Damn Lies Midseason Report: Southwest Division

Let’s be honest, all you care about is the Super Bowl. Am I right? Of course I’m not. You only care about the commercials.

This weekend Super Bowl XLV will be played in Dallas. In case you’re reading this and you don’t know who’s playing, mom, the matchup is between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers. BUT, this week it’s all about Dallas. Just ask Jerry Jones. And since we’re talking about Dallas, we might as well hand out our Southwest Division hardware. And in case you wonder where I’m going with this, mom, the Dallas Mavericks are in the Southwest. Yes, I made this intro come full circle.

In our fifth installment od the Damn Lies Midseason Awards, we present our readers with the Southwest Division hardware… show.

DALLAS MAVERICKS

Dirk Nowitzki (ADP: 5; Rank: 27)
Really, there is nothing you don’t like about Dirk’s season. Maybe the fact that he’s only grabbing 6.9 boards per game, but then again he is back to hitting a three per game and shooting 52 percent from the floor. His knee was bothering him earlier on in the season, so there’s always that, but you can’t get too worked up about his season. By the end of the year he’ll be a Top 10 player.
Grade: A-

Jason Kidd (ADP: 21, Rank: 43)
I know the dude can’t score, but this is ridiculous! I suppose the 8.0 points per game isn’t that big of a deal, but I can’t defend the 35-percent shooting mark. He’s also making half-a-three less per game. Hate those numbers.
Grade: B-

Tyson Chandler (ADP: 131, Rank: 53)
Have I ever mentioned that Jeff hates Chandler? At least that’s what I continue to tell people. I, on the other hand, had to draft him in one of my leagues, so I won’t quite pat myself on the back for taking him, but he is playing some great basketball right now. He’s averaging 10 points, nine rebounds, 1.3 blocks and hitting 67-percent of his field goals. Heck, he’s making close to 80 percent of his free throws (4.2 attempts). Great season.
Grade: A-

Jason Terry (ADP: 72; Rank: 64)
There’s really nothing you can complain about in regard to Terry’s season. He’s at 15.7 points, 4.4 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.4 threes. Seems about right.
Grade: A-

HOUSTON ROCKETS

Yao Ming (ADP: 84, Rank: Be Nice.)
It’s hard to dog Yao, since he’s been through so much over his career already. He played in five games this year. Enough said. Hate to do this to Yao and hit a Ming while he’s down, but…
Grade: F

Luis Scola (ADP: 72, Rank: 54)
What I love here is that you know there were owners who drafted Yao ahead of Scola OR who kept away from Scola because they thought Yao would hurt his value. Maybe you should have suspect that Yao would do more damage to his feet than he would Scola’s fantasy value. Anyway, I do like what Scola’s done this season. His scoring is up (19.7 points), but more importantly so too are his blocks. We at DL&S have always said, “Bubs, if Scola could only play defense….”
Grade: B+

Kevin Martin (ADP: 50, Rank: 18)
Don’t look now, but Martin has already played 47 games this season! Can you believe it? He played in 46 total games all of last season. His scoring numbers are great (23 ppg), his threes are up (2.2) and he’s healthy. Great season by Martin.
Grade: A

Aaron Brooks (ADP: 54. Rank: 228)
You can blame the injury here with Brooks, but even in his 25 games played he’s been underwhelming. He’s averaging 12.2 points on 36-percent shooting and hitting just 1.5 threes per game. This was the same guy who led the league in threes-made last year. We already know that he’s not the best ball distributor or theft, but what carries him is his 3-point shooting. When he can’t hit his threes, he’s tough to own.
Grade: D

Shane Battier (ADP: 131, Rank: 45)
This guy gets no respect all! Consider that he’s ranked 45th overall, per Yahoo!, and still only owned in 65 percent of leagues. Jeff and I owned him in the Friends and Family League, only to fall for Matt Buser’s swift trading technique. We lost him for Boris Diaw. Yup, we traded for Diaw. Battier, here is the respect you’ve been looking for…
Grade: A-

MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES

Zach Randolph (ADP: 39, Rank: 52)
I’ve never been a big Randolph fan, but I can’t help but give him a break, despite the fact that he still plays no defense and takes far too many threes. But, he is pulling down 13.3 rebounds and averaging over 20 points per game. Too bad he’s taking 0.6 threes per game and hitting just 12 percent of those attempts.
Grade: B+

Marc Gasol (ADP: 41, Rank 41)
Doesn’t it seem like Gasol is having a quiet season. Well, given his ADP/Rank, he’s playing just as well as expected. His scoring, rebounds and FG% are all down, but not to the point where you should panic (see: Brook Lopez). His FT% is on the rise and so too is his defense, which is why his rank has met in the middle. Really, it’s hard to complain about Lil’ Gasol.
Grade: A-

Rudy Gay (ADP: 40, Rank: 11)
Gay’s season has been nearly perfect. His numbers are up, across the board. His steals+blocks+threes is equal to 4.0. Nothing but props for Gay this season. Let’s just hope he keeps it going…
Grade: A+

Mike Conley (ADP: 101, Rank: 61)
Yet another Grizzlie who is playing well above his ADP. Conley’s assists, points, and steals are way up this season. Maybe it helps that Gay is playing so well and finishing in the open court with Conley. He also has Randolph closing out in the paint. Now that I think of it, I probably could average 5-plus assists per game on that team. Just sayin’.
Grade: B+

O.J. Mayo (ADP: 66, Rank: Drugs)
Once Mayo lost his starting gig, things went downhill from there. The 10-game suspension doesn’t help when you’re struggling. I can’t argue if you drop him, of course, but I can argue if you steal my parking spot.
Grade: F

NEW ORLEANS HORNETS

Chris Paul (ADP: 2, Rank 1)
M-V-P! M-V-P! Can’t really argue with the calls for Paul as the fantasy MVP. I mean, guys, he’s the top-ranked player 47 games into the season. He is consistently good great!
Grade: A

David West (ADP: 33, Rank: 26)
He was LaMarcus Aldridge before LaMarcus Aldridge was LaMarcus Aldridge. Love what he can do, as an underrated power forward. Wish he would play more defense, but I can’t complain with his season to date.
Grade: A-

Emeka Okafor (ADP: 94, Rank: 92)
You get what you pay for. Okafor has been great for H2Hers with 11.1 points, 10.1 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and a 50-plus FG%. If only he could hit his free throws… eh, who cares.
Grade: B

Trevor Ariza (ADP: 74, Rank: 88)
Ariza started off slow, but he’s really starting to pick things up. He shot 44 percent form the floor in January, which is the only month in which he hit the 40-percent mark. He’s up to 1.8 steals and 1.4 threes on the month as well. I had higher expectations for Ariza, so I’m going to be a bit harsh on him here. (You still have time to win me over, Trev-A)
Grade: C-

Marcus Thornton (ADP: 97, Rank: Worse than Belinelli)
He’s lost his minutes to Marco Belinelli. Your honor, I rest my case.
Grade: F

SAN ANTONIO SPURS

Tim Duncan (ADP: 32, Rank: 34)
He won’t quit, he won’t stop. The concern about Duncan is naturally whether or not he’ll fade in the second half as the Spurs look ahead to the playoffs. My grade, however, is based on what he’s not and not what he’s…not about to do?
Grade: A-

Manu Ginobili (ADP: 39, Rank 5)
He is one of the most underrated players in the game. You just knew that Ginobili was going to be a top-10 player, yet we all drafted him in the late-4th round. How is that possible? Well, because we underrate him! He’s the one Spur superstar I’m not worried about fading down the stretch.
Grade: A+

Tony Parker (ADP: 91, Rank: 48)
I love my point guards like I love my women: fast and capable of shooting over 50% from the floor. I also love that Parker was able to up his steals by almost one full steal per game.
Grade: B+

Richard Jefferson (ADP: 133, Rank: 88)
He’s doing just fine.

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