By Jon Loomer


Archibald uses a screen to get to the hoop.
NBA Photos/Getty Images

SECAUCUS, N.J., Dec. 14, 2007 -- Welcome to fantasy basketball, Funkadelic-style. No one actually played fantasy hoops back in the early to mid '70s (as far as we know), but if they did fantasy players would have been scrambling for information in preparation for their drafts. Why? The addition of two key categories to the box scores: Blocks and Steals.

On one hand, the additions weren't heavily weighted to big players over small players, or vice versa. Typically, a player would excel in one or the other, but rarely both. The problem for fantasy players back in 1973-74 (if they had existed, of course) is that while spotting the top shot blockers may have been easy, rating the top players in steals before the stat surfaced would have proven difficult. Planning out your cheat sheets would have been somewhat of a guessing game.

Let's take a look at the top 10 fantasy players for the 1972-73 season, based on the FSPI, our fantasy rating system. This system rates all players in each category, comparing him to both the league average and league maximum. A "10" in a category would indicate the league leader. If a player is dominant in a particular skill, there will be greater distance between him and the number two fantasy player. The average of all FSPI scores is the player's final FSPI -- the score at the far right of the table.

Rnk Name - Team FG% FT% Pts Reb Ast FSPI
1 Tiny Archibald - Kings .488 .847 34.0 2.8 11.4 7.38
2 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - Bucks .554 .713 30.2 16.1 5.0 7.15
3 Spencer Haywood - Supersonics .476 .839 29.2 12.9 2.5 5.96
4 Bob Lanier - Pistons .490 .773 23.8 14.9 3.2 5.87
5 Wilt Chamberlain - Lakers .727 .510 13.2 18.6 4.5 5.51
6 Rick Barry - Warriors .452 .902 22.3 8.9 4.9 5.49
7 Dave Cowens - Celtics .452 .779 20.5 16.2 4.1 5.47
8 John Havlicek - Celtics .450 .858 23.8 7.1 6.6 5.44
9 Walt Frazier - Knicks .490 .817 21.1 7.3 5.9 5.36
10 Bob Kauffman - Clippers .505 .780 17.5 11.1 5.1 5.27

Talk about domination. Tiny Archibald led the league that season in Points, Assists and FT% effectiveness. It should be noted that we use a formula to weight FG% and FT% based on attempts. So not only did Tiny shoot a stellar 85% from the line, but his high number of attempts made him the most valuable player to own in that category.

You can't overstate Tiny's domination in 1972-73. Only .91 FSPI points separate the first (Kobe Bryant) and twelfth (Tim Duncan) fantasy players in 2006-07. Comparatively, 1.42 FSPI points separated Archibald from the third best fantasy player in 1972-73, Spencer Haywood.

With the addition of the Steals category for the 1973-74 season, you'd have to think that Archibald would continue to be dominant. Minus injuries, that may have been the case. Archibald was the 70s version of Gilbert Arenas that season, playing in only 35 games.

Rnk Name - Team FG% FT% Pts Reb Ast Blk Stl FSPI
1 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - Bucks .539 .702 27.0 14.5 4.8 3.5 1.4 6.93
2 Bob McAdoo - Clippers .547 .793 30.6 15.1 2.3 3.3 1.2 6.67
3 Bob Lanier - Pistons .504 .797 22.5 13.3 4.2 3.0 1.4 6.34
4 Rick Barry - Warriors .456 .899 25.1 6.8 6.1 0.5 2.1 5.97
5 Calvin Murphy - Rockets .522 .868 20.4 2.3 7.4 0.0 1.9 5.72
6 Rudy Tomjanovich - Rockets .536 .848 24.5 9.0 3.1 0.8 1.1 5.67
7 Walt Frazier - Knicks .472 .838 20.5 6.7 6.9 0.2 2.0 5.47
8 Dave Cowens - Celtics .437 .832 19.0 15.7 4.4 1.3 1.2 5.14
9 Sam Lacey - Kings .476 .749 14.2 13.4 3.8 2.3 1.6 5.14
10 Gail Goodrich - Lakers .442 .864 25.3 3.0 5.2 0.1 1.5 5.01

You'll notice that half of the players in the top ten list for 1972-73 also graced that list for 1973-74. Bob McAdoo moved up from 47th to second overall with the addition of the new statistical categories. Calvin Murphy moved up from 64th to fith, due in part to the addition of steals. Sam Lacey moved from 41st to ninth.

On the flip side, the player most negatively affected by the addition of the new stats of the players above was Bob Kauffman. Kauffman was the 10th best fantasy player during the 1972-73 season, but his 0.5 steals and 0.2 blocks per game in 1973-74 limited him to a marginal fantasy player, ranked 119th overall.