Tuesday, January 03, 2006

LOOKING AT FANTASY HOOPS' POINT GUARDS!

With the 1-Guard serving as the "Quarterback" of the offense a franchise will, ideally, have a smart, swift, decisive athlete in place.

A Hoopster capable of distributing the ball to his teammates... but one who is unafraid to slash to the hoop for the easy bucket, able to drain the open look, and most significantly, an elite Point commands the respect of his team during crunch-time.

Let's take a look at the leagues top real... and fantasy, Point Guards!

1. Suns Steve Nash: Many will argue that a guy like the 76'ers "AI" belongs here, but I contend that the Phoenix Suns would NOT be the uptempo, Championship caliber franchise they are without the prodigal "Sun" distributing the rock.
Looking at his sick skills and all around solid numbers, Nash is posting a line of 18+/4+/10+ on the season and is averaging a Doub' / Doub' with Dimes'... NOT 'boards! Stevie' Nash has already notched 16 Double / Doubles out of 30 games including his most recent one; a TRIPLE OT affair against the hapless Knicks, wherein Nash sunk an IN-friggin'-Sane 14 points and dished a preposterous 22 dimes'! Without PF/C Amare Stoudemire around, Nash is obviously posting career scoring numbers. But, in addition to his uncanny floor presence, the Phoenix Point' can drain the 3- when necessary, he's got quick hands, he can pick an opponent's pocket in an eye-blink, and he's cash-money from the 'stripe.
But most importantly and most impressively, the Suns have utter confidence in their on (and off) court leader... and this is what makes him so special. This is what makes Phoenix Sun Steve Nash my #1 ranked Point Guard.

2. 76'ers Allen Iverson: Hurling and spinning his little body about the hardwood like a corn-rowed top, "AI" has little regard for his health and well-being once the game has started. The only individual who may have banged themselves up more during the course of any given day is Motorcycle Stuntman Evel Knievel.
So far, Iverson's led Philly' to second place in the Atlantic Conference... just behind PG Jason Kidd's Nets! On the season, "AI" ... human pinata that he is, is averaging 34+/3+/7+. Unlike Nash, Iverson is FAR more inclined to shoot first... and "pass" questions later. Then again, unlike Nash, "AI" lacks a powerhouse SF like Shawn Marion or a sharp-shooter like Raja Bell. The question I have... and I think many will agree, how long can Iverson's body endure such abuse? Dunno', don't care... Allen Iverson is a rare talent and is a helluva' lotta' fun to watch! Do you realize that over the course of his last 5 games, the dude's banked 192 points (including 53 against a weak Hawk team), 34 Assists, 17 Rebounds, and 14 Steals! Clearly, this 76'er enjoys his Philadelphia freedom. (Damn, was that last line cheesy or what?!?)

3. Wizards Gilbert Arenas: Currently the NBA's 4th leading scorer, Arenas is knockin' back career diggies' in virtually EVERY category. The Wiz' 1-Guard is posting a line of 29+/3+/6+, he's dropping a trio of 3's per game while shooting a career-best 38+% from downtown, and he's averaging a career-best 41+ minnies' per game.
Washington (as of Tuesday, 12-16) is currently below .500, but outside of PF Antwan Jamison and Arenas... the team suffers a talent-shortage which would easily explain the poor record. From a fantasy perspective, there are few Points who possess better all-around skills.

4. Nets Jason Kidd: JKidd could, quite arguably, be slotted anywhere in the top 4... from 1 on up. Due to the edge Arenas has in scoring numbers, their similar Assist figures, and the distinct lack of talent surrounding Arenas, I give Gilbert the 3-slot. However, the 2 players could just as easily swap positions.
At the helm of the Atlantic Conference's 1st place NJ Nets and with a line of 14/7/8, Kidd ranks as an elite 1-Guard. One of the key components to Michigan's former (and disgraced) "Fab-4," Kidd's taken his game to a whole new level. The talented Hoopster has bounced around over the course of his career, but not for want of talent. JKidd doesn't find trouble... but trouble does seem to find Kidd. He started his prolific career with the Dallas Mavericks and moved on to the Phoenix Suns after 3 reasonably productive seasons. Kidd then spent a fistful of seasons in Phoenix, and successfully pulled the franchise from the ashes of relative anonymity. However, a domestic assault incident wherein he struck his wife, Jumana, led the Suns to part ways with Kidd. Not wanting to be associated with the negativity such a charge brings with it, Phoenix sent Kidd to Jersey and received the talented but selfish PG Stephon Marbury (now with the Knicks) in return (we'll get to Me-bury later). Jersey, in hindsight, quite arguably got the better end of that deal.
Kidd benefits from the presence of the high-flying SG Vince Carter, ultra-talented and still maturing SF Richard Jefferson, and "who dat?" Center Nenad Krstic.
Should the Nets finally secure an NBA Championship... it'll be due to Kidd's dynamic skills and brilliant leadership.

5. Warriors Baron Davis: Remember him? Davis, the former Charlotte Hornet, took his balky-ass back and split town... only to land in the Golden State. As a warrior, Baron's enjoying a roundball revival! Currently healthy and tallying 18/4+/9+ a night, the offensively gifted former UCLA Bruin is a near lock for "Comeback Player of the Year." Whether it's because he's finally healthy or because he's no longer with a sad-sack franchise, Davis is reaching a level previously thought beyond him. After draining a career-high 34 points (including 5- 3's) 2 games ago, Davis came roaring back with a 23 point outburst. Watch him attain "elite" level" as a Warrior now that he's a happy camper. Of course... playing alongside SG Jason Richardson and PF Troy Murphy would help virtually ANY NBA'er post ill numbers.
A rare talent, so long as Davis can stay healthy... I believe improvement and upside remain.

SECOND-TIER POINT GUARDS TO FOLLOW!

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