Does he need Lebron? Durant? CP3? Psh, please. Rubio? Griffin? Yeah right. Funny team name? Fuck it, he rolls Primo style. And Primo don't need no stinking super stars or All-Rookie/Sophomores. And in the process, he will destroy the universe.
Below you'll find a recap of the comings and goings of the first two weeks of the Unofficial StR Fantasy Basketball League.
For reference sake, here are the current rosters. The following is the list of team owner's StR usernames along with their respective teams.
- Wallywagon11 - Kissing Cousins
- J.R 50 - RudyGay and Chardonnay
- LightningStrike5 - Royal Court Jesters
- Juan Primo - Team Primo
- AnotherStupidSN - Burkle's Bombers
- Clicc916 - Travis. Rised the Hot, Hand
- Tomroadrunner - Lvl. 39 Vlade's Beard of Truth
- Sillysill - You Won't Fredette Me
- Rise_to_mediocrity - Team Stern
- Aykis16 - Welcome to Jimmerica!
- (The Lurker) - Tig Ol' Bibby's
- TheJust - Crappy Club for Jerks
Okay so even though Primo is in first he's not exactly destroying the universe. And yes, the stats and wins/losses from the beginning of the year are fairly meaningless in fantasy basketball given so many players can be added and still give a ton of value compared to other fantasy sports games. That being said, the one thing I always look at first are the percentages because it is awful hard to improve both your shooting and free throw shooting percentage at the same time let alone improve your shooting percentages on their own given you already likely have most of your big volume shooters on your team as is. Granted, it's a small sample size but it sure seems that Primo's FG% (and the fact it comes with so much scoring) is going to be really tough to beat week in and week out.
On the other side of things, Clicc916's "Travis.Rised the Hot, Hand" has a brutal record but was a timley 2 steals, 2 turnovers, 1 block, and 6 points away from a 7-11 record.
In our league each team has one injured reserve spot so we did not see many player drops due to injuries. Currently I am dealing with the previously named "Never-Sat-Out-One-Game-Yet-In-My-Three-Year-Career" Brook Lopez who proceeded to break his foot immediately after our draft and will likely be out another 4 to 6 weeks. Juan Primo just got dealt a setback to his roster when Manu Ginoboli broke his shooting hand but he still has Ray Allen and Andre Iguodala who can both fill in at SG. Meanwhile, TheJust is having a real tough go at it first with Eric Gordon's swollen knee and now Zach Randolph is out possibly 8 weeks of our 12 week season with a slightly torn MCL.
One of the most annoying injuries right now has to be Tomroadrunner's Stephen Curry who has now twisted his ankle 7 times in the last 15 months. As one of the most versatile guards in fantasy who brings you steals, assists, scoring, and fantastic shooting percentages, he's a great player to have when healthy but one can hardly count on that right now.
Aykis16's Corey Maggette is currently out for between 2 to 4 weeks with a strained muscle but Aykis16 seems to be willing to stick with him ... for now at least.
"Maggette is the one guy I drafted that has really let me down. I picked him up in the auction for cheap because I thought that on a bad Charlotte team he would be the go-to scorer and he gets to the line a lot and hits them at a high rate. But he's been absolutely terrible, and in two games against Miamia he went 1-16. He's out the next few weeks and is on injured reserve, and I'm still debating whether to cut him or keep him."
So far, we have had 52 player acquisitions. This will likely be one of the most hectic parts of the year for roster pickups and it was particularly crazy given how short preseason was this year. I was by far the worst offender here (acquiring a player 12 times so far) whereas Sillysill and Aykis16 each only picked up 1 player. There were a few of our usual middle tier fill in guys like Al Harrington and Udonis Haslem (NSFW, bad music), but there was a whole lot of upside hunting.
Tomroadrunner found early success when he picked up both "Udonis 2.0" Brandon Bass and Ryan Anderson (although gave up on Gerald Henderson in the process). Brandon Bass is providing solid shooting percentages (FT% could go higher) and playing for a shallow front line in Boston. Although you get no shot blocking from Bass or any earth shattering rebound numbers, there's no reason to think his numbers or minutes as of right now are a fluke and he's a solid all around contributor. Meanwhile, Ryan Anderson is currently averaging around 18-7 with over 3 three pointers a night in 30 minutes of playing time. There are some questions as to what would happen to his production if Dwight Howard gets traded away but right now Ryan Anderson is producing right around where people thought he could if he were to get minutes and there is no reason to believe he won't be one of the top (if not thee top) three point shooters in the league.
Unfortunately for Tomroadrunner, Gerald Henderson ended up being productive and I was able to grab him up off of free agency. Soon after the draft, I also finally realized that Omri Casspi is terrible and although I really wanted to find another wing I figured what the hell I would give it a shot with Spencer Hawes. Apparantly, unbeknownst to me, Hawes up and decided to become a legit NBA center with 12 points 10 boards and 2 blocks a game. A little more on Hawes and Henderson later.
Two of the more interesting prospect pure scorers nabbed up so far are MarShon Brooks and Byron Mullens, both picked up by the Lurker. Neither of these guys provides much outside of scoring; however, holy crap those guys can score. MarShon is currently the only wing player that is half way decent for the Nets. Although he's been nicked up a bit he is currently averaging 23.4 minutes and 13.9 points per game and started playing over 30 minutes a game before he sprained his ankle. That's a Per36 of over 21 points per game and other than his three point percentage it doesn't seem that far fetched when looking at his college numbers. And if he gets small forward eligibility it will be an even greater find. As for Mullens, he's been in the league for awhile and was a top prospect out of high school, he never got much playing time. Now with the Bobcats and their thin roster at center, Mullens has been getting 11.4 points in 18.8 minutes of playing time and continues to get more playing time as the season progresses. His rebounding and shot blocking are putrid for being a seven footer but right now he has an efficient Per36 of 21.8 points a game. Who knows what they end up doing with that roster but if Mullens gets more playing time that could be a really significant scoring asset. The Lurk spent a ton of money in the draft on Lebron and Wade and currently seems to be fielding a pretty quality team still thanks to smart trades, nice cheap grabs late in the draft, and solid pickups.
Then there is Iman Shumpert, the do it all stud from Georgia Institute of Technology. The one knock on the guy was his 3 point shooting which in college was 30.5% off of almost 4 attempts per game. Currently in the NBA he is knocking down 40% at approximately the same volume. Will it last? Who knows. Either way though, the guy looks to be a great add and is running one of the fastest paced offenses in the league.
And finally, we have Markieff Morris, who is fast becoming the second most popular player in the Phoenix area. Morris has scored double digits in four of his last five games, and just had the best game of his young career with 13 points, 3 three pointers, 10 rebounds, 2 block, and a steal in 30 minutes. It will be interesting to see if he can wrestle minutes away from Channing Frye at PF.
Surprising Player Drops/Players Still Available
Given all the movement, there have been a few interesting drops so far from the players who were drafted although given the talent availabble to be picked up it certaintly makes sense. We've seen Richard Hamilton, Nick Young (picked up by LightningStrike5), Gordon Hayward, Kemba Walker, Tyrus Thomas (picked up by Wallywagon11), Jason Richardson, Evan Turner, Brandon Knight (picked up by Wallywagon11), Ed Davis, Channing Frye, Shawn Marion (picked up by LightningStrike5), and Tyler Hansbrough all be dropped by the team that drafted them.
So far we have had 6 trades. Again, I am a big offender here with 4 of them and it's a bit complicated given I actually traded away one player (Lowry) only to trade to get him back. Basically it was a wacky two weeks.
I only did this move because I had Ibaka and CP3 and Jrue Holiday on my team. I figured I would be okay with assists for now, get JaVale so I would have the most bad-ass two headed block team available, and perhaps move Monroe for someone like Kyle Irving. I was just fishing with Bayless given I thought perhaps Dwayne Casey would get tired of Calderon's horrid defense (later dropped Bayless).
December 28th: Wallywagon11 trades Greg Monroe for Mike Conley
Yeah, about that whole Kyle Irving idea. Didn't quite work out as Juan Primo wasn't willing to give up on the potential that Irving has so I was left fishing. The season was early and I was perhaps dumb and put out offers for Raymond Felton and Greg Monroe but nobody took them and the deals expired. TheJust then realized what happened and re-offered Conley for Monroe. I took it, not being really sure what other point guards I could get straight up for Monroe.
December 31st - January 1st: Yeah, about Gerald Henderson and Spencer Hawes ...
- Wallywagon11 offers to J.R 50 Spencer Hawes for Boris Diaw. Rejected
- Wallywagon11 offers to Rise_to Mediocrity Spencer Hawes and Gerald Henderon for Jeff Teague and Wesley Mathews. Rejected.
- Wallywagon11 writes message board about centers being available (particularly Hawes, Kaman, and Sideshow Bob) along with Henderson
- ASSN offers to Wallywagon11 Paul Pierce and Channing Frye for Spencer Hawes and Gerald Henderson. Meanwhile, Lurker offers Ricky Rubio for Spencer Hawes.
- Wallywagon11 emails Lurker letting him know that he can't have Hawes unless Lurker can do better than Paul Pierce and offers a second idea of Kyle Lowry and Tristan Thompson for Jrue Holiday and Chris Kaman (I later dumped Tristan Thompson for a waiver wire pick)
- Lurker accepts trade from Wallywagon11.
- Wallywagon11 immediately accepts trade from ASSN.
The Pierce/Hawes trade came close to being vetoed with 4 votes against it (need 6) but it passed. For me, I needed depth at the wing desperately and had plenty of centers. As for Lowry, love him and wanted him back even if it meant no Rubio. In explaining his side of the trade in an email, ASSN wrote the following:
"I'm aware that Paul Pierce is a much better player than Hawes or Henderson. But I'm building a Fantasy team, not an NBA Championship contender. When Pierce started off the season with a foot injury that kept him out of the first one or two games, I started thinking about how many minutes he's got on those wheels, about how the C's probably would have no problem giving him a great deal of rest during the season to save him for the playoffs, and about how a (potentially) nagging foot injury could hurt his stats even when he does play."
"When I saw your message that you were shopping your Centers along with Henderson, I decided I'd offer up Pierce (a good player who was causing me some worry) for Henderson and Hawes (two young players having great starts to their season). I know that both of those guys might end up cooling off quite a bit after playing over their heads to begin the season, but Henderson is the primary scorer on a bad team (and all Kings fans should know what that can do for a guy's stats) and Hawes is a starting Center with great all-around skills. I'm not relying on either of those guys to carry the load for my roster in any particular category (though, Spence could very well make-or-break me in blocks most weeks), but both of those guys should continue to have more good games than bad, and each of their good games is a huge boost to my team."
This was the second controversial trade for the league but survived with only 3 no votes.
January 7th: TheJust offered to LightningStrike5 Tim Duncan for Luke Ridnour
Random Weird Stat Lines That Might Only Interest Me
Russel Westbrook: Against Memphis put up 0-13 shooting, 6 assists, 4 turnovers, 0 steals, and 4 points.
Kyle Lowry: Against Atlanta put up 0-6 shooting, 18 assists, 6 turnovers, 2 steals, 1 block, and 2 points.
Spencer Hawes: Every single game.
Boris Diaw: Against Miami put up 16 points, 8 assists, and 16 rebounds (over 8 games he has 54 rebounds).
Aykis16 was kind enough to give some perspective on his roster.
"So far I quite like my current roster. My team as constructed can almost always win at least 4 of the statistical categories if everyone is healthy (FG%, Rebounds, Blocks, Points) while still contending in the assist, steals, 3PM and TO department. With Dwight on my team, I will almost always lose the FT% battle though."
ASSN was also willing to talk about his team going forward.
"I am happy with my roster. Even though the first week didn't go so great for me, it was largely due to good players under-performing ('Reke, Pau, Bosh) or injured (EDIT). All of those guys have performed in the second week more like I expected them to, and it's being reflected in my Week 2 matchup. Hopefully I continue to have consistency from my top guys moving forward after some slow starts. Also, I've made a few changes to my roster to bolster some categories and ditch people that weren't contributing much."
"After the draft, I knew my team would be weak in assists, but the Week 1 matchup showed me just how bad that category was for me. This was partly due to under-performance from a couple of my guards ('Reke, Felton), but mostly because my roster was seriously lacking in reliable assist guys. I was able to add Ramon Sessions from the FA list by dropping Anthony Morrow (who I was hoping would give me lots of 3s but wasn't giving much there, or anywhere, and had a terrible FG%), which helped a bit but didn't really fix the problem."
"I decided to 'go big' for some assist help, settled on Calderon to target in a trade, and my offer of Noah (who is not nearly as good a fantasy player as he is an actual player) and Thaddeus Young (who is decent in a lot of things, but only really good in FG%) was accepted by Rudy Gay and Chardonnay (with me taking back Ed 'Soon to be Waived' Davis). With Calderon on board, I feel much better about my assists moving forward (and he's not a bad all-around fantasy player, either), and I don't expect that I'll miss Noah (he was on the bottom of my Big Men Totem Pole, even before I added Spence) or Young (his consistency was nice, but he was consistently 'meh')."
As for me, personally I like my how my team is constructed right now, although I can always use more point guards given I am a bit of a point guard whore. Currently I have one roster spot I am tinkering with and now using it on Dragic as a safety valve for Lowry but who knows how long I'll have interest there.
Until Next Time ... Take Care Everybody