Tag Archives: Mike Miller

Moving Without: Is Kyle Lowry The Fantasy Hoops MVP?

We’re just about one month into the NBA season, so it’s time for us to get an jump naming an early front-runner for the Most Valuable Fantasy baller. Of course it’s no real surprise to see that Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Love and LeBron James are among the top four players in the game, as we approach the one-month mark of the season. But there are also some less than familiar names in the Top 10, including Danilo Gallinari, Ryan Anderson and, yes, Kyle Lowry. Of course you can make the case that anyone of the top four superstars are in fact all MVP-worthy, but I think the case has to be made that it’s Lowry, who was drafted in the 4th or 5th round in most cases, is the early favorite for the Fantasy Hoops MVP.

The case for Lowry takes a hit in 9-category leagues, thanks to his coughing up 3.4 turnovers per game. You also have a legitimate beef in complaining about his 42.9 FG%. But, outside of those two deficiencies, you have to consider what Lowry has done to place himself among the top five players in the game, 15 games into the season.

First, you love the fact that he’s third in the league in FT shooting (90.2%), among those taking at least 4.0 attempts per game. He’s 7th in the NBA in threes made (2.1 per), first among all guards in rebounds per game (6.6), third in the league in assists (8.7), fifth in steals (2.2) and he’s scoring a career-best 17.3 points per game. Those are fantastic numbers. Again, you can make the case that Kobe, LeBron, K-Love and Durant have all been more valuable, but relative to where Lowry was drafted, it’s hard not to give him the nod here. And the best part is, there’s no reason to believe that he’s going to slow down anytime soon. So, don’t “sell high” on him. Just sit back and enjoy the ride!

Let’s take a look at some other pressing NBA news, shall we?
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Damn Lies Fantasy Preview: Miami Heat

All right, I think I have this Heat situation figured out.  I’m just going to bust out some stream of consciousness stuff here before I forget what I’m talking about.  Miami averaged 96.5 ppg in 2009-10. Its top three scorers last season – Dwyane Wade (26.6), Michael Beasley (14.8) and Jermaine O’Neal (13.6) produced 58 percent of the points.  It’s top three rebounders – Udonis Haslem (8.1), O’Neal (6.9) and Beasley – grabbed 43 percent of the rebounds and its top three playmakers – Wade (6.5), Mario Chalmers (3.4) and Carlos Arroyo (3.1) – handed out 68 percent of the assists.

LeBron, Wade and Bosh answer the media's incessant questions about the Mario Chalmers-Carlos Arroyo point guard battle.

Let’s start by giving it an additional six points a game to 102.5 because of the additional firepower.  Let’s move the total rebounds up from 41.8 to 44.0 and the assists from 18.9 to 22.0 as Heat statisticians will be inclined to give dimes for passes in the layup line.  Haslem and Mike Miller are on this team and will average around 8-9 points apiece with a handful of other stats, so we’re looking at approximately 85.5 points, 32.0 rebounds and 19.0 assists to be divvied among the troika and the rest of the roster.  Let’s give those non-denominational, non-descript, non-conformist other seven guys, including Chalmers and Arroyo, 25.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists.

So, now we’re left with 60.0 points, 23.0 rebounds and 14.0 assists.  The Big Three will be down considerably in scoring, the rebounding won’t change and the assists down slightly.  Shooting percentages will be higher for all three and peripherals around the same.

There you have it.  Knock ’em down a peg, but don’t be afraid to grab LeBron James third overall, Wade in the top six and Chris Bosh in the late second/early third.  Like most teams, they will be involved in lopsided contests which will limit minutes.  But also be mindful that most teams are involved in blowouts on both the winning and losing end.  I can’t envision this team getting blown out of too many buildings.

Not since Stalin, Lenin and Trotsky have we seen such a trio wreak havoc on a nation. LeBron, Wade and Bosh haven’t even played four minutes together yet!  LeBron The Facilitator (known as LTF the remainder of this piece) wants badly to prove that he is a terrific teammate who doesn’t need to shoot the ball 30 times to be effective, and will only do his chucking against the Celtics, Magic and Lakers.  LTF’s scoring will be in the 22.0 – 24.0 ppg range. His rebounding will come in at about 7.0 per game and his assists about 8.0 per game.  His peripherals were a sight to behold last year (1.6 spg, 1.0 bpg, 1.7 3-pt fg, 50% fg) and they should remain in this ballpark.

Wade strained a hammy in the opening quarter of the Heat’s first exhibition game and may miss the entire preseason. This will scare off some owners, but not me.  As a multi-year Wade owner, I’m happy that he is getting one of his injuries out of the way early.  He should be going full bore by the start of the regular season and it won’t take him long to acclimate to his new teammates.  Effort is one thing that can always be counted on with Wade, and although his points, rebounds and assists will take a little hit, all of his other mint numbers should remain in line with career norms.  Heck, he should even flirt with 50 percent from the floor with LTF trying to look like the good guy and finding him for easy buckets.  As for Bosh, he is from the same school as Wade in that we won’t have to be concerned about his effort.  He is the lone interior threat offensively and should average 17-19 points to go with 10 rebounds, a block and outstanding percentages.

Is there anyone else on this roster capable of helping fantasy teams?  Miller perhaps.  He can knock down the three with the best of ’em and should play enough minutes where his other peripherals won’t be completely disgusting.  Haslem is solid in real life, but don’t go near him on draft day.  Chalmers and Arroyo are battling for the job of bringing the ball from the backcourt to the frontcourt and handing it to either LTF or Wade, and if your league has a Big Buddy category, Zydrunas Ilgauskas is your man.  Actually, if Joel Anthony wins the starting job at center, he could average more than a block-and-a-half a game.

This is going to be interesting.

PG: Mario Chalmers, Carlos Arroyo
SG: Dwyane Wade, Eddie House
SF: LeBron James, Mike Miller
PF: Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem
C: Joel Anthony, Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Up Next: Boston Celtics

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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.

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