Tag Archives: Danilo Gallinari

Moving Without: Is Kyle Lowry The Fantasy Hoops MVP?

We’re just about one month into the NBA season, so it’s time for us to get an jump naming an early front-runner for the Most Valuable Fantasy baller. Of course it’s no real surprise to see that Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Love and LeBron James are among the top four players in the game, as we approach the one-month mark of the season. But there are also some less than familiar names in the Top 10, including Danilo Gallinari, Ryan Anderson and, yes, Kyle Lowry. Of course you can make the case that anyone of the top four superstars are in fact all MVP-worthy, but I think the case has to be made that it’s Lowry, who was drafted in the 4th or 5th round in most cases, is the early favorite for the Fantasy Hoops MVP.

The case for Lowry takes a hit in 9-category leagues, thanks to his coughing up 3.4 turnovers per game. You also have a legitimate beef in complaining about his 42.9 FG%. But, outside of those two deficiencies, you have to consider what Lowry has done to place himself among the top five players in the game, 15 games into the season.

First, you love the fact that he’s third in the league in FT shooting (90.2%), among those taking at least 4.0 attempts per game. He’s 7th in the NBA in threes made (2.1 per), first among all guards in rebounds per game (6.6), third in the league in assists (8.7), fifth in steals (2.2) and he’s scoring a career-best 17.3 points per game. Those are fantastic numbers. Again, you can make the case that Kobe, LeBron, K-Love and Durant have all been more valuable, but relative to where Lowry was drafted, it’s hard not to give him the nod here. And the best part is, there’s no reason to believe that he’s going to slow down anytime soon. So, don’t “sell high” on him. Just sit back and enjoy the ride!

Let’s take a look at some other pressing NBA news, shall we?
Continue reading

RotoExperts Draft Kit: Top 25 Small Forwards

Durant edges LeBron as the NBA's top flag football player

From the RotoExperts 2011-12 NBA Draft Kit

These rankings were written on Dec. 16 and published a day later. Derrick Williams is flying up draft boards, while Corey Maggette has been available late. Andrei Kirilenko’s future remains cloudy; rumors persist that he will sign with New Jersey but nothing is official yet. Austin Daye looked strong in the Pistons’ first exhibition game and has more upside than Tayshaun Prince. Watch that situation closely. 

Positional eligibility is important to consider when building your Fantasy basketball team. The top sites usually vary in terms of positional leniency, and the games played at a position is much foggier than in, say, Fantasy Baseball. For the purposes of the RotoExperts Top 25 positional rankings, we limited players to one list only; namely, the position they play most of the time. Under these circumstances, the small forward position is very top-heavy, with stars like LeBron James and Kevin Durant heading the list. The talent drops off significantly, so it is crucial that, depending on your league’s positional rules, you check to see what shooting guards and power forwards could also slot into your SF spot.

In general, drafting based on positional depth is a solid strategy, and true small forwards and true centers are in shorter supply this season than the three other positions. It’s just something to keep in mind while you are drafting; it might be a good idea to get one of the top SFs on this list before it’s too late.

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



1. Kevin Durant, OKC

Projected Stats: 28.6 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 2.7 APG, 2.0 3FG, 1.1 SPG, 1.0 BPG, 2.9 TO, 46.5 FG%, 89.6 FT%

He’s Fantasy Basketball’s 1A to LeBron’s 1B. Who you choose comes down to, perhaps, personal preference (do you dislike rooting for LeBron because of “The Decision”?) or, if you are a cold and calculating Fantasy player, or league format. In rotisserie scoring, Durant is the clear No. 1 overall pick because of his incredible free throw percentage at such a high volume. In H2H formats, it is more of a toss-up. Durant turns it over less than LeBron, has that better free throw percentage, and even bests him in blocks. He’s also easier to root for. There’s your tiebreaker! Continue reading

Wilson, Damn: NBA Players in China Could Be Stuck There Until March

Some interesting and important news for fantasy owners to take into account when working on their draft cheat sheets (and you ARE working on your cheat sheets, right? RIGHT?): According to Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Chinese Basketball Association is not going to let NBA players out of their contracts, and thus restrict players such as Wilson Chandler and J.R. Smith from playing in the NBA until March, when the Chinese season ends.

Chandler, Smith, Kenyon Martin and Aaron Brooks are the relevant names in China right now. Brooks curiously signed his deal on Nov. 17, and is now stuck. Chandler and Brooks are currently under contract with the Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns, respectively, while Smith and Martin are unrestricted free agents. Continue reading

2011-12 Damn Mock I: Sixth Round

Teams are starting to take shape as we head to the sixth round. There looks like some pretty nice values flying off the board here, whether it be high-upside guys like DeMarcus Cousins and Ty Lawson, or old standbys like Tim Duncan. These middle rounds of the draft is where one grabs the players they feel most comfortable with, players they think will break out, or players that fit in snugly on their current squad. No matter how you analyze it, there’s no denying that drafting is a fluid exercise, especially if you pee with joy when someone you targeted falls to you. The Damn Lies editorial board recommends comfortable adult diapers. Email us for our favorite brands.

The rules: 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.



61. Team 12 (Tom) – Luis Scola – Now what I really need here is an efficient big man who posts a low turnover rate. That’s just who Scola is. He can rebound (8.2), score (18.3) and his percentages (50.4 FG%, 73.8 FT%) are what the Lorenzo ordered. His defense is soft, but with Josh Smith (blocks), Nene (steals and blocks) and Jennings/Evans (steals) already rostered, I can afford to add a talent like Scola.  Continue reading

I’ll Be Damned: Carmelo Anthony is a Knick

A group of guys that is slowly starting to make me root for the owners this offseason.

Carmelo Anthony. Just seeing that name in print triggers an attack on my nervous system even an alarming amount of beer can’t cure, and believe me I’ve experimented. He’s everywhere. Everything’s “Melo”. Melo this, Melo that. And now that we’ve gone through an All-Star Break of Melo Mania, with four straight days without a real NBA game, I’ve had it. Melo has harshed my mellow.

Well, he’s now a Knick. Finally. Shamefully (really, did he want to get his cash that badly that he made NY trade away all of their assets?). And he’ll probably praise himself at his press conference for how he handled all of this.

How I handled all of this was similar to how I handle a day-long hangover, which is writhing around in bed and finally forcing myself to vomit. Only this was every day for like six months.

We can finally vomit. Here are the specific chunks:

The Knicks get Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter, Renaldo Balkman and Corey Brewer. The Nuggets get Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov and Donnie Walsh hiding in the luggage compartment. The Timberwolves get Anthony Randolph, the right to negotiate with Ricky Rubio over ice cream, cash, and Eddy Curry‘s body for medical research. In a widely-unreported off-shoot of the blockbuster, Damn Lies & Statistics blogger Tom Lorenzo, a long-time Gallinari shill, has been traded to the alternative Denver-area publication Rocky Mountain High, where he will cover Gallinari full-time, probably literally. In return, we receive an ounce of the copy desk’s finest “bubbly” and cash considerations, pending a Lorenzo physical.

Let’s examine the fantasy fallout (grades based on a five-Melohead system, five being the best fantasy situation). Continue reading

Damn Lies Midseason Report: Atlantic Division

A cheap ploy for us to get page views, and Nets forward Kris Humphries.

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.

I’ll start with the Atlantic Division, and we’ll have a new division per day. Enjoy! Continue reading

Fox Unbalanced: Courting Carmelo

Two guys who won't be able to go back to Denver.

I’ve never been known to have any real faith. I go to church once a year, been to temple twice in the last 30, and the last time I was in the vicinity of a mosque the alarms went off. Here is the short list of the things I do have faith in: that the earth will continue to rotate around its axis and not hurtle towards the sun; that my hiatal hernia will continue to contribute to my heinous acid reflux; that my four-month old German Shepherd will continue to make pee-pees on my 130-year old wood floors; and that Donnie Walsh is smart enough not to part ways with any combination of Landry Fields, Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari in a deal with Denver that lands him Carmelo Anthony.

The Knicks have a good thing going right now and for their current chemistry to be messed with, they’d be taking a big gamble. Even though my eyes are bleeding from watching my own fantasy team, I still have enough vision to know that Anthony is not the piece to put them over the top. He is a great offensive talent, arguably the top inside-outside threat in the game. I also know that he is clearly better than either of the three guys linked in the trade… whatever.

Talent alone doesn’t put a team in the upper echelon… defense, toughness, smarts and chemistry do. The Knicks can score with anyone and are playing some pretty underrated defense right now and Fields, Chandler and Gallinari are a big part of that. New York needs an Anderson Varejao, or a DeAndre Jordan, or a Nene, some modern day version of Charles Oakley, sans the long-range marksmanship, to co-exist with Amare Stoudemire up front. They are being linked right now to Jordan and Marc Gasol, two solid fits.

Whomever Carmelo goes to will likely see him immediately ink a long-term extension as labor negotiations this summer could change the league’s financial landscape.  An Anthony deal is going to happen before the end of the month as he has become a dead man walking in the Rocky Mountains. Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov will do what he has to do to get him to board a plane to Newark, despite Melo’s claim that he only wants to run with Mike D’Antoni’s club. Let’s see how this would shake out for each player involved from a fantasy perspective. Continue reading

Fox Unbalanced: Studs and Duds

We’re nine days in to the season and I’m already trying to figure out how I’m going to make it through the final 165.  In his column last week, Jeff implored us to chill out as it was very early and stats are amplified or de-amplified at this stage.  The questions I have for Mr. Andriesse are as follows:  Do you sir, in any of your 37 leagues, own Stephen Curry? Do you have rights to Zach Randolph?  Did you start Austin Daye in week one?  Did you start the putrid Danny Granger (2-14 fg) in a two-game week two?  Did you insert Nene this period?  If you answered yes to any of these, then by all means, join me at the foot of the George Washington Bridge. As the fateful owner of all five, I envision several more nights sleeping in the dumbwaiter, clear of my wife’s airborne needlepoint tools.

John Wall's fantasy owners getting a little too arrogant? Show them this photo.

While things haven’t gone as planned thus far for your friendly, unbalanced neighborhood scribe, it has been quite a first nine days.  Allow me to highlight some surprising value picks as well as a few dudes who have made fantasy owners shriek in horror.  Either that or I’ll just post a link to my team.


John Wall, PG, WAS (23.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 10.3 apg, 4.0 spg, .462 fg, .778 ft, 2-3 3-pt fg, 4.7 to)
Welcome to the Association of Basketball Professionals Mr. Wall.  I congratulate those who gobbled him up in the third round or later as this could be the only year in the next 12 that he is not first-round material. Through three games he is averaging stupid numbers and despite an unsightly 4.7 turnovers per contest, is on the brink of fantasy superstardom. Tuesday’s 29-point, 13-assist, 9-steal extravaganza was a thing to behold, something i haven’t beheld in a long time. A sign of things to come for the lightning-quick rook. Continue reading

Damn Lies Fantasy Preview: New York Knicks


Greg hasn't handled being a Knick fan very well in recent years.


I’m a little embarrassed to admit how long I’ve been following the Knicks.  As a hint, when I was barely able to whine about my favorite teams I remember hearing on the radio that Dave DeBusschere broke his nose in a game and thinking that his nose was no longer attached to his face.  I’ve been following for so long that there is no need for me to look up the correct spelling of DeBusschere.

While the last decade has deterred even the staunchest of Knicks fans, I am looking forward to the 2010-11 version.  I really have no clue as to how Mike D’Antoni is going to use his bizarre roster, which is now filled with too many capable swing players and a few Golden State castoffs.  New York made three big moves in the offseason, signing America’s favorite semite, Amar’e Stoudemire, to a max contract, then flipping studly David Lee for Anthony Randolph, Ronny Turiaf and Kelenna Azubuike, then finally corralling Ray Felton from Charlotte to run the point.  Straight up, I would rather have the hard-working Lee than Stoudemire.  Same goes from a fantasy perspective as Lee averaged 20.2 points, 11.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.1 steals to go along with top-shelf percentages, while Stoudemire, a first-rounder in most drafts, finished with 23.1 points, 8.9 rebounds and a disappointing 1.0 blocks.  Amare will no longer have Steve Nash at his disposal, so he may struggle to exhibit his patented “stand around and wait for his point guard to miraculously create a passing lane for him to dunk” move.

Last year, fantasy owners everywhere were frothing at the mouth at Randolph’s potential.  This year, those same owners are simply salivating as taking the long and lean Randolph is surely a crapshoot.  This is a player whose per minute numbers were staggering as he produced 11.6 points, 6.5 rebounds 1.6 blocks and 0.9 steals in 22.7 minutes of daylight.  He will likely begin the year backing up both Stoudemire and Turiaf, and even with the fickle D’Antoni at the helm, I see the 21-year old playing 23-28 minutes per game as the hard-nosed Turiaf perennially is about as healthy as Hyman Roth.  Don’t discount Turiaf in your drafts, however. He will have a chance to play consistent minutes for the first time in his career and you could garner a couple of blocks per game before he makes medical history.  Take Randolph in the seventh or eighth round and Turiaf in the latter stages.

The Knicks point guard situation has left a little to be desired the past few years.  In comes Felton, a legitimate middle-of-the-road NBA starter at the position.  I don’t expect huge totals from him, but 12.0 points, 7.0 assists and decent steals seem reasonable.  D’Antoni won’t shut out second-year man Toney Douglas, who came on strong the final 18 games of ’09-10 and averaged 14.2 points, 3.8 assists and 2.2 threes over this period.  Keep an eye on Douglas in case of an injury to Felton.

At shooting guard and small forward the Knicks have many interchangeable parts with Azubuike, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, newcomer Roger Mason and Bill Walker.  I even like rookie Andy Rautins, but he looks to be taxi-squad bound.  Azubuike is that athletic, 3-point shooting type who can excel in D’Antoni’s shoot first and ask questions later offense, but with all the congestion at his position, I wouldn’t touch him before round 11.  I expect Gallinari to go off our league’s draft board early as my Damn Lies colleague Tom is on the verge of proposing.  Even with inconsistent minutes, Gallo will knock down enough threes to help dominate the category.  He can also block a shot or two, rendering him a pretty valuable guy. I’m looking at him around the fifth or sixth round.  Chandler is a terrific athlete who does everything decently.  If he finds his way to 30 minutes a night, he could be a decent sleeper.  I’ll be staying away unless he lasts past the 11th round.  Mason and Walker are free agent fodder.

PG: Raymond Felton, Toney Douglas
SG: Kelenna Azubuike, Roger Mason
SF: Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler
PF: Amare Stoudemire, Anthony Randolph
C: Ronny Turiaf, Timofey Mozgov

Up Next: Golden State Warriors

Full Schedule

Damn Lies & Statistics: The NBA’s own BCS game — ‘Bobcats Can’t Shoot’

Sports fans were forced to make a tough decision last night. Watch the BCS title game or the early-January, regular season NBA game between the Bobcats and the Knicks. Like one or two of you, I watched the Knicks game. (I’m not a college football fan — though that doesn’t mean I won’t watch — but is it normal to want to root against Nick Saban?)

The Bobcats-Knicks game wasn’t necessarily a display of top-notch professional basketball, but it was the only one on the docket. So as far as last night is concerned, it was the game of the night! Yo V.I.P., let’s kick it…

Overall it was a bit of a struggle for each team. The Bobcats could not find the bottom of the net during long stretches throughout the first and fourth quarters. They finished the game with 93 points, hitting just 41.6-percent of their shots from the field and attempting a season-low 10 free-throw attempts.

Stephen Jackson tried his hardest to drag his team’s FG% below 40% by going 10-of-26 from the floor. Hey, he did score one point per field-goal attempt. Somebody’s impressed (Trevor Ariza?).

Gerald Wallace played all 48 minutes, though posted a quiet line with 13 points, 9 rebounds and 2 steals.

Flip Murray played 22 minutes off the bench for the Bobcats and scored 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting with four 3-pointers and a blocked shot. He does have 45 points over his last two games, but this is what Murray does. He goes on little runs like this and then hibernates for three-to-four games. I’d pass on him.

Boris Diaw finally hit the double-digit scoring mark after going 12 straight without dropping more than nine points. He posted 12 points, two 3-pointers, six assists and six rebounds, while playing some pretty inspired basketball. Can you believe it, Diaw looked like he was playing for something last night. What a sight to see.

Yes you can.

The Knicks, on the other hand, scored 97 points while making 53.4-percent of their field-goal attempts. The problem for New York was that they weren’t able to control the ball. They committed 18 turnovers, which led to the Bobcats taking 16 more field-goal attempts than the Knicks. In a game which saw seven starters play 40-plus minutes, the Knicks were able to push the pace of the game in their favor. Meaning, try and match them three-pointer for three-pointer. The Bobcats took 26 attempts from beyond the arc, their second highest total this season. In fact, Charlotte has only attempted 20 or more three-point attempts in four games this season. All four games ended in a loss for the ‘Cats. Advantage, Knicks.

Al Harrington (calf) sat out against the Bobcats. Right now he’s listed as day-today, but I’m sure we’ll find out more heading into Saturday’s game in Houston.

Danilo Gallinari drained a few three-pointers late in the fourth quarter to help the Knicks hold on to the lead. He has 96 three-pointers on the season. I’ve made it no secret how I feel about this guy. It’s been a long time since I’ve gushed over Gallinari, but with his 17 points, five 3-pointers, six rebounds, a steal and a block last night I couldn’t help myself.

Nate Robinson logged the second most minuets of any reserve on either side of the ball in this one. He posted 10 points, two rebounds, two 3-pointers, and seven turnovers in 19 minutes. He might have some explaining to do, however. I have a feeling that D’Antoni is going to highlight that “in the air” wild turnover he committed late in the game on the video reel. Let’s see what happen to his minutes on Saturday. He might get Hughes’d.

Larry Hughes sat for his third straight game — DNP-CD. Yikes. This reminds me of this friend I had in college who always had “beef” with one of the guys in our group of friends at all times. If it wasn’t me, it was someone else. But there was always someone. We had no name for it back then, but maybe I can start calling it his D’Antoni move. Well, needless to say, it seems like Hughes is getting D’Antoni’d. But after Nate’s seven turnovers, the door might open up in no time.

Not much else to talk about, so let’s lighten the mode with a few injury updates!

Carmelo Anthony (knee) is questionable for Friday. I think you’re going to have to look at other options.

Chauncey Billups (groin) is a go on Friday night. Good news! Ty Lawson (ankle), who has been more valuable than anyone would have expected as the Nuggets starting point guard, is questionable after tweaking his ankle in Tuesday’s game. That’s two strikes on Lawson. Might be time to sell on him now while you have a slight opening to do so.

Deron Williams (wrist) is also questionable, after he missed practice on Thursday. If Ronnie Price is the best option on your wires I guess you can take a flier. But I have a hard time believing that he is.

Pau Gasol (hamstring) is out Friday night. Sunday is a possibility, but I have no confidence that he will suit up. Lamar Odom is pleased. I am not. I just hope that the Lakers don’t dangle him in front of us like they did to start the season. Remember when they played the “any day now” for the first three weeks of the season? Be for real, please.

%d bloggers like this: