Derek Fisher was said to have text messaged some of his fellow NBA players last week telling them to be physically ready in case the season starts on time. Whether that’s true or not, the sentiment of that supposed message is one fantasy basketball fans should take to heart. The 2011-12 NBA season might start on time, or it might not. The point is that you don’t want to be the guy scrambling to get his act together in hasty preparation for a fantasy draft that has come quicker than expected.
So over the next few weeks, we’ll be analyzing each NBA team from a fantasy basketball perspective. This is a bit difficult to do, given the frozen state of the league and the unsettled free-agency status of many players. But we’ll forge ahead, taking note of players who are free agents, as well as those who have signed overseas contracts that might affect their availability for the possible 2011-12 NBA season.
Up first is the Atlanta Hawks, who might have an exciting changing of the point guards in store, not to mention some unresolved tension with one of its most fantasy-friendly players.
PG: Kirk Hinrich, Jeff Teague
SG: Joe Johnson, Jamal Crawford*
SF: Marvin Williams, Damien Wilkins*
PF: Josh Smith, Magnum Rolle
C: Al Horford, Zaza Pachulia, Keith Benson, Etan Thomas*, Jason Collins*
Relevant fantasy players and their projected draft positions/per-game stats:
– Al Horford, PF/C (Rd. 2): 55% FG, 80% FT, 16 Pts, 10 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 1.5 Blk, 1.5 TO
– Josh Smith, PF (Rd. 2): 46% FG, 70% FT, 16 Pts, 8.5 Reb, 3 Ast, 1.5 Stl, 2 Blk, 2.5 TO
– Joe Johnson, SG/SF (Rd. 6): 45% FG, 80% FT, 1.5 Threes, 19 Pts, 4 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 TO
– Jeff Teague, PG/SG (Rd. 11): 40% FG, 80% FT, 9 Pts, 2.5 Reb, 4 Ast, 1.5 Stl, 2 TO
Most likely to surprise:
Most likely to disappoint:
– Blocks: Smith
Things to consider:
– the potential timeshare at PG between Teague and Hinrich
– if Johnson can bounce back from last season’s disappointing production
– trade rumors surrounding Smith (and the potential distraction it might cause)
– what the probable departure of Crawford means for minutes at PG/SG
Team’s statistical NBA ranks from 2010-11:
– Pts: 26th
– FGM: 23rd
– FGA: 25th
– FG%: 12th
– FT%: 6th
– 3PTM: 17th
– Reb: T-27th
– Ast: T-12th
– TO: 9th
– Stl: 29th
– Blk: T-27th
– Pace: 27th
– Offensive Efficiency: 21st
– Defensive Efficiency: 15th
* unrestricted free agent
Throughout the season, be sure to leave your questions, comments, concerns, trade offers, roster problems and more in the comments below.
Who do you think will be the best fantasy player in Atlanta next year?
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