Thursday, December 08, 2005

Watching a Game from a Fantasy Perspective

You know, watching an NBA game can be a dangerous thing. For sure, watching an actual game as opposed to just seeing the highlights and checking the box scores can give you a much better idea of how a player is performing. But at the same time, a role player can have a couple nice moves and you can think he’s on his way to stardom. At the same time, a top player can have an off night and you might be convinced he’s going to fall off the fantasy map.

Still, there’s plenty to watch and learn with each and every game, so I’m gonna try a new feature here at FBB. I’m going to watch the New Jersey Nets play the Charlotte Bobcats and keep a game log. I haven't seen either team play much this year, so let’s see what we can learn about these two teams:

7:39 – Injury Report – Jason Collins could be out for up to a week, so we’ll see Clifford Robinson start for the Nets. Yes, apparently he’s still around. For the Bobcats, with Kareem Rush out with a sprained finger, Keith Bogans will get the nod.

7:44 – Vince Carter is coming out looking for his shot early and often – and he’s 3/3 early. Then the Nets run 2 plays in a row for him out of the first time-out – neither work, but they apparently want him to get comfy.

7:49 – More Vince! He’s taken 6 of the Nets’ 9 shots, plus he’s been fouled and turned it over once – that’s 9 possessions ending with Carter having the ball. Meanwhile, Jason Kidd is giving Brevin Knight about 4 feet of space every time he touches the ball at the arc – he just refuses to shoot the long ball.

7:53 – Despite the lack of threes, Knight is undoubtedly the team leader for the Bobcats right now. Bickerstaff just trusts him – every time the Cats get set in the half court, Knight is running the operation. He’s got the top Assist/TO ratio in the league, and unless he slows down, or gets hurt, Raymond Felton just won’t get the minutes he needs to be a fantasy producer.

7:57 – In comes Sean May for the Bobcats. I’m a big fan – but like Felton, he won’t get the minutes he needs with the crowded Bobcats frontcourt. Marvin Ely is in as well, and if he ever got a starting gig somewhere, you gotta think he’d produce. Every time he sees big minutes, he responds with big numbers.

8:03 – Both teams have been very quick with the subs (Charlotte has all 5 starters on the bench and the Nets have 3, and there are still a couple minutes left in the first). This is what I mean by dangerous. Don’t let the fact that May is in for Emeka Okafor so soon let you think that either will have any change in value anytime soon.

8:10 – I’m telling you, Melvin Ely, he’s good. In just 6 minutes, he’s got 5 points, 3 boards, and a block.

8:11 – Make that 7 minutes, and 2 blocks.

8:13 – A Jacque Vaughn sighting! Clifford Robinson, then Vaughn … what year is this? Seriously, it’s pretty surprising how much of his bench Lawrence Frank is using here in the first half. Still, it’s been the Vince Carter show for the Nets.

8:22 – The starters are back, and while Jason Kidd is having a horrific game (0 pts, 5 TO so far), he’s still got a great passing touch. You’ve gotta believe those assist numbers are going to come up to about 8 or so.

8:30 – Well I think it’s safe to say that Clifford Robinson won’t be getting picked up tomorrow in your fantasy league. 14 minutes, 0 points, 1 boards, 1 assists, 0-3 from the field (all threes).

8:39 – It’s halftime. Remember when Gerald Wallace was setting the world on fire? Well he’s certainly in a nice little slump right now. The last four games he hasn’t topped 12 points or 6 boards, and tonight doesn’t look to be any different. For the Nets, how about Nenad Krstic? The fact that he gets 10 shots a game is quite a feat considering he’s the clear number four option on his team – not many teams have 4 players averaging double digit shots. It would be fun to see what he could do if one of the big three went down now that he’s got a year under his belt.

8:49 – If there’s one guy in this game who’s a great buy-low right now, it’s Emeka Okafor. His shooting has been terrible, but everything else – as in, blocks and boards – has been great for a C. Once his shot comes around (and it should), he’ll have nice value. Plus, his FT% is up 10% from last year, which is great to see.

8:53 – More on Okafor – right now, Bickerstaff is all about seeing his players improve, and that means taking some chances. Just now, Okafor pulled up from about 17 feet – and missed. That’s not his shot now nor has it ever been, but Bickerstaff is allowing him to try it in games because if it becomes a part of his game, he’ll be deadly. Still, these kind of shots are what’s hurting his FG%.

8:58 – The Bobcats have four guys seeing over 30 mpg, and the another NINE seeing between 10 and 25. Of those nine, though, only Ely, May and Felton really appear like they could have any real value this year. Right now, it’s Wallace, Knight, Bogans, May, and Ely, about midway through the third. But every time you turn around, Bickerstaff is sending in another sub.

9:10 – You know, I love a pass-first point guard as much as anyone, but Jason Kidd just had a wide open lay-up in transition and instead tried to lob it to Richard Jefferson, resulting in his eighth – yes, eighth – turnover of the night. Now he’s on the bench.

9:16 – Clifford Robinson update: 25 minutes, 4 points, 2 boards, 2 assists, 1 turnover, 1 block, 1 steal. But the block was AWESOME. Still, how can a guy like this play 25 minutes in the NBA when there are plenty of guys more worthy? Imagine if new FBB favorite "Starvin'" Melvin Ely (yes, it’s official) got about 30 mpg. Why don’t the Bobcats just trade him to the Nets?

9:22 – Boy, I definitely didn’t realize just how thin the Nets are. Now in the 4th quarter, they’ve got a lineup of Jeff McInnis, Jacque Vaughn, Scott Padgett, Richard Jefferson, and … I think that’s Marc Jackson. Yikes. If they do in fact make a trade to pick up another piece, that piece is going to see starter’s-type minutes.

9:28 – Here come the Bobcats, and they’ve got Felton and Knight in the game at the same time - in crunch time, no less. This happens a couple minutes a night, and it’s looking good right now.

9:38 – Okafor takes a seat and the announcer says that Bickerstaff is throwing in the towel. It sure does look that way. Okafor was rough from the floor again – just 2-7 - but hit all five free throws, grabbed nine boards, had three blocks and a steal.

9:40 – Well the game is winding down – did I learn anything? Sure I did! Some points to take away:

- Jason Kidd’s point problems and Emeka Okafor’s FG% issues might not be going away anytime soon.

- Should someone get traded to the Nets to be their sixth man, they’re going to get enough minutes to be picked up. Then again, why isn’t Jeff McInnis that player? He could be one to watch, seeing 23.5 mpg despite not playing too well.

- For the Bobcats, don’t ever get too excited when a guy does well one night – there are about 11 players on the squad who will have a chance to do well every night. Wait until he plays well for a couple games in a row before even considering him, and if you do pick him up, have a short leash (this rule is obviously not relevant for the big 4 of Okafor, Knight, Wallace, and Rush). I’ve made this mistake once this year with Sean May. Never again!

- Melvin Ely has made it onto my “if he gets a shot, pick him up” list. As in, if he gets traded or if one of the other Bobcat bigs gets hurt, I’ll be sure to pick him up before waiting for a big game from him.

So there it is.


Blogger DM said...

Hey, I was watching that game, too! I lost ten fuckin' dollars on the Bobcats, but that's probably my own fault. I was impressed by Ely as well, but fear he could develop Stromile Swift Syndrome, if that makes sense -- athletic big man with unlimited fantasy potential but unable to get enough consistent PT in real life to be anything more than a tease.

And let's give it up for my main man, Steve Buckhantz Memorial All-Star B-Knight: 10-16, 3-4, 23/6/5 with 4 steals. That's what I'm talkin' 'bout!

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quick heads up: his name is Melvin Ely. Great site.. keep it up. In the midst of a proposing Camby/Joe Johnson/Gooden for JOneal/Wade. Thoughts?

12:14 PM  
Blogger bv said...

oh....right. editors? we don't need no stinking editors!

As for your trade, do it. fast. wade is better than Camby, JO is better than Johnson, and Gooden isn't nearly enough to make up the difference.

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Carl said...

Is it time to give up on Antoine Walker yet? He's been ass horrible for the last few weeks, and with Shaq coming back I don't see it getting any better. But maybe I should see if having Shaq baq takes some pressure off him? I picked him in the 11th round or so thinking he would contribute a little bit of everything, but all he seems to contribute are low percentages and TOs.


12:53 PM  
Blogger PR said...

Walker is a fantasy dud right now. If 'Toine were to get traded to another team where he could be the first or second scoring option then that would be a different story. Not only does he lack the playing time, but Employee #8 is a lazy player who loves to take bad shots and turn the ball over. I don't even think he practices anymore considering his FT% has regressed every year since his days in Beantown. So unless Posey or Haslem goes down with an injury Antoine will only have marginal value in Miami. At this point in his career I think he is perfectly content being an overpaid role player on a team with championship hopes.

2:35 PM  

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