough life, huh? Anyhow, these are the defending champs, so there’s plenty of fantasy fodder to be had:

The stud: Tim Duncan, FC
There’s not much to be said about Tim Duncan that my FBB cohort didn’t already cover earlier in the summer, but nonetheless he’s worth discussing. You know you’re going to get 20/10 and a few blocks at an absolute minimum, and from the center position, no less. You also know you’re getting a guy who misses 15 games or so and could potentially put a serious dent in your free throw percentage. He’s still a lock as a first round pick, but we wouldn’t recommend him anywhere before the middle of the first round.

The support: Manu Ginobili, GF
Every year, a player just absolutely explodes in the playoffs. A few years ago it was Troy Hudson, who proceeded to fall apart the next year. Last year it was Manu Ginobili, who put on quite a show in the postseason last year. As a result, he may be overvalued this year. His postseason stats (20.8/5.8/4.2, 1.8 3’s, 1.2 steals) were definitely higher than his regular season numbers (16/4.4/3.9, 1.3 3’s and 1.6 steals), but he’s a great all-around contributor. He’s probably a third round pick at this point, but someone will probably take a chance on him in the second round.

The supporting support: Tony Parker, PG
Parker is an interesting fantasy player. While he puts up nice points and assists numbers, and contributes a steal, he doesn’t help anywhere else. Virtually no threes, which is rare from a PG, and his 65% from the free throw line last year was brutal. Nonetheless, he is useful as a utility player on a fantasy team, though fairly shaky as a 2nd PG.

The sleeper: Nazr Mohammed, C
Mohammed might slip under the radar this year in fantasy drafts, and with good reason, as he only gets about 20 mpg on the Spurs, and doesn’t hit 10 points or rebounds. But as we mentioned earlier, Tim Duncan is a good bet to miss some time, and when he doesn’, Mohammed will have to help fill his role, meaning more minutes, and a potential double-double at center. The sexy sleeper pick here is Oberto, who is supposed to be a terrific European prospect, but he may have trobule getting minutes in his first year in the league.

The slacker: Michael Finley, GF
Sure he’s getting a lot of press lately because of his woo-fest resulting in his signing with the Spurs, but Finley might be hitting the waiver wires for the first time in eight years this year. He’s sure to be drafted, but his declining numbers the past 3 years, as well as his new reduced role, means Finley may not be worth much this year, though he could have his hot streaks.

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