Tuesday, February 28, 2012

2012 Fantasy Basketball - Breakout Seasons

2/28 - James Harden update!

Last year, PG DJ Augustin, SGs Marcus Thorton and Nick Young, SF Dorell Wright, PFs Kevin Love and Kris Humphries and C Marcin Gortat had break out seasons and earned respect in the Fantasy Basketball world.  This year, we thing the following guys are going to take home the crown for the respective positions.

PG Jeff Teague
  • 1/31 - Teague has been on a tear as of late.  Minus one injury plagued night against the Pistons, Teague is scoring 18 points a night over his last 4 games.  We knew with all the isolations the Hawks run, that Teague would have trouble tallying up the assists, but to our pleasant surprise, he is getting over 5 a night.  He is shooting nearly 50% on the season, and 46% beyond the arc!  On top of all of that, Jeff throws in 2 steals a night as well. 
    • If last years playoffs were a sign of things to come, Atlanta will have finally found themselves a PG of the future. Teague dropped 21 points in 3 of the 6 games against the Bulls and did it against Derrick Rose. He also dished 25 assists in those 6 games to just 7 turnovers while adding 6 steals. The best part is that he did not rely on 20 jump shots to get the points. He only took 6 3s the entire series and got to the line 19 times, making 16 of them. Unfortunately for Teague, the Hawks love to isolate players, so he will never average a ton of assists. If Atlanta is smart, Teague will see most of the playing time at the PG position and veteran Kirk Hinrich will serve as his backup.

SG James Harden
  • 2/28 - So Harden has continued to come off the bench, but produce like an All-Star.  He is the 7th best eligible SG and if you take Paul Pierce and Andre Iguodala out of the equation, because to me they are SF, he is a top 5 SG.  He is shooting a career high 47% while attempting 10 shots a night!  Harden was a steal this season as he was drafted, on average, 67 overall and the 16 SG overall. 
    • Now the starting SG on one of the hottest teams in the league, Harden could see up to 10 more minutes per game this year. Even though he is considered the 3rd option on offense behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, Harden still managed to score 12pts/game last season in just 26 minutes/game. Not only will he average better than 15 points/game, but Harden should grab nearly 5 boards a game, all while dishing out 5 assist per contest as well, as he is widely regarded as the best passer on the team. Only SGs to average 15/5/5 last season were Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade and Tyreke Evans, but Harden has a GREAT chance of doing so in this shortened year.
SF Danilo Gallinari
  • 2/8 - It seems Gallo will miss the next month of NBA action.  Prior to this news however, Gallo was having a great season.  Averaging 17 points a night, Gallo was shooting above his career average at 44%.  Even though he was not having a great 3pt shooting season, he was getting to the charity stripe more often, where he is shooting nearly 90%.
    • For the first time Gallinari's career, Wilson Chandler will not be ahead of him on a depth chart.  Gallo gets to start and with only a rookie behind him on the depth chart, Gallo should see over 34 minutes a contest. The Nuggest score a ton of points and Gallo's ability to get to the free throw line and knock them down with the best of them is a game he knows how to play. He shot less 3s last season than ever before and if he wants to be a 20 point/game scorer, he will need to knock down 3s, which he has done before when he averaged over 2 a game for the Knicks back in 2009. As long as he can stay healthy, Gallinari should have a breakout season.
PF Ed Davis
  • Ed Davis took over in April scoring 12.9 points and snatching 9 boards(3 offensive)/contest in the final 8 games of the season. He did so by not only attempting nearly 10 shots a game, but getting 34 minutes of playing time. With Reggie Evans gone, there will be plenty of time for Davis to stay on the court and put up nice numbers for fantasy owners as well as the added PF/C bonus.
C Greg Monroe
  • 1/13 - Monroe is currently the 9th MOST effective player in the league!  He is filling stat sheets with 16 points 9 rebounds and nearly 3 assists.  He is doing all this with a higher field goal percentage(.597) than Superman himself Dwight Howard(.586)!
    • When Monroe got to start last season, he averaged 12 points and 9 boards a game in 32 minutes. He did this while shooting 59% and grabbing nearly 4 offensive rebounds. Now with Brandon Knight handling the rock, Monroe should see a lot of easy looks close to the rim and Knights ability to drive the lane. Detroit does not have much going for them right now, but it looks like the Pistons have two huge pieces in place to start rebuilding and turn this franchise back in to Championship contenders.

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