Tag Archives: Joakim Noah

Damn Lies Fantasy Hoops Show: Buyin’ or Sellin’?

It’s a Jeff & Greg production on this week’s Damn Lies Fantasy Hoops Show. The two put on their thinking caps and immediately got cases of lice. It’s been a while. On the agenda is discussion of some possible “sell high” and “buy low” targets. The hot starts of Joe Johnson, Marc Gasol, Ricky Rubio, Jose Calderon, DJ Augustin and Mario Chalmers are debated, as well as the poor showings from Joakim Noah, DeMar DeRozan and Luis Scola. If you can get past these two Kobe haters gloating over a LeBron-led Heat win over the Lakers, you’ll find a show chock-full of knowledge. Bug free!
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RotoExperts Draft Kit: Top 25 Centers

If only free throws were this easy for Dwight...

From the RotoExperts 2011-12 NBA Draft Kit

These rankings were written on Dec. 17 and published Dec. 20. I’ve done several drafts in the last few days and have noticed that you are going to have to reach for Greg Monroe, JaVale McGee and DeAndre Jordan if you want them. Joakim Noah is falling and offering great value.  

For years, the center position has been the most important one in Fantasy Basketball. These days, with so many power fowards manning the middle often enough to earn eligibility at the position, it isn’t as crucial to burn early picks on true centers. Pau GasolAmar’e StoudemireKevin Love and David Lee are just a few examples of players who are power forwards most of the time but pick up center eligibility in most leagues.

For the purposes of these rankings, we have including only the players who are expected to play the majority of their minutes at the true center position this year. As always, it is important to examine your own league’s positional eligibility rules prior to drafting. The following rankings are based on a nine-category, head-to-head league format (PTS, REB, AST, STL, BLK, 3FG, FG%, FT%, TO). 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. Dwight Howard, ORL

Projected Stats: 22.7 PPG, 13.9 RPG, 1.5 APG, 0.0 3FG, 1.3 SPG, 2.5 BPG, 3.5 TO, 59.1 FG%, 59.8 FT%

To the casual player, Howard is the No. 1 center in the league by a mile. In Fantasy, it certainly depends on the format. He’s more of a second or third-round value in rotisserie leagues. In a head-to-head or points-based format, he challenges Chris Paul for the No. 3 overall selection. Howard’s dominance in rebounds, blocks and field goal percentage sets your team up perfectly in H2H leagues, as you can punt free throws and surround him with complementary pieces in the other categories. Howard also averaged 1.4 steals last year, an underrated part of his game and an amazing number for a center.

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Fantasy & Free Agent Fest: Central Division

In the days leading up to the start of free agency on Dec. 9, Damn Lies & Statistics will be taking a look at each team’s potential moves, top fantasy players and more. Here’s a look at the Central Division squads.

Fantasy-Worthy Players Under Contract (H2H Draft Round in Parentheses): G Derrick Rose (1), C Joakim Noah (4), F Carlos Boozer (6/7), F Luol Deng (7)
Key Unrestricted Free Agents: None
Key Restricted Free Agents: None
What to Look For: Chicago is close, very close. They will try to add a shooting guard who can be an upgrade over Keith Bogans. Jason Richardson or Caron Butler are options. Boozer is a risky pick in fantasy as he just can’t stay on the court, so Taj Gibson is a necessary handcuff. Rose can make a case for the No. 4 pick in drafts. While his minutes might be more in check during a 66-game slate, he remains an unstoppable offensive player who is young and eager to win a championship, not to mention try like heck to get the No. 1 seed in the East over Miami.
The Damn Lies Bold Recipe: Richardson and Butler are decent but aging options who aren’t built for the kind of schedule we have coming up. They might be a little pricey. If the Bulls miss out on them or decide to go a cheaper route, they should make an offer for Golden State’s Reggie Williams – he’s restricted, but the Warriors might not have him in their plans. He could really stretch the floor and spot up to receive kickouts from Rose. Continue reading

2011-12 Damn Mock I: Third Round

On to Round 3! I can’t say this round excites me too much. In fact, the fourth round contains many players of equal value. The third is when we start thinking about filling out our rosters based on positional and statistical needs, where your instincts lead you the rest of the way. Where people stop being polite, and start getting real.

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.



25. Team 1 (Greg) – Paul Millsap – Anyone who can’t appreciate the hard-nosed Sapper is no friend of mine. Millsap is a throwback type player and also pretty effective in fantasy circles. Firmly entrenched in the Utah lineup, Team 1 can expect 16-18 points, 7-8 rebounds, 1.0 blocks, 1.5 steals and a terrific field goal percentage out of him. With Durant and Rondo by his side, this team is shaping up fine. Continue reading

Grizzlies’ elimination provides excuse for gloating

Zach Randolph has long stared off into the distance dreaming of winning Jeff a fantasy championship.

Memphis falling to Oklahoma City in Game 7 of the Western semis seems like a perfect time to give y’all an update on the experts playoffs league the three of us slackers are in. Let’s put it this way: we’re naming this sucker after me next year. I am dominating my supposed peers once again, to the tune of a near-2,000-point lead heading into the conference finals. Last year I took the crown riding Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo through the Finals. This year, I won this bad boy in the first two rounds, thanks to a wonderful run by the 8th-seeded Grizzlies, and I won’t be looking back other than to gloat. Which brings us to the only reason for this post.

You can see how the draft went here, where you can see that our esteemed commenter Bubbly can even figure out how asskickulous my team has been.

Let’s take a look at the masterfully-constructed squad:

First round (6th pick): Kevin Durant
A no-brainer selection and one I was particularly happy to make as I sensed a Spurs exit at the hands of the Thunder in the second round and then a conference finals where anything was possible. That’s essentially what we got, and Durant has been a stud nearly every night.

Second round (15th pick): Joakim Noah
I wanted a Bull or Laker here as that was my initial Finals scenario. Noah is great in this league because he blocks shots (worth six apiece). So far this pick is looking great. No complaints.

Third round (26th pick): Josh Smith
This was probably a mistake at the time but it has turned out okay. James Harden was on the board and probably should have been mine here so I could lean on the Thunder. Instead I went with another shot blocker, drooling at those six-point blocks. Turns out Smith turned in some huge games and his team took Chicago to six games in the second round. Hard to ask for more than that. Continue reading

Fox Unbalanced: Wake Me Up for the Playoffs, Part II

VCU has Shaka'd the world

You know, I’ve watched this VCU team a few times during the NCAA Tournament and not until the Elite Eight did I realize that Shaka Smart was the head coach. I swear I thought Nantz and Kellogg were referring to the team’s undersized big man who is killing people down low. Live and learn. He doesn’t look like a Shaka Smart… I mean, if one is born with this name, this person’s career is pretty much mapped out for him. It’s either bouncer, hitman, Zulu warrior or power forward. I wouldn’t think “coach” would be in the mix.

Last week, as the sight of my team in the Damn Lies standings had me on the brink of forging a prescription request from my internist for a cauldron of Zoloft, I escaped from the depression by breaking down the potential first round of a 10-team, eight-category, points-based playoffs league. Since it did momentarily have me thinking twice about accepting that harnessless window-washing job at the Chrysler Building, I figured I might as well put together round two.

Here was Round 1…

1. Derrick Rose

2. Kobe Bryant

3. Pau Gasol

4. Kevin Durant

5. Rajon Rondo

6. LeBron James

7. Dwyane Wade

8. Russell Westbrook

9. Serge Ibaka

10. Luol Deng

Round 2… Continue reading

Damn Lies Fantasy Preview: Chicago Bulls

Last season was a disaster for the Bulls as they entered 2009-10 with promise and left with their tails between their hooves, thumped by the Cavs in the opening round of the playoffs.  This is a franchise that has produced the likes of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Artis Gilmore, Butterbean Love, John Mengelt and Kenny Reeves, so underachieving has not been a theme.  Defense will be the top priority of longtime NBA assistant coach Tom Thibodeau, who takes the reins from the catatonic Vinny Of The Black.


Derrick Rose makes eye contact with his head coach for the first time in his NBA career.


This is a squad with hordes of talent, particularly at point guard where Derrick Rose will look to make that leap from a maturity standpoint. From a fantasy perspective, Rose is a cross between Deron Williams and Edmund Sherrod.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see him average over 20.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists per game, while shooting nearly 50 percent from the field.  He is not a steals kind of guy, averaging only 0.7 per game last year and he knocked down only 16 threes on a smelly 27 percent from long range.  Apparently, he takes 500 jumpers per day on his Nerf hoop at home, so i can see that 3s total doubling in ’10-11. Now in his third year in the league, this is Rose’s team, all arrows are pointing up,  and I’m taking him in the fourth round.  Who’s with me!?

The Bulls gave up on John Salmons last year and excavated the rather large contract of Kirk Hinrich, who will now ply his trade in the nation’s capitol.  I like what they have done here as the combination of defensive stopper Ronnie Brewer and 3-pt. marksman Kyle Korver will split the shooting guard spot. Unless one or the other gets hurt, neither is draftable, but I like it in real life so I’ll just shut up now.  Korver may actually be worth a late-round flyer based on his penchant for not having a conscience from deep.

I love Carlos Boozer‘s game. I love it so much that I’m considering divorcing my own soft inside-outside game for it. Call it irreconcilable differences.  Few in the free agent market deserved max money, but a healthy Boozer is worth it. He is quick with the ball, has soft hands, a feathery touch and can use either hand. He is an animal on the glass and overall one of the league’s and fantasy basketball’s most efficient players. The biggest knock on him over the years has been his lack of ability to stay on the court. Let’s hope that trend does not continue.

Luol Deng is one of those guys I never have any interest in drafting, yet I often end up regretting not pulling the trigger.  Chicago’s starting small forward produced a respectable 17.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, and nearly a block and a steal per game last season and rarely turns the ball over.  There are plenty of worse guys to be had around the eighth round, which is where we should consider hopping on him.

I’ll never forgive myself for not drafting Joakim Noah last year as I had him queued for the middle rounds.  Can’t make that mistake again and I don’t think he’ll last past the fifth this time around.  Don’t let his final numbers (10.7 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 1.6 bpg) from ’09-10 fool you.  He was way better than that as he lost several games to a nasty case of plantar fasciitis.   He wasn’t himself upon his return, and his overall numbers were dummied up by his limited minutes. The presence of Boozer may keep his rebounding totals closer to 10.0 per contest, but I could easily see the rest of his numbers continuing to climb.  The Bulls also have Taj Gibson ready to back up both Noah and Boozer and Gibson’s worth a late-round grab.  He can give you some scoring, rebounding and shot-blocking and with the injury history of the two dudes in front of him, he could find himself earning plenty of burn.

PG – Derrick Rose, C.J. Watson
SG – Ronnie Brewer, Kyle Korver
SF – Luol Deng, James Johnson
PF – Carlos Boozer, Taj Gibson
C – Joakim Noah, Kurt Thomas

Up Next: Memphis Grizzlies

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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: Getting Bullish

In all my years watching pro ball, I don’t remember a team quitting on its coach this early into a season, but that is what the Bulls have done to Vinny Del Negro. Following last night’s 118-83 debacle in Atlanta, Vinny Of The Black’s days at the helm are numbered.

Chicago has now lost 9 of its last 10, many of the embarrassing variety, including Tuesday’s 103-101 home loss to the Nets, a team with little hap.

This man will not be entering the Chicago locker room anytime soon.

The Bulls aren’t defending anyone, but at least have shown good balance by looking lost on the offensive end. Rick Pitino reassured Bulls fans by commenting that Horace Grant and Scottie Pippen are not walking through that door.

Del Negro has put his faith in a system that seemingly none of his players believe in, with the possible exception of second-year perpetrator Derrick Rose, who regularly tries to beat multiple defenders off the dribble. Rose has been brutal for the most part, as has backcourt mate John Salmons, shooting below 40 percent from the field, an indictment of his shot selection as much as anything.

Joakim Noah (11.6 rpg, 1.7 bpg) has been the lone bright spot, but his behavior seems so erratic that he could be one more blowout away from pulling a Ricky Williams and taking a year off to smoke some ganja.

Wednesday’s Notables:

Jamal Crawford: Played 34 minutes off the pine and tallied a game-high 29 points on 10-of-16 (4-6 3-pt fg) from the field in the Hawks’ easy win over the Bulls. Crawford is good for one of these gems every few weeks, but will be too inconsistent to start regularly.

Kirk Hinrich: Returned from a thumb injury in enough time to misfire on all nine of his attempts in the Bulls’ humiliating loss last night. If Rose were to ever go down, Hinrich would be a solid add, but he belongs on waiver wires.

Tyler Hansbrough: Double-doubled to the tune of 13 points and 11 rebounds in only 22 minutes for the depleted Pacers yesterday. His minutes could begin to creep up and could be worth an add.

Jonas Jerebko: The best Hamish player to ever don an NBA uniform, Jerebko’s days as a solid contributor could be numbered as Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton and Ben Gordon are on the mend. But we’ve been saying this for a number of weeks, and as last night’s 17 points (7-12 fg) and 10 rebounds indicate, this is one talented Mennonite.

Rodney Stuckey: With the Pistons’ rash of injuries, Stuckey has been carrying the load offensively and should continue to do so. Last night’s 27, 5 and 8 lifted his team of no-names to a surprising win in Philly.

Allen Iverson: Speaking of Philly, it seems the Sixers haven’t won since they were called the Warriors and the Big Dipper roamed the interior. Through two games, the AI experiment has gone about as well as the other recent AI experiments the past few years. Last night’s epic 11-point, 3-assist outing was accomplished in 33 minutes. Iverson has way too much pride to not put points on the board and will take as many shots necessary to guise the fact that he is a detriment to any team he is on. Count on this while trying to pry him away from his owner.

Anthony Randolph: If Golden State was guided by anyone other than Nellie we could have something here. Not many in the league can post 11 points, 9 boards, 4 assists and 3 blocks in 20 minutes, but that is what Randolph did against the Nets last night. Hang in there with him and expect more monster lines along the way.

Luke Ridnour: One of the biggest surprises in the league, Ridnour has been terrific while backing up Brandon Jennings. In last night’s thrashing of Toronto he registered 15 points and 6 assists in a paltry 15 minutes of work. He’s probably worth an add, particularly if you have dead weight on your roster.

Ryan Gomes: Gomes is still starting for the Timberwolves and continued his torrid play with 21 points and 6 caroms last night. He has averaged 19.0 points and 5.2 rebounds, while shooting nearly 60 percent over his last five contests. Kevin Love will be starting soon, but it should be at the demise of Damien Wilkins and not Gomes.

Shane Battier: After a slow start to the season, Battier has turned it on, especially in the tough-to-come-by 3-point shooting, blocks and steals categories. He is also beginning to play big minutes and is a pretty good start during four-game weeks. Last night he totaled 14 points, 4 3-pointers, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks in 38 minutes of work. A solid day at the office by anyone’s standards.

Beno Udrih: Despite coming off the bench, Udrih still has ample opportunity to record points, assists and steals. He saw 36 minutes of daylight in San Antonio last night and produced 15 points (7-11 fg), 4 rebounds and 6 assists.

Only three games on the docket tonight, including Pistons vs. Nuggets. The Carmelo/Jerebko matchup could be classic.

Daily Lies & Statistics: Goin’ plumbing

There were six games on Tuesday’s slate and that sound you hear is my season taking the slow swirl down the ol’ turlet. Can this possibly get any worse? Can anyone on the Unhappy Hairstons shoot above 40 percent? Please? Anyone?

Last night I watched the Nuggets/Bulls game in horror as Carmelo Anthony repeatedly got to the rim only to have his driving layups roll off into the loving arms of Joakim Noah, who ingested 21 caroms. When he was in college, I hyped Yannick’s little boy as the next Ben Wallace like it was my job, but of course didn’t draft him when a breakout season was inevitable. He’s bordering on Erick Dampier-type greatness (Editor’s note: Nobody’s that good).

Nobody remembers the NBA's "Tuck" rule?

What a crazy game that was in Chi-town. With the score tied and the clock winding towards zero, Kirk Hinrich, for some unknown reason, reached in and fouled a driving Chauncey Billups with 0.6 left. After making the first and missing the second, the Bulls were generously given 0.3 for the last play. What happened to the Trent Tucker rule? Why did nobody on the Bulls’ broadcast or in the NBA TV studio mention that it is impossible to get off a shot with 0.3 or less. Brad Miller flipped one in from the top of the key as the buzzer simultaneously went off, but why did it take the officials 10 minutes to decide no basket?

The worst part of the whole thing is that the game didn’t go to overtime as I had both Anthony and Derrick Rose licking their chops for some cheap numbers. Rose actually enjoyed a decent game with 22 points on 10-of-17 shooting and five assists. The contest also marked the return (or is it arrival) of Earl Smith III or as he is better known in the Rocky Mountains, the Artist Formerly Known as JR Smith or AFKJS. AFKJS shot just 1-of-9 on the night with five assists, but better shooting days are ahead for this madman.

The rest of the night was relatively uneventful except for the Kings’ 101-98 victory over the Thunder. That makes it three straight without Kevin Martin. Tyreke Evans posted another big line with 20 points, eight rebounds and eight assists and Jason Thompson added 21 points, 14 boards, two steals and a block. Kevin Durant shot just 9-for-23 for Oklahoma City, but drilled a ridiculous 18-for-18 from the line. Jeff Green bounced back from a couple of poor statistical outings to tally 19 points, five rebounds, three steals and two blocks and shutdown corner Thabo Sefolosha contributed three steals and four rejects.

The line of the night came in Miami’s 90-76 win over Washington as Gilbert Arenas came within two assists of a triple-double with 21 points, eight assists and a franchise record 12 apple turnovers. Tweet that! Andray Blatche saw 39 minutes of court time and posted 13 and 10 while Brenda Haywood’s twin brother Brendan continued his incredible roll with 13 points, 11 boards and four blocked shots. For the Heat, Dwyane Wade again took matters into his own hands and totaled 41, 5 and 5. I started Jermaine O’Neal for the first time this season and he calmly defecated a 6 and 6 on me. His play is beginning to resemble a fading Tom Boerwinkle.

Erick Dampier flushes one right on Greg's head.

Getting back to Dampier, is he on the Cream or the Clear? As if last night’s 14-point, 20-rebound, 3-block effort wasn’t enough, he converted all six of his field goal attempts and was 2-for-2 from the stripe. Good thing I claimed Larry Hughes instead of him last week. That will work out well.

The Grizzlies are now 0-1 in the post-Allen Iverson era. Still adjusting to life without AI or maybe because he had been suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, Rudy Gay could muster only 12 points and five boards. LaMarcus Aldridge led the Blazers with 16 lapoints, 12 laboards and two lablocks.

The Magic notched a 93-81 victory in Charlotte as Dwight Howard registered 15, 10 and 6, but Superman again failed to record a block or a tear in his costume. You’d think that all of those bullets to the chest would at least require a stitch job or two, or is the Superman costume also made of steel? Vince Carter made a triumphant return following an ankle sprain and recorded 15 points on 5-of-16 from the floor, but did knock down three bombs.

Thirteen games on the docket tonight. I’m refluxing as we speak.

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