February 19, 2014
The NBA’s All Star break is officially in the rear view mirror and the trade deadline is just a couple days away. So now seems like a good time to take a look at what lies ahead this season.
Once again, the trade deadline will be a lot of talk and a lot of disappointment for the fans hoping their team will make a big splash. Carmelo Anthony, Rajon Rondo, Kevin Love, Pau Gasol and other big names have been rumored as possible trades. But they aren’t going anywhere. As always, we’ll have a few solid players finding new homes but nothing that is franchise altering. Everyone is waiting for that to happen in the draft.
Milwaukee is well on its way to having the most balls in the draft lottery. The real “battle” will be between Philadelphia, Orlando, Sacramento, Boston, Utah and the Lakers so make sure they get the second or third best chance to win the first pick in the draft.
Indiana will finish with the best record and home court advantage in the Eastern Conference. Miami will not care. The Pacers want to play at home. Miami wants to be healthy for the playoffs. Both teams will get their wish, setting up a tremendous Eastern Conference Finals.
Miami will not pull off the three-peat. Sooner or later their ability to turn it on and off at will will be over. They are next-to-last in allowing a 51.6 effective field goal percentage. Defense wins championships right? There is no D in Miami right now and it will come back to haunt them in the playoffs.
The other stroll (I can’t call it a race when all the teams are under .500) to watch is whether Michael Jordan’s Bobcats can hold off the Knicks and Cavs to make the playoffs. These teams have been unintentionally terrible and need to reach the postseason as they try to gain some much needed respect (Bobcats), try to keep Carmelo (Knicks) and lure LeBron James (Cavs).
In the Western Conference the Thunder have been the best team and are about to get Westbrook back. They’ll be the top seed. But the Spurs, Rockets, Clippers and Blazers are going to be in a fight for the 2-5 seeds. Meanwhile, Dallas, Golden State, Phoenix and Memphis are all playing well, but someone’s going to be left out.
Kevin Durant will be the MVP. He’s led the Thunder to the best record in the league – and done it without Russell Westbrook for just about the whole season. Durant is having a career best season in scoring, assists, and shooting. He is on a mission.
In the NBA Finals, I’m seeing the Indiana Pacers taking on Oklahoma City and as long as Westbrook is healthy and returns to his old form, the Thunder winning the title.
February 11, 2014
The NBA trade deadline is just a few days away. The trade deadline in your fantasy league is probably pretty close too. Now is the time to look over your roster and make the deal that will get you into the playoffs and hopefully make a run to the title. Fortunately for me, I am in second place at the moment, so I am just looking at what will help me when the playoffs start. But if you’re team is in the middle of the pack or worse, you need to make a move. I’ve got a few suggestions.
Deron Williams for D.J. Augustin or Randy Foye
DWill is still a much bigger star than Augustin or Foye but they are outproducing him and its not that close. Augustin is getting plenty of minutes in Chicago thanks to another devastating injury to Derrick Rose. Foye is also seeing plenty of action in Denver. Williams is shooting just 72 percent on free throws while Augustin and Foye are hitting 85 and 88 percent. Williams is averaging 12.5 points while Augustin and Foye are putting up 17 and 16 over the last month. Both guys are hitting twice as many 3’s as Williams.
Dwyane Wade for Trevor Ariza
If someone offered you Wade in return for Ariza, normally that would be a no-brainer. But this year, Wade has been extremely frustrating to own. It seems like every time I need him to produce, he sits out. You can’t produce from the bench and Ariza doesn’t spend much time there. He’s on the floor for 38 minutes a game right now. I just don’t trust Wade to play consistently. Miami is obviously trying to save him for a playoff run. You might even get somebody to give you two players for Wade.
Chris Bosh for Paul Millsap
Bosh has been on fire lately. So its a good time to try and sell high on him. Paul Millsap is quietly have a great season. Especially with Al Horford going down for Atlanta. My problem with Bosh is that as the fantasy playoffs begin, the Heat probably won’t have anything to play for and will have the big three getting ready for the playoffs. (If they wanted the No. 1 seed, they’d have found a way to beat the Jazz the other night) Meanwhile, the Hawks will be in a battle for home-court advantage and need all the Millsap they can get.
Pau Gasol for Zach Randolph
If you make this trade now, you can get a few extra games from Randolph while Gasol recovers from his groin injury. But even when Gasol returns, I’d rather have Randolph. Gasol is about to be traded and when he gets to a new team, he’s not going to get the ball and produce as much a he is in L.A. And even if he stays in L.A., Kobe Bryant will be back pretty soon and take a lot of those shots that Gasol has been getting. I’m actually proposing this trade in my league today. I hope “Fear the Beard” isn’t reading this.
Dwight Howard for Andre Drummond
Every team in the NBA would jump at the chance to get Dwight Howard. Some guys in your fantasy league will too. Hopefully one of them has Andre Drummond. If Howard is on your team, you are probably getting killed in free throw shooting. So why not go all in and trade Howard for another big man who is even worse from the charity stripe? You aren’t getting anything out of that stat anyway and Drummond will bring up your field goal percentage and rebounds while cutting down on your turnovers.
January 28, 2014
In the West, the starters are Kevin Durant, Stephan Curry, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin and Kobe Bryant. The fans have once again stolen a spot from someone who deserves to be there and voted in a guy who has played only six games this year. It looks like Kobe Bryant will spend the game sitting on the bench while someone like Goran Dragic probably gets left off the team.
Who should be the reserves in the West? (Chris Paul would be a sure thing but I’m assuming he will not play due to his injury).
He’s one of the most valuable players in fantasy basketball. Davis‘ 20-10-3 with his shooting percentage is a big boost for my roster. He’s the best player in the city hosting the game. He has to be on this team.
He’s the best big man in the game when he wants to be. Howard’s 18-12-3 could be even better if he hit more than 52 percent of his free throws.
Along with Aldridge, Damian Lillard has elevated Portland into contender status. He’s hitting 3’s at a crazy rate and giving the Blazers 20-6. And there may not be a better guy with the ball at the end of a game.
Didn’t we think the Suns were going to contend for the No. 1 pick in the draft? Not with this guy running the show. 19-6 a night and he has his team at 26-18.
Note: The last spot came down to Dragic or Dirk Nowitzki, who is one of my favorite players. So thanks a lot fans for making me leave Dirk off the team.
In the East, we’ve got LeBron James, Paul George, Kyrie Irving, Carmelo Anthony and another guy who doesn’t deserve the spot….Dwyane Wade. Nothing against Wade…he just sits out too much to get that spot in my opinion.
Roy Hibbert is the anchor of the league’s best defense on the league’s best team and averages close to a double-double.
Everyone said he left Utah for Charlotte to get paid. Nobody thought it was to make a run at the playoffs, but at 19-27 the Bobcats are currently eighth in the East. (That’s not saying much.)
The Toronto Raptors are in third place in the East. He is a big reason why, averaging 16-7-4.
November 19, 2013
We’re just 10 games into an 82-game NBA season so obviously there’s a lot of basketball left to play. But now that the games are for real, its time to take a look at what has happened so far compared to what we expected to happen.
Philadelphia was supposed to be the worst team in the league and the 76ers are leading the division. They have Michael-Carter Williams to thank for that. The rookie is making everyone forget they traded Jrue Holliday during the offseason and led the team to shocking wins over the Heat and Bulls. The future looks bright in Philly with Williams, Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes (averaging a double-double), injured rookie Nerlens Noel and probably a high draft pick coming in the summer.
Brooklyn is supposed to be a threat to Miami and is in last place at 3-7. The Nets have been dealing with injury problems and that makes life even tougher with a first-time head coach. Good thing they are a veteran team and have an owner willing to do whatever it takes to win. Once they get healthy, the Nets should get back on track.
Indiana has picked up where it left off in the playoffs when it nearly knocked off the Heat. The Pacers ought to be better this year.
In Cleveland its starting to look like the Andrew Bynum addition isn’t going to be the move that gets the Cavs back to the playoffs. They are going to need a lot more than six points and four rebounds from their big man.
Charlotte is off to a pretty good start (for Charlotte) at 5-6 and that is with Al Jefferson only playing three games so far. He should improve their 30th ranked offense.
What’s wrong with Washington? Weren’t the Wizards supposed to be a playoff team? Not at 2-7 they aren’t.
Portland is the hottest team in the league with seven straight wins. This appears to be a much improved team and another contender to battle for a playoff berth in the stacked Western Conference.
Utah is running away with the race for the most lottery balls in the draft. The Jazz already have 11 losses. That’s four more than the next highest. Will it be Wiggins or Parker?
Phoenix may be the biggest surprise so far at 5-4. The four losses are by a combined 13 points and that includes games in San Antonio and Oklahoma City. Impressive start, but will it last?
New Orleans is a Wednesday night win over the terrible Utah Jazz from getting to .500 and they’ll still be the worst team in the best division in basketball.
San Antonio has nine players averaging at least seven points a game. Some teams don’t even have nine guys they will put on the court.
October 29, 2013
The 2013-14 NBA season begins tonight when the Pacers host the Magic, the Bulls visit the Heat and the Lakers and Clippers battle for bragging rights in LA. Will Miami win a third straight title? Can Derrick Rose return to being Derrick Rose? How many teams will be tanking for a better spot in next summer’s draft? I’m going with NO, YES, and 7. What else might happen?
LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony will get the most attention…but not for their play on the court. We won’t get to celebrate Christmas without first hearing a constant barrage of trade rumors and free agency speculation surrounding them both.
Dwight Howard will feel left out and mention to reporters that he’s not sure he should have picked Houston. He goes on to say that James Harden’s beard is a distraction for the team and tells Jeremy Lin to feed him the ball more often.
Jason Collins will eventually be picked up. A Tebow style circus will follow that team for the rest of the year.
On more than one occasion, Michael Jordan will say that he’s still good enough to start for the Bobcats. After checking the standings in the Southeast division, nobody will argue with him.
With their eye on the first pick in the draft, the Philadelphia 76ers coaching staff asks everyone on the roster to do the same saying that they will be unguardable by 2015 if they make the change now.
Kobe Bryant makes his season debut on Christmas when the Lakers host LeBron James and the Miami Heat. He will help the Lakers win games, but won’t be the superstar we are used to seeing until the regular season is nearly over.
David Stern will once again fine Mark Cuban. But this time it will be for flopping after Cuban drops to the ground (on the sidelines) in disbelief of a foul call that costs his Mavericks a win.
The NBA will announce drastic changes to the All-Star Weekend. This will be the final season of the slam dunk contest.
The media will tell us that Kevin Durant and Dwayne Wade have an intense rivalry over Durant’s comments that James Harden is better than Dwayne Wade. It will never play out on the court. The same can’t be said for Miami and Brooklyn. Those games will be heated and lead to the suspensions of multiple players.
Divison winners: Atlantic-Brooklyn Nets, Central-Chicago Bulls, Southeast-Miami Heat, Pacific-Golden State Warriors, Southwest-Houston Rockets, Northwest-Oklahoma City Thunder
Kevin Durant wins his first MVP award.
Oklahoma City wins the NBA title.