NBA Fantasy Basketball Draft News 10-28-2015

Detroit Pistons have a new Mix of New Players but the Shooting Must Improve for the Team to Compete for the Playoffs.

The 2014-15 Detroit Pistons finished up play with a record of 32-50. They finished as the 12th seed in the Eastern conference and six games behind the eighth seeded Brooklyn Nets for the final playoff spot. Stan Van Gundy begins his second season as head coach of Detroit.

The team struggled on the offensive end of the court as they averaged 98 points with 43.2% shooting from the field and 34.4% from beyond the arc. The team drafted in the lottery round with the eighth pick and selected Stanley Johnson out of Arizona. He averaged nearly 14 points and 45% from the field. From the three point line Johnson connected on 37%.

Detroit Pistons PG:

Reggie Jackson

The Pistons 25 year old point guard played in 77 games last year and hit on 43.4% from the field and 29.9% from three. He averaged 14.5 points a game and dished out six assists plus grabbed four rebounds. Jackson played 3 ½ years with the Oklahoma City Thunder before coming over to Detroit during the season last year.

Steve Blake

Blake is effective as a backup working with the second team. He has 12 years in the league and can be a defensive liability if guarding a younger point guard. With Portland last year Blake played 19 minutes and averaged 4 points with 3 ½ assists per game. The shooting has been dreadful the past three years as he has shot 37% from the field.

Detroit Pistons SG:

Kentavious Caldwell Pope

He enters his third year with the club as he was a first round pick of the Pistons in 2013. He played in all 82 games last year and shot 40.1% from the floor with 12.7 points per game. He dished just 1 assist and grabbed 3 rebounds per game and connected on 34.5% from three.

Jodie Meeks

Meeks has played six years in the NBA and is playing for his fourth team. In 60 games with the Pistons last year Meeks played 24 minutes per game as he averaged 11 points. He does not contribute much in the rebound and assist categories. Meeks shot 34.9% from three last year.

Detroit Pistons PF:

Ersan Ilyasova

The seven year pro comes to Detroit after a seven year career with the Milwaukee Bucks. The 28 year old power forward played in 58 games last year and shot 47.2% from the field and 39% from beyond the arc. He averaged 11 ½ points, 5 rebounds and 1 assist per game.

Anthony Tolliver

The seven year veteran out of Creighton came over to Detroit from Phoenix. He saw work in 52 games last year and averaged nearly eight points and four rebounds per game. He shot 42.3% from the field along with 36% from three point distance. With Detroit, Tolliver improved his production from his time with Phoenix.

Detroit Pistons SF:

Marcus Morris

The 26 year old comes to Detroit after 2 ½ seasons with the Phoenix Suns. He has missed just one game over his past two seasons. Last year Morris average 19 points as he hit 43.4% from the floor in his 25 minutes of play. From three he shot 35.8% plus grabbed 4.8 rebounds and dished 1 ½ assists per game.

Detroit Pistons C:

Andre Drummond

Drummond is entering his fourth year with the Pistons. The center played in 82 games last year and average 14 points and 13 ½ rebounds per game. He put in 30 minutes a game and hit 51.4% from the field. The free throw shooting makes Drummond a liability in late game situations as he makes 38.9% from the charity stripe.

Posted in NBA

NBA Fantasy Basketball Draft News 10-26-2015

Charlotte Hornets Must Get More Close in Shots from Their Big Men to Better Their Offense

The 2014-15 Charlotte Hornets finished the regular season with a record of 33-49. There were the 11th seed in the Eastern conference and was five games behind the eighth seeded Brooklyn Nets for the final playoff spot.

The Hornets struggled on the offensive end of the court. They were the 29th and second worst shooting team in the NBA last year by hitting on 42% from the field. They were last in the NBA in three point shooting as they make 31.8% from beyond the arc.

They selected ninth and it was a lottery selection in the draft and they took Frank Kaminsky from the Wisconsin Badgers. There were some huge concerns over Kaminsky about his defensive prowess on the court. He is not fast footed and is very slow to rotate. He did benefit by playing in a very slow down style at Wisconsin so the pace of the game will be much faster in the NBA. Kaminsky was a four year starter in college and didn’t leave early to the NBA because of the heavy concern about him playing defense. It was a reach to take Kaminsky because he figures to be at the best a bench player who will be asked to line up outside the three point line to launch three’s and hope he can match up defensively against an opponent’s reserve player.

Steve Clifford is the Hornets head coach who enters his third year with the team. They were 43-39 two years ago and had a first round exit in the playoffs. The Hornets have been a bad shooting team for years now because their guards take way too many of the team’s shots. They need more quality looks around the bucket.

Charlotte Hornets PG:

Kemba Walker

He enters his fourth year in the league and missed 20 games a season ago. Walker played 34 minutes and shot just 38.5% from the field with 30.4% from beyond the arc. He put up 17 points a game but took a lot of shots because the Hornets lack quality big men last year with skill around the bucket. Walker is not recommended for one day league’s because he is bad shooter and doesn’t dish enough assists or grabs enough rebounds for fantasy points.

Charlotte Hornets SG:

Nicolas Batum

He comes over after spending his first seven years with the Portland Trailblazers. He is entering the prime of his career at 26 years old. Last year he shot 40% after shooting 46.5% from the field two seasons ago. He had a low in points and shooting from the previous five seasons. Batum has a shot at being a team leader for Charlotte. Now he will be asked to score more and that should work well for the Hornets goal of improving offensively.

Charlotte Hornets PF:

Cody Zeller

Zeller enters his third year in the NBA. He was selected in the first round in 2013 by Charlotte and the fourth overall pick in the draft. He played only 24 minutes a game last year and shot 46.1% from the field with 7.6 points per game average. He did grab nearly six boards a game in those limited minutes he played. The Hornets seven footer took only six shots a game and needs a lot more to improve this club.

Charlotte Hornets SF:

Marvin Williams

This ten year pro has ten years of service. He shot just 42% from the floor and grabbed only five rebounds in his 26 minutes a game with Charlotte last season. With Michael Kidd-Gilchrist out for most of the year Williams minutes will increase.

Charlotte Hornets C:

Al Jefferson

The 30 year old has logged in 11 years in the league. He shoots for high percentage at 50% career mark. He is a big body who rebounds and can get close in shots. Now if they can get more offense up close from Zeller they can show some improvement in the standings.

Posted in NBA

NBA Fantasy Draft News 10-23-2015

The Minnesota Timberwolves concluded play in the 2014-15 season with a record of 16-66. They finished in last place in the Western conference 29 games behind the eighth seeded New Orleans Pelicans for the last playoff spot. The Timberwolves had the worst record in the NBA and have a long road to respectability. The last time Minnesota made the playoffs was in 2004. They have failed to draft and develop a team to compete in the Western conference for over a decade now. The culture of losing is deep rooted and begins on the defensive end of the court where the team has failed. They were last in the league in scoring and field goal defense as they give up an average of 106 points and 48.7% shooting to their opponents each game. They were bad defending opposing three’s by surrendering 36.7% from beyond the arc. Flip Saunders is the current head coach of the Timberwolves. He returned to the franchise in 2014 after a ten year stay from 1995-2005. Saunders benefitted by the Kevin Garnett era but since Garnett’s departure they have not found a floor leader to catapult the team out of mediocrity. The team had the first pick in the 2015 draft and selected Karl-Anthony Towns a center out of Kentucky. It is the first center the Timberwolves have selected in the first round since way back in the 2001 season.

Minnesota Timberwolves PG:

Ricky Rubio

Now 25 year old Rubio has dealt with health concerns over his career. He is great at dealing assists and steals but is a lifetime 36.7% shooter. He shot a miserable 25.5% from the three point line last year. He played in 22 games last year and averaged 10 points, nearly 9 assists and 5 ½ rebounds per game.

Minnesota Timberwolves SG:

Zach Levine

Levine is a first round draft pick of the Timberwolves in 2014 as he was selected 13th out of UCLA. He is a very young player at 20 years old. The shooting guard saw work in 77 games last year as he averaged 10 points, 3 ½ assists in nearly 25 minutes per game. This is a young Timberwolves team so expect Levine to get more minutes in the upcoming season. He did make 34.1% from the three point line last season. A good feature for DFS draft managers is Levine can be trusted late in games as he is an 84.2% free throw shooter.

Minnesota Timberwolves PF:

Kevin Garnett

The veteran has played 20 years in the league and returns to help turn the culture from losing to winning. There is almost a generation gap between Garnett and his teammates. He no longer produces the numbers he did in his prime so it may be a hard sell for Garnett to win over the trust of his teammates. Words only mean much to the youth if you can produce on the court. KG has been slowed down by wear and tear of 20 years in the league so there could be some chemistry problems.

Minnesota Timberwolves SF:

Andrew Wiggins

Wiggins a first round pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers came over to Minnesota in the Kevin Love trade. As a rookie in 2014, Wiggins played in all 82 games and averaged nearly 17 points, 4 ½ rebounds and two assists. His shooting numbers were 43.7% from the floor and 31% from three. Wiggins was the NBA’s rookie of the year based on a very strong finish as he put up some big numbers to close the season.

Minnesota Timberwolves C:

Gorgui Deng

A first round pick of the Utah Jazz in 2013, Dieng was good on the boards as he pulled down eight rebounds in his 30 minutes per game average. He generated nearly 10 points a game and was a good free throw shooter for a big man making 78.3% from the charity stripe.

Posted in NBA

Breaking NBA Pro Basketball News 10-25-2015—Flip Saunders Passes Away

On Sunday morning October 25th the NBA community awoke with some sad news as Minnesota Timberwolves President and head coach Flip Saunders passed away at the age of 60. Saunders bravely fought cancer as he was diagnosed in late August with Hodgin’s lymphoma. At the time the doctors had positive news claiming it was curable. He suffered some serious setback from the disease that forced his hospitalization in September that led to his eventual death.

Saunders coached the Minnesota Timberwolves during their only successful era from 1995-2005. He led the Timberwolves to the playoffs in eight of his ten years at the position. Unfortunately Saunders did not have playoff success as the team suffered a first round exit in seven straight post season appearances. They broke through in the 2003-4 season as they made it as far as the conference finals where they would eventually lose to the LA Lakers in a six game series. Unfortunately the Timberwolves could not follow up with that success as the team had trouble signing the supporting cast around Kevin Garnett. The following year the Timberwolves began 25-26 and fired Saunders.

He resurfaced with the Detroit Pistons from the 2005-2008 seasons where he led the team to three straight conference finals but was unable to make an NBA Finals appearance in those three seasons. He then spent three years trying to rebuild a very down Washington Wizards franchise but was fired into his third year with the club as he sported a 2-15 record. Last season he coached the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 16-66 record which was the worst in the league. But the club has shown some promise with a successful draft and appears to be building for a successful future.

Flip Saunders grew up in Cleveland Ohio. In high school he was the player of the year for the state of Ohio in 1973. He played his college basketball at the University of Minnesota playing alongside future NBA greats in Mychal Thompson and Kevin McHale.

Following his college basketball playing days he immediate went into coaching landing his first job at Golden Valley Lutheran College where he served until the 1981 season. He spent time as an assistant at his alma mater Minnesota for five years and a couple of years at Tulsa. He then moved to professional basketball in 1988 in the CBA where he worked his way up to the head coach of Minnesota Timberwolves.

Posted in NBA

NBA Fantasy Basketball Draft News 10-22-2015

Sacramento’s Offense Great for DFS Leagues but Their Play on Defense May Not Contribute to Enough Wins in the Western Conference.

Sacramento Kings concluded play in the 2014-15 campaign with a record of 29-53. They were the thirteenth seed in the Western conference and trailed the eighth seeded New Orleans Pelicans by 16 games for the final playoff spot. This is a franchise that has been in the lottery several years but still can’t develop talent good enough to compete for a playoff spot out west. For several years the Kings were an awful defensive squad. They looked to change the culture of their team by hiring Mike Malone as coach. This news early in the season of his firing came as a shock to many pundits because they saw Malone as the right fit for the team to build up the young talent and teach them to defend properly in the NBA. But a new and in-experienced owner Vivek Ranadive had no patience to let the coach and team mature together and sought immediate change. Management is looking back to the days when the Kings ran and outscored their opponents during their playoff years. It takes time for the chemistry to build and management is looking for immediate success on the court which may not be realistic. With Malone fired the team went back to their poor defensive ways of the past and finished 28th in scoring defense by allowing 105 points a game and 24th in defensive field goal defense by allowing 45.6% shooting per game. George Karl begins his first full season with the Kings. He previously held the head coaching job at Denver and led his club to consistent playoff appearances but not success once in the postseason. Karl’s teams ran in Denver because of the high altitude advantage and were a very good home team. His teams struggled with his system on the road. The Kings drafted sixth in the draft and took Willie Cauley-Stein from Kentucky. One of the risks of drafting a player from Kentucky nowadays is seeing how they adjust to the added minutes in the NBA. Cauley-Stein only played 24 minutes a game in college because of the depth in the program. One of his huge strengths is he is regarded as a rim protector on defense.

Sacramento Kings PG:

Rajon Rondo

A nine year veteran out of Kentucky will be surrounded by many Wildcats on this Kings roster. He has been injured the past few seasons and played in 68 games last year averaging 9 points, 8 assists and 42.5% shooting in nearly 30 minutes played per game. A plus for Rondo is he will be playing for George Karl who has great experience in dealing with loose cannons if you can remember back to his days coaching the Milwaukee Bucks where he had success.

Sacramento Kings SG:

Ben McLemore

McLemore will be entering his third year and is a 2013 first round pick by the team. He has been very reliable to have not missed a game in his career. He averaged 12 points and shot 43.7% from the floor with 35.8% from three. Hard to recommend for one day DFS leagues because the Kings have many ways to score.

Sacramento Kings SF:

Rudy Gay

The nine year pro resembles one of those shooters Karl had in Milwaukee who wanted the ball and didn’t like to pass. But Karl has shown to turn selfish players into team players. Gay played 36 minutes last year and shot 45% with 18 points per game average. The nine year veteran will like playing for Karl because he lets his scorers score and that puts smiles on fantasy basketball league owners.

Sacramento Kings PF:

DeMarcus Cousins

The toughest challenge for George Karl is to keep DeMarcus Cousins happy. Cousins didn’t like the coaching change because his system focuses more offensively with perimeter players. What Cousins may lose in points he may pick up in rebounds, block shots, put-backs, assists and energy to use on the defensive end of the court.

Sacramento Kings C:

Kosta Koufos

It’s hard to believe the seven foot center has logged in already seven seasons in the NBA. He has averaged 15 minutes per game and strictly will be used for defense and rebounding. Koufos will not average many shots per game and is not considered for daily fantasy rosters.

Posted in NBA

NBA FANTASY BASKETBALL DRAFT NEWS 10-22-2015

THE WASHINGTON WIZARDS LOST A FUTURE HALL OF FAMER, BUT CAN STILL COUNT ON THEIR YOUNG SUPERSTAR

Last season, the Washington Wizards reached a second straight conference semi-final for the first time since 1979 (back when they were the Washington Bullets).  Head coach Randy Wittman received praise from both players and management for his strategy and leadership during the playoffs. This chemistry within the team can make them serious contenders in the southeast division this year.

Wittman’s squad recorded 46 wins and 36 defeats, this past season, to hold the 5th spot in the eastern conference. They swept the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs, but got eliminated by the Atlanta Hawks in the following series.

The Wizards lost the services of future Hall of Famer Paul Pierce, as he joined his former coach Doc Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers during the offseason. Washington general manager Ernie Grunfeld brought in veteran guard Jared Dudley from Milwaukee to replace Pierce in the leadership department. Besides that, not much improvement was made this summer.

Washington Wizards PG

John Wall

Wall gets better every NBA season. Last year, he racked up 10 assists per game, ranking him second behind Chris Paul in the league. He also collected 17.6 PPG and 6.6 FG/G. It’s a drop from his previous season, but it only improved his passing game. “Optimus Dime” is the cornerstone of this franchise and should be also considered a top daily fantasy pick at point guard.

Washington Wizards SG

Bradley Beal

The 3rd overall pick in the 2012 draft improved his beyond the arc shooting skill last season, despite being injured a couple of time. He had a career best 40.9% in three point’s average. With Paul Pierce out of the picture, he will be relied upon to get more shots more often.

Washington Wizards SF

Otto Porter Jr

The 3rd overall pick from the 2013 draft will get the opportunity to start at the small forward position now that Paul Pierce is gone. It’s still unknown if he can play well for over 25 minutes a game, but he comes from a family of athletes. His father, Otto Porter Sr, played for the Scott County Central High School basketball team and holds the record for rebounds, while his mother, Elnora Porter, was named all-state in 1985. Porter Jr showed potential during the last playoffs, scoring 10 PPG and playing 33.1 MPG.

Washington Wizards PF

Nene

Nene brings in the muscle and can score from under the post. He had 11 PPG last season. At 33 years-old, the Brazilian fantasy value will likely start to drop.

Washington Wizards C

Marcin Gortat

Gortat is the only Wizard player to have participated in all 82 games last season. Not only did he stay healthy all year long, he also scored 12.2 PPG. The polish center finished third in the NBA with 56.7% in field goals. Another year contributing offensively in cash draft contests should be expected.

 

Posted in NBA

NBA Fantasy Basketball Draft News 10-21-2015

Denver Nuggets Still a Long Way from Contending for a Playoff Spot in the West

The Denver Nuggets finished off play in the 2014-15 campaign with a mark of 30-52. They missed the playoffs as the 12th seed in the Western conference and were 15 games back of the eighth seeded New Orleans Pelicans for the final playoff spot. Denver has one of the best home court advantages in the NBA as they play in high altitude but their home record was just 19-22. It is a huge advantage over Eastern conference teams who only play at Denver and have to get accumulated with the high altitude just once per year. The team struggled offensively last year as they shot just 43.3% from the floor ranking 26th in the league and was 28th in the NBA from the three point line by hitting 32.5% from beyond the arc. The defense was poor as well a season ago with Denver allowing 105 points a game which is 27th and fourth worst in the NBA plus allowed 45.8% from the field which ranked 25th in field goal defense. Former Sacramento Kings head coach Mike Malone takes over for the Nuggets. He did not last long at Sacramento as he lasted one year and 24 games of his second season. Malone improved the play of the Kings last year but the improvement he made on defense made the offense slow down which didn’t sit too well in a small market that needs to sell tickets. Now this begs the question. Will Malone’s style fit the running style that should be played in Denver to take advantage of a home court that sits in high altitude? Denver was a lottery team and had the seventh pick in the draft and selected Emmanuel Mudiay a 19 year old point guard who didn’t play college and went right into pro basketball in China.

Denver Nuggets PG:

Emmanuel Mudiay

The NBA rookie has already been pegged on the depth chart as the starting point guard. He has pro experience in China and it will be interesting to see if other stars in high school makes the jump oversees to play for pay. Late in the preseason he has averaged 40% shooting with 33.3% from three and is dishing six assists. He has put up 15 points a game late in the preseason but is averaging a very high four turnovers. He had 22 points in 31 minutes in a road preseason game on October 18th at Oklahoma City.

Denver Nuggets SG:

Randy Foye

The 32 year much traveled shooting guard enters his third season with the Nuggets. He has been around for much of the losing the past two seasons with the club. Last year in 50 games Foye averaged nearly 9 points a game and shot 36% from the floor plus 35.7% from three point range. Foye can be trusted in late game situations because he is good free throw shooter.

Denver Nuggets PF:

Kenneth Faried

The Brian Shaw head coaching era was horrible. No player suffered statistically and motivationally more than Kenneth Faried. This young player was on the path to a very good professional career but clashed with Shaw’s poor system that took away the teams running style. The running style was a perfect fit for Faried as he outran opposing centers down court for fast break opportunities and got back fast on defense. That edge was gone with Shaw as head coach.

Denver Nuggets SF:

Wilson Chandler

Still only 28 but it seems he is a lot older. This will be his fourth full season with the Nuggets. A season ago Chandler averaged 14 points and shot 43% from the field in 78 games. As an added bonus Chandler will give fantasy owners an average of six rebounds and two assists per game.

Denver Nuggets C:

Jusuf Nurkic

The seven-footer enters his second year in the league. Last year he averaged 7 points and six rebounds per game in nearly 18 minutes of play. He will return to the Nuggets in November after going through knee surgery in May.

Posted in NBA

NBA FANTASY BASKETBALL DRAFT NEWS 10-21-2015

THE BEST DEFENSE IS THE BEST OFFENSE FOR THE MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES

The Memphis Grizzlies have emerged has the best defensive team in the west over the past four seasons. They gave up 93 PPG to their opponents in that period of time. Despite that, they had more difficulty scoring themselves, putting up 95.8 PPG. The defensive approach the team took during the last 4 years allowed them to hold a winning percentage of over .600 during each season.

The Southwest division team has a 5 year playoff streak going. Last year, they ended up 5th in the western conference with a record of 55 wins and 27 losses. They took out the Portland Trail Blazers in five games during the first round, but lost to the eventual NBA champions Golden State Warriors in the second.

As good as they are defensively, the Grizzlies needed an offensive shot maker during the offseason. They’ve acquired veteran Matt Barnes to somewhat fill that role. Another important case that needed to be resolved this offseason for Memphis was the re-signing of their all-star player, Marc Gasol.

Memphis Grizzlies PG

Mike Conley

At 28 years-old, Conley is the youngest player in the starting five. He’s also the most offensively gifted player in the team. He’s able to create space for teammates Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol to score the bucket. He finished last season with 15.8 PPG and 5.4 AST/Games.

Memphis Grizzlies SG

Courtney Lee

Lee proved to be the best shooter in the team with an effective field goal percentage of 51.8%. He also shot just over 40% in three pointers. His versatility makes him a trusted player into Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger’s eyes.

Memphis Grizzlies SF

Jeff Green

Green scored 13.1 PPG last year and had 47.8% field goal efficiency. His fantasy value will likely go down with the arrival of Matt Barnes to the squad and the possibility of them sharing playing time. He’s still 29 year-old compared to the 35 of Barnes.

Matt Barnes

Barnes will be playing with the Grizzlies, the team that drafted him 13 years ago, for the first time. During those 13 years, he built quite a resume playing for 8 different teams including the two Los Angeles franchises. Last year, he started in 74 games for the Clippers. It’s the first time he started more than 70 games in a season. He had 10.1 PPG and an effective field goal of 55.3%.

Memphis Grizzlies PF

Zach Randolph

Randolph garnered success playing the pick-and-roll with Mike Conley. He gathered 16.1 PPG while having a team best 10.5 rebounds per game last year. The 34 years-old only seems to get better with age.

Memphis Grizzlies C

Marc Gasol

Gasol is one of the best defenders in the league. So leading the team with 17.4 PPG seems kind of odd. It’s because he represent the Grizzlies vision, playing hard close to the net. The younger of the Gasol brothers is also good at setting up teammates. He came in second in the team with 3.8 assists per game. Gasol should be a top fantasy pick center going into the 2015/16 season.

 

Posted in NBA

NBA Fantasy Basketball Draft News 10-20-2015

Utah Jazz Need to Speed Up Their Game to Compete in the West

The Utah Jazz completed play during the 2014-15 regular season with a record of 38-44. They finished seven games back of New Orleans for the final playoff spot in the Western conference and were the 11th seed. Playing in high altitude one would think the Jazz would have better success at home but their record was only one game over .500 at 21-20. A possible reason for this was the fact the Jazz played at such a slow pace that it took away a home site and altitude advantage the team had. The team averaged just 95 points a game and connected on 44.7% from the floor with 34.3% from the three point line. We saw the Denver Nuggets tank way down following the departure of George Karl from a run and gun team to a slow defensive style team which didn’t work. Quin Snyder returns as head coach of the Jazz as he enters his second year with the club. The team had the 12th pick in the draft and selected Trey Lyles a 6’ 10” forward from Kentucky. Oliver Hanlan a guard from Boston College was selected in the second round. There is no doubt the club needs to modernize their offensive system.

Utah Jazz PG:

Trey Burke

The 22 year old enters his second season in the league. He played in 76 games and averaged 30 minutes a game. Burke has a lot of work to do on his game. His shooting percentage is really bad at 36.8% from the floor and 31.9% from the three point line a year ago. The half court offensive system just isn’t working and hopefully Quinn can speed up the tempo for his weapons to find good looks at the bucket.

Utah Jazz SG:

Alec Burks

Burks is young at just 24 years old. He is a shooting guard who hit 40% from the floor and 38.2% from three point distance. His preseason has been good as he looks to keep his starting job over Rodney Hood. Shoulder surgery limited Burks to just 27 games last season.

Utah Jazz SF:

Gordon Hayward

The former Butler product has led the Jazz in scoring last season. He averaged 19.3 points a game along with five boards and four assists in 34 minutes. Hayward connected on 44.5% from the floor along with 36.4% from three point range. Still only 25 years old as the Jazz team is young.

Utah Jazz PF:

Derrick Favors

Favors part of the starting lineup in the early 20’s for the team at just 24 years old. He had a good season last year by averaging 16 points and 8.2 rebounds in his 31 minutes of playing time per game. The good news is that Favors has shown improvement and can still pick up those rebounding and block shot numbers as he nears his prime of his career.

Utah Jazz C:

Rudy Gorbert

A former first round pick of the Denver Nuggets in 2013. Gorbert is a 7’2” center with a huge wingspan. He is a rim protection on the defensive end of the court as he had nearly 2 ½ block shots per game last year. Gorbert played in all 82 games last year and averaged 60% shooting along with 8.4 points with 9.5 rebounds per game. There is much room to improve his offensive game as with his size around the bucket. Gorbert could develop into a sound choice for NBA daily fantasy rosters. He is still only 23 years old. One has to wonder if Quinn Snyder would allow this team to run just think how much better these young players on the Jazz could become.

Posted in NBA

NBA FANTASY BASKETBALL DRAFT NEWS 10-20-2015

NEW AND IMPROVED LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS ARE LOOKIN’ GOOD

The Los Angeles Clippers are in the best shape they’ve ever been before. In each of their last four seasons, they collected a winning percentage of over .600. Never in 25 years of existence did they ever accomplish this. The Clippers are not the NBA second L.A. team anymore, they are number one in front of the Lakers.

The Clips came in hot before last year’s playoffs, winning 14 out of the 15 final game of the season. They finished 3rd in the Western Conference and entered the first round against the San Antonio Spurs. It was an intense battle that went all the way to a 7th game. Los Angeles Chris Paul came out clutch with a buzzer beater during this final game. Their playoffs journey continued with a meeting against the Houston Rockets. After taking the early series lead 3-1, the Clippers lost the next three games and were eliminated from the NBA championship race.

A lot of big changes were made during the offseason. General manager Dave Wohl grabbed the biggest name in the NBA free agent pool with Paul Pierce. Other major acquisitions were power forward Josh Smith, who played with Houston last year, small forward Wesley Johnson and shooting guard Lance Stephenson. Wohl was also able to resign center DeAndre Jordan to a new contract. With an improve team, the Clippers became contenders for the NBA title.

Los Angeles Clippers PG

Chris Paul

Paul led the NBA with 838 assists last year, and the team with 1564 total points. He’s truly one of the premiere playmakers in the league if not the best. Blake Griffin does make his job a little easier. But with the addition of Paul Pierce, the 30 year-old point guard fantasy value just elevated big time.

Los Angeles Clippers SG

J.J. Redick

Redick showed last season that he’s a skilled three point shooter. He ended up in the top 5 of the NBA three point’s field goal scorers with 200. With the arrival of big shot maker Paul Pierce, J.J. could see his number of outside shot attempts decrease. But because Pierce is closer to retirement, I wouldn’t worry about that too much.

Los Angeles Clippers SF

Paul Pierce

Pierce is 38 years old and closing in on the end of his hall of fame career, a last push towards the NBA championship is his goal. And there’s no better way to accomplish that than in his hometown of Inglewood with his former Boston Celtic coach Doc Rivers. He brings with him an array of offensive skills and defensive acumen. His experience will benefit the team a lot.

Wesley Johnson

While Pierce is still a great player. His body is getting old and could likely fall to injury. If that’s the case, Wesley Johnson is there as the backup option. A fourth overall draft pick in the 2010 draft, Johnson struggled to put up good offensive numbers in the NBA. But he did have career-highs with 9.9 Points/Game and 3.8 Field Goals/Game, last year.

Los Angeles Clippers PF

Blake Griffin

Griffin his somewhat of a force near the net. Every steps he take creates a rumble and his dunks have been highlights reels. He scored 1469 points last year, despite missing time due to a staph infection in his right elbow. The 26 years-old will be pushed this year by Josh Smith, who was acquired this summer by the team.

Los Angeles Clippers C

DeAndre Jordan

Fresh off re-signing with the Clippers, last year’s league leader in rebounds (with 1226) can now focus on the new season ahead. He also came third in the league in shots block with 183.

 

Posted in NBA

NBA FANTASY BASKETBALL DRAFT NEWS 10-19-2015

COACH THIBODEAU IS GONE… AND THAT’S WHERE THE BULLS SUMMER CHANGES STOP

The Chicago Bulls did not make it all the way to the 2015 NBA final, falling victim to LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers. Despite that, general manager Gar Forman kept the team intact on the eve of a new season. The roster will be the same, with center Nazr Mohammed being the only player not being resigned by the franchise.

The Bulls finished third in the eastern conference with a 50-32 record. They defeated the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the playoffs in 6 games, but failed to go past the Cleveland Cavaliers in the conference semifinals despite a valiant effort. Chicago lost the series 4-2.

During the 2014/15 season, tension was brewing between head coach Tom Thibodeau and the organization front office. Thibodeau brought the team to the post-season every year since his hiring in 2010. With 255 wins and 139 losses (64.7%), he holds the second best winning percentage in franchise history behind legendary coach Phil Jackson. Despite all of this success, GM Gar Forman and executive VP Johns Paxson weren’t seeing eye-to-eye with Thibodeau anymore. The move to fire him was made shortly after the playoff loss to the Cavs. His replacement, Fred Hoiberg, coached Iowa State for the past five years. The college team won the Big 12 Tournament championship for the past two season.

Chicago Bulls PG

Derrick Rose

2011 NBA MVP was finally able to play more than 60 games (including the playoffs) for the first time since tearing his ACL, back in 2012. The injury still seemed to affect him a bit, as he was not able to replicate the number’s he had a couple years back. But with 17.7 PPG and 4.9 AST/G last year, the fantasy basketball production are getting better.

Chicago Bulls SG

Jimmy Butler

Butler took the team on his shoulder last year, playing a league high 38.7 minutes per game for Chicago. He also led the team in points per game with 20. The 2015 NBA most improved player did everything on the court, from knocking down three pointers to stealing the ball away. His contribution all-year long was recognize by the league and played in his first all-star game.

Chicago Bulls SF

Mike Dunleavy Jr

Dunleavy is making the most of being a role player. His 40.7 three points percentage was the second-best in the team last year. Despite that, Dunleavy’s fantasy value is still very low.

Chicago Bulls PF

Pau Gasol

At 35 years-old, Gasol is still a top fantasy pick at the power forward position. He finished with 1446 points, 570 field goals, 919 rebounds and 147 blocks. The Spaniard led the Bulls in all of those categories, while his rebound total was third best in the NBA.

Chicago Bulls C

Joakim Noah

Noah is coming off his worst season. After collecting more than a thousand buckets the year before, he produced 485 points. That’s three less than what he made during his rookie season. His rebounds skills dropped considerably too. He had 9.6 rebounds per game, his lowest average since his sophomore season.

 

Posted in NBA

NBA Fantasy Baskeball Draft News 10-19-2015

Phoenix Suns Have Talented Youth on their Side and are Close To Becoming a Playoff Team

The Phoenix Suns showed early promise in the 2014-15 NBA season but faded following the All Star break to finish with a record of 39-43. They sat in the tenth seed in the west and trailed the eighth seeded New Orleans Pelicans by six games for the final playoff spot. Head coach Jeff Hornacek has been praised by media pundits about his handling of his young players on his roster and seems to be a very good x’s and o’s guy who with talent has the potential to coach a team far into the playoffs. The Suns selected 13th in the draft and went for a shooting guard as they took Devin Booker out of Kentucky. He was the fourth Wildcat taken as a lottery selection which broke a record. He came out of high school as a freshman and is 6’ 6” tall and shot well from the three point line hitting 41% at Kentucky. He will be tutored by a former shooting guard in the NBA in Hornacek. What makes Booker attractive is he has good length which will help him defend shooting guards because the Suns struggled last year with three point shooting defense. Like all rookies his playing time will be dictated on how well he defends and takes care of the basketball.

Phoenix Suns PG:

Brandon Knight

The fourth year pro played on three teams in the first four years in the NBA. He came to the Suns late last year from the Milwaukee Bucks. Last year Knight averaged 17 points per game dished out five assists and grabbed four rebounds. Shooting percentage had been an issue for Knight in his 11 games with Phoenix last year by hitting just 35.7% from the floor and 31% from three point distance which is well below his career marks in those categories.

Phoenix Suns SG:

Eric Bledsoe

The fifth year pro was locked up long term by the Phoenix Suns and enters his third year with the club. He is only 25 years old and played in 81 games last year. He averaged nearly 35 minutes a game and started to show some wear on the court. He had never played that much in his first three seasons with the Clippers and in his first year with the Suns. He shot 44.7% from the floor in 2014-15 dished six assists and grabbed five rebounds. Bledsoe is very fast with the ball and when healthy can break down defenses as long as he plays under control.

Phoenix Suns PF:

Markieff Morris

Morris is 26 and enters his fifth year in the league. He has been a reliable player for the Suns playing 81 or greater games in his past three seasons. The power forward shot 46.5% from the floor and 31.8% from three point distance last year. He put up 15 points a game plus grabbed six boards. Morris played a career high 31.5 minutes a game a season ago.

Phoenix Suns SF:

P.J. Tucker

Tucker enters his fourth season with the Suns and his fifth overall in the league. After his rookie year in Toronto he was away from the NBA for six seasons having to work his way through the minors to tone his game. He played in 78 games last year and averaged 30 minutes with nine points plus 6 ½ rebounds per contest.

Phoenix Suns C:

Tyson Chandler

The Suns center is 33 years old and has 14 years in the NBA. Because the Suns big men have outside shooting skills it will allow Chandler to have most of the paint to operate with which could give him rebounding and put back abilities on offense. Last year Chandler played in 75 games and averaged 30 minutes a game with 11 ½ boards plus 10 points per game.

Posted in NBA

NBA Fantasy Basketball Draft News 10-18-2015

Miami Heat is Hoping That Their Experience Can Lead the Team Back to the Playoffs

The Miami Heat concluded play last season with a record of 37-45 and missed the playoffs. They were a game behind the eighth place finisher in the Eastern Conference the Brooklyn Nets. It was their first year of play after LeBron James decided to return to Cleveland. Heading into last season many had pegged the Miami Heat with enough talent to make the playoffs. A team with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade certainly should have been enough to carry the team into a playoff berth in a weak Eastern conference. But the Heat was struck with major concern to the health of their impact big man Chris Bosh. He was forced to miss the final 38 regular season games as he was struck with blood clots in his lungs that required extensive medical care. It was enough to force him to miss the remainder of the 2014-15 campaign. The good news is that Bosh is healthy and expected to be ready at 100% for the start of the regular season.

Miami Heat PG:

Goran Dragic

The 29 year old point guard was acquired from Phoenix last year and played in 52 games for the Heat. In 33 minutes a contest he shot .50% from the field and averaged 16 points with four assists. Expect those assists totals to go up now that Chris Bosh will be playing side by side with him for a full season. It was just two seasons ago where Dragic averaged 20 points and six assists per game in his time with the Phoenix Suns.

Miami Heat SG:

Dwyane Wade

Wade is a tough choice on NBA one day fantasy league rosters because his name will always appear on injury reports questioning his status for upcoming games. He is 33 years old and has played 12 years in the league. Last year he averaged nearly 32 minutes a game and shot 47% from the floor with 21.5 points per game tally. His three point shooting had digressed which is a sign his aging and what his lack of health has done to his body. You have to respect his points per game average but he contributed with 3 ½ boards and nearly five assists per game. Just be careful on back to back nights with Wade as the Heat coaching staff may look to reduce his minutes in those spots.

Miami Heat PF:

Chris Bosh

This is Chris Bosh’ team now and has experience as the floor leader dating back to his days with the Toronto Raptors. Before his illness he contributed with 21 points and 7 rebounds per game average in his 44 games a season ago. He shot 46% from the floor and space opened up for Bosh in the paint now that LeBron is gone.

Miami Heat SF:

Luol Deng

A 30 year old with 11 years of experience in the league Deng is coming off his first season in Miami by hitting on 47% of shots and averaging 14 points and five rebounds per game. Deng shooting percentage was his best in seven seasons. At 35% from the three point line it was still over Deng’s career mark. The benefit of having Deng on the court with Bosh is that the shooting forward can hit shots from the outside which allows Bosh more room to operate down low.

Miami Heat C:

Hassan Whiteside

Whiteside is in his third year and was one of the NBA’s biggest surprises last season. He was an NBA fantasy darling who came rather cheaply in one day leagues and produced big numbers. Last year was his first with the Heat and Whiteside averaged nearly 12 points and 11 rebounds per game with 2 ½ blocked shots.

Posted in NBA