'Tis the season to be jolly. Okay, maybe not for everyone. The long Thanksgiving weekend is finally over and while you may be most thankful that your family has gone home, it is a big week in the PFC. The turkeys are off the chopping block, but if you have a losing record so far, you may find yourself in their place with your neck on the line. As we get ready to celebrate the holiday season, we have our very own Survivor Tribal Council! Vote here!
So this is it. After four weeks of intense, fierce fantasy action, the first public vote to fire a general manager is upon us. Any team with a losing record is on the hotseat. Of course, a team's record is an indication of mismanagement, but that may not tell the entire story. Injuries have played a major role in the early going, as have sub-par player performances and challenging schedules. The voting is now open -- open to anyone and everyone -- and will run for three days. GM's can obviously vote as well, but their one vote is the same one vote from anyone else. The axed GM will be replaced mid-week. Also, this month's last full week ends tonight, next week's games will count toward December's vote.
On a personal note, Jon and I would like to take this time to personally thank Stephon Marbury, Peja Stojakovic, Larry Hughes, David West and now Sam Cassell for your injuries and solid contributions this season. Many, many thanks. No team has been as decimated as ours. Of course, taking on the Knicks was a risk and a challenge in and of itself, but we got no help whatsoever from the players we drafted, all of whom are having career-low years so far. As for Marbury, you likely know his story by now. No matter which franchise player we selected to keep, we were starting in the hole. Add the fact that the rest of our core players (Peja, West, Hughes and now even the otherwise reilable Cassell) are all injured, our hands are tied. These are the facts. Our moves have been calculated and logical.
Silent Night (On the Hotseat):
Any team with a losing record could go. If you are going by record only, the choice comes down to only a few teams. But if you know anything about fantasy basketball, or fantasy sports in general, simply voting for a team with the worst record is just a cop out. We all know there is more to all of this than just wins and losses. I will personally be voting for the team manager who has done the least with the most (I won't share that here).
The Phoenix Suns have been dismal all year long (7-25), as have the Los Angeles Clippers (9-23). There are only three teams with single-digit wins. The key difference is that their players are healthy. But the Suns made no waiver moves and made no effort to improve their team until pulling off a trade late last night. Teams like the Orlando Magic and the Charlotte Bobcats may have saved themselves with a great result last week.
You may also want to look for candidates who have been active, but actively moving themselves out of contention. Most notably, the questionable moves made by Philadelphia (down to $11 waiver money, dumping a player they added for $43, adding another marginal player for $43, on and on) and the Lakers (fire sale deals during the last two weeks, most recently sending Kobe Bryant packing) have caused the biggest stir across the league.
Winter Wonderland (Team of the Week):
The Charlotte Bobcats came into the week with a meager 7-17-0 record, all alone in last place at the bottom of the Southeast Division. But a welcome visit from the lowly Phoenix Suns was just what the Bobcats needed. The Suns entered the contest with a 6-18-0 record and lost seven of the eight stat categories this week. Of course, the Suns pulled a last-minute deal late last night in an attempt to save the day. The Los Angeles Lakers sent Kobe Bryant, Dan Gadzuric and Jorge Garbajosa to Phoenix for Erick Dampier, Brandon Roy and Michael Redd.
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (Game Ball):
Despite only playing two games last week, Sixers guard Allen Iverson gets the game ball of the week for posting some solid numbers across the board. Not only did he lead the league in scoring last week, but he dished out 10 assists and drained 16-of-17 free throws in a win over the Bulls on Friday night. Of course, he did miss the game in Milwaukee on Wednesday, thus hurting his fantasy team along the way, but he's not on my team, so we cannot get too bent out of shape on that point.
Deck The Halls (Game of the Week):
The rich seem to get richer as the elite teams continue to dominate each week. The Portland Trailblazers and Miami Heat are unquestionably the two best teams in the PFC right now, each only losing two categories this week. They are the only teams with single-digit losses. Portland knocked around a very good Atlanta Hawks team, though, which has now dropped seven games behind Miami in the standings.
For the Blazers, every member of the team poured in a solid contribution. Zach Randolph continues to lead the way for this team, scoring 90 points and shooting .529 from the field in four games. Deron Williams also averaged 9.9 assists per game during the week and Emeka Okafor grabbed 49 rebounds in his four games. Atlanta's Elton Brand, Ryan Gomes and Andre Miller all shot well last week and delivered the field goal percentage win for their team, the only convinving win in the matchup.
Little Drummer Boy (Better Know An Owner):
Kyle Knaub doesn't want to work. He just wants to bang on his drum all day. In addition to managing the day-to-day affairs of the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets, the 24-year old music educator also moonlights as a musician. He spent four years as a drummer in the University of Nebraska Cornhusker Marching Band (where he had the opportunity to learn from the legendary Tommy Lee), has been active in the Nebraska Percussive Arts Society and rocked the house as a member of The Leftovers. He joined up with that group around the same time he started playing fantasy basketball. "I win fantasy basketball leagues," he said prior to the start of the season. "It's what I'm good at. I study the game and really enjoy being a student of the game." Sounds like someone who marches to the beat of his own drum. Literally.
Silver Bells (Waiver Wire):
Just a week after being dropped, the Detroit Pistons signed Andrea Bargnani for a healthy $31. The other notable moves were made by the San Antonio Spurs, who picked up Marc Jackson and Marko Jaric for a combined $35. After all of the crazy moves in the past few weeks, it is hard to find fault with these moves, though they may have been a bit on the pricy end. This week was actually the quietest week for the waiver wire since the league began. Or perhaps several owners put in bids for the same few players.
So what happens when two GMs bid the same amount of money for a certain player? What is the rule to decide who gets him? In the event of a tie during bidding, the team with the worse record gets the player. If you happen to put in bids for multiple players, the order of your bids doesn't matter unless you are doing conditional bidding. This is an auction -- owners gets players by bidding the most money, not by having him at the highest or lowest in the priority list. Conditional bidding comes into play if you are only trying to get one player and drop the same player regardless of the acquisition. That way, you put an initial bid on one player and then put in additional conditional bids for other players according to order in which you want them. If Player A is not there, it then goes to Player B. If Player B is not there, goes to Player C. Regardless, you are dropping the same player in each case. Make sense? I didn't think so...Do You Hear What I Hear? (Hot Topic):
Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (What to Watch):
Boston Celtics at Dallas
Mavericks: The Celts bring a healthy (and safe) 16-14-2 record into Week
Five, tied for first place in the Atlantic division, though one game back of the
Nets in the win column. The Mavericks are one of three teams in the Southwest
division with 20 or more wins. Both the Mavs and Hornets sit atop the Southwest
division with 21-10-1 records. Watch for Baron Davis, Dirk Nowitzki
and T.J. Ford to lead the way for the Mavs and Paul Pierce to put
up big numbers once again for Boston.
If this happens to be the last
time I get to address you as the league commissioner, please know that it has
been a pleasure and an honor to serve you. Happy holidays to all. The
polls are now open...