Let’s pick up where we left off with more original owners from back in the day:
The Furious Eight? by Le Chen
Yes CPIII and Melo – but on a team owned by Le Chen this team centers around #17 and the reunion of those star crossed lovers – Jeremy Lin and Carmelo Anthony. Perhaps the steadying presence of CPIII will make them work together this time? Well it’s fantasy so maybe it works this time around?
Carmelo Anthony. Face of the Knicks. And a player I just have a hard time loving. Last year for one night I watched him put up 62 points against the Bobcats and I will admit that I rooted for every shot to go in. But even that night was weirdly awkward – with Melo basically taking a ridiculous number of shots with no semblance of any offensive continuity or system – though he made everything in sight.
I’m not sure what to say – he’s undoubtedly a great scorer – with the ability to create his own shot, to make the 3, the pull up, the baseline, post moves and even a nice little finishing game around the rim.
What he’s not is a defender. What I question is his ability to lead – to inspire, to motivate – to be the GUY.
So when do we see that next step? – when do we see him use his game, his talents to lift up those around him? The Knicks are betting he will do this in the next 3-4 years while they upgrade the talent around him.
But more realistically and perhaps cynically I think they are hoping he will sell enough tickets and put out a good enough product to keep the MSG machine humming until the next cycle of players. And as a NY fan though technically NOT a Knick fan (anymore) – that’s a disservice to the die hard blue and orange.
Mark my words – the Knicks ain’t winning anything with Carmelo Anthony. (not much of a limb but there it is)
Jeremy Lin – Part III – LA STORY
I’m sure Jeremy Lin wishes Linsanity never happened at times. It’s a 30 day run on the biggest stage in basketball that is unforgettable but his present and future will always be measured against that lofty standard.
And the reality is that he is most certainly an NBA point guard with a plus ability to run the pick and roll, to drive and finish to his right, and the court vision and passing ability to get good shots for this teammates. However in real life he’s neutralized by aggressive defense – has trouble bringing the ball up against pressure, isn’t a great spot up shooter, can’t go left, and is at best an average defender – and at worst a liability.
From a fantasy perspective – at his peak and with minutes and usage he provides potential rewards in points, assists, steals, and a few 3’s thrown in for good measure. In LA the opportunity is there – the question is does he have the ability to seize it once again. It may not be the best situation but neither were the Knicks 2 years ago.
So far in the season it’s been a mixed bag of results – but I’d hold off on writing him off just yet…
The Old Guys
Deron Williams and Paul Pierce were unlikely teammates in Brooklyn last year reunited on the F8. They are keys to Le’s season as well. Can Deron recapture at least SOME of his mojo or have injuries and age caught up to him and has he gone from elite PG to simply very good? Supposedly healthy for the first time in years – the fate of the Brooklyn franchise rests on his gimpy legs.
As for Pierce – a long time favorite of mine – you also have to wonder if this could be the last of his legs. A decent situation in WAS could rejuvenate him and the young Wiz could really use his veteran leadership both on and off the court. As the Raptors round out in the playoffs last year there was a reason the Brooklyn Nets got him – and I’d be careful to count out a guy who bounced back from once being poked full of more holes than swiss cheese.
Hey this squad is pretty nice. Terence Jones – an underrated fantasy all around performer. Al Horford a beast coming off of injury. Le needs one more big man to solidify Rebounds and Blocks for balance. The PG trio should keep them at the top of the Ast Stl categories and there are enough varied sources of 3’s to be competitive in the long distance category.
A contender but a flawed one – and of course – Jeremy Lin and Melo are big keys to the season. Also this name could use some work. Melo and Lin and this is the best we could come up with?
FINAL FOUR FRIENDS by Steve Lowenthal
Sadly a few days into the season – Russell Westbrook broke a bone in his hand – leaving this team in some injury trouble early in the season. It looked like Russ was headed for a monster season without running mate Kevin Durant for the early part of the season – now they’ll hopefully be back around the same time for the Thunder.
Handle with Care
While the Westbrook injury seems a little freakish – there are unfortunately quite a few injury risks on this squad. First of all the Centers on this team Bogut and Brook are always on alert for going down at any time (even in their sleep). Lopez is already out with an ‘unrelated’ foot injury – and Bogut while looking spry hasn’t played a full slate of games in many many years. In addition PG – Carter Williams is recovering from injury and trade acquisition Dwyane Wade has many many questions about his ability to play a full slate of games.
Sometimes a few smart injury risks can pay off in fantasy – but trust me from a gambler who tempted fate (see last year’s fiasco) – when you take TOO many risks – you LOSE.
LOVE AND BASKETBALL
K Love was a top 10 fantasy force last year with his elite REB numbers, as well as points, FG%, 3’s from the F spot, and even assists. The question with the move to the Lebrons is how will it affect his usage and performance?
The answer so far seems to be not too shabby. The points will almost definitely come down – but the 3’s may even go up and the Rebs seem unaffected. In addition once the motion offense gets going the assists could even spike with so many excellent options to finish on the other end of passes.
PAU! PAU! PAU!
Gasol seems like a great value at $16 but that depth in CHI on the front line makes you wonder. Early returns seem to indicate he’ll get enough minutes to be worth more than that. Andre Iguodala seems underutilized in GS – at $2 he was a steal in terms of what he can do on the court.
JAVALE McGee is ALL IN FOR PERRY JONES III!
Javale is a nice lottery ticket to hold for blocks and rebounds. Wroten will provide some much needed depth at Guard especially with the early injuries. Dalembert if he’s in your active lineup is indicative of a bad situation becoming dire. Not too bad – but no immediate help here. (Ed. note: $50 FAAB on Perry Jones III means Steve agrees with me..)
This man knew how to play hurt… Do the Final Four Friends have some Willis in them? (Cuz they GONNA get HURT..)
NOT SO GOOD. IF the Westbrook injury allows for a quick and full recovery. IF Wade can last all season without missing significant time – the same for both centers. If MCW can get back sooner rather than later and find a reason to play on a terrible Sixers team.
Simply too many IFs on this squad – I think dealing one of the injured players for some present value makes sense here – for a guard to hold it down until Westbrook returns – maybe some wheeling and dealing is the key here – because standing pat this is a losing hand.
Controversy reared it’s ugly head with Lloyd’s phone in draft from Vegas. OBVIOUSLY not a great situation though he had one ear of the auctioneer which was more attention than I seemed to get at times! Honestly we need to figure this out – it won’t be the last owner that has attendance issues and I for one would never want to miss a CHIBA season. One thing that I think is necessary is perhaps the team missing needs a backup body present at the draft. While it’s hard to find someone who can execute a plan at least you can have someone who can act as a surrogate in case of any issues that can be on the phone with the distant owner (instead of the auctioneer). Or we need a direct and ultra speed internet connection and we need to construct a ROBOT LLOYD with webcam, mic, speakers and a fake body and arm that he can control remotely to bid. We can set up an Oculus Prime interface so Lloyd can experience the auction in virtual reality. And… (I lost you guys at Oculus didn’t i?)
Forgoing that better use of online tools and perhaps a space with a more stable connection would allow us to communicate the proceedings in a clearer fashion. And I’m convinced I can come up with an auction program where every owner has a virtual buzzer and we can have a giant screen as well as a consistent timer for bids. It’s time to move into the 21st century guys – and I’m on the case for SALLY and CHIBA 2015. More on this later…
Trying to run the Torres Gambit without even being in the room is ballsy to say the least – but the better part of wisdom would’ve been to try to roster your team as fast as possible. But you know Lloyd – he’s gotta stick to his guns and execute his plan until it works – I expect nothing less next year – and I wouldn’t bet against him getting it right and killing us all one season!
Well a solid collection of Forwards was acquired in Batum, Faried, Young and Ross. Joakim Noah was a great roster at $31 at center. But the guard situation aside from Jeff Teague is dire. Calderon is out early, Tyreke is a nice pickup for $6 and Shabazz Napier is a hope – though he looked like he had some upside in the preseason.
There is thankfully bench help. Crawford will get minutes and provide pts and 3’s. Lamb may have an opportunity in OKC to set up early in the season with the injuries to the Big Two. The Lakers are starved for something and that something may well be Swaggy P!
Need to trade a forward for a guard. Starved for points – but should have assists and threes. to bargain with. $35 unspent is just not uh.. GOOD – and I wonder what other difficulties we were unaware of that may have caused this uncharacteristic mis-step from Lloyd. It’ll take some good deals and some aggressive FAABing but at least there is a core here to possibly build on.
Suggestion: Wheel and Deal like crazy.
Watch some classic Alan and Jerome on a loop until Part III. If my team doesn’t start playing better – there may never be a part IV due to lack of enthusiasms…