Monday, November 14, 2005

As the Point Guard Turns

It’s PG time. There are lots of players coming off the bench putting up good numbers. How should you feel about them? Read on…

There’s really nothing to say about Allen Iverson. Dude’s a monster, he’s averaging 44 mpg, stats all over the place … So, is that Delonte West bandwagon empty yet? His two point performance last night might have chased away the last few. Take away that monster first (overtime) game and he’s averaging 7.4/4.4/3.4 with 0.4 3s, 1.4 steals and 1 block on 38% shooting. That’s not going to help too many teams. He’s still worth having on your bench. Dan Dickau is not … Jason Kidd has 9 or more assists in just two games this season, leaving him with just a 6.6 average. He’s still hovering right around 2 3pg and spg, so owners aren’t complaining too much. Expect those assists to go up, but to stay around 8 per game. Jeff McInnis isn’t relevant fantasy-wise, but he’s starting to play some decent minutes for the Nets. Watch to make sure he doesn’t take too many away from Kidd … Why is Stephon Marbury shooting 54% from the free throw line? He’s killing his owners, especially since he’s taking nearly 8 per game. Very bizarre from a career 79% shooter. His owners can’t be too happy with those 5.2 assists, either. Despite all of the Knicks troubles he’s still seeing 40 mpg and there’s still not too much reason to think he won’t start playing to his normal abilities … Lots of eyes on the PG situation in Toronto. Mike James had the huge game he needed and showed why he has more fantasy upside than Jose Calderon. James hit six 3s yesterday while Calderon has attempted just 10 all year. Calderon has proven to be an assist machine (fourth in the league for players who have actually played much), and he’s still worth having on your bench. But until his playing time is more consistent – it’s been 43-17-26-32 – it’s a guessing game about when to plug him into the lineup. Who knows what’s going on in Sam Mitchell’s mind, so keep paying close attention.

Where are all of these assists coming from for Chauncey Billups? He’s never averaged even 6 per game and he’s as 9.3 right now. And it’s not like it’s at the expense of his scoring, either. He’s simply as solid as they come, and while he won’t average 9 apg, Detroit’s new offensive scheme should allow him to continue putting up great numbers … One of the reasons I was down on T.J. Ford coming into the year was that I thought Mo Williams was just as good. Well, at least I was half right. Williams has been a machine off the bench for the Bucks, but that 75% from 3-point land is just far too good to last. It’s hard for me to really endorse players who don’t start because they have such little margin for error in each game. There’s nothing wrong with riding the hot hand, but you have to wonder how much longer he can keep it up when he’s getting just 25 mpg. Ford to rack up the assists and steals as well. He needs to keep doing that because as the season wears on that 37% shooting will start to seriously take its toll. Still not the worse sell high candidate, but don’t give him away by any means … With the Cavs winning four in a row, don’t expect any lineup changes coming soon. That means Eric Snow will stay in the starting lineup and Damon Jones will come off the bench where he just can’t help teams all that much. He hits his 2 3pg, but that’s it. Bench him, release him if you really need to … Jamaal Tinsley owners, you knew this was coming. The worst was that six-minute tease of an outing over the weekend. He has a tendency to do that, and that’s even more frustrating than missing games. The Pacers predictably – and disappointingly – went with Anthony Johnson in place of Sarunas Jasikevicius in Tinsley’s absence. Johnson put up a very Eric Snow-like 0/0/3 in 34 minutes on Saturday. He actually had some value last year, but don’t expect the same again. If you were holding on to Sarunas for when Tinsley went down, you can probably let him go … Chris Duhon seems to remember that he’s Chris Duhon – 8/2/4 in his past two games is much more like it. He still hasn’t played less than 34 minutes in every game he’s played, so he’s worth keeping around on your bench. Kirk Hinrich is starting to assert himself as the PG more, getting 8.3 apg in his last three. That’s nice to see, but his 48% shooting is an illusion.

After being there in person to witness Gilbert Arenas put up 75 points on just 36 attempts this weekend, I’m ready to name my first born after him. I’m telling you, it’s my brand new throwback jersey that helped him do it. He needs to start being mentioned in the same conversation as … well, at least Tracy McGrady. What’s McGrady ever done? Gilbert will be a first-round pick for many, many years to come. Neither Antonio Daniels nor Chucky Atkins look too comfortable in the Wizards offense yet. No reason to have them around … Jason Williams has never been the most consistent game-to-game performer and that seems to be holding true in Miami. His 4.4 apg isn’t pretty, but the rest of the numbers are where you’d expect them to be. Business as usual. Gary Payton is seeing decent time off the bench but he’s just a name you recognize. If Keith McLeod was putting up the same numbers, you’d pay it no mind … Steve Francis is Steve Francis. A perfect second rounder. I’ll continue my push for more Jameer Nelson PT, although it just doesn’t seem to be happening. It will at some point this season, and be ready to pounce … Brevin Knight hasn’t seen quite as much PT lately, but he’s still racking up the steals (4th in the league). The assists aren’t there quite as much but again, you try getting assists on a team that can’t shoot. I’ve got him riding the pine, but I’m leading the league in assists without him. If you need assists and steals, he’s a fine starter. Raymond Felton will probably want to work on that 27% shooting. Just a suggestion … In four starts Tyronn Lue is averaging 9/1.3/2.8 with .8 3s and .3 steals. Well, it’s a little better than Eric Snow at least.

Tony Parker is a lot of fun to watch. That running floater is among the best shots in the league. Maybe if that was a fantasy category he’d be a stud. Unfortunately 3s and steals are … Jason Terry breakout game alert. He’ll be a top 40 player soon enough. Devin Harris, I’m telling you. In time … It might be best for Damon Stoudamire to sit out a few games and try to get completely healthy and calm himself. I think he’s not a bad buy-low candidate, because I suspect you might be able to get him pretty cheap. Because he shoots so many 3s and is near perfect at the free throw line he should still emerge as a solid #2 PG. Bobby Jackson has been playing extremely well, and if you have daily transactions and read that Damon will miss a game or two, by all means plug B-Jax in there. That’s what it’s all about, after all, getting those couple of games where you can get them. But if he’s not starting, he’s too risky … Chris Paul is currently #28 on the player rater. Not bad at all. Doubtful he’ll be there when the season ends, but he looks like he was worthy of being the first rookie taken in drafts. I’m sure I sound like a broken record, but despite Speedy Claxton’s strong play off the bench, he’s still a risky start. You can only compile so many stats in 26 mpg. He’s a decent plug-in, but he just can’t keep this up … Rafer Alston owners, commence panicking. The Rockets have a tendency to start slow and Alston is adjusting to his new digs. I still think he’ll bounce back, but it’s tough to start him right now. It would be extremely unwise to release him, though. Rookie Luther Head has looked pretty solid, but if it just doesn’t work out with Alston it’s hard to see Van Gundy going with a rookie.

Deron Williams is still outplaying Keith McLeod and he’s still coming off the bench, neither of them have managed 30 minutes in a single game yet. Nobody wins in situations like this. Except the Jazz, who happen to find themselves in first place at this early juncture. So don’t expect any changes … After averaging 37 mpg in the first four games of the season, Marko Jaric has been down to 21 the last two. Not good at all. Troy Hudson has been a spark off the bench, and it might be wise to see Jaric have another strong game before putting him back in the lineup … Here’s a challenge for you – someone think of something interesting to say about Andre Miller and post it in the comments. Have you heard the one about the guy who’s a solid player but gets only 25 mpg and therefore has extremely limited fantasy upside? Earl Boykins is at #120 on the player rater right now and he’s playing as well as he can. He’s just not worthy of a roster spot … So Sebastian Telfair is averaging only 3.4 apg but is shooting 42% from 3-point range? Weird. He’s bench material right now … Luke Ridnour will continue to slowly turn things around. I still expect him to show slight improvements across the board from last year’s numbers, which should make him a serviceable #2 PG. Continue to be patient.

The assists are nice, but 36% shooting from Sam Cassell is not what we are accustomed to. It will certainly rise, have faith. He’ll continue to be extremely valuable as long as he’s healthy … Unlike Cassell’s 36% shooting, Baron Davis’s 36% shooting might not improve all that much. But he’s the same 3s/steals/assists machine he’s always been, but that 66% from the line really hurts, too. He’s like the point guard version of Antoine Walker. If you drafted him, you knew what you were getting into, so you may as well stick by him. Derek Fisher is starting to assert himself, stealing much of Mike Dunleavy’s PT. Man, there sure are a lot of guys playing a productive 25 or so mpg, aren’t there? Fisher probably has more value than the rest because the guy he plays behind is so fragile … I thought Steve Nash’s FG% and assists would drop. At this point, the FG% has but the assists are staying strong. Good for him. He’s a top 10 player right now, and should stay in the top 20 all season. Leandro Barbosa qualifies at PG and is the hot name this week. Unlike all the other guys, he actually seems to be starting. He’s probably gone, as well he should be. Nash will keep him from getting too many assists, but Barbosa can help in 3s, steals and points. He played 39 minutes against Golden State, and he can get consistently get 35 mpg on that team – by no means a sure thing at all – he will put up 5th-6th round numbers … Smush Parker continues to hit 3s and get steals and he’s yet to play fewer than 31 minutes. Keep starting him … Man, the Kings kinda suck, don’t they? Mike Bibby is rounding into form, although he’s yet to score 20 or dish 10 assists. If you can still buy low, you should still do it. He’ll end up with numbers very similar to Chauncey Billups.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey good post, cant really argue with anythin there altho since i've still got delonte on my squad i hope another monster game happens soon - no other available&worthwhile PGs in my league, waitin out for the return of livingston so i can pick him back up

i'm relatively new to your blog and i was wondering if you post about positions other than PGs? keep up the good work, havent found a blog that updates as much as you guys

3:03 PM  
Blogger bv said...

Ha, yes, we do in fact write about things other than point guards, but mondays are our de facto point guard day. the rest of the week is definitely more balanced. Thanks for reading!

3:09 PM  
Blogger MKD said...

I dropped James for Barbosa on Sat. night. Then James blew up ridiculous last night. Ugh. Pray for me.

3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On to big guys. Your guess on Ratliffs #'s changing, Dalembert and Boozer's health, and what the what with Alonzo Mourning...

Thanks, great site.

4:09 AM  
Blogger DM said...

Ratliff's a one-category specialist who is currently being outperformed by Delonte West in that one category. If he keeps seeing between 25-35 minutes like the last couple of games the blocks will come, but he just hurts you so much everywhere else. Unless you are truly, truly desperate for blocks, I'd leave him alone.

I'm not a doctor -- and I don't even play one on the Internet -- so I can't give you too much insight into the health of Dalembert or Boozer. Check the local papers for that. I imagine it will take both of them a little while to get going once they come back, especially Dalembert. Stephen Hunter has been very solid in his absence (65% shooting!), the 76ers are on a roll, so Dalembert might not be given a starting spot. Unlike Ratliff, he can help you in other categories, so if you have room on your bench keep being patient. With Kirilenko out the Jazz might need to throw Boozer into the thick of things quicker. But you never know with Jerry Sloan.

What the what with Mourning? He's blocking boatloads of shots, should obviously be in all lineups until Shaq comes back, and is a huge asshole.

9:10 AM  

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