I thought it might be fun to look at the best season-opening performances in recent NBA history. So far as I can tell, this list will no in any way help anyone win their 2011-2012 fantasy basketball league, but it’s a fun diversion while we wait for our teams to start their seasons.

I’ve poured through every team’s first game of every season going back to 1986-1987 to find these gems and ranked them from a fantasy perspective, meaning an extra block or steal is worth a lot more than an extra point. These are the stat-stuffin’est, category-fillin’est games out there, the games I’d have been happiest to have in my line-up at the dawn of a new fantasy season. Without further ado, here’s the list:

Finally we’ve found something Michael is good at.

Will anyone new join this list in 2011? I don’t know. The important thing is, after weeks and weeks of waiting, we’re about to find out!

  1. Eric says:

    Looks like Lebron’s performance today may make it on this list yet again

  2. Jeremy says:

    would you play afflalo or brand tomorrow?

  3. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Eric: Rondo, too. What a night.

    @Jeremy: Brand.

  4. Tony says:

    this guy got his xmas wish, steph curry played… now drink your milk steph its a long season.

  5. Ryan says:

    You think you can help me with this trade? In my 14 team h2d 9 cat league, I was offered rondo and joakim Noah for amare. Is this a good deal for me?

    14 team h2h keeper

    pg stephen curry
    sg dorrell wright
    g jameer nelson
    sf kevin durant
    pf carmelo anthony
    f omri casspi
    c amare staudamire
    c tyson chandler
    util cj miles
    util evan turner
    bn paul george
    bn mehmet okur
    bn andris bierdrins

  6. Ryan says:

    Oh btw it’s a keeper league. We keep 5.

  7. the Real KG says:

    Would it be wise to drop Austin Daye or Evan Turner for Derrick Favors or Brandon Knight?

    PGs: Deron Williams, Brandon Jennings, Darren Collison
    SGs: James Harden, Omri Cassipi, Evan Turner
    SF: Michael Beasley, Austin Daye
    PF/C: David Lee, Pau Gasol, Zach Randolph, Andrew Bogut

    Hope u had merry xmas bro.

  8. Adam

    Adam says:


    @Ryan: @Ryan: Yeah. I’d do it. Usually the team that gets the best player wins the trade, but in this instance, Rondo/Noah on your team is better for you than keeping STAT. Keeper league or otherwise.

    @the Real KG: Hope your Christmas was merry, too. Dropping Turner for Knight might not be a bad idea. Too soon to tell for sure. I’d rather have Daye than Favors.

  9. byrone says:

    re: opening day performances


  10. Adam

    Adam says:

    @byrone: Ha. Say it loud. Statistically, last night was ‘Melo’s third-best performance as a Knick. His 34/4/5, with 4 3ptm, 6-for-6 from the line, 12-for-16 from the field on March 7 was no.2. No. 1? 39/10/5, 3 3ptm, 6-for-6 from the line on March 30.

  11. Feeding the Abscess

    Feeding the Abscess says:

    I have Ibaka, Brand, and Haywood for PF/C. That’s it. Luck of auto-draft, I guess. Anywho, what kind of PF/C could I get for SJax? 12 team league, traditional cats plus FGM+%, 3PTM+%, FT%.

    Pick two out of four:

    Jodie Meeks, Evan Turner, George Hill, Brandon Knight

  12. George Costanza says:

    Help me! You’ve got to help me! I was offered Pierce/Casspi for Harden. I want to counter-offer and sell high on Harden to get John Wall. My roster is as follows:

    Lebron, Tyreke, Harden, Ariza, Crawford, Gallinari, Javale McGee, Ryan Anderson, Josh Smith, Tyson Chandler, Rubio, Lou Williams and Humphries.

    1) Should I try to swap Harden + filler for Wall? If so, who should I offer? I’m thinking Ryan Anderson.

  13. JeffFromTallahassee says:

    Hey, so I’ve never done fantasy basketball before, and I had to miss my draft so I set it on autopick making a few changes to the draft order and this is the team that came out:

    1.2 Lebron James (SF)
    2.19 Lamarcus Aldridge (PF)
    3.22 Josh Smith (PF)
    4.39 Manu Ginobli (SG)
    5.42 Dorel Wright (SF)
    6.59 David West (PF)
    7.62 Luis Scola (PF)
    8.79 Marcus Thornton (SG)
    9.82 Channing Frye (PF)
    10.99 Rodney Stuckey (PG)
    11.102 Aaron Affalo (SG)
    12.119 Jared Dudley (SF)
    13.122 Amir Johnson (PF)
    14.139 C.J. Miles (SF)

    I’m pretty mad that it drafted Rodney Stuckey as my only PG despite me ranking a lot of PG’s high, but I figure Lebron should get me some assists. What do you think are my team’s weaknesses and things that I should work on? Do I need to engineer a trade to get an upgrade for Stuckey? Are there any players that you think are dropable? I definitely want to drop Dorel Wright after his start, but I’m guessing that is a bad idea.. Turkoglu, Paul George, Lou Williams, and Ryan Anderson are still available.

  14. JeffFromTallahassee says:

    Oh, and it’s a H2H Each Category for the standard 9 cat ‘s…

  15. dusty rhodes says:

    Can you tell me which site is the best for current up to the minute starting line ups?

  16. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Feeding the Abscess: After tonight? Not much. Assuming he doesn’t foul out in his next couple games, you should be able to get a Cousins-type of big for Jackson. Maybe a Marc Gasol or Scola if the right team owns them. Also, Turner and Knight and Hill are all about equally valuable.

    @George Costanza: If you can get Wall for Harden/Anderson, you should do it. If I were offered those two for Wall, hoever, I wouldn’t make that trade.

    @JeffFromTallahassee: Yeah, LeBron DOES assist well, but the problem is, Stuckey doesn’t. Assists and steals are going to be your biggest deficits. I might target a team with an excess of PGs and offer up a 2-for-1. Miles is the only dispensable guy, which is both good news for you and surprising for any team that autodrafted.

  17. Alex says:


    I have a vacant roster spot right now and ignoring position/category needs, which FA do you think carries the most value moving forward?

    Bass, Caron Butler, or Spencer Hawes?


  18. Adam

    Adam says:

    @dusty rhodes: I don’t know of any site that posts up-to-the-minute lineups for that night’s games. Whenever I have doubts about a specific player’s status, I’ll consult Rotoworld.com and search player=specific details.

    @Alex: Probably Butler, despite Hawes’ performance on Monday.

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