The NBA Regular Season and a Look At the Playoffs, Part 1
Now that all 16 playoff spots have been clinched both in the Eastern and Western Conferences, it is time to analyze how the regular season went and what exactly to look forward to when the playoffs start next weekend.
I will be looking at the regular season from both a fantasy and so-called “reality” standpoint to give both sides of the story before the playoffs begin.
Lets take a look at the some of the simple things as the season is coming to an end.
Kevin Durant led the league in scoring…Kevin Love led the league in rebounding…Steve Nash led the league in assists.
The only thing here that shocks me a bit is the fact Love led in rebounding, but when you look at the differential between Love and the rest of the league, you can’t even have an argument (over 1 full rebound over Dwight Howard and around 3 rebounds over Zach Randolph and Blake Griffin).
Steve Nash led the league in assists over Rajon Rondo by a very minuscule amount, which to be honest is not alarming; Rondo had a really great season, but Nash has led the league in assists in five total seasons and five of his last seven.
The fact that Durant led the league in scoring is not surprising, but I also did not think Dwyane Wade and LeBron James would be able to average 52 PPG.
The only player Durant really had to beat out was Carmelo Anthony, who finished third in the league in scoring. Carmelo's problem, when he got traded to the Knicks, was the same issue Wade and James had, as he was matched up with Amar’e Stoudemire, who was also top five in the league in scoring.
The NBA fantasy regular season had its usual suspects at the top of the list: Durant was the best player, followed by players like James, Chris Paul, Pau Gasol, Stoudemire and Derrick Rose. The aspects of fantasy basketball I want to look at has more to do with the biggest busts and “overachievers” of the season.
Dorell Wright, Golden State Warriors: What a year from Dorrell Wright it was, he scored almost 1,300 points and hit 187 three-pointers, but that was just the beginning for Wright. He had over 400 rebounds, 200 assists, 115 steals and 60 blocks. We knew his ability to shoot the ball was one of the best in the league, but he had that plus the fact he played in the high-tempo Warriors team led to these type of numbers.
Channing Frye, Phoenix Suns: In just over 30 minutes of play per game this year, Frye put up almost 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 100 assists. When Nash is your PG, these are the types of numbers you should put up (160 three-pointers).
Landry Fields, New York Knicks: One of the most underrated players this season on a team in the playoffs hands down. What you will not see in the boxscore is the effort and defense Fields played this season. Along with that came almost 800 points, 500 rebounds, 150 assists and 80 steals. Fields is a rookie from Stanford and will continue to just get better in his role for the Knicks.
Kris Humphries, New Jersey Nets: The most surprising season in the NBA might not be too far of a reach when you talk about Humphries. With over 700 points and 700 rebounds mixed with 80 assists and steals, Humphries took his game to the next level and really helped out many fantasy teams that ended up being able to pick him up in free agency.
O.J. Mayo, Memphis Grizzlies: When you look at the numbers, Mayo did not necessarily have an awful season, but it was about the potential he had with the talent in Memphis mixed with where he was drafted, and that is why he is one of my most disappointing players of this regular season. Mayo has not played over 30 minutes in a game since January 24th and that is just part of where his season gets labeled disappointing.
Joe Johnson, Atlanta Hawks: Johnson did score over 1,300 points, but when I look at his season overall, I expected a more all-around year for the guard. He missed a stretch of nine games in early December that did not help his cause, but if what I am looking for on this list is players who were projected to be in the top 50 fantasy players, I have to mention the fact that he just did not live up to expectations.
Baron Davis, Cleveland Cavaliers/Mo Williams, Los Angeles Clippers: Both of these PG did not live up to expectations this season and the mid-season trade that sent each of them to basically the same awful situation as before made no difference to their already mediocre statistical seasons.
When James left Cleveland, Mo Williams was supposed to be their main scoring option and was projected to have a really good year with not much else around him; but that did not work out well at all.
Part Two will come out after the regular season has come to an end on Wednesday, April 13th...
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