Monday, October 16, 2006

Preseason Box Score Nuggets

After many years managing NBA fantasy teams, I always love perusing the preseason box scores to see how rookies and players who have swapped teams are playing. This info isn't a strong indicator of regular season production, especially for rookies, since more preseason minutes are given to new players to help them adjust. But, consistent good numbers and minutes can alert you to a strong late round pick for your fantasy roster.

Plus, odd things happen in the preseason which can skew the numbers. The Sonics and Bulls played at Phog Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, KS to a sold out crowd who came to pay homage to former Jayhawk stars, Kirk Heinrich and Nick Collison. I looked at the NBA page on Yahoo! Sports at lunch today and saw a Bobcats-Wizards box score in progress. What? Yes, the Bobcats hosted a full house of school children and to accommodate the schools the game tipped off at 10:00AM. Needless to say, Gilbert Arenas didn't play. Those all night online poker games don't fit well with a 10AM tip.

OK, on to the nuggets from the past few days.
  • Charlie Villanueva and TJ Ford have swapped teams and seem to be fitting in nicely. The Raptors sure gave up on Villanueva in a hurry. His rookie production was solid and they went ahead and drafted a guy at his position and moved him to Milwaukee. I wonder if there were any other issues that made this move occur. Ford is a solid PG for any fantasy team, although he lacks 3-ball production.
  • Rookie Marcus Williams followed up a nice opener against the Pacers with a 16pt, 4reb, 9asst game against the Raptors. He'll probably get minutes since he can play with Kidd or without meaning less wear and tear on Kidd in the regular season. Nice backup plan guy. If only the Pacers could get a "do over" for the draft.
  • Ronny Turiaf is a nice story, getting decent minutes and filling the stat sheet for the Lakers. He'll interject energy and hustle coming off the bench. Not a fantasy guy, but a good story after recovering from heart surgery last year.
  • Rudy Gay is the early favorite for most productive rookie. He had first overall talent coming out of college but was somewhat of an enigma at UConn. Heart and effort questions hurt his draft status, but maybe the college game just wasn't right for his game. Looks like the NBA is a better fit.
  • Artest opened the preseason by playing 30 minutes. Classic Ron-Ron. I'm sure no one wanted to tell him to come out of the game so he subbed himself when he was tired.
  • Golden State has only played one game but after putting up 121 points in that game, let me formally welcome Nellie back to the sidelines of the Warriors. Historically a very fantasy friendly coach, in fact he was the king prior to Mike D'Antoni.

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