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We looked at the top 20 point guards for 2011 last week and decided that injuries wreaked havoc on most fantasy teams. Today, we decide that the shooting guard position is even weaker than I predicted in the preseason. Yes we will learn that. Yes. Don’t argue with me. That is exactly what we’re going to learn. That, and that maybe next season either reach for a premium two-guard or punt it until later rounds. Here’s my preseason Top 20 Shooting Guards for 2011. Take it in like fine wine, or in this case, like a stray cat. Not that one sips stray cats, but they do take them in, don’t they? I wouldn’t know. I hate cats. And I’m pretty sure they hate me because I leave them to shiver on my stoop, just like I’m planning on doing with Eric Gordon next year. Also, to recap, we’re using the season totals from ESPN’s Player Rater to determine each guy’s final rank. We’re listing averages, but we took totals into account because Games Played weighs heavily on his value – natch. Anyway, here’s the top 20 shooting guards for 2011 fantasy basketball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

1. James Harden – He improved every aspect of his game even more than most people assumed he would. I mean, no one assumed his beard could improve from last year and look. No. Look at it. Really, look at it. His beard is slowly learning how to set picks. But that doesn’t make sense. How can a beard learn how to set picks? Exactly. I’ll still like a couple guys more than Harden next season, but we’re looking at a new elite SG, in an era where that is a rare thing.  Preseason Rank #9, 2011 Projections: .440/.800/1.5 3ptm/14 pts/5 rbd/2.5 ast/1.5 stl/0.5 blk/2 tov. Final Numbers: .491/.846/1.8 3ptm/16.8 pts/4.1 rbd/3.7 ast/1 stl/0.2 blk/2.2 tov, 62 games

2. Kobe BryantAt the ripening age of 33, Mamba opted to shoot more. That was his big resurgence. His best scoring average in four seasons to go along with his worst shooting percentage from the floor since he was 19 years old. This is stubborn Kobe, not mature Kobe. Mature Kobe would show a small dip in scoring and a hefty rise in his FG% like Tim Duncan three seasons ago. This isn’t knocking real-life Kobe. This is knocking fantasy Kobe. His value isn’t rising. We’re in the three or four seasons in which we decide whether the stats that are dipping in order to feed the stats that aren’t are still good enough to make him an elite SG. The answer this year was yes. I think it will be yes next year, too. I think next year, however, is the season we start to see the start of some insurmountable drops.  Preseason Rank #2, 2011 Projections: .450/.825/1 3ptm/25 pts/4.5 rbd/4.5 ast/1.5 stl/0 blk/3.5 tov. Final Numbers: .430/.845/1.5 3ptm/27.9 pts/5.4 rbd/4.6 ast/1.2 stl/0.3 blk/3.5 tov, 58 games

3. Dwyane Wade – I had Wade and Ibaka on the same roster in one league and completely ran away with that category. I figured out that if I stripped away all the other BLK production from my team other than those two, I still would have won that category by 15, despite Wade missing 17 games this season. There isn’t a better blocking SG in the league (or overall SG, honestly), which makes his dip in scoring this season (brought on by a better support staff) less painful.  Preseason Rank #1, 2011 Projections: .485/.765/0.5 3pt/26 pts/6 rbd/5 ast/1.5 stl/1 blk/3 tov. Final Numbers: .497/.791/0.3 3ptm/22.1 pts/4.8 rbd/4.6 ast/1.7 stl/1.3 blk/2.6 tov, 49 games

4. Paul George – Look, besides starting all 66 games of the regular season, this isn’t top five output. I know it. You know it. PG knows it. PG’s mom doesn’t know it because that’s her baby out there and ain’t nobody gonna tell her her baby ain’t top whatever. He’s beautiful and brilliant and she ain’t trying to hear anything about her baby boy being top 15. Still, he’ll be 22 next season and I’d prepare to see him land closer to the top 5 for reasons borne more from production than ability to stay healthy. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: .440/.802/1.4 3ptm/12.1 pts/5.6 rbd/2.4 ast/1.6 stl/0.6 blk/1.8 tov, 66 games

5. Joe Johnson – Joe be Joe with the meaty exception of a three-point percentage that was higher than at any other point during his time with Atlanta. Mingle in a career-high FT%, and Johnson saw a slight uptick in his four-year downtrend in scoring. I don’t buy it. It was a weird season. I’m chalking this up to Johnson’s last hurrah and moving on. Preseason Rank #8, 2011 Projections: .450/.810/1 3pt/17 pts/4 rbd/4 ast/1 stl/0 blk/2 tov. Final Numbers: .454/.849/2.1 3ptm/18.8 pts/3.7 rbd/3.9 ast/0.8 stl/0.2 blk/1.9 tov, 60 games

6. Monta Ellis – With Stephen Curry out for such a substantial part of this season, Ellis’ passing was a little better than expected, while he forced up a ton more hail Marys than one would hope. Then halfway through the season, he left Golden State and no one has heard from him since. What’s that? He was traded to Milwaukee? How is that different from what I said?  Preseason Rank #3, 2011 Projections: .445/.770/1 3ptm/24 pts/3.5 rbd/5 ast/2 stl/0 blk/3.5 tov. Final Numbers: .433/.796/1.1 3ptm/20.4 pts/3.4 rbd/6.0 ast/1.5 stl/0.3 blk/3.1 tov, 58 games

7. Jason TerryI ranked JET 15th on this list in the preseason. I was also pretty durn close with my predictions. So yeah, the shooting guard category is more shallow than all three Kardashian sisters. Preseason Rank #15, 2011 Projections: .455/.870/2 3pt/15.5 pts/2 rbd/3.5 ast/1 stl/0 blk/1.5 tov. Final Numbers: .430/.883/2.2 3ptm/15.1 pts/2.4 rbd/3.6 ast/1.2 stl/0.2 blk/2.0 tov, 63 games

8. Wesley Matthews – I spent most of this season having assumed that Wesley’s season was total junk. Turns out it was merely the kind of junk you can sell for scrap and turn a tidy little profit. His shot was off, and he kept chucking it from downtown, which affected his overall scoring and effectiveness. No one really told him to stop, so he kept doing it. Assuming someone tells him to stop between now and October, I expect him to be in the top 10 among shooting guards next year. Preseason Rank #14, 2011 Projections: .470/.890/2 3pt/15.5 pts/3 rbd/2 ast/1 stl/0 blk/1.5 tov. Final Numbers: .412/.860/2 3ptm/13.7 pts/3.4 rbd/1.7 ast/1.5 stl/0.2 blk/1.1 tov, 66 games

9. Gordon Hayward – Chances are, if there are names on this list that jump out at you as being improbable, go ahead and assume they played in at least 62 games. Preseason Rank #20 (on SF list), 2011 Projections: .435/.735/0.5 3pt/11 pts/3 rbd/2 ast/0.5 stl/0.5 blk/1.5 tov, Final Numbers: .456/.832/0.8 3ptm/11.8 pts/3.5 rbd/3.1 ast/0.8 stl/0.6 blk/1.7 tov, 66 games

10. Marcus Thornton – You see, NBA? You let the kid play a whole season (or, at least, 3/4 of it) and he produces big time. (NOTE: “big time” in this instance, has been adjusted relative to Sacramento’s expectations. “Big time” in Sacramento is like “shootaround” before an ’85 Celtics preseason game.) Preseason Rank #11, 2011 Projections: .440/.795/2 3pt/18 pts/5 rbd/2 ast/1.5 stl/0 blk/2.5 tov. Final Numbers: .438/.865/2.1 3ptm/18.7 pts/3.7 rbd/1.9 ast/1.4 stl/0.2 blk/1.6 tov, 51 games

11. Brandon Rush – Look, Brandon Rush was a nice mid-season pickup for the owners in 14-team leagues who lost Kevin Martin and Manu to injury. His threes were nice, his blocks were a treat and his turnovers remained their consistently low selves. But this is Kyle Korver, okay? This is Marco Bellinelli. This is where guys who remained healthy got ranked this season. On any given week, you were not happy to roll Brandon Rush out against your team’s H2H opponent. You’d gladly take 30 games of a (a normal healthy) Manu and take your chances with the free agent pool for the remainder of the season. Don’t fight it. Feel it. And ultimately, don’t set Rush as your keeper. People will snicker.  Preseason Unranked. Final Numbers: .501/.793/2.1 3ptm/9.8 pts/3.9 rbd/1.4 ast/0.5 stl/0.9 blk/1.0 tov, 65 games

12. Arron Afflalo – Every game seemed like a struggle for Afflalo to be averaging the averages he ended up averaging. Still, he got there. Reached that mountaintop. And seeing as how I drafted him across most leagues, I have an affinity for him. I’ll probably follow him; draft him  next year and the year after. Wherever a’rrons off to, a’fflalo ‘im. Preseason Rank #7, 2011 Projections: .460/.830/1.5 3pt/15.5 pts/4.5 rbd/3 ast/1 stl/0.5 blk/1.5 tov. Final Numbers: .471/.798/1.4 3ptm/15.2 pts/3.2 rbd/2.4 ast/0.6 stl/0.2 blk/1.4 tov, 62 games

13. Klay Thompson – He averaged 7/2/1, with 1 3ptm before the All-Star Break and 17/3/3, with 2 3ptm after it. His season went something like this: 1) I sort of remember hearing about this Klay dude in college, but he was drafted to the Warriors and will be stuck behind Wright and Ellis, 2) Thompson has been surprisingly effective, but they’re sticking with Wright, 3) The team seems to be eating itself alive from the inside out, and Klay Thompson looks like the team’s damn MVP, 4) I haven’t thought about Klay Thompson in three weeks and I’m not going to trust this thing we had throughout March. Look for him in the eighth round.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: .443/.868/1.7 3ptm/12.5 pts/2.4 rbd/2.0 ast/0.7 stl/0.3 blk/1.6 tov, 66 games

14. Daniel Green – By the time April rolled around on the Spurs, the real life team most resembled a fantasy basketball team. Swapping lineups, squeezing every last stat out of third or fourth choices, blindly dropping superstars for guys who were going to play bigger minutes. The team ended the season with the best record in the West with guys like Danny Green and Tiago Splitter leading the charge. I’m sure Daniel Green will be drafted, but hell if I have any idea where he should go.  Preseason Unranked. Final Numbers: .442/.790/1.5 3ptm/9.1 pts/3.5 rbd/1.3 ast/0.9 stl/0.7 blk/1.0 tov, 66 games

15. Jared Dudley – Well, glory be. A shooting guard who did more or less what I expected him to do (I would have liked to have seen him hit more free throws). But still … Refreshing! Preseason Rank #15, 2011 Projections: .475/.765/1.5 3pt/14 pts/4 rbd/2 ast/1.5 stl/0 blk/1 tov. Final Numbers: .485/.726/1.2 3ptm/12.7 pts/4.6 rbd/1.7 ast/0.8 stl/0.3 blk/1.1 tov, 65 games

16. Ray Allen – Last year, I said this about Senior Shuttlesworth: “I can see Allen averaging at least 12/2/2, with a pair of threes until he’s 40.” Well, he’ll be 37 next season. I think he’s making a go out of it. Preseason Rank #13, 2011 Projections: .485/.900/2 3pt/15 pts/3.5 rbd/2.5 ast/1 stl/0 blk/1.5 tov. Final Numbers: .458/.915/2.3 3ptm/14.2 pts/3.1 rbd/2.4 ast/1.1 stl/0.2 blk/1.5 tov, 46 games

17. O.J. Mayo – Now we’re getting to the point where it’s a little sad when a shooting guard who played all 66 games, ISN’T ranked higher. Brandon Rush was one of the best 11 SGs in the league this year and he missed a game, Mayo! To be fair, a lot of these feelings are just concentrated from O.J.’s last few seasons, where fantasy hoopsters mashed him to a pulp for underperforming. Frankly, if you rostered him this season, you squeezed more than the amount of O.J. you could have realistically hoped for. Frankly2: I deserve, like, four pun points for freshly sqwozen blurb. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: .408/.773/1.5 3ptm/12.6 pts/3.2 rbd/2.6 ast/1.1 stl/0.3 blk/1.9 tov, 66 games

18. Kawhi Leonard – Leonard wasn’t sexy, but he was helpful. Like your plumber or your cable guy (unless you are a porn star, in which case, never mind). Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: .493/.773/0.6 3ptm/7.9 pts/5.1 rbd/1.1 ast/1.3 stl/0.4 blk/0.7 tov, 64 games

19. J.J. Redick Combine Redick’s year-end-stats with Jason Richardson’s and … youd still rather have owned Joe Johnson. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: .425/.911/1.7 3ptm/11.6 pts/2.3 rbd/2.5 ast/0.4 stl/0.1 blk/1 tov, 65 games

20. Jamal Crawford – Technically, he played SG about 65 percent of the time. So, yeah. Here he is. Huzzah. The 20th best guard paid to shoot, shot 38 percent from the floor in all but six games. Good riddance, 2011-12. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: .384/.927/1.3 3ptm/14 pts/2.0 rbd/3.2 ast/0.9 stl/0.2 blk/1.9 tov, 60 games