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 San Antonio Spurs.
Gained – Tiago Splitter (finally!)
Lost – Keith Bogans (this team will feel very familiar to you)
Probable position depth –
PG – Tony Parker, George Hill, Garrett Temple
SG – Manu Ginobili, James Anderson, Alonzo Gee
SF – Richard Jefferson, Bobby Simmons
PF – Tim Duncan, DeJuan Blair, Matt Bonner
C – Tiago Splitter, Antonio McDyess
Probable D-Leaguers –
G – Gary Neal, Kirk Penney, Curtis Gerells
F – James Gist
C – Marcus Cousin
3 Concerns Heading Into the Season –
1. What are the odds that just knowing George Hill is ready for a breakout season is enough to tear Tony Parker’s ACL?
Not good. Whether it be his down season last year, the constant throng of trade rumors or the slow emergence of George Hill, everyone is down on Parker coming into this season. And while there are tons of players whom everyone seems down on and will suck accordingly, I don’t think Parker will be one of them. In fact, I can see T.P. winning a lot of leagues for believers who took him in their draft a round later than he should have been available because of all this bad jeux-jeux aimed toward him. Barring an injury, Hill won’t fully breakout (think Mr. Kool-Aid and a brick wall-style breakage) until 2011.
2. Sure Tiago Splitter is as handsome as the Rio Grande is long, but can he play in the NBA?
Absolutely, but he’s not a scorer and in many fantasy leagues, guys who don’t score get overlooked. Think of him as a poor man’s Nene or Kirilenko, then remember that he hasn’t played a single regular season game and drop him down your cheat sheets accordingly. Also, remember not to let Tiago hear you call him a poor man’s anything – Tiago’s also a spitter.
3. Why are people in my fantasy league drafting Richard Jefferson? I thought he died, like, two years ago!
He’s alive and he’ll be more alive in 2010 than he was in 2009. Jefferson had a personal off-year – that was part of his problem in ’09. But his other problem was his role on the team. He’s not the man, or even the second-hand man or the wingman on the Spurs. He’s just the swingman on the Spurs. He went from an average USG% of 24.6 between 2004-08 to being involved in only 18.3 percent of the plays last season. And with the addition of Splitter and the emergence of Hill and Blair (along with the Spur staples) Jefferson just isn’t a premiere option on this team. He was never intended to be. Stop thinking of him as Vince Carter’s sidekick and start thinking of him as the Tayshaun Prince you draft if you miss out on drafting Tayshaun Prince.
Fantasy Disappointment in ’10 – DeJuan Blair. The talent is there, but the minutes won’t be. If you have room, go ahead and stash him on your bench while schadenfreude-ing Splitter and Duncan. Or you can just not draft him.
Biggest Fantasy Contributor in ’10 – Tim Duncan. Timmy B. Duncan … unless his 34-year-old knees turn to mush like wet Saltines. Then, never mind.
Deep Sleeper – Tiago Splitter. He and Blair are the last Spurs drafted in most leagues, but unlike Blair, I think Splitter will average 30+ mpgs and provide a ton of peripheral stats. The knock on Splitter is that he won’t score much and his minutes will be hampered by his fouls. I tend to agree with this knock (these knocks? the knockers?). That’s the bad. The good is that I’ve agreed with knocks before and been way off. That’s also kid of the bad since I write for a blog that supposedly helps sift others through the murky world of fantasy basketball. The good is that you probably stopped reading after the “3 Concerns” section of this post and won’t ever know what I had to say about Splitter. Wait … no. No, that’s also the bad.