Monday, November 5, 2007

are you ready for some basketball? i clearly am.

i have many fantasy football teams. i am in one league with my family, one league with a coworker and his friends, a keeper league and one league with a bunch of my friends. it has not been a kind year for me in fantasy football, particularly in that league with my friends. i have assembled a decent team, but continually lose to the high scorer in the league each week, to the point where it is getting ridiculous. i played steve this week, who has been on a 3 game losing streak, he manages to beat me and everyone else in our league by like 30 points. nice.

anyways, i will still enjoy the rest of the season, do my best with my sad teams (although i am actually doing well in both the keeper and family league), rout for the awful redskins and boo the asshole patriots.

but now i am onto more important things, namely, fantasy basketball. now i have been really bad about this in the past. due to my enjoyment of the drafting process, combined with what i consider a pretty good understanding of the nba in fantasy terms, i end up with a few too many teams. i usually end up juggling around a dozen teams to where it all just gets muddled and i am never sure which players i should be routing for. this year i showed serious restraint. first i tried to drum up interest amongst my friends to join a league. most of them played with me 2 years ago, but nobody seemed to like it much and i of course dominated the whole season. well, only chris was up for it. i kept hinting for people to give it a try, but people couldn't even be bothered to respond. anyways, i was set to try and coordinate a league that chris and i could both be in, but by the time i gave up on everyone else, the season was about to start and i just had to join a 12 team, 9 category league quickly, thus not having chris in it. i think his response was something like "eh."

well, my draft went pretty well, considering i was a little rusty when it came to the nba. much of my attention has been paid to the weird nfl season and me attempting to keep my teams afloat. i ended up with the 7th pick. since i was only going to have 1 team, i really wanted to get gilbert arenas, so i could cheer for him every game. well i was surprised when he fell to me with the 7th pick and i took him without hesitation. here's the rest of my draft:

2nd round - chris bosh
3rd round - allen iverson
4th round - brandon roy
5th round - tyson chandler
6th round - danny granger
7th round - peja stojakovic
8th round - chris kaman
9th round - rajon rondo
10th round - paul milsap
11th round - robert swift
12th round - marvin williams
13th round - andray blatche

overall i was happy with my team. getting arenas just made me smile. bosh and iverson give me a nice big man/little man combo and both should be all-star producers.

i took a chance on brandon roy, who was last year's rookie of the year. he has a really nice all-around game; sort of a poor man's d-wade. he has had some heel problems, but he's all upside, which is kind of my fantasy kryptonite.

tyson chandler gave me another big man who could lead the league in rebounds and blocks. he's not much of an offensive weapon (although he will benefit a lot from having cp3 pass him the ball), most of my other picks excel at scoring.

i thought granger was another nice upside pick and he will give me tons of points and 3's.

my first iffy pick was peja in the 7th round. i remember i had somebody else pegged as the guy i wanted that round, but the guy right before me took him so it sent me into a little bit of a panic as i scoured the list of available players. i saw peja still there and decided to roll with it. he was an all-star a few years ago, he's got one of the quickest, purest releases in the nba, and while he had some serious back issues which limited him last year, he is supposed to be almost 100%. it was a high risk/high reward pick.

chris kaman in the 8th round gave me another center who could blow up this year. with no elton brand, kaman and his newly cut hair will be eating up tons of boards as well as giving me 15 points and 2 blocks a game.

i liked rajon rondo from last year. while he might have the worst jump shot of any guard in the nba, he's one of those jack-of-all-trades kinda guys who will get decent, if not impressive assists (he will be setting up the offense in boston, dishing to garnett, ray allen and paul pierce...ridiculous), decent rebounds and he will probably lead the league in steals with his catcher mitt hands.

paul milsap was a poor pick. i had another situation where i was scrambling for a player, i looked at team needs and wanted a decent power forward. i had him on some teams last year, and remembered that he was very efficient and got decent points and rebounds. well barring an injury, he's not starting for the jazz and while he will have some decent games, that was essentially a wasted pick.

robert swift is the gawky, red-headed high school kid who got drafted a few years ago by the sonics. he was injured all of last year. i had heard he was looking good in practice, was in line for some starter minutes and had bulked up, gaining 20lbs of muscle. seemed like a nice upside pick at the time.

i was actually giddy when i noticed marvin williams still available in the 12th round. this kid was the #2 overall pick 2 years ago. the talent is there. that atlanta team is young and rising fast and williams is gonna be starting. i'm thinking 15 points, 5 boards, a couple assists, a block and a steal are very possible.

and with my last pick, i bookended my draft with another wizard, hoping blatche would have some value as a backup center/power forward/small forward. he's 7 feet tall, can shoot and handle like a guard and he seems to always be improving. another pure upside gamble.

i defeated my first opponent by the score 7-2. i remember this was the guys that shooting his mouth off at the end of the draft. so that made the victory a little sweeter. i beat him in fg%, ft%, 3pt made, points, steals, block and turnovers. he bested my team in assists and rebounds.

since the season started, i dropped blatche and picked up john salmons who is starting for the injured mike bibby. he should help me in assists until arenas starts producing more. but i still think blatche could breakout, so i will be watching closely and will grab him again as soon as it seems like the right time.

i also dropped swift, who has been hurt, for (gulp) brendan haywood. haywood is probably my least favorite wizard of the last few years. he's a big, strong 7 footer with long arms, but he has hands of stone, takes sloth-like moves in the post and is a constant underachiever. plus he has never gotten along with head coach eddie jordan or the poet, etan thomas. well thomas is out for the season, and his career may be over after a scary heart condition was discovered. he will do more good for this community if/when he retires that he did for the wizards. that opens things up for haywood to experience true starter minutes with little competition. he has responded and is averaging 10 point, 13 boards and 3 blocks. he could finally have a good season.

someone foolishly dropped udonis haslem, who is pretty much guaranteed to give you a double-double every night along with very nice percentages. i dropped milsap and upgraded with haslem.

again, i am really happy with my team for now and since i only have one team this season, i can really focus on it, get to know my players and fine tune the lineups to the best of my ability. i am so glad basketball has started and has given me a chance to forget all of my football misfortunes. go wiz!

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