If there was a Nagging Fantasy Mom, she would be shaking her finger at you right now, reminding you to study hard for your football drafts, and to click away from this post NOW. But you are a special kid. You know the path to roto-enlightenment lies not on the gridiron but in the World Wrestling Basketball Entertainment, formerly the NBA. The unwashed masses play fantasy football. The same group responsible for coffee, Titanic and children. No thanks.
Instead, we implore you to join the occasionally-washed dudes from Damn Lies & Statistics as we careen towards the 2010-11 NBA season with a mock draft that packs more fun into 10 rounds than is legal in several states.
There’s more: Not only will Jeff, Tom and Greg be making their picks, but Steve Alexander of Rotoworld, the gold standard analyst in the industry, is joining the boys and we couldn’t be more pleased. So we have a four-man, 12-team draft. We’re sure this is confusing, but we’re just trying to chase off the fantasy football folks.
The rules: 12-team, 10-round draft. Rotisserie scoring, eight categories (not counting turnovers). We’ll each have three picks per round, always the same pick each round (no snaking). We aren’t building teams, just picking the best players available, so this will end up being a sort of master ranking list to reference during your draft prep. We’ll post each round, with commentary. The draft order is: 1. Steve; 2. Jeff; 3. Greg; 4. Tom.
Here’s Round 1. Check back regularly and we’ll post each round as we finish.
DAMN LIES & STATISTICS MOCK DRAFT
1. Steve Alexander – Kevin Durant
2. Jeff Andriesse – Chris Paul
3. Greg Fox – LeBron James
4. Tom Lorenzo – Dirk Nowitzki
5. Steve – Stephen Curry
6. Jeff – Kobe Bryant
7. Greg – Dwyane Wade
8. Tom – Pau Gasol
9. Steve – Amar’e Stoudemire
10. Jeff – Danny Granger
11. Greg – Deron Williams
12. Tom – Carmelo Anthony
FIRST ROUND ANALYSIS
Steve Alexander: Since this isn’t a real draft, it would be easy to just go with guys we like, as opposed to guys we think we should take. However, for the first round, I think I ended up accomplishing both things. Getting Durant at 1, Curry at 5 and Amar’e at 9 is pretty much what I would do if this were a real draft. And I’m really happy with all three picks. No early injury concerns, young dudes just coming into their prime in fantasy friendly offenses. Wade, Kobe, Granger, Paul all have injury baggage, which I’m going to try to avoid this year. Is No. 5 too early for Curry? Possibly. Deron Williams might even be a safer pick, but I love what Curry did last year and the reality is that he should only get better. Durant is clear cut No. 1 in my mind, Curry is worthy of a pick anywhere from No. 5 to No. 12, and if you want him, you’ve got to strike before the No. 8 pick, because I knew these guys weren’t going to let him get past that spot. And while Amar’e wasn’t that fun to own last year, it’s a new world in NYC and he is going to be a monster. I’ll back it up with Dwight Howard at the start of Round 2 and I’m one more stellar point guard from having all my bases covered.
Jeff Andriesse: With the second pick in the draft, I was tempted to take LeBron James, even knowing that his numbers have to suffer in Miami and that Chris Paul, when healthy, could be the No. 1 fantasy player over an entire season. Still, I can’t shake the nagging feeling that LeBron’s statistics might be different but not necessarily worse. Less points, but more rebounds, more assists and a slightly higher field goal percentage, perhaps. Tough to tell. While ruminating on this, Tom and Steve twisted the knife by colluding to not take Kobe Bryant, leaving my nemesis available at 6 and my life shortened by another few years. I get the guy in every draft, but even with more broken fingers than a mistake-prone mafia capo, Kobe’s incapable of not filling up a stat sheet. Finally, I went with Danny Granger at No. 10 over Deron Williams, a coin flip due to Granger’s propensity for injury. If healthy, he’s arguably a top-five pick.
Greg Fox: Nothing gets the ol’ ticker pumping like a summer mock. I feel as if I’m in a Twilight Zone episode and Jeff is Rod Serling. It’s hard to believe how things have changed so drastically in just one year. Durant has officially supplanted LeBron and Paul as the top dog and Carmelo made an appearance the top 12. At this time last year, did it seem possible that Steph Curry would be drafted ahead of both Kobe and Wade? But is it completely out of the realm that after a poor first week Curry could be playing second fiddle to vacuum salesman Reggie Williams? I would wait a few more picks before taking that plunge. Steve A. made another risky selection with Stoudemire at No. 9. Isn’t he aware that his boychik will not be available for Friday evening and Saturday afternoon games?
Tom Lorenzo: No real surprises here in round one. You might say that Dr. A’s Steph Curry pick at No. 5 was a bit of a surprise, though if he plays the way he did in the second half of last season he could wind up being a Top 3 player. The one concern, as always, is Don Nelson. Other than that, the usual suspects wound up in round one. I have to say that I had the least sexy round. Dirk and Gasol are two reliable picks, but you pretty much know what you’re getting with both players — nothing more, nothing less. Melo has the ability to be a Top 5 player, but only if he can continue to improve his 3-point shooting, improve on his defensive numbers, shoot closer to 47-48% from the floor and limit his turnovers. Yeah, after re-reading that laundry list of items to improve on it seems like a lot to ask of him. At No. 12, though, I am quite happy with Melo.