We now continue with my examination of my fantasy basketball draft. In case you missed ’em, here are the earlier bits: Part I, Part II & Part III. I seem to babbling more and more, so this time we’re down to an analysis of only one round. Anyway, same rules/caveats as usual:
-Players with a “(K)” next to their name were Keepers so they pretty much won’t be discussed ‘cuz they’re usually darn good.
-These comments are based on how I felt at the time of our draft. Meaning no one knew Brandon Jennings would score 55 points & be a general stud-muffin, so it’d be unfair to say for instance that whoever drafted Barbosa in the fifth round should’ve instead grabbed Jennings.
1. Chris Kaman Brad
2. Blake Griffin Ginny
3. Mike Conley Michael C.
4. Boris Diaw Mike M.
5. Troy Murphy (K)Nick
6. Zach Randolph Frankie
7. Rasheed Wallace Mike K.
8. Richard Jefferson Rich
9. Andris Biedrins (K)Greg
10. Jason Thompson Shai
11. Jason Terry Eyal
12. Raymond Felton (K)Alex
Pick I Thought Would’ve Been Sneaky-Good A Few Weeks Before The Draft, But It Turns Out I Was Doubly Wrong: Michael C’s choice of Mike Conley. No, not ‘cuz it was a Mike taking a Mike. I picked up Conley in the middle of last year & he was phenomenal for me. After Kyle Lowry was traded away, making Conley the clear man at PG, the boy turned it on. The second to last month he was ranked 59th, and the last month he kicked it all the way up to 40th. But then the Grizz picked up Iverson & suddenly I was concerned about minutes & touches for the Conster. Turned out Iverson only played a few minutes & in a few games, yet Conley’s still sucked. Guess I was wrong that Iverson would hurt him — it’s Conley who’s hurt Conley.
Biggest Shocks (Not In A Nice Tingly Way, But Rather A Disturbingly Unpleasant Way): A tie between Mike K’s choice of ‘Sheed and Rich’s pick of Richard Jefferson. First, I should confess that I’ve never been a big fan of ‘Sheed as a fantasy player. The reason everyone’s loved him is because he gets untraditional center stats, like steals and threes. But I like my centers to shoot a high percentage & get nearly ten boards. The threes always made Mr.Wallace have a bad percentage for a big, plus the fact he was always standing out at that three-point line meant he couldn’t get as many rebounds. Forgetting all that, ‘Sheed was ranked 92nd last year, but he got worse as the season went on, having months were he ranked 109th and 143rd. I figured with him moving to the bench for Boston that he’d be lucky to be top 120. No way should he have been taken in the top 70.
My other big concern was Richard Jefferson. I didn’t feel it was as bad a choice as ‘Sheed, nor did I think Rich picked Richard due to a name thing. But it still sucked. Last year RJ was on a Bobcats team that lost top shooters Bogut & Michael Redd for most of the season, plus Villanueva spent the whole time in a doghouse owned by Coach Scott Skiles. As a result RJ was able to shoot as much as he wanted, yet still he came out ranked 62nd. RJ’s a big-time team player (having started his career learning from Jason Kidd), so there was no way he’d still let it fly after coming to a team with primary options of Tim Duncan, Tony Longoria, & Manuuuu. That said, RJ’s been so godawful to start the season, that he’s sure to improve on his current stats. So I think we need to give him another month before we can fully decide how stupid Rich was.
Favorite Pick: Eyal with Jason Terry. Terry ended up averaging out at 41 last year. As far as I was concerned he should’ve gone in the fifth round, so snagging him at 71 was a nice grab. Terry’s seemed to start the season off a bit slow, but Yahoo already has him at 55.
What I Wanted To Be My Favorite Pick But Was Worried I’d Jinx It: Brad snatching Chris Kaman. Having watched every pre-season Clipper game, I knew the caveman was looking grokulous (that’s caveman for “amazing.” …Unknown bit of trivia: Initially the NBA was gonna use the slogan “Where grokulous happens” until market research showed that the average American is not as well-versed in caveman as they should be). The thing was I also know how injury-prone he’s been, so emotionally I couldn’t completely throw myself behind him. In fact, just writing this stuff I feel like I’ll jinx things & like tonight Chris’ head will accidentally get lopped off.
Iguodala Of The Round: Meaning a player who I was excited about but who went much earlier than I expected & may even be worth that early round. Since I didn’t spell it out specifically, here are the earlier IOTRs (Iggs O’The Round): Round 2 – Melo. Round 3 – Bynum. Round 4 – Al Horford. Round 5 – Nobody. And finally, the moment you’ve been waiting for, Round 6… Jason Thompson. With Yahoo ranking Thompson at 100, that would’ve put him in the middle of the ninth round. I was hoping to sneak up & hope he was still available in the eighth. Currently Thompson is ranked 22nd by Yahoo, so clearly Shai was right to leap early.
Worst Pick Of The Round That Wasn’t Even A Pick: Me by keeping Ray Felton. And I don’t just say that ‘cuz he’s sucked so far. As soon as I declared him as a keeper I instantly regretted it. I complained to Greg about it non-stop before the draft, and he kept telling me I wasn’t a moron, but I think he was just being nice. Or dumb. I mean even if Felton ends up being worth a sixth round pick, it was still a poor choice. Why? ‘Cuz I was definitely already keeping OJ Mayo as my 7th round pick. That meant I’d make the first pick of the 5th round and then wouldn’t go again until the last pick of the 8th round. Or in other words, I didn’t have a single pick between #49 & #96. The problem was that it didn’t allow me to adapt my strategy mid-draft. I knew that unless a top big dropped, there were no centers I could rely on as my 2nd round pick or my 3rd (‘cuz my 3rd was the first pick of the round, basically making it almost a 2nd rounder). Thus I’d hoped to get Horford, Lee, Okur or Bynum with my fourth pick, but they were all gone. I didn’t feel I could trust any of the remaining centers as a fifth rounder (injury concerns for Okafor & Kaman, and trade concerns for Boozer). With my 6th and 7th rounders gone, plus me picking at the end of the 8th due to my position in the draft, I basically wasn’t able to get my first center until pretty much the 9th round. If I had either my 6th or 7th I could’ve had a shot at Bogut, Oden or Hibbert (who I had as the top remaining centers along with Joakim Noah).