Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Opening Night Revue

Well that was pretty exciting, right? An opening night featuring two overtime games, a huge upset, a couple coming-out parties, and even an injury to throw in the mix! But before you get too antsy with adding and dropping players, the FBB mantra for this week is: Don’t Panic. One game is one game, and if these games happened in the middle of February as opposed to the beginning of November, no one would have raised an eyebrow. What do we mean? For example:

The Kings are not that bad.
Let’s just forget about this one, okay? Mike Bibby will recover, Brad Miller will too, and the Kings might not score less than 70 points ever again this year. They’re at Houston tonight, and hopefully by the time you wake up tomorrow this game will be a faint memory. One thing that is worth looking at is that Shareef Abdur-Rahim got 31 minutes, second highest on the team, and was also the second-leading scorer.

Kurt Thomas will get his minutes … eventually.
You’ve gotta love double-OT games. Extra minutes mean extra stats, and extra stats mean happy fantasy owners. Newcomers James Jones and Raja Bell played 47 and 49 minutes respectively, proving that their offseason hype could be valid. Steve Nash and Shawn Marion logged 44 and 48 minutes. Kurt Thomas? 23. So what happened? Well look at the Mavericks’ minutes, and you’ll see that their centers, Erik Dampier and Dasagana Diop, only played a total of 26 minutes themselves. This was a small-ball, run-and-gun game, and once the Suns go up against some more solid defensive teams, Thomas will get his minutes.

Still, Some Stuff Happened.

Of course, as much as we don’t want anyone to panic, there were a couple of significant events last night. Let’s cover them:

The Hilario Injury
Boy, this doesn’t sound good. A knee sprain, could be a tear, could be a LONG time before he’s back on the court. Meanwhile, Kenyon Martin is clearly banged up, and Marcus Camby has been day-to-day since he was eight years old. So who’s got the sleeper potential? Eduardo Najera will get the minutes, it appears, but his fantasy value will be close to zilch unless he gets 35+ mpg – which isn’t gonna happen. The other possibility is Francisco Elson, who could actually put up some Nene-esque numbers with 25-30 mpg, but it’s way too soon to make any moves here.

The Rookie Debuts
Chris Paul and Andrew Bogut both looked pretty good last night, and their owners have to be happy with their starts. Bogut owners have to be thrilled to see him get 37 minutes, and it appears that Bogut and Jamaal Magloire will be on the court the majority of the time for the Bucks.

The San Antonio … Grizzlies?
Uh-oh. Did you guys see that? Nine guys with 14+ minutes? Only Duncan and Parker getting over 30? Newcomers Finley, Oberto and Van Exel each having strong starts? Depth is a great thing for an NBA team – but not for the players’ fantasy owners. It’s way too early to be concerned, but this will be something to keep an eye on.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any thoughts on TJ Ford? I was able to pick him up off the waiver wire as he went under everyone's radar during the draft. Hope he keeps it up!

11:09 AM  
Blogger DM said...

As someone who drafted Ford in the 12th round, I was thrilled w/his performance last nite, even if he was on my bench. But don't expect him to flirt with a triple-double every night, and note that he didn't have any 3s, steals or blocks and shot 4 of 10 from the field. That's why I've been down on him -- he's clearly one of the best playmakers in the league, I watched that entire game and the majority of those assists were creations by him, not simply someone making a shot off a pass. Fantasy-wise, I'm thinking maybe a cross between Eric Snow's best years (which were damn solid) and Andre Miller. I still wouldn't want him any higher than #2 on my PG depth chart.

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How long do you guys think it'll take for Desmond Mason to start getting his normal minutes?

12:30 PM  
Blogger DM said...

Not too long. He's just a far superior player to Nachbar and I think that will become apparent soon enough. And despite last night's victory, I don't think we have to worry about the Hornets running off a long winning streak and "not changing what's working," y'know? Don't drop Mason, but the Hornets are a young/inexperienced team, so they could have a more volatile rotation than many squads.

3:28 PM  
Blogger CO said...

You mentioned Raja Bell -- how good do you see him being? As good as Bonzi Wells? Charlie Villanueva?

4:55 PM  
Blogger bv said...

Raja Bell will be one to watch for sure. Last night he had one of the worst 49-minute, 18-point games you could ever possibly have, if that makes any sense. He's traditionally a pretty empty scorer, but should be on rosters in most leagues.

It's tough to compare him to the other 2 guys you mentioned because all three have question marks, but i'd say Bonzi Wells is more valuable than either of the other two guys.

7:11 PM  

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