With the lockout likely to linger well into October and perhaps into November, trying to preview the seasons of 30 teams that might not actually have one seems about as worthwhile as raking leaves on a windy day. But I love raking and the wind only makes it last longer. We here at Razzball have you covered, even if you didn’t want to be covered. That’s love. You’ll appreciate it when you’re older. Look at it this way, the only way any of this stuff can be proven wrong is if the season starts. So go ahead, NBA, make me a fibber! I dare you. Until then, here before you is the NBA fantasy gospel. Don’t even bother reading anything else – it’s all lies. From now until the start of the season, we’re bringing you the 2011 Fantasy Team Previews, which will focus on each team in order to paint a clearer fantasy picture. Who’s starting? Who might surprise you? And who might make you want to hurl yourself off a bridge in a few months. Enjoy! Next up – The Washington Wizards (get excited!)
Gained – Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton, Shelvin Mack
Lost – Yi Jianlian, Mustfa Shakur,
Kevin Seraphin (these might also count as a gains)
Probable position depth –
PG – John Wall, Shelvin Mack
SG – Nick Young, Jordan Crawford, Othyus Jeffers
SF – Rashard Lewis, Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton, Josh Howard, Larry Owens, Maurice Evans
PF – Andray Blatche, Trevor Booker
C – JaVale McGee, Kevin Seraphin, Hamady N’diaye
Surprising Fact From Last Season – The Wiz led the league in blocks last season. Let no one claim JaVale McGee’s CrazyLimb® technique didn’t scare away at least a few players driving the lane in 2010. I’m not saying he plays good defense – I’m saying he plays bad defense terrifyingly.
Number of Top 20 Fantasy Players (par 0-1) – 0
Number of Top 50 Fantasy Players (par 1-2) – 2, Wall, McGee
Number of Top 75 Fantasy Players (par 2-3) – 0,
Number of Top 100 Fantasy Players (par 3-4) – 4, Blatche, Young
Number of Top 200 Fantasy Players (par 6-7) – 8, Lewis, Crawford, Vesely, Booker
3 Concerns Heading Into the Season –
1. Are there enough alley-oops to go around for both Vesely and McGee?
I’m hoping there are, but my guess is both McGee and Vesely just aren’t strong enough to position themselves correctly under the basket with any regularity. Neither big can really create his own shot and that’s going to mean that players defending either of them just need to park it under the block and dig in a hip. “Dig in a Hip” was my favorite James Brown b-side, bee tee dubya.
2. Will Nick Young feign illness at any point to give Jordan Crawford a little playing time?
Yeah, it was called spring 2011 and it worked out pretty well for young Crawford. He won’t be so lucky come fall. Here’s what I said about him several months ago, “[Crawford] didn’t shoot threes well, didn’t get to the line, turned the ball over more than a SG should and shot .390 as a starter. To be fair, he averaged four more minutes per game in April than he did in March, yet scored 1.2 fewer points. Why? Because he improved his passing game (rising from 3.7 March dimes – my favorite old-timey charity! – to 5.4 in April). But that’s the kind of improvement that solidifies his position as one of the first players off the bench, not maintaining 33 mpgs next season.” Remember that? My, my, we were all so young back then. Anyway, I wouldn’t count on much more from Crawford than what his season totals ended up being because unless Young feigns an ankle injury, he won’t take a backseat on this team.
3. Is this the year D.C. finds some leadership? Wait, is that a political question? ‘Cause we try to stay away from that here. Wait, was that second question asking about the first question the actual comment on the political climate in Washington disguised as an innocent question? Because we try to stay away from that here. Wait, was identifying Razzball’s writing gimmick too revelatory? Because we … have no opinion on that, really. Anyway, this is John Wall’s team, but he won’t take hold of it with any regularity until next season. They’ll be better this year in congress with Wall, but still not quite good. Wait, was “Congress” and “Wall” meant as a subconcious comment on the debt ceiling?
Fantasy Disappointment in ’11 – Rashard Lewis. There’s always one sucker every draft that wildly overpays for name recognition. If you’re at your draft and it takes you longer than five minutes to figure out who that sucker is – it’s you.
Biggest Fantasy Contributor in ’11 – John Wall. Of all the players who belong in the top 40, Wall is the guy I’m most convinced is going to fall a round or two later in a lot of drafts. He was an unknown commodity who missed 13 games early, played for a team with little exposure and most importantly, remained in Blake Griffin’s shadow all season. If you owned him last year, you probably recall how valuable he was, but a lot of people left the season thinking of him as a disappointment … you know, one of those 16/5/8 disappointments who averaged 2.3 stl+blk to boot. He’s a more fantasy-relevant Rondo. Don’t say you weren’t told.
Deep Sleeper – Trevor Booker. After injuries ripped through D.C.’s roster faster than a Qdoba burrito rips through my digestive track, Booker was simply one of the few guys left on the floor. In the last dozen games of his season he averaged 10/8/1 in 29 mpgs. Not great, but in leagues with more than 12 owners, it was probably enough to buy competing teams an extra point or two. He shouldn’t be considered before Round 15 in most drafts, but if he should be considered sooner than that, he wouldn’t be a deeper sleeper now would he? Logic!