Tag Archives: James Harden

RotoExperts Draft Kit: Top 25 Shooting Guards

"Women, Dwyane, amirite?"

From the RotoExperts 2011-12 NBA Draft Kit

These rankings were written on Dec. 15 and published a day later. Stephen Jackson should probably be dropped as he’s dealing with a troublesome back issue. O.J. Mayo should be a few spots lower as well until his role is more clear. Feel free to reach a little higher for Tony Allen as long as he remains the starting shooting guard in Memphis. 

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. Finally: this is a list of true shooting guards expected to play the majority of their minutes at the position this season. There are several combo guards, such as Dwyane Wade, who are eligible at point guard in some leagues but ranked on the shooting guard list for our purposes.

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



1. Dwyane Wade, MIA

Projected Stats: 24.3 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 4.7 APG, 0.8 3FG, 1.6 SPG, 1.2 BPG, 3.2 TO, 49.6 FG%, 75.0 FT%

Yes, Wade is in a tier all by himself. In fact, of all the shooting guards on this list, he’s the only one worthy of a first-round draft pick. Sure, there’s always the injury concern when it comes to Wade, but when he’s healthy he’s all but a lock to be among the top 5-7 players in the game. Continue reading


2011-12 Damn Mock I: Seventh Round

I suppose we went on a bit of a point guard run in this round. Nearly half the picks were point guards, not including the combo guards who were also selected. The two picks which interested me the most in this round were the James Harden and Marcus Thornton ones. I went ahead and picked Harden, who still might end up coming off the bench for the Thunder, as talented as he is, while Greg went for Thornton. What interests me about Thornton is that he has tons of talent, but there’s still a bit of a logjam at the guard position in Sacramento. You have Tryeke Evans and Beno Udrih slotted to start, right? Not that room won’t be made for Thornton, but I would feel more comfortable if he had more playing time lined up. Should be interesting, though.

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.



73. Team 1 (Greg) – Ray Allen – Like fine Manischewitz, Ray Allen just keeps getting better with age. Well, not really, but he is still damn effective, particularly from a fantasy perspective. In his age 35 season, Mr. Shuttlesworth managed to shoot a career best 49 percent from the field, knocked down 2.1 threes per game, and turned it over only 1.5 times. His free throw shooting did fall off to only 88 percent, his poorest percentage in a decade, but it was still good enough to rank among league leaders. The ageless wonder remains fantasy gold and is a nice get for Team 1, which is in need of 3-point shooting. Continue reading

I’ll Be Damned: Deadline Winners

It was a ridiculous trade deadline this year, one that will be analyzed for a while with ramifications still ramificating and stuff. We haven’t seen where all the bought out players will sign, nor have we even seen every traded player suit up for their new team. Folks have analyzed each deal extensively, so for this post I’m just going to concentrate on players who weren’t traded and whose values are rising based on last week’s upheavals.


Kris Humphries (PF, NJN) – Humphries is going to put up a lot of double-doubles the rest of the way, as I don’t see Brandan Wright making inroads into the rotation. Should be owned in all leagues.

Chase Budinger (SF, HOU) – A no-brainer pickup now that Shane Battier is gone. Budinger has had one great game and one bad game, and that might continue for a while. He’s very talented, though, and he’ll at least help you in three-pointers.

Gerald Henderson (SG, CHA) – With Gerald Wallace in Portland, Stephen Jackson shifts to small forward and Henderson is the team’s new ‘2’. He probably won’t make a huge impact in shallow leagues but is definitely worth a speculative add right now. Perhaps he can become a poor man’s DeMar DeRozan.

James Harden (SG, OKC) – Harden can’t help but pick up more playing time with Jeff Green traded away. He’s good for threes, steals and great percentages for a shooting guard. His teammate Serge Ibaka is another huge winner, but he’s still not a complete guarantee to receive the big minutes we all want him to play. If Ibaka played 35 minutes a game he’d be ridiculous. For now, we’ll have settle for really good. Continue reading

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: Oklahoma City Thunder


No wonder it always rains in the Northwest.

Just this past season the Oklahoma City Thunder have turned into the darlings of the NBA. The reason, of course, is because of gold medal winner Kevin Durant and his ability to be better than every other player in the game right now. Durant, thanks in some part to the “Decision,” is easily the top fantasy basketballer this season and will likely carry the torch for many years to come. Last season his numbers were just unreal: 30.2 points, 47.6 FG%, 90.0 FT% on 10.2 attempts, 1.6 threes, 7.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.0 blocks. Meh.


Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that he turned 22 years old just two weeks ago. What’s not to love about KD? Nothing. Look it up.

Russell Westbrook has moved into the conversation among the top point guards in the game. His 16.1 points, 8.0 assists, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.4 steals per game are the stuff that franchise fantasy point guards are made. However, he does have a little Jekyll in him. He’s a career 40.8-percent shooter from the field, made just 0.3 threes per game last season, shot under 80 percent from the line, and turned the ball over 3.3 times per game in his first two seasons in the league. Westbrook can, and should, continue to improve. But before we end the discussion and move him into the same tier as the elite point guards in the game, he has to improve on his shooting.

Jeff Green is among the quiet contributors in the league. He’s not going to blow you away with his numbers, but he’s also going to contribute across the board in one way or another — save for assists. He can score about 15 points, pull in six rebounds, hit 1.5 threes, steal 1.3 balls, and block nearly a shot per game. Again, we’re not talking about Durant or even Westbrook level here, but we are talking about numbers. And you do know what numbers are, right Bubs? Green is a nice mid-round draft pick. Not sexy enough to nod your head once you pull him off the draft board, but pretty enough to introduce to your mother.

One of my favorite sleepers this season has to be Serge Ibaka. He was impressive down the stretch last season and even held his own in the first-round playoff series against the Lakers. In just 18 minutes per game last season Ibaka blocked 1.3 shots and pulled down 5.4 boards. He’s going to have to battle for playing time with Nenad Krstic, but I imagine that they’ll find a way to get him 20-plus minutes. A nice late-round pick. Krstic, on the other hand, has some scoring, rebounding and FG% value, but he might see limited minutes this season. Another late option, at best. Tahbo Sefolosha and James Harden are going to battle it out at the two-guard position. Sefolosha is good for adding steals, but not much else. Harden is an interesting add. I can see him breaking out a little this season. He could play a bit of that Ben Gordon role in OKC. Productive, even off the bench. Nick Collison and Cole Aldrich will likely have their moments, but neither adds more than hustle stats at this point. Not with the logjam that they have at the power forward and center positions.

PG: Russell Westbrook, Eric Maynor
SG: Thabo Sefolosha, James Harden
SF: Kevin Durant
PF: Jeff Green, Nick Collison
C: Nenad Krstic, Serge Ibaka, Cole Aldrich

Up Next: Miami Heat

Full Schedule

Daily Lies & Statistics: Matt Bonner’s Night

I know that I’m supposed to lead off this morning’s post with an assessment of Allen Iverson’s re-debut with the 76ers, but I got Bonner’d last night! For the first time in his career Mehmet Okur was not the best 6’10” white center in a game, as Matt Bonner did his best Okur impression with 28 points on 10-of-14 shooting, 4 treys and 9 rebounds. You have to give it to Okur, though, as he was touched enough to pay homage to Bonner by scoring 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting, 2 treys and 9 rebounds. Dude, where’s my car!

Okur: Hey Bonner, I can nail threes too. But can you nail this?

OK, so Allen Iverson did return. And in his honor, Carmelo Anthony shot 5-of-21 from the floor. Mad respect. With his 14 points it was the first time all season that Anthony failed to hit the 20-point mark. Iverson was touched.

In his re-debut, Iverson scored 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting, deferring to his teammates by notching a game-high 6 assists. The “other” AI, Andre Iguodala, dropped 31 points on 11-of-21 shooting, 4 threes, 4 rebounds and 3 steals. The real story of the night, though, might have been the fact that the Philly starters scored 81 of the team’s 83 points. I think it’s safe to say that there are no bench players worth owning in Philadelphia.

The 76ers are on a 10 game losing streak, while the Knicks are…on…a…three…game…winning?…streak? Yeah. They beat the Oden-less Trail Blazers by a score of 93-84. Once again, Nate Robinson managed to post a DNP-CD. Time to drop Nate, no? He is now as valuable as Spike Lee is to the Knicks. Larry Hughes, on the other hand, continues to shine — 21 points on 8-of-18 shooting, 4 treys, 6 rebounds and a steal.

Other performances of note:

Joel Przybilla: Made his first start of the season last night, with Greg Oden out for the season. He scored just 4 points with 8 rebounds and zero blocks. I’m not giving up on Przybilla. He’s a nice source of rebounds, blocks and FG%. He’ll have better games going forward.

Andre Miller: He played 26 minutes off the bench, scoring just 4 points and dishing 2 dimes to 4 turnovers. I would continue to sit Miller, though if you started him this week — we’re cool. The Blazers play four times, so it’s tough to sit a guy on a four-game week.

James Harden: Scored a career-high 26 points on 13-of-14 shooting from the line. He also notched 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocks. He’s inching close to being a 12-team must-add. I think he has the ability to be this season’s Eric Gordon. I’m actually making the move in a 12-team league. But you should only do so if you have a movable feast piece.

C.J. Watson: He played all 48 minutes last night against the Thunder, though he only managed to score 10 points and pull down 5 rebounds. A few things to note: Anthony Morrow was unable to make the flight, so he missed last night’s game — leaving extra minutes. Plus, Corey Maggette got ejected in the third quarter. Altooouuuggghhhh, Devean George did play (5 minutes!). I still think Watson is a nice deep league value guy.

C.J. Miles: It was a night of 1,000 C.J.’s. Miles hit the 10-point mark for the first time this season last night. It will be interesting to see what happens once Andrei Kirilenko returns this week. The two wing position will be filled by Ronnie Brewer (17 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals), Wes Matthews (11 points in 34 minutes), Miles and AK-47. FIGHT!

Tonight there are 8 games on the schedule. Josh Howard might return, so too could Andrea Bargnani. I don’t however, expect to see Michael Redd in uniform against the Celtics. Enjoy!

The Damn Lies Panel: Deep Sleepers

TUESDAY’S QUESTION: Who are your deep sleepers heading into the season?

Will BynumJeff Andriesse:
It might seem foolish to choose someone from Detroit’s crowded backcourt to be a deep sleeper, but my bromantic feelings for Will Bynum know no bounds. My position is buoyed by the lack of a true point guard on the Pistons, as Rodney Stuckey, Ben Gordon and Richard Hamilton will likely share the guard minutes at first before everyone realizes this isn’t going to work. Enter Bynum, who by December will have outplayed Stuckey and possibly all three so badly in practice that they’ll have no choice but to play this sparkplug. Stash him away.

The Houston Rockets roster is a post-apocalyptic wasteland, so take your pick of sleepers from the obvious (Trevor Ariza) to the Australian (David Andersen). My guy is Carl Landry, possibly the eventual starting power forward but undoubtedly Houston’s most dynamic frontcourt player outside of Luis Scola. Landry is an energy player who just needs playing time to put up some worthy fantasy stats, and his main competition seems to be Andersen, Chuck Hayes and Pops Mensah-Bonsu. Landry has averaged 12.7 PTS, and 4.9 REB this preseason in 20 minutes per game, and he is a strong percentage guy from the floor and the line. It might be hard for Houston to keep him off the floor.

I’m heaving a hail mary with this one, but Ersan Ilyasova strikes me as an intriguing guy. After refining his game in Europe the last few years, this Turkish power forward has stumbled into what he may think is a Tuesday night pickup game but is in fact the Bucks frontcourt. Kurt Thomas, Hakim Warrick, Joe Alexander and Luc Richard Mbah-a-Moute hopefully don’t strike the fear of whatever diety they worship in Turkey into Ilyasova and he can become a decent contributor. From his tepid preseason, it looks like Ersan has to earn the trust of mad scientist Scott Skiles, meaning he must learn defense and toughness, but Skiles is giving him a long look. Things could get even better for Ilyasova later in the year if the Bucks decide to move Thomas’ expiring contract.

Danilo GallinariTom Lorenzo:
Legend has it that if you stand before a mirror, shut off all the lights and say “Gallinari” three times you’ll awake the next morning with a major mustache. I, for one, refuse to believe that it can do anything to improve my already perfect set of whiskers. I do, however, believe that Danilo Gallinari is well on his way to being one of the better value picks this season. As a rookie, ‘The Rooster’ showed a great shooting touch (44.8 FG%, 44.4 3PT%, 96.3 FT%) in limited run. This season I expect to see similar shooting rates from the 21-year-old stallion. Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni acknowledged that Gallinari will likely start the season coming off the bench, but he envisions him starting at some point in the season. I’m guessing that this is a ploy to get Jared Jeffries some early PT in order to package his contract up with Nate Robinson for an expiring contract. But now I’m just making stuff up. Gallinari is going undrafted in 71.6 percent of Mock Draft Central drafts. Even though he’s coming off the bench, it’s not out of the question that he’ll see 22-25 minutes per game. With that you can expect one of the league’s top FT%, 1.5 threes, and a dozen points. Again, not bad for a guy who will most likely go undrafted in your league — not mine!

Anthony Morrow is better than at least one player on your team (12-team, standard rosters). You can be sure of that. The second-year sharpshooter has legit range (led the league in three-point shooting last season at 46.7 percent) and a knack for filling up the stat sheets on occasion. This preseason he has been one of the more impressive players, averaging 19.7 PTS, 3.3 REB, 1.3 STL, 0.83 TO, 54.8 FG%, 51.5 3PT%, and 95.0 FT%. Once the smoke clears and the Warriors figure out where Stephen Jackson is going, you’re going to wish you had jumped on Morrow when you had the chance. There’s no need in holding onto Tracy McGrady (97.0 percent owned in MDC) when you have a young scoring freak like Morrow going undrafted in your league.

DeJuan Blair knows how to use his body. Nothing sexual about that. Just the straight up truth. He’s been tearing it up in preseason play with limited action. In 18 minutes he’s putting up 14.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 0.8 turnovers, and a 61.4 percent showing from the field. In a situation like San Antonio where you have Tim Duncan (who is looking to lighten his load) and Antonio McDyess (who has had some serious knee trouble in the past), Blair is the perfect spark-plug big to come off the bench for 20-25 minutes per night to provide an inside presence. I can see him posting 12 and 8 with a field goal percentage in the upper-50s. Easily. Give Blair a look in the final round of your draft. If you’re not sold on him the least you can do is follow his progress during the first week. You might be surprised at just how good he can be.

Corey BrewerGreg Fox:
After helping Florida to its second national championship in 2007, Corey Brewer was on everyone’s radar as someone who could step right in to an NBA system and be productive. Two egregiously bad years and some nagging injuries later, the 6-9 ectomorph is ready to assume the position. Not only is he expected to start for the T’Wolves, No. 1 scoring option Al Jefferson is coming off of knee surgery and is hindered by an achilles issue, and No. 2 option Kevin Love probably won’t see significant action until Christmas following hand surgery. Brewer can do a little bit of everything. He just needs the confidence and minutes to prove it. This is his time.

I talked about him yesterday in our impressive young big man piece and I’ll stand by it today – Roy Hibbert will have a nice year for the Pacers. The NBA hasn’t had a place of late for plodding big men, but the Georgetown product is more than that. He is skilled enough on the offensive end to potentially command a double team, and he can rebound and block shots with the best of them. If he wins enough minutes, his ceiling for this year could be extremely high. Even in the 20-25 minute range, he can be a dirt cheap source of swats.

Although he’s been in the league 15 years, James Harden is ready to turn his career around with the Thunder. Oh wait, he’s only 20? Despite a beard thick enough to make Chuck Noland in Castaway look twice, Harden enters his rookie season with Oklahoma City and will have every opportunity to make a name for himself. The only time I watched him play last season, he was pitiful in the Pac-10 championship game, but the Thunder thought enough of his talent to grab him with the third pick in the draft. After Kevin Durant, they have little in the way of offense and Harden will be expected to fire away at will. The FG percentage could be ugly, but he should emerge as a double digit scorer and 3-point threat before too long.

Who are your sleepers? Leave them in the Comments section.

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