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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.

LIES
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.

 

DAMN LIES
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.

STATISTICS
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.

DEPTH CHART
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: Day-to-Day

The diagnosis is negative! Rejoice! It turns out that Paul Pierce’s foot is NOT broken, just sprained. He has been updated from headache to day-to-day. Right now it seems that a return to action this weekend is likely. And boy do the Celtics need him. They have been old awful of late, losing four of their last five. Even the young guys like Kendrick Perkins are struggling. Perk hasn’t hit the double-digit scoring mark in any of his team’s last eight games. In fact, the Celtics in their last 10 are 22nd in the league in offensive efficiency and

Hear me now! Life's a trip when you're day-to-day. As da' clock keep tickin' away.

24th in points per game. They’re also 29th in rebounds per, with the New Jersey Nets (holla!) sitting just behind them. So, day-to-day doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?

There were plenty of good, bad, ugly and indifferent lines on Tuesday night. Let’s see if you can tell which are which!

Kevin Durant has kept his streak of scoring at least 25 points alive. It is now sitting at 22 games. He dropped 33 points and 11 rebounds on the Hawks. Ladies and gentlemen, your second best player in fantasy basketball.

Vince Carter (remember him?) is back from vacation. He took time off from checking his voicemail to play in a good ol’ basketball game last night. And boy did he play. After finishing the month of January with 8.7 points, 0.8 threes, and a 28.4 FG%, it was nice to see him hit 7-of-15 shots and sink two 3-pointers on his way to scoring 17 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. Rejoice! The last time Carter played this well was on Dec. 30 against… the Bucks. Wait, he can play against the Bucks 82 games per year? No? Oh well.

Jameer Nelson (knee) and Mickael Pietrus (ankle) both sat out against said Bucks. Both were considered questionable heading into this one, with Nelson actually indicating that he’d likely play. But, neither ended up getting any PT. Still, Jason Williams continues to make it seem like anything is possible. Can you believe he’s the only “Ja(y)son Williams” who is not wearing a suit right now on a regular basis (whether it be for a job at ESPN or court dates).

You asked for Devin Harris and you got him. In a big way! After missing four straight games (15 on the season) the biggest underachiever on the biggest underachieving team (in the history of the game) posted only his second double-double of the season — 24 points on 7-of-14 shooting, 10-of-11 free throws, and 14 assists in 40 minutes. Peek-a-boo! There’s my boy. No more of this 37% shooting BS, okay? What you liked about this performance was the quickness he showed, the endurance, and the report he had with Brook Lopez (27 points on 11-of-16 shooting). If these two guys played this well together all season long the Nets would have at least 7, maybe 8 wins. Six of Harris’ assists were at the rim, which is a good sign for Lopez owners. Get yours, Harris, but make sure to keep Lopez in the loop.

Ben Wallace made a little history with his single block last night against the Nets. He became the first player under 6’10” to compile 2,000 blocks in his career. What a feat. In case you’re wondering, Earl Boykins has 29 career blocks (including one, if I recall, on Melo… is that right?).

Zach Randolph would like to use a free pass for his 8-point, 4-rebound performance against the Cavs. Listen, if you own Randolph you know he has about 15 more of those saved up in his back pocket. The dude has been unbelievable this season. You can chalk this one up to the fact that the Grizzlies had played four games in the last five nights and were playing in the second night of a back-to-back set in which they beat the Lakers in an emotional game and then had to take on the Cavaliers. Not easy.

Corey Maggette (hip) sat against the Rockets. This gave (gulp) Coby Karl a chance to show us what he’s capable of — 12 points, 7 assists, 7 rebounds and a steal in 37 minutes. You’ll never see a line like that again out of Karl. Unless he’s playing against his dad’s team and his pops calls for the defense to play a five-dudes-follow-Monta-Ellis defensive set, leaving Karl free to roam.

Hedo Turkoglu (busted up face) didn’t play against the Pacers. He’s considering wearing a mask to protect his pretty face. I’m not sure this is true, but isn’t that how Batman got into doing what he does? (And I’m not talking about saving Gotham, I’m talking about dominatrix. Google it.)

Andrea Bargnani and Chris Bosh combined to score 69 points against the Pacers. Bosh had 35 and Bargnani had…. let me see…. carry the one… add two…. buckled my shoe…. 34 points! These guys need a nickname. Almost three years ago to the day, when I was writing a fantasy hoops column on NBA.com I had come up with, for no real reason, the idea to call Bosh and Bargnani the “Righteous Brothers.” Really, I have no idea why. It was just the first thing that came to mind. Nevertheless, Raptors fans KILLED me on one of their message boards. You would have thought I called them “Captain and Tennille.”

Dudes were pissed! What’s really wrong with the Righteous Brothers anyway?

Well, that’s the big news of the evening.

Wednesday night’s action is in for a treat — as are you. For it’s THE RETURN OF… LOST!! I mean… GREG FOX! Back from reconstructive shoulder surgery (in which he can now throw a baseball 100 mph, a-la Rookie of the Year.) Enjoy.


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