|As much as I love football, for me the real season will always be the NBA. And since NBA camps opened this week, it is time to start getting ready for the upcoming fantasy basketball season.
I believe that in order to be good at fantasy basketball, you have to understand real basketball. You need to know who's going to be good and why, who's going to be bad and why, and how there can be fantasy gold found among both good and bad teams. You need to keep up with the storylines, and think about how they are likely to affect player output. So today, I'm just going to throw out a few of the bigger storylines to get us back to thinking about the NBA again as we start prepping for the tip-off at the end of the month.
*The Celtics are the champs. Besides the fact that I'm overjoyed that Kevin Garnett finally has a ring, this is also a huge fantasy plot. Because Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen are all north of 30 it is likely that the Celtics limit their minutes this season in preparation for another long playoffs run. The offense should be more efficient this year since everyone knows their roles, but look for Pierce and Allen to play closer to the 32 mpg that Garnett played last season than the 37 mpg that they played, which would limit their fantasy output. On the other hand, look for youngsters like Rajon Rondo to play a bigger role with more minutes on a daily basis, which makes him a good candidate to see a big boost in this, his magical third season.
*The Lakers add Andrew Bynum to what was already a championship caliber team. While this makes the Lakers a favorite to get back to the Finals this year, it could have a poor effect on several fantasy mainstays. Bynum's points and rebounds likely eat into Pau Gasol's totals, and Lamar Odom's numbers (especially boards) likely fall even further as he is either pushed out of position to small forward or out of the starting line-up completely. Even Kobe Bryant could see his scoring decrease, as Bynum, Gasol, and Odom all will need to get their shots as well.
*The Seven Seconds or Less era is over in Phoenix, with Shaquille O'Neal and Terry Porter replacing Shawn Marion and Mike D'Antoni to start this season. This year's Suns look to be more about half-court offense and defense than run-and-gun, which bodes ill for the number production of Steve Nash. Shaq and Grant Hill are both past their primes and are expected to concentrate more on defense than offense, which limits their output as well. And then, there is Amare Stoudemire. Stoudemire projects as the number one fantasy prospect overall, because he should be the primary scorer (30 ppg potential) that also shoots near 60% from the field and 85% from the line. Add in decent rebounding and blocked shot numbers, and Stoudemire looks to be fantasy gold this year.
Posted by Professor at 10/2/2008 9:45:00 AM