Archive for the ‘Steve Nash’ Category

We hit you with the top five tiers of fantasy basketball players yesterday, ranking 1-21. Today, the second tier of players rolls out and this is where things can get a little trickier since this player pool has some questions and aren’t as rock solid as the higher tiers. In any case, check the rankings and digest.

NOTE: The number in parentheses is an actual rank number, but is used loosely to help you decide within the tier. However, all players within tiers basically have the same value. All stats are from last season, unless otherwise specified.

Tier Six — Pau Gasol (22), Carmelo Anthony (23), Rajon Rondo (24), Brandon Jennings (25)

In this tier, we have players that have been consistent performers the past few seasons and/or have some high potential to get better. For the two guards, there’s some upside despite some flaws.

There may be some worry that Gasol’s production — 17.4 points, 10.4 rebounds, 1.4 blocks — may dip because of Dwight Howard calling Hollywood home, but remember Gasol achieved the aforementioned numbers during Andrew Bynum’s breakout season. And since D12 will still need to get 100 percent healthy and learn to play with Kobe Bryant, Gasol should be able to average a double-double still for most of the season and possibly even up his assists (3.7) and field goal shooting (50.1 percent) production.

The blocks and field goal percentage is why I have Gasol over Anthony, who definitely scores (22.6), but did see an almost four-point decrease from the previous season (26.3) when he played 27 games after being traded to the New York Knicks. In fact, his shooting was significantly lower after the honeymoon period of 2011 in FG% (46.1 down to 43.0), 3PT% (42.4 to 33.5) and FT% (87.2 to 80.4). There are too many issues going on with the team in regards to chemistry, so going with Gasol before Melo makes the most sense.

Both Rondo and Jennings are high-producing point guards, but with obvious flaws. Rondo doesn’t score like the top lead guards (11.9 points) and his shooting from the charity stripe leaves something to be desired (59.7 percent). Jennings has to deal with still acclimating to playing with Monta Ellis in the backcourt, as well as shooting the rock a lot better (41.8 percent).

However, the positives are that Rondo should once again lead the league in assists (11.7) and be right there at the top of the steals category (1.8), potentially leading the NBA in both categories. Also, the Boston Celtics are a team transitioning to having Rondo as “the man,” so we very well may see more Euro steps that lead to more points. For Jennings, he’s seen his field goal percentage trend up since his rookie season from 37.1 percent to 39.0 to 41.8. He can also hit the three (2.0 treys per game), steal the ball (1.6) and isn’t too shabby with dimes (5.5) while still scoring pretty well (19.1). Also, if the Bucks don’t extend him, a contract year adds some extra motivation for Jennings to produce.

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You never know when you are going to end up at a concert (UGH) where Phoenix Suns point guards both old and new show up (UGH). That’s why it’s a good idea (UGH) to always have a rap about those guys prepared (UGH), unless you fancy yourself a freestyler like this guy. In fact, it’s not a bad idea (UGH) to do so for every NBA team (UGH), just in case. Better safe (UGH) than sorry (UGH).

P.S. Steve Nash is bad at beat-boxing.

(via Beyond the Buzzer)

“That’s like transferring from Duke and going to Carolina.”Grant Hill, on Steve Nash leaving the Suns to join the Lakers (the Clippers are Wake Forest, so no one cares)

It’s the middle of September and we’re mired in the deadest dead of the NBA calendar, when guys are just trying to get their last few moments of training and relaxation in before the grind of the season. If it weren’t for Twitter and guys keeping us updated with all the dumb things they’re doing, we’d have nothing but the classic “15 pounds of muscle” and “looks better than ever” to talk about around these parts. No fun. Instead, we get to giggle at guys enjoying their final weeks of partying and a basketball internet filled with completely subjective and utterly meaningless lists.

All of which is to say, I hope you enjoy this completely subjective and utterly meaningless list.

When we talk about what makes a player cool, it’s basically impossible to describe. That’s going to make this paragraph really fun to read, I know, but I think we all have a basic grasp on the concept. It’s some combination of charisma, accolades, talent, personality and mystique. On-court performance and style play in to this to, but as FreeDarko explained for years, probably not as must as you’d think. Simply put, there are just some guys in the league that are cooler than others. You know who the coolest guys in the league are even if you can’t explain it.

For instance, LeBron James was at his coolest when he was coming in to the NBA, before he took so much criticism and (more importantly) responded to that criticism. It’s hard for the best player in the league to be the coolest player in the league, since there is so much spotlight on them that it’s hard to be anything other than a superstar. Shaquille O’Neal was never the coolest player in the league and neither was Kobe Bryant. Michael Jordan was, even though Sam Perkins was a pretty close second. The sometimes unfair demands of being the top player in the NBA — mass marketability, grace in the media, not outwardly being a jerk or goofball — make it basically impossible for that guy to double as the coolest player in the league.

Trying to be the coolest player in the league doesn’t help either, which is why Amar’e Stoudemire isn’t at the top of this list. For whatever reason, consciously courting cool just doesn’t work. To be cool, you just have to be cool (shoutout to Uma Thurman) without really trying. As Channing Tatum said in “21 Jump Street,” trying hard is for nerds, which I understand is the least cool reference that could possibly be made with the exception of that Uma Thurman/”Be Cool” one from earlier. But then again, the concept of this whole thing is pretty uncool. C’est la vie.

Nonetheless, here is one bro’s guess at who the 10 coolest players in the NBA are, with some reasons for their selection.

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