Tag Archives: Baron Davis

Fox Unbalanced: Knick Knacks

Greg's got them real Knickerbocker fan blues...

It didn’t take long for Carmelo Anthony to leave an impression on the many intelligent Knickerbocker fans out there. He was brutal Wednesday night, folks, forcing up shots and not sprinting back on defense on a regular basis. But thanks to Toney Douglas‘ sparkling play, the Knicks hung on to defeat the Bucks at the Garden. Now let me get this straight – every pseudo basketball fan East of the Hudson was head over heels for this team through December, despite a schedule that made the Harlem Globetrotters jealous, but were then ready to jump ship following a mediocre six-week stretch? People were completely over-the-top with this team pre-trade and are now so quick to abandon ship because Captain Chucker is in town.

Last night was the most important Knick game at the Garden in more than 15 years. Or was it that game against the Celtics in December? Or didn’t I hear that the Heat game at the Garden was the best event at MSG since Ali-Frazier I? Just because they couldn’t get a good game of checkers going in the Garden the past 10 years doesn’t make every important game “the most important” in MSG history.

I didn’t think Knicks fans were blind to the type of player Danilo Gallinari was becoming. How about the great role Wilson Chandler played? How about that tough mothereffer, Ray Felton? How about that chemistry they had going? Hell, I was even impressed with Amar’e Stoudemire‘s effort at times.

Donnie Walsh and James Dolan caved to a bonehead mass audience by breaking up an up-and-coming team with long-term aspirations to bring in their “second superstar”, ’cause, you know, you can’t win a championship without two superstars (hmm, Detroit 2003-04, Miami 2005-06 anyone?). When was the last time a team was thrown together through trades and free agent signings and won a title?

Everyone is a superstar these days. Superstars, in my book, are hard-nosed leaders who make their teammates better and don’t need to score to have a big effect on a game. Carmelo is an exciting player, and one of the most talented offensive forces of this generation. He will also lull his teammates to sleep by pounding the dribble and going one-on-one, and defends as if his opponent was signed out of a leper colony moments before the game. Continue reading

Damn Lies Midseason Report: Pacific Division

Vince returned to get his degree, and has since procured a Master's in Fantasy Disappointment

As governments across the Middle East and Northern Africa are being toppled by the day due to a scarcity of fantasy basketball information, we at Damn Lies continue to be all about country.  With all due respect to our cronies in the biz, you are not going to find better graders anywhere, as the combination of Jeff Andriesse, Tom Lorenzo and I pulled a 4.0 GPA at the university level. Jeff led the way with a 1.8, Tom pulled a respectable 1.5 and I brown-nosed my way to a solid 0.7.

I find it pretty ironic that I’m putting midseason report cards together for the Pacific Division as it has an inordinate amount of players who never went to college (see: Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum, Monta Ellis) as well as even more guys who couldn’t spell cat if you spotted them the C and the T (see: Sacramento Kings roster). Nevertheless, it’s time to get these gents graded, and who better to do so than someone whose MENSA card keeps getting lost in the mail. Continue reading

Moving Without the Ball: Waiver’d and Wire’d

Via RotoExperts

Turn your back on Toney Douglas? I sure wouldn't.

Every once in a while we here at RotoExperts like to mash things up. Whether it be Andriesse’s obsession with mashing potatoes or Rysz’s inner Hulk’s need to mash and smash his foes, we’re just down for a good mashing. That’s why this week, “Moving Without the Ball” has teamed up with Jonathan Huang’s weekly waiver wire piece to bring you “Moving Huang Without Waiver the Ball Wire.” It’s a working title.

Need To Be Owned. Period.

Toney Douglas (PG/SG, NYK)
Hello, handsome! He’s owned in 63 percent of Yahoo! leagues, so the secret is already out. If you are in one of the 40 percent of leagues where he’s available, you should definitely scoop him up. Yes, he’s coming off the bench, but remember how successful Nate Robinson was before his run in with Mike D’Antoni coming off the pine. Douglas gives the Knicks an energy guy who can play defense and score in many different ways. He’s scoring 16.5 points per game, stealing 2.5 balls and hitting 1.8 threes. The steals will dip below 2.0 per game, but he should be able to sustain the rest of his numbers. His 4.2 rebounds per game will also drop slightly, but I can see his assist numbers (2.2) creeping up toward 3-3.5 per game. Douglas is for real and well worth the add.
Continue reading

Damn Lies Fantasy Preview: Los Angeles Clippers


The "Clippers Season Ticket Holder" Face


Does anyone out there know tax law?  Can a fellow write off LA Clippers season tickets as a loss? If not, I’d like to put forth a mandate. Ah, to be a fan of the Paper Clips. There are a few of them out there you know, some of whom have gotten parts in feature films.  Chalk it up as a strange but true phenomenon.  This organization has dirtied everyone it comes in contact with.  Has Billy Crystal gotten a lead role since he purchased floor seats?  Call it a curse, call it bad karma, call it whatever you want, but the day this franchise left Buffalo in 1978 for the San Diego Zoo was the day it went in the tank. When Bird Averitt is among your all-time best, you know things haven’t gone as planned.

And now it’s on the broad shoulders and mended kneecap of one Blake Griffin, the top pick of the ’09 draft and the best power forward to enter the league since Chris Bosh. It took only a few exhibition games last season for him to lose the first year of his career to a gruesome knee injury, but that’s just par for the course in Clipper land.  Nobody, except for Griffin himself, knows if he’s made a full recovery and if he’ll ever re-capture his frightening athletic ability. Regardless, he is good enough to post big numbers, even at less than what he was. In his ’10-11 exhibition debut he tallied nine points, seven rebounds and a couple of steals in 22 minutes and walked off the court without the use of a Little Rascal.  New head coach Vinny Del Negro will likely keep his minutes in the 25-30 range in the early going, but in the not too distant future expect bigger minutes and nightly 17 and 12s with a block-and-a-half.  He was a pretty pathetic free throw shooter in college, so that will probably not change, but as a late sixth/early seventh round choice I think he’ll serve his owners well.

There is some talent on this roster.  This isn’t the ’86 Celtics, but there are some draftable dudes to be had. Case in point: Eric Gordon.  I would love to land him in the same range as Griffin, if not a little sooner.  After a solid rookie year in ’08-09, injuries limited him to 62 games and modest totals last season.  Just 21 years old, I can see this pure shooter’s scoring jumping to about 20 a game, with a couple of threes and an outstanding free throw percentage.  His backcourt mate, Baron Davis, has seen better days. From 2001-2008, the Baron put up epic fantasy numbers. Since arriving in El Lay in ’08, he has assumed the position and been a true Clipper.  Listen, if he’s around in the eighth round I’m going to grab him, but no way do I expect more than 70 games to go with his strong points, assists, steals and threes, which will hopefully offset his vomit-inducing field goal percentage.

Was there a better fantasy center through the first six weeks of the ’09-10 NBA season than Chris Kaman?  Didn’t it seem as if he registered a 25 and 10 with three blocks every night?  His final numbers (18.5 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 1.2 bpg) were more than solid and he is still a focal point of the offense, but he is plagued by injuries and the return of Griffin will eat into those totals.  Another big body who may have earned himself some daylight is DeAndre Jordan.  Over the final 10 games of ’09-10, he averaged 10.1 boards and 0.9 blocks in a little over 25 minutes per game.  He is not to be drafted unless Kaman or Griffin contract shingles or something, but he should be on your injury radar.

The small forward position will likely be manned by resident gypsy Ryan Gomes, now on his third team in the last five years.  Every now and again, Gomes lights it up from deep, but his minutes have been far too inconsistent and his production too pedestrian to warrant consideration any earlier than the latter stages of drafts.  He will be pushed for minutes by veteran long-range marksman Rasual Butler and rookie Al-Farouq Aminu, NBA preseason favorite for name most likely to be butchered by Charles Barkley.  Another interesting addition is Randy Foye, who can back up at both the point and shooting guard positions.  He would probably be first in line to start if Gordon or Davis goes down and would be a hot pickup if that occurred, but rookie point guard Eric Bledsoe and fellow newbie Jon Scheyer could also be in the mix.

PG: Baron Davis, Eric Bledsoe
SG: Eric Gordon, Randy Foye
SF: Ryan Gomes, Rasual Butler
PF: Blake Griffin, Craig Smith
C: Chris Kaman, DeAndre Jordan

Up Next: Cleveland Cavaliers

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The Damn Lies Panel: Let someone else draft them

WEDNESDAY’S QUESTION: What is the starting five on your Let Someone Else Draft Them team?

Greg Fox:
Allen IversonOn my list of things to do this weekend, #4 behind pick up bag of Tootsie Roll pops is avoid Allen Iverson like the plague. I’ve made no bones over the years of my distaste for his game and overall personality, despite many seasons of freakish all-around numbers. He has formally arrived in Graceland, and when he’s not helping old ladies cross the street, he’ll join fellow newbie Zach Randolph in attempting to ruin the careers of the talented Hasheem Thabeet, Rudy Gay, OJ Mayo and Mike Conley. Speaking of Conley, with Iverson bullying his minutes, I think I’ll take a pass on him too.

Joining AI in my backcourt is Vince Carter. Now surfacing in Orlando, he will be asked to be second or third fiddle, something the cranky Carter is unaccustomed to. Vinsanity turns 33 this season, his wheels aren’t what they used to be and he now has talent and depth around him. More pedestrian numbers in the 19.0-point, 4.0-rebound, 4.0-assist range will likely be his max. Have I mentioned what an awful defender he is? If the Magic get off to a bad start, this marriage could be doomed.

Andrea Bargnani could average 20 and 10 for the next 15 years and I’d still recommend letting someone else draft him. With the addition of Hedo Turkoglu and Jarrett Jack, along with the return of a healthy Chris Bosh, the Raptors have way too many weapons to let this 7-foot stiff heave threes all day. Ok, I’m still a little bitter after choosing him as a breakout candidate in his dismal ’07-08 campaign, but I just can’t let bygones be bygones. Anyone around here know what a bygone is?

Unless it’s the final few rounds, I won’t be touching the Artest Formerly Known as Ron. I don’t think this is the combustible situation that many think it is; I just don’t think Artest is a good offensive player. He is still capable of helping in the steals department and he’ll probably chuck up enough threes where he’ll knock down one or two per night, but his field goal percentage and random missed games will crush his owners. His minutes will be limited by the potential of many Laker blowouts and there are way too many solid bench options if he becomes a little nutty as he is wont to do.

I’ll round out my Avoidable Five with Kevin Garnett who began his downward statistical spiral in his first and only year on my team (’07-08). KG, in my opinion, has been one of the three or four most valuable players in the league the past few years, but that and $2.25 will get you on the fantasy basketball subway. Rasheed Wallace, strangely enough, is now in Beantown to spell the 33-year old Garnett, who was already getting spelled way too regularly by the likes of Glen “Big Baby” Davis. A serious knee injury kept him out of last year’s playoffs, and with more than 1,000 games logged, I seriously doubt that new cartilage is beginning to sprout. If he somehow lasts through the first five rounds I’ll consider him, but we all know the likelihood of that happening.

Tom Lorenzo:
Baron Davis has not and will not find his way onto any of my teams. Just once since 2001-02 has Baron Davis played in more than 67 games in a single season. In his 10 seasons in the Association he’s shot 40.9 percent from the floor and just 69.7 percent from the free throw line. He’s killer on your percentages, can’t stay healthy, and if you play in a turnover league he might just kill you — emotionally. He just doesn’t do it for me.

Manu GinobiliI still can’t imagine what the mock drafters over at Mock Draft Central are seeing in Manu Ginobili this year that I’m not seeing. His current ADP over at MDC is 36.6. Really? I think there’s a little bit of selective memory going on over there. Doesn’t anyone remember that he missed 38 games last season and even when he did play he looked like he had thrown up the white flag. I can’t see Ginobili playing at full speed if he expects to suit up for 70-plus games this season. Look for the Spurs to limit his minutes with hopes that he’ll remain healthy enough to up his game during the playoffs. In the middle of the third round? No thanks.

Stephen Jackson played well over his head last season, and with his demands to be traded I just don’t see a system out there that suits his game better than Golden State’s. Imagine him in Cleveland or back with a team like the Spurs. Maybe they can keep him from dipping below the 40 percent mark from the floor or maybe they’ll help him tone down his 4-4.5 turnovers per game, but at what expense? There are just far too many problems going on in S-Jax’s head right now and I don’t have the gut to see if he can get it together.

Partly because his current ADP is 39.7 and also because he is already injured, I won’t be drafting Marcus Camby. He plans to be ready for the Clips season opener, but I’m not taking him in the late third. Six rounds later I might consider Camby, especially since he’s a top tier shot blocker and one of the best rebounders in the league. But he’s injury prone and — his ankle! Again! Haven’t we heard this story before?

I don’t know if it’s something personal, but I never draft Mehmet Okur. He doesn’t rebound enough for me or block many shots for a guy 6-11. Great, he can make three-pointers. But I can get a younger three-point shooting big with 1.3 blocked shots in his back pocket in Andrea Bargnani a few picks later. Bargnani has yet to reach his potential, while with Okur we know what he is. I also don’t like that Okur is part of that messy Millsap/Boozer situation in Utah. Think Jerry Sloan won’t opt to play Boozer at center and Millsap at the ‘four’ in stretches? Also, as a little draft tip for you guys, you can get similar value out of Channing Frye nearly 80 picks later. You can have Okur, because I’m in no rush to grab him.

Jeff Andriesse:
Ever get back together with an ex-girlfriend thinking she’s changed, only to get burned again, and worse? That’s the relationship I have with Gilbert Arenas, and thus won’t be returning his phone calls this preseason. Gilbert vows he is healthy and going to pass first this year, but his brain bone ain’t connected to his knee bone, so he can’t make any guarantees there. While Arenas has the potential to return major value, he can also expedite your squad’s demise.

In a similar vein to what Greg was talking about above, O.J. Mayo is a leper to me now that Allen Iverson has infested the Grizzlies. Will there be a single happy, productive player on this roster? Mayo has a right to expect a larger role this year, but with A.I. he will have trouble matching his impressive numbers from his rookie season. Zach Randolph and Rudy Gay will be politely asking Mike Conley for the ball as well, so we’re looking at some disappointing and rather surly fantasy options in Memphis. I’ll be avoiding Mayo, but remain fascinated as to how all of this is going to play out.

Carmelo AnthonyCount me among the few who considers Carmelo Anthony overrated in fantasy. I’m not suggesting that Anthony won’t improve on his ’08-09 digits (22.8 PTS, 6.8 REB, 3.4 AST, 1.1 STL, 44.3 FG%, 79.3 FT%, 1.0 3FG, 0.4 BLK) but what I am saying is that he doesn’t dominate any category other than scoring, assuming he brings his average back up around 25 per game. He’s now played in 66 games or less in two of the last three seasons, so there’s another cause for concern. Folks are grabbing him 38th over at Mock Draft Central, but I’m steering clear of the guy who was ranked 104th last year in Yahoo.

“Resting him for the playoffs”. Whether it be Ginobili, Steve Nash, or Kevin Garnett, we’ve heard that phrase bandied about a lot this preseason. I’m all for bandying, but this is a disturbing trend. As a case in point, consider me oil and Tim Duncan water. If I’m going to invest a second-round pick for someone who might sit out completely once a week, I’m probably not going to win my league. While Duncan’s averages will still hover around his usual 20, 11 and two blocks, his games played will shrink into dangerous territory. Right now, I’m equating him to a Rashard Lewis and imagining he’s suspended for at least 10 games.

I was already avoiding Greg Oden purely based on the dump he took on my roster last year when I wasted a sixth-round pick on him. But that’s a purely visceral reaction. What’s really keeping me away is this sudden new-found drooling over Oden by fantasy geeks because the child-man is tearing it up this preseason. He’s already gone from a major injury risk who could be had late, to a darling sleeper selection in the middle rounds. I’m in neither camp, so I’ll be building my teams sans-Oden while others worry about what to do with him and when that next knee injury is coming.

Who are you avoiding in drafts? Who is going too high or too low? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section.

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