Sunday, January 01, 2006


Friday, I listed the top 5 "True" Fantasy (and real, for the most part) Centers. While some may disagree...

1. Shaquille O'Neal: Deep in the twilight of his Hall of Fame career Shaq'... a "once in a generation" type of player, is as dominant a player as exists in ANY sport when healthy. Look for another 2 seasons from the Shaq-Daddy... then, if he has his childhood/childish wish, the most dominant Basketballer of our era will become "Officer O'Neal." Now that GM AND coach Riley is calling the on-court shots, let's see how O'Neal fares.

2. Marcus Camby: Slotted here, Camby will provoke dissent and understandably so. However, "The Cambyman" was posting career best numbers (16+/12+ with 3+ rejections per game) and was quite arguably looking "MVP-ish." Unfortunately, the Denver Nugg' is just too fragile and that has prevented him from reaching his true potential. Nevertheless, once he returns from this latest injury (surgically repaired, broken pinky) Camby should pick up right where he left off. Those of you who have room for a bench-bound player... a trade for Camby might prove to be awfully savvy.

3. Zydrunas Ilgauskas: The "Big Z" is a tremendous offensive Center... but his lack of defensive skills hurt his fantasy value. That being said, the Cleveland Cavalier management could give a Rat's curly hair for Z's perceived fantasy value. Paired with LeBron James and Drew Gooden, Ilgauskas is a top 3 middle-man.

4. Yao Ming: The "Big Oww," Yao is sidelined with a painful toe injury. Ming simply hasn't become the force and player the Rockets envisioned him becoming.. A 7 footer who is unable to haul in double-diggy' 'boards, Yao lacks a certain "agressiveness." On a brighter note, Ming has steadily worked to improve upon his physical conditioning and to hone a suite of low-post moves.... but the criticism of Ming is what it's always been- he's just "too nice" and he lacks the needed "nastiness" to protect the paint.

5. Mehmet Okur: Paired with Andre Kirilenko, "Utah's Twin-Towers" dominate the boards and paint, reminiscent of what Duncan and Robinson did for San Antonio... sorta, anyway. More of an offensive player, Okur's lack of Blocks have hindered him from reaching "elite" status. In recent games, however, Okur has notched a handful of no-nos. With additional experience, look for Okur to improve exponentially.


6. Pistons Ben Wallace: Big Ben isn't a true 7-footer, but if measured with his legendary 'Fro... Wallace could eclipse 8'. Seriously, Wallace is a throwback player, possessing the ability to take-over a game simply by virtue of his defensive skills. A physical specimen who's averaging almost 9 points, 12+ boards, 2 Assists, and 2+ Blocks a game, it could be that after 10 seasons of hard-fought Hoops, Ben's skills are begininng to diminish. Still, with the Pistons playing almost flawless Basketball (a scant 3 losses) and peeps' starting to whisper about Detroit challenging MJ and the Bulls' 72-10 record setting season... anyone would want a guy like Wallace on their roster.

7. Kings Brad Miller: With a line of 14/8/6 on the season, some might slot the King C' higher. However, would you rather have Miller or Cleveland's "Z?" What about Ben Wallace, who is able to turn opponents' bowels to water with a glare, would you take Miller over the Piston monster? Maybe. Nonetheless, Brad Miller (would "BM" be an inapporpriate nickname? Yeah, I thought so too) is an accurate shooter and can drain points by the bucketload. Over his past 3 contests, "BM" has notched 55 points, 32 rebounds, and 8 Assists. A significant knock on Miller is his dearth of Blocks.

8. Bucks Jamaal Magloire: On a middling Milwaukee team, Magloire has been a positive. Currently hangin' a line of 9/10+ per game, Magloire's numbers have been rather pedestrian. Shooting 50% from the Free Throw line, J-Mag' makes Shaq' look like a Charity Stripe sharp-shooter, and with maybe a swat a game... Magloire's anything BUT a defensive stopper. The real knock on Mag' is that he plays up to... or down to, the level of his competition.

9. Clippers Chris Kaman With numbers that are improving by the game and surrounded by an All-Star caliber cast, Kaman's becoming a top op' at the position! Trade for him if you can.


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