*in my best Frank Sinatra impersonation*
And now, the end is near
And I present the final recaps
The FakeTeams Hoops Tournament
It's been a blast, saying what happened
The draft, we have gone through
Which teams did what, and why they did them
But now, we finish up, with the teams that diiiiiiiiiiiidnnnnnnn't
These teams, they didn't do
A recap of all of their players
Leaving me with a heap of incomplete post-draft reflections
But rather than toss them out, I've decided to post them anyway
Because hey, it is my league, and I'll do it myyyyyyyyyy waaaaaaay
Mostly though, I didn't feel like bothering these guys with writing any more than they already did. I greatly enjoyed hearing from them all, especially the blurb about Roy Hibbert, but with a couple guys voluntarily ceasing their updates, I didn't want to pester them with finishing it in the middle of the holiday season. Still, I find this a highly-enjoyable read. There are a lot of different writing styles at display here, and even if you loathe basketball and everything associated with it, you should still be able to appreciate the collective effort that went into producing this.
8. Russell Westbrook
"To be honest, I was happy to get Westbrook with the eighth pick, which is exactly where I had him on my preseason rankings. Westbrook is a dynamic talent who gives me points, assists, steals, a high free-throw percentage and decent rebounds for a point guard. The one thing he doesn't do is make 3-pointers, but, hey, nobody's perfect!"
21. Josh Smith
"Here, I was looking for a big who can rebound and block shots. That's exactly what Smith does for me. Unfortunately, he's not a great scorer, nor an efficient free-throw shooter, but getting help in blocks, rebounds and even FG% was a big help."
36. Chris Bosh
"Bosh is about as steady as they come. I'm not a huge fan of his, from a fantasy perspective, but he will give me at least 18 and 8, plus he'll give me solid percentages. I prefer his talents in a roto league moreso than in H2H leagues, but as a third-round selection I think I got pretty good value."
"Here I was focusing on picking up my FG%, along with getting a big man who helps add a steal and block-plus per game. Nene is one of those guys who generally gets drafted in the 3rd or 4th round, yet outperforms his ADP. Hopefully he'll continue to provide plus-value for me this season."
64. Brandon Jennings
"At this point I have three bigs and just one guard (Westbrook). I was looking for help in two specific areas: threes and assists. That's exactly why I pulled the trigger and took Jennings. Yes, he's a bit of a drain in FG%, but I figure that with Nene, Bosh and Smith already giving me a plus-bump in FG%, I could take the slight hit. Plus, I can address the FG% category later."
77. Tyson Chandler
"As I was saying, I needed to address my FG%, plus add some rebounds and blocks, which is why Chandler made a ton of sense here. I can probably count on a nightly double-double, one-plus block per game and a 60-plus FG%. That's exactly what I needed."
92. DeMar DeRozan
"In this round it was all about scoring. I needed another true scorer to give me a bump in that category, and that's exactly what I got with DeRozan. It's reasonable to expect that he can average over 18 points per game, and I can even see him posting close to 20 points per game if he continues to develop. I would love to have gotten a wing who can shoot threes, but that's something I'll look to address later."
105. Derrick Williams
"This was a major upside pick. It's always tough to project rookie values, but in this case you have to believe that the Timberwolves think it's in their best interest to push Williams early on. Sure, Michael Beasley is still kicking around, but he's absolutely not a part of the T-Wolves future plans. Williams is a nice talent who has the ability to give you a three, a steal and close to a block per game. That's nice value here."
Adam Shafer (Razzball)
"I’m not sure what to say about having the first pick. It’s total excitement, almost immediately enveloped by severe boredom. Whether you’re a LeBron guy or a Durant guy, anyone playing fantasy basketball knows who they’d take with the first pick. I’m taking Durant, because among all his other benefits, having the single most beneficial free throw shooter in the game opens up a lot of options in the next few rounds when considering a big. The first pick is almost always the fastest non-autodraft pick of the night. The trick is not highlighting the wrong player and choosing that guy instead of the guy you want. That’s it. Everything else is easy-cheez. Whatever you do, Sweet Susie, don’t go skimming through the 500s for fun, looking to see if Iverson or Rasheed are still listed as draftable options. Do like me: highlight Kevin Durant 45 minutes before the draft, then sit on your hands until it begins. Just sit there. Visualize yourself choosing the game’s number one fantasy option. Don’t stare at the screen – your eyes will get red and burn a little – but don’t you dare look away, either. You’ve only got one shot, Eminem. Do not miss your chance to blow."
"After drafting Durant, I drew a nice bubble bath, fixed myself some cocoa, put a little Slipknot on the turntable and settled in for a long layover until my turn came up again. My second pick came down to a big (David Lee) or a small (Tyreke Evans). My thought process streamed as follows: ‘Reke: Plantar faciitis, but also 20/5/5-probability, Thornton, Salmons, Cousins, Hickson, JIMMER! David Lee: Saliva elbow, gross, Mark Jackson, also gross, Ellis - oh Lord, no, doesn't block. ‘Reke blocks. Good for him. Also, JIMMER! Then I chose Evans, totally forgetting that I had the wrap-around pick immediately following and could just draft David Lee right away. Keep in mind, I am intensely stupid."
29. Speed Racer
"I’m still undecided what’s most humorous about my third round pick: a) that I spent most of my 90-second draft time trying to decide between Tyreke Evans and David Lee, b) that I forgot I could just pick up both because I had the wrap-around pick, c) that I went with Speed Racer and skipped Lee altogether, or d) that I‘m under the delusion Martin will be healthy two seasons in a row. My thinking here was that by drafting Martin, (along with Durant) I won’t have to think about FT% for the remainder of the draft. So that’s nice. Don’t shake your head no, it IS nice. It is VERY nice."
56. David West
"I don’t really need to say much about D. West (or D’Ouest, if you’re French). West is who he is. As a Pacer, he might be a little less than he was, but not much. Also, Ray Allen likes him for his "cognitive thinking" and I’m unwilling to argue with Allen on this point. But for now, I don’t want to talk about that. I’d rather talk about Jason Hahn over at Dime Magazine and fbasketballblog grabbing Greg Monroe one spot before I took West. I didn’t want West. I wanted Monroe. Guys get snagged all the time. It’s frustrating, but it happens. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about when another owner totally sinks your battleship. Coming into the draft, every fantasy owner has a mid-round sleeper they’ve got their eye on. His name is never mentioned. He’s never joked about in the draft chat. His team isn’t even brought up if it can be helped. Before the draft begins, every owner has made their peace with the fact that they were almost certainly going to reach a round (inappropriate!) too early to ensure they got their guy. Monroe was my guy. We talked about Lawson and Jrue and Gallo, but Monroe was my battleship. Picks 50…51…52, Monroe’s still available. Picks 53…54, I can’t even remember who was went off the board, but it wasn’t Monroe. Bombs are plunking into the starboard side. Pick 55 arrives and it hits me that Hahn is autodrafting. What are the odds that Greg Monroe is THE next name in his queue? Autodraft NEVER makes the right call. Autodraft still lists Dikembe Mutombo somewhere in its baffling recesses. Autodraft can grab anyone left on the board except Monroe and I’d be the giddiest schoolboy in the choir. Nope. GM. L7. Hit! You sunk my battleship! /fist shake. HAAAHHNNNNN!
"Anyway, nice pick. I’m sure Jason is a great guy. Wish him the best.
57. Roy Hibbert
"… And just like that, I was the sole owner of the Indiana Pacers’ entire starting frontcourt, whom I affectionately refer to as "the Bumpus Hounds." I can confess to this being the least favorite pick of my draft and very well may have inHibberted my team from reaching top 3 status. Had I gone with Cousins or the younger Gas Hole, I wouldn’t worry about getting 13/8 from my starting center every game. Now? Worried. Also a worry of mine? That Hibbert isn’t physically balanced enough to withstand a blow to anything below his knees. He just looks like he falls over in his house a lot. Like ottomans and table corners are the bane of his existence. I can’t be having that on my team. It’s the same reason I don't go see the giraffes at the zoo. Their legs fill me with anxiety."
84. Lamar Odom
"Lamar Odom I took a brief respite from drafting Pacers to grab Odom, a decision that took me about 2.9 seconds to make. It would have taken two seconds flat had I not hesitated to make sure I wasn’t accidentally drafting Oden. I’m still unclear why Lamardashian was still available 83 picks into this thing. Was it because he was coming off a career-year efficiency he is unlikely to duplicate? Or that he might be backing up Shawn Marion’s golden tufts of mohawk? Perhaps it was his .699 career FT%? I’ll tell you what it wasn’t; it certainly wasn’t the 16/10/3, with 2.1 stl+blk+3ptm he averaged as a starter. Odom will get his minutes, just as he got them with the Lakers. Defenders are going to have a tougher time dealing with Odom when he’s sharing the floor alongside the rangy, free-shooting Dirk and Marion than when he was with the more spot-specific Artest and Gasol. Whatever. My wife thought it was a good pick. Okay. Now back to some more Pacers …"
Nels Wadycki (Give Me The Rock)
14. Monta Ellis
15. Al Horford
"Even though these two encompass the first and second round, they go together like Hoops and YoYo since they were made one right after the other. The GMTR strategy in general is to go for a PG and C that can kind of go together in the first two round. This is especially true at the end of the first round when you have to kind of move from Best Player Available to a little more strategic thinking. You're not getting one of the Top 5 (or Top 10) guys, and since there's not really any guarantees this year, and since I wouldn't get to pick again until the end of the 3rd round, I had to make sure I got some guys who would work well together. That's a lot of Sincing. Sorry. Anyway... I thought it was especially important to get a good Center with one of these two picks since there was only 1 starting Center spot in this league. That way I got that all locked up and had more options available in the deeper tiers of SGs and SFs later on in the draft. Ellis has a decent FG%, especially for a PG which gave me a bit more flexibility going into the next set of picks. Same thing with Horford with respect to FT%. The Blocks aren't very good to start off, but the Rebounding is pretty solid. Assists and Steals are harder to pick up from Free Agents anyway (at least in my opinion), so being weak in Blocks doesn't worry me too much."
Tom Mahoney (FakeTeams)
10. Stephen Curry
"Round 1 (pick 10) Stephen Curry, PG, GS Warriors The back end is not where I like to draft in basketball. It's where I like to put other things. I prayed I'd end up with a top-3 pick so that I could end up with the big three (Paul, LBJ, Durantula), but as fate would have it, I ended up with 10. 10 wound up being the WORST. DRAFT. POSITION. EVER. I missed out on several players by only one pick, and it all started with the first round. I had my eyes set on either Russell Westbrook or Deron Williams so that I could start off comfortably with Assists. However with both gone with the two picks right before me, I switched to panic mode and went with Curry. I didn't think it was necessary to reach on anyone else. Curry's troublesome ankle worried me (and there he goes hurting his ankle in the preseason), but he only wound up missing 8 games last season. With the shortened season, I don't mind Curry resting more as long as it keeps his ankle fresh. When you can nail 2 three's per game, toss out 6 assists, grab 4 boards, steal 1.5 times per game and score almost 19 points (not to mention his phenomenal FT %) AND that's considered a down year on a bum ankle, I'll gladly pounce in round 1."
Mark Harmon (FOXSports, FOX Fantasy Freaks)
Mark's blurbs are going to read a little differently for this reason: Initially, I sent out a different assignment for the three people who missed the draft -- rather than having them write about players they didn't actually pick. But like a day later, I decided to unify the process and asked everyone, even the people who missed the draft, to write about their drafted players -- why, I don't know. Harmon happened to respond to the first email, which was basically a Q-and-A. Rather than force him to write twice about his team, I'm just going to reprint how he answered my questions. Hazzah!
How/why did you get into the fantasy-writing business, and how long have you been doing it for?
"I have been slinging ink in the fantasy world since 1999 behind the scenes at Yahoo! I had been playing fantasy games for years and jumped at the opportunity to provide support to Yahoo! Sports, expand its suite of offerings and serve as the outward yelling force in those early days.
"I joined FOXSports.com in 2006 and have been co-hosting a show on FOX Sports Radio since 2007. SwollenDome.com lets me blend the fantasy and reality worlds with some of the pop culture that dominates the LA landscape."
For the record, you missed the draft because...
"I wish there was a world-changing, mind-blowing event that occurred to keep me away from the draft applet. Alas, my absence can be chalked up to the assuming that the draft was set at my convenience for a prime time slot on the West coast. As such, I sat down to my desktop after a long day of NFL note-taking and analysis to do the draft with my mountain of statistics and rankings at my side, only to find that my team had already been assembled."
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the 2011 Cavs and 10 being the 1996 Bulls, how good do you feel about your team?
"I’ll put it at a nice, even 6.5. Of course, I’m heavily invested in the Portland Trailblazers and will watch the games in Dallas and San Antonio from the edge of my couch. This team should be able to score in bunches and has strong guard play (I’d feel better if I was playing in the NCAA Tournament). I’m fearful of being dominated along the front line."
The pick you're proudest of...
"Hedo Turkoglu will be a boom or bust player out of the 10th round. He’s already banged up with a hip injury, so things haven’t exactly started brilliantly here. However, Turkoglu offers decent balance from a Utility slot if healthy. I’m certainly not anticipating a return to his 2007-08 heroics, but he’ll offer solid returns across several categories."
The pick you most regret...
"I’m a tad salty at the computer for aligning me with the aged in Rounds 5 and 6. Jason Kidd and Tim Duncan slid into those slots. I would have preferred a younger option in a power position (DeAndre Jordan, Tyson Chandler or Lamar Odom – once he gets past the initial pouting). The reconfigured NBA schedule will not be friendly to older knees and backs."
The team you're most afraid of in the league?
"Trade Monster has an imposing front line that creates tremendous balance across the board. The Howard-Gortat combination is imposing in and of itself, bolstered by that second-round selection of Zach Randolph. Trade Monster will have an opportunity to live up to the moniker as the season progresses and we head into the fantasy trade season.
"I could go on and roll up the other great squads that have been assembled, but my head may explode."
And on that note.... Thanks for reading this folks!