Tag Archives: carlos boozer

RotoExperts Draft Kit: Top 25 Power Forwards

Who's more slimmed down this year?

From the RotoExperts 2011-12 NBA Draft Kit

The following rankings are based on a nine-category, head-to-head league format (PTS, REB, AST, STL, BLK, 3FG, FG%, FT%, TO). We break down players into tiers as well to help you organize them within your overall cheat sheets. These rankings take into account not just stat projections, but injury risk, competition for minutes and other intangibles.



1. Kevin Love, MIN

Projected Stats: 20.9 PPG, 15.3 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.2 3FG, 0.7 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 2.0 TO, 46.7 FG%, 85.2 FT%

Yes, believe it or not, Love is the top power forward in the NBA. Not only will he most likely lead the league in rebounding, but he’ll score north of 20 points per game, hit over one 3-pointer and make 85 percent of his free throws. You’d like to see him put up better numbers on the defensive side of the ball, but if he were a big-time defender we’d be talking about him as the No. 1 overall pick, not just the top power forward. Continue reading

Fantasy & Free Agent Fest: Central Division

In the days leading up to the start of free agency on Dec. 9, Damn Lies & Statistics will be taking a look at each team’s potential moves, top fantasy players and more. Here’s a look at the Central Division squads.

Fantasy-Worthy Players Under Contract (H2H Draft Round in Parentheses): G Derrick Rose (1), C Joakim Noah (4), F Carlos Boozer (6/7), F Luol Deng (7)
Key Unrestricted Free Agents: None
Key Restricted Free Agents: None
What to Look For: Chicago is close, very close. They will try to add a shooting guard who can be an upgrade over Keith Bogans. Jason Richardson or Caron Butler are options. Boozer is a risky pick in fantasy as he just can’t stay on the court, so Taj Gibson is a necessary handcuff. Rose can make a case for the No. 4 pick in drafts. While his minutes might be more in check during a 66-game slate, he remains an unstoppable offensive player who is young and eager to win a championship, not to mention try like heck to get the No. 1 seed in the East over Miami.
The Damn Lies Bold Recipe: Richardson and Butler are decent but aging options who aren’t built for the kind of schedule we have coming up. They might be a little pricey. If the Bulls miss out on them or decide to go a cheaper route, they should make an offer for Golden State’s Reggie Williams – he’s restricted, but the Warriors might not have him in their plans. He could really stretch the floor and spot up to receive kickouts from Rose. Continue reading

Fox Unbalanced: Wake Me Up for the Playoffs, Part II

VCU has Shaka'd the world

You know, I’ve watched this VCU team a few times during the NCAA Tournament and not until the Elite Eight did I realize that Shaka Smart was the head coach. I swear I thought Nantz and Kellogg were referring to the team’s undersized big man who is killing people down low. Live and learn. He doesn’t look like a Shaka Smart… I mean, if one is born with this name, this person’s career is pretty much mapped out for him. It’s either bouncer, hitman, Zulu warrior or power forward. I wouldn’t think “coach” would be in the mix.

Last week, as the sight of my team in the Damn Lies standings had me on the brink of forging a prescription request from my internist for a cauldron of Zoloft, I escaped from the depression by breaking down the potential first round of a 10-team, eight-category, points-based playoffs league. Since it did momentarily have me thinking twice about accepting that harnessless window-washing job at the Chrysler Building, I figured I might as well put together round two.

Here was Round 1…

1. Derrick Rose

2. Kobe Bryant

3. Pau Gasol

4. Kevin Durant

5. Rajon Rondo

6. LeBron James

7. Dwyane Wade

8. Russell Westbrook

9. Serge Ibaka

10. Luol Deng

Round 2… 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 And Shaking: Goodbye, Regis. Hello, DL&S?

Sad news on Tuesday, as we learned that national treasure, and friend of our blog, Regis Philbin is leaving the “Regis and Kelly” show sometime this year. Awwwww. Well, nothing you can do but start to speculate who will take over for Regis in his weekday morning show. It’s no surprise that we here at Damn Lies & Stats have been lobbying for that position for some time now. Long before Regis decided to leave the show. “Damn Lies & Kelly” has a nice ring to it, as far as we’re concerned.

Seriously, though, when I heard the news that Regis was leaving it struck me as funny how the rest of the world functions like it’s in some sort of entertainment fantasy league. The guy couldn’t even finish his farewell announcement before the Internet blew up, speculating as to who would take his place. Much like when Chris Bosh was ruled out on Tuesday night, all fantasy owners wanted to know was which Miami big should they take a flier on, Joel Anthony or Juwan Howard? Then Carlos Boozer was ruled out once again for the Bulls and the Taj Gibson buzz turned deafening.

As it turned out, Anthony paid off with his 16 rebounds, three points and zero shot attempts. Couldn’t have scripted it any better myself. Then, of course, Gibson posted a 9-point, 9-rebound and 6-block line against the Bobcats. Yup, that’s 12 blocks in two games.

Maybe the Regis-Bosh-Boozer comparison doesn’t work quite well, but I have written many times in the past that the toughest columns-blogs-tweets to write are the “Who Replaces Yao MingGreg Oden-(Insert season-ending, possibly career-ending injured hoopster here)” ones. Yes, Regis is leaving on his own accord, which makes the Ming-Oden comparison naturally different, but let the dude have his moment before we start filling in his chair. (Note: I don’t claim to be a Regis fan, as is evident by the fact that I had to Google his last name to double-check the spelling, but it’s hard not to feel for the bro.)

With that out of the way, time to look at some of the moves that other owners have made in my many leagues!

Continue reading

Damn Lies Fantasy Preview: Chicago Bulls

Last season was a disaster for the Bulls as they entered 2009-10 with promise and left with their tails between their hooves, thumped by the Cavs in the opening round of the playoffs.  This is a franchise that has produced the likes of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Artis Gilmore, Butterbean Love, John Mengelt and Kenny Reeves, so underachieving has not been a theme.  Defense will be the top priority of longtime NBA assistant coach Tom Thibodeau, who takes the reins from the catatonic Vinny Of The Black.


Derrick Rose makes eye contact with his head coach for the first time in his NBA career.


This is a squad with hordes of talent, particularly at point guard where Derrick Rose will look to make that leap from a maturity standpoint. From a fantasy perspective, Rose is a cross between Deron Williams and Edmund Sherrod.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see him average over 20.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists per game, while shooting nearly 50 percent from the field.  He is not a steals kind of guy, averaging only 0.7 per game last year and he knocked down only 16 threes on a smelly 27 percent from long range.  Apparently, he takes 500 jumpers per day on his Nerf hoop at home, so i can see that 3s total doubling in ’10-11. Now in his third year in the league, this is Rose’s team, all arrows are pointing up,  and I’m taking him in the fourth round.  Who’s with me!?

The Bulls gave up on John Salmons last year and excavated the rather large contract of Kirk Hinrich, who will now ply his trade in the nation’s capitol.  I like what they have done here as the combination of defensive stopper Ronnie Brewer and 3-pt. marksman Kyle Korver will split the shooting guard spot. Unless one or the other gets hurt, neither is draftable, but I like it in real life so I’ll just shut up now.  Korver may actually be worth a late-round flyer based on his penchant for not having a conscience from deep.

I love Carlos Boozer‘s game. I love it so much that I’m considering divorcing my own soft inside-outside game for it. Call it irreconcilable differences.  Few in the free agent market deserved max money, but a healthy Boozer is worth it. He is quick with the ball, has soft hands, a feathery touch and can use either hand. He is an animal on the glass and overall one of the league’s and fantasy basketball’s most efficient players. The biggest knock on him over the years has been his lack of ability to stay on the court. Let’s hope that trend does not continue.

Luol Deng is one of those guys I never have any interest in drafting, yet I often end up regretting not pulling the trigger.  Chicago’s starting small forward produced a respectable 17.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, and nearly a block and a steal per game last season and rarely turns the ball over.  There are plenty of worse guys to be had around the eighth round, which is where we should consider hopping on him.

I’ll never forgive myself for not drafting Joakim Noah last year as I had him queued for the middle rounds.  Can’t make that mistake again and I don’t think he’ll last past the fifth this time around.  Don’t let his final numbers (10.7 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 1.6 bpg) from ’09-10 fool you.  He was way better than that as he lost several games to a nasty case of plantar fasciitis.   He wasn’t himself upon his return, and his overall numbers were dummied up by his limited minutes. The presence of Boozer may keep his rebounding totals closer to 10.0 per contest, but I could easily see the rest of his numbers continuing to climb.  The Bulls also have Taj Gibson ready to back up both Noah and Boozer and Gibson’s worth a late-round grab.  He can give you some scoring, rebounding and shot-blocking and with the injury history of the two dudes in front of him, he could find himself earning plenty of burn.

PG – Derrick Rose, C.J. Watson
SG – Ronnie Brewer, Kyle Korver
SF – Luol Deng, James Johnson
PF – Carlos Boozer, Taj Gibson
C – Joakim Noah, Kurt Thomas

Up Next: Memphis Grizzlies

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Daily Lies & Statistics: It’s April, fools

It’s Thursday, April 1st, 2010, otherwise known as April Fool’s Day. As a fantasy basketball junkie, this is usually the time of year where I’m in no mood for jokes or surprises. It’s bad enough just looking at box scores and yelping “You gotta be kidding me!” with each click. So we’re handling today’s post with the utmost seriousness. Among last night’s stat lines, I’m not kidding about any of them.They really happened. And during the fantasy playoff season, no less.

The following are not, I repeat NOT April Fool’s jokes:

Do NOT anger the fantasy gods.

*After Brandon Jennings dropped a 29-8-7 Sunday followed by a 17-6-5 Tuesday, the fantasy gods (yes, Scott Skiles is one of them) decided that the fun was fin. Jennings played just 19 minutes last night at Cleveland and finished with five points on 2-of-9 shooting, one rebound, one assist and 2,396 ruined fantasy playoff matchups.

*Drew Gooden has five straight double-doubles after his 17-points, 10-board performance last night. He averaged a 15 and 10 in March in 30 minutes per game. On second thought, maybe this is a joke. Let me double-check and get back to you.

*The Celtics had the worst record in the NBA three years ago yet ended up with the fifth pick in the draft. Had Boston gotten the first or second pick their lineup right now would be Rajon Rondo, Kevin Durant, Paul Pierce, Al Jefferson, and Kendrick Perkins. And they wouldn’t be overpaying Rasheed Wallace to hoist awful threes. Yes, I was at the game last night and saw Durant pour in 37 without breaking much of a sweat, and yes, I’m a little bitter right now. But we did win a title, no? (I’m telling myself ‘yes’ over and over and over).

*The Lakers lost at Atlanta, 109-92, which is nothing to be ashamed of, but L.A. has now dropped three of four. Chinks in the armor? They are still the best team on paper but looking a little vulnerable right now. Andrew Bynum returning would solve some things, perhaps, but I get the feeling the one guy the Lakers would love to have is Trevor Ariza.

*Dwyane Wade had 10 points, 3 rebounds and one assist – and Miami won by 17 at Detroit. Huh? Well, for one: Detroit is an abomination and was missing Richard Hamilton (hamstring) and Charlie Villanueva (DNP CD LOL). But Miami played minus Jermaine O’Neal (knee), who was at the courthouse having his name legally changed to Jermaine O’Neal (knee). Luckily Michael Beasley went off for 28 and nine, and Dorell Wright added 17 in 22 minutes off the bench. A weird game, for sure.

*Now that the Nets won’t be the worst team ever in the record books, they can get back to tanking for John Wall. Jersey actually led Phoenix at halftime, but the Suns pulled away for their ninth-straight win. Steve Nash was magical, finishing with a 24-7-14 on 9-16 shooting (3-4 threes). Despite scoring 116 points, Amare’ Stoudemire finished with a sorry 15 and 4, and his owners have to be swearing under their breath this morning at him.

*If I had told you at the beginning of the season that the Wizards would be led by Mike Miller, Andray Blatche and Shaun Livingston in late March/April, you would have looked at me funny before thinking that Gilbert Arenas must have gotten hurt or done something crazy. So this isn’t that weird at all. The Livingston part is kind of a curveball, as the guy has lived the last few years without working knees. He’s the starting point guard now in Washington with Randy Foye out for the year, and he had 18 points and eight dimes as the Wiz snapped a 16-game losing streak with a 96-91 win at New Orleans. Miller had 27 and seven and Blatche had 23 and three steals (but just one rebound? Really?).

*Al Jefferson and Darko Milicic combined for 10 blocks last night in a 108-99 Minny (mini?) win over Sacramento. Both guys also double-doubled, as did Kevin Love (12 & 11). Sacramento was led by Tyreke Evans (20-7-13, 3 steals), who is playing really well despite coming off a concussion last week and subsequently claiming to have owned a penguin.

*George Hill offered up a candidate for Stat Line of the Year last night against Houston. Hill, who has been a fantasy savior this second half, finished with 30 points, seven assists, five steals and two threes and shot 11-15 from the floor and 6-6 from the line. Does anyone want to play San Antonio in the West this postseason? I didn’t think so.

*Speaking of teams in the West playing well, Dallas nipped Memphis in overtime last night, 106-102, improving to 50-25. That’s good for the No. 2 seed right now if the season ended today. Dallas has weapons, and when Jason Terry (29 points, six assists, four steals) is doing his thing they are formidable.

*Al Harrington took Greg’s post hinting that Al is selfish to heart, taking just six shots last night as the Knicks lost big at Portland, 118-90. Did anyone out there start Tracy McGrady (2-0-1) last night? You can type with a straightjacket on? Cool.

*The West’s current #3 seed, Utah, is performing at a really high level these days. Who knows if winning big over the Warriors of the National Rec League will help or hurt them, but they rolled last night, 128-104. Carlos Boozer was beastly with 25 & 13 on 12-14 shooting. Deron Williams had 19 assists. I wouldn’t want to play them, either.

Luckily I’m not on an NBA team, so I don’t have to. Although the Warriors have been calling.

Daily Lies & Statistics: Passers Need Not Apply

The final few weeks of an NBA regular season is simply a feeding frenzy for those given the green light to hoist shots at will. Case in point: Al Harrington. I think Harrington was the kid in school who started the ol’ ‘one for you, one for me… two for you, one-two for me’ routine at the corner candy store. But he is also the guy who is leading many a fantasy team to a championship.

Al Harrington has installed a Pop-a-Shot in his backyard to simulate his ideal game conditions.

Last night he erupted for 26 points (3-9 3-pt fg) and 17 rebounds in New York’s 103-98 loss at Utah and has averaged 24.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.0 3-pointers per contest over his last three. And the best thing about Big Al is that his owners never have to worry about him deferring to a teammate.

Harrington was not alone in the monster game department last night. Let’s take a look-see.

Carlos Boozer: For some reason, Boozer never gets talked about as being an elite power forward. When healthy, he not only dominates the glass, he is also a force offensively in the interior. Last night he was healthy enough to dismantle the Knicks with 26 points (11-16 fg) and 14 rebounds. A free agent at season’s end, he could find himself with a max contract in July.

Deron Williams: Boozer’s partner in crime posted a cool 23 points (5-8 3-pt fg) and 14 assists against the defensively challenged ‘bockers last night. The Jazz are fighting for playoff position and have a leader in Jerry Sloan, who coaches every game as if it were Game Seven.

Andrea Bargnani: Oh those big men who shoot threes and block shots. Bargnani is in elite company with the Anthony Tollivers of the world. Last night he racked up 16 points, nine boards and added three 3-pointers and a block as the Raptors scored an all-important 103-101 win in Charlotte.

Ray Felton: I can always count on Felton to post huge lines when I don’t have him in my lineup. Last night he tortured me with 18 points, five rebounds and seven assists while knocking down a season-high four 3-pointers.

Brook Lopez: Led the Nets to their third win in four tries with 22 points and 12 boards over a stunned San Antonio team. To be fair, the Spurs were playing without Manu Ginobili in this one and fell asleep in the calming environs of Izod Center during the six-minute timeout of the third quarter.

Courtney Lee: It’s not every day that a smoking hot Asian woman can tally 19 points and six rebounds in an NBA game, but the proof is in the pudding.

DeJuan Blair: The rookie dominated the backboards to the tune of 11 points and 11 caroms in only 17 minutes of work. The question is, why did he only clock in for 17 minutes, Gregg Popovich?

Pau Gasol: Gasol took his life in his own hands by registering 26 points, 22 rebounds and two blocks in a 108-100 loss to the stumbling Hornets last night. Kobe will not put up with any teammate of his posting those kinds of numbers and promises to freeze the big Spaniard out of the next three games.

Chris Paul: The Chris Paul we drafted with a top 2 pick finally gave a Chris Paul performance with 15 points, four boards and 13 assists in the win over the Lakers. Paul could win many fantasy championships over the course of the next two weeks.

Dirk Nowitzki: Nowitzki’s night was a thing of beauty as he finished with 34 points (4-5 3-pt fg, 16-17 ft), 10 rebounds and 10 assists as the Mavs defeated the Nuggets 109-93 and have flown past them into the #2 spot in the Western Conference.

Shawn Marion: Marion, a first round pick by many as little as three seasons ago, is kind of a forgotten man. He has been playing well of late and last night finished with 21 points (9-13 fg) and two steals. He and Andrei Kirilenko should go bowling together and talk about the good old days.

J.R. Smith: While Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups combined on a foul 6-for-30 from the floor, Smith gave the Nuggets a puncher’s chance with 27 points (10-16 fg), a steal and a block. Smith, not known for his court vision, could help teams in need of threes down the stretch.

Daily Lies & Statistics: Anyone seen Monta Ellis’ shackles?

Monta Ellis dropped a career-high 45 on the Pacers last night and has gotten a pretty good glimpse of what life is like without having to share the ball with Stephen Jackson or take instruction from Don Nelson. You can say Vladimir Radmanovic makes his teammates that much better, and I say back: Don’t you have a doctor’s appointment, Brian Westbrook?

Ellis is a free man. No Nellie to kill his confidence. No “Jack” thinking he’s the team’s best player and leader. Yeah, this was against Indiana, but Ellis has gone for 34 or more in four of the last five games and is averaging 31.0 per game since the Jackson trade. On top of that, he is averaging a robust 2.6 steals this season to go with over five assists and a nice 47.3 field goal percentage. He’s a monster, and should be great until… well, even when mad scientist Nelson returns from a bout of pneumonia, which could be pretty soon. Even Nellie can’t screw this up, can he? CAN HE?

C.J. Watson warms up prior to last night's game

Don’t answer that. Riddle me this instead: How could Ellis out-score all four of the players I had going last night (Jamaal Tinsley, Corey Maggette, Stephen Curry and Troy Murphy) by a combined 45-33. Yep, it’s that kind of week already and it’s been that kind of year. The only Warriors to really help Monta along were Anthony Morrow and swine-flu patient C.J. Watson, who each had 18 points. I think opponents were giving Watson a clear path to the basket all night due to contamination fears; I don’t see him keeping this up. Unless I continue to start Curry.

Hey, let’s peer at the Indiana side of the box score. It’s actually pretty fascinating. Mike Dunleavy scored 22 points in 23 minutes, and will probably be picked up in a lot of leagues even though most of the other teams he will play will actually defend him. Somehow, Dunleavy’s return and his banishment to the bench didn’t stop Dahntay Jones from continuing to produce. I keep writing about this guy but he won’t stop putting up lines like last night’s 21 points on 8-of-16 shooting, 2 boards, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block. He even started the second half in place of Brandon Rush. I hope you didn’t drop Jones in the last few days. Elsewhere, T.J. Ford‘s 17-6-4 was actually his best game of the season, which tells you all you need to know about how bad he’s been. Danny Granger owners who circled this Golden State game on their calendars have to be a little numb today as Granger only contributed 22 points and two threes.

Milwaukee edged the Bulls, 99-97, behind a monster line from Andrew Bogut, who apparently tired of seeing the Bogut Signal in the sky, rolled out of bed in his stately manor and got to the arena in time to drop 22 and 15 on Chicago with three steals and four blocks. Chicago was led by double-doubles from both Luol Deng (22 & 14) and Joakim Noah (16 & 17), while John Salmons (23 points, 8-15 FG) implemented a new offensive technique called “aiming at the basket when shooting” to decent success.

The Dallas Mavericks improved to 13-5 by nipping a Philadelphia team that is not yet reeling from signing Allen Iverson. The Sixers got 19 rebounds, three steals and three blocks from one of my waiver wire recommendations last week, Sam Dalembert. You’re welcome. Dallas was led by Tim Thomas, who didn’t play. His teammates hoisted him on his shoulders after the game in honor of this contribution.

Finally, Utah cruised at home over a Memphis team playing without Rudy Gay and Mike Conley. Ronnie Brewer dropped 25 on the Grizz, and Elgin Baylor added a 24-15-7 with three steals and a block. What’s that? Oh, I meant Carlos Boozer. Boozer is playing as well as he ever has right now and is shooting 43-of-59 from the field in his last four.

We’re keeping an eye on the Iverson situation for y’all, as The Answer to the Trivia Question “Who Has Played the Fewest Games in Memphis History?” seems to have tired of the toys he took home to play with. He could sign with Philly by next week, where he’ll gladly mentor and back up Jrue Holiday.

Fans of defense should steer clear of tonight’s Suns-Knicks game, but fantasy owners are licking their chops. Greg will be here tomorrow to dissect it, as well as to wax quixotic about his boy Kiki Vandeweghe now coaching the Nets within mere miles of his residence.

2009-10 Power Forward rankings & analysis

By Tom Lorenzo and Jeff Andriesse

Ah, power forwards. While many fantasy players hold centers in high esteem, the truth is that in many leagues there are more center-eligible players than you think. And when in doubt, we’ll tend to put a guy like Tim Duncan or David Lee in our center spot. But you see what that does? It thins out the power forward position, which is always a little thin to begin with. We moved most of the PF/Cs to C for the purposes of our rankings, and here’s what we’re left with. Yes, some of these guys are center eligible, but most are the starting power forwards for their respective teams. Don’t neglect this position on draft day because you are trying to grab centers. Power forwards, especially the best ones, can be as valuable as any position out there. For this exercise, format is based on standard eight-category rotisserie style (FG%, FT%, PTS, REB, AST, STL, BLK, 3FG).

2009-10 Power Forward Rankings

Tom’s Top 25 Jeff’s Top 25
1. Dirk Nowitzki 1. Dirk Nowitzki
2. Chris Bosh 2. Chris Bosh
3. David West 3. Troy Murphy
4. Kevin Garnett 4. David West
5. Antawn Jamison 5. Antawn Jamison
6. Troy Murphy 6. Kevin Garnett
7. Josh Smith 7. Josh Smith
8. Shawn Marion 8. LaMarcus Aldridge
9. Carlos Boozer 9. Elton Brand
10. LaMarcus Aldridge 10. Shawn Marion
11. Charlie Villanueva 11. Boris Diaw
12. Zach Randolph 12. Carlos Boozer
13. Elton Brand 13. Anthony Randolph
14. Tyrus Thomas 14. Zach Randolph
15. Boris Diaw 15. Charlie Villanueva
16. Anthony Randolph 16. Blake Griffin
17. Blake Griffin 17. Jeff Green
18. Michael Beasley 18. Jason Thompson
19. Jason Thompson 19. Kevin Love
20. Jeff Green 20. Paul Millsap
21. Ryan Gomes 21. Tyrus Thomas
22. Kevin Love 22. Michael Beasley
23. Yi Jianlian 23. Ryan Gomes
24. Paul Millsap 24. Yi Jianlian
25. Brandon Bass 25. Kenyon Martin


Three Questions for Tom

Jeff: How high are you willing to take Kevin Garnett in a draft this year? Even if his knee is healed, the C’s brought in Rasheed Wallace and re-signed Glen Davis. Are you concerned they will monitor KG’s minutes?

Tom: I actually think it’s a blessing in disguise that KG doesn’t have to play 38 intense minutes nightly. He could use a break. That in no way would keep me from taking him in the late-2nd or early-3rd. Of course, that depends on who I draft in the first. The reason why I would take KG is because he’s a 15 and 8 candidate who can block shots, pick up steals, and — here’s the reason why I really like Garnett — he shoots high percentages from both the field and the floor. If I can get the 53.1 FG% and the 84.1 FT% he shot last year from my power forward I’ll happily take that! The fewer minutes don’t bother me so much, especially if it turns into more games played.

Jeff: Anthony Randolph showed flashes of what kind of havoc he can wreak on a box score late last season. Which side of the hype do you come down on with Randolph this year?

Tom: I’m in the camp that won’t overpay for Randolph. Maybe because I bit and drafted Tyrus Thomas in his second season and got burned, or maybe because his name is really hot right now and I’m not sure he’s worth the buzz in the round he’s projected to fall off the board in. Why? Well, for one thing, can you assure me that Don Nelson will give Randolph consistent PT? Need I remind you that he’s 20 years old AND already has a contentious past with Nelson? I’m worried about his age, his coach, his team, his current developmental stage, and his name being on most, if not all, “sleepers” lists. I’ll pay for him in the 9th or 10th round, but I think he’ll be long gone before then.

Jeff: You like Tyrus Thomas a lot more than I do. Is this the year he puts it all together?

Tom: Speaking of Thomas… It still amazes me that he’s just 23 years old. If you look at the way he closed out the 2008-09 season there is finally a legitimate reason to get excited about him. He posted huge block numbers (plus-2 per game), well over a steal per, and 14 and 8 in the points and rebounding departments, respectively, after the ASB. He’s a career 44.7 percent shooter from the floor and 72.4 percent shooter from the line (both of which have increased from year-to-year). Let me see: 15 points, 8 rebounds, 2+ blocks, 1+ steal, 45.0 FG%, 75.0 FT%… wait a minute, that’s Josh Smith! But, only I can grab him three-to-four rounds later than Smith and get solid free throw numbers. I can’t tell you for certain that he’s going to put it all together this year, but for his sake I certainly hope so. He’s a huge talent with possibly huge returns on defense.

Three Questions for Jeff

Tom: Sell me on Troy Murphy as the third best power forward. I realize how valuable he was last season combining both his rebounds with his stellar three-point shooting, but it certainly was the best season of his eight-year career. Considering that he gives you nothing on the defensive side of the ball, if he were to regress at all this year it could be a steep fall. Give me the sales pitch!

Jeff: You mean sell you on the 15th-ranked player in Yahoo! last year? Sure, my pleasure. Murphy averaged a 14.3 and 11.8 in 34 minutes per game, and that alone should have him near the top of the rankings, but he canned 2.2 threes per game and shot 47.5 percent from the floor and 82.6 from the line. And I’ve seen nothing – no, not Tyler Hansbrough – that Indiana has done to their roster that will preclude Murphy from playing the same amount of minutes in the same type of role this year. He’s their sturdiest big man, is eligible at center in many leagues, and the return to health of Danny Granger can only open up more set shots for Murphy. Yes, last year looks like an outlier, but I think Murphy has found a groove. He’s finally rebounding like he can, and he’s even more of a bonus in leagues that count turnovers (just 1.6 per game last year). He’s definitely in the second tier of PFs after Dirk Nowitzki and Chris Bosh, but he’s on par with David West and, in my mind, he’s more dynamic and a safer bet than the other guys below him.

Tom: What can we make of the Paul MillsapCarlos Boozer time share in Utah? We know that Boozer is likely gone from Utah next season since they extended Millsap to a long-term contract. So, do the Jazz owe it to Boozer to give him 35 minutes or do they develop Millsap and give him a bulk of the minutes since he is seemingly their PF of the future?

Jeff: This is one of the true headaches for fantasy owners this preseason. Millsap is a coach, team and fan favorite in Utah and with good reason. He is one of the toughest players in the league as well as a shot of energy for the Jazz. Boozer has a better offensive repertoire, but as you said his days in Utah are numbered. With Boozer in a lame duck year, Millsap is a must-draft, as Carlos is prone to exaggerating injuries for dramatic effect when things aren’t going his way. That said, Boozer is likely to start and you’ll see a three-man rotation up front with these two and Mehmet Okur in the PF and C spots. I expect Boozer’s typical numbers to dip slightly and Millsap to fall to more of the 13 and 8 range, with potential for much more, obviously, should Boozer get hurt or traded.

Tom: How much confidence do you have in Elton Brand? I see that you have him ranked 9th on your list, but is it more that you are underwhelmed by the forwards behind him or is that you have faith in Brand this season?

Jeff: Brand’s in about the right spot for me. I would try to wait to get him, but he’s in line for a similar season as Boozer with the added bonus of some blocks. Brand is going to have to fit in with the Sixers this year, and his health is always a concern, but I am confident that he will approach a 17 and 8 if not better than that with over a block a game and decent percentages. There’s some risk here, but he’s up a few spots in this list because shot blocking is at a premium in fantasy leagues, especially at this point in the power forward rankings.

Tom Lorenzo and Jeff Andriesse will break down the Center 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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