Tag Archives: Monta Ellis

Adios Mississippi Missile

I haven’t written about the Warriors all year, because like the old saying goes, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say it at all. When Mark Jackson and the W’s front office promised the playoffs at the beginning of the year, I thought whoa, easy on the promises, do they know what franchise this is?!? I actually wanted them to stand pat this year and see what they have instead of making a hasty trade for Dwight when he said wasn’t going to stay in the Bay Area. Fortunately they didn’t gut the team for him, because I feel like they have a solid core of young players (4th youngest team in the league). Unsurprisingly, they haven’t looked like a playoff team especially going 5-10 in games that were decided by 3 points or less. Regardless of what they have or haven’t done this year it’s culminated in the biggest trade of the seemingly not so interesting trading deadline this year. Shortly after hearing about the Warriors trading Monta, Udoh, and Kwame for Bogut and Jackson I was admittedly mad. I chewed on it for a little while, digested it, slept on it, now I’m ready to poo out my real thoughts on the trade.

Monta Ellis – I think the only reason I was mad is because Monta was the only one on the team that makes those exciting hold your breathe types of plays on the team. Unless you count every time Curry makes a cut on his seemingly always broken ankles. Every year Ellis has been in the NBA he’s gotten better, and added something to his game. He will be greatly missed in Warriorland, and I want to thank him for all the highlight reels and game winners he made for us. I’ve always felt he should get more calls from the refs than he does, but he’s so quick maybe the refs can’t see the contact. He also should’ve been an All-Star at some point, but now that he’s in the East maybe that will finally happen. The most exciting part about him leaving this year is going to be seeing what rookie Klay Thompson can do. He’s already looked great in the limited minutes he’s been on the floor, but being Monta’s backup doesn’t really get you that many minutes. Now with a full time run, we’ll get to see what kind of shooting guard we drafted, and if he is indeed the all around player we think he can be.

An Actual Bold Move for Basketball Reasons – I think the part that riled me up a lot yesterday was that we put Udoh in the trade, and got back Stephen Jackson instead of someone useful like say Ersan Ilyasova.  Udoh was finally healthy and showing the promise that made the Warriors pick him in the draft two years ago, but if that was the breaking point for the deal then I’m okay with it, because it’s a bold shake up. For first time in a long time, it’s clear the Warriors have a direction. They’re usually stuck in suck mode, but not sucky enough to get a good draft pick or make the playoffs. I’m actually for them sucking the rest of this season, because in this lockout shortened back to back game fest, I didn’t see them coming out of it well. If that meant trading away our biggest trade chip for a true center that the Warriors haven’t had on their roster since before I was born, so be it. This might be one of the first times I’ve been impressed with the new owners. They made a move that wasn’t fan popular (trading away the most popular player doesn’t usually get a good reaction from fans), isn’t a PR move, it’s not payroll/cap driven, and it definitely wasn’t ticket sales driven, because who will really want to watch this team the rest of the way especially if they shut Curry down like they should. They delayed being any good the rest of this year to possibly be a lot better in the future with a much more traditional lineup. I can’t commend them enough after years of head-scratching trades whether it works out well or not. This trade hasn’t been positive yet, but you can tell they’re putting together some kind of plan, which is a first time since Mullin was our GM that it seemed like we have a plan. Plus, the value for Ellis wasn’t as high as Bay Area fans thought. Yes, he’s a great player, but sometimes he was a black hole, couldn’t guard bigger SG’s like Kobe, and being undersized isn’t overly attractive to every team.

Warriors New Frontline – I can confidently say David Lee has been more important than Monta this season, and probably more consistent on a nightly basis. Putting him next to a hopefully healthy Bogut gives them the frontline that can compete with the large frontcourts that every other team has in the west. It will also make Lee that much better not having to do all the scoring down low, and will also prevent him from having to guard centers half the time when Biendris is in his usual foul trouble. Then there’s the fact that we actually have a true center opposed to guys like Foyle, Dampier, and Biendris. Come to think of it, I can’t remember being excited about their center since Manute Bol was on the team. Bogut also gives them that defensive anchor that Mark Jackson really needs to have to make this a strong defensive team. I have to admit I did keep Bogut one year in my fantasy basketball league, so I fully understand his upside, especially being in his prime at 27 years of age, and they will have control over him for three years compared to Monta’s two years (Monta had said he’d probably exercise his players option after next year to become a free agent). Bogut just needs to stop having the freak accidents to make this trade worthwhile for the Warriors. I’m not sure we can truly evaluate the trade until we see him play next year, so the jury is still out. I was pretty happy to see how mad some of the Bucks fans are about losing Bogut in the trade.

They might be bad enough to keep their draft pick – This trade also gives the Warriors some hope of keeping their draft pick this year. If you didn’t know, the Warriors traded their first rounder in this years draft for Marcus Williams to NJ back in 2009, who played a whopping nine games for them. That pick was then traded to Utah in the Deron Williams deal. The only way they keep the draft pick is if they lose their way to the worst seven in the league, since the pick is top seven protected. If they do suck their way into keeping their pick, then it would roll over to the next years draft, where it’s only top 5 protected. Even if they are the 7th worst team, there’s no guarantee they’ll get the 7th pick because it seems like every year at least one team leap frogs them into the lottery, and pushes them back a pick. They’re already better than a lot of the Eastern Confrences bottom feeders, so one can only hope. Despite last nights trade inspired performance from the Dubstitutes, they only beat Sacramento team that is just plain bad this year. I’m sure with one of the toughest schedules left in the league (something like 11 or 12 back to backs left) they will have a prolonged losing streak giving them a shot at keeping their draft pick, and at the same time get a good look at their young players. My hope now is they just let Curry rest so he doesn’t keep re-injuring those ankles, and lose their way to keep their draft pick.

Stephen Jackson is back – I have a hard time seeing where Jackson fits into the Warriors roster at the moment, but Dorrell Wright has been a disappointment this year. He was a cancer towards the end of his Warriors days, but maybe after getting out of Milwaukee with a coach he couldn’t stand will get his head right. Plus, he did give us Warriors fans a lot of good memories in a franchise that produces few. I thought they might try to flip him right away for something more constructive to the future of the team, but it sounds like it takes 48 hours for the trade and physicals to go through, so that will be after the trade deadline passes, unless he reports early, which I don’t see happening. I’ve read they’ll either trade him after the season or buy him out when the season is over. If that doesn’t happen at least Jack will eat up some salary cap so they don’t make a ridiculous offer to some free agent this off-season. I also wouldn’t mind holding onto Jack next year when he’s in a contract year with something to prove, so he can get paid. I’m just glad Rowell isn’t around to negotiate a new contract with him or we’d probably end up with Jack until 2020 at $10M per year hoping for We Believe 2.0.

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Demarcus Cousins: Rookie (mistake) Of The Year

Demarcus Cousins thought the game was in the bag. So did I. So did every other fan in attendance last night.

Last night was a big one for me. Most of you probably didn’t know they even played, since neither are even close to relevant, but MY Golden State Warriors paid a visit to MY Sacramento Kings last night. I’m grew up a Kings fan, back when they were almost as bad as they are now, and these days, I root for them 78 games a year. The four that I don’t are – surprise – when they play the Warriors. Regardless of which arena the game is played, I remain pretty neutral. Ultimately I want the W’s to win, but I usually just hope for a close game. Sometimes that backfires and they end up in triple overtime in Oakland on a weeknight! They’re almost always good games though, and whichever team wins, at least one of my teams is getting a victory.

Last night though, I was a full-on Warriors fan for the first time. I’m running out of ways to remain a Kings fan. It’s not because they’re losing. I endured more losing from 1984-1997 than anyone can imagine. This year, they’re not even fun to watch. I knew they’d struggle, considering the inexperienced roster, but I thought they’d at least be fun to watch. They show flashes here and there, but for the most part just look like an overmatched JV team that knows it’s about to get its ass kicked. They don’t even try. Last night was another huge blow to the franchise as a whole. It’s like when you know an addict who refuses to get help. You finally realize that they just need to hit rock bottom or else they’ll never admit they have a problem. That’s where the Kings are at. So, last night was another step in that direction. It was so bad that we contemplated leaving early, since the game seemed out of reach for the W’s. Instead, I witnessed one of the biggest meltdowns I’ve ever seen on a basketball court.


Welcome, Saviors

Not completely lost amidst the Warriors near melt down, was the introduction of new owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber to the Bay Area public.  Their speeches were short, sweet and simple.  But the impression left was meaningful.  Yes, there’s still plenty of season left, and although a 7-4 record looks, and feels good now, there hasn’t been a 7-4 team to make the playoffs in NBA history.  We play 82 games.  It’s uncertain how the rest of the season will play out, but we Warrior fans have got to appreciate the new energy that’s surrounding our organization.

It’s easy to give credit to Keith Smart.  And he deserves it.  He’s so definitive in his demeanor that he even sways me, the harshest critic, into believing that what ever decision he made was the right one, despite the results.  He’s a true leader on the sidelines.  Credit could, and should be given to the new Monta Ellis.  His attitude has been nothing but positive since getting married.  His maturity has risen to the point that you forget that he’s only 25.  He’s still a kid himself, but he’s ready to be the older brother on this young squad.  But I can’t help but think that all this positive energy must have started up top.  The very top.

Joe Lacob has experienced winning at the highest level with the Celtics.  And now he brings that tradition, and that winning formula to what he calls, a great market.  He’s correct.  His first words to Warriors’ fans, “You are the best fans …”

Someone knows how to butter us up.  But it’s true.  Unlike other sports teams in the Bay, or anywhere for that matter, it’s hard to point out a fair weather Warrior fan.  Or a bandwagoner.  I’ve been going to Warriors games for over 16 years, and from 1994 to 2010, the Dubs have been selling out, or at least coming close to it.  I could be wrong, but one things for sure, the arena never felt empty, even when we were losing.  And now we have owners who want to reward us for our loyalty and commitment.  I can’t wait for these next few years, because I don’t feel stupid for expecting great things.

So on behalf of all Warrior faithful, we just want to welcome Joe Lacob and Peter Guber to the Bay, officially.  And thank you, ahead of time.


Warriors 2010-11 Season Preview

The Warriors funniest fan as far as trash talking goes… Mistah Fab!

During yesterday’s football Sunday all I could think about was the hoops season that is right around the corner. This years Warriors team is completely different than last year. Aside from Curry, Ellis, Biendris, Reggie Williams, and Branden Wright everyone else is new. Change isn’t a bad thing for us, which started this off season with the arrival of  new ownership group, and a sort of new coach (sort of is because he’s been the W’s assistant for seven years). I was a little surprised that the Warriors made this many changes from last years team that we never really saw on the court together. The 2009 unit broke the record for games missed due to injuries, and half of our 9 man roster ended up being D-League call ups. Oh well, maybe management knew something, and this new crop of players can put up huge numbers in the games played column! I guess if you’re a new management team coming in, you’d want to get as far away from the Chris Cohan era as possible, so I don’t blame them for blowing up the team a little. I’m not expecting them to make the playoffs this year. I mean I could see that happening, but that would take a perfect transition with a lot of moving/new parts involved. I’m really just looking for improvement over the season. By had a much more optimistic expectations of them, putting them as the sixth seed in the west. I hope he’s right, but I’ll temper my expectations for the time being! Here’s the Warriors story lines I’m most intrigued with for the year.

David Lee

Lee was our big long term acquisition this off season. I can’t lie, I haven’t seen him play very much. He seems to be a great blue collar type player that will give you Brian Cardinal type effort when he’s out there. In the limited time I’ve seen him play I can’t say he’s great at any one single thing, but very good at everything. It’s refreshing to have Lee and Curry as the franchise face after having quite a few slackers as our stars over the years. I do have one big question for Lee. Is going against true power forwards every night instead of going against centers going to hurt his productivity? While in NY, he was their center, going against opposing centers nightly, which he could out quick 90% of the time. I think that was a reason why he was able to put up such big numbers in scoring and rebounding. Now he will be guarded by quicker and more talented power forwards while also having to contain them on the other end of the floor. I’m not saying centers aren’t athletic, but forwards seem to be a lot more polished presently in today’s NBA. I’m also wondering how the roll on the pick and roll will go with Biens out on the floor. Center’s don’t really need to cover Biens because he has very limited offensive abilities. Will the sagging/cheating center leave Biens to clog up the lane making it tough on Lee to finish? We shall see.

Defense Continue reading


So You’re Tellin Me There’s a Chance!

One of my favorite players in the NBA is Brandon Roy, and I hope he rests through the break to completely heal from his injury. Not just because he’s one of the dominant fourth quarter scorers or because I happen to have him on my fantasy team, but for a new reason that came to light today. Roy is just one of those guys that wants to win, and will take a lesser role to enable his team to succeed when they are healthy. He does step it up when they are injury riddled, like they have been the past two years, and shows why he is such a good player. The recent news out of Portland is that he’s had set backs with that hammy that’s been bothering him. For some strange reason he still isn’t IR eligible in fantasy (screw you ESPN!). Anyways, they are saying that if he doesn’t play in a regular team game before the All-Star exhibition game, he will rest, opposed to possibly injuring the hammy further in the All-Star game. This will open the door for the first Warriors player since 1997 to get into the mid-season classic. Monta Ellis was the runner up to Chauncey Billups to replace CP3 in the game, so if Roy is held out of the game, Ellis should be the guy to get in there. Granted to most people this is about as exciting as me watching Lakers games hoping for them to lose, but to Warriors fans it might be the one bright spot in a horrific year, filled with injuries and dysfunction. That is, unless, Curry somehow takes the ROY award away from Tyreke or the team gets sold to Larry Ellison. If the Warriors ended up getting sold to Ellison, that would be the best thing to happen to the franchise in over two decades. For now, the possibility of Monta being named to the All-Star game would be the only highlight to our season thus far!


Monta Plays Like an All-Star

Monta Ellis may be playing like an all-star, but it doesn’t sound too likely he’ll make it to the mid-season classic. He’ s averaging 26.1 ppg 4.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 2.2 steals per game. Some argue that since he’s on a losing team that plays at a fast pace waters down his stats. Some also argue that his league high in minutes (41.3 ) make putting up those kind of numbers much easier. I think people are taking for granted what he’s been doing consistently for the Warriors. Defense’s are obviously keying on him, and he’s improving in every facet of his game, again. I’ve never once felt like Monta was regressing during his whole career with the dubs, which is something I can’t say for many players. My question to the doubters is, how could the Warriors really afford to play him less? They’ve had 9 or less players suited up for 32 of their games this season. Against Milwaukee, they didn’t have enough guys to finish the game, and took a technical despite having Stephen Curry fouled out. If they didn’t have him, they probably wouldn’t even have double digit wins (11). I hope he gets selected as a reserve. He doesn’t have a ton of competition aside from Brandon Roy at the SG spot (he deserves it over Monta), so I’m holding on to a little hope. O.J. Mayo and Eric Gordon are the closest to him in scoring, but would you agree with either of them getting the nod over Monta? Doubtful. I guess they might take an extra PG, since there are a TON of good ones that probably won’t get into the game. If Monta doesn’t get picked, he should consider entering the HORSE game, because it looks like he’s got a few trick shots in the bag!

I’d like to invite anyone to argue that he is a less deserving candidate for the team, than say, Tracy Mcgrady! If T-Mac doesn’t give up his All-Star spot, we shouldn’t allow China’s All-Star votes to count next year. Ok, one case is acceptable, and that’s if the votes are going to someone that actually IS playing like Ariza or Brooks. The same kind of argument could be made about AI as well, but I don’t really want to get into that one…

The Dubs haven’t had a All-Star since Carlisimacoachchoker Spreewell  in 1997. Not an eyebrow raising fact, but true nonetheless. I’ll leave you with Kobe’s thoughts on Ellis “”He’s still underrated. I know how good he is, and all his peers know how good he is … he doesn’t get the credit he deserves.”


Warriors 2009-10 Season Preview: Lots of Upside, and Probably Lots of Growing Pains

Anthony Randolph won't hit his full stride for a few years, but this season we will see his true potential!

Anthony Randolph won't hit his full stride for a few years, but this season we will see his true potential!

Ready or not dubs fans the season is about to start for us on Wednesday against the Suns. We have about the same ceiling/basement as most recent Warriors seasons. I’m guessing our ceiling would be a 7th or 8th seed in the west, and our basement is, well, we know what the basement is all about from the last decade plus. I can understand why some of the players (Jackson and Ellis) are somewhat confused at the organizations lack of movement in any one direction this offseason. Even the movement they did make it was pretty suspect as they added even more guards to the roster. I can’t say there’s any reason to be shocked, and nor should any long time Warriors fan. It’s rough watching Rowell sign extensions and trade for point guards, but we understand that our ownership just doesn’t like to make normal decisions. Maybe Al Davis and Cohan speak regularly on how to make Bay Area fans miserable. The thing that has bugged me the most out of all of these years, is that we do have a great fan base, and are the fifth largest basketball market in the country. It’s been a widespread hope for years that Cohan would sell the team, but fans have been disappointed as talks died down each time. It’s just amazing that bigger named players can’t be brought here, since they are in such a good market. I guess the Cohan’s (losing) label has stuck a little too well forcing all free agents to head for the hills when the W’s call. Anyways, I have high hopes for this team in the near future maybe not this year per say, but sooner than later they should  mold into a solid cast, if we actually CAN keep them together.

Let’s start with the trouble makers that kept the Warriors camp relevant in the NBA news over the summer. I think I’ve said about all I can on Stephen Jackson, and how his time in a Warriors jersey was much appreciated, but now it’s time to for us and him to move on. I’ve been a huge fan of Monta Ellis since he was drafted by the Warriors, but this summer he proved that he still is slightly childish. He didn’t want the W’s to take a guard in the draft. Sure enough, they did. At the time I felt it would have been a big mistake to take anyone other than Curry, so I’m glad we did. He said that Curry and himself couldn’t play together, and it looks like they’re both in the starting lineup for Friday night. Maybe I just never noticed it, or maybe Jackson has rubbed off on Monta with his gripes. I can understand his points and where he’s coming from, but he should have done a little more research before he signed his contract! I hope he can suck it up, and just play like the guy that flew around the court and gave oppositions nightmares on defense. I think he will, and Nelson will use his ability’s well at the 2. I haven’t really seen anything promising as far as distributing the ball with him, so I’m not really buying he was cut out to man the point. I’m down for a surprise, if he can prove me wrong!

Curry didn't shoot well in the preseason, but he'll find his stroke.

Curry didn't shoot well in the preseason, but he'll find his stroke.

Which moves us to Curry. He seems to be the most professional about all the drama that has unfolded this offseason (maybe his daddy Del helped him out with that), but he’s been very composed considering a lot of it has surrounded him. I had mixed feelings when we drafted him as I’ve had a mancrush on him for at least three years, but it sounded like he didn’t want to come to Golden State. Before the draft he didn’t even want to work out for the W’s, and it was already upsetting one of our young stars (Monta) that he was being considered. Alas, I’ve come around after watching him play in a few games this pre-season with some actual pros. I really liked how he managed the game, and seemed to know how to run an offense showing off his high basketball IQ, which must just be a hereditary thing. Now that he’s been named the starter for opening night, I can only hope he makes more correct decisions that wrong ones. If he struggles early, I could see him out of the starting lineup quick, but with very little competition at PG I think he might stick. I’m sure some of his training this offseason with CP3 taught him a thing or two about being prepared. Nellie has been glowing about him, calling him a young Steve Nash. It’s pretty high praises, but Nellie says a lot of weird stuff!

Stephen Jackson, Anthony Randolph, and Andris Biendris are supposed to round out the lineup. Although Jackson and Randolph are both questionable it looks as though they will both play in the opener. Randolph’s back is slightly more concerning, but there are still a few days before the season starts for him to rest. The freakishly gifted Randolph showed off at the Summer Leagues, and is rinally ready to reel in some minutes, that should bump up his already impressive stats in a small sample size. It’s crazy that he might not even peak for another five years! He is finally out of Nellie’s doghouse through working extremely hard through the offseason, and once again is a main reason for optimism in Oakland. He added 20 pounds of muscle, and was constantly working on his game which should translate to a breakout campaign.

Biens blocking Josh Smith!

Biens blocking Josh Smith!

Biens could possibly be my favorite player on their team. I guess that Latvian charm wore off on me because I’m not really big on his style of play or the excitement level he creates when he’s on the court. It’s more on how he approaches the game, and has handled himself throughout his career as a Warrior. He never complained once about not having a contract until his was up. He has consistently gotten better each season in one area or another. He’s only 23! He appreciates the game and what he is a part of. This summer he reportedly has been expanding his offensive game. Word is he has been working on facing up, and post moves as defenders were playing his tendencies too much last season. It’s the one facet of his game that has always had criticism, and now he’s addressing it. Just one more reason to like this kid! No matter what happens, I think we’ll get our money’s worth out of him on the court.

Morrow was stroking it in the preseason!

Morrow was stroking it in the preseason!

Our bench should be very interesting this year. It will be shuffling who is coming off the bench based on who is starting, but with Morrow/Curry, Maggette, Turiaf, and Azubuike it looks like we should be able to outscore a lot of second teams in the league. Morrow and Maggette have been great this pre-season, and possibly the best looking players on the team at times. They are very efficient in scoring, so hopefully that will continue to through the start of the regular season. Morrow could be the most interesting Warrior this year. It’s likely he’ll see the same 20-25 minutes per game since Nellie loves the three, but since he has been working hard on his defense, he might find a few extra minutes if he truly has improved. I find that a lot of people forget we even have Maggette, which is understandable, but he is the physical type of player we need to wear teams down and get the foul counts up to be in the bonus late in games. We have plenty of scoring, but our main problem once again is that we’re painfully thin at forward, and really only have one true center on the roster. Hopefully a speedy recovery from Branden Wright can help that. I’m worried having a rotation of bigs that includes Mikki Moore. Should be an interesting season! I’m hoping for the best, but as always I will be prepared for the worst!


Doin Work’s 2009 NBA Fantasy Mock Draft

nbadraftIt’s hard to not get fired up about the basketball season by doing a mock draft! The NBA kind of sucks in some ways because if you are unfortunate and a few of your top two picks get injured your team is already pretty much done for the season. It’s weird how there are the top 35 guys in the league that help your fantasy team win, and the rest of your team is filled with streaky guys that can impress or disappoint you nightly. We did the first three rounds in a 12 team league, bookmark it if you need to for your draft!

#1 – Odom’s Shoulder Vein – Lebron James, Cleveland

Its Lebron enough said…..Last year however I took Chris Paul at #1 over Lebron and was able to run away with a league title. So, there is a possible consideration with not going with the King here. That thought is fleeting though, Lebron is easily the most multi-cat producer in the game, and will only get better and more dominating, and he is simply too good to pass up under any circumstance.

#2 – Hard on for Rajon – Kobe “Doin Work” Bryant, Los Angeles

He is the best guard in the league, he’s still in his prime, and they’ve added one of the best defenders in the league to help take a bit of pressure of him in Artest.  Let’s not forget Ariza wasn’t more than a role player still at mid-season before he started to get more minutes with Walton injured.  Kobe will get his shots and be fresher in the 4th qtr this year.

# 3 – Oden Retirement Home – Chris Paul, New Orleans

Chris Paul CP3 Dwight Howard Superman

CP3 over Superman

In 2007, I took Chris Paul with the 8th pick overall.  It was a great pick and he led me to an 8th place finish.  This time, getting him up at #3 means better picks to surround him with championship talent. Or does it?  Even though I missed the playoffs last year, this yahoo snaking order isn’t helping me get competitive!

#4 Walker Texas Granger – Danny Granger, Indiana Pacers

He may not be a superstar in the NBA like the guys picked around him, but he is a fantasy stud. He fills up the stat sheets, and I named my team after him, so I had no choice but to pick him! He killed me last year every time I was against the team that had him, and my strategy is to pick those guys this year.

#5 Cross Over Kings – Dwayne Wade, Miami

Extremely happy Dwyane Wade was available here at 5. I think a case can be made that is a top three player, and with his huge scoring ability I would consider drafting him ahead of Chris Paul. Health concerns the last several years have been an issue you can’t ignore with Wade, however last years strong season should temper some of those larger concerns. No reason not to consider Wade a corner stone player with your squad come draft day.

# 6 – Nelly’s Belly – Kevin Durant, Seattle

At least we briefly saw KD in a Sonic jersey

At least we briefly saw KD in a Sonic jersey

That’s not a typo.  Much like I refuse to call South Florida USF, I choose not to acknowledge that there is an NBA team in Oklahoma City and not Seattle.  Anyway, Durant has proved he can do more than just score, and he’s the Yahoo cover boy! He has to have a big year right?

#7 – Pippen Ain’t Easy – Dwight Howard, Orlando

Superman, nuff said.  Would like to see that FT % finally go up, lot’s of hype last year and only a small increase.  Losing Hedu can’t hurt him too much, especially with Nelson coming back healthy.

#8 –  Who’s the Bosh? – Dirk Nowitzski

I can’t lie, the clock was running down on my turn, and I figured I may as well start my team off with a the top white guy on the board who plays nearly every game every season, and is consistent. I almost picked my boy Bosh, but I’ve always believed that picking your favorite player will jinx your team ,so I’m staying away from my Canadian brethren.

#9 – Artest Dog Kennel Co. – Pau Gasol, Los Angeles

Yikes where did all of the players I have targeted go? Crap, literally every player I wanted (some I had no chance to grab at 9) went flying off the board in round one. I had to quickly scramble for a player I want that would deserve a top 9 pick…..With only a few seconds left to spare I took a leap of faith on Pau Gasol. 20 & 10 a night at PF is not a bad building block for your team I guess, however Gasol lacks that buzz you might want from your first pick. Pau is a totally different type of player I’m use to building around so early out of the gates.

# 10 – Sovinet Union – Chris Bosh, Toronto

If we were drafting haircuts, I wouldn’t take Bosh in the first round.  But, when it comes to ball, I’m a fan of lanky guys, and he fits the mold.  Plus, he’s in a contract year, and although he seems to have a good relationship with Toronto, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind being courted by a few large market American teams.

#11 – Be All You Camby – Al Jefferson, Minnesota

Al Jefferson dunk MinnesotaTalk about a team built around one player.  It’s like Big Al and a bunch of speedy guards and forwards (except Kevin Love of course).  And they are all mediocre at this point in their careers.  The Twolves will struggle, but Big Al will get his.  Let’s put it this way, the active backups at C currently listed on the roster are Ryan Hollins and Jared Reiner.  Exactly.

#12 – Baby Curry – Deron Williams, Utah

With an injury plagued start to his season last year, I look for Deron to have a big bounce back fantasy season. It’s not like he didn’t show that he wasn’t healthy last year as he averaged 11.5 assists after the All-Star break, and looked like a top fantasy player for a month or so. I didn’t hesitate to pick him with the last pick in the final round.

ROUND 2

#13 – Baby Curry – Amare Stoudamire, Phoenix

The Suns can only hope!

The Suns can only hope!

Goggle boy should fit nicely with Deron, as I now have a solid base for nearly every category. I see Stoudamire having a great year under Gentry, and without Shaq he is the unquestioned low post option everytime down the floor. He once again has something to prove so I’m betting he steps it up a notch! Rumor has it he’s even been working on his defense.

#14 – Be All You Camby – Tim “TIMMAY” Duncan

I won’t lie, I just went with a huge line up drafting Tiny Tim and Big Al back-to-back.  Timmy might have lost half a step, but we know him as the Big Fundamental for a reason: he’s always textbook in every move he makes.  And he’s one of the strongest two-way players in the game at his size.

# 15 – Sovinet Union – Brandon Roy, Portland

I don’t have any fancy numbers or theory on this pick.  I was just simply taking the best player on the board.  He may not put up all-around numbers, but I’d sure rather check his box scores than JR Rider, who was my other choice at this spot.

#16 – Artest Dog Kennel Co. – Chauncey Billups, Dever

With my rebounds and pts locked up early, my attention quickly turns to grabbing a top flight PG before they all disappear. I’ve always marveled at the consistency of Billups and the fantastic stat line he puts up each night….This was an easy pick for me.

#17 – Who’s the Bosh? – Gilbert Arenas, Washington

Does Gilbert have any game winners this year?

Does Gilbert have any game winners this year?

I can’t say that this isn’t a reach, but there is a ton of upside here. I hope he’s back to dominant form. I somehow feel like I could get him later, but why wait for something that feels so right. He could be the NBA and fantasy comeback player of the year, so I’ll roll the dice. I usually lose leagues anyways, so I may as well try out a new strategy.

#18 – Pippen Ain’t Easy – Carmelo Anthony, Denver

I can’t tell if this is a gamble or an insult to Melo, being drafted 18th after the likes of Roy, his teammate Billups, and Arenas who has been bed ridden for the past 3 years.  Melo is such a moody player, it’s ridiculous.  I can only pray his in whatever mood it takes to put up his potential more often than not.  He’s 30-10 followed by 15-5, but he is becoming a slightly more consistent at least.

# 19 – Nelly’s Belly – Derrick Rose, Chicago

Maybe I’m reaching here, but I’m probably still thinking about Game 1 of the Bulls – Celtics series last postseason.  I know he didn’t live up to that game for the remainder of the season, but he ended up averaging 20, 6, and 6 for the series.  If that’s where he’s leaving off, I can’t wait to see how he progresses in his second NBA season.

#20 – Cross Over Kings – Steve Nash, Phoenix

Point guards, point guards, point guards…..Did I say point guards? Teams that win fantasy basketball titles are rich with talent at the PG position, and if the opportunity presents itself in the early rounds I’ll be drafting the best player at this position every time. This is a keeper league we’re drafting for, so I didn’t think twice about snatching up Steve Nash here, and team him up with D-Wade. I love the nightly production I can expect from these two, but now will be turning my attention to boards, and three pts with future draft picks.

#21 – Walker Texas Granger – Devin Harris, New Jersey

With Vince gone, I think Harris will have to assert himself all season long, and that’s going to be good news for fantasy owners. Although he usually gets injured at one point in the season, he was probably my steal of the draft last year, so I’m thanking him by taking him here.

# 22 – Oden Retirement Home –  Joe Johnson, Atlanta

Joe Johnson Hawks jump shotJoe Johnson is like that girl who looks pretty good most of the time, but isn’t quite gorgeous.  But, every once in a while she’ll look smokin and she’ll, I mean he’ll put up a triple double and you fall in love.  We’ve had an on and off relationship in fantasy hoops over the last few years, but with Atlanta emerging as a playoff threat and rounding into their prime, I’m ready to commit to Joe.  Flanked by Josh Smith, Bibby, and Jamal Crawford, I think he’ll be at the center of that offense dishing out plenty of dimes to go with his strong scoring numbers.

#23 – Hard on for Rajon – David West, New Orleans

David West can thank two guys for making his job pretty damn easy: the unbelievable CP3, and Peja when he’s healthy.  We already know about CP3, he’s the best PG in the league.  But Peja takes a lot of bodies out to the perimeter to get a hand in his face, opening up the post for the talented West to operate.  Lots of chances for Off Rebs and he’s solid on D as well.  Nice balance to first pick Kobe.

#24 – Odom’s Shoulder Vein – Jose Calderon, Toronto

Waiting an entire two rounds to draft again is a steep price to pay for having the number pick, however I find in basketball rounds three and four are still rich in talent. Top tier point guards disappear quickly in the first three rounds and had to make my move here to pick one up. I was excited to see Calderon available and didn’t give anybody else serious thought. He seems like an ideal PG to team up with Lebron…Assists, steals, FG%, Pts, 3pts are already in good hands two picks in.

#25 – Odom’s Shoulder Vein – Gerald Wallace, Charlotte

Gerald Wallace BobcatsNot sure about this pick after I made it….In retrospect I think Vince Carter was the better value. It’s not like Wallace is a bad player or won’t even put up very similar numbers…but if I can the player that is on a much better team (ie Orlando) with less health concerns that’s usually the better move. In terms of over all production, I’m extremely happy with my first three picks.

#26 – Hard on for Rajon – Andre Igoudala, Philadelphia

The other AI is in for an even bigger season with the loss of veteran PG Andre Miller.  Besides, with so many Andre’s on the court it was getting confusing.  It looks as though Iguodala will be starting with Lou Williams at the point and Thaddeus Young at the 3, so there will be plenty of opportunity to score in this offense.  We all know his athletic ability alone is pretty special.

# 27 – Oden Retirement Home – Shawn Marion, Dallas

I’m not a Shawn Marion fan by any stretch of the imagination.  Once he left Phoenix, his fantasy value has deteriorated.  However, I feel like this is the year the Mavericks either make one last push, or blow it up completely.  If it’s the former, it’ll be because Marion is enjoying a comeback season pertaining to his fantasy relevance.

#28 – Walker Texas Granger– Kevin Garnett, Boston

This pick is a risky one, since Garnett’s production has been falling off faster than Raiders ticket sales, but hopefully he’ll be rejuvenated after getting the last couple months of last season off. I have little doubt that when he’s in there he’ll produce, the question is will he be in there?

#29 – Cross Over Kings – Antawn Jamison, Washington

Antawn Jamison WizardsHere in the third round I was looking for an all-around producer from either the SF or PF position. If I can find a scorer who boards, and can knock down some threes as well, I feel like this would be an ideal addition. Paul Piece was a serious candidate, but I was hoping to get a few more rebounds, which made Jamison the most viable player to go with. His average of 8+ boards a night to go along with 20 pts, and a few threes seem like a good fit. I would argue Jamison is one of the most under valued players in the league when it comes to fantasy players….

#30 – Nelly’s Belly – Josh Smith, Atlanta

The Josh Smith saga continues.  I jumped on the bandwagon early, and by the time he hit his fantasy peak, he was in someone else’s hands.  In his third run on my team in 5 years last season, he had a disappointing campaign.  This year, I’m hoping to pair him with Anthony Randolph in a later round and have the scariest fantasy team ever on paper!

#31 – Pippen Ain’t Easy – Rashard Lewis, Orlando

I guess I’m all in on the Magic offense after the loss of Hedu in the off-season.  Long-range Lewis and Superman will get a few more touches, and a healthy Jameer Nelson will give them great opportunities to excel.

#32 – Who’s the Bosh? – Rajon Rondo, Boston

Woohoo, hi-five!

Woohoo, hi-five!

I guess I might need a backup plan at PG in case Gilbert goes down, and Rondo is a dishing machine that should only get better with age! I’m not sure if he’s an alien or not, but it’s good to have another Sam Cassell looking guy in the league.

#33 – Artest Dog Kennel Co. – Vince Carter, Orlando

Wow….Vince Carter sitting here so late is a nice gift if you ask me. And it’s these types of players you draft in rounds 3, 4, and 5 that can net you a fantasy title. With Carter playing for a winning Orlando team full of talent, I think it’s reasonable to think he has a decent chance to put up top 15 type numbers this season. I feel great about having top players at PG, PF, and SF….Carter does carry some health risks, but those fears seem to only come up when he is playing for bad teams!

# 34 – Sovinet Union – Paul Pierce, Boston

The Celtics took a year off to celebrate, and this season should be the last chance for Pierce, Garnett, and Allen to get one more ring.  Since KG and Ray both have the durability of a pine cone, Paul Pierce is going to have to hold down the fort through much of the regular season.

#35 – Be All You Camby – Jason Kidd

After taking two big men, I’m delighted to see two great PGs left to choose from: Kidd and Tony Parker.  I’m going with Kidd only because he outs up better assist numbers and more 3 pointers.  The Dallas offense looks filthy with a healthy Josh Howard, Dirk and Terry, plus new addition Shawn Marion keeping plays alive and providing a bit of energy.

#36 – Baby Curry – Monta Ellis, Golden State

The Warriors camp has been the most active, and not in a good way. I hate to pick the guy that told my mancrush that he couldn’t play with him, but he should be primed for a big season whether or not they end up being competitive. Anyone guaranteed starters minutes on the dubs should be a good pick!


Monta Doesn’t Want to Play with Curry and SJax Still Wants Out…

Most media days for the beginning of the NBA season are pretty boring, but when it comes to the Warriors they always seem to have something interesting going on. It’s not a good thing, but I feel it was mildly better than last year. Last season they had a lot to talk about with, the direction of the team, the big contracts that they should have given to Baron over Maggette, and Monta’s scooter accident. Once again, Monta made a splash at the media day, and SJax had his fair share to say about his ongoing trade demands. All of the hoopla this season doesn’t really discourage me as much as last seasons distractions did.

Don Nelson Steven JacksonWell, since I’ve been following SJax on his rampage of trade demands, I’ll start with him. It sounds like not much has changed since his Dime Interview when he said he wanted to go to a contender. He basically reiterated that he did want out of Golden State during media day, but also verbally vomited on a few other subjects that I found interesting. He answered my question as to why he signed that extension just before asking to be traded, which was “Who’s going to turn down that money? I’m not stupid. I didn’t go to college but I’ve got a lot of common sense,”. I see his point of view as nobody would have given him that much, but if you really want to be on a winner why would you handcuff your team like that? Shouldn’t he have taken the Artest route and signed for less than what he was worth on a contender when his contract was up?! Honestly though, I don’t find SJax as being a distraction, because one thing is for sure, when he’s out on that court you know he will play his hardest. Whether he’d rather be somewhere else or not he’s just the kind of player that tanks games, he’s competitive and wants to win games period. If he doesn’t play hard for himself he’ll do it for his teammates, which is why I still agree with making him a captain. He played a lot of meaningless minutes last year and seemed to give it his all, so if we don’t move him I don’t see it being a big problem. For some reason he also spouted off about not regretting anything he’s done including going into the crowd with Artest in the Detroit melee.Monta Ellis Dunking Warriors He felt that may have been one of the reasons the NBA picked to fine him $25K for his comments, and didn’t fine a guy like Kobe for making the same statement. Here’s the whole interview, but don’t take TK’s words too strongly he’s a douchebag.

Monta came out to talk with the media a little while after Jackson did. He usually is pretty boring in interviews, and rarely says anything of relevance. He started off good saying the right things just about winning, and how his ankle was 100%. He want’s to show everybody that his hard work over the off-season would made him better than he was before his injury. When asked about playing PG this year he kept re-iterating that he didn’t care where he played just as long as he was on the floor. He didn’t seem fazed by SJax’s situation either as he knows that when the ball is tipped off Jackson will be there ready to play. He also said that it’s Jackson’s deal to work out, so he can’t be concerned with it.

Monta Ellis Anthony Randolph Warriors

Randolph and Ellis ARE the future of the Warriors

The interesting /controversial part of the interview came next when he was asked about playing with Stephen Curry, their newly acquired first round draft pick. He stated that they couldn’t play together, because it’s not a way to win having two small guards on the floor. He was very adamant that it wouldn’t work unless there was a rare case that the other team went really small. I’ve had a man crush on Curry since before he took Davidson to the Elite 8, and for some reason drafting him was bittersweet as I knew in the back of my mind that we were going to be upsetting Monta, since before the draft he pleaded for the W’s not to pick a PG. Well, it looks as though it didn’t really upset him, but didn’t address any area that he felt they needed. He felt they’ll lose if Nellie goes small and plays them both. Here’s the rest of the interview with Monta, keep in mind that TK’s analysis is off the wall at times. Nellie already said that Jackson, Randolph, Biendris, and Ellis would be starters, but who is the fourth? Azubuike, Morrow, Wright, or Curry? Only time will tell, but I hope it’s Buike or Morrow. I’m not sure why I’m even worried about Nellie playing a rookie too much anyways! At least the Warriors problems this season are more on the court instead of off the court distractions!