Tag Archives: Richard Jefferson

I’ll Be Damned: Not Done Yet

Richard Jefferson passed up big money with the Spurs to sign with the Spurs.

Last week we lamented the disappointing Chris Bosh for fantasy owners and Heat fans who need instructions as to what to do at a basketball game.

This week, I’ll Be Damned honors some old warhorses, off to great starts, who plummeted in drafts due to age or an earned lack of confidence on the part of fantasy players. If you have them, you are likely fielding trade offers. If you don’t, you (also known as: me) are really jealous.

I’ll be damned that…

…Richard Jefferson’s got pride.
We knew he was a terrific athlete. We should have known he was going to bounce back this year after he was universally ridiculed for leaving $15.2 million on the table this summer and opting out of his contract (only to re-sign for four years/$39 million). At 30 years old and coming off a nightmare season in San Antonio, he made owners skittish and they held off on him until the very late rounds on draft day. Two years ago he averaged 19.6 points for Milwaukee in 82 games, so his 17.6 PPG this season isn’t too shocking. True, Tim Duncan has gotten off to a quiet start offensively, but Jefferson’s numbers are no fluke. I expect some inconsistency because he plays with stars, but his 2.0 threes are a huge help thus far. All of what he does is essentially gravy because everyone outside of his immediate family drafted him to be a reserve. Continue reading


Damn Lies Fantasy Preview: San Antonio Spurs

The beginning of the final verse of Frank Sinatra‘s “My Way” perfectly encapsulates the 2010-11 San Antonio Spurs: “And now, the end is near, and so I face, the final curtain.”  It’s been a great run, but this is one old team.  Timmy Duncan, fantasy legend and one of the greatest power forwards of all time, is 34 going on 70.  Manu Ginobili is listed at 33, but has felt the impact of the Medicare donut hole.  Tony Parker Longoria is only 28 but with Abe Vigoda‘s ankles.  I won’t even get into Richard Jefferson and Antonio McDyess.

 

Getting up there in age, Manu Ginobili is trying anything to cover up his bald spot.

 

While things have been looking kinda bleak since being bounced in the second-round of the ’09-10 playoffs by the Suns, something funny happened on the way to the Alamodome.  Reinforcements, namely George Hill, DeJuan Blair and Tiago Splitter, have rejuvenated hope in Southern Texas, and the Spurs may just have one final run left in them.  Duncan has fallen off the last few years, but still produced 17.9 points, 10.1 rebounds, a surprising 3.2 assists and 1.5 blocks and should come somewhat close to repeating those numbers this season.  No longer a high fantasy pick, you’ll still get value out of the future hall-of-famer in the late third/early fourth round.  I’m sure I’ll pass on him as much as I’m sure that I’ll regret it.

LIES
Word to the wise: Never count Ginobili out.  For my money this is one of the 10 best shooting guards in my lifetime and a multi-category beast.  I would have donated a kidney if it meant the Knicks would sign him, just to change the organization’s culture.  He is passionate about winning and despite the injuries and the proclivity to produce more off the bench, keep those 16 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.5 steals and nearly 2.0 threes per game in mind in the eighth round or so.  Parker was crushed by injuries last season and was never able to get it going.  His lack of steals and inability to knock down the three keeps him as a better point guard in real life than in fantasy, but he ain’t half bad.  He’ll make up for the those categories by being one of a handful of lead guards capable of shooting 50 percent from the field (.490 career), and is an injury to Duncan away from becoming more aggressive on the offensive end.  Don’t forget when this happened in ’08-09, and Parker was dropping 30 a game like it was nobody’s business.

DAMN LIES
Ready to take on a much larger role this season is Hill, who will likely be involved in an even minutes split with Parker and Ginobili.  The third-year man is loaded and a solid sleeper this season, especially given the injury history of his backcourt mates.  I think I’m going to casually look his way in the 12th or 13th round and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him finish the year averaging 14 points and 4-5 assists with decent threes and steals.  Jefferson is an interesting case.  Like Parker, he has always been a better real-life player than a fantasy one.  He didn’t seem to fit in at all last year and his numbers (12.3, 4.4, 2.0) suffered.  I think he is a bounceback candidate, but won’t do enough to warrant consideration before the  13th round.  Even though he will probably not start, I will take a look at Blair long before Jefferson.  Per minute, the beast from Pitt is one of the top rebounders in the league and his field goal percentage should be sublime.  Not only would Parker reap the benefits of a Duncan injury, Blair is capable of physically decimating his opponents with more court time.  If the Splitter thing doesn’t work out, I’d like to see Duncan slide to center and Blair start at PF.

STATISTICS
Speaking of the 6-11 Splitter, he comes to the Spurs already polished, having played professionally in Spain, where he was League MVP in ’09-10. The Brazilian is expected to share minutes in the middle with McDyess, but should prove the more worthy of a larger role as the season progresses.  Tough to say where he should be drafted, but my guess is that he’ll be a solid third center and a nice mid-to-late round grab.  McDyess has battled injuries most of the past 10 years and has admirably continued to produce.  He just doesn’t belong on fantasy rosters anymore.

DEPT CHART
PG: Tony Parker, George Hill
SG: Manu Ginobili, James Anderson
SF: Richard Jefferson, Matt Bonner
PF: Tim Duncan, DeJuan Blair
C: Tiago Splitter, Antonio McDyess

Up Next: Oklahoma City

Full Schedule


Daily Lies & Statistics: Lui Lui oh no, me gotta go

The boys at Damn Lies and Statsitics have been saying all along that Carl Landry is a terrific young player and that Sacramento stole him from Houston, albeit for the talented Kevin Martin. But least we forget that the Rockettes still have in their possession one Luis Scola, who has been putting on a display not seen in those parts since Akeem Olajuwon added an H to his first name.

Hluis Scola? Doesn't quite work.

My power was out all weekend and Saturday night I had to resort to checking stats on my blackberry. My eyes were getting a little fuzzy, and when I saw 20-for-25 from the field for 44 points out of the Houston big man I thought there had to be some mistake. Did Bill Walton, circa 1973 just re-appear?

In his last five games, the Argentinean has averaged 26.2 points, 15.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists and has shot 58 percent from the floor (55-94) and 87 percent (21-24) from the line. He doesn’t offer much in terms of shot-blocking, but Scola owners are probably swimming in pools of their own drool right now.

Let’s look at some of the weekend’s other heroes.

Jason Maxiell has taken full advantage of Ben Wallace‘s injury woes and has played like a man possessed. On Friday he posted 12 points and 10 rebound as the Pistons defeated the lowly Wizards. He followed that up with a 19-point (6-9 fg), 12-rebound binge in a loss to Atlanta. The Pistons stink, Wallace has applied for AARP, and Maxiell has posted three straight double-doubles and four consecutive double-digit rebounding games. If your league still allows pickups and you need boards and field goal percentage, Maxiell could be your man.

Richard Jefferson has mauled his owners this year as he has pretty much been unstartable throughout. But something funny happened on the way to the Alamodome and on Friday he registered 19 points (8-13 fg), nine rebounds and three assists in a win over Minnesota, and on Saturday recorded 18 points and nine boards in a victory over the Clippers. Now mind you Carver High’s Salami and Goldstein just double-doubled against the T’Wolves and Clips, but this could be the start of something good.

I don’t know why I find Bill Walker‘s name so dang funny, but I do. For those of you who like me have five weeks left in the season and nothing to lose, Walker may be a guy to take a shot with. There is no middle ground with him. You’re either looking at 20+ points and a host of threes or a 2 and 1 in eight minutes. This past weekend was the former as he erupted for 21 points (8-13 fg), four rebounds and four assists in the Knicks’ loss at Memphis and then exploded for 23 points (9-12 fg, 5-8 3-pt fg) in New York’s shocking blowout of the Mavs in Dallas. Let me ask Bill Wennington what he thinks.

It is again Toney Douglas‘ turn to prove his worth as the primary point guard for the Knicks. On Friday he posted 19 points (8-13 fg, 24 3-pt fg) and followed that with 21 points (8-10 fg, 4-4 3-pt fg) and eight assists in their win at Dallas. Tonight could be Sergio Rodriguez‘s turn to shine, but it’s looking more and more likely that the gimpy Tracy McGrady will not be eating into their numbers too much.

I make no bones about the fact that I love Jose Calderon‘s game. He was the Raptor starting point guard until sidelined by injury in December. Jarrett Jack claimed the starting role during this period and has maintained it the past three months. Nothing against the talented Sourdough Jack, but Calderon is the type of cerebral and efficient point guard that organizations now tend to overlook. Somewhere along the way, he was labeled a defensive liability, probably an unfair assessment as he seems all about winning. In two games over the weekend he averaged 17.5 points and 9.5 assists, and at Golden St. on Saturday drilled 7-of-8 from 3-point range. I do make bones about him still being the backup, but that could change in a hurry.

Troy Murphy has remained steady despite a season not for the feint of heart in Indiana. He is averaging a disappointing 13.9 points and 9.8 rebounds, but throw in his 1.7 threes per contest and you have yourself one of the top fantasy big men in the game. The Pacers have a smell to them, reminiscent of a muggy summer evening in a New York subway, but Murphy will be a big part of the rotation the rest of the way and double-double his way into his owners’ hearts.

It’s tough to recommend a Miami point guard while Dwyane Wade monopolizes the ball the entire game, but don’t get me wrong as I love Wade. But with Rafer Alston skipping to his Lou somewhere in America, Carlos Arroyo‘s role as the starter is clear. On Sunday, he posted a double-double with 12 points (6-9 fg) and 10 assists against the Sixers. It may be a stretch to expect this on a consistent basis, but decent assist numbers await.

Julian Wright has taken over as the starter at small forward in New Orleans with Peja Stojakovic out and has looked solid in three games (38.3 mpg). Against Denver on Friday he erupted for 13 points, eight rebounds, four assists and five steals as owners were involved in a Wal Mart shoppers-style rush to waiver wires to claim him. Enthusiasm on Wright should be tempered, but with the exception of threes, he can offer a smorgasbord of categories at a bargain bin price.

Six games on tonight’s card, including tasty matchups for the Lakers at Golden St. and for the Jazz at home against the Wizards.


Basketball draft prep: 5 overvalued and undervalued fantasy picks

As a long-time sufferer of acid reflux disease, I’ve been provided lists by countless GIs of what foods to avoid. For those of you not in the know, it’s the standard peppermint, chocolate, citrus fruits, caffeine and tomato sauce that seemingly cause most of the intestinal angst. But I’d bet my last Indian Head penny that your local proton pump inhibiting pusher hasn’t gotten to the true root cause of the problem. Namely, the ownership last season of Top 15 selection Allen Iverson, or the purchasing in 2007-08 of first-rounder Kevin Garnett, or the 2006-07 debacle that was Peja Stojakovic.

Despite more than a modicum of fantasy basketball success over the years, as a perennial Marcus Camby owner, nobody’s innards have churned more than mine.  With that in mind, I’m here my fellow GERD sufferers to put an end to your digestive woes by imparting the only wisdom I have at my disposal, my list of five players who will get selected too high in your drafts along with five guys who owners will miss the boat on.

Five who will be Picked too High

5. Ron Artest, F, LAL
2008-09 stats: 17.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.5 spg, 0.4 bpg, 40% FG, 75% FT, 2.2 3-pt FG

The poster boy for Modern Psychology surfaces in El Lay, where he will continue to cause all kinds of turmoil. He’s still a more-than-capable defender and one of the toughest players in the league, but the Artest formerly known as Ron is officially a detriment on the offensive end. His play on the court is often secondary as the Long Island City product is just as likely to appear on an episode of Dr. Drew as he is to arrive to the Staples Center for a 7:05 tip. Someone will take him in the top six rounds. If he’s available in the eighth, that wouldn’t be a bad spot.

4. Shaquille O’Neal, C, CLE
2008-09 stats: 17.8 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 1.7 apg, 0.7 spg, 1.4 bpg, 61% FG, 60% FT, 0.0 3-pt FG

You’ve got to hand it to the big phony, I mean fella, who two years ago in Miami looked like he was cooked. The trade to Phoenix brought about a renewed vigor and last season saw him record his best totals since ’05-06. Now he is the missing piece, at least in Danny Ferry’s eyes, for a Cleveland title run. But my jury is officially out. Shaq will do some good things this year as he will be motivated to help LeBron. However, his minutes will be kept to a minimum as the Cavs try their best to keep him healthy. Minutes will also be reduced as they will be involved in several lopsided games, so let the other owners in your league duke it out for his services in the top eight rounds.

3. Marcus Camby, F/C, LAC
2008-09 Stats: 10.3 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 2.0 apg, 0.8 spg, 2.1 bpg, 52% FG, 73% FT, 0.0 3-pt FG

The Cambyman has parlayed his length and athleticism into a prolific fantasy career as one of the top rebounding and shot-blocking big men of his era. Unfortunately for his long-suffering owners, with the exception of the ’07-08 season, he has missed tons of time due to various ailments. Now 35 and vying for minutes with Chris Kaman and Blake Griffin, those 20-rebound, 6-block, 4-steal days could be few and far between. Someone in your draft will jump on him in the top four rounds… don’t be that someone.

2. Richard Jefferson, F, SAS
2008-09 stats: 19.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.4 aps. 0.8 spg, 0.2 bpg, 44% FG, 81% FT,1.6 3-pt FG

Let me first say that I love Jefferson as a player. If Cleveland would have gone after him last season at the expense of Wally Szczerbiak‘s expiring contract, Cadaver fans and Kobe haters would likely still be lighting cars on fire in downtown Cleveland. Jefferson is a perfect fit for the Spurs, but the ball will be shared way too much for him to put up the same scoring totals he has been amassing throughout his career. He has never been confused with Fat Lever in any other category, so draft accordingly in the 90-100 range.

1. Kevin Garnett, F, BOS
2008-09 stats: 15.8 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.1 spg, 1.2 bpg, 53% FG, 84% FT, 0.0 3-pt FG

Garnett’s days as a high draft choice should have ended last season following a statistically brutal 2007-08 campaign, but those nostalgic owners who love big names continue to corral him in the Top 20. Not only are his overall totals way down from his fantasy salad days in Minnesota, he now barely plays 30 minutes a night and will be rested on a regular basis as this could be the Celts’ last hurrah. KG ‘s team-first approach brought about a new attitude to the C’s and everyone has bought in. But as we all know, winning basketball doesn’t always translate well to fantasy. At best a fourth-round pick.

Five who will be Picked too Low

5. Andrew Bogut, C, MIL
2008-09 stats: 11.7 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 2.0 apg, 0.6 spg, 1.0 bpg, 58% FG, 57% FT, 0.0 3-pt FG

Bogut missed most of the ’08-09 campaign with a stress fracture in his back that required surgery. Owners are bound to sleep on him because they’ll be afraid he won’t be recovered and simply because he is so goofy looking. I’m expecting this hard worker to revert to ’07-08 form, which included 14.3 points and 1.7 blocks per game. Milwaukee has little in the way of offense and Bogut should be its primary source of points in the paint. There’s no way he goes earlier than 60-70.

4. Brook Lopez, C, NJ
2008-09 stats: 13.0 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.5 spg, 1.8 bpg, 53% FG, 79% FT, 0.0 3-pt FG

No one will benefit more from the absence of Vince Carter than the happy-go-lucky Lopez, who is a star in the making. He has all the tools to post an 18-point, 10-rebound, 2-block season, which is what I predict will be his final totals. There are few centers I would take ahead of him and he’ll probably last until the seventh or eighth round.

3. Monta Ellis, G, GSW
2008-09 stats: 19.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.7 apg, 1.6 spg. 0.3 bpg, 45% FG, 83% FT, 0.3 3-pt FG

If you don’t pounce on Ellis in the top seven rounds, little Yerry will be making a big mistake, Yerry. Before he shredded his ankle in his infamous water balloon fight in the winter of ’07, Ellis was quickly becoming one of the toughest guards to defend off the dribble in the history of the game (That’s right, I said it). Even if his jets aren’t all the way back, his quickness and skills will still be good enough for him to average well over 20 points and nearly 2.0 steals, while shooting near 50 percent from the field.

2. Courtney Lee, G, NJ
2008-09 stats:
8.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.0 spg, 0.2 bpg, 45% FG, 83% FT, 1.1 3-pt FG
At the other end of the Carter trade, the talented Lee will have first crack at the starting two guard spot for the Nets. Lee was quite the find out of Western Kentucky for the Magic, but Otis Smith decided he’d rather have a gunner to ruin what they had going for them. Lee should go in the top 11 rounds, but he probably won’t. A 15 ppg season is not out of the realm.

1. Anthony Randolph, F, GSW
2008-09 stats: 7.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 0.8 apg, 0.7 spg, 1.2 bpg, 46% FG, 72% FT, 0.0 3-pt FG

If Don Nelson weren’t the head coach and if I was more confident that a stiff wind wouldn’t bowl him over I’d have Randolph as a sure-fire breakout candidate. As it is, the lanky forward should see enough daylight, albeit sporadic daylight, to be a poor man’s Gerald Wallace this year. I’d be shocked if anyone touched him in the top 10 rounds. Hang in there with him and expect some monster weeks.


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