Another installment of the FNC from 3 Got Game's NBA-Analytiks. Let's get to it!
Raymond Felton is Falling (Slightly)
Earlier this summer, I hinted at the possibility that Raymond Felton may not enjoy the super-breakout year that everyone is expecting him to have. People tend to overstate the effect that Coach Mike D'Antoni had on both Chris Duhon and Steve Nash. People also tend to understate just how good Steve Nash was even before he paired up with D'Antoni. Raymond Felton may blow up this season, but his 1st two preseason games haven't exactly made a believer out of me. Tonight he shot 1/6 from the field, with only 4 assists in 29 minutes of play.
Other Knicks Notes: Danillo Gallinari was awful shooting 3/13 from the field, with 7 pts, 6 rebs, 1 stl and 1 blk. Amar'e recently stated that Gallinari is better now than Dirk was at the same point in his career. Gallinari is going to have to be more consistent before those comparisons hold any weight ... and Wilson Chandler started again at the 2, but this may change when Azuibuke returns from injury (I'll keep you updated on this).
Kevin Love is Neutral
I wrote earlier this summer that Kevin Love's fantasy value is a tale of extremes. He is awesome in rebounding, FT%, and is a good scorer for a big man. Yet, his FG% and shot-blocking are abysmal in comparison with other bigs. Tonight's stat-line illustrates this point perfectly. While he racked up 17 pts, 14 rebs, and shot 8/9 FT in only 25 minutes of play, he also shot a horrible 4/16 from the field and got zero blocks. If you take Kevin Love, make sure you have other big men who can compensate for Love's glaring deficiencies.
Other Timberwolves Notes: There is a huge logjam at SG/SF, but Wesley Johnson continues to play well. He defends well (unlike Martell Webster), and he has a good stroke from outside (unlike Corey Brewer), which may give him the edge come November. His 3 stls and 3 three's tonight reinforces this view.
Jeff Green and Serge Ibaka are Neutral
I wouldn't expect Jeff Green to hit five 3-pointers on a regular basis, as he did tonight. Nonetheless, Green was one of the few players last season who were able to give you a 3-pointer, 1 steal, and 1 block per game. He scores slightly less than Rudy Gay, but otherwise is very similar and will contribute across the board for your fantasy team ... Serge Ibaka started tonight in place of the injured Nenad Kristic, and got a solid double-double, with 12 pts and 11 rebs, but only 1 block.
Roy Hibbert and Josh McRoberts are Rising
I was particularly interested to see how Hibbert and McRoberts performed tonight, and they did not disappoint. Hibbert got a double-double with 18 pts and 10 rebs, along with 2 blks in just 31 minutes. This should be especially comforting since his rebounding was a weakness last season. This stat-line is perfectly consistent with all the positive reports on Hibbert throughout the offseason ... Josh McRoberts, who Coach O'Brien has been raving about during training camp, also played extremely well tonight. Besides notching 14 pts, 7 rebs, 4 asts, 2 stls, and 1 blk, McRoberts also knocked down two 3-pointers. We all know Coach O'Brien loves "stretch" 4's. Move McRoberts up your cheat sheets now.
Other News and Notes:
Jose Calderon started tonight, but even so, Jose and Jarret Jack are likely to be in a timeshare ... Reports from Portland suggest Coach McMillan will run more sets through Nicolas Batum, which is good news for Batum owners ... I forgot to mention in previous posts that Zach Randolph is in a contract year. For some players, this won't change their games. For Zach Randolph, it very well might.
Jrue Holiday had a horrendous night tonight. Lots of turnovers and horrible from the field. Hopefully, this is just offseason rust, but his play in the last 2 games has certainly slowed down the Jrue Holiday hype machine to some degree ... Linas Kleiza is playing well. He'll be a great value pick this season.
That's it for now! Have a great evening!
- Ken is a writer for NBA-Analytiks www.nba-analytiks.com