Kamla names his fantasy All-Stars and drops knowledge about who'll get the most burn in the season's second half
Living the Fantasy: Check Your Schedules
By NBA TV's Rick Kamla
On Thursday the NBA announced its starters for the 2005 All-Star game. It was the usual suspects with the exception of LeBron James -- who would become the second youngest player to start an All-Star game -- and Grant Hill, who has regained elite status after a four-year rehab sentence.
The fans don’t always weigh stats as heavily as they should in All-Star voting, but that’s cool because many of them haven’t even heard of fantasy hoops. (If I can convert just one person a day …) But that’s why I’m here, to provide a fantasy spin on the controversial issues facing the basketball world.
In my warped mind, the All-Star team should be determined solely on stats. (But what do I know? I’m just a DeadHead in a headless world.) So, before clocking the second-half schedule for the sake of fantasy owners looking to trade, let’s rock the 2005 Fantasy All-Stars.
Okafor has plenty of game, and better yet, lots of games left.
Terrence Vaccaro/NBAE/Getty Images
PG – Allen Iverson, 76ers: He’d be an MVP candidate with a better supporting cast (read: more wins).
SG – Dwyane Wade, Heat: Dude’s up almost 8 ppg from his rookie season.
SF – LeBron James, Cavaliers: With 31 and 10 against the Heat on Thursday, LeBron cemented his status as the top-ranked player in 8-cat leagues.
PF – Jermaine O’Neal, Pacers: Did you know J.O. is averaging 26.2 points per game?
C – Shaquille O’Neal, Heat: Shaq’s averaging 23-11-2.5, but he’s building toward 25-13-3 in the second half.
PG – Steve Nash, Suns: Nash was the first-half MVP, what with his penchant for winning streaks and dropping 11-plus dimes per game.
SG – Tracy McGrady, Rockets: T-Mac is the eighth-best player in 8-cat leagues.
SF – Shawn Marion, Suns: I will lose respect for each and every Western Conference coach if I don’t see Marion in Denver.
PF – Kevin Garnett, Timberwolves: Even with four out of his last seven games under 20 points, KG is still averaging 22.4 on the season.
C – Amare Stoudemire, Suns: Sorry, Yao, but Amare wins again.
All right, now that the 10 best fantasy players have enjoyed their accolade shower, let’s downshift into schedule analysis.
(Editor’s note: the following vibes are based on games remaining from Monday, Feb. 7 to Wednesday, April 20. And, as always in LTF, we deal in eight-categories.)
Charlotte Bobcats: The Bobcats, along with the Bulls, have the most games left (38) and the most four-game weeks (7 outta 10). Oh yeah, and they also go 4-4-4 (games played each week) during the fantasy playoffs weeks (22, 23, and 24). Assuming Emeka Okafor gets healthy and stays healthy, he’ll be a difference maker down the stretch.
Chicago Bulls: Like Okafor, Kirk Hinrich should have a huge second half. And with the added games, fantasy reserves like Ben Gordon, Tyson Chandler and Eddy Curry become very startable.
Milwaukee Bucks: The Bucks rank second in both games left (37) and four-game weeks (6), and they play 11 games during the fantasy playoffs. I know a lot of you are shopping Michael Redd, but you might want to hang in there. I also recommend an under-the-radar trade for Keith Van Horn, who—health permitting—could be a second-half sleeper.
Seattle SuperSonics: Seattle still has a lot of work to do, and that’s great news for fantasy owners. The Supes are second in games left (37) and first in four-game weeks (7 of 10). If you could somehow finagle Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis on the same team, you might waltz to a Fantasy O’Brien.
Los Angeles Lakers: Phil’s former team is second in games left (37) and four-game weeks (6). Plus, they have a five-game week starting Mar. 14. Needless to say, Kobe Bryant is looking at a monster second half, and sidekicks Lamar Odom, Chris Mihm, Caron Butler, and Chucky Atkins will be heard from as well.
Phoenix Suns: I urge you to brace for a complete and total fantasy buzzkill, as the bad news starts with the Suns and continues with the four fantasy-friendly teams listed below. The Suns are tied with several teams for fewest games (33) and fewest four-game weeks (three) remaining. I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but it may be time to sell penthouse-high with your Suns.
T-Mac wants you ... to know the Rockets only have 33 games left.
Layne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty Images
: The biggest buzzkill for the Heat is the playoff schedule, as Superman and The Flash go 3-3-3 in weeks 22-24. That smells like New Jersey on a wet night. But when you combine that negative stat with 33 games and three four-game weeks, it’s time to cover your nose.
Houston Rockets: This is so uncool. Not only are Nash, Amare, Marion, Shaq, and Wade about to fall behind in the games race, we now add T-Mac and Yao to the list. What is going on here? I demand an investigation! The Rockets have 33 games left and three four-game weeks. Sweet.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Nope, those fantasy monsters weren’t enough. The Fantasy Gods have to come after K.G. as well. The Big Ticket makes it five of the top 12 players on the second-half buzzkill list. Oh the humanity. The Wolves have just 34 games left and only three four-game weeks. Oh yeah, and they go 3-3-3 during the playoff weeks. Couple the Wolves’ woes with the sked and it may be time to do the unthinkable.
Sacramento Kings: I wish I had better news, but it keeps getting worse. The Kings go 4-3-2 in the playoff weeks, meaning Mike Bibby, Chris Webber, Peja Stojakovic, Brad Miller and Cuttino Mobley have two games during championship week. Obviously, if you’re in a head-to-head, playoff league, it’s time to start shopping your Kings.
Sorry to bring you the bad news, freaks, but hopefully you can act on this info before it’s too late. Happy trading…
Rick Kamla can be seen every night, seven nights a week at 1 a.m. ET throughout the season on NBA Fantasy Hoops on NBA TV dispensing fantasy advice and commentary. Send Rick your fantasy questions and comments to email@example.com.