Outside of player injuries, players sharing equal minutes with other players at a position for stretches of games is just about as annoying as it gets. In fantasy basketball, anyway. In real-life basketball, the voices of Heat announcer Eric Reid and Knicks announcer Walt Frazier are just about as annoying as it gets. (Why does Frazer always sound like he’s grinning?) But in fantasy, little else evokes such white-hot pissyness as two players sharing equal playing time. Brandon Bass and Ryan Anderson are going through it. Ty Lawson and Chauncey Billups are unoffcially going through it. Everyone in the Kings’ frontcourt or the Pistons’ backcourt is going through it, anyone who’s ever looked at Jose Calderon has gone through it … it’s a part of the game. It happens. It’s as common as men Mikhail Prokhorov has made to look like chumps. So what are some things to look for when you’re face-to-face with a timeshare and deciding the likely player to come out on top?
First of all, timeshares, like home-schooled children, are all a little different. It’s possible owners might want no part of either player until the mess is settled. It’s also possible that each owner will choose one and hope things fall their way. As with most advice doled out here, take it with a grain of salt (and large amounts of alcohol. Really, if you can only do one, go with the alcohol). The first guideline is to always favor the more proven of the two timesharing players. This is the one in the hand is worth two from D-League rule and assumes that if the player suddenly forcing the timeshare could play like a starter, he’d be a starter. Really, the only instances in which you’d want to move away from that philosophy is if a) the starter being forced into a timeshare is old and busted (Chauncey Billups, Ben Wallace, Shaq), b) the more proven player is recovering from an injury (Aaron Brooks, Calderon), and c)the proven player has a beef with the team (Troy Murphy, Samuel Dalembert). In instances like the Kaman/Jordan situation that will soon bubble up in L.A., Kaman is the proven player there, but I’m guessing Jordan plays more minutes even after he returns. In cases like this, the Clippers were 1-9 with Kaman playing and are 14-16 since The Hylandre took over. Add in that Kaman is less aggressive, fragile, clunkier than the rest of this athletic rotation, and the buzz on Jordan has been extremely positive and smart money says Jordan is L.A’s new starting center even after Kaman comes back. What’s that … ? I’m being reminded that Vinny Del Negro is the Clippers’ head coach. Smart money has since shifted its odds to even money. In cases of players who all kinda suck (Hill, Hayes, Miller in Houston), coaches almost always lean toward the better defender, offense be damned. If all the players are equally inept, choose the one with the better DRtg or blk/stl numbers. The point is that while there are exceptions to every rule, the rule being excepted should always be that coach’s take far fewer chances than fantasy owners would like them to.