Fantasy Basketball Draft Analysis 5: Is This Even Relevant?

For those who missed the first four installments, click here for one, two, three and four.  This is supposed to be the analysis of a fantasy bball draft, based on what I thought at the time of the draft.  However, it happened so long ago that it no longer is about who made the best choices, but rather whether I was right or wrong in thinking they made solid choices.  Anyway, as a reminder again, those players with a (K) next to their names are keepers, thus making them pretty much all good choices so they won’t be analyzed.

Round 7

1. O.J. Mayo (K) Alex

2. Thaddeus Young Eyal

3. Stephen Jackson Shai

4. Andrew Bogut Greg

5. Ron Artest Rich

6. Lamar Odom Mike K.

7. John Salmons (K) Frankie

8. Wilson Chandler Nick

9. T.J. Ford Mike M.

10. Marvin Williams Michael C.

11. Trevor Ariza Ginny

12. Al Harrington (K) Brad

Worst Pick: Mike K’s choice of Lamar Odom.  While Mr.Khardashian has been huge for the Lakers over the last few years, statistically he wasn’t great last year coming off the bench.  Ranked #103, I figured that with Ron Artest coming there’d be even less shots for L.O.  Luckily for Mike, Gasol was out for the first few weeks, allowing former Clipper Odom to shine, but I fear that time is coming to an end.

My Fave Pick Which So Far Has Turned Out Horrible: Nick with Wilson Chandler.  Yeah, yeah, maybe being a Knicks’ boy blindsided me, but no, that wasn’t it.  In last season’s final month, the man with the same name as Tom Hanks’ best friend in Castaway was ranked 44th.  With Quentin Richardson gone and talk of a possible Larry Hughes buyout, I figured this young stud would have everything going for him to take that next step.  ‘Course I hadn’t realized that when someone takes that next step, they can always step backwards.

The (Incorrect) Anthony Randolph Pick (Also Known As The Tyrus Thomas Pick): This goes to the guy who shows tons of potential and everyone expects to break out, and yet he never does.  I was sure Ginny’s choice of Trevor Ariza would fall into that category.  I guess it’s not a perfect analogy to Anthony & Tyrus ‘cuz their big problem is they’re so infuriating to coaches that they can never get consistent minutes (trust me, I’ve had Ty for long stretches over the last like 3 or 4 years).  People expected Ariza to go nuts with no other scoring options on the Rockets, but he’d been pretty quiet during the pre-season.  I think he had one good game, but the others he didn’t take many shots at all.  I felt he just didn’t have Ron Artest’s Houston mentality of If-No-One-Else-Is-A-Dominant-Scorer-Than-I’mna-Jack-Up-Shots-As-If-The-First-To-Throw-Twenty-Gets-A-Free-Cherry-Lollipop.  Even the experts in the fantasy world who weren’t convinced that he’d score much, they felt at the least he’d be guaranteed to keep up his insane steal per minute ratio he had last year.  Me, I felt if he played more minutes and had to shoulder more of the offensive load that he wouldn’t have as much energy on the defensive end to keep up that rate of thefts.  In other words, I felt there was a decent chance he’d be a poor man’s Larry Hughes.  So far it seems like he’s a consistent man’s Larry Hughes (from that one season with the Wizards when Larry seemed like a genuine stud).  Yes, the fg% makes Ray Felton look like a sharp-shooter, but in every other way Trevor’s been great.

The What-Is-Rich-Thinking Pick Of The Round: goes to Rich.  Picking Artest.  When the Lakers signed Ron Artest my concern about it backfiring was just if Ron didn’t realize his place on offense he’d put up tons of ill-advised shots that’d be better given to Kobe, Pau, Bynum or Odom.  However during pre-season it was clear I need not worry about that.  He was trying extra hard to fit in and hardly taking any shots.  He actually had some really good passes, and I figured his assists would go up, but beyond that I felt his value would plummet with the huge decrease in touches.  His last month with Houston he was ranked 91st (despite being ranked 63 for the whole season).  To me that seemed a best case scenario, and I wouldn’t have been surprised if he became nearly unrosterable like Odom had the previous season.

The Second Not-Quite-Analogous Anthony Randolph/Ty Thomas Pick: went to Michael C. for his choice of Marvin “I’m Not Gaye” Williams.  Like the above combo, Marvin’s got serious potential to do damage.  Like the two of them, he sometimes has insane nights.  And like the two of them, he’s about as solid as Brittany Spears’ mental state.  No, he’s not a headcase like the other two (or three if ya wanna add Brittany).  Nor does he seem to frustrate his coaches.  However, as one who owned him last year I can attest to the fact that he’s about as aggressive as an interspecies offspring of a turtle and slug.  When Josh Smith or Joe Johnson were out, he’d be great, but when they were all there he’d do his Claude Raines impersonation (for those not versed in yer film history, that’s an Invisible Man reference).  With gunner Jamal Crawford joining the Hawks, I was worried Marvin would disappear off the face of the planet.

Round 8

1. Richard Hamilton Brad

2. Kevin Love Ginny

3. Jameer Nelson (K) Michael C.

4. Rajon Rondo (K) Mike M.

5. Greg Oden Nick

6. Roy Hibbert Frankie

7. Derrick Rose (K) Mike K.

8. Channing Frye Rich

9. Jamal Crawford Greg

10. Nene Hilario (K) Shai

11. Mario Chalmers Eyal

12. Joakim Noah Alex

The Blinded By My Team Loyalty Pick: went to Brad with his choice of the Pistons’ Rip Hamilton.  While Rip’s real world value hadn’t dropped much, his fantasy value had (& it was never that high to begin with since Rip was a shooter who never really shot threes).  Rip was ranked 104 last season, and with Ben Gordon in town I expected Rip’s touches to drop.  Plus, if Dumars had any sense he’d trade Rip away during the season, which would likely only decrease his touches even more.

Most Likely To Hit A Sophomore Slump: Mario “I Have No Bros.” Chalmers.  During the pre-season the Heat talked to Jamaal Tinsley and other PGs, desperate to find someone to take the load off of Donkey Kong’s former nemesis.  Mario was solid last year, but most of his fantasy value came off of his steals and threes.  Since he got tons of minutes, it was hard to imagine he’d steal more or shoot more threes.  Dwayne Wade’s the real initiator of the offense and it feels like Mario will just be the Derek Fisher (or Steve Blake) of the team, thus limiting his upside.

The Pick I Thought Would Be Better Than It’s Turned Out To Be: is Greg’s choice of Jamal Crawford.  Last season Jumpshootin’ Jamal was ranked 46.  Granted he was with the shot-happy Knicks and Golden State Warriors, but still.  The Hawks didn’t have a ton of depth, and with Bibby getting older I figured Jamal should get a solid 30 minutes a night.  What I hadn’t counted on was the fact that Jamal has forgotten how to get assists.  That, combined with inconsistent nights of scoring, has made a bit of a disappointment.  However the season’s still young and maybe he’ll grow more comfortable with his new team as the months progress.

The Carmelo Anthony Pick(s) (aka, Players I Was Excited About Who Went Much Earlier Than I Expected, But Who I Felt Were Worthy Of Being Picked At That Spot): A three-way tie between Ginny’s choice of Kevin Love, Nick’s pick of Oden, and Frankie’s snag of Hibbert.  Now it turned out Ginny didn’t realize Love was injured, so she doesn’t get the savvy points that Nick and Frankie get.  Also, in all fairness, I was drafting in the same room as Frankie and he was saying he was gonna make a big reach with his next pick and surprise everyone.  So in our draft chat room I told Nick he should go for a big reach to try and screw Frankie over.  Would Nick have gone for Ol’ Man Oden otherwise?  Who knows?  But both those dudes were playing great in the pre-season, and with decent centers disappearing fast, these seemed like great picks.  It also made me snag Noah ‘cuz I felt like he and Marc Gasol were the only two decent centers left with serious potential.

The Andre Iguodala Pick (aka, A Player I Was Excited About But Who Went Much Earlier Than I Thought They Should Have): Rich’s selection of Channing Frye.  Frye was ranked 187th by Yahoo and I figured I could snag him with a 12th round pick.  I never would’ve guessed he’d hit as many threes as he has, but he’d always been a big man who’d shoot from twenty feet out.  With the Suns returning to their run-and-gun ways and no serious competition, I thought Frye would definitely be rosterable once again (for those who forget, he had a period as a rookie on the Knicks when he was looking like a stud in the making — which incidentally made everyone ignore this other young Knick who I liked who’d hustle his butt off but never got any playing time. That dude was David Lee.  But enough digressing, let’s end these parentheses).  Even though I thought Frye would be solid this year, I was thinking more like maybe 12 points, 5 rebounds and .75 stls & blks on 44% shooting.  I was darn close on most of those, but I hadn’t expected the 2.6 threes.  Plus if I’d known that more than half his shoots would be from three-point land, I would’ve then guessed his shooting percentage would drop down to say 42%, not skyrocket to 46.2% ‘cuz he shoots 47% from out deep!  Rich lucked out big-time with this pick.

Round 9

1. Tyreke Evans Alex

2. Brad Miller Eyal

3. Luol Deng Shai

4. Michael Beasley Greg

5. Aaron Brooks Rich

6. Mike Bibby Mike K.

7. Jonny Flynn Frankie

8. D.J. Augustin Nick

9. Ramon Sessions Mike M.

10. Chris Duhon Michael C.

11. Chris Andersen Ginny

12. Josh Howard Brad

Best Pick: Okay, without any homerism I must anoint myself with my choice of Tyreke Evans.  And this ain’t just hindsight.  I mean I had first pick in this round so I could’ve picked anyone, and there was a reason I took Tyreke.  Tyreke had been very good in the pre-season, was announced as a starter, and seemed like he’d get unlimited minutes.  Did I think he’d be as good as he has been?  No.  But Sacramento was a team that needed more offense, and I had no fear of Beno Udrih taking Tyreke’s time.

Least Favorite Picks: Mike M. with Sessions and Ginny with Birdman.  First, I love Birdman.  He played great last year and in the playoffs.  And I love guys that play with passion like he does.  Before the season tons of fantasy experts were very high on him, but I didn’t get it.  He wasn’t gonna replace Nene in the starting lineup (or KMart for that matter), so I couldn’t imagine him getting many more minutes.  To me it seemed like his ceiling would be maybe 8 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks, and even that seemed unlikely.  As for Sessions, at first when Minnesota signed him I was psyched, figuring he’d get a ton of time alongside Jonny Flynn since the new GM had said when he drafted Ricky Rubio the plan was to play two point guards next to each other.  However after Kurt Rambis came on board he outright stated that he would not play the two of them at the same time.  During the pre-season Rambis not only stayed true to that sentiment, but it was also clear that Flynn was getting the lion’s share of minutes while Sessions was getting maybe 15-19 minutes.  Now recently Rambis has overlapped the two of them a bit, so maybe things’ll change down the road.

My Fave Picks That Haven’t Quite Turned Out How I Expected: Greg’s choice of Beasley, Frankie’s selection of Flynn and Michael C with Duhon.  Beasley’d been looking like a beast and was expected to start at SF so I figured there’d be no reason he shouldn’t average 35+ minutes.  However at the last minute the Heat announced that he sucked at SF so instead he’d start at PF.  Which means he still has to compete against constant-coach-fave Udonis Haslem.  Slowly Beas has been getting more minutes, but I thought he’d do better.  With Flynn, as stated above, it seemed like he had a lock on 30+ minutes.  Everyone had raved about him, he’d looked good in the pre-season, and the only other real scoring threat on the team was Al Jefferson (or would you rather have Ryan Gomes or Corey Brewer as your secondary option on O?).  However his minutes and play have been inconsistent, resulting in him being in a time share with Sessions, thus pretty much negating both their values.  Lastly, there was Duhon.  I’d toyed with picking him instead of Tyreke, but I just felt Tyreke had more potential down the road, particularly as a potential keeper.  Again, no it wasn’t just that Duhon was a Knick that made me interested.  He was ranked 91st last year, but that was after falling off the map at the end of the season due to exhaustion (his last two months he was ranked 168 and 143).  If he hadn’t been so awful those months, think of how high he would’ve been ranked!  I figured this year D’Antoni would regulate Duhon’s minutes better (at the beginning of last season there were nights when Duhon literally played the entire game).  Of course the opposite’s happened: Duhon’s sucked so bad that now D’Antoni has been taking his minutes away.

All Or Nuthin’ Picks: These guys I felt would explode.  But I wasn’t sure if they’d explode in a good or a bad way.  Would they have bounce back years or would they end up bordering on irrelevancy?  Who am I talking about?  Eyal with Brad Miller, Shai with Deng, and Mike K. with Bibby.  Miller I was fairly confident could still produce, but I wasn’t sure if he’d get the minutes.  I gotta say that I’m amazed that even with Ty Thomas out that Miller hasn’t been able to get much more than 20 minutes/game.  Deng the concern was of course injury, but I had a good feeling about him, and with Ben Gordon gone I thought he’d finally have a chance to go back to being one of the top options on offense.  Bibby had already been declining a bit, and I was worried that Crawford could take even more of Bib’s minutes away.

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