It’s not always easy to keep perspective. Like when the 410 lb. orca whale purchasing $30-worth of Burger King for himself double-checks with the cashier that the soda he was served is Diet. But we here at Razzball know how difficult maintaining perspective can be, especially when you’re drunk and trying to sketch moving objects. So from now until the start of the season, we’re bringing you the 2010 Fantasy Team Previews, which will focus on each NBA team in hopes of painting a clearer fantasy picture. Who’s starting over whom? Who might surprise you and who might make you want to hurl yourself off a bridge in a few months. Enjoy! Next up – The New Orleans Hornets.
Gained – Trevor Ariza, Marco Belinelli, Sloth
Lost – Darren Collison, James Posey, NOT Chris Paul!
Probable position depth -
PG – Chris Paul, Janero Pargo, Curtis Jerrells
SG – Marco Belinelli, Marcus Thornton, Willie Green
SF – Trevor Ariza, Peja Stojakovic, Quincy Pondexter
PF – David West, Jason Smith, Pops Mensah-Bonsu
C – Emeka Okafor, D.J. Mbenga, Aaron Gray
3 Concerns Heading Into the Season -
1. Is there a more depressing bench than the one in New Orleans?
No. Not even close. It’s awful. Awful like orange juice and toothpaste. Awful like wet used Band-Aids. Awful like Aaron Gray is on it. And Aaron Gray IS on it. If there is an ownable fantasy sleeper on this team by year’s end (other than the Belinelli/Thornton sandwich they’ve created for themselves) I’ll vow to draft Aaron Gray on every team I have next season. Assuming Aaron Gray will still be a professional basketball player next season. This is not a safe assumption.
2. Why is a guy I’m pretty sure used to drive Formula One cars starting over Marcus Thornton and will it last?
I don’t think so. We know little about Thornton, but we know from last season that he starts slowly. He averaged 12 points in November, 19 points in February and 22 points in April, so it stands to reason that the rut he’s in won’t last long and he’ll be a starter before Christmas. We also know that Marco Belinelli has a similar skill set to Thornton and it could cost fantasy owners two viable commodities instead of one. For now, Marcus Thornton is the only bright spot on this bench and he’s only on the bench because he played so dimly in the preseason. Thornton was set to be the starter, but got outplayed. Ugh. I know we’ve moved on to a different topic, but N’Awlins’ bench is tragic.
3. Is Trevor Ariza’s FG% going to make me want to drink Drano?
Yeah probably. But, for what it’s worth, not as much Drano as last season. Ariza’s shooting from the floor monkey-punched owners’ FG% last season and every outlet discussing Ariza this year suggest owners prepare for it to happen again. This is despite his .539, .507, and .460 FG% in his previous three seasons. He was given too much too soon in Houston and he took a lot of foolish shots. That won’t happen in New Orleans on a team that will use Ariza as a third or fourth option on offense and who will give him a lot more open shots with Chris Paul feeding him the ball instead of Aaron Brooks. My gut says he’ll shoot around .450 from the floor. To be fair my gut is also responsible for the decision to purchase two nacho-flavored tamales from the Kum ‘n’ Go, so take everything with a grain of salt. What’s that?
… I’ve just been told to take everything with Pepto-Bismol until my stomach settles.
Fantasy Disappointment in ’10 – David West. I’m usually a little colder on David West than many others. He doesn’t do it for me. There’s something unsatisfying about a big man who under-blocks, under-rebounds and under-steals but gets drafted on the strength of his excellent free throw shooting. Nah. But aside from his declining rebounds, declining blocks and two fewer points per game last season than the season before, he’ll have a number of offensive weapons to contend with that he hasn’t had before. I’m not predicting a bust, I’m predicting an ADP about two rounds too early.
Biggest Fantasy Contributor in ’10 - Chris Paul. … Unless he misses half a season again, which I don’t mind saying out loud because I don’t own him in any of my leagues. Reverse jinx!
Deep Sleeper - Marcus Thornton. He was a sleeper in June, overrated in August and back to sleeper in late October. He’s the dark-light-darkus Thornton.