Tag Archives: George Hill

Damn Lies Fantasy Preview: San Antonio Spurs

The beginning of the final verse of Frank Sinatra‘s “My Way” perfectly encapsulates the 2010-11 San Antonio Spurs: “And now, the end is near, and so I face, the final curtain.”  It’s been a great run, but this is one old team.  Timmy Duncan, fantasy legend and one of the greatest power forwards of all time, is 34 going on 70.  Manu Ginobili is listed at 33, but has felt the impact of the Medicare donut hole.  Tony Parker Longoria is only 28 but with Abe Vigoda‘s ankles.  I won’t even get into Richard Jefferson and Antonio McDyess.

 

Getting up there in age, Manu Ginobili is trying anything to cover up his bald spot.

 

While things have been looking kinda bleak since being bounced in the second-round of the ’09-10 playoffs by the Suns, something funny happened on the way to the Alamodome.  Reinforcements, namely George Hill, DeJuan Blair and Tiago Splitter, have rejuvenated hope in Southern Texas, and the Spurs may just have one final run left in them.  Duncan has fallen off the last few years, but still produced 17.9 points, 10.1 rebounds, a surprising 3.2 assists and 1.5 blocks and should come somewhat close to repeating those numbers this season.  No longer a high fantasy pick, you’ll still get value out of the future hall-of-famer in the late third/early fourth round.  I’m sure I’ll pass on him as much as I’m sure that I’ll regret it.

LIES
Word to the wise: Never count Ginobili out.  For my money this is one of the 10 best shooting guards in my lifetime and a multi-category beast.  I would have donated a kidney if it meant the Knicks would sign him, just to change the organization’s culture.  He is passionate about winning and despite the injuries and the proclivity to produce more off the bench, keep those 16 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.5 steals and nearly 2.0 threes per game in mind in the eighth round or so.  Parker was crushed by injuries last season and was never able to get it going.  His lack of steals and inability to knock down the three keeps him as a better point guard in real life than in fantasy, but he ain’t half bad.  He’ll make up for the those categories by being one of a handful of lead guards capable of shooting 50 percent from the field (.490 career), and is an injury to Duncan away from becoming more aggressive on the offensive end.  Don’t forget when this happened in ’08-09, and Parker was dropping 30 a game like it was nobody’s business.

DAMN LIES
Ready to take on a much larger role this season is Hill, who will likely be involved in an even minutes split with Parker and Ginobili.  The third-year man is loaded and a solid sleeper this season, especially given the injury history of his backcourt mates.  I think I’m going to casually look his way in the 12th or 13th round and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him finish the year averaging 14 points and 4-5 assists with decent threes and steals.  Jefferson is an interesting case.  Like Parker, he has always been a better real-life player than a fantasy one.  He didn’t seem to fit in at all last year and his numbers (12.3, 4.4, 2.0) suffered.  I think he is a bounceback candidate, but won’t do enough to warrant consideration before the  13th round.  Even though he will probably not start, I will take a look at Blair long before Jefferson.  Per minute, the beast from Pitt is one of the top rebounders in the league and his field goal percentage should be sublime.  Not only would Parker reap the benefits of a Duncan injury, Blair is capable of physically decimating his opponents with more court time.  If the Splitter thing doesn’t work out, I’d like to see Duncan slide to center and Blair start at PF.

STATISTICS
Speaking of the 6-11 Splitter, he comes to the Spurs already polished, having played professionally in Spain, where he was League MVP in ’09-10. The Brazilian is expected to share minutes in the middle with McDyess, but should prove the more worthy of a larger role as the season progresses.  Tough to say where he should be drafted, but my guess is that he’ll be a solid third center and a nice mid-to-late round grab.  McDyess has battled injuries most of the past 10 years and has admirably continued to produce.  He just doesn’t belong on fantasy rosters anymore.

DEPT CHART
PG: Tony Parker, George Hill
SG: Manu Ginobili, James Anderson
SF: Richard Jefferson, Matt Bonner
PF: Tim Duncan, DeJuan Blair
C: Tiago Splitter, Antonio McDyess

Up Next: Oklahoma City

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Daily Lies & Statistics: The Bucks Don’t Stop Here

It was a miserable weekend of fantasy playoff basketball for many as several players bid adieu to the 2009-10 season, the most notable of which was Andrew Bogut. The seven-foot Aussie suffered a gruesome fall against the Suns on Saturday and was diagnosed with a partially dislocated right elbow, a sprained wrist and a broken hand, the combination of which should put an end to his tremendous campaign.

Bogut's done for the year. Time to bring back Mokeski on a 10-day contract?

Easily the most effective player on the up-and-coming Bucks, the loss of Bogut will likely put the kibosh on any plans they had of upsetting the Hawks or Celtics in the opening round of the playoffs, something that wasn’t so far-fetched three days ago. But at closer inspection, the Bucks have also been doing it with defense and outstanding team chemistry, and although they will not get out of the first round, they will still give either of those teams a run for their money. Kurt Thomas, who turned 56 last week, will probably receive additional minutes in Bogut’s stead, but the talented and hard-nosed Ersan Ilyasova should also see extra daylight and will be a fine start over the final two weeks.

The pivot hasn’t been the place to be of late as Marc Gasol (neck) and Spencer Hawes (left knee) have also called it a season. Hasheem Thabeet could do his best Brittney Griner impression the last two weeks for the Grizzlies and Jason Thompson should move back in to the Kings’ starting lineup and be a double-double fiend.

The Spurs have been revving up for the playoffs and took it to the Lakers, 100-81, in the Staples Center on Sunday. The win keeps them in seventh place and a game ahead of Portland in hopes of avoiding Kobe and the Kobettes in the opening round. Despite the loss, the Lakers got a nice little effort out of Pau Gasol as he finished with 32 points (13-20 fg), seven rebounds, six assists, three blocks and two steals. But far be it from Basketball Zeus to defer to the dominant Spaniard. Instead he misfired on 16 of his 24 attempts to register an inefficient 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Oh, and he was dominated by Manu Ginobili, who recorded 32 points, five rebounds and five assists.

The San Antonio celebration was a bit subdued as second-year point guard George Hill left the arena on crutches. With Tony Parker‘s status for the remainder of the Desperate Housewives season in doubt, the Spurs may have to turn to Ginobili to run the point and have Roger Mason take over at shooting guard.

It was a wild weekend in the NBA, highlighted by a ridiculous performance by the Knicks’ David Lee. The free agent became the first player since Kareem Abdul Jabbar in the 1976-77 campaign to post a 30-20-10 as he finished with 37 points (14-24 fg), 20 rebounds and 10 assists against Golden State. To be fair to those who accomplished the feat before him, the Warriors had a season ticket holder and two small children in the starting lineup. Lee followed up his breathtaking outing with a mere 29-10-4 in a win last night at the Clip joint.

The Wizards won for the first time since the Reagan administration, defeating the Nets on Sunday, 109-99. As long as his 12-38 shooting in two games over the weekend didn’t kill you, Andray Blatche probably won a few fantasy basketball championships with his 19.0-point, 11.0-rebound, 10.0-assist averages.

To those of you who took a chance on Mike Miller‘s four-game week, congratulations. He delivered 18.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists and knocked down 1.2 threes per game.

The real Joakim Noah returned to action on Saturday and posted 11 points, 16 rebounds and a couple of blocks. Noah, who has missed much of the last two months with plantar fasciitis, logged his most minutes (29) since his return. Plug him in to your lineup for the final period.

For those of you who played against Dwyane Wade this weekend, I’m truly sorry. Despite going through an ugly divorce, Wade still put up a 43-9-6 with three blocks and three steals in a win at Indiana on Friday and came through with 39 points, eight boards and six assists in a victory at Minnesota on Saturday. He also shot a blistering 59 percent (29-49) from the field while giving hope to miserable men everywhere.

I’d like to give a Damn Lies congratulations to Scottie Pippen, Karl Malone, the late Dennis Johnson and all others who were voted into the Naismith Hall of Fame this weekend. Remember, all of you Jordan derriere smoochers out there, that His Airness went several years without a title until Pippen and his suffocating defense arrived in Chi-town.

There are only 10 days left in the regular season, but nary a game tonight. There are four teams – Dallas, Denver, Utah, Phoenix – tied for the No. 2 spot in the West and there are just three games separating No. 2 through No. 7.

Best of luck as we head down the home stretch.


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: Nobody Puts J.J. in the Corner

The Cavaliers made it 1-0 without their effervescent big man last night, embarrassing the Knicks 124-93. The final score wasn’t even indicative of the hideousness of the New York effort. If the teams were wearing generic jerseys and I said that it was the ’92 Dream Team against Liechtenstein, it would have been believable.

Earlier in the year, I predicted that Boston would squeak by the Cavs on its way to the NBA Finals. With Shaq out for the rest of the regular season and hopefully limited in the playoffs I can again root for Cleveland to go the distance. And go the distance it will with the rugged Anderson Varejao (14 pts, 10 reb, 2 bk, 16 min last night) and the young and improving J.J. Hickson (17 pts, 9 reb, 6-7 fg, 2 bk) sharing the pivot. They remind me of the Davis boys in Indiana in the mid-90s and are both worthy of being picked up in fantasy leagues… Hickson and Varejao that is as the Davises are probably in their mid-40s.

"Put me in, Coach, I'm ready to play."

Why this organization thought Shaq was the answer in the offseason is beyond me. This team is winning with chemistry and defense, and they happen to be very well-coached by their 25-year old small forward.

I, for one, will be pulling for the Cadavers to win the whole enchilada. Though as a Knicks fan I know it will take every ounce of restraint from LeBron to not tell a throng of 1.5 million at their victory parade that they will be back next season to repeat.

Lately, I’ve been singing the praises of the upstart Milwaukee Bucks to anyone within earshot. This team has about as much talent as the Pittsburgh Pythons, but they are getting it done with toughness and defense and won’t be an easy out in the playoffs. Andrew Bogut has been a top 5 center both in fantasy and real-life this season and he is being supported by defensive stalwarts Luc Richard-whatever and Ersan Ilyasova. This team has not felt the effects of the crooked-shooting Brandon Jennings, nor the loss of the chucking Michael Redd.

Ok, enough preaching. On to the Damn performances:

Bill Walker (21 pts, 5 reb, 9-14 fg, 2-5 3-pt fg) – I just love this guy’s name. There were 37 Bills in the league in the 80s, but since Medical Bill Cartwright announced his retirement from swinging ‘bows, I believe Mr. Walker is the first to carry the Bill torch. Regardless, he’s got pretty good skills and could see a decent amount of run the rest of the way. An injury to, let’s say Damn Lies favorite Tracy McGrady, could open the door for Walker to help steal a few championships for his owners.

Jrue Holiday (23 pts, 6 ast, 9-13 fg, 5-6 3-pt fg, 2 st) – The intriguing Holiday has shared the spotlight with the equally intriguing Lou Wiliams (13 pts, 5 reb, 7 ast) of late and could be a fine addition for the final six weeks of the season. Holiday is more of a true point guard and should put up some decent assist numbers. With Allen Iverson done for the year, don’t forget about the Philly backcourt.

George Hill (23 pts, 9-13 fg, 3-4 3-pt fg, 2 bk) – Even with Tony Parker‘s perpetual day-to-day status, this blogger has been pushing owners to nab the talented Hill for weeks. Over his last five contests, he has averaged 18.2 points and 1.8 threes in nearly 40 minutes per game. He can play both the one and the two and Parker’s return shouldn’t affect him too much.

Marcus Thornton (30 pts, 7 reb, 12-19 fg, 6-7 3-pt fg) – I debated picking up Thornton or C.J. Watson yesterday and decided on the guy who didn’t erupt for 30 points and six threes. Thornton has been silly of late, averaging 26.2 points and 2.8 threes over his last five. He still comes off the bench but plays starter’s minutes. He should no longer be available.

Taj Gibson (11 pts, 13 reb, 3 ast, 1 bk) – Here’s another young player who should have been scooped up a few weeks ago. Gibson is as tough as they come and has made the most of Joakim Noah‘s absence. Noah will remain out or at least limited for a while, but regardless, Gibson seems to have solidified his position in the Bulls frontcourt. Solid rebounding and blocks digits await.

Nicolas Batum (21 pts, 7-11 fg, 4-7 3-pt fg, 1 bk) – Dare I even say that we have to keep a good eye on Batum? He tallied 31 points with five threes on Saturday and followed it up with a 21-point, four 3-pointer effort in last night’s win over the fading Grizzlies. He has stolen all of Martell Webster‘s minutes and may be worth a flyer.

Rasual Butler (13 pts, 3 reb, 2 ast) – Butler stunk up the clip joint last night, but he is starting and for some unknown reason is playing big minutes for the Clips, while the more talented Travis Outlaw languishes on the bench. For the time being, Butler is worth a look, but he should peak in the rearview mirror.

Drew Gooden (19 pts, 11 reb, 6-9 fg, 1 bk) – Gooden’s city-to-city tour can rival Madonna’s as he continues to get it done on the glass, regardless of his situation. He has found his way into the starting unit and will continue to post decent scoring and blocks totals along with big-time boards.

Only four games on the board tonight, including Warriors at Heat. These are two teams heading nowhere, but I’m excited to see what the combination of Stephen Curry and Watson will accomplish with four games this week. Considering the fact that I have Watson and Jeff has Curry, probably very little.


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