Each day this week I will be handing out hardware for the most valuable athletes in our world of fake basketball. Every day I will highlight a position individually and its respective studs for the first half of the 2010-2011 season. Once the All-NBA Team is finalized, I will hand out awards for fantasy rookie of the year, breakthrough player, MVP, LVP and so on. Let’s get started with the players that run the show, the Guards:
PG Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets
PG Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
This was a 3-man race with Deron Williams landing on the All NBA 2nd team. All Paul does is lead the entire league in steals per game with 2.6, averages 9.7 assists (good for 3rd the NBA) and is 6th in the league shooting FT percentage 89.7%. Paul was a no-brainer for first team accolades, while the choice for his backcourt mate proved to be an extremely difficult task. Let’s check out the stats:
Derrick Rose 24.4 PPG, 0.7 BPG, 1.0 SPG, 3.5 TPG, 8.1 APG, 4.6 RPG, 82.6 FT %, 1.6 3PM/G, 44.2 FG%
Deron Williams 21.9 PPG, 0.2 BPG, 1.2 SPG, 3.4 TPG, 9.4 APG, 3.7 RPG, 85.5 FT%, 1.8 3PM/G, 46.7 FG%
In a virtual dead heat, Rose edges Williams in PPG, BPG, RPG, whereas the other categories are too close for comfort. The hit in FT % with Rose is not as bad as it seems as he only averages 6 free throws per game. This call could have gone either way, but Rose has been more valuable to his team as he has bumped up his 3 pointers made per game by 1.4 shots from 2009 to 2010. That is simply incredible, and the result is a lethal outside game that has helped Chicago to a 33-14 record despite extended absences from star players Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer.
Second and Third All-NBA Team after the jump:
PG Deron Williams, Utah Jazz
PG Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
Williams, highlighted above, just barely missed out on the first team; honestly he and Rose can be inter-changeable. Westbrook could also be included in discussion for first team honors, as the triple double machine has really come into his own this season. Along with the league’s MVP Kevin Durant, Westbrook has helped lead Oklahoma City to the top of its division. The only blemish on Westbrook’s game in fantasy is the lack of three pointers as it is the only level of his game he has failed to increase this season. Judging by the statistics below, would you think it was the same player, albeit in two separate seasons?
X: 16.1 PPG, 0.4 BPG, 1.3 SPG, 8.0 APG, 4.9 RPG, 78.0 FT%, 41.8 FG%
Y: 22.7 PPG, 0.5 BPG, 1.9 SPG, 8.5 APG, 5.1 RPG, 85.1 FT%, 43.7 FG%
Needless to say, Westbrook has stepped his game to a whole new level increasing his points per game average 6.6 points. He already has three triple doubles at the season’s mid-point. Westbrook would be elevated to the first team if he works on his long-range jumpers as Rose has.
SG Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spurs
SG/PG Monta Ellis, Golden State Warriors
Finally, the true shooting guards get their due. Ginobili has been a sensation for the Spurs as he is averaging a career high 2.2 3-pointers per game, 4.9 assists per game and 1.8 steals per game. Per basketballmonster.com, Ginobili is 10th in fantasy on a per game basis (Ellis is actually 8th). Manu is third in the league in 3 pointers and has helped thrust the San Antonio Spurs to the best record in the league. The second spot on the third team was very difficult as it was a three-man race between Ellis, Kobe Bryant and Raymond Felton. Any of those players would have made for a compelling argument. Ellis’ numbers are flat-out ridiculous as he averages 25.7 points per game, 2.3 steals per game, 46.2 FG % (very impressive for a shoot-first guard), 3.3 RPG, 1.7 three-pointers made per game and 5.6 assists per game. The numbers speak for themselves and could actually bump Ellis to the first team if the Guard pool wasn’t so deep this season.
SG Kobe Bryant, LA Lakers,
PG Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
PG Raymond Felton, New York Knicks
SG Ray Allen, Boston Celtics
PG Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns