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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.

  1. brad says:
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    Posted this comment last night, excuse my attempt to stay current.

    Just drafted in my 16 tm h2h points league with funky keeper rules.

    Here’s my team, with round drafted in paren

    PG Jrue Holiday (Keeper)
    PG Steve Nash (2)
    SG Leandro Barbosa (Keeper)
    SF Danny Granger (1)
    PF LaMarcus Aldridge (3)
    C Andrew Bogut (4)
    G Vince Carter (5) – I know. . . but this was like the 110th player off the board, almost had to.
    F Nic Batum (6)
    G/F Marvin Williams (8)
    F/C Channing Frye (7)
    Util Roger Mason (9)

    BN Travis Outlaw (10)
    BN Mario Chalmers (11)

    Whatchu think? I was surprised Granger fell to pick 14 especially since the league favors 3s a little. Even more surprised when Nash made it back to me in round 2.

    Was the Bogut pick too much of a reach? (Turk, Boozer, Richardson, Jamison, Martin, Butler went right after. . . I almost picked Richardson)

    I hated picking Carter, but guys who went after were Flynn, Calderon, Bynum, Dragic, Lou Williams, Terry and Morrow. . . so I guess I got value.

    Anything you don’t like?

  2. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @brad: Vince at 110 is a great pick, I think. He’s done being a top 20 player, but with the performance he’s put on this preseason, he might have a little top 50 left in him.

    Yeah, I would have preferred Richardson over Bogut, but you needed a center and someone to grab boards, so I understand why you made the decision. With Bogut, LMA and Frye as your three biggest rebounders, you’re really going to need to fill in that stat and blocks from the free agent pool in-season. Above all else, keep an eye out for that.

    I might consider dropping Chalmers if there’s an available big out there now.

  3. brad says:
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    @Adam: thanks for making me feel better about The Carter.

    I regretted Bogut over J-Rich immediately, but I’m a little worried about J-Rich’s role in PHX becoming a bit garbled with Dragic rising, and Childress, Hill, Hedo, Dudley all competing for swing time. I guess I should stop agonizing. . . . Oh, and this is a points league, so rebounds and blocks specifically don’t really matter, which makes the Bogut pick even more questionable, but also means I don’t really need to shore up any particular cats, just fill the roster slots.

    (settings in case you’re interested)
    (PTS) 0.2 (BLK) 2.5
    (STL) 2 (AST) 2
    (REB) 1.5 (TO) -1.5
    (FGM) 2.5 (FGA) -0.5
    (FTM) 2 (FTA) -1
    (3PM) 3.5 (MIN) 0.1

  4. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @brad: Yeah, Phoenix certainly has a deep bench, but I’m not too worried about Richardson’s playing time. Dragic will be stuck behind Nash. Childress’ broken finger will be an issue for several weeks and perhaps longer. Dudley and Hill will be fighting for SF minutes, while Turkoglu will be chipping into Frye’s time more than Richardson’s.

    That said, you took Bogut. Ride him for what he’s worth.

    Also, Jax is a favorite of mine this year. I have him as a fourth-rounder, but I’m seeing him undrafted in some leagues until rounds 5-7. I don’t get it.

  5. Strat says:
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    Hey,

    Do you recommend any good 12 team roto strategy?

    Thanks!

  6. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Strat: Balance, above all else. BUT, if you’re going to be heavy on one position, be heavy on PG.

    Specific to this season however, grab an elite PG first if you can and two bigs next. There will be tons of solid PGs in the final rounds of your draft, but fewer PF/C. If you miss an elite PG, still grab two bigs and wait on the PGs til later … pretty much for the same reason.

  7. Strat says:
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    Oh its for standard 9-cat league

  8. Strat says:
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    Thanks for your quick response Adam.

    I will have the 10th pick this year in our intense family league and since I probably will end up picking a big man first, should I go Big and PG or go big and big? If there are more depths at PGs, I should try to grab the best bigs early right? Also, I’m really trying to gun for B Griffin but scared his dismal FT and possible high TO might be a big negative for me. Should I still go for it?

  9. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Strat: Go big-big, unless Deron or Curry or (GASP!) Chris Paul are still available. If they’re all gone, go for bigs. That would give you two of, say, Pau, Dwight, Josh, Horford, Bropez, Lee, Amar’e. Yeah, you could do worse.

    I wouldn’t recommend taking Griffin with either of your first two picks. Picks 34 or 39 are more fitting. Then again, if you take two bigs with picks 10 and 15, you probably don’t want another big with either of your next two.

  10. brad says:
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    @Adam: word. plus I’m a Utah alum so it felt good to take Bogut.

    That said you’re probably right about Richardson, he IS the only real SG on the team.

  11. brad says:
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    Side note, Griffin and Wall both went in the second round of my draft last night. (so did Collison and Millsap) granted there were 32 players kept, but not all of them were top 30 or even top 50 types.

    People are going nuts over Wall and Griffin as we get closer.

  12. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @brad: I’ve been able to keep my excitement for Griffin in check. But two of my leagues don’t count TOVs. In THOSE leagues, I’ve moved Wall two rounds up my cheat sheet. FG% be damned.

  13. Strat says:
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    @Adam: Sorry to keep asking but which 2 PGs or others would you go for in my slot after 2 bigs?

  14. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Strat: Hard to tell who’ll still be available. At 34 and 39 Westbrook, Wall or Rose might be there. Maybe Collison. If you skip PGs, maybe go for Brandon Roy or Stephen Jackson.

  15. ThE sHiT says:
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    @Adam: Wut “Jax” are u referring to?

  16. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @ThE sHiT: Stephen “Cap’n Jack, Stack Jacks, Jax” Jackson

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