Saturday, March 14, 2009

Penultimatum

I noticed shortly after giving this article a title that it conveys the complete wrong play on words. I left it. I was attempting to merge penultimate and ultimatum, but just about any word that starts with "pen" is inevitably going to slither into the gutter.

The New York Times published an article recently (I'm not even going to link it; screw 'em) touting Shane Battier as the "No-Stats All-Star."  I will admit, and I've done so before, that Shane Battier is a good defender.  He is generally disliked by his opponents for his strength and aggression, which is not necessarily proof, but fairly convincing evidence that he gets in their heads.  Beyond that, though, what's the big deal?  It's so convenient for sports fans, especially writers and analysts, to claim they're giving credit to the no-nonsense defender who deserves so much, yet gets so little.  Garbage.  What about the role-playing 3rd man off the bench in Miami who strolled into Phoenix this year and won the 3-point contest while all the brains were claiming he had no shot?  Why is it so important that Shane Battier be recognized, when a TRUE all-star would most certainly find a way to get himself open for more than ONE miserable field goal attempt in forty minutes on the floor?  Sure, one could argue that he's "playing within himself," or "letting the game come to him," but those are just code for "he has offensive deficiencies that he tries to make up for with defensive intensity and overly gregarious praise from his teammates."  So, in opposition to the article, I propose Shane Battier not be known as the "No-Stats All-Star," but instead as "New Bruce Bowen."

That just about tops off our mug o' ranting, but fantasy news is just as important.  Tonight was the second-to-last day of the fantasy regular season in most 8-to-12 team leagues. If you're one of the many managers trying to squeeze your rather plump team into the narrow corridor of the playoffs, tonight is your last chance to go on an add/drop spree. What stat would give you that final point? Assists? Is it rebounds? The slightly earlier posting tonight is my attempt to give you folks a few minutes to mull things over. The double-dose of bullet-points will cover both long-term value and the elusive "one-day-only, I-need-at-least-five-assists end-of-season" players.

Before the lists, the site update: a few additions and one noted subtraction today (though we hope it's temporary). First, the Daily Wager Archive has been moved onto a separate page (http://danbesbris.blogspot.com/2009/03/daily-wager-archive.html), which can be accessed both through the Blog Archive and by the link in the right sidebar just below today's Daily Wager Guide. Second, I decided to bite the bullet and sign up for a free account with EasyCounter.com, a site that tracks website activity. You may notice the tiny counter at the bottom edge of the right sidebar. That counter shows every page load, but I (adjusts spectacles), the webmaster, have access to a bevy of exciting features. Third, you may have noticed the lack of Google-content. It may return, but in the meantime, enjoy the distraction-free FantasySports.

List One - The Quick Fix Sunday Grab-bag, Sorted by Statistical Category (all players in this list play tomorrow):

FG% - Samuel Dalembert, Mark Gasol

FT% - Jarrett Jack, Steve Blake

3's - Charlie Bell, Steve Blake, Kyle Korver, Wilson Chandler, Andres Nocioni, Matt Barnes

Pts - Thaddeus Young, Jarrett Jack, Rodney Stuckey, Wilson Chandler, Matt Barnes

Rebs - Samuel Dalembert, Leon Powe, Joel Przybilla, Mark Gasol, Antonio McDyess

Assts - Ramon Sessions, Steve Blake, Rodney Stuckey, Rafer Alston

Steals - Mario Chalmers, Trevor Ariza, Ronnie Brewer 

Blocks - Samuel Dalembert, Joel Przybilla

Surely at least one of the gentleman in any given category should be available in your league for last minute services.  The best part?  You can drop them at 12:01am, just over 3 short hours from now, for whoever can help your team in its potential playoff romp.

List Two - The Regular Old List, Categorized by Skill, Rated on Tonight's Performance; Theme, Possessions on a Remote, Uninhabited Island:

Fresh Water (You can't drink saltwater.  Well, you can, but you'd be rewarded with two scoops of death):
  • Ryan Gomes - Consider this point belabored.
Tasty Victuals:
  • Matt Barnes - A slower night, by his standards, but still contributing in a number of categories.  A solid choice for tomorrow's tilt with Golden State, and certainly a candidate to remain on your team for the playoffs.
A Toy (Might I recommend a yo-yo?):
  • Kyle Korver - I hunted (and pecked), but could find no reason for starter CJ Miles to play just 16 minutes, and Korver to roll for 47 minutes off the bench.  Maybe Jerry Sloan's been playing out a disturbing Demi Moore fantasy at the team hotel and needed a leading man.  Who knows?  Keep your eye on NBAshton, in case he starts to log decent court-time.
  • Grant Hill - The seasoned vet has been healthy, and for what it's worth, I'm proud of Hill.  From a fantasy perspective, though, he's been everything short of anything.  A decent line tonight may indicate his foot troubles are beginning to subside, but watch from afar for now.
  • Ronny Turiaf *update* - Andris Biedrins is out a week, and Turiaf is in prime position to fly-swat the, well, flies for the next 3-4 games.
More Sand:
  • Renaldo Balkman - Do not be deceived.  Another injury in Denver, and this time it's Balkman that improved.  Stay away from reserves on the Nuggets as they are merely, *COUGH*, fool's gold.  And I'm spent.

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