2011-12 Damn Mock I: First Round

You’re damn right Damn Lies is mocking.

We know it’s the middle of the Finals. We know both the draft and free agency are still to come. We know there may be a lockout. Yet nothing can stop our collective yen to mock draft. We want to mock the first, mock the most, and mock the people responsible for the Miller Lite “man up” commercials.

So with that, we present Round 1 of the earliest 2011-12 fantasy mock draft on the web. Jeff, Tom and Greg are taking four teams each in this 12-team league, which is a nine-category rotisserie league (FG%, FT%, PTS, REB, AST, STL, BLK, 3FG, TO) that will draft the following: 1 PG, 1 SG, 1 SF, 1 PF, 2 C, 1 F, 1 G, 2 U. We’ll be building each team ourselves based on this format. Hope you enjoy, and feel free to mock us in the Comments.

DAMN MOCK I FIRST ROUND

Team 1 (Greg) – Kevin Durant – It would be unfair if Durant actually reached his potential. I felt he was a little disappointing in 2010-11 and still put up sick totals (27.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.0 bpg, 1.1 spg, 1.9 3-pt, 88% FT). A case can be made For LeBron, Rose, Paul and even Wade, but the safe money has KD in the top spot.

Team 2 (Jeff) – LeBron James – This was actually a really tough call. My only reason for passing on Chris Paul is a fear that CP3’s 80-game season cannot be repeated. I just don’t trust those knees. And LeBron, it turns out, is quite capable of putting up monstrous numbers in Miami. His turnovers are gross (3.6/game), but other than that he’s the surest bet in this spot.

Team 3 (Tom) – Chris Paul – This was an easy pick for me. There are only three names to consider in this spot, and the two other players I would consider are already gone. I understand the health concerns, but should Paul play 75-plus games again this year he’s a lock for a top 2 or 3 overall spot. There’s nothing I don’t like about CP3. Even his turnovers (2.2/game) are acceptable.

Team 4 (Greg) – Derrick Rose – I had a bit of a debate between Rose and Wade, and went with the player who seems slightly less injury prone and slightly more stat-happy. Rose took his game to another level this past season and his numbers were other-worldly. His threes (1.6), steals (1.0), blocks (0.6) and free throw percentage (86%) were unexpected sights to behold. He belongs in the top four.

Team 5 (Jeff) – Dwyane Wade – Who cares if it is LeBron’s team or Wade’s team or Juwan Howard’s team? Not I. I only care about the stats. And when one considers Wade was rather subpar for more than a month before turning it on, a full season of his baffling numbers is too drool-inducing to pass up at No. 5.

Team 6 (Tom) – Deron Williams – It was a toss-up between Williams and Russell Westbrook here. I think Williams gets the nod based on the fact that the Nets will lean on him heavily next season. As a Net, he dished 12.8 assists per game and were he healthy (wrist) I think his scoring would have been closer to 20 points per game than the 15 ppg he posted. The turnovers are a bit concerning, but the same would be said about Westbrook as well.

Team 7 (Greg) – Pau Gasol – I’ve spent the better part of the past three years defending Gasol as if he were my oversized nephew and now I’m gobbling him up with the No. 7 pick. The key force, in my opinion, in helping the Lakers to back-to-back titles as Kobe gleefully took all the credit, Pau somehow became the fall guy as LA fell apart in this year’s playoffs. Playing with the ever-selfish and passive-aggressive Kobe has got to take its toll on the best of people and I believe this is why Gasol struggled so much down the stretch of ’10-11. I do think he will duplicate his terrific all-around numbers next season and be worthy of being the first center off the board.

Team 8 (Jeff) – Kevin Love – Tom will be thrilled that I passed on his coin flip, Westbrook, but I doubt he’ll blame me for targeting this Timberwolf. Love was a double-double machine in 2010-11, led the league in rebounding, and dropped in 1.2 threes per game for good measure. That he produces excellent percentages (FG – 47.0; FT -85.0), while dishing a respectable-for-a-big-man 2.5 assists is all gravy for a player who should help fantasy owners dominate their leagues for years to come.

Team 9 (Tom) – Russell Westbrook – I know I’m not supposed to like Westbrook (after his awful WCF performance), but the guy puts up unreal numbers. He’s yet to really develop a long jumper, but if he can somehow take a page out of the Derrick Rose offseason playbook, Westbrook might be well on his way to becoming the “next D-Rose.” Give me 21 points, 9 assists, 2 steals and decent enough percentages and I’ll live with the 3.9 turnovers per.

Team 10 (Greg) – Amare Stoudemire – As a long-suffering Knicks fan and former Stoudemire owner, I’ve done my share of bemoaning his signing. However, he played hard, proved that he cared, and if the Stoudemire/Carmelo marriage doesn’t work, the man who put the ME in Melo will be the one to be run out of town. As far as stats go, Amare was a beast in ’10-11. With Melo in tow, we can’t expect a repeat of those scrumptious totals, but something close will do fine.

Team 11 (Jeff) – Stephen Curry – Going by memory, Curry was a disappointment last year. He was being picked as high as No. 5 in some drafts, yet it felt like he was never a safe play. Then there are his final numbers – 18.6 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 5.8 APG, 1.5 STL, 2.0 3FG, 48.0 FG%, 93.4 FT%. Pardon me while I pick myself up off the floor. Those are stats anyone picking 11th would sign up for immediately, and there’s no reason Curry can’t be even better if he’s fully healthy over the course of the year and/or Monta Ellis gets traded this summer.

Team 12 (Tom) – Dirk Nowitzki – It gets a little interesting at this pick. You have a few first-ballot Hall of Famers on the board, the world’s most dominating center and some young players who are talented enough to be Top 5 talents… if they put it all together. With Nowitzki I get 23-24 points, 7-8 rebounds, a 3-pointer, a steal, a block and high shooting percentages. I get low turnovers (1.9/game) and while he’s aged, Dirk hasn’t played fewer than 73 games in any season since his rookie year. Solid.

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