Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Around the Ellipse - Mr. E

What’s In A Name?

Johnson, Jones, Smith, Thomas and Williams - which last name is the most popular in the NBA today? If you’re old school, you’re probably thinking Smith or Jones. Off the top of my head, I can think of two players named Johnson (Anthony and Joe) and three named Thomas (Etan, Kenny and Kurt). I was surprised to find that, according to NBA rosters, Williams is the most common of all (13). These guys could make up their own NBA team! Here are the totals for the rest:

Johnson – 7
Jones – 7
Smith – 6
Thomas – 7

So what’s in a name? In the general population, Smith and Johnson outrank Williams, with Jones right behind in 4th. Thomas lags in 12th. From a fantasy perspective, you’ll do best with a selective approach. Other than Jason and Mo, the Williams family doesn’t offer much to fantasy roundball owners. Eddie, James and Jumaine are all reaping rewards in the Jones family (try to keep up, if you can). Kenny and Kurt are leaving no doubt in the Thomas clan. The Smith name should be avoided, and Joe is the only Johnson worth holding (unless you like holding your own).

Three Faces

In my travels around the various resources of fantasy basketball information, I was intrigued by the following three player images:

Can you name these players? That’s right, they are all the same, one Scot Pollard of the Indiana Pacers. This guy reminds me of that game I used to play as a kid with a magnet and metal shavings …

Even better was the addition of our Ffriend, Kimani. That’s Kimani Ffriend, actually, new to the Memphis Grizzlies. Granted, he hasn’t played a game this season, but is that any reason to picture him like this:

Where the hell was the photographer that day? At least give the man his dignity … with a name like Ffriend, it’s the least that Yahoo!, CBS and the NBA can do!

Allow Me To Project

So, who’s the sleeper of the second half? Who’s that must have, can’t miss, sure-fire guy that’s going to put you over the top and into the postseason? Damned if I know, but that’s never stopped me from having an opinion and sharing it with everyone. Here’s my best guess by position. Each of these guys is most likely available in your league (unless you have one of those freakishly deep 16 team leagues):

C – Chris Wilcox: A perfect trade at the perfect time for a guy who needs a change of scenery. Nick Collision is a wreck, mostly, and not worth holding. Besides, the Clippers have a solid fantasy playoff schedule. Take a flyer on the ex-Terp and make everyone else wish they had.

PG – Charlie Bell: If you need assists and think the Bucks are ready for a run (I do), get this man on your roster. Second choice would be Steve Blake – seriously, how long do you think Sebastian Telfair will last?

SG – Bernard Robinson: No, not Bernard King, Bernard Robinson. That’s right, on the Charlotte Bobcats. C’mon, they haven’t got a healthy starting lineup on that roster some nights. Bernard will make the most of his opportunity.

PF – Mark Madsen: Eddie who? With Griffin on the bench and Madsen getting the starts, the only thing between Madsen and surprise of the year is Mark Blount – nufced. Besides, he’s got center eligibility, too!

SF – I was tempted to go with Bostjan Nachbar (what a great name), but instead I’ll recommend Devean George. With Lamar Odom still on the shelf and solid performances from DG, you can ride it while it lasts, and if Odom never makes it back, you’ve got a winner. Not so good on the playoff schedule, but you can’t have everything …

No comments: