Apr 12 2013 11:39AM

Fantasy Friday: Category Kings

The 2012-13 fantasy basketball season ends Wednesday, so this will be our final installment of Fantasy Friday.

It has been fun fantasizing solutions for all kind of fantasy basketball problems all season long.

But in this final feature, we pay tribute to the category kings who helped you score league-leading points in your rotisserie leagues. Or, if you play in a fantasy-points league, they most likely helped your teams play consistent efficient basketball all season long.

KEVIN DURANT, THUNDER: 2235 points and counting The NBA may give its scoring title to the player with the best points-per-game average, but fantasy owners don't care if you get hurt. They want statistical results. They need statistical results, and nobody has put more points on the board than Durant, whose 2235 points is triple digits more than Kobe Bryant, who has 2099 points to date. With this category in hand, this will mark the fourth straight time KD has led the NBA in total points. As for that aforementioned scoring title, Durant is averaging 28.3 points per game, while Carmelo Anthony is averaging 28.7. Fantasy fans, however, know who's the real scoring champ here. Durant has 371 more points than Melo because KD hasn't missed any games this season (Melo has missed 13). It's not even close.
Melissa Majchrzk/NBAE/Getty Images
OMER ASIK, ROCKETS: 914 rebounds and counting Rockets GM Daryl Morey had his critics when he signed a Bulls backup center to a three-year, $25 million contract last summer, but Morey and fellow fantasy owners who also selected Asik are all laughing their way to the bank. Asik is on his way to becoming the NBA rebound king, if he can hold off Dwight Howard in the final week (Asik has 914 rebounds with four games remaining; Howard has 903 with three games left). Asik also may be en route to the 2012-13 Most Improved Player award, especially when you consider he has way more rebounds this year (914 so far) than his previous two seasons in Chicago combined (656).
Sam Forencich/Getty Images Sport
GREIVIS VASQUEZ, HORNETS: 700 assists and counting Vasquez not only locked down the Hornets point guard position this season, he ran away with the NBA's assist title, tallying 9.1 per game and outlasting both Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul, who both lost numerous games to injuries this season. Like Asik above, Vasquez becomes a top candidate for the 2012-13 Most Improved Player award, especially if he doubles last season's assist output (359 in 2011-12).
Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE/Getty Images
MIKE CONLEY, GRIZZLIES: 171 steals and counting When you play on the NBA's No. 2 defense, alongside an All-Defense guard (Tony Allen) and in front of a center who is a Defensive Player of the Year candidate (Marc Gasol), you are allowed to take some chances on D. And Conley has made the most of his opportunities, taking the thefts title from Chris Paul this season after finishing second to CP3 in 2011-12 (as of Friday, Conley has a 9-steals advantage). What is most impressive about Conley's accomplishment is that he piles up the steals, while also maintaining an excellent Regularized Adjusted Plus Minus score, which shows he does not sacrifice defensive team balance to gamble on steals.
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images Sport
SERGE IBAKA, THUNDER: 238 blocks and counting Congratulations to 23-year-old Ibaka for winning his third straight NBA blocked shots title and doing so in dominant fashion. Remember the young power forward tallied 198 blocks in 2010-11, 241 blocks in lockout-shortened 2011-12 and 238 blocks in 2012-13 for a total of 677 blocks the past three seasons, nearly 200 more than his next closest competitor (Dwight Howard has 480 the past three seasons).
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STEPHEN CURRY, WARRIORS: 252 three-pointers and counting Curry may have helped you win your three-pointers category, but now that he has already helped lock up a playoff spot for the Golden State Warriors, the scoring point guard is now chasing history. Ray Allen has the NBA season-record for most three-pointers, making 269 treys in 2005-06. With three games to go in 2012-13, Curry has 252 treys, taking 92 fewer shots than Allen (561 to 653), while making a better percentage (.449 to .412). Curry needs 18 treys in three games, so it's going to be tough. The countdown continues.
Barry Gossage/Getty Images Sport
LeBRON JAMES, HEAT: .563 field goal percentage on 1332 attempts and counting Beautiful stories have already been written about the stunning efficiency of LeBron James' shooting game. Fantasy owners could not agree more, with King James making a league-leading 750 field goals for a .563 field goal percentage. DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard may be posting better field goal percentages this season (.641 and .578, respectively), but neither is making the volume of shots (Jordan has 460 attempts; Howard, 775) as James (1332) at such a high rate. Consequently, nobody helps a fantasy team's shooting percentage more than James.
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KEVIN DURANT, THUNDER: .907 free throw percentage on 740 attempts and counting Nobody makes more free throws (671) or shoots a better percentage (.907) than the best scorer in the game, Mr. Kevin Durant. This has been the fourth straight season where KD led the NBA in free throws made, but it is the first time he was able to stack the free-throw percentage title alongside that honor.
Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images Sport
CARMELO ANTHONY: Only 171 turnovers in 2422 minutes and counting First off, this category-king department honors Melo, the NBA player who helps--not hurts--your turnover category the most. Let me explain. Kobe Bryant and Jrue Holiday hurt your cumulative turnovers category, with their league-leading 282 turnovers apiece. Melo is on this list because he too is a high-usage player (Anthony a league-leading 31.9 percent usage rate; Bryant 29.9; Holiday 26.2), but unlike many other go-to guys, Melo has a low turnover ratio (8.6 percent compared to Bryant's mediocre 10.9 percent and Holiday's bad 12.6 percent) and consequently has 171 turnovers--a hundred-plus less than Bryant and Holiday. So while Melo is piling up the positives in the other categories, he hurts you minimally in the turnover category, making him our turnover-lowfat king.
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