Fantasy Basketball: Bold Predictions

Hot Stove New YorkSenior Writer ISeptember 23, 2009

DENVER - MAY 29:  Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets moves the ball in Game Six of the Western Conference Finals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs against the Los Angeles Lakers at Pepsi Center on May 29, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Kevin Love will be this year’s version of David Lee: Love almost averaged a double-double in his rookie season (11 points and 9 rebounds). In the last 15 games of the season, he averaged 14.4 points, 10 rebounds and shot 80 percent from the foul line. For the second year player to get on Lee’s level he needs to record more steals and shoot a higher field goal percentage. The injury to Al Jefferson allowed Love to pick up center eligibility for this upcoming season. A healthy The ex-Bruin averaged 9.5 boards in December and January before Jefferson’s injury. Love also led the league in offensive rebound rate and finished second only to C Dwight Howard in total rebound rate.

Carmelo Anthony will be a top five scorer: This is not a bold statement but he should be back on track this season. Danny Granger finished fifth in scoring at 25.8 but that could come down with Mike Dunleavy coming back. Melo elevated his game in the playoffs averaging 30 points in the semis and 27.5 in the conference finals. He averaged 22.8 points during the regular season which was his lowest output since the 05-06 season. In 06-07 he finished 2nd in the league with a career high 26.5 points per game. Another reason for his scoring increase should be the 4.1 threes and nine foul shots per game he attempted in 16 playoff games.

Gerald Wallace will produce like a second rounder: A healthy Wallace will fill up the stat field as he did last year. He missed 11 games but averaged 16.6 points, 7.8 rebounds. 1.7 steals and 0.9 blocks. With C Emeka Okafor being traded to the Hornets, Wallace should see his scoring and rebounding averages rise. Over his last 15 games, he played in 38 minutes per game and will be relied heavily upon again this year. The risks with G-Wall is his health and he needs to make more threes.

John Salmons will be a better fantasy player than Derrick Rose: Clearly Rose is the better and more  dynamic player however this is for fantasy purposes.

Player A: 18.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.9 threes,1 steal, 47% from field, 84% from foul line

Player B: 16.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 0.2 threes, .8 steals, 47% from field, 78% from foul line

Player A is John Salmons. He came to the Bulls via trade and played in 26 regular season games for them. Rose should elevate his game with Ben Gordon off the team but so should Salmons. Rose could be selected in rounds 2-3 while Salmons is going much later.