2012 Fantasy Basketball: Season starting sleepers


James Harden

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NBA season has started.  My initial daily fantasy basketball reaction is that my games have gone about as good as the teething my young son is presently experiencing. I thought I could only imagine the pain he is feeling, but after the last two nights I think I am right there with him. I can’t seem to put together a consistent team. The stars are playing consistent, but due to salary leagues my sleepers are underperforming. I am one of those sports fanatics that expect Lebron James, Dwight Howard, and Chris Paul to put up 30 fantasy points a game. They are doing just that, but O.J. Mayo, Nicolas Batum, and David Lee aren’t putting up the high scoring performances I was expecting. I do, however, have three guys that can make an immediate impact on your daily fantasy team if you will add them to your roster.

Due to the changing style of NBA play, and less emphasis being placed on a true center (more guard oriented) these guys are destined to shine. I think that this three will continue to make an impact for their teams throughout the year.

Glen “Baby” Davis: The question was who will take the reins for Orlando after Dwight Howard moves on to the Lakers? Well I think that the question has been answered. I loved Glen’s performance when he played at LSU. At 6’9 he plays the post well, but he is also athletic enough to be a prolific scorer for the Magic. During his first outing Davis played 34 minutes and lit up the scoreboard with 29 pts. He also pulled down 10 rebounds and 2 blocked shots. If he can continue this production then we will be looking at a 30 point guy a night. He also comes at a good price point because of the team he plays on and his previous fantasy years.

Klay Thompson: Thompson my “sleeper” pick this year. I think that Golden State is going to have to use Klay this year to be a competitor. Klay is averaging 36 minutes a game and 13 pts a night (with a hot 3 pt shot.) He also is grabbing 5 rebounds a game and 3 assists. He can also get a steal or two a night which enhances his fantasy potential. Klay is a consistent guy, which tells me that I am looking at 20 fantasy points a night. I love playing guys that I feel like I can count on and Klay is one of those guys.  Read more…

2012 Fantasy Basketball: Top 5 Point Guards

Now on to the short men, my love for the point guard started when I found out Muggsy Bogues was shorter than my dad (by 3 inches, but every inch counts.) I consider point guards to be the second most important player on my daily fantasy teams, what they don’t get in points they make up for in assists and steals. Another thing that draws me to the point guard is the amount of minutes most of the big names get per games. Like I said in an earlier article, more minutes means more fantasy points. The Top 5 Centers were some big name guys, but in my mind the guards are the superstars. My Top 5 starts with a guy that was raised just down the road from me and in my mind he is the best point guard in the NBA.

Chris Paul: Paul was raised 15 minutes from my hometown. I first heard about Paul after he scored 61 points in memory of his slain grandfather at West Forsyth High School in Winston Salem and I knew at the time that he was a special player. Paul is not just a guard, he is a basketball player. With Paul surrounded by a cast of excellent players (Can we say Blake) he is sure to average 20 points 10 assist a game. He is also a guy that can play excellent defense at the point. On any given night Paul can have 1-3 steals. He will definitely be highly priced, but if you don’t get him, you can bet I will have him if you are playing me. He did undergo surgery on a thumb ligament last year, but this doesn’t seem to be a concern. He is a must play in limited leagues, pick-em’s, and salary formats.

Kobe Bryant: I am not a Kobe fan in real life, but I definitely am in the world of fantasy sports. Kobe equals production. The guy is a scorer and on some nights a big scorer. Even though the Lakers have added Steve Nash, Kobe’s point production will not struggle. Kobe is the Lakers’, until Lebron becomes a Laker in 2014 (HaHa prediction.) If Kobe can stay healthy all year he will average 25 points a night and get another 10 points due to assists/rebounds. Kobe may be 34, but he sure doesn’t play like it. I see him being cheaper than he has been in the past, which means he is definitely on my roster. Read more…

Chris Paul believes he’s the best player in the NBA

Chris PaulChris Paul has competition in Los Angeles as to who the best point guard is, but when asked the question by Dan Patrick on Fox Sports Radio he didn’t hesitate to answer.

“I’m a little biased.” He said confidently in response.

CP3 knows he’s the best player in L.A. but when asked who the best player in the league right now is he responded the same way, “I’m a little biased.”

Patrick sounded surprised CP3 answered the question the same way, asking again “You think you are the best player in the NBA right now? I like that.”

There is no debating that CP3 made the Los Angeles Clippers better and was instrumental for the U.S. Men’s Basketball team during the gold medal game, but is it a bit of a reach to say he is the best player in the NBA?

You have to put the guy top five right?: Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade?

Or is he even the best point guard? Rajon Rondo? Derrick Rose?

It’s debatable, but there is no argument that he is one of the top NBA superstars.

Known for his ball handling and ability to spread the ball, he also has the ability to score which makes him one of the best all-around point guards.

CP3 also will do anything it takes to win and that is un-measurable in today’s NBA game, but to think he is the best player in the NBA is a bit of a reach.

Rock, Paper, Clippers

spurs400-timduncan20101201-306x329Congratulations, goes out to the Los Angeles Clippers for there most recent success of advancing to the second round of the NBA playoffs. Unfortunately for this club, they ran into a franchise that is the juggernaut of the NBA. San Antonio took a while to get back, but now they are back in full force! With the dynamic nucleus of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginoboli they are looking like the team to beat once again. Don’t discredit the Clippers however, a franchise that was down in the dumps for some years now. It seems that their fortunes have changed starting from the inside out. Blake Griffin the Clippers 2009 first overall draft pick, has been everything that they could have asked for and he’s only getting better. This past season has been no different, averaging 20 ppg, 11 rpg, 4 apg and shooting 54% from the field has been dynamic. The real story has been the acqusition of Chris Paul, averaging 20 ppg, 4 rpg, 9 apg, and 3 spg. Paul has done everything to get his teammates and the young Blake involved. Paul is the undisputed leader of this team and has been huge down the stretch, especially in the playoffs which is uncharted territory for this young team. Read more here…

Have the Clippers blades gone dull, can they finish?

Blake-GriffinThe Los Angeles Clippers set the NBA world ablaze with the team acquiring  the top 5 point guard in the league, Chris Paul. The minute that the trade was announced everyone immediately put the Clippers in the playoffs. Then to my shock everyone began to write off the Lakers and say that the Clippers were the best team in town.Now that the playoffs have started I think the calls for the Clippers being the best in town has silenced but right now, its no guarantee that either will make it to the next round. The Clippers are dead locked in a battle with the Memphis Grizzlies and for the moment seemed to have the series in the bag. They leaped out to a commanding 3-1 lead in the series but 2 days ago failed to close the deal. Not only did they fail to close the series but they had some injuries to stars Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. Both players averaging over 20 ppg for the team in the playoffs. Read more here…

Pieces in place for Clippers championship

Blake GriffinThere was a time when the Los Angeles Clippers were one of, if not the most, laughable team in the NBA.  There was a time when Clipper fans faded to the background when sports fans in L.A. debated who the best team of the city was, regardless of sport.  There was a time when the Clippers owner was thought of as one of the worse in the league.  Okay, that last one is probably still true, but as for the other two thoughts, Clippers fan so “no more”.

With the arrival of The Blake Show in L.A. things started looking up for true Clipper fans.  I say true, because the more the Clippers start winning, the more people are going to jump on the bandwagon. But Clipper fans dared not get their hopes up to high.  They’ve seen it all before.  The “other” L.A. team, as the Clippers have been referred to in the past, have had stars and fans have watched them come and go.  Elton Brand.  Lamar Odom. Brent Barry. Each of them has been all-stars and Odom and Barry have helped teams win NBA titles.

So when Blake Griffin came back from injury so strong that he actually won the NBA Rookie of the Year, Clipper fans didn’t get too excited. They’d seen this movie before.  An all-star caliber player on the Clippers one day, traded the next. But then, just when you thought you knew how this story was going to end, the team pulled the old switch-a-roo.

Chris Paul had wanted out of New Orleans and it looked like the Los Angeles Lakers were going to get him.  But wait! The NBA put the Kibosh on the trade, keeping Paul on the Hornets. All of a sudden other teams were in the hunt for acquiring Paul and one of those other teams was the Clippers. After a few days of tug-o-war with which players to give up the Clippers finally got Chris Paul. Now, it seems, Clipper fans are letting themselves believe things are different.

Why shouldn’t they?  A perennial all-star, a rookie of the year and the Clips have just acquired Kenyon Martin. They have the all-stars in place and a supporting cast of players that include Chauncey Billups, Eric Gordon, Mo Williams, and others. And as of this time the “other team” in L.A. is actually in first place in their division. If the Clippers stay healthy and consistent, there’s no reason to think they cannot vie for an NBA championship.  Not just this year, but if Clippers management do the right thing, for years to come.

R.H. Tucker is an NBA team writer for The Sports Blitz

Power shift in Los Angeles?

Chris PaulA few weeks ago it seemed like business as usual in the NBA. For the Los Angeles Lakers business was about to become very interesting. Chris Paul was all but announced as the new Lakers point guard until David Stern blocked the trade that would have had Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol in different uniforms for the upcoming season. It is to be assumed that the Lakers would not have ended with Paul, but that they would have more than likely landed Dwight Howard as well-in exchange for Andrew Bynum. Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, and Dwight Howard would have been on the same team.

Imagine that for a minute. The NBA’s best center, best point guard, and best overall player on the same team. By the way, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard are in their prime. This Big 3 would have made Miami’s Big 3 look like a JV squad. The Lakers would have once again been the toast of LA and would be heads on favorite to take it all for the next several years. However, due to Basketball Reasons, (which is just a nice way of covering for small market owners who are jealous of big market dominance) this move never happened. Instead Chris Paul finds himself in a Clipper uniform paired up with a rising superstar in Blake Griffin.

It’s obvious who the losers are in this one. The Lakers, which are used to dictating what they want and usually getting it, à la Kareem, Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Kobe, and Shaq, now find themselves as the afterthought in LA. At least for the time being. Then if that wasn’t enough, they traded away the Sixth Man of the Year Lamar Odom for basically nothing. So now the Lakers seem to be on the downward slide in the eyes of many while the Clippers are on the rise.

How soon we forget about the aforementioned Kobe Bryant. The Black Mamba is still the best closer of the game. Don’t be surprised if he drops 60 against the Bulls on Christmas Day just to prove a point. That point is simple. LA is still a Laker town. It doesn’t matter who the tenants of the Staples Center have on their roster. The Clippers made great moves to make their team better no doubt about it. However, it seems like the Clippers are getting the same type of hype the Miami Heat got after signing LeBron James and Chris Bosh along with Dwayne Wade signing an extension during the summer of 2010. Are the Clippers the West Coast version of the Heat? We’ll have to wait and see. However with the hype, it seems people forget about the rich history of the Lakers. In their 60 plus years as an organization, the Lakers have only had five losing seasons. Since their start in 1970, the Clippers made the playoffs 7 times. Things will seem to change over the coming years for the Clippers but the proof is there. Bottom line is this; the Clippers are nothing more than paper champions until they start putting up championship banners at Staples Center. Clipper fans and new found fans alike need to understand this. The last count of championship banners was Lakers 16, Clippers 0. So is there a power shift in LA? It seems to be that way on paper. But paper doesn’t win championships. Playing basketball does.

Terrance Shumake is an NBA team writer for Shatter The Backboard and can be contacted at TShumake@TheSportsBlitz.com