Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Truth Is Out, Part 2

So BV did his draft recap and now it’s my turn. Like he said, we start 10 players (PG, SG, G, SF, PF, F, C, C, UT, UT), with three bench spots, 12 teams. So it’s a pretty deep league, and it’s very competitive. Hard to slip sleepers past these guys. Guys like Zaza Pachulia, Marquis Daniels, Eddie Griffin, Mike James, etc. were all gone by the 9th round, for example. My strategy going in was to heed my rankings, take the best player available with most picks, not get too hung up on positions, and not to ignore percentages, which always seem to give me problems. Let’s see how I did.

1st Round (4th overall): Dirk Nowitzki, PF
I was hoping that Marion would fall to me, but he went #3. It’s hard to complain about Dirk, and if continues to trade in a few 3s for a few more blocks, I’ll take it. He’s 27, clearly in his prime, clearly the top option on a perennially high scoring team, and he set career highs in blocks, assists and points last year. I’m banking on a repeat. I was tempted to take Kobe, and even a little tempted to shock the world and take Kirilenko, but in the end Dirk was the obvious choice.

2nd Round (21st overall): Yao Ming, C
I told my dad the day before that draft that if Yao was there for me at 21 I would take him, and I stuck to my word. Even in his “disappointing” season last year he finished 17th on the player rater, and he seems bound to take a leap forward this year, if he can continue to improve his game and his minutes per game by 3 or 4, which is a distinct possibility. I certainly liked him more than Jermaine O’Neal, and I was thought about Vinsanity and Mike Bibby, but a dominant center in the second round without reaching was too good to pass up.

3rd Round (28th overall): Pau Gasol, PF
I deliberated a whole lot here. Gasol was the highest person left on my board, but I’ve drafted him the past two years and have been burned before, by a frustrating rotation and injuries. And did I really want to go with three big men with my first three picks, after I preach about PGs so much? In the end I decided to trust myself and go with Gasol. All three players so far are big men with very solid percentages and Gasol, like Ming, seems likely to increase his effectiveness and playing time as he enters his prime and will be the featured player on a thinned-out Memphis squad. His foot problems are a concern, but I went with him over Bosh, Joe Johnson and Rashard Lewis.

4th Round (45th overall): Kirk Hinrich, G
I was absolutely thrilled to get Captain Kirk near the end of the fourth round. He was my highest ranked player left and I desperately needed a top flight PG. The next four picks – Boozer, Camby, Redd, Parker – show what a drop-off there was. Kirk’s FG% is rather brutal, but I’m hoping those first three guys could help offset it.

5th Round (52nd overall): Cuttino Mobley, SG
The middle rounds are always the toughest, and my strategy was to not give in to hype and to instead draft players who I felt would be sure-thing, solid contributors all season. Mobley may have been a bit of a reach, but he has a history of playing 40 mpg and he could very well see that on a thin Clippers team. And you know he’ll be launching his share of 3s, as well. I was strongly considering Lamar Odom, but figured I had plenty of boards and could use a gunner.

6th Round (69th overall): Rasheed Wallace, FC
Another steady, unspectacular pick. Rasheed has a solid all-around game and the fact that he qualifies at center means that I don’t have to worry about depending on one of those “who the hell knows?” guys that ended up going in the next few rounds. His percentages are rather weak, and he might have some clashes with Flip Saunders, but his track record shows steady production and good health. I might very well regret not going with Rafer Alston or Donyell Marhsall at this spot.

7th Round (76th overall): Richard Hamilton, SG
The ultimate safe pick. I’m not a huge fan of Rip’s fantasy game, but in the 7th round it’s hard to argue. I often overlook points, and Rip is always a nice source. He’s another great free throw shooter, and even if he doesn’t match his 5 apg of last year, he should be a solid contributor (see a theme developing?) there. He’s another person who you can leave in the lineup and not worry about, and I think my first seven picks, while lacking in flashiness are extremely solid.

8th Round (93rd overall): Mark Jaric, G
Here’s where you can start going for riskier picks. Or, at least that’s what I’m saying in retrospect. I don’t love this pick, at all. I’m a huge fan of Jaric’s potential, but he’s always hurt and depending on him as my #2 PG has disaster written all over it. If he stays healthy, I’m rather confident this pick will be a steal, but that’s very iffy. His high assist rate might also drop since Minnesota runs its offense through KG.

9th Round (100th overall): Josh Childress, GF
On the other hand, I was thrilled to land Childress in the 9th round. He was actually the only player that I’ve hyped up this season that ended up on my team. He was almost a top 50 player in the second half of last season, and can help in just about every category. Tayshaun Prince went three rounds earlier and I think Childress will end up with the better numbers at the end of the year.

10th Round (117th overall): Eddie Jones, GF
BV hates this pick, but I stand by it. If he was able to finish 52nd on the rater last season when he averaged nearly five points less than he had the past few seasons, he looks to have a slight resurgence in Memphis where he will be looked to as one of the main options behind Gasol. He had a horrid preseason, but this is one of those cases where I’ll take the 10 years of stats over the few preseason games. If he turns out to be a total bust, it’s only a 10th rounder.

11th Round (124th overall): Brendan Haywood, C
OK, this was a pure homer pick, I admit. Brendan is my girlfriend’s favorite player and I figured by having him on my team, I just bought myself a good 40-50 extra hours of basketball watching this season, at least. And for a third center, he’s not so bad, and it’s always nice to have a player on your favorite team to root for. It was the 11th round – Juan Dixon, Lorenzen Wright and Charlie Villanueva were the next three picks – I feel fine about this. That said, it came down to him and Mike Dunleavy and if I wasn’t a Maryland grad who was a Wizards fan, we know who I would have picked. I hope this one doesn’t haunt me.

12th Round (141st overall): T.J. Ford, PG
This one really upset BV, who cried shenanigans since I have not spoken well of Ford at all here on FBB. But hey, player value is all relative – in the 12th round, with Hinrich and Jaric as my only two PGs, I feel this is a strong pick. I still think Mo Williams is just as good of a player, at least this season, and Ford is a major injury risk, but I needed the depth.

13th Round (148th overall): Mike Sweetney, PF
With my last pick I decided to go with someone with some decent upside but also someone I wouldn’t mind jettisoning early on. Each year the waiver wire offers a few players who emerge in the first few weeks of the season that turn out to be quite valuable and you have to be ready to pounce on them. With news that Sweetney will be coming off the bench initially, and knowing that Scott Skiles can be downright Sloan/Hubie Brown-ish when it comes to rotations, Sweetney might be packing his bags soon.

So there’s my team. I think that it’s pretty (here comes that word) solid top to bottom. My top four picks are all young and in their primes, and the rest of my squad is a good mix of established vets and young, but not necessarily green, players. I don’t have any one-category studs and instead am relying on a group effort to put me at the top of most categories. I’m admittedly thin at point guard, but you know that I’m always ready to rotate through the flavor of the week at that position.

Thoughts on who has the better squad, myself of BV???

Enjoy the first games of the season tonight. Go Dirk!


Blogger MKD said...

Got to give the slight edge to DM.

Although BV's guard corps is better (Marbury/Richardson/Billups), yours is not bad w/ Hinrich, Mobley, and Hamilton--maybe a little light on assists, particularly if Skiles continues experimenting w/ Kirk at off-guard.

It's in the forwards that DM sets himself apart. I look at it like Nowitzki vs. Jamison (hmmm... edge Dirk); Gasol vs. Walker (hmmm... Walker is a team-killer; edge Gasol); Childress vs. Murphy (you know how I love JC; edge Childress).

Duncan-Ming is advantage Duncan, but not by that much. Add this to the fact that Richardson, Antoine Walker, and Duncan all on the same squad spells FT% trouble, and Ming might actually turn out to be a better choice. Rasheed-Magloire is not even close. Sheed is much better and will play more under Flip Saunders.

Nenad Krstic can't justify a starting roster spot, I don't think, and Jaric might actually wind up being Top 60 if he can keep himself on the floor (a stretch, I know). Ricky Davis will be great, but Eddie Jones/T.J. Ford is also pretty nice for a second utility spot, and gives flexibility.

Sorry BV, but I think DM is just a little bit better.

11:55 AM  
Blogger bv said...

hey, that's why they play the games!

2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, I know I'm kind of late here, but in your opinion, what do you think are the best fantasy basketball websites out there? I've used Yahoo! for the past couple years but I don't really like their interface. I know that CBS, NBA, and ESPN all offer their own fantasy basketball engines, but I was wondering if you know of the differences and pros/cons of those systems. Are there any that I haven't mentioned here that are worth checking out?

6:25 PM  
Blogger bv said...

to be honest, we use yahoo! and are pretty happy with the way they do things. We're not too familiar with any other systems ... perhaps some other readers have some tips?

11:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CBS Sportsline blows; tried it for the first time this year. Avoid.

1:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DM's team hands-down is better.. I dont like some of BV's choices.. for example JRich in the 3rd round (his stats aint that good when Baron arrived in GS late last year).

Starting today, I'll ignore any of BV's posts and just read the posts of DM! Go DM!

5:09 AM  

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