Tag Archives: J.J. Hickson

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

Fox Unbalanced: Run, Blake, Run!

Forrest realizes he got all that way and forgot to set his fantasy basketball lineup.

As we near the midway point of the NBA season, a few things are becoming clear. First, I have about as much luck in fantasy basketball as Major Summerford did in life. Second, those of you who were wise enough to draft Knicks are being handsomely rewarded with some pretty stupid numbers, reminiscent of the 1980s Nuggets of English, Issel and Vandeweghe. Third, Blake Griffin is already a top 10 player. Maybe not yet in fantasy as his blocks (0.6), steals (0.7) and free throw percentage (.609) are still below par, but in real life he is probably already bordering on top five. He simply outworks, out-toughs and out-jumps everyone in the Milky Way galaxy. After sitting out his true rookie year with your basic, everyday busted kneecap, he’s somehow better than ever. He almost has the same look a young Forrest Gump had when he first broke free from his leg braces. He is also the most marketable dude to come along in quite a while and could help vault the league run by David Stern and the Sternettes to its greatest heights since the Bird/Magic era.

This is also the time of year when fantasy teams that have collapsed in the standings begin to disintegrate and are never heard from again. Those with itchy trigger fingers who have bookmarked DamnLiesAndStats.com and have a little extra time on their hands can beat their competition to the waiver wire punch. Players are dropping like flies as in the past two weeks Anderson Varejao and Caron Butler have been lost for the season, while Marcus Camby and Mo Williams have no set timetables for their returns.

Let’s take a look at some of the hottest pickups of late and a few others who should have a little notice paid to them, including the cousin of a man they used to call Vinsanity. Continue reading

Damn Lies Fantasy Preview: Cleveland Cavaliers

There’s nothing much to say about these Cavaliers that will cheer them up. They are the team that stopped showering, won’t leave the house and is binging on Mocha Almond Fudge every night. It was a rough summer. Can they heal from The Incision in time for the season? Fantasy owners want to know; specifically, we want to know where we should draft these fragile wrecks.


We are all witnesses to a very public breakup.


The Heartless Bastard’s departure actually opens up some intriguing fantasy possibilities. Mo Williams has been a little weepy lately but if his feelings don’t get in the way he could be a tremendous value. Williams could either lift his game to another level or wilt into a puddle this year. If he gives you 18 points, a couple of threes and five assists while shooting close to 90 percent from the line, it isn’t crazy to consider him in the fourth round. Antawn Jamison is back in his comfort zone as a top offensive option on a team that isn’t very good. Jamison is a defensive liability but he could definitely put up 20 points a game. He’ll challenge Williams for leading scorer, perhaps at small forward as Cleveland wants to see what they have in J.J. Hickson.

Hickson is a nice sleeper this year if he secures the starting power forward spot. He averaged 8.5 points and 4.9 boards last year in 21 minutes per contest, and in a full-time role we’re thinking he’ll max out at about 14-15 points and 7-9 boards. If he can block one shot a game that would be nice, but he isn’t the most dynamic fantasy performer. Consider him as one of your first reserves at forward. Anderson Varejao will also have every chance to star this year. Varejao is a perfect complementary player but the Cavs will need a little more from him in every area. He can certainly approach a double-double every game, along with a block, a steal and a solid field goal percentage. Consider him a No. 2 center, a poor man’s Joakim Noah who should be targeted around the ninth or tenth round.

The Cavs only added one impact player in the offseason, old fantasy friend Ramon Sessions. Sessions is a pretty good pickup for them as they clearly need players who can create their own shots. Sessions could conceivably share the backcourt with Williams, so watch this carefully. If he plays 30 or more minutes he’s a decent fantasy guard. What we’ll probably see is the underwhelming Anthony Parker at shooting guard and either Jamario Moon or Jamison starting at the ‘3’. I wouldn’t draft Parker or Moon until late, and would much rather prefer to make them prove they have a role and taking either on the waiver wire if need be. Joey Graham will also battle for playing time. If you are looking for a deep flier, keep an eye on Ryan Hollins, the backup center. Varejao has been dinged up this summer, and Hollins has some length and a decent motor.

PG – Mo Williams, Ramon Sessions
SG – Anthony Parker, Daniel Gibson
SF – Antawn Jamison, Jamario Moon
PF – J.J. Hickson, Leon Powe
C – Anderson Varejao, Ryan Hollins

Up Next: San Antonio Spurs

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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.

Fantasy Basketball Roundtable: Change is a good thing

This is a fun week for NBA fans as Thursday’s 3 p.m. EST trade deadline approaches. Not an hour goes by without four or five juicy trade rumors firing through cyberspace, and I can’t speak for my fellow fantasy scribes but I fear I might crash Twitter’s servers all by myself.

For fantasy owners, particularly those still in contention for a championship, the highs of following trade rumors are often juxtaposed with the fear that any deal made will adversely affect one of your own guys. If you have Corey Maggette, for instance, you can’t be thrilled about the prospects of a trade to Cleveland, where he’d be forced to defend and fit in with a deep group of guards, with no minutes available at the small forward spot (currently occupied by… let me check my depth charts… oh yeah, LeBron James).

LeBron is one of the busiest GMs in the league this time of year.

For those of you (notice I didn’t say “us”) who prefer their glasses half full, trades can sometimes help. For every guy who loses value, someone else gains, right? Not necessarily, but if you are carrying, say, DeAndre Jordan, he’s all-of-a-sudden a sneaky value play the rest of the way with the Clippers moving Marcus Camby to Portland.

We’ve heard numerous names bandied about in the past few weeks, and as we’re right up against the deadline, we polled some fantasy basketball writers as to their thoughts on the deadline and which players they think could benefit, fantasy-wise, from a change of scenery.

Participating this week are:

Ryan Lester, LestersLegends.com
Brian Spencer, Empty the Bench
Tommy Beer, Hoopsworld
Patrick Madden, Give Me the Rock
Tom Lorenzo, Damn Lies & Statistics blogger and RotoExperts.com Fantasy Basketball Editor

THE QUESTION: Out of the many names being bandied about in rumors, who do you think could/will benefit the most from a change of scenery from a fantasy perspective?

Josh Howard
Not all trades are made equal. For example, it’s hard to imagine Antawn Jamison‘s fantasy value not taking a hit if the rumors of a deal to the Celtics came to fruition. The move would be about bolstering the Celtics’ lineup, and I’m sure Jamison wouldn’t mind giving up some of his production to actually be on a team with a chance.

On the flip side, a player a player who was just dealt to the Wizards should see his value soar. Of course I’m talking about Dallas’ Josh Howard. His minutes are down with the Mavs this year and his overall production is worse than even his rookie season. Safe to say he’s worn out his welcome in Big D. Washington, however should welcome him with open arms. He gives them a versatile scorer, capable of scoring both inside and outside. Sometimes a change of scenery is what a player needs to clear his mind and start fresh. Under Flip Saunders I expect an increase in points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, and three-pointers. I would expect his shooting percentage to increase as well.
-Ryan Lester

J.J. Hickson
Since he seems to be the one Cleveland Cavaliers trade chip that’s being eyed in terms of actual on-court value, not just an expiring contract, J.J. Hickson is a guy to scoop up as a speculative add before the Cavs make their move. Whether he ultimately goes to Washington in a deal for Antawn Jamison, to Phoenix in the long-rumored Amare ‘Stoudemire blockbuster, or to another dark horse lurking in the background, he’s likely going to step right into the starting lineup and get big minutes from here on out.

Hickson has emerged this season as a borderline add in deep leagues for fantasy owners in need of a moderate boost in points, boards, and field-goal percentage. Over his last five games, the 19th-overall pick of the ’08 draft has averaged 13 points and 5 boards on 60% shooting: modest numbers, sure, but he’s doing it in just 20 minutes a night, and his game seems to be improving, along with his confidence, each step of the way.

While more minutes should naturally lead to more points and boards, most are waiting to see where else he can contribute given the chance. He’s only averaging 0.3 assists, 0.4 steals, and 0.4 blocks per so far this season, but we’ve all seen what skilled players can do on bad teams offering ample opportunity for production. I expect at least a semi-significant uptick in all three categories if/once he’s moved, and when that happens he’ll be giving fantasy teams a nice boost down the stretch.
-Brian Spencer

Antawn Jamison
I think the player who would benefit in a big way from a trade would be Antawn Jamison. For weeks now, it has been rumored than Jamison may get dealt to the Cavs, as Cleveland looks to build a championship team around LeBron. From a reality standpoint, I think it is a great move for Cleveland. From a fantasy perspective, I think it hurts Jamison’s roto value.

In Cleveland, the Cavs play at a slower pace than Flip Saunders offense. Moreover, Jamison will defer to LeBron, and sometime to Shaq. I think Antawn’s shot attempts will decrease, which is never a good thing. In
addition, the Cavs are one of the league’s best rebounding teams. That means there will be fewer boards for Jamison to corral. However, one positive may be a bump up in three-pointers and FG%, as Jamison will benefit from teams collapsing on LeBron and James kicking it out to an open Antawn.
-Tommy Beer

Tyrus Thomas
If you’re looking for a man in need of a change of scenery, look no further than Tyrus Thomas. The Bulls forward has been jerked around by the team since he was drafted and has responded back in kind, with long stretches of uninspired play and well documented tirades aimed at Vinny Del Negro. But through his mostly disappointing run with the Bulls, we seen flashes of the player he could become. An example: over the Bulls’ last two games, with the team attempting to showcase him for a trade, Thomas has averaged 13.5 points, 7 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 2 blocks in 30+ minutes a game.

The Bulls are including Thomas in just about every Bulls trade rumor that crops up, including the latest move to acquire Tracy McGrady and his expiring contract. The Spurs are also said to be making a play for Thomas. Wherever he lands, simply stepping away from the baggage that surrounds him in Chicago and starting anew will likely mean more motivated play from Thomas on a night-to-night basis. And if he lands on a team like The Rockets or Spurs where he could potentially start, look for Thomas to have a monster finish to this season.
-Patrick Madden

Tyrus Thomas
Call it puppy love, or call it “nasty” love. Whatever you may want to call it, I still can’t seem to escape my infatuation with Tyrus Thomas. And for this exercise I can’t help but think that a change of scenery may do him some good. We’ve seen Thomas approach Josh Smith levels in the past, especially on the defensive side of the ball. In fact, Thomas has better per 36 numbers on defense with 1.6 steals and 2.4 blocks per game over his career as compared to 1.2 steals and 2.4 blocks for Smith. Right now, Thomas just isn’t getting the opportunity to put his best foot forward in Chicago. The rumor-mill has the Knicks, Rockets, Spurs, and Nuggets as some of the teams who are interested in Thomas. Go to all four teams! Thomas is such a great athlete he could probably be in four places at once. OK, now I just trended back into nasty love. Being available in 45 percent of Yahoo! leagues, the right move could give plenty of owners an opportunity to pick up, at the very least, a guy who can give you 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks. That would be huge down the stretch.
-Tom Lorenzo

Some interesting choices here, particularly the infuriating Thomas. I own him in one league and have added about six religions to my repertoire to increase my praying power and cover all my bases in hopes of a fantasy-friendly destination for Thomas first, with eternal salvation second, time permitting.

Jamison probably spends his evenings drinking and playing with ESPN’s Trade Machine, he’s been mentioned so much. I’d be shocked if he was still in Washington by Thursday, and both Boston and Cleveland will probably make strong pushes for him in the coming hours.

Other names who could get moved or come close to it: Stoudemire, Nate Robinson, McGrady, Kirk Hinrich, Al Harrington, Kevin Martin, and numerous dark horse candidates such as anyone wearing a Pistons jersey (including fans).

The Fantasy Roundtable is a weekly meeting of the minds featuring many of the top fantasy hoops bloggers and writers on the web. Check back each week for new analysis at any of the sites listed above.

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