Tag Archives: Ben Gordon

Start, Drop & Roll: Week 3 Advice

How could you not love this guy?

We’re nearly two weeks into the regular season and I don’t think anyone participating in fantasy basketball has any idea what’s going on. How could the NBA think that 66 games over 125 days could possibly work? It seems as if every player is either hurt, out for no apparent reason, or simply dreadful.

Personally, I ended Week 1 in last place in the Damn Lies League, a mere 50 points out of first. I walked around my house in a stupor on Sunday evening, a la Robert the Bruce at the Scottish gravesite after betraying William Wallace. Week 2 has been much better thanks to the return of a two-legged Andrew Bynum, but as a Dorell Wright owner, I’m still teetering on the brink of driving to the Bay area and giving him a massive Indian burn.

But this column, which I will commit to on a weekly basis, is not about me and my incessant whining. It’s about you, our coveted Damn Lies readers, and your need for some good ol’ fashion advice on whom to start, sit and pick up for the coming week. Let’s get down to business. Continue reading

RotoExperts Draft Kit: Top 25 Shooting Guards

"Women, Dwyane, amirite?"

From the RotoExperts 2011-12 NBA Draft Kit

These rankings were written on Dec. 15 and published a day later. Stephen Jackson should probably be dropped as he’s dealing with a troublesome back issue. O.J. Mayo should be a few spots lower as well until his role is more clear. Feel free to reach a little higher for Tony Allen as long as he remains the starting shooting guard in Memphis. 

The following rankings are based on a nine-category, head-to-head league format (PTS, REB, AST, STL, BLK, 3FG, FG%, FT%, TO), using Yahoo!’s positional eligibility. We break down players into tiers as well to help you organize them within your overall cheat sheets. Finally: this is a list of true shooting guards expected to play the majority of their minutes at the position this season. There are several combo guards, such as Dwyane Wade, who are eligible at point guard in some leagues but ranked on the shooting guard list for our purposes.

These rankings take into account not just stat projections, but injury risk, competition for minutes and other intangibles.



1. Dwyane Wade, MIA

Projected Stats: 24.3 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 4.7 APG, 0.8 3FG, 1.6 SPG, 1.2 BPG, 3.2 TO, 49.6 FG%, 75.0 FT%

Yes, Wade is in a tier all by himself. In fact, of all the shooting guards on this list, he’s the only one worthy of a first-round draft pick. Sure, there’s always the injury concern when it comes to Wade, but when he’s healthy he’s all but a lock to be among the top 5-7 players in the game. Continue reading

Damn Lies Midseason Report: Central Division

Call me lazy. Call me super lazy. But just don’t call me late for dinner. I happen to believe that no matter how hard I try, I won’t be able to do the intro to our awards any justice, which is why I am going to re-print Jeff’s intro from his Atlantic Division awards. Hey, deal with it.

Per Jeff..

We’re gonna mix it up a bit this week at Damn Lies. Now that the season is roughly halfway over (emphasis on ‘roughly’), we thought it would be fun to hand out grades to each player who has made an impact, positive or negative, on the fantasy landscape. Think of these as sort of the Golden Globes to our annual postseason awards, The Dammies, only with fewer scientology jokes. This isn’t very scientific, in the sense that the three of us were liberal arts majors and are much more comfortable making stuff up rather than postulating an actual theory, which I can rarely do without pulling a muscle. For each team, we’ll assign grades based on how players have lived up to fantasy expectations. If a guy has disappointed or has been hurt more than not, he could get a ‘D’ or ‘F’ even though his numbers aren’t totally awful. If someone went undrafted in every league but has come out of nowhere to offer solid value, he could get an ‘A’. Or not. It’s really up to us. Don’t think to much about it.

…Here now are my Central Division awards. Enjoy!

Continue reading

Moving Without the Ball (11/1)

via RotoExperts

What a great week it’s been. All seems right when I can open up my League Pass on Wednesday night and flip through eight early games. To be honest with you, it’s almost a bit overwhelming. Almost. Do I love this game or what? More than I can express in words. But I’m not here to wax poetic about the NBA. I’m here to talk Fantasy Hoops.

We have a few early trends happening and a number of players who are already outperforming our expectations for them. Some could be in for a legitimate rise, while many others are likely to fall back down to earth. This week I’ll give you my thoughts on a few players everyone seems to be talking about after their Week 1 performances. Continue reading

Damn Lies Fantasy Preview: Detroit Pistons

We saved the best for last, didn’t we? DEEE-TROIT BASKET-zzzzzzz… Oh, snap. Look what you’ve wrought, Joe Dumars. The Pistons are the butt of jokes made by normally serious bloggers such as the pillars of journalistic ethics here at Damn Lies & Statistics. We’re proud to wrap up our 2010-11 fantasy previews with the Pistons, the worst team to even think about from a fantasy perspective. I mean, really. This roster is such a horror show. Is there a single player on this team that couldn’t fluxuate between starter and 15th man this season? Let’s wade into the muck.

Congratulations, New Coke, you're off the hook. Dumars signed McGrady.

The Pistons were a once-proud franchise that challenged for the Eastern Conference title annually up until a few years ago. Maybe it was the trade of Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson, followed by rewarding Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva with undeserved riches, that sunk them. Okay, not maybe; it was definitely all of that. What we’re left with is a team with no stars, no clear starter at ANY position and a majority of fantasy players wondering if any Piston is worth it on draft day. I count one who I wouldn’t mind adding as a final starter or reserve: Rodney Stuckey. Even Stuckey comes with too many limitations to count on regularly. His field goal percentage is atrocious (41 percent), he dishes it less than five times a game, he doesn’t hit threes and he is volunteering to be the Sixth Man. And this is their top fantasy option.


I like Gordon to bounce back from a brutal debut season in Motown, but only because he has nowhere to go but up. Who thought that Gordon’s contract would be worth it if he was backing up Richard Hamilton every night? At least they traded Hamilton in the offseason, only they didn’t. He’s still here. What? And knowing all of this, Dumars went and signed Tracy McGrady, a decision that ranks right up there among the all-time historically awful ones ever made, worse than New Coke and nearly as bad as Decca Records passing on The Beatles in 1962. No worries: Hamilton or McGrady can play small forward, right? Since Dumars moved Tayshaun Prince in the offseason? That didn’t happen either? Jesus.

The aforementioned Villanueva has been such a bust that he quite possibly might be the sixth forward on the depth chart among all of this team’s SFs and PFs, and that’s without even mentioning Jonas Jerebko, who will miss the season touring Europe with his brothers. The starting power forward might turn out to be Austin Daye, a second-year player with lots of upside, most of it in the “eating” category. This guy is skinny. Nobody would be shocked if Daye and rookie Greg Monroe saw major minutes in the frontcourt this year, as veterans Chris Wilcox and Jason Maxiell haven’t done enough to stand out and Ben Wallace is hoping to be the first NBA player to play a game completely embalmed. DaJuan Summers is a sneaky sleeper should 43 of the 47 players ahead of him get injured. On a positive note, one of my favorite players in the League is the diminutive Will Bynum, who is a nice deep-league draft pick but, like many of his teammates, a man without a plan. Terrico White is a rookie blah blah blah something. Perhaps. Fascinated to see how this all turns out? Neither are we, to be honest. Thirty teams down, and I’m goin’ to bed.

PG: Rodney Stuckey, Will Bynum
SG: Richard Hamilton, Ben Gordon
SF: Tayshaun Prince, Tracy McGrady
PF: Austin Daye, Charlie Villanueva
C: Ben Wallace, Greg Monroe

Damn Lies & Statistics Team Previews

Daily Lies & Statistics: 0-17 and still going..

Hey New Jersey, this hurts me more than it hurts you.

There comes a point where you actually start rooting for history, which means that as much as you’d like to see a smile on the face of Brook Lopez or Chris Douglas-Roberts, who wouldn’t want to see the Nets go 0-20. Really. Last night the Nets continue their impressive losing streak, getting their behinds handed to them in Los Angeles. It was funny, with six minutes to go in the third quarter the Nets were defeating Kobe Bryant 39-30. Yup, things are that bad in New Jersey. Thankfully for Lawrence Frank, he won’t have to witness any more defeats. I’m sure he doesn’t get the YES Network where he’s going.

Marc Gasol is a beast! Is he perhaps the better of the Gasol brothers. Whoa! Slow down.. Time will tell, but can you believe how well he’s playing? Last night he scored 26 pts on 13-of-18 shooting, 5 rebs, 6 ast, 3stls and 3 blks. He’s sitting pretty in the top 10 right now. Why I nevah! As for his teammate, Mike Conley, it’s a completely different story. Who would have thought that heading into this season you would have been better off drafting Jamaal Tinsley over Conley. Tinsley has officially trumped Conley, as he played 30 minutes to Jrs.’ 19 minutes.

Danilo Gallinari is baaaaack! He hit 4-of-5 trey attempts. (Be cool, Tom. Be cool.) It was Dwight Howard, however, who stole the show dropping in his fifth straight double-double. It’s about time. He’s been a bit disappointing this season. But seems to be coming along with eight blocks in his last three. Can you imagine? If you drafted Marc Gasol over Dwight Howard you’d be in a better position right now. Such is life. Of course things will start to even out. It just makes for a nice topic of discussion.

A few injuries worth talking about: Ben Gordon missed Sunday’s game (ankle or as they say, a “bloody bad ankle.”). He’s questionable this week… Richard Hamilton remains out. I think it’ll be a while before we see him on the court… In face related news, Charlie Villanueva broke his nose. He ‘should’ be ready for Wednesday’s game, but nobody ‘nose’ for sure. What that does mean is — two guys, two face masks, one team… Manu Ginobili returned to action on Sunday. The Spurs play just twice this week, meaning that he’s of little value this week… Lenadro Barbosa sprained his ankle and left Sunday’s game early. He did score 17 points in 15 minutes, and I DO think that guys are jumping the gun a little by dropping him. If he’s on your wires, I would add him as soon as he’s on the verge of returning to action.

Jrue Holiday got his third start of the season last night. Nothing going, however. He played just 19 minutes and scored 6 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals and an assist. Jason Kapono got most of the minutes, though he wasn’t much better popping 8 points in 25 minutes. I like going with the upside, so in this case I might stick with Holiday. Doesn’t mean I’ll start him. But I have little use for J-Kap either.

Trevor Ariza shot 7-of-23 from the floor last night. He’s now trending toward 35-percent shooting from the floor. He still has managed to pick 12 steals in his last six and has dropped at least one three-pointer in each game this season. We’re starting to see flashes of Stephen Jackson here. Tough guy to own as he kills you in two categories, yet he helps elsewhere across the board. It could bring an owner to tears.

"Remember when you used to play on our team?"

I’m sure our good friend Eno Sarris is pretty happy about the line Ryan Gomes put up last night — 27 points on 13-of-18 shooting, 2 threes, 2 steals and a block. He’s definitely worth a look, though he can be a bit streaky. And not in the ‘oh snap, this dude is naked’ kinda way.

Sergio Rodriguez might have just slammed the door on Donte’ Greene’s coming out party. Serge is the word! He went for 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting, 5 assists and 2 steals in 25 minutes. I wouldn’t go ga-ga over Rod-Rod, but I think this doesn push Greene back to the waiver wires.

Monday night there are four games on the schedule. Andrei Kirilenko and Paul Millsap are questionable, though I would say that there is a better chance that Millsap plays. The good news on Monday is that the Nets WILL NOT lose. Phew.

Shooting Guard rankings and analysis

By Tom Lorenzo and Jeff Andriesse

It’s time to rank and analyze the top shooting guards in fantasy drafts. We chose these SGs based on their projected roles with their respective teams, keeping in mind that several shooting guards and small forwards will have hybrid positional eligibility. Rankings are very subjective and should always be fluid for the person drafting. Always tier out your cheat sheets before the draft as well. For our purposes, these rankings represent less of a statistical formula analysis and more of a comfort level with each player, taking into account factors such as injury history, upside potential and age. Format is based on standard eight-category rotisserie style (FG%, FT%, PTS, REB, AST, STL, BLK, 3FG).

2009-10 Shooting Guard Rankings

Tom’s Top 25 Jeff’s Top 25
1. Dwyane Wade 1. Dwyane Wade
2. Kobe Bryant 2. Kobe Bryant
3. Brandon Roy 3. Brandon Roy
4. Kevin Martin 4. Joe Johnson
5. Joe Johnson 5. Kevin Martin
6. Andre Iguodala 6. Andre Iguodala
7. Vince Carter 7. Vince Carter
8. Ben Gordon 8. Ray Allen
9. O.J. Mayo 9. John Salmons
10. Ray Allen 10. Jason Richardson
11. Jason Richardson 11. Stephen Jackson
12. Manu Ginobili 12. O.J. Mayo
13. Jason Terry 13. Ben Gordon
14. Leandro Barbosa 14. Eric Gordon
15. J.R. Smith 15. J.R. Smith
16. John Salmons 16. Jason Terry
17. Randy Foye 17. Michael Redd
18. Stephen Jackson 18. Josh Howard
19. Eric Gordon 19. Manu Ginobili
20. Michael Redd 20. Leandro Barbosa
21. Courtney Lee 21. Randy Foye
22. Wilson Chandler 22. Richard Hamilton
23. Josh Howard 23. Wilson Chandler
24. Richard Hamilton 24. Courtney Lee
25. Brandon Rush 25. Ronnie Brewer


Three Questions for Tom

Jeff: We both place J.R. Smith at 15th, as if he was a sensible, safe selection in the middle rounds. Is this the year the volatile Smith has a true breakout? What’s the highest he could rise on this list if everything comes together?

Tom: I suppose what I love about Smith is that he is a high-risk/high-reward kind of guy. It almost seems dangerous to own him! He’s an extremely talented ballplayer who could possibly lead the league in three-pointers made, add a steal-plus per game, and average 20 points. That’s not bad from a guy sitting in the middle of the pack. Of course he is going to miss the first seven games of the season and he does have a questionable attitude, which together could result in a disastrous season. I wrote about Smith earlier in the summer and my main point for him having a breakout season was this: he has been handed the starting ‘two’ guard position. There is no one standing in Smith’s way, except for Smith himself. Do I trust him? No. But if he’s the third shooting guard on my roster I’ll be pretty happy knowing that the upside this guy has could vault him into top 10 value by the end of the season.

Jeff: We differ significantly on several players, one of them being John Salmons. What’s your worry there? Shouldn’t he play a large role in the Chicago offense with Ben Gordon out of town?

Tom: I guess the problem I have with Salmons is that he’s never proven to be anything but a talent in the 50-75 range. Look at last season, for example. Even when Salmons was on a Kevin Martin-less Sacramento team he went about his business averaging 18/4/3 with a steal and 1.5 three-pointers. Nice stat-line, but I’m not buying that he is anything more than that. The Bulls are now in the hands of Derrick Rose and, for better or worse, Luol Deng. Salmons to me is who he is. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I’m more inclined to look at a guy like O.J. Mayo who has a tremendous upside or a Ray Allen who excels in certain categories, while Salmons is just good in a handful of them.

Jeff: I know you’re dying to pump up Leandro Barbosa, so go ahead and tell me why you have him 14th. But I’ll make this a two-parter: If your Barbosa love is based on Phoenix’s up-tempo style and lack of depth, shouldn’t Jason Richardson have an even better year now that’s he’s used to playing with Steve Nash? How do you see Richardson doing this year?

Tom: The Barbosa seed was planted when the great Tommy Landry of RotoExperts fame touted Barbosa as a “near-elite” fantasy player in an email exchange we had. I disputed that claim to a certain extent, but I’m not sure he’s far from being a fantasy stud this season (ed. note: Barbosa, not Landry). If you want to talk about Richardson getting “used to” Nash, we have to mention the many years that Barbosa spent as Nash’s understudy and running the break alongside him for stretches throughout his career. I like Richardson this year too, but much like J.R. Smith has been given an opportunity this season to shine, so too has Barbosa. Matt Barnes is long gone, the up-tempo style of play is back with Shaq now in Cleveland, and there is still no viable back-up for Nash at the point. It’s not far-fetched to think that Barbosa could steal 1.5 balls and drain 1.5 threes per game this season. Add into the equation the fact that he shot 88.1 percent from the line, scored nearly 15 points per game on the season, and poured in 20.1 points per in the 11 games that he started. There’s my Barbosa hype, but when it comes to Richardson I think he’s in for a great season as well. I’m not sure he’ll be the 2007-08 Richardson that averaged 21.8 points and 3.0 treys per game, but he’ll approach 20 points and he should come close to 2.0 three-pointers. Alvin Gentry and Nash have been known to elevate players, so he may exceed those expectations. I’d also keep an eye on which position he plays. Grant Hill revitalized his career in Phoenix, but he can longer play 30 minutes per game over an 82 game span. So you might see a Nash-Barbosa-Richardson lineup that will be extremely fun (and fast) to watch.

Three Questions for Jeff

Tom: You have Ben Gordon as your 13th-rated shooting guard. Weren’t we all supposed to get excited once he was out of Chicago and the spotlight was put on him? How come you aren’t excited about Gordon in Detroit?

Jeff: Probably because Richard Hamilton is still there, and so is Tayshaun Prince, and the situation is kind of a mess in my mind. Gordon has always struck me as an undersized defensive liability who is streaky offensively. He has a point guard in Rodney Stuckey who is actually a shooting guard. He’s got his contract. I’m wary. That said, don’t look too much into the number 13. There’s not much difference between Nos. 8 and, say, 17 on my list.

Tom: There is a triumvirate of former fantasy studs sitting in the 17-19 range on your list (Michael Redd, Josh Howard, Manu Ginobili). All three players have been susceptible to injury in the past, but have also shown top-flight talent when healthy. If I could grant you that all three would be healthy this season, which one would you rather own and why?

Jeff: I suppose Ginobili, but my concern with him is more the addition of Richard Jefferson taking some shots away and the Spurs probably being so good that they can do their usual resting of Manu for the playoffs. A healthy Redd on a terrible Milwaukee team could get his scoring back up to levels we’re used to, but the Bucks are going to get blown out pretty regularly. I don’t know if Howard has ever been a fantasy stud, he’s more of a solid mid-round option who will do just enough in most categories not to hurt you. Unfortunately, I think we’re at the point where its a mistake to count on more than 70 games from any of them, and thus they aren’t worth reaching for in drafts.

Tom: Let’s get into the Allen Iverson debate. Two part question here, Jeff: Is Allen Iverson worth a roster spot on fantasy teams this year AND what effect will he have (if any) on O.J. Mayo?

Jeff: Sure, Iverson’s worth a roster spot in leagues with a deep bench. I wouldn’t start him unless either Mayo or Mike Conley got hurt. That brings us to Mayo. You best believe I’m concerned about Iverson’s role here. I’m also fascinated. How is A.I. going to fit in on this team? Is he willing to come off the bench? If not, then what? They are willing to stunt the growth of their promising backcourt to sell a few more seats? I know God played a big role in the negotiations, but so did Chris Wallace, so things evened out. This is a horrible trade from a basketball AND fantasy standpoint, and that’s depressing in several ways. Mayo slid several spots on my list after this signing was announced, and won’t rise back up until I see Iverson becoming a good teammate and mentor before my eyes. Color me cynical.

Tom Lorenzo and Jeff Andriesse will break down the Small Forward position in the next few days. If you have comments, questions or suggestions, drop ’em in the Comments Section. Also, be sure to follow Tom and Jeff on Twitter and check out RotoExperts.com for the most comprehensive fantasy sports coverage on the web.

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