Let Your Voices be Heard!
I just found out that my Yahoo! Hoops Labs have comment sections at the end of them. I had absolutely no idea about this. I knew I had a comment section on Rotowire that I address, but I hadn't even been checking on Yahoo. This is earth shattering news for me, as I'd love to have more conversation with you guys about the things I write about. Am I helping? I've been on this advanced stat kick for awhile now - do you care? Have you taken the time to look into any of these stats, and are they helping you understand the game better? Anything you would prefer I talk more about? I only found out by accident just now that I have a comment section... how many of you guys have left me messages/comments that I didn't answer?
I apologize humbly, and will use this space to answer some of the questions that I see on here from recent articles. And by all means, keep the comments/questions coming, and maybe we can make the discussions a larger part of the articles moving forward.
Danny, I would rather have Casspi because he is more stable but still has upside. Robinson has explosive potential on any one night and showed last season that he could produce when given consistent starter minutes, but it appears unlikely that he becomes a full-time starter this season for the Knicks. On the other hand, Casspi is carving himself a niche as a foundation piece for the Kings and should be a starter from now on.
Q2: Hey Andre', do you think the Wolves end up with Rudy Gay after all the other big-name players are swept up by the other teams with alot of money to spend? (Fantasy King, January 5)
Fantasy King, I think that the Wolves will eventually end up with a player on the order of a Rudy Gay, i.e. a good second- or third-option player that has produced good numbers and that they may try to squeeze into a first-option role. Not necessarily Gay himself, but he would be a good fit as their wing position is bereft of proven scorers. Ironically, the Wolves could already HAVE Gay (or Brandon Roy) had they just taken him (or kept him) in the '06 Draft. Oh well. I like Randy Foye and wish him the best, but in hindsight since Foye didn't work out in Minnesota it would be interesting to see how history might have been re-written with a different pick.
Q3: I always want to draft Zach Randolph, and the experts always talk me out of it. Same goes with David Lee... Go with your gut... unless your gut is still standing in line at the Christmas dessert table. P.S. Is Jameer just rusty...please say yes. (Shucky, Dec 31)
Shucky, I can't dump on anyone for cautioning you about Randolph because his history and his limitations don't scream fantasy foundation piece. He can be a 20-10 guy, but his percentages have been hit-or-miss in recent years, and he doesn't offer much else in terms of assists or defensive stats to get him to elite level. His field goal and free throw percentages would both be career-highs as a starter if he can hold the pace, and really - who could predict that in his 9th season? As for Nelson, since your question he has gotten his averages up to about 12 and six in January, but he is still below expectation. He still isn't quite right, but I do think that he eventually will return to his norms unless he re-injures himself.
Q4: Tyreke Evans......ROY or what? That dude is a stud. 20-5-5?? Insane rookie stats. (Ben B, Dec 30)
Ben, I agree that right now the ROY is Evans' to lose. He has been much more consistent than Brandon Jennings, and he is putting up better numbers. What Evans' numbers will look like once Kevin Martin returns this month is hard to say. If Martin takes a bite out of Evans' stats, and Jennings manages to get the Bucks into the playoffs then the race could shift. It's probably too late for Blake Griffin to get into the hunt, but if he comes in shockingly strongly and helps lead the Clips to the playoffs he could make a late season push as well if the other leaders don't finish well.
Q5: Here is another case of a writer making some unsubstantiated claims "Kobe Bryant getting acclaim as possibly the most clutch player of all time despite being consistently outperformed in crunch time by LeBron James (notes) over the past few years." Please provide data to support your claims. How many times has Lebron come through for his team with the game on the line? On Head to Head Matches with each player guarding each other, Kobe has gotten the better of Lebron. (John M, Dec 22)
John, I really wish I'd have seen this one at the time because we maybe could have had a good debate. Others did point out the link, though, and it was in the linked blog post where I presented my data. Of course, Kobe then immediately went on a spree of hitting huge SportsCenter shots to make me look bad, but I do stand by my claims.
Q6: Good read. (Callum O'Riley, Dec 30). That article about clutch scoring is fascinating. (Paul Da Man, Dec 23)
Thanks Callum and Paul. I do my best, and now that I know about this comments section maybe you guys can help me do even better moving forward.
Situations to Watch and Quick Hits
Randy Foye (59% owned): I advised picking up Foye last week before it became official that Arenas was suspended, and now I advise it even more strongly. Foye is a talented scorer that should flourish as the lead guard for the fantasy friendly Flip Saunders offense that the Wizards run. He has averaged 15.8 points, 4.3 assists and 1.3 treys in the week since Arenas has been gone.
Anderson Varejao (55% owned): Varejao has been a pretty consistent nightly double-double threat this season that can also provide solid defensive category numbers. He is a "Garbage Man" type that can eat minutes and help solidify your big man categories. Also of interest, the Cavs recently gave some extended time to a Varejao/LeBron James big man duo that performed well in their first outing. If Cleveland starts running that lineup more often that would give Varejao more opportunity to crash the boards and could potentially increase his value.
Kirk Hinrich (43% owned): See above.
Martell Webster (40% owned): Webster is on this list for the second week in a row for providing his most stable streak of good scoring of the season, with six straight double-digit efforts (his longest previous such streak was two games). He even performed well when asked to defend Kobe Bryant and LeBron James this week, averaging 13 points and seven boards with two treys in those two games to earn praise from his coach.
Flip Murray (7% owned): This one is for deeper leagues only. Murray is a streak shooter that's on a hot rampage right now, as he has knocked down 56 percent of his shots to average 19.7 points and 3.0 treys over the last week. This can't last, so only look in Murray's direction if you have a serious hole. On the other hand, the Bobcats don't have much scoring from the backcourt so he should continue to get shots for as long as he's knocking them down.
Jon Brockman (2% owned): Brockman is the new starting center for the Kings, and thus far he has backed up the excellent per-minute numbers that suggest he should be a great source of boards. Per-36 he has averaged 12.8 rebounds in his short NBA career, and in his first start on Saturday night he pulled down 12 boards in 38 minutes.
Article first appeared 1/12/10