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Above all else, remember this: you should ignore the preseason. There are myriad reasons to ignore it. It’s inaccurate for one. For two, it’s not representational of what the regular season team rotations will be. For hirds, many of the starters (i.e the guys that will end up on your fantasy team come draft day) are going at 60 percent. And for fourths … no. I’m gonna tell you my fourth. A man’s got to have secrets. By now, you’ve run the first six or seven draft rounds in your head dozens of times, your early decisions are being honed to a deadly point. But this isn’t about the early rounds, this is about those middle and late rounds, where everything is a toss-up, your eyes go cross, and you start tasting colors. That’s where preseason performance can help you. As precarious as preseason information can be, it is the most current barometer for a player’s performance. What’s happening now may serve as a final tie-breaker between two late rounds picks or a deal-breaker on that player you were iffy on even including in your draft cheat sheets. Look, telling owners to ignore NBA exhibitions while preparing for the upcoming season is as useless an exercise as doing jumping jacks in a Dunkin’ Donuts. Don’t act like you’re just there for a croissandwich and a water. You’re there because the special donut switched to orange and black sprinkles for the holidays. If you insist on the donut, might as well get the special sprinkles. And if you insist on worrying about dozens of sprained ankles every morning, might as well take a look at some of the biggest surprises so far in the 2010 preseason:

Arron Afflalo -Not a lot of chatter about Spellcheck this preseason, but in five games, dude’s averaged .493 from the floor, sinking the third-most points (20.6) and the second-most treys (3.2) for a team on which he will most likely be starting.

Kevin Love -17.7/11.5 and almost two treys a game. If you were considering waiting until the fifth round to grab Love, you better hope we’re not in the same league.

Ryan Anderson – Don’t look now but the NBA player with a name that sounds most like the kid who got into fights on the playground because his parents were divorcing is averaging 7.2 reebs, 3.6 3pt+stl and .929 from the stripe.

Vince Carter – .558/.923/2.5 3pt/17.5 pts. Now I know he won’t be available when I’m prepared to draft him.

Blake Griffin – Technically, he’s made it farther into the NBA season than he did last year. So he’s got that goin’ for him. People wondered how Blake Superior was going to react to a season of recovery and the jitters that go with it. How ’bout 17.3/12.3/1.8 stl/1.2 blk in six preseason games? Oh, and he shot 10-for-12 from the free throw line over the weekend to show a little more grace at the stripe than usual. Blake’s! Got a new grace / Blaaake’s got a new grace!

Marvin Williams -”Hey Chuck! Chuck! It’s your cousin Marvin. Marvin Williams. You know that offensive system you’ve been waiting for me to play in? Well, watch me in this … !”

John Wall - He’s leading everyone in preseason assists (8) and second only to James Harden in steals (2.2) while still averaging 16+ points per game. Remember back in 2003 when you passed on drafting LeBron in the fourth round because you just weren’t sure how he’d respond to the high caliber of competition? Fool you twice, shame on you.

James Harden – Harden’s per36 average last season for free throw attempts was five. So far this preseason in fewer than 30 mpg, he’s averaging 7.5 trips to the line per game. And when he’s at the line he’s made 90 percent of his shots as compared to 81 percent last season. This is – how they say in France – bananas.

Linas Kleiza – Kleiza’s shooting .600 from the floor, averaging 1.8 treys a game and over 14 points. If he holds that line past November 10, I’ll let you come into my house and steal one item of your choosing from my kitchen.

Rudy Fernandez – I’m in a 14-team league with 18 players to a team, and Fernandez went undrafted. Largely, I feel, because he could disappear like Keyser Soze at any minute. Still, perhaps the guy with the 252nd pick ought to burn it on the guy averaging 2 steals, 3.6 treys and a .488 FG% over five games.

Roy Hibbert – Doc is averaging 15.5/8/2.5 blocks in under 31 minutes per game. If I hadn’t already covered my entire back with a tattoo of the Ninja Turtles riding their own separate dinosaurs, I’d most certainly ink Hibbert there.

29 Responses

  1. ThE sHiT says:
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    @ Adam: What kind of line do you expect to see from Marvin WIlliams this season?

  2. ThE sHiT says:
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    @ Adam: Same line as you posted in the Top 200?

  3. Clyde Prompto says:
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    Howdy, Adam. Has Splitter’s lack of preseason action lowered your expectations for him at all? Would you lose him for Marvin Williams? Great job with the site, by the way.

  4. Beezneez says:
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    I’m a bit confused.. Are you telling us we should bump them up in the rankings or ignore these stats that they are putting up b/c its preseason?

  5. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @ThE sHiT: Maybe bump Marv’ up from 10/5 to 12/7. It looks as if the Hawks are going to start Williams after all (seven weeks ago it appeared Smith would move to SF, Horford to PF and Pachulia to C). If that’s the case, I’d bump him up a round, maybe two, but not much more until we see how the Hawks use him.

    @Clyde Prompto: Not really, but I always had him going in the 11-13th rounds, whereas some people earlier on had him going in rounds 8-9. Many have since bumped him down. Splitter and Williams are so different, it depends on your team needs.

    @Beezneez: It’s neither gospel nor is it extraneous. It’s additional information to help you tweak your team or your draft rankings as we head down the final stretch of the preseason.

  6. Another Falstaff says:
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    @Adam – Ended up with the 1st pick in my 12 team H2H draft Sunday. The elite PG’s are gone by picks 24-25 in most mocks. Should I go with a Monta/Reke – Horford/AlJeff combo or stack the big men with KD?

  7. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Another Falstaff: Unless you’re in a league that subtracts points for guys named Kevin, take KD with your first pick. After that I’d go for the best big man available for pick two and target a couple cheap PGs several rounds later (Jrue, Collison, Felton, Jennings, Jack, Augustin, Conley, Teague). There are far more bargains to be had this season at PG than PF/C. If there’s still someone like Rondo or Kidd available at 24-25, and you’re feeling antsy about grabbing a PG later, go for it, but I think you can recover without doing so.

  8. Clyde Prompto says:
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    @Adam: Yeah, I drafted Splitter in the 12th round in my 12 team roto league. I was just asking which guy you’d take as an end of the bench flyer that could wind up a top 75 player when all is said and done. Also, are you buying into the Austin Daye sleeper hype? I’m hesitant, but I do love me a guy who can hit the BLK/STL/3PM trifecta consistently.

  9. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Clyde Prompto: Gotcha. I’d go Splitter over Williams. I’m not buying anything coming out of Detroit these days.

  10. Remis says:
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    I have an unrelated question. I run an h2h roto league (espn default) with only 8 cats (we don’t use turnovers), in the event of a tie in the playoffs, what is the best tiebreaker to use?

    Last year we used the default yahoo points system, I don’t know if this is the best way, but its better than something stupid like using only one category or head to head regular season record.

  11. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Remis: Any H2H league I’ve been in has first used Winning Percentage to break ties, then Total Points if necessary.

  12. AnotherFalstaff says:
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    @Adam – Thanks! If I take Horford and AlJeff with picks 2 and 3 at 24-25, Brooks seems to be available at 48 and JRich, Capt. Jack or Mayo are available at 49. This strategy seems to definitely stack my frontcourt and both Al’s are PF and C eligible.

  13. Adam says:
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    From one adam to another- can you give us a round you would target each of those guys listed? (12 team h2h)

  14. MVP Night says:
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    Adam – who do you like out of: Marv Williams, Dorell Wright, Harden, Affalo

    Thanks.

  15. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Adam: Whoa, it’s like I’m talking into a mirror! From Arron down: Round 11-13 / Round 3-4 / 15+ / 8-9 / 4-6 / 11-13 / 4-5 / 11-13 / 10-12 / 15+ / 4-6

    @MVP Night: Wright, Afflalo, Williams, Harden, but they’re all close. If you reversed that order, I wouldn’t question it.

  16. T says:
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    I just drafted my first team of the year, 12-team, roto. I’d appreciate any comments and/or criticism. Thanks.

    I picked 8th overall.

    1 Danny Granger
    2 Josh Smith
    3 Tyreke Evans
    4 Joakim Noah
    5 Jason Richardson
    6 Andray Blatche
    7 Luol Deng
    8 Jrue Holiday
    9 JaVale McGee
    10 Andre Miller
    11 Linas Kleiza
    12 Omri Casspi
    13 Rodrigue Beaubois

  17. ThE sHiT says:
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    @Adam: Thx for responding, great articles btw.

  18. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @T: Very nice. Although I worry about your assist numbers. You might want to consider dropping Casspi (or IRL Beaubois) and picking up a speculative PG. Someone like Lawson, Teague, Udrih or Augustin if any of them are available.

    @ThE sHiT: No problem. Thanks.

  19. ThE sHiT says:
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    @Adam: I drafted for a 14 team h2h league earlier. I punted assists. What do you think of my team:

    Dwight Howard, Tyreke Evans, S-Jax, Love, Hibbert, Scola, Deng, Maggette, Ben Gordon, Kleiza, Afflalo, Lawson, Fernandez.

  20. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @ThE sHiT: I’d look to drop Lawson or Fernandez in favor of a blocks specialist. Love and Scola won’t help you there and even beasts like Dwight and Hibbert might not be enough for you.

  21. ThE sHiT says:
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    @Adam: Ill look into it. Thanks! Do you see any potential busts on this squad?

  22. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @ThE sHiT: Maggette.

  23. John says:
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    @Adam: what are your thoughts on ramon sessions? He’s on the waiver wire right now in my league and I was thinking of placing a pretty high bid on him. If he’s going to be the starter, would a fifteen dollar bid be reasonable (100 budget)? I’ve got Luke Ridinour and Tiago Splitter riding my bench.

  24. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @John: Anthony Parker is set to be the starting two-guard and Boobie Gibson had an above-average preseason. I’d hold off on Sessions at any price until the situation changes in Cleveland.

  25. Mike says:
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    I just drafted in a 10-team league h2h.
    Can you comment on my team?

    Curry
    Granger
    Evans
    Noah
    Aldridge
    J. Richardson
    Green
    Kirilenko
    J. Nelson
    Biedrins
    Kleiza
    DJ Augustin
    Milicic
    Mike Dunleavy
    Dorell Wright

  26. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Mike: Well you’re running hot and fast. In a 10-team league, I’m concerned that either a) there was a huge run on PGs and many of the teams in the league have three solid PGs (which is why Nelson and Augustin are your second and third PG). In which case you might have a hard time competing in assists or b) there are better PGs still available.

    Also, unless Darko really brings it this year, I worry about your blocks and boards. Noah, Biedrins and Kirilenko all have injury histories and Aldridge has never shown he loves doing either.

    I’d lose Dunleavy and shoot to fill some gaps on waivers.

  27. Mike says:
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    Thanks for your comments.
    I think I may have to punt assists.
    I could try to trade Green for Jennings or Kleiza for Conley, but
    I dont know how effective that would be.

    I am trying to trade for a quality big tho.
    Which trade should I pursue more?
    Granger for Gasol or Evans for Al Jefferson?

  28. Mike says:
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    Also, should I get Teague or Beaubois or both?
    Who should I drop for them?
    Thank you!

  29. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Mike: Go for Gasol. Although if you’re punting assists, packaging Nelson with another player might be a smart move for you also. Skip Teague and wait on Beaubois (if you can).

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