NBA FANTASY BASKETBALL DRAFT NEWS 10-18-2015
THE HAWKS WILL NEED TO PULL ANOTHER RABBIT OUT OF THE HAT AGAINST IMPROVING EASTERN CONFERENCE
The Atlanta Hawks surprised a lot of fantasy basketball experts when they finished first in the East. But they’ve shocked even more when they made it all the way to the conference finals. Last season’s coach of the year, Mike Buldenholzer, proved that you don`t need big names to have a great team.
The Georgian team came second behind the Golden State Warriors for the best record in the NBA 2014/15 season, with 60 victories and 22 defeats. During the playoffs, they were able to send both the Nets and the Wizard packing in 6 games each. LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers put an end to the Hawks Cinderella story, sweeping them in the East final.
The Hawks failed to bring in some premiere talent after playing their best season ever. The biggest signing was from one of their own. Power forward Paul Millsap decided to return with the team for a third season. The Hawks lost their starting shooting guard, DeMarre Carroll, who went on to sign a big deal with the Toronto Raptors. To replace him, they got Tim Hardaway Jr in a trade with the Knicks.
Atlanta Hawks PG
Teague contributed to the Hawks scoring by committee offence for the last three years. His consistency scoring points is tremendous. He scored 20 points or more in 25 games, last season. Not only is he capable of producing on the scoreboard, but he’s also a solid playmaker with 513 assists.
Atlanta Hawks SG
Tim Hardaway Jr
Hardaway will have some big shoes to fill. He takes on the position that DeMarre Carroll used to assume last year. The former New York Knick is offensively gifted, but his defense has been his biggest issue. Knicks general manager was very vocal about Hardaway lack of defensive acumen during the 2014/15 season. It’s something that the Hawks will miss in Carroll.
One of, if not the best defender in the team, Sefolosha could be relied upon to take the responsibility of the starting shooting guard during the season. That’s if Tim Hardaway lack of defensive skills hurt the team too much. The 31 years-old is coming back from a season ending leg injury and is unlikely to play in the season opener. The most point he scored in a season during his NBA career was 613, back in the 2012/13 season. His fantasy value is not very high.
Atlanta Hawks SF
Korver is known for making three points shot look easy. He led the league in three point’s percentage with 49.2%, last year, and made his first all-star game appearance at 33 year-old. The sharpshooter seems to have found his groove in Atlanta.
Atlanta Hawks PF
Millsap became the pillar of this team since his arrival from Utah in 2013. The Hawks success comes from the team’s collective contribution, but Millsap is the face of the franchise. He led the Hawks in scoring last year, with 1218 points, and rebounds, with 570.
Atlanta Hawks C
The three time all-star is in the last year of his contract. He will look to cash in with a big season. Another thing that is going for him is that he has yet to miss the playoffs since being picked 3rd overall in the 2007 draft. Horford has all the tools to be a top fantasy pick center man in the NBA.
NBA FANTASY BASKETBALL DRAFT NEWS 10-15-2015
A HEALTHY HOUSTON ROCKETS TEAM ARE PLAYOFF WORTHY IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE
The Houston Rockets were decimated by injuries last season, but were able to collect the second spot in the western conference ranking. It’s all thanks to their star player and 2015 MVP runner up James Harden. With the return of Dwight Howard, Donatas Motiejunas and Patrick Beverley in the lineup, Houston will have the fire power and the depth to challenge for a playoff spot.
The Rockets completed the year with a 56 victories and 26 defeats to grab the number two spot in the western conference. They began their playoff drive with a first round win over the fellow state rival Dallas Mavericks. They followed up with an intense series against the Los Angeles Clippers, in which they had to come back from a 3-1 deficit in the series to win the last 3 games. The Texan team hit a brick wall against eventual NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors, in the western conference finals.
During the offseason, they’ve lost their spark plug in Josh Smith to the Clippers. But the Rockets needs relied elsewhere, a starting point guard was top priority this offseason. They got Ty Lawson from the Denver Nuggets in the summer. Lawson burned his bridges with Denver being arrested by the police too many times.
Houston Rockets PG
His talent is undeniable, but Houston has a problem in their hand now. Rockets general manager Daryl Morey traded a bunch of his bench players for him. The Denver Nuggets needed to get rid of Lawson because of his constant problems with the law, especially with drunk driving. Despite his off the court issues, he can be an excellent asset for them on the court. The former college standout is one of the better passers in the NBA. He finished third in the league for assist last year with 720.
Houston Rockets SG
Harden was the best scorer in the NBA in the 2014/15 season. He finished with 2217 points, the most in the league. It’s 300 more than his closest pursuer Stephen Curry. He also led in free throws, with 715, and turnovers, with 321. Yet, Harden lost the MVP award to Curry. The Rockets shooting guard carried the team last year, due to the injuries suffered by Houston’s core players. A fully recovered team may go a long way this season. Fear the beard!
Houston Rockets SF
Ariza can do pretty much everything. He’s good defensively and can support the offense when he needs to. The small forward scored 1048 points and 194 three pointers last year, with both stats ranking him second in the team behind Harden, of course.
Houston Rockets PF
With Josh Smith departure, Houston turns to Motiejunas to fill the spot of power forward. The Lithuanian saw his season cut short after suffering from lower back pain. Before the injury, he showed that he’s a great shooter from the outside. He has raised his three-point success rate by 1 percent over the amount he had in the two previous season’s. Motiejunas is an original center man, so both him and Howard will make for one of the biggest duos to contend with in the front end.
Houston Rockets C
Howard lost his mojo and the grace of the fans since he left Orlando in 2012, and has yet to get it back. His stint with the Los Angeles Lakers was unsuccessful and has since then tried to find himself in Houston. He had knee problems during the 2014/15 season and missed over 40 games because of it. “Superman” is a skilled defensive player who can charge the rim with force using his big body. Rebounds has been his strength throughout his career. If he’s able to stay healthy, Howard could become the NBA rebound leader for the sixth time.
NBA Fantasy Basketball Draft News 10-14-2015
Indiana Pacers Adds Some Offense to Their Roster as They Look for a Return to the Playoffs
The Indiana Pacers in the 2014-15 season finished with a record of 38-44 and missed the Eastern conference playoffs as they were the ninth seed. Indiana was tied with the Brooklyn Nets but lost the tiebreaker that gave the Nets the final playoff spot last year.
Indiana played 76 games without their best player in Paul George who was sidelined after breaking his leg in the summer while playing for Team USA in an exhibition game played at Las Vegas. He did return for the final six games of the season but saw very limited minutes after missing most of the year.
The Pacers will have a different look as center Roy Hibbert exits the club in free agency and is now an LA Laker. Hibbert played in 76 games last year and averaged 25 minutes with ten points and seven rebounds per game. Fantasy baseball GM’s take note that no Pacer averaged 30 minutes or greater per game last season.
Indiana Pacers PG:
The Pacers point guard had an injury plagued year a season ago. He suffered from knee and quad injuries that forced him to miss 39 games. Hill in 43 games last year played 29 ½ minutes a contest as he averaged 16.1 points and shot a very good 47.7% from the field. His dished five assists per game and grabbed four rebounds.
Indiana Pacers SG:
The veteran shooting guard is a new addition to the Pacers. Ellis is a ten year veteran who now plays for his fourth team in his NBA career. He had been tagged during his years with the Warriors and Bucks as an all offense and no defense player. He picked up some bad habits when the Warriors were a bad team during his tenure with the club. He has been relatively healthy the past three seasons. In the 2011-12 campaign he missed 59 games with Milwaukee but has missed just two games the past three years. He spent the past two seasons with the Dallas Mavericks and improved his defense enough to average 35 ½ minutes per game in his time with the club that demands play on both ends. Ellis produced offense by averaging 19 points per game the past two years and hitting nearly 45% from the floor.
Indiana Pacers SF:
Miles is 28 years old and has played ten years in the league. With injuries to Paul George and George Hill, Miles was able to produce career high numbers in several categories. In 70 games last year he averaged 26 minutes and scored 13 ½ points per game with a 40% shooting percentage. He enters his second year with the Pacers after spending the previous two years with the Cavaliers and the first seven years of his career with the Utah Jazz.
Indiana Pacers PF:
During the preseason the media reports have been positive about George’s health as he readies for the upcoming season. In his six games played last year he averaged 15 minutes a game and scored 8.8 points per game with a 36.7% shooting percentage. In 2013-14 George played 80 games and averaged over 36 minutes with 21.7 points per game. He has excellent value in one day NBA real money leagues as George grabbed nearly seven rebounds and dished out 3 ½ assists.
Indiana Pacers C:
The 28 year old is a seven year veteran who enters his fourth year with the Pacers. In 61 games in the 2014-15 campaign the center averaged 4 points with six rebounds. With Hibbert gone, Mahinmi should see more minutes but has never averaged more than 18.8 minutes per game in his NBA career.
NBA FANTASY BASKETBALL DRAFT NEWS 10-14-2015
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS KEPT THEIR CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM INTACT
At the start of the 2014/15 season, not many people saw the Golden State Warriors finishing with the best record in the league, let alone win the NBA Championship. A year later, they made it happen. All seemed to mesh with the team, beginning with the arrival of coach Steve Kerr. He made an immediate impact on the team. The Warriors won 21 of the first 23 game of the season. Kerr ended up with the best record for a rookie coach. He played under legendary coaches Phil Jackson and Greg Popovich and has won 5 NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs. The NBA leader in three-point percentage can say that he learned from the best, and this knowledge will make him a well-regarded coach in the league.
The Warriors had the best record in the NBA with 67 wins and 15 losses. But before this team was racking up victories, they had to rely on their best player year in and year out. Stephen Curry led the league in three-points scored since the 2012/13 season. The supporting cast wasn’t there until last year.
No major changes were made during the offseason, allowing the same squad to go for a repeat of the title. But now they have a target on their back. The other 29 teams in the league have penciled their meeting with the NBA champs. It’s up to the Warriors to play up to the chemistry they had last year.
Golden State Warriors PG
Curry finally got the recognition he deserved, winning the NBA MVP award. He led the Warriors all-season long, with impressive shots from beyond the arc and stellar passing. The 27 years-old finished first in three-point’s field goal (286), steals (163) and free throws percentage (.914). He also came second in points scored with 1900. Curry can now focus on writing his name on top of the NBA’s history book.
Golden State Warriors SG
Thompson finished second behind teammate Stephen Curry in three-points made with 239. Both players made NBA history, as they’ve combined for 525 three-point field goal. It’s the most ever made by teammates. Coach Steve Kerr seemed to have already implemented his strength as a sharpshooter to the team.
Golden State Warriors SF
Every team needs someone to protect their star player. Draymond Green was that gritty player. He always covered Stephen Curry when he needed protection and even brought this outside of the court, smack talking everyone who opposed him or his teammates. His importance was proven, signing the second biggest current contract of the team during the summer.
The swingman exchanged the franchise tag he had with Philadelphia 76ers for being the 6th man with a championship team. He proved his worth in the NBA finals winning the series most valuable player. The 31-years-old recorded 16.3 points in those finals, all while covering former league MVP LeBron James. Iguodala became the first player to win the finals MVP award without starting a single game during the regular season. He only started his first game of the year in game 4 of the NBA finals.
Golden State Warriors PF
Barnes is the player who has improved the most since the arrival of coach Kerr. He shot 48.2 percent from the field and 40.5 percent from the arc. He’s also good defensively and can be key in clutch situations. The chances for him to be a legitimate fantasy basketball star is still very limited.
Golden State Warriors C
The Aussie has been a great shooter and defensively sound throughout his career. Unfortunately for him, his body went through some wear and tear this past few seasons. He was kept out from 150 games in the past 4 years. The 2005 first overall pick will be likely sharing a lot more play time than playing basketball.
Breaking NBA Pro Basketball News 10-14-2015—Lamar Odom Fights to Stay Alive
Former NBA and Reality TV star Lamar Odom was found unconscious at the Dennis Hof Love Ranch in Pahrump Nevada on Tuesday. Hof is often featured on HBO on Cathouse as he owns up to seven brothels. The former 35 year old NBA star had tried a comeback into the league prior to the 2014-15 season with the New York Knicks but was cut before training camp opened up. His life has been heading downhill according to Lamar as he spoke to media outlets about his divorce from Kloe Kardashian.
Media reports indicate that Lamar had been at the Nevada brothel for three days and was having a good time with the female employees who provide services for the male customers. Some of the female staff has been providing details to media outlets. The cause of all of this may be an herbal supplement that Odom was taking that is a substitute for Viagara.
A female at the brothel had spotted Odom in his room unconscious around three in the afternoon on Tuesday. Panic set in as she contacted the manager who had a look at Lamar and found mucus and liquid exiting his mouth and nose. The reports indicate that he needed an assist of a machine to breathe and he could not breathe without it. His condition has been listed as critical as he fell into a coma at the hospital. The reaction to the supplements he is rumored to have ingested has caused liver, heart and kidney damage and the fear is he may lose function of one of these vital organs which would result in death.
Odom was a two time NBA champion with the 2009 and 2010 LA Lakers. He entered the league as a first round draft pick of the LA Clippers in 1999. He spent four seasons with the Clippers and did return for one more season with his drafted team in 2012.
NBA FANTASY BASKETBALL DRAFT NEWS 10-13-2015
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS LEADS THE EAST GOING INTO THE SEASON
The Cleveland Cavaliers came up short of capturing their first NBA championship last year. LeBron James led the team into their 2nd NBA final appearance. He did it without his star teammates Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, both injured during the playoffs. Ultimately, the Golden State Warriors took the crown from King James, proving that basketball is not a one man sport.
The Cavaliers finished second behind the Atlanta Hawks in the eastern conference, with a record of 53-29. All of this happened under rookie coach David Blatt. Sure, he had a tremendous coaching career overseas before taking the reign of the NBA team, but leading his squad to the finals in his first year is no easy task.
Despite the missed opportunity to win the title, there are a lot of positives going into this season. First and foremost was resigning the most important fantasy basketball player in the world. LeBron James came back last year to Cleveland for redemption (after leaving Cleveland for Miami Heat in 2010) and to win them a championship. This town is in dire need of a relevant team in sport. Cleveland failed to win a trophy in any major sport since 1964. All of this can change this year with the Cavs.
Cleveland Cavaliers PG
The 2011 first overall pick in the NBA draft is slowly becoming a star point guard in the league. Last year, he had 21.7 PPG with a career high .415 3P%. He was part of the last three NBA all-star game. The 23 years-old also had a career high 57 point game against the San Antonio Spurs in 2015. Unfortunately, he’s still recovering from a left kneecap fracture he suffered in Game 1 of the NBA final. It is unlikely he will be ready for the start of the season.
Cleveland Cavaliers SG
Shumpert came in the league with defensive acumen and explosive athleticism. A change of scenery from New York to Cleveland is exactly what he needed to rejuvenate his career. His field goal percentage went up to .410 with the Cavs last year. He will miss the first three month of the season because of a wrist injury.
Smith, who came in the same trade than Shumpert, also needed a change of scenery. New York’s nightlife got to him and it was messing with his career. He found comfort playing with LeBron James last season. The 2013 NBA sixth man of the year winner plays an intense kind of game. Cleveland can count on him to create a spark when needed.
Cleveland Cavaliers SF
LeBron needs no introduction. That’s right, he’s that good. And yet, the NBA MVP title has eluded him the past two years. Last season, he finished third in the league in point per game with 25.3. The King is capable of bringing his team to the playoffs by himself. But with a healthy Irving and Love, the Cavs has the potential to win the championship.
Cleveland Cavaliers PF
This power forward came into Cleveland with a lot of expectations, but he has failed to reach them. The Cavaliers are giving him a second chance, after resigning him during the off-season. His ability to get rebounds makes him a valuable player. Love has collected 9.7 rebounds/game last year, while scoring 16.4 points/game. After missing out on the last playoffs due to injury, the 27 years-old can now focus on improving his numbers during the 2015 season.
Cleveland Cavaliers C
The big Russian upgraded his offensive numbers in 2015, scoring 10.6 PPG after he was traded from the Nuggets to the Cavaliers. It’s probably the LeBron effect.
NBA Fantasy Basketball Draft News 10-13-2015
Thunder Looks For Deep Run in Playoffs to Keep Kevin Durant from Escaping Oklahoma City in His Free Agent Walk Year
The 2014-15 Oklahoma City Thunder finished off play with a record of 45-37 and failed to make the playoffs as a ninth seed in the Western conference. As expected the team made a coaching change and its Billy Donovan the former Florida Gators head coach now in charge. He inherits a roster with a good big three in Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka. Part of Donovan’s job is to assemble a supporting cast who can defend, rebound and blend with the teams three star players. There is no pressure on a head coach greater than Billy Donovan. He stepped right into a pressure cooker because if Durant leaves it could send the team to the lottery for several years.
The pressure is heavy on the shoulders of the rookie head coach as the team must position itself near the top of the Western conference. There is going to be a lot of speculation throughout the year about Kevin Durant’s upcoming free agent year. If the Thunder is battling for a fourth seed it could become a rather difficult year for the franchise with the Durant rumors about his new team next year. This Thunder team needs to be good and good fast to give their star player hope that it can win a championship with the cast of characters assembled around him.
The team was in the lottery but drafted 14th and selected Cameron Payne a sophomore guard who played at Murray St. He shot 50% from the field in college and 38% from the three point line. Payne averaged 20 points per game.
Oklahoma City Thunder PG:
With Durant sidelined last year Westbrook played in 67 games and averaged 28 points per game in 34 minutes. He adds much value for one day real money NBA fantasy leagues because he chips in with 7 rebounds and 8 ½ assists per game.
Oklahoma City Thunder SG:
Third year man Andre Roberson averaged 19 minutes a game last year and shot 45.8% from the floor. He is a very poor free throw shooter so his minutes on the court will be very limited until he improves in that area.
Oklahoma City Thunder SF:
Durant had an injury plague year last year which forced him to miss 55 games. It is a foot problem and it required a second surgery and that is a main issue when it involves his fantasy value. Keep an eye on back to back situations. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Durant’s minutes limited on those nights. Like with most injured players coming back, keep an eye out when he enters a game with lots of rest. He will be his most productive. Before his injury he shot 51% from the floor last year with 40% from the three point line. He grabbed 6 ½ rebounds and dished 4 assists per game. It will be interesting to see how he handles all of the in season drama and distraction about his decision in the offseason.
Oklahoma City Thunder PF:
Ibaka is a really good staple for OKC because he has a good ability to defend and rebound the basketball. He pulled down 8 rebounds a game last year. He did pick up his scoring because Durant was out of the lineup for much of the year. He averaged 14 points a game last year and shot 47.6% from the field.
Oklahoma City Thunder C:
Adams enters his third year in the league and has seen extended time on the court with the Thunder. He averaged nearly 8 points a game last year and grabbed 7 ½ boards. He is a career 53% shooter but really scraps for his shot attempts off offensive rebounds. Free throw shooting is an issue as he is a career 53.4% from the line so don’t expect much of any plays going through Adams. He simply defends and rebounds.
NBA Fantasy Basketball Draft News 10-12-2015
Dallas Mavericks are Old and on the Decline in the Western Conference
Dallas Mavericks owner Marc Cuban was very excited when it appeared that Clippers free agent DeAndre Jordan had verbally agreed to a contract in the offseason with the team. Cuban commented that if the team had not signed Jordan that Mavs would have tanked the upcoming season and vie for a lottery pick. Well the joke may have come back to haunt Cuban as Jordan changed his mind and resigned with the Clippers. Many were critical about Jordan crossing the line and going against his word. But what was forgotten were those words Cuban spoke about what he felt about the roster around him. It made it easy for the Clippers to use that comment against the Mavericks and change Jordan’s mind.
Dallas Mavericks PG:
This acquisition was a head scratcher. He is an aging 31 year old injury prone point guard acquired in the offseason by the Mavericks. Last year Williams played in 68 games and shot 38.7% from the floor with a 13 point per game average. The point guard was well below his career averages in assists, shooting percentage and points per game. There are many critics about William’s work ethic but the truth may be all of the injuries he has had over the years makes him play a lot older than his 31 year old body. He is already trying to shake off a calf injury during training camp and has been limited in the preseason which will impact chemistry on the court with the other starters around him once the regular season begins.
The 31 year old backup point guard returned to the Mavericks in 2014-15 after spending the past three seasons in Minnesota. He played in 77 games last year averaging 18 minutes a game and 7.5 points per game. He shot 42% from the floor and 32.3% from three.
Dallas Mavericks SG:
Harris is a 32 year old shooting guard with 11 years of service in the league. In 76 games played in 2014-15 he averaged just 22 minutes a game and 8.8 points. In the playoffs last year Harris hit just 34.8% from the floor. He may see time at point guard if Williams is forced to miss time on the court due to injury.
Dallas Mavericks SF:
The Mavericks 26 year old small forward is coming off knee surgery as he played in 66 games last year. He averaged 33 minutes a game and shot 46.2% from the floor with 38% from the three point line. In his first three seasons in Houston, Parsons was a poor defensive player. Head coach Rick Carlisle wants a strong defensive commitment by his players and how well he defends will determine how many minutes Parsons gets. He may be the only Maverick to consider adding to a one day NBA fantasy league roster.
Dallas Mavericks PF
Dirk Nowitzki is now 37 years old yet still was able to play in 77 games in 2014-15 in a grueling NBA schedule. He averaged 17.3 points per game and was around his career average in three point shooting at 38%. His three point shooting declined in the playoffs where he hit 23% from beyond the arc last year.
Dallas Mavericks C
Pachulia is the third starter over 30 years old on the Mavericks. He has spent his past two seasons in Milwaukee after nine years in Atlanta. He played in 73 games last year and averaged 23 minutes with 8 points per game. His downside is his heath. He has played no greater than 58 games in three of his past four seasons. Pachulia is a difficult player to recommend on a one day roster because he has not averaged over 30 minutes a game since the 2005-06 season.
NBA Fantasy Basketball Draft News 10-9-2015
New York Knicks Have Hope for Playoffs in Weak Eastern Conference
The New York Knicks were very much a disappointment in the 2014-15 season. They finished the year with a record of 17-65 and were the second worst team in the NBA by one game over the 16-66 Minnesota Timberwolves. The last team to make the playoffs in the East last year was the Brooklyn Nets who finished at 38-44. So a 22-25 game improvement could position the Knicks back into the playoff picture.
There is much to improve from this club. They desperately need scoring as they ranked 30th and last in the NBA in points scored per game (91.9) and were 28th and third last in the league in shooting percentage (42.8%). Defense was bad as well as New York was 27th in field goal defense by allowing 46% shooting and were the worst three point shooting defending team in the league by giving up 38% from beyond the arc to opponents. Derek Fisher returns for his second year as the Knicks head coach. General manager Phil Jackson has told the media he will help Fisher with his coaching. Fisher has been involved recently in a scandal with NBA veteran Matt Barnes over a woman. The additions of Arron Afflalo, Derrick Williams and Robin Lopez will improve the Knicks.
New York Knicks PG:
The Spaniard is a 34 year old point guard who will be challenged defensively covering the twenty somethings. He averaged 30 minutes a game last year and shot 41.5%. The expectation is that Calderon could be relegated to a reserve player at some point during the season.
New York Knicks SG:
The veteran shooting guard at 29 yards old has bounced around the league. He was acquired from the Portland Trailblazers last year. He shot well from the three point line with Portland making 41.4% from beyond the arc. The question is will Afflalo get enough shot attempts in New York with Carmelo Anthony on the court. He is still a good acquisition by New York because Anthony may be willing to pass to him to avoid double and triple teams.
New York Knicks SF:
The All Star enters his 12th year in the league and is already 31 years old. He battled through injuries last year that forced him to miss 44 games. Three seasons ago Anthony missed 15 games and four seasons ago he missed 27 games. Last year Carmelo hit 44.4% from the field and 34.1% from three point range. Two seasons ago he averaged 38.7 minutes a game which was a career high.
New York Knicks PF:
Williams was a first round pick of the Minnesota Timberwolves during the 2011 season. He spent time in Sacramento the past two seasons. In 74 games with the Kings, Williams averaged 44.7% shooting from the floor and nearly 20 points. His rebounding numbers have been very disappointing. Williams was a big time player in college at Arizona but he played in rather small markets in the NBA. The buzz in New York and Madison Square Garden could spark Williams’s career and we like his move to the Knicks.
New York Knicks C:
Now in his seventh year Robin Lopez plays for his fourth team in his career. He is another former first round draft pick on the Knicks roster. Last year with the Trailblazers Lopez played nearly 28 minutes and averaged 9.6 points a game and hit 53.5% from the field. He rebounds and is a defensive presence in point prevention so he will get plenty of playing time in New York.
NBA Fantasy Basketball Draft News 10-8-2015
LA Lakers face Uphill Battle in Western Conference Playoff Race
The 2014-15 LA Lakers are coming off a very poor season a year ago. They finished with a mark of 21-61 which was the fourth worst record in the league. LA was 9-43 against the Western conference.
There are many areas of improvement for this club but most notably will be their play on the defensive end of the court. The team ranked 29th and near the bottom in points allowed per game (105.3) and in opponents field goal percentage (46.6%). They did have their bad breaks injury wise. It began in training camp as their number one pick Julius Randle was lost for the year with a broken leg. Veteran Kobe Bryant played in just 35 games.
Head coach Byron Scott enters his second year with the team and will have to deal with Kobe Bryant’s contract situation as the Hall of Famer enters his last year on his contract. Bryant hasn’t shown any interest in retiring and LA’s brass has mentioned that they have no intensions of extending Kobe’s contract once it expires at the end of the season.
If the Lakers double their win total from a year ago with 42 wins it will likely not be enough to make the playoffs in the difficult Western conference. The New Orleans Pelicans were the eighth seed in the Western conference a year ago and the final team to qualify into the postseason. Their record was 45-37. The question becomes will LA trade Kobe at the trading deadline to a contender because a drastic improvement isn’t likely with this team.
LA Lakers PG:
The Lakers first round draft pick was taken out of Ohio St in the 2015 draft. He is only 19 and will be 20 years old on February 23rd. There is lot to learn about this league and Russell will be matched against many of the talented point guards in the Western conference. NBA fantasy draft managers may want to wait a while before adding this rookie on their one day league rosters. He has to gain the trust of Kobe Bryant and that may take some time to develop. Biggest issues facing rookies in the NBA and especially point guards will be his defense and ability to limit turnovers.
One of the few positives to come out of last season was the development of Jordan Clarkson at the point guard position. He will back up Russell so his minutes will be dependent on how efficient Russell is. The Lakers second round draft pick from 2014 averaged 12 points a game and shot 44.8% from the field.
LA Lakers SG:
The 19 year pro has faced injury issues the past couple of years. His production has digressed. Kobe was a career 45% shooter who shot 37.3% from the field last year. He averaged 34 ½ minutes. Bryant a good friend of Byron Scott will most likely still call the shots on how many minutes he plays each night. With so much player turn over the past couple of years with the Lakers, Kobe could become frustrated and lose the team work necessary to help grow this young roster.
LA Lakers SF:
Young is an all offense and no defense type of player. He has bounced around the league and will never be an impact player on a good team. He fits the mold of an offensive star on bad teams who lose because they don’t defend. Has fantasy value when Kobe is not on the court.
LA Lakers PF:
Randle showed great potential last year in the preseason with a good presence around the basket. LA will miss a lot of shots and Randle will have opportunities for rebounds and put backs.
LA Lakers C:
He was signed by the Lakers purely for a defensive presence around the basket to prevent points by the opposition. In his days with the Pacers the team was great defensively. Hibbert’s size and strength allowed him the ability to rebound. Those Indiana teams bought into playing defense. With Kobe and Nick Young on the court that is a hard sell. For that reason Hibbert may digress defensively on this roster.
Young Boston Celtics Ready to Make Move in Atlantic Division for Head Coach Brad Stevens
With the new playoff seeding records will matter most and not division titles. Yes winning the Atlantic Division for an upstart team like the Boston Celtics may be confidence building but it really won’t matter come playoff time. The NBA is moving to a 1-8 conference seeding in the playoffs based on overall records. Division champions will no longer be rewarded with home court in the first round of the playoffs. It’s a pleasant change for NBA fantasy draft one day league GM’s who can actually spend more time researching roster picks than trying to figure out if a team is motivated to play hard late in the regular season.
The goal of the Boston Celtics will be to try and secure a fourth seed in the East and gain home court advantage in the playoffs. A number two seed behind LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers may be a reach but the Celtics behind head coach Brad Stevens have to feel good about the upcoming regular season. For Boston to improve they must shoot the ball better.
From a fantasy viewpoint it is hard to recommend players from this roster. Many starters split time on the court with the second string. Stevens split up the minutes among his roster making it very difficult to add a Celtic to a one day league roster.
Boston Celtics PG: Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Smart
Isaiah Thomas figures to start at the point. In 2014 the much traveled point guard averaged 16 points per game hitting on 42% from the floor. Fantasy basketball draft managers would like to see more than 25.8 minutes per game from this 26 year old. In the playoffs his minutes increased but he shot just 33% from the floor and 16% from three.
Marcus Smart had a scare in a Summer League game in Las Vegas against the Portland Trailblazers. He fell hard on his finger and should be OK by training camp. He is penciled in to come off the bench behind Thomas. The second year player averaged 27 minutes a game but shot just 36.7% from the field. He averaged just eight points a game and dished out three assists. Smart shot well from the field in the four game series against Cleveland in the post season hitting 47.1%. Marcus Smart must shoot well if he is going to get more minutes.
Boston Celtics SG: Avery Bradley, James Young
Bradley is the starter and last season he averaged 14 points a game while hitting on 43% from the field. He saw 31 minutes a game last year. He hit 35.2% from three point distance. Avery Bradley struggled from the field in the playoff series with Cleveland.
James Young in his rookie campaign played just over ten minutes a game and averaged 3 ½ points a game. He too needs to greatly improve his shooting touch hitting just 35% from the field and 25.8% from three. Young saw no minutes in the playoffs.
Boston Celtics SF: Evan Turner, Jae Crowder
Entering his fifth year Evan Turner averaged 9 ½ points a game in the 2014-15 regular season. He made 43% of his shots but just 27.7% from three point distance. Turner had a bad playoff series against Cleveland.
Jae Crowder shot 42% from the floor last year in an average of 20 minutes of floor time. He too struggles from the three point line at 29.3%.
Boston Celtics PF: David Lee, Jared Sullinger
David Lee comes over from Golden St. He was a forgotten man with the Warriors last year. He averaged just 18 minutes a game and 8 points. He wasn’t looked to score much anymore just play defense and rebound. He is a career 9.5 rebound per night guy.
Jared Sullinger averaged 27 minutes during the regular season and averaged 13.3 points a game. He shot 44% from the field and had a very good playoff series against Cleveland by hitting 50% from the floor.
Boston Celtics C: Tyler Zeller, Kelly Olynyk
Tyler Zeller in 21 minutes shot 55% from the field and averaged 10.2 points a game. He is a good free throw shooter making 82% from the floor. From a fantasy perspective it would be better if he can find more time on the court.
Kelly Olynyk averaged 22 minutes a game and hit 47.5% from the field. He put in 10 points a game and grabbed nearly five rebounds. Splitting time with Zeller hurts his value for NBA draft managers.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs Golden State Warriors – 6/16/15 NBA Playoff Fantasy Sports, Basketball Picks, Odds & Predictions
The Cleveland Cavaliers are playing for their playoff lives to avoid elimination in Game 6 as they face the Golden St Warriors. Fantasy draft managers can check up on their NBA Finals rosters on Tuesday June 16th at 9PM Eastern Time over ABC TV.
Once down 2-1 in this series the Golden St Warriors have bounced back behind a significant strategy change to take the next two games of these NBA Finals to take the 3-2 series lead. The Warriors are one win away from an NBA championship.
The Warriors went to a small lineup in Game 4 and Game 5. Golden St was able to eclipse 100 regulation points each time and pull away with dominating fourth quarter performances against a tiring Cavaliers team. Center Andew Bogut saw his minutes vanish and they were distributed to a fresh David Lee, Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala. Leandro Barbosa saw his most minutes in the NBA Finals in Game 6 and came through with 13 big points on 4 of 5 shooting. Game 5 saw heavy minutes for Stephen Curry (42), Klay Thompson (40) and Andre Iguodala (42).
For Cleveland LeBron James logged in nearly 45 minutes. James’ supporting cast greatly disappointed the team with poor shooting as LeBron cannot do it all by himself.
Golden St Warriors Point Guard: Stephen Curry had a huge Game 5 with 37 points as he goes 56% from the field in the win. Media reports have Curry suffering from dehydration after the win with heavy minutes on Sunday but will play. Since the Warriors went to their small lineup he is 21 of 40 from the floor.
Golden St Warriors Shooting Guard: Klay Thompson would be the goat of this series if not for the Warriors up 3-2 in this series. He has not shot well and is struggling with his three point shot. Thompson has not raised his game in the postseason as he is hitting 11 of 37 from beyond the arc in the NHL Finals.
Golden St Warriors Small Forward: Andre Iguodala has been inserted into the starting lineup and the ten year veteran has responded. After 22 points and eight boards in Game 4, Iguodala had 14 points, eight rebounds and seven assists on Sunday.
Golden St Warriors Power Forward: David Lee after a good Game 3 and 4 saw his production go down on Sunday with two points with a rebound plus assist.
Golden St Warriors Center: Andrew Bogut after three minutes of work on Game 4 did not play a single minute on Sunday. The other option at center for the Warriors is Marreese Speights who has played two minutes the past three games.
Cleveland Cavaliers Shooting Guard: Matthew Dellavedova, J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert shot terribly in Game 5 on Sunday. Smith has shot 30% from the field in the NBA Finals. Shumpert is shooting worse than J.R. with 27% from the floor. Dellavedova is hitting just 30% in these Finals.
Cleveland Cavaliers Small Forward: LeBron James had a huge Game 5 scoring 40 points. He had a triple double for the second time this series as he pulled down 14 rebounds and dished 11 assists on Sunday. There is only one day of rest and a long flight from Golden St to get ready for Game 5 for James who played 45 of a possible 48 minutes.
Cleveland Cavaliers Power Forward: Kevin Love is the only fantasy option at this position for the Cavaliers and he is out for the season with a shoulder injury suffered in the opening round of the season.
Cleveland Cavaliers Center: With the Love injury the two centers for Cleveland in Timofey Mozgov and Tristan Thompson have picked up major minutes. Mozgov saw just nine minutes in the loss in Game 5 as he was struggling on double teams and committing turnovers. Tristan Thompson has scored and rebounded in double digits the past three games.
Warriors vs. Cavaliers Real Money Fantasy League Best Picks
PG: Stephen Curry (Warriors)
SG: Klay Thompson (Warriors)
PF: David Lee (Warriors)
SF: LeBron James (Cavaliers)
C: Tristan Thompson (Cavaliers)
Cleveland Cavaliers vs Golden State Warriors – 6/14/15 NBA Playoff Fantasy Sports, Basketball Picks, Odds & Predictions
The NBA Finals resume on Sunday June 14th after a deserved two days off for both clubs. The Golden St Warriors evened up this series at 2-2 so at least six games will be necessary in this series. The Cleveland Cavaliers will be on the road for Game 5 on Sunday June 14th and Fantasy League draft managers can tune to ABC TV at 8PM Eastern Time to check out the results of their rosters.
Golden St Warriors head coach Steve Kerr made some changes to his rotation in Game 4. To try and get his offense going he greatly reduced the minutes of center Andrew Bogut to three minutes. Bogut’s minutes were distributed to a well-rested David Lee and Andre Iguodala. Shaun Livingston played 24 minutes which were double his average in this series and grabbed eight rebounds for Golden St in the 103-82 win.
The small lineup gave trouble to the Cleveland Cavaliers as they were in chase mode trying to defend the open looks for the Golden St shooters. Cleveland had a very poor 33% shooting performance in Game 4 and made just 15% of their three point shots. Fatigue from the heavy minutes of playing time for the short rotation of the Cleveland Cavaliers finally arrived. Cleveland could score only 12 fourth quarter points while surrendering 27 to the Warriors.
Cleveland Cavaliers Shooting Guard: J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Matthew Dellavedova are the recipients of more minutes with the injury to Irving. Consistency has been a major issue for Cleveland at this position. J.R. Smith is shooting just 14 of 47 from the field in these Finals. Dellavedova after 20 points in the Game 3 win shot just 3 of 14 from the field in Game 4.
Cleveland Cavaliers Small Forward: LeBron James will benefit from the two days of rest between Game 4 and Game 5. He had his worst game of these NBA Finals on Thursday night with 20 points on 7 of 22 from the field.
Cleveland Cavaliers Power Forward: Kevin Love is the only option for the Cavaliers at this position and he is lost for the season with a shoulder injury in the first round of the playoffs against Boston.
Cleveland Cavaliers Center: With Golden St taking away major minutes from Andrew Bogut the Cavaliers decided to go down low to center Timofey Mozgov for offense. The Cavaliers center had 28 points and ten rebounds hitting 9 of 16 shots in Game 4.
Golden St Warriors Point Guard: Stephen Curry had 22 points in Game 4 as he shot 8 of 17 from the field. He has shot well in these Finals with the only exception in Game 2 as he hit just 5 of 23 from the floor.
Golden St Warriors Shooting Guard: Klay Thompson has trended as a much better shooter on his home court. He shot 14 of 28 in Game 2 at home. Thompson attempted just nine shots on Thursday and scored nine points.
Golden St Warriors Small Forward: Draymond Green broke a shooting slump in Game 4 with 17 points as he shot 6 of 11 from the field. He produced in other areas with seven rebounds and six assists in the win on Thursday night.
Golden St Warriors Power Forward: David Lee after Game 2 of the NBA Finals had played just eight minutes in his previous six games. He is a hard working professional who can scrap for rebounds and score points. With the Warriors going to a smaller lineup in Game 4, Lee was productive with nine points, five rebounds and three assists in fifteen minutes. Look for David Lee to continue to have a positive impact for NBA fantasy league owners with his fresh legs going up against fatigue ones from the Cavaliers.
Golden St Warriors Center: Andrew Bogut was in foul trouble in Game 4 and was limited to just three minutes. Golden St thrived with Bogut on the bench and a small lineup on the court.
Real Money NBA Fantasy Draft Picks
PG: Stephen Curry (Warriors)
SG: Klay Thompson (Warriors)
PF: David Lee (Warriors)
SF: LeBron James (Cavaliers)
C: Timofey Mozgov (Cavaliers)