I don’t really do fantasy basketball. Between watching a handful of NBA games every night, playing my own video-game season on NBA 2K, and trying to fit a healthy amount of college and a little bit of high school hoops into the mix, fantasy is a little more than I can handle. But I do like putting together custom lineups just as much as the next fan, hence the Create-Your-Team feature from one year ago. Time for Round Two.
Again, to maintain some semblance of realism, some guidelines here: Twelve players, one head coach (doesn’t have to be a current NBA head coach); no more than three recent All-Stars on the roster (“recent” being within the past five years); at least one rookie, and if you have more than one, only one Lottery pick; at least three certified bench guys; and at least one fringe bench guy who could be out of the League tomorrow.
PG – Chauncey Billups (All-Star #1)
I still love Tony Parker, but I had to get B-Roy on my team this year, and Duncan is a lock until he retires. And with Roy, I’d prefer a PG who can consistently knock down threes and isn’t as reliant on driving (think a insanely rich man’s Steve Blake). And like TP, Billups gives me an experienced veteran with championship credentials.
SG – Brandon Roy (All-Star #2)
Unless you’re Reggie Miller, versatile two-guards are my preference, and Roy is one of those guys who can get you 20 points, five boards and five assists while scoring inside or outside. Roy is a takeover scorer who can run off 10-12 points in a row when his team is struggling.
SF – Kevin Durant
It’s kind of cheating since we all know he’ll be an All-Star in February, but for now it counts. Pure scorer on the wing, and a shooter who can spread the floor and open things up for Roy and Duncan.
PF – Tim Duncan (All-Star #3)
The anchor. There won’t be many offensive rebounds to go around, but can you imagine how many assists he’d get on this squad?
C – Zach Randolph
Like I said last year, Duncan doesn’t need a true center next to him, nor does he need a great defender. Zach can operate in the mid-range area so as not to clog the lane when TD wants it, and vice versa. And like I also said before, Z-Bo is my dude and I’m his unofficial backup agent, so he’s on my team.
PG Derrick Rose; SG Eric Gordon; SF Terrence Williams (rookie); PF Brandon Bass (certified bench #1); C Roy Hibbert; SG Roger Mason (certified bench #2); PF Jon Brockman (certified bench #3/fringe)
COACH – Gregg Popovich
Knows how to juggle a team of stars, knows how to mold young players, knows how to draw up the right play for the right guy at the right time. Plus he values defense, has seen every situation you can possibly see as a coach, has a good sense of how to pace his guys so they don’t wear down in the playoffs, and has enough jewelry to get the respect of all his players.
Usually I’m in favor of carrying three PGs, but Gordon can play the point in a pinch. I’d rather have another shooter like Mason who is also proven in the clutch … Yes, Mason made 71 starts last year, but that was the first time he’d ever been anything close to a full-time starter, and that was mainly because Manu Ginobili was hurt. This year he’s back on the bench … Rose is a change-of-pace PG for Billups who can speed the game up, rebound, and make plays on defense … Bass is a rebounding, screen-setting, hustle-guy type that every team needs; and Brockman gives me two of those guys … For the most part, I tried to consider chemistry. I think every guy on my bench would be OK with coming off the bench given the circumstances. Rose could be the exception, but in the number of times I’ve spoken with him, he comes across as a guy who’s mostly concerned with winning … And I’ve got three guys from Seattle and one former Sonic.
Who’s on your team?