Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Quick visit to my doctor (no copay!)

You've done it. You know you have. You're following along a game by the box score on Yahoo/ESPN/ or watching your team on stat tracker. You have Greg Oden and you wonder why he has just 2 points in the 3rd quarter and has only played 5 minutes. What the hey?!? Did he injure a knee/ankle/penis? You gotta get up to the minute news so you know whether or not to pick up Joel Pryzbilla. The one place a serious fantasy guy goes, that's Rotoworld. The main man, the head honcho, the big cheese for NBA (and PGA) is Steven "Dr. A" Alexander. He writes plenty of articles, too, and he is kind enough to put a way to contact him at the bottom (I'm assuming he has that hotmail account spam filter set on "high"). So anyone, even a shmoe like me, can ask him fantasy-type questions. I figured I'd ask some things that were creepin' and crawlin' in my head, not in order of importance, but just things I wanted to know. And here we go...

To9C: Everyone by now knows of Miami Thrice, the Superfriends, whatever. Who else on the Heat provides fantasy value? (Keep in mind, I'm a guy who has drafted Mike Miller in 2 of the last 3 years and dropped him by Pearl Harbor Day each time, and I have been picking up Udonis Haslem off and on for each of the last 5 years to get boards and FG%.)

A: I am not sure why, but I really think Miller is going to hit a ton of threes this year. What made him so intriguing in the past was the fact that he was also a good rebounder and dimes guy...I suspect those days are over, and he's as injury prone as I am, and I'm 42 with bad knees. But I get the sense he's going to stand outside the arc and bomb away all year...could hit three per game, but not sure he'll enough other things to give him strong value.

To9C: Who breaks through into the first round this year?

A: Who do we draft later that finishes with first-round value? or who is taken in the first round for the first time this year?

Stephen Curry is now a first-round pick, for the first time. Josh Smith probably won't go in the first round, but could easily finish with first-round value. And I say it every year, but man, the Anthony Randolph hype-machine is in full gear and he's going to be a beast if he A. stays healthy and B. gets along with D'Antoni.

To9C: Who slips into second round territory?

A: Chris Bosh is no longer a first-round candidate in Miami, and I'm not even sure Dwyane Wade still is with LeBron around. If he's there when I pick 11th tomorrow night I'm probably taking Wade, but it's a bit of a crapshoot these days. And while he won't have second-round value, Ray Felton is going to have a nice year for the Knicks. Just look at what a less talented Chris Duhon did when handed the reins a couple years ago. He was a mini-Nash. J.J. Hickson looks like possibly the breakout candidate of the year in Cleveland, and Andrea Bargnani is going to go off without Bosh around.

To9C: Who has a Shawn Marion-esque drop off this year? I say Baron Davis and Troy Murphy (which pains me to say, because I love bigs who shoot threes).

A: Mehmet Okur is dead to me. Off the bench with Al Jefferson in town, Millsap breakout coming...Ugh. Then again, Okur wasn't all that great last year, but still, he's done. Others would include: Any player on the Bucks, except for Andrew Bogut. That team is way too deep for fantasy use, and even Bogut could take a bit of a fall this year. Wouldn't be surprised if Blake Griffin ruins Chris Kaman, Devin Harris is going to be injured again this season and won't need to score as much, Caron Butler could see a smaller role with Roddy Beaubois coming on, you have to think Vince Carter's run is coming to an end, while Rashard Lewis wasn't exactly killing it last year, either. Elton Brand - I just don't see him working at center. Tough to play hoops when you're running in quicksand. That said, I really don't see anyone primed to take a complete fall like Marion did, but it will probably happen.

To9C: Can you win your league if you draft Danny Granger in the first round? I contend if you take Granger, you're going to need a lot of help, because two of his strengths (3's and FT%) are things you can get later. Personally, I won't take him higher than 7th - any higher and you're waiting too long before your #2 pick to get great help. If he should drop to 10 or 11, you have to take him, and you are in great shape with your #2, especially if he still has SG/SF/PF eligibility like he did in Yahoo last year.

A: I really hated the way Granger played last year. He stood out there and chucked threes with no conscience and it wasn't pretty to watch. I also am not a fan, at all, of his coach, and his knees, as well as the fact he plays for an awful team, scares the heck outta me. Add in the fact they drafted Granger Jr. in Paul George, and I'm not sure I would take him at No. 7. I have to come up with a draft list in the next 12 hours and I have a feeling Granger's going to be down there between 9-12. And given the fact I'm drafting 11th in two drafts tomorrow night, maybe I have the pleasure of having him on two teams. We'll see. Ideally, I'd like to see Amare there, but I don't think that's gonna happen. Can you win taking Granger in the first round? Of course. But you need to make sure your picks in Round 2-6 are flawless.

To9C: I noticed that July 20th wais the 2 year anniversary of your feature in the AJC "Why I Love My Job". I assume you still love your job, but what has changed in those 2 years?

A: Ha, had no idea. Good to know. I love that piece actually, b/c the writer did a good job of describing what I do on a daily basis. What has changed since then? EVERYTHING. With the rise of Twitter, my job has become much more complex. Eight years ago, in the summer, we'd probably post 10-15 blurbs a day. The only news that came out was from the AP and we had to wait until the following morning to dig through the local papers on line to find news. And then it was probably a little hit-or-miss. Now? A deal goes down or a guy signs, and it's on Twitter immediately, some times even tweeted by the owner (Jazz) or GM (Rockets) of the team as it happens. But that's also one of the cool things about Rotoworld. Sure, you could follow 300 hoops people on Twitter like we do, but good luck trying to keep up with it and sort it out. We don't miss a tweet, and therefore condense essentially everything that happens on Twitter, newspapers, blogs and TV into individual news blurbs on Rotoworld.

I've also been thinking lately about how similar our news blurbs are to the Twitter idea. We don't have a character limit, but we essentially provide some quick facts and analysis for fantasy owners, and they can get in and out without spending five minutes reading a whole column or digging for news, and then move on. So while I miss being able to golf and totally "chill" in the summer, the quality and speed of news we're bringing to our readers has never been better, which is really all that matters to me.

I may pop in a few questions in as the year goes by, and definitely follow along on Rotoworld. Thanks again, good doctor! I'll show myself out.

1 comment:

Henry said...

I like these interviews Mr Cat. Rotoworld is pimping. I had never read that other article either, thanks for pointing it out.