SECAUCUS, N.J., Dec. 4, 2007 -- I'm not one to brag (wink), but when it comes to fantasy sports, I'm known as "The Blueprint". Send me your e-mail address and I'll get you a copy of my championship-winning resume.
Maybe that is why my brother and his friends decided not to include me in their fantasy basketball league, which drafted this past weekend (yes, a full month after the season began). Is it really that difficult to find 10 people to be in a fantasy league?
Even though I'm not in their league, it got me to thinking. How would the first round of a fantasy draft play out at this point in the season? I'm sure if owners got a do-over, they probably would draft a little bit differently.
LEAGUE BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
Team Defending Champs. This owner is the guy who has the championship trophy from last year sitting on his desk in his cubicle.
LeBron James, Cavaliers. Regardless of when the draft is held, LeBron should be the first pick. Before he was injured, he was filling up the stat sheet in ways not seen in the league in a long time.
Team Looking For A Friend. This owner knows nothing about hoops, but you needed another person and he needed something to do.
Dwight Howard, Magic. This guy shoots at a high percentage and he is a stud when it comes to getting points, blocks and rebounds.
Team Shutup: This owner says "nice pick" after each selection of the draft.
Carlos Boozer, Jazz. The scoring system in my league rewards players for double-doubles and Boozer is a double-double machine.
Team Pay Attention: This owner is the guy who always picks someone who was taken two rounds earlier.
Baron Davis, Warriors. Baron is an injury risk, but when healthy, he does it all. So far this season, he has been healthy.
Team Adult Beverages: You know the guy who has too much to drink during the draft and ruins his squad.
Yao Ming, Rockets. He didn't mess up here, taking the Rockets big man midway through the first round. How can Kevin Garnett, who has been the first pick of my real league the past five years still be on the board?
Team Make Check Payable To. This owner won't be setting his lineup by the midway point of the season. If your league has an entry fee, be sure to get his loot up front.
Kevin Garnett, Celtics. The trade from Minnesota to Boston hasn't hurt KG's numbers that much.
Team Stop Calling Me. This owner must not accomplish much at his job because he spends all day on the phone calling owners trying to make a trade.
Jason Kidd, Nets. So much for Kidd slowing down because of age. He is still a triple-double machine, even though the Nets are struggling.
Team He's My Favorite Player. Regardless of who is on the board, this owner will take his favorite player or a player from his favorite team.
Allen Iverson, Nuggets. Although he is scoring less, Iverson is still putting up big points and setting up his teammates for buckets. I guess he can share the ball with Carmelo Anthony.
Team I Love Kobe. No explanation needed here.
Kobe Bryant, Lakers. I'm sure a lot of people selected Kobe first or second in their drafts this year. Although his numbers are fine, I'm sure more was expected. With KB24, that is always the case.
Team Lame Joke. This owner will have something smart to say i.e. "He's still in the league?" after each pick.
Steve Nash, Suns. He is a two-time MVP, who is playing like he is trying to earn a third MVP award in four years.
Last Week's Rank - 1
In a battle between two of the top young centers in the league, Howard flexed his muscles against Phoenix's Amare Stoudemire last week. Stoudemire was solid, posting a line of 19 points and 10 rebounds. Howard was better, bullying his way inside for 30 and 23. Is there anyone who can stop this guy?
Last Week's Rank - 2
Garnett had a slow week offensively, failing to reach double digits in points twice. Before being held to eight points against the Knicks, he had scored at least 10 points in 411 consecutive games.
Last Week's Rank - 3
Right now is not a good time to be a Cavaliers fan. The team is struggling, LeBron James has missed the last two games because of his sprained left index finger and now word out of Charlotte is that Anderson Varejao may become a Bobcat.
Last Week's Rank - 4
Jason Kidd, Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Baron Davis keep closing the gap between themselves and Nash for the top point man in the league, but as the Magic found out last week when he notched 15 points and 14 assists, nobody does it better ... right now.
Last Week's Rank - 8
I received a bunch of e-mails from Utah fans complaining about Paul being ranked ahead of Deron Williams. Here's why. Paul is averaging more steals, points, boards and assists and he doesn't get to line up next to a player with Carlos Boozer's talent each night.
Last Week's Rank - 9
It is a good thing the Spurs have two other All-Stars in the lineup because it appears Timmy may miss some time after injuring his ankle and knee last Sunday. Even though his MRI was negative, he is expected to be out of the lineup Wednesday with a sprained ankle.
Last Week's Rank - 11
Anthony, who has been torching small forwards for years, has proven to be a nightmare for defenders playing the four, too. He has slid over to the power forward position from time to time this season and continued his high-scoring ways.
On the Outside Looking In (averages - last week's rank)
Although I never want to see someone lose their job, I must admit that I was kind of happy to hear that the Sixers replaced general manager and team president Billy King with Ed Stefanski. I don't personally dislike King, but it was time for a change in Philadelphia. In 2001 when the Sixers reached the Finals, I thought it was a preview of success to come. As it turns out, that has not been the case. The Sixers haven't reached the playoffs in three of the past four seasons, they are currently in last place in the Atlantic Division and my favorite player, Allen Iverson, was shipped out to Denver last year. Hopefully, Stefanski, who was the Nets' general manager, can get the franchise headed in the right direction.