NBA Fantasy Basketball: Opening Week Chock-Full of Early Surprises
After the rim stopped rattling from Blake Griffin’s rookie debut and the new “Big Three” was handed their first loss, it’s official: Week one is in the books and it didn’t disappoint. Few questions were answered, a few eyebrows were raised, and Carmelo Anthony still calls Denver home—for now.
The Celtics don’t seem to miss Kendrick Perkins and neither should fantasy owners thanks to the hot start from Glen Davis. The additions of Jermaine and Shaquille O’Neal haven’t kept the young Davis from producing a 6-for-7 shooting performance coupled with five rebounds during the Celtics opening night bout with the Miami Heat. Again the following night against the Cavaliers the Celtics big man logged 33 minutes while displaying another impressive shooting displaying going 7-for-11 from the field.
All seems to be well in Beantown following the verbal dispute between head coach Doc Rivers and Davis when the four-year veteran voiced his displeasure about playing time.
"Let me put it like this: If Baby doesn't know his role by now, he's going to be sitting down a lot," Rivers said in late September. "I'll just leave it that simple."
Early reports out of Milwaukee are that star shooting guard Michael Redd may miss the entire 2010-2011 season following the torn ligament in his knee that limited him to just 18 games last year.
The Bucks search for a headline scorer to replace Redd hasn’t been easy. The team was led last season by center Andrew Bogut’s 15.9 PPG but the reins look to now be handed over to second year point guard Brandon Jennings and veteran forward Carlos Delfino. Delfino (16.7 PPG) will rack up three point attempts and contribute with his rebounding efforts as well. Also look to see some of the Milwaukee scoring load delegated to veteran swingman John Salmons, who’s a proven scorer and an underrated passer.
The new Big Three of the Miami Heat have already felt the pain of losing the experience and perimeter shooting of Mike Miller. Miller was perhaps one of the most under-appreciated free agent impact signings this summer because he gives the Heat a lights-out outside shooter and a legitimate fourth option. The Heat will, however, need to find Miller’s replacement following a thumb injury that will keep him sidelined until mid-January.
James Jones appears to be just the guy the Heat will need to fill in the interim for Mike Miller. Jones is a historically streaky shooter who boasts a career 40 percent stroke from three and one of the league’s best free throw shooters come clutch time hovering around 90 percent from the charity stripe. Owners should take advantage of Jones’ 96 percent availability in leagues where small forwards are at a premium.
It seems the only thing uglier than Andrei Kirilenko’s haircut has been the Washington Wizards offense. Owners should go all in on John Wall who will get copious shot attempts. Timber expectations for the revitalization of veteran Gilbert Arenas who has yet to see the floor yet due to an (actual) injury. Arenas will see a specialist on Thursday for his injured ankle. In the meantime, forward Al Thornton has been seeing plenty of action as Washington’s No.2 scoring threat.
Written by Conor Gereg exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com
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