OpinionOctober 30, 2009

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Pick n’ Roll – Opening Tips - 2 comments

By Adam Laforet

Whoo-yeah baby, regular season action is upon us. We can all share that warm fuzzy that comes from NBA teams playing games that count. Every week Pick n’ Roll will be hitting you up with a list of what’s new, puzzling, or downright exciting in the wide world of fantasy hoops. This week we’ll take a look at the season openers and see how things are shaking out.

The Good

Luol Deng didn’t look like hot garbage in Chicago’s season opener. All you crazy cats who blew a mid-range pick on him can breathe a sigh of relief. If he can continue dropping 17 and 9 on solid percentages he’ll be great value where he was drafted.

Joakim Noah with 10 and 10 and 2 blocks? Yes please, I’ll take two.

Emerging from the dog’s breakfast that is the SF position in Portland I give you … Martell Webster. He seems to have picked up the most reliable PT in Batum’s absence, and is worth adding to your bench in standard leagues. His defensive production has been super too – 1.5 Blk and 1.5 Stl a game is dead sexy. I doubt he continues that level of production, but if you’re looking for sneaky D from a guard then he’s a good choice.

Josh Smith. Five steals, two blocks, and 8 tasty dimes. We’ve missed you buddy, welcome back.

Danilo Gallinari managed to hit 7 threes and grab 6 boards in the Knicks’ opening tilt against Miami. That’s a whole boatload of threes, so if your team’s lacking in that department, take a look at Danny Boy. The pipes won’t blow for long though – guys that own whole cats don’t tend to sit on the wire. He’ll be up and down I’d imagine, but he’s worth an add in all formats.

Through two games Aaron Brooks has been fantastic. Considering where he was drafted, ‘fantastic’ doesn’t even really cover it. He’s averaging 18 and 8.5 through two games, and if he’s somehow still available on your waiver wire you should go add him now. You can finish reading Pn’R after you’ve added him, I don’t mind.

Russel Westbrook scored 14 points on 7-12 shooting, and added 7 boards and 13 assists for the Thunder in Wednesday’s game against the Kings. A tip of the hat to my man Russ for validating the massive man-crush I’ve been rocking since last year’s draft. Is he Rajon Wade or Dwyane Rondo? It’s tough to tell. He’s not going to shoot 58% on the season of course, and they were playing a terrible Sacramento squad, but I’ll take it anyway.

The Bad

There’s a nationwide recall on ’83 model Ford compacts. TJ went a gruesome 1-9 (with no redeeming peripherals) in Indiana’s first game, and his owners are starting to remember the ugly truth that he’s been outplayed by every backup PG on every team he’s ever played for. C’mon little man, just get the business done. I’m not recommending panic and Yahoo-wide drops just yet, but keep an eye on him and cut ties if he continues look quite so rec league.

Elton Brand. (no, there’s no commentary missing, he was just bad)

Nate Robinson went 0-8 and scored exactly one point in the Knicks opener. Folks are rushing to the wire in droves to drop him like an ugly date too. I’m pretty sure he’s going to get better looking after a couple of drinks though, and I’d counsel patience. He’s got too much potential to drop for some jabroni that had a nice opening night (see Lawson, Ty).

That whooshing sound followed by a splat that you heard on Thursday night was the sound of Cleveland fans everywhere throwing themselves off buildings as the mighty Cavs rolled to 0-2 to start the season. Bron-Bron still hit for a trip-dub, but everyone else on the team looked like refugees from the land of can’t-shoot-worth-a-damn. Getting put on a poster by a Euro big probably doesn’t soothe the blow any.

The Blake Griffin watch is temporarily suspended due to technical difficulties. The alert is now set at puce. Puce being the color of Clippers’ curses and disappointing injuries everywhere.

The Ugly

Greg Oden is averaging more fouls than points through two games. That’s not what we drafted you for Grampa! The 10.5 boards and 3.5 blocks he’s averaging keep me from sulking too much though. Portland needs to find him more than 4 FGA a game if he’s going to score.

Larry Brown’s Bobcats only scored 59 points in their opener against Boston. Somewhere Isiah Thomas is laughing his ass off. DJ Augustin didn’t hit a shot, and an out-of-shape Boris Diaw managed to accrue 3 fouls in 53 seconds of play. I can only shake my head.

Ty Lawson fever is a fantasy-wide epidemic it seems. He had a great opening night, going for 17 and 6, but he’s not going to get the minutes to keep that up. He had a much more ho-hum line in his second game, and people who are dropping talent like Chalmers and Robinson for him are going to be sorely disappointed.

Pau Gasol is reportedly going to appear in an episode of CSI. I only have one question … but why Pau, why? Why do you have to lower yourself like that? Why in the name of everything that’s holy did you choose CSI Miami? You could have picked a good CSI, but noooo, you need to act with David “tilting my head with sunglasses on is acting, right?” Caruso. For shame Pau, for shame. If I was Amish I’d shun you.

Team Games By Week – Week Two

Just to add some juicy toppings to this za, Pn’R will break down games by week for every team as a regular feature.

Teams with four games:


Teams with three games:


Teams that suck and only have two games:


That’s all for now folks, good luck in all your leagues.

Adam Laforet is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Adam in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of Fenris-77.
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• Other articles by Adam Laforet
Pick n’ Roll – Preseason Redux by Adam Laforet (posted on 10/23/2009 in Articles)
Pick n’ Roll – Is There a Doctor in the House? by Adam Laforet (posted on 11/07/2009 in Articles)
Pick n’ Roll – Hot Off the Presses by Adam Laforet (posted on 11/17/2009 in Articles)

2 Responses to “Pick n’ Roll – Opening Tips”

  1. plonden says:

    Nice roundup, Adam. I’m interested to hear your take on Roy Hibbert. Cut bait or hang tight?

  2. User avatar Fenris-77 says:

    I’m doing the full New Kid with Hibbert. He’s got too much potential in a rare category for me to dump him in a hasty rush to Anthony Parker, or whomever. If anything I might add him as sweetener in a sweet (for me) deal while his value’s still high, two for one upgrades preferred. Mostly he’s staying on my rosters though, and that goes double for keeper leagues. In short, I’m still a believer.

    And now that I’ve said that in public I’ve probably sealed his fate. My preseason fantasy hoops man-crushes seem to lead to injury far more often than I’d like.


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