Tag Archives: Phoenix Suns

Fantasy & Free Agent Fest: Pacific 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. In the final installment, Greg Fox examines the Pacific Division.

GOLDEN STATE
Fantasy-Worthy Players Under Contract (H2H Draft Round in Parentheses): G Stephen Curry (1/2), G Monta Ellis (2), F Dorell Wright (4), F/C David Lee (4)
Key Unrestricted Free Agents: F Al Thornton
Key Restricted Free Agents: G Reggie Williams
What to Look For: The Warriors remain the most exciting group of fantasy players since the salad days of the Pittsburgh Pisces. New head coach Mark Jackson is already preaching defense, but those who remember the 6-3 turnstile can’t take that too seriously. What Jackson was was a terrific lead guard, who controlled the flow of a game and made everyone around him better. If his wisdom can rub off on Stephen Curry, then the third-year point guard will deliver first-round value. Hell, I felt he was brutal last year, and he still finished as a borderline first-rounder. His backcourt mate, Monta Ellis, if he can stay out of the emergency room following his nightly 48-minute high-wire acts, can also return silly dividends. Always a big-time scorer with strong percentages, Ellis has added a 3-point shot to his repertoire in recent years. Small forward Dorell Wright was arguably fantasy’s MVP last season, coming out of nowhere to produce terrific across-the-board numbers. Don’t go spending a third-round pick on the guy as he is bound to disappoint this time around, but keep him on the radar in the fourth or fifth round. As for disappointments, Warrior big men David Lee and Andris Biedrins impaled their owners a year ago. Lee was a second-round choice for many, but a Wilson Chandler incisor to Lee’s forearm contributed to his derailment and he should bounce back nicely in 2011-12. Biedrins may have to look for work elsewhere as Golden State brass seems to be tiring of his Claude Rains impression. Keep a close eye on power forward Ekpe Udoh, who could steal some minutes in the middle and provide decent rebounds and blocks.
The Damn Lies Bold Recipe: Nothing against Biedrins, but it is not going to work for him in the Bay area. The unfortunate thing is that the Warriors are stuck as they would have to sell him at 10 cents on the dollar and they may be better off using the amnesty clause on him. This team is in need of some hard-nosed players, willing to take a charge, as well as a big man who can change some shots. Tyson Chandler comes to mind, but the Warriors can’t afford him. DeAndre Jordan, Tayshaun Prince, Carl Landry, Chuck Hayes and Luch Richard Mbah a Moute all seem to fit this team’s needs. Time to take the plunge. Continue reading


Damn Lies Fantasy Preview: Phoenix Suns

Yes, Suns fans, the post-Amar’e Stoudemire era is finally upon us. The big fella has taken his game to a bigger market. And now we’re left wondering what effect his absence will have on the team, especially on Steve Nash. The two-time MVP is heading into his 12th season, but his first without Stoudemire in the middle. So what does this mean for Nash? Will his assists go down? Will his scoring go up, and if it does will that mean he won’t shoot 50% from the floor? We do know that he will rack up the assists, hit threes, hit his free throws, and run when he can. At this point I would have to say that Nash is probably a mid- to late-2nd rounder. He’s the perfect complimentary player for many of the highly efficient bigs who could use the Canadian bump in small-ball stats.

 

To Toronto: "Peace, I'm outta here!" Love: Hedo

 

LIES
Hedo Turkoglu joined the Suns this summer after a disastrous season in Toronto. He scored just 11.3 points on 41% shooting, 1.5 threes, 77% from the line, 4.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 0.7 steals, and 0.4 blocks. Throughout the entire season Turk admitted that he was lost in the offense. We know he’s a guy who plays better on the ball, but what’s going to happen now when he’s playing along one of the great playmakers in the game? Turkoglu will be better this season than last. You can almost count on it. But even heading into last season I had my reservations about Turk. He doesn’t shoot the ball well (42.7% FG on his career) and isn’t that efficient of a FT shooter (79% career). His defense is lacking (0.8 steals, 0.4 blocks) and the fact that he essentially gave up on the ’09-10 season really doesn’t excite me. I would put Turk as a 6th round pick, if you’re looking to add him, but I don’t think I have it in me to use a mid-round draft pick on him.

DAMN LIES
We have a positional battle at center, between Robin Lopez and Channing Frye. Lopez is the defensive big, while Frye is the sharpshooter. Ugh. Couldn’t we just mash them together and make them one player? With the makeup of this team I have to think that Lopez will get more playing time. The Suns no longer have an inside presence in Stoudemire, so they have to add a defensive big somewhere. It’s not going to be Frye, that’s for sure. We do know that Frye can hit the three ball (2.1 per game last season), but his rebounds (5.3) and blocks (0.8) are pretty mediocre for a guy his size. On paper Lopez’s numbers don’t look so impressive, but you have to remember that he essentially didn’t come along until the second half of the season. He also played 7 fewer minutes per game than Frye did. I would take either after the 10th round, depending on what your team needs are at that moment.

STATISTICS
Jason Richardson should get more touches this season, thus increasing his scoring average. We know he can make the threes, but would love to see him grab more steals and improve on his free-throw shooting. I would take him either in the late-4th or early-5th round. His backup, Josh Childress, is a bit of a question mark. He played over seas the past two seasons, so we still don’t know how he’ll transition back into the NBA. I would probably take a 13th-round shot on him, but not sure I’d jump any sooner. Grant Hill is a year older, and thus we once again await as his knees slowly start to turn into dust. To be fair, he’s only missed one game over the past two seasons. To be fairer, he’s a better in-game player than he is a fantasy player. Hakim Warrick needs to play better defense for a guy with his length, but he should improve under this offense. Goran Dragic is a nice backup point guard who will get more minutes this season, and should become a nice fantasy sleeper. Jared Dudley is good for threes and steals, nothing more.

DEPTH CHART
PG: Steve Nash, Goran Dragic
SG: Jason Richardson, Josh Childress
SF: Grant Hill, Jared Dudley
PF: Hedo Turkoglu, Hakim Warrick
C: Robin Lopez, Channing Frye

Up Next: Dallas Mavericks

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Daily Lies & Statistics: Like a Phoenix rising… from Arizona

A five-game slate in the NBA saw three close games and two blowouts, and intrigue in all five. Let’s start with the Suns, who improved to an NBA-best 7-1. Steve Nash delivered an eye-popping line with 21 points and 20 assists, and Phoenix has officially returned to the Suns we knew and love in fantasy. Let’s see: Shaquille O’Neal goes to Cleveland and now the Suns are better and the Cavs are worse… I’m not suggesting anything here. Just the facts, reader.

"Gimme that spatula! The Suns are back, baby!"

But wait. Shouldn’t Amar’e Stoudemire also be better without Shaq and his team clicking? Not so fast. Amar’e finished with just 17 points and six boards in 40 minutes and is averaging 19.0 and 8.5. Is it the eye? Is he a decoy now? Will he ever regain his dominating 25-10 form if the Suns continue to win playing like this? These are all questions that will make anyone who took Stoudemire in the first round squirm with discomfort (sorry, Greg).

Meanwhile, Jason Richardson is averaging 28.3 points and 5.3 three-pointers in his last three games since going scoreless against Orlando last week. Ride this wave, hop on this train, and any other cliched metaphors that fit.

Let’s shift over to the Golden State Warriors, who laid a 146-105 whoopin’ on Minnesota, meaning everything is fine in northern Cali now. Nacho fast with extra cheese: Yahoo’s Marc Spears is reporting that the Warriors players are now fed up with Stephen Jackson‘s act and want him traded as soon as possible. Jackson seems surprised. Me, I would love nothing more than for both Jackson and Don Nelson to be led out of the arena with sportcoats over their heads.

In New York, the Jazz avoided further embarrassment by not quite blowing another big lead and holding on to beat the Knicks, 95-93. Toney Douglas scored 21 off the bench for New York, giving the fantasy world pause and making us wonder if he can’t usurp the disappointing Chris Duhon. Games like this can’t hurt, but he filled the Nate Robinson role tonight, in essence. Robinson will return shortly from an ankle injury.

Many started Larry Hughes this week and were rewarded with four steals, two blocks and five assists in 41 minutes, but in typical Hughes fashion were made to endure a 3-of-12 shooting night. The minutes are the key though. He’ll be pretty good.

San Antonio beat Toronto without both Tony Parker and Tim Duncan, and by scoring 131 points at that. Manu Ginobili could probably get 36 every night if he really wanted to. Either that or he’s turning into Batman. There’s no doubt that George Hill (24 points, 5 dimes) is going to be good whenever Parker is out, but that might not be much longer.  Chris Bosh continues to tear it up with 32 points and 10 boards, plus 15 of 17 free throws. Of course for the split second I had this game on, Bosh bricked one after hitting his first 13. I need to get off the grid until April.

In the final game of the evening the Hornets surprised us by trouncing the Clippers, 112-84. Eric Gordon didn’t play, and Al Thornton was back in the starting lineup. This scenario was apparently like catnip for Devin Brown, who led all scorers with 25 points and hit five of eight 3s. I have no idea what to tell you about Brown, other than he’s probably solidified the starting shooting guard position in New Orleans. Chris Paul hit two more threes himself, so he’s finally getting it going from downtown. When is this bum going to start blocking shots?


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