Monday, February 20, 2006

Disappointments By Category

On Thursday I took a look at some of the most pleasant surprises in each category for the season thus far. Today, the biggest disappointments.

Quentin Richardson’s 1.1 3pg
In retrospect it was easy to see it coming, but that still doesn’t make it any less disappointing. Richardson went from the best possible situation – Phoenix’s free-wheeling, fire-at-will system – to the worst in Larry Brown’s more disciplined (to put it mildly) system. Still, since Richardson was a recent acquisition and was locked into a long-term deal, you’d think that he’d see enough PT to at least continue being one of the top three-point shooters in the league. But then you remember that everyone on New York was a recent acquisition locked into a long-term deal. Injuries and an undefined rotation hampered Richardson early on and he’s gotten into an extended groove. His longest streak of consecutive games with a 3 is just four games and after leading the league with 2.9 3pg last year, he’s at just 1.1 per game this year; that’s fewer than Jumaine Jones, for comparison.

Larry Hughes’s 1.5 spg
Like Richardson, here was another league leader from last year who averaged 2.9 per game in his category and switched teams in the offseason to disappointing results. Even discounting his injury, Hughes saw his output drop almost in half. We’ve thrown out some ideas as to why this was – new defensive system, presence of LeBron as another defensive stopper, lack of a contract year push, etc. It was obviously unrealistic to expect Hughes to approach three per contest again since he never even averaged two prior to last year. But some consolidation of his gains would have been nice.

LeBron James’s 7.2 apg
A somewhat odd choice, I realize, but there is no real obvious selection. Earlier in the season it would have been Mike Bibby and perhaps he still would be the best choice as his assists are down from 6.8 to 5.4, and this is without Chris Webber around. But the fact is that Bibby’s 5.4 apg this year ties for his best output as a King save for last year, so it’s hard to be too upset. Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis have both seen dips, too. But I’ll go with LeBron even if it is just a case of us putting unrealistic expectations on him. I mean, after all, he’s 12th in the league in the category and everyone who is above him is a PG, except for perhaps Dwyane Wade. But admit it, you had visions of a triple-double season from King James, or at leat a 30/8.5/8.5 season. What you surely didn’t expect was to see his numbers go down in any of the main categories, but that’s what has happened in assists, as he’s dropped from 7.2 last year to 6.6 this year. So, it’s all relative, and it just shows how LeBron is a league of his own when it comes to crazy all around numbers, but it’s still a slight letdown.

Kurt Thomas’s 7.7 rpg
I guess we’re seeing a trend so far; players who switch teams are tending to be disappointments. Thomas was 7th in the league in boards last year, averaging 10.4 per game with the Knicks. He was then shipped to Phoenix and when Amare Stoudemire went down, big things were expected from Thomas, at least on the boards. He was one of the team’s only big men and with shots being fired up left and right, he’d have plenty of chances to put up big numbers. Instead, he’s having trouble staying on the floor and is putting up his worst rebounding numbers since the 00-01 season. He’s certainly shown flashes of dominance, such as the eight game stretch in late November/early December when he averaged 14.3 boards per game. But even though his starting spot has been largely secure, starting 46 of the team’s 49 contests, he hasn’t proven to be nearly the asset as most thought he would be.

Yao Ming’s 50% FG
According the Player Rater, he’s still the 13th best player in the league in this category, at least based on averages. But after shooting 55% last year, Yao’s drop can’t make his owners too happy. A big reason for this is that it hasn’t come with anything to offset it. Sure, his scoring is up, but only 1.3 points per game, which doesn’t come close to making up for this drop in FG%. Yao has yet to show that he can be a top rebounder, and his block totals are serviceable if not wonderful for a center. For these reasons, he needs to continue to be a truly dominant force in FG% to live up to his usually lofty draft status, and he’s just not doing so this year. It should be noted that the absence of Tracy McGrady for 13 games had a very negative impact on Yao’s FG% and his numbers with McGrady in the lineup are much better.

Jamaal Magloire’s 54% FT
In some ways we should have seen this coming, but in other ways it was a huge shock. Last year Magloire shot just 60% from the line, so this isn’t completely out of the blue. But in 03-04 he shot 75% from the line on a career high 5.7 attempts per game, and he shot above 70% the two seasons prior to that, which is quite good for a big man. So with a 60% season coming on the heels of three 70%+ seasons, it was quite reasonable to believe that last year was the outlier and Magloire would return to his career average of around 70%. But instead he’s become a huge liability, basically killing what was marginal fantasy value to begin with, especially in roto leagues. Magloire has shown no signs of breaking out of what is now a two-year funk, as he hasn’t topped 61% in any month this season. It looks like he’s just lost this skill.

Tyson Chandler’s 1.1 bpg
Chandler has been one of the season’s biggest disappointments, and this is the category where it really shows. Everyone knows about the big contract he signed in the offseason and how we all thought with Eddy Curry out of the way he would step into a starting role and do his best Marcus Camby impression. But he’s come nowhere close to that. He was hampered by some strange illnesses early in the season, which affected his play and led to his eventual benching. He seems to be over those issues now and is back in the starting lineup and playing considerable minutes – 33 mpg in the last 13 contests – but still isn’t racking up the blocks like we had hoped. He’s averaging just 1.2 bpg in those 13 starts and hasn’t topped two blocks in even one of those games.

Steve Francis’s 16.6 ppg
Not counting Amare Stoudemire, there were 20 players who averaged 20 ppg or more last season. Only three of those are below the 20 ppg mark this season, and Francis has seen easily the biggest drop off (Shaq and Stephon Marbury are the other two). Coming into this season it seemed like Francis was one of the most reliable second-tier fantasy stars around. Besides that one rough year in Houston, he’s always put up strong numbers. His 21.3 ppg during his first season in Orlando was the second highest mark of his career and on a team without another established scoring threat, there was little reason to expect much change this year. But it’s been a struggle from the start and is now just getting worse by the day, and it seems like everyone – Francis, the Magic, fantasy owners – are hoping he has a new address come Thursday. Francis is in classic “mope” mode right now, as he’s not even trying to score. He averaged 17.1 attempts per game last year, down to 12.6 this year, and just 11.5 in the new year. You can’t score if you don’t shoot and Francis seems to have little interest in that right now.


Anonymous bublitchki said...

My biggest disappointment?

Tracy McGrady's .403 FG%.

It's just murdering me. I haven't won the FG% cat in my H2H league since he returned for his last back injury.

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Charlie said...

Random: Thoughts on this trade

Chauncey and Zaza for Carmelo and David West? I'd be getting Carmelo's side, and I offered it. What about Chauncey's PT? Will they slow him down for the playoff run? Flip has promised to do this, but hasn't done it much thus far.

2:04 PM  
Blogger JM said...

I'm a huge J.Kidd fan, and he's still a great all around fantasy player (particularly due to his 3's, stls, rbs), but I've noticed that
his Assts (7.7) are his lowest since his rookie season. He's been trending down for a few years now. He used to average a minimum of 9 asts/game, and (nearly 11 during his peak).

other minor disappointments:
Ridnour's 0.5 3's/g
R.Jefferson's 0.6 3's, 0.8 stl
Arenas' 3.7 rbs

3:36 PM  
Anonymous Andy said...

Donyell Marshall could slot into several of these categories. The worst might be his 38% fg, which is by far the worst he's shot in the last 10 years. You wouldn't expect him to be great, but you wouldn't expect a horrific number like that.

His bpg is at 0.6, well off his career average of 0.9 and nowhere near the 1.5 he was averaging in Toronto. He's not getting steals, points, or rebounds like he used to, and he never gets to the line. He still makes some threes, but only because that's all he seems to shoot.

Everyone was hoping he could get back to the roto monster he was a few years ago, but instead he has been a huge liability. Drew Gooden obviously has something to do with this, but Donyell's days as a fantasy (or even real-life) value seem to be numbered.

3:54 PM  
Blogger xtremecelticsfan said...

I have started a celtics blog an i put in a chat for people to come doring games an talk about whats goin on. An also for people to come in the chat anytime to talk about what needs to be done. SPREAD THE WORD!!!!!!!!

7:18 PM  

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