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 10-13-2015

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

Kyrie Irving

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

Iman Shumpert

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.

J.R. Smith

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 James

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

Kevin Love

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

Timofey Mozgov

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.

 

Posted in NBA