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[About.Com] Southwest Division Offseason Analysis

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Yaowaming, Jul 31, 2005.

  1. Yaowaming

    Yaowaming Contributing Member

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    http://probasketball.about.com/b/a/190001.htm



    From Brendan McGovern,
    Your Guide to Basketball.
    FREE GIFT with Newsletter! Act Now!

    July 31, 2005
    Southwest Division Offseason Analysis
    Our look at the offseason movement in the Southwest Division yields some interesting questions. Is this the year Stromile Swift finally busts out? (No.) Can Damon Stoudamire reinvent himself in Memphis? (Yes.) And is Tim Duncan really no longer a Top-10 Fantasy Basketball player??? (You have to read the whole article for that answer.)

    Dallas Mavericks
    The big news out of Dallas is that Michael Finley is all but a goner, the biggest name to be axed as part of the new amnesty clause. That should open the door for either Jerry Stackhouse or Marquis Daniels to slide into the opening at shooting guard in the starting lineup.

    Odds are it'll be Daniels. The Mavericks place a high premium on impact scorers who can come off the bench and change momentum, and Stackhouse excelled in the role last season whether he likes it or not. The disparity in Daniels' numbers as a starter and as a reserve show the kid can't come off the pine cold. Perhaps he'll come close to replicating the 16-point, 6-board, 3-assist, 2-steals numbers he put up in the 2004 Playoffs ... lord knows he burned many owners last year who were anticipating that kind of sustained explosion.

    One other severe burning came at the hands of Don Nelson's fruitless tinkering with his lineup -- specifically at point guard, where Jason Terry was shuttled from the bench to the starting five and back to the bench on a weekly basis. The good news is that Terry took it all in stride and emerged a better baller once Avery Johnson took over at the helm. The bad news was that Fantasy Basketball owners who spent a high pick on Terry universally dropped him before his awakening. This season, Terry is the clear-cut starter and although he'll have a difficult time repeating the dead-eye shooting he suddenly showed off last year, his overall production should escalate to No. 1 PG levels.

    Late in the game, don't forget about Keith Van Horn. He really took to the Dallas way of doing things and put up 25 efficient minutes a night for the Mavs. It's a contract year for Keith and the Mavs' ranks up front have thinned out a bit, so there's may be more minutes available and the minute Dirk Nowitzki goes down with his next sprained ankle, in comes KVH. And since we correctly steered you clear of Erick Dampier last season, let us steer you back toward the big man. Dampier should return to the ranks of the regular double-double guys -- his trajectory points toward another guy who embraced playing for Johnson -- and therefore should be a very good pick when the run on centers starts in your Draft.

    Houston Rockets
    So this is it for Stromile Swift, right? The big breakout year for the No. 2 overall pick in 2001? Mmmm. Don't think so. Swift will no doubt benefit from increased and more regular minutes in the power forward wasteland known as Houston. But how much more productive will he actually be? While he's always seemed like a guy who should be starting, the numbers show he really doesn't do all that much. His points get a lift, but his rebounding numbers see a negligible jump. And that's really what he's been brought into Houston for: help Yao Ming with the grunt work down low, rebounding and defending. No one cares what he can do offensively, not when the team already has to carefully ration possessions between Yao and Tracy McGrady.

    Ugh, do we have to talk about the backcourt mess? Here's what we know: the Rockets have no true point guard, but a bunch of guys who can shoot and handle the ball on the perimeter without much threat of penetrating ... and they drafted a guy (Luther Head) who fits the exact same profile. We'll need to watch how the battles unfold in Training Camp before passing judgement, but the important thing to remember is that the "winners" aren't necessarily worth drafting. At their apex, we're talking about a quartet of guys who'll score a dozen a night and dish out five assists.


    Memphis Grizzlies
    Come to think of it, Damon Stoudamire would feel right at home with the Rockets. Instead, he'll likely be the Grizzlies Opening Night starter at the point and that makes for one of the more intriguing additions this offseason. Stoudamire is an incredibly overlooked source of three-pointers and a respectable assist man who may redeem his lost career in Memphis. The Grizzlies are intent on casting off the malcontents and establishing some accountability so hopefully Stoudamire gets his act together. If not, the consummate professional Bobby Jackson will be there to do the job for him ... at least for the 22 games he'll manage to stay healthy.

    So we've got Stoudamire at the point, Mike Miller at off guard and Pau Gasol at power forward ... who are the Grizzlies putting at the other two spots? Lorenzen Wright is intent on talking his way out of town, so Gasol may slide to center and thus leave a huge void up front for someone, anyone to grab a rebound. Could rookie Lawrence Roberts be the best option???? Fellow rookie Hakim Warrick has many strong points, but banging down low for boards is not one. And Brian Cardinal is best suited as a spark plug off the bench. If no more moves follow -- at least not the Curtis Borchardt kind -- Roberts, who was a tank in the LA Summer League, could be a Carlos Boozer-like sleeper.

    New Orleans Hornets
    At the opposite end of the rookie spectrum is Chris Paul, who everyone knows will be the starter at the point and who everyone expects to put up big-time numbers from the start. You won't find a dissenting opinion here, just understand that a lot of turnovers and some ugly perimeter shooting nights will come with the territory.

    We'd get more excited about Paul's backcourt mate (and four months his junior) J.R. Smith if he weren't so damn one-dimensional. Smith is poised to explode on the scene with his prolific perimeter shooting, but he brings little else to the table so temper your enthusiasm. Smith's Lithuanian brother, Arvydas Macijauskas, should be able to match J.R. shot for shot, but Macijauskas brings a vastly underrated slashing ability with him to the States. The guy gets to the line regularly and he has long hair which, as we learned in the NBA Finals, helps draw cheap fouls calls when it gets jostled. And since 9 out of 10 Fantasy Basketball players can't spell Macijauskas (alright, probably 10 of 10) you'll be able to get him on the cheap late in the Draft.

    We'll got out on a limb and predict this is finally the year that the wheels fall off P.J. Brown. He's 36 and wasn't doing much of anything until Jamaal Magloire got hurt. And what of Magloire? We know injury robbed him of three months, but even when he was in there he appeared to regress in terms of shooting -- both from the field and at the line -- while turning the ball over too much and committing silly fouls. We'll be doing some intense reading of the Times-Picayune come October to see where his head's at.

    San Antonio Spurs
    The big news for the new champs is not who's coming aboard, but who's not: Luis Scola. Instead, fellow countryman Fabricio Oberto has signed on. The 30-year-old center is a far more marginal talent and of little interest to fantasy basketball owners unless he improbably beats out both Rasho Nesterovic and Nazr Mohammed for the starting center job.

    Wow, we're getting bored just typing about the League's most boring team. How about that Tim Duncan, eh? Well, how about him? A regular reader wrote in to say the he had a shot at Duncan with the 9th pick in his Draft. That seemed exceptionally low for a guy who routinely went in the Top 3 the last five years. But it may not be so off-base when you consider Duncan's continued free-throw woes, his regular ankle injuries that cost him at least a dozen games a year, his slight dropoff in scoring due to the increased contributions of Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker and a curious dip in boards down to a career-low 11.1.

    It's clear Duncan is being phased out. OK, that was a joke but the point here is that if you're drafting in the mid-range (4-7) of Round One, don't automatically cast your pick for Duncan. There's a lot of rising young talent (LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Amare Stoudemire) that's probably surpassed Duncan in terms of statistical productivity.
     
  2. RocketFire

    RocketFire Member

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    Damon aint' going to Memphis, he will become a Rocket. If he doesn't accept our LLE i will go to the next game he plays against us and boo him crazy, just like im doing it to Beltran :p
     
  3. tigereye

    tigereye Member

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    I'm sorry but Damon's situation is totally different from Beltran.

    First Beltran walked away from a $100 million dollar plus deal from the Astros for a few more million dollars and a supposed no-trade cluase with the Mets. For Damon on the otherhand, all the Rockets can offer is the LLE, worth just $1.8 million dollars, a 10.7 million dollar paycut.

    And unlike Beltran, chances are, this is Damon's last big payday. So can you honestly blame him if he goes where more money is offered?

    I cant....he's gonna need one last big payday and every cent of it to support that expensive drug addiction he has for the rest of his life. Cocaine's a helluva drug, you know..... ;)
     
  4. macfan

    macfan Contributing Member

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    He doesn't do cocaine. Unless, you are his "get high partner" and know something we don't. THe guy is just a pothead. If he helps us win, I'll light up a joint myself and I don't even smoke anything
     
  5. Samar

    Samar Contributing Member

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    At first, I was like man this guy is a bigger idiot than Chad Ford. But then I realized that this guy is talking about fantasy teams. In that case I guess his evaluation is right.
     
  6. lil-vic

    lil-vic Member

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    yeah he ain't a cokehead. he just smokes weed..........ain't nothing wrong with smokin weed. kareem did it, so did walton. it really does help esp. after physical activities. and even tmac himself said he knew guys who go out and drop 30 and still smoke weed. ofcourse he was with orlando at the time he said it and he was one of the few dropping 30 a night. :D
     

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