Sunday, October 28, 2007

Unposs Update

Just an update guys, I haven't had time to post any new blogs in a while thanks to the fires in California. Fortunately it looks like my family is going to be ok, but it has been a tense week or so of waiting and praying.

I did get the good news earlier this evening that I am going to be one of the Fantasy Fan Bloggers for I don't know what that will mean exactly for the Unpossiblog, but I should be getting more info shortly.

The NBA season starts up on Tuesday and I can't wait! I have had 3 drafts so far, and have two more tomorrow. I will breakdown some draft trends soon.


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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Jermaine O'neal

Who has the potential to outplay their draft position? This guy does. More coming soon...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Dwight Howard Kiss The Rim Dunk

Rumor has it that Dwight Howard has improved his free throw shooting and lowered his turnovers. I have to see it to believe it, but if it's true Howard is going to be a fantasy monster this year.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Impact of Turiaf In LA's Starting 5

The Lakers are considering starting Ronny Turiaf at PF, which moves Luke Walton to the bench. Of course, this move is going to have some fantasy repercussions, and of course I will be here to break it all down.

For right now we have to operate under the assumption that Kobe will be with the Lakers on opening night. I know that the recent statement by Dr. Buss may throw that into doubt, but any fantasy analysis of what the Lakers would be like post-Kobe is just speculation at this point. If and when we get to a point where substantial offers have been leaked to the public I will break down the fantasy implications of them in detail. For now though Kobe is a Laker and we have to assume he will be for the foreseeable future.

Prior to the Buss comments, the biggest news concerning the Lakers involved the lovable and energetic Ronny Turiaf, as coach Phil Jackson is reportedly considering starting him over recently re-signed Luke Walton. If Phil does make this move, obviously there will be some fantasy ramifications. Let’s take a look at who wins and loses from this rumored change in the Lakers starting 5.


Ronny Turiaf: Clearly the biggest winner is Turiaf. If he gets 30+ minutes per game he has the potential to average 8+ rebounds, 2 blocks, and 10 points. However, with the depth in the Lakers front court 30 minutes per game may be a stretch. Keep an eye on him and if he is getting enough minutes pick him up.

Projected Stats: 10 points, 8 rebounds, 1.8 blks, 50% Field Goal

Kobe Bryant: With Odom at SF and Ronny in the post, Kobe becomes the initiator on offense. You know that Kobe is going to score a solid amount of points no matter where he is, but in the initiator role his assists should go up, which will only increase his value. If Kobe can be successful in this role and get teammates involved it will become tougher for other teams to double him, which should lead to some better looks. However, in the initiator role I expect Kobe to shoot a few more threes, so I am projecting his field goal percentage to stay the same as last season.

Projected Stats: 30 points, 5 boards, 6 assists, 1.7 steals, 2 threes, 46% Field goal

Andrew Bynum: With Ronny in the lane as another shot blocking presence Andrew should be freed up to concentrate on boxing out his man and grabbing rebounds. If he starts Bynum will get a fair amount of blocks anyway thanks to his freakishly long arms, so he really shouldn’t lose any value in that category. Plus, let’s not forget the impact that Ronny’s contagious energy will have on the normally reserved youngster. The Lakers (as well as fantasy owners) are expecting big things out of Andrew this year and will need Ronny’s aggressiveness to rub off on him. Bynum has plenty of potential, but will need to beat out Chris Mihm and Kwame Brown to get enough minutes to show it.

Projected Stats (If starting, 25 mpg): 10 points, 9 rebounds, 1.9 blocks, 55% Field goal


Luke Walton:
If Ronny is starting that likely means that Luke will see less playing time, and his numbers will dip accordingly. Last season Walton was able to have some fantasy value before injuries really took their toll, and many roto players were looking forward to his multi-category production this year. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like this will be Walton’s year if Ronny starts and Vlad Radmonovic returns to form. It’s still possible that Jackson ditches his plans to start Ronny, or that Luke gels with the second unit, so drop him from your draft cheat sheet but don’t completely forget about him.

Projected Stats: 10 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 45% Field goal

Lamar Odom: Phil moving Ronny to PF and Kobe to the initiator role is bad news for LO fantasy wise. The Lakers are hoping to allow Odom to be more creative in attacking the basket, which should make him more of a scoring threat, but his assists and rebounds will take a hit as a result. In his first year with the Lakers, Odom averaged just 3.7 assists, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see those numbers duplicated this season. While Odom will still be a top 50 fantasy player, he won’t get the nearly 10 boards and 5 assists that he did last season.

Projected Stats: 18 points, 8.5 rebounds, 4 assists, 47% Field goal


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Friday, October 12, 2007

Kobe Simply the Best

Will the Lakers really trade Kobe? If it happens the fantasy world will be changed completely, so be on your toes!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A Preseason Warning

I am currently on vacation in California, but am still doing my best to keep this blog updated with all the NBA news that is coming out right now. Preseason basketball is upon us. Finally! I know that the NBA has a long season, but spending every summer without basketball is rough. Fortunately this year we had the FIBA Americas Tournament to keep all us hoop heads somewhat satisfied, but it still just isn't enough when you are craving some good old fashioned NBA Action.

Just a quick word of warning here to fantasy freaks. Don't put too much stock into preseason basketball. Yes, it can give us an early idea of who the breakout players might be, but it's far from a reliable source. Most veteran players see about 20 minutes per game so that the coaches can get a better idea of who their last one or two players to make their roster will be. That obviously isn't going to happen in the regular season. Also, preseason ball can be sloppy, with lots of new players trying to figure things out and learn new systems. Not to mention that this season several NBA clubs are in Europe for training camp playing European teams. The different style of play in Europe can really wreak havoc on fantasy numbers. Turnovers will be high, assists low, and some scrubs will put up solid numbers that would make you think about drafting them...then spend the regular season firmly glued to the pine. So enjoy the preseason games and if you see someone really look good obviously pay attention, but don't let the box score deceive you.


Baron Davis slams over Andrei Kirilenko!

Will the Warriors amazing playoff run continue over into the 07-08 season? Will Baron Davis be able to remain relatively healthy? It all starts tonight with the Lakers vs. Warriors in preseason action. I will be posting a few comments from the game later on.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Ronny Turiaf Starting???

I am on vacation right now, but I still thought I would drop a little fantasy truth on you all. Phil Jackson is talking about benching Luke Walton in favor of Ronny Turiaf and sliding Odom to the three spot. If that happens Turiaf could be dancing and dunking his way onto your fantasy roster. I will do a complete analysis of the move soon, but for now check out this sick Ronny Turiaf mix I found.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Welcome To Thunderdome: Conley vs. Foye vs. Rondo

If you are looking for a sleeper PG to pick up late in the draft your best bet is to look for Mike Conley Jr., Rajon Rondo, or Randy Foye. All three of them have the potential to outperform their draft position and will probably be fantasy mainstays for years to come. But which of these young guns will be your best bet this season? Let’s break down the factors that create a great point guard in the most efficient manner possible: Lock them in a giant steel cage and let them pound on each other while analyzing their pros and cons. That’s right, it’s going to be Foye vs. Conley vs. Rondo in a no holds barred cage match. Three men enter, one will leave. Welcome to Thunderdome.

Round 1: Playing time: Conley, on the other hand, has some serious competition. Even if the veteran Damon Stoudamire is traded, Conley still has talented second year man Kyle Lowry to contend with, as well as Pau Gasol’s best buddy Juan Carlos Navarro. So clearly Conley isn’t going to win the playing time battle, getting knocked out early and leaving Foye and Rondo to duke it out.

Rondo is the only real point guard on the Celtics roster, so minutes won’t be an issue for him. As for Foye, the Wolves got rid of both Troy Hudson and Mike James so that he could man the 1 spot full-time. Both Foye and Rondo will probably get about 40 minutes per game. So how do we determine a winner? Well, the Celtics are in win-now mode, so if Rondo falters they will find another point guard to take his minutes. KG, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce don’t have time to wait for a young PG to get through his growing pains. Foye and Wolves are in the exact opposite situation. The Wolves are handing the keys to Foye, and won’t think twice about continuing to start him regardless of their win/loss record. Because of that, Foye has to win this round, but just barely. All three men have taken damage, with no one having a clear advantage just yet.

Round 1 Winner: Randy Foye

Round 2- Role: A player’s role on their team can be a huge factor in their fantasy production (just ask Andrei Kirilenko). Mike Conley has a very difficult job this year, as he has to learn a new offense while keeping veterans like Mike Miller and Pau Gasol happy. Fortunately, he has plenty of scorers to pass to and should see a nice amount of assists as a result. He may not get very many shots though and will have a period of adjustment to the NBA, which will hurt his value and cause him to once again suffer a brutal early knock out when Foye and Rondo team up on him. Poor kid, but the Thunderdome isn’t for the faint of heart.

Randy Foye’s role in much more defined: be the man. He and Al Jefferson will be expected to lead the young team, and as a result he should see plenty of shots as well as opportunities to get assists. However, thanks to his role as the man Foye’s FG% will suffer since opposing teams will focus on stopping him. He will also see tough defensive assignments night after night with little in the way of help defense behind him since Mark Blount is about as intimidating as the Snapple lady. You can’t have those deficiencies in the dome.

On the other hand, Rondo should stay fresh most of the game thanks to the big 3 attracting most of the attention. In addition, Rondo won’t get very many shots playing alongside KG, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce, which improves his value since he is a poor shooter. The looks he does get will come from three point land after one of the big three has broken down the defense, which helps him to contribute in another category. It’s been reported that Rondo is practicing his three point shot a lot this off-season, working with perhaps the best three ball shooter in the league in Ray Allen. If Ray can have the same effect on Rondo that he had on Michael Redd we could see a nice amount of threes from him. For the most part, Rondo can focus on doing the two things he does best: play D and pass the rock. He should average between 6-7 assists and around 2 steals in addition to 1.5 threes, and while Foye will be close, Rondo’s role on the Celtics gets him the win here. A tough loss for Foye as Rondo is able to take advantage of Foye’s lack of energy and pounds out the win in round 2.

The fans around the outside of the Thunderdome are starting to chant. Rondo looks fresh and ready for round 3, Foye has a glint of defiance in his eye, and Conley has clearly seen better days.

Round 2 Winner: Rajon Rondo

Round 3: The “It” Factor: Which of these players has the drive, the will to win, that intangible “it” factor that will let them rise above the rest and walk out of the Thunderdome? Unfortunately, once again it’s just not going to be Conley. Point guard is the toughest position for a rookie to learn, and Conley has to do it on a team that has playoff aspirations. While I fully expect his talent to eventually win him the lion’s share of the minutes, he just has too much competition right now to really show off his “it” factor. In the end, Conley will have a productive rookie campaign and in time may very well be the best of these three players, but for now he can’t be the winner of this competition. The Thunderdome claims its first victim, and we are down to two combatants.

Rajon Rondo, while talented, is not a superstar. He will have a very productive fantasy season, and should benefit greatly from learning from the big 3. If he plays well this season he could win himself a starting role for years to come and wind up as a consistent top 40 pick. It’s come down to just Rondo and Foye, and it looks like the pressure may be getting to Rondo. He really needs to come up with a big fantasy night here in the final round, but does he have the ability to do it?

Foye is tired and worn down, but the way he carries himself shows that he will come up big when it counts. When Foye was originally drafted he was instantly compared to Dwyane Wade. He is quick, strong, and athletic, three things that are highly valued in today’s NBA. With the rule changes that limit hand checking on the perimeter it’s going to be very tough for teams to keep Randy from getting to the hoop. Foye also has the strength once he gets to the basket to take contact and still finish, just like Wade. Unlike Wade however, Foye has a steadily improving three point shot, which only adds to the likelihood that Foye will be a fantasy stud this year. If any of these three guys are going to break out and become a superstar this year, it’s going to be Foye. He just has “star” written all over him. Thanks to that ability to rise to the occasion, Foye pushes through his fatigue and destroys Rondo in the decisive third round. Conley and Rondo fought hard, but Foye has the heart of a champion.

Overall Winner: Randy Foye, 2-1

So there you have it. The unforgiving steel revealed the character of these three talented players, leaving us with little doubt of which one is the best. When the dust settled, it was Randy Foye who walked out of the Thunderdome and onto your fantasy roster.

Till next time…


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Thursday, October 4, 2007

Tony Battie Dunk vs. Atlanta

Yes, Battie could really play at one point. With his rotator cuff surgery likely ending his 07-08 season prematurely, Rashard Lewis will see enough time at PF for Orlando to gain eligibility there in most leagues. Bump 'Shard up a few spots on your draft list as a result. If he stays healthy he should be in for a monster season.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Debbie Downers Of The NBA

A few days ago I wrote a blog about the Wild and Crazy Guys of the NBA, using the old Steve Martin and Dan Aykroyd Saturday Night Live skit as inspiration. If you missed it you can check it out by clicking HERE. Today I will continue with the SNL theme by detailing the “Debbie Downers” of the league.

For those of you who aren’t big SNL fans, Debbie Downer (pictured above) is a character played by Rachel Dratch who constantly has something negative to say. Even when everyone around her is having a great time she finds a way to bring them down. In the NBA there are Wild and Crazy Guys who are fun to watch and have on your fantasy team, but there are also Debbie Downers, who suck the life out of the game and make watching them a chore. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t produce on the court, as many of them do. So I’m certainly not saying don’t draft these guys just because they aren’t as fun as the rest. You can win with them (well, most of them), you just won’t have as much fun as you would with a bunch of Wild and Crazy Guys on your team.

So here are the Debbie Downers of the NBA:

  1. Jermaine O’Neal: Is there a bigger downer than having your big man shoot 43% from the field? Absolutely. Said big man can then become injury (and suspension) prone, playing an average of only 55 games over the last 3 seasons. JO has the ability to be a fantasy stud, but his percentages and injuries make him a big time party killer for your squad.
  1. Danny Granger: Yes, that’s 2 Pacers in a row. And yes again, Granger is the guy that I recommended as my #1 sleeper pick this year. However, those who have seen Granger play know that he can be frustrating for owners with his passive nature. He likes to float on the perimeter and wait for the ball to get kicked out to him behind the arc, which means that he can go for long periods of time without accumulating any stats. Of course he usually ends putting up good numbers, but because he can be so frustrating to watch he has to be a downer.
  1. Raja Bell/Manu Ginobili/Anderson Varejao etc: I, like many other NBA fans, absolutely hate flopping. So it’s a major downer to have to cheer for the worst of the worst when comes to the disgraceful art. Guys like Bell, Manu, and Varejao are unfortunately making a living off of their acting and deceiving skills. While sometimes I love the stats they put up their style of play makes me long for the days when NBA players could be more physical. Someone going Kevin McHale vs. Kurt Rambis on one of those guys would be poetic justice.
  1. Tim Duncan: Hey, they don’t call him the Big Fun just because of his fundamentals. Duncan is so emotionless that the sight of him laughing made Danny Crawford kick him out of the game. Of course, it was a bad call, but I have to sympathize with Crawford a little. After all, it’s human nature to fear what is unfamiliar to us. Duncan will put up solid stats, but his infamous free throw percentage will drag you down like Kevin Federline did to Britney…or was it the other way around? Of course, what makes things worse is that you know on any other team Duncan would be capable of putting up stats that would make it worth taking on his free throw %, but on the Spurs he won’t get enough minutes. When all is said and done Timmay will be one of if not the best 4 to ever play the game, but on your fantasy squad he is about as exciting as watching paint peel.
  1. Shaq O’Neal: At one point Shaq was the most dominant player in the league, capable of taking over games and making every other center in the league look like a JV player. Now the years of poor conditioning and weight problems have taken their toll. Shaq was always a free throw concern, but now he is also a guarantee to miss 20+ games every season and his numbers in every other category are slipping as well. At this point he really isn’t playable in most roto leagues. Perhaps the worst part about seeing the aging giant fade away is thinking about the potential that he never lived up to. Yes, even with 4 rings, one can’t help but think that if Shaq had the drive and work ethic of a player like Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant he would be unquestionably the best center of all time. Having him on your team is a constant reminder of that fact, making Shaq the biggest Debbie Downer in the league.

Ok, everyone nice and depressed now? Hey, cheer up, the NBA season is just a few weeks away, and will be showing a few pre-season games this weekend for those who need a little appetizer.

Next up for the Unpossiblog, I will break down the PG sleeper trio of Mike Conley Jr, Rajon Rondo, and Randy Foye. Look for that sometime Thursday evening.


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The Resurrection Of Jamaal Tinsley

After getting a big vote of confidence from his new coach Jim O'Brien, Jamaal Tinsley could very well be on the path towards resurrecting his once promising career. Tinsley will start at PG for the Pacers this season and should be a good source of threes, assists, and steals, although his field goal percentage will likely remain low. A few seasons ago he averaged 6.5 assists, 1.5 threes, 15.4 points, and a whopping 2 steals per game. Of course, he only managed to play in 40 games that season, but the potential to put up solid numbers is still there. If he can stay healthy the coaching change in Indiana just might bring him back to fantasy relevance. For now bump him up a few spots on your draft list and keep an eye on how he does in pre-season games.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Tales From Training Camp

All sorts of fantasy relevant training camp news came out yesterday and today:

  • Kobe Bryant will be with the Lakers this season, and is happy that they tried to make a trade over the summer even though they were not succesful. If the Lakers don't get something done by next summer things might be different, but for right now Kobe is in the purple and gold armor and will be a fantasy monster once again.
  • Dwyane Wade has no timetable for his return. While the optimistic opinion says that he will only miss the first two weeks of the season, there are rumors that he won't be back on the court until December. Pat Riley swears that the timetable for him to return is mid-November, but also says that they are going to be cautious with the injury. Wade's current top 15 draft position may end up being a little too high.
  • Amare Stoudemire is having knee surgery...again. No, it's not a joke. Amare had successful arthroscopic surgery on his left knee (not the microfracture one). Fortunately in this day and age the kind of surgery he is getting only takes a few weeks to recover from and really isn't too big of a deal. Kobe Bryant did the same thing last year and was his typical self. Don't let this scare you out of drafting the big man in the first round.
  • Ben Wallace gets to wear his headband again. He got pulled from two games last season for wearing it because the Bulls have a ban on the band. However, they decided that this season they will make an exception for Big Ben's band. There was a time when Ben was a late second or early third round pick, but even his headband isn't going to bring him back to those levels again.
  • Stephen Jackson got a new tattoo on his chest...of praying hands holding a gun (see picture above). Yes, the same Stephen Jackson who is suspended for the first 7 games of the season as a result of an incident stemming from him firing a gun into the air outside a strip club in Indy. He said, "I pray I never have to use it again". A little on the nose don't you think? As for his fantasy value, Jackson should have a solid season with the Warriors and is worthy of a late pick, but just remember that he will miss those first 7 games.
  • Stephon Marbury has been steadily descending into strange territory with his behavior. He has given several interviews over the summer that can only be described as bizarre. The Isiah Thomas trial (Isiah and MSG were found guilty, in case you didn't already know) could have a big impact on Marbury in particular since it was revealed during the trial that he had sex with an MSG intern in the back of his truck in 05. One can only wonder if we are watching a former superstar self destruct on a level that we are usually accustomed to only seeing Brittney, Lohan, Paris at. Hopefully Starbury pulls through this rough patch, but make sure you have a backup option ready at PG this season.
  • Shawn Marion still wants out of Phoenix. However, he isn't going to talk about it anymore. Busting out his trademark double negative, Marion said, "I don't want to be bothered by this no more,"It sounds like the Suns aren't willing to let the Matrix out though, so he should still have plenty of value this year.
  • Bellinelli may start at SG for the Warriors. This could potentially have a big impact on Monta Ellis' value this season. Of course, this could just be a motivational tactic that Nellie is using on Ellis, but you have to bump Monta down a round or two regardless. While doing so, Bellinelli should be moved up a round. He is still a rookie and may falter (remember Devin Harris started the first few games over JET Terry his rookie season) but if the minutes are there Bellinelli has the potential to be a solid contributor.
Wow, I could barely keep up with all of the news today! Check back later for my "Debbie Downers" of the NBA.


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