Tag Archives: J.R. Smith

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


Damn Lies Fantasy Hoops Show: Thanks For Nothing, NBA

As we head into Thanksgiving with no deal in sight, Jeff Andriesse and Tom Lorenzo are hopping mad at both the owners and the players, and neither can believe we’re in this position. On Tuesday night they convened for another episode of the Damn Lies Fantasy Hoops Therapy Session, er, Hoops Show and discussed the lockout and any possible ways the season could be saved. After contemplating J.R. Smith’s injury scare and moronic actions in China, Jeff and Tom decided to get all whimsical on your asses, musing on the potential 2012 free agent class. Where will Dwight Howard choose to play next summer? Chris Paul? Steve Nash? Will there even be an NBA to play in by then? Dear God/Stern: make it happen. 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!

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I’ll Be Damned: Torture Fantasy

Jeff always feels claustrophobic around the holidays.

Happy New Year! I’ve been away for a few weeks tending to matters of the holidays. While visiting family I sat down to write a column, but just when I’d begin typing everyone would enter the room and commence an intervention. It turns out I have the type of family that doesn’t appreciate me checking my phone every seven seconds for Andris Biedrins injury updates. Since I love spending time with my family, and also since they ended the intervention by placing me in an iron maiden, I haven’t been able to devote as much time to fantasy basketball as I would have liked. You’ll be glad to know that I’ve broken free of all familial obligations, however, and am back with a laser focus on fantasy hoops. The intervention worked only temporarily. Turns out I can’t do without those Biedrins updates. I NEED them Biedrins updates. Do you know a guy?

In all seriousness, I’m glad to be back. There’s nothing like the turn of a calendar year to make you take stock of yourself, by which I mean your fantasy team. Is there anything else? A man who spends more time scouring the waiver wire than grooming is a man who obviously has the rest of his life figured out. I must admit, though, that fantasy basketball often has me puzzled. Just when I think I’m out-smarting the competition, I drop a DeMarcus Cousins hours before he embarks on the best three-game stretch of his career. Ouch. This game forces you into tough decisions and tests your patience daily.

I wouldn’t have it any other way. Bring on 2011.

This week, I’m damned about the following players who’ve been the unsung heroes of 2010, steady and reliable uncovered gems that make up the backbone of championship roto teams. After I pay homage, I’ll look ahead at some players to keep an eye on for 2011 who have a chance to fill that role in the future. Continue reading


Damn Lies Fantasy Preview: Denver Nuggets

We should probably wait a little longer before publishing a Denver Nuggets preview, like maybe right before the season. Or January. Or before next season. Carmelo Anthony is holding us all hostage, and the real danger – everyone associated with the NBA throughout the globe is aware of it – is he could render this blog post meaningless. Until then, we’ll proceed as if Anthony is going to grace the Nuggets with his presence and Denver management realizes they can’t trade ‘Melo and risk Bubbly scolding us in the Comments section.

 

Who's t-shirt will he be wearing when Carmelo rips open his warmups on opening night?

 

LIES
It’s a shame Carmelo is thinking of breaking this group up. He was rather terrific last year, fantasy-wise, and could lead Denver deep into the playoffs if he is indeed the player he thinks he is. Fantasy owners taking him in the second round are signing up for something similar to the 28.2 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 1.3 SPG and 83.0 FT% on 8.9 FTA/game he delivered last year. If he takes a step back we’ll be disappointed. Anthony has also played in less than 70 games in three of the last four years. I don’t doubt he’ll take his time coming back from any injuries this season as he prepares for potential free agency.

DAMN LIES
Chauncey Billups continues to defy age and he poured in a career-best 19.5 points last year. Should Anthony be traded, Billups will flirt with 20+ points and six assists per game. Where he helps the most is from the three-point line (2.2 per game as a Nugget in the last two years) and at the free throw line (89.2 percent career FT shooter). Billups is a sturdy No. 1 point guard and late-second round/early third-round fantasy selection. Denver’s other solid roto option is center Nene Hilario. While his rebounding isn’t as productive as the top fantasy centers, he averages better than a block and steal per game and shoots near 60 percent from the floor. You can get away with him as a No. 1 center and are golden if he’s your No. 2.

STATISTICS
Denver head coach George Karl is a two-time cancer survivor, the latest a bout with neck and throat variety and the first a recurring case of J.R. Smith. Smith’s off-court antics hold him back from being the player his talents tell us he could be, and he is always in Karl’s doghouse. What kind of effort will Smith give this year? He’s always capable of being a fantasy stud, but the question marks are too myriad to count on him as a fantasy starter. Nevertheless, if he has his head on straight, and Anthony is traded, look out. The rest of Denver’s lineup is wacky as both Kenyon Martin and Chris Andersen are hurt to start the season and the PF position could come down to Shelden Williams, whose lasting impression with this writer was of a pitch-perfect Shoeless Joe Jackson impression in the 2010 Finals. Williams won’t be a fantasy factor even if he starts, as Denver signed Al Harrington in the offseason for precisely this sort of scenario, as a multiple-position injury replacement and insurance in case Anthony bolts. If chuckers Anthony, Smith and Harrington are all on the floor at the same time security is going to have to evacuate the arena for safety reasons. Denver is better off giving minutes to team guys Arron Afflalo and Ty Lawson. Afflalo will start and provide no fantasy value. Lawson is a must-have handcuff for Billups if you play in a league with a deep bench.

DEPTH CHART
PG – Chauncey Billups, Ty Lawson
SG – Arron Afflalo, J.R. Smith
SF – Carmelo Anthony, Al Harrington
PF – Kenyon Martin (injured), Shelden Williams
C – Nene Hilario, Chris Andersen (injured)

Up Next: Orlando Magic

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Daily Lies & Statistics: Flipping Out

Anyone playing in head-to-head leagues is likely in the playoffs, and likely surly as hell this morning if they are relying on Andray Blatche to lead them to a title. With one bone-headed show of immaturity, Blatche is going to go from the year’s waiver wire darling to saboteur of fantasy seasons from coast to coast.

Flip Saunders leaves the premises before a horde of angry fantasy owners can overtake him.

Taken out of the Wizards’ game vs. Charlotte Tuesday night seven-and-a-half minutes in by Flip Saunders, Blatche refused to listen to Flip’s defensive criticisms and then refused to go back into the game. He sat the rest of the way, and could be benched for the foreseeable future.

Saunders was not happy:

“Yeah I guess, just because of everything,” Saunders said when asked if this incident was the low point in a season filled with forgettable moments. “This team, we’ve lost a lot of close games, you know, and you’ve got a chance, and when you have coaches go up and ask a player that’s supposedly your quote-unquote key player to play, and he just says he doesn’t want to play. I don’t care. You can be upset with me, but don’t leave your teammates hanging out to dry like that. You don’t do that…”

Blatche’s magical run might be over, and if he is permanently moved to the doghouse then JaVale McGee and James Singleton will be the beneficiaries. McGee played 46 minutes last night and finished with 14 points, 12 boards and two blocks. Singleton saw 37 minutes of action and totaled a 9 & 7 with no blocks, but he has shown he can amass those. A Blatche demotion will almost certainly mean more plays run for Al Thornton and Mike Miller as well. Regardless, this is a big mess at a time of the year when fantasy owners can least afford it.

There were several other noteworthy performances in last night’s four-game slate, some of which can make or break a playoff week. Let’s take a look at some.

Drew Gooden (26 pts, 20 reb, 10-10 ft, 2 stl, 1 blk): Wow. Raise your hand if you started Gooden this week. Congrats. He went off against the Mavs, one of his many former teams, in a 106-96 loss. He remains a strong play Thursday at Houston and Sunday vs. Golden State.

Danny Granger (32 pts, 6 reb, 4 ast, 5 threes): For all the grief Granger has caused his owners this season, a game like this when it matters can go a long way towards healing past wounds. While we’d hesitate to take him in the first round again next year, he is one of the more high-ceiling fantasy guys out there when healthy.

Danilo Gallinari (28 pts, 5 reb, 5 threes, 9-10 FT): The Knicks upended a scuffling Denver team in New York last night, and Gallinari is regaining his fantasy awesomeness just in time. He is averaging 26.3 points over his last three games.

Dirk Nowitzki (18 pts, 2 reb in 19 minutes): Ejected after picking up two technicals, Nowitzki’s night could have been a lot worse. This is little solace to his owners who need him to produce a monster week.

Gerald Wallace (17 pts, 19 reb, 3 stl, 1 three, 5-17 FG): All hail Crash’s ’09-10 season, but this line could actually come back to bite you if you end up losing the FG% category and winning rebounds or steals handily.

J.R. Smith (11 pts, 4-16 FG, 2 threes): Since Smith’s owners were probably salivating at a game against the Knicks, this 23-minute dud of a game can only be labeled a disappointment.

Jason Kidd (26 pts, 6 reb, 12 ast, 6 threes): Kidd carried Dallas to the win sans-Dirk with a virtuoso fantasy performance that will put his owners in the driver’s seat in any playoff battle.

Of course, we’re still very early in the week. I expect crazy things happening to everyone out there, especially if I own them. Good luck to everyone who is still in contention.


Daily Lies & Statistics: The Big Thumbsprain

There’s my new nickname for Shaq, after he suffered a serious-ish sprained thumb last night. An MRI could reveal something worse. For the Cavs, this is not going to affect them too much because they could conceivably be better without Thumbsprain, although they are now pretty thin at center since they have to wait another three weeks before they can re-sign Zydrunas Ilgauskas.

The subtraction of Shaq down the stretch should help Cleveland secure home court in the playoffs.

For fantasy owners, Anderson Varejao becomes the man. Varejao stepped up last night with a 14 & 10 and three blocks in 30 minutes, helping the Cavs dominate the Celtics in the fourth quarter en-route to a 108-88 win. LeBron James put up a ho-hum 36-7-9 last night and it’s finally time to say it: if he’s available in your league, pick him up.

Paul Pierce was a DNP for the Celts with a thumb injury of his own, and Marquis Daniels got the start. Daniels, who was dealing with the flu leading into the game, was underwhelming with just four points in 31 minutes. Chalk this up to his illness and give him a whirl if it appears Pierce is going to shut it down for a few more games.

There were two other fantasy-friendly contests last night, led by Denver stomping Golden State 127-112. Chauncey Billups enjoyed the break in defensive intensity and went off for 37-6-9, including 6-of-8 from three. This was also the perfect environment for J.R. Smith, who knocked down seven threes on the way to 25 points.

Golden State was led by the superb Stephen Curry, who finished with a 30-7-13 gem. It wasn’t enough to overcome Monta Ellis’s 6-for-22 shooting performance, and I’ll be damned if we don’t have another example of a chucking shooting guard who would make their team better if they didn’t play. I haven’t watched every single Warriors game, but maybe one of their fans can tell me: has Ellis passed the ball yet this year?

C.J. Watson missed the game with what is either the flu or appendicitis, but on the bright side he still doesn’t have to spend a weekend with Mrs. Needleman. Ronny Turiaf got a start and had 12 points, eight boards and two blocks in 27 minutes. The Warriors have four games next week, so if Turiaf does something similar again this weekend, it might be time to take a flier on him.

In D-League action, the Bucks edged the Pacers, 112-110, and if I’m reading this right Andrew Bogut had a 15 & 10 with two blocks in just 24 minutes. Also, Troy Murphy, one of my centers in the Damn Lies league, had three rebounds in 33 minutes. T.J. Ford (17-3-5) and Earl Watson (15-8-5) started together in the backcourt and played 39 minutes each. Keep an eye on Ford.

Speaking of the D-League, Hasheem Thabeet has been sent there by the Grizzlies, not a glowing endorsement of the number two pick in the draft. The Dakota Wizards? Talk about an incentive to get back to the big leagues. If that doesn’t light a fire, he’s a lost cause.


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