Heading into the upcoming Fantasy Basketball Season, Razzball will be interviewing local NBA beat writers for some actual in-depth basketball knowledge to shed some additional light on our fantasy basketball knowledge.  Keep your eye out for an interview for every NBA team through the summer.  This installment comes courtesy of Dan Feldman from leading Detroit Pistons blog PistonPowered:

1) Everyone in Motor City has to be pumped about Josh Smith. He’s an uber-talent. But do you think he can be the kind of leader that takes them deep into the playoffs? And if so, how will that impact his fantasy numbers – i.e., can we expect more points and fewer blocks, etc.

I don’t see him as a player who can carry them deep into the playoffs, but a player who can help the Pistons advance in the postseason if the rest of the roster develops. I expect Smith’s fantasy numbers to mostly remain steady with the exception of rebounds, which should drop considering he’s now playing small forward with a couple good rebounders (Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond) also on the front line.

2) Chauncey Billups’s return is a great feel-good story. But doesn’t that further crowd an already bunched-up backcourt? How do you see that situation panning out – who stays, who goes, what does the depth chart look like.

The Pistons are trying to make the playoffs, and Brandon Jennings is better than Brandon Knight right now. It’s about that simple. I don’t really see a 2004 comparison. That team was so far ahead of the current group.

3) Greg Monroe seems like he’s on the verge of becoming a real beast. Is he that close and what’s the ceiling for the big guy? Is he a lock as a 20-10 guy? Can he develop into a shot blocker?

It will be tough for Monroe to be 20-10 as long as the Pistons have a lineup as balanced as they do. That should limit both his scoring and rebounding just below that threshold. I don’t think he has the springiness to be a plus shot-blocker, but he’s shown quick hands to generate steals against opposing bigs.

4) What kind of system is Mo Cheeks going to run? Should fantasy hoops freaks look to the Pistons for blocks and steals or points and boards, or some combo of the four?

Cheeks’ teams have varied a good amount, but nearly all of them have been aggressive defensively. If anything, I’d boost the Pistons steals numbers based on Cheeks, but it’s a fairly big unknown what effect, if any, he’ll have on their output. I just don’t think most coaches, Cheeks included, make a huge input.

5) From what I’ve read the reviews were unanimously positive for KCP this summer, but some scouts seem to be downgrading him as a ROY candidate. Can he fill it up or what?

Caldwell-Pope should shoot well as an outside shooter, but I don’t expect much else. He seems like a good positional defender, but that won’t necessarily translate into stats, not even steals.

Dan Feldman is the lead writer at PistonPowered.com.

  1. Shaqtin' a Fool says:

    Looking forward to this series. Can’t wait to see the previews for: Blazers, Jazz, Nets, Mavs, and the Pelicans.

  2. Pete Nice

    Pete Nice says:

    Thanks for reading and checking in man. Yeah we’re getting a lot of good feedback from these fantasy hoops junkies. The Nets are up next-ish!

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