NBA Preseason Notes

Carmelo Anthony: Starts At Power Forward -- Carmelo Anthony started at power forward Monday against the Sixers as the Knicks moved to a small starting lineup. With Amar'e Stoudemire (knee) expected to be out for two-to-three weeks, Knicks' coach Mike Woodson decided to go small instead of putting Kurt Thomas into the starting lineup. Anthony played well as he scored 23 points to go along with six rebounds, five assists, four steals, two three-pointers and one block. Anthony saw some action at the four last season and presented some teams with major match up issues. Surprisingly, Anthony has also held his own defensively against other power forwards and seems to be more energized defensively than when he is guarding the small forward position. Stoudemire has been injury prone, so Anthony may find himself playing power forward more often than many would think. He should continue to score plenty of points regardless of what position he plays, but his quickness may help him get a few more steals against some slower power forwards. His fantasy value will also get a boost if he plays enough games to qualify at both small forward and power forward.

 Kobe Bryant: Dealing With A Foot Injury -- Bryant (foot) won't play Wednesday against the Clippers and even went as far as to say that he would not have played in the game if it was a regular season contest either. That is really something considering Bryant's toughness and ability to play through pain. The Lakers are loaded this season and their main goal is clearly to win a championship, so they could be cautious with Bryant at times this season to keep him healthy and rested. While he should still be a solid fantasy option, he could potentially miss more games than usual this season to prevent minor injuries from becoming major ones.

Austin Rivers: MRI Reveals No Structural Damage -- The Hornets received some good news Tuesday as the MRI on Rivers' ankle revealed no structural damage. All signs at this time point to him being ready to play once the regular season begins. The Hornets are counting on Rivers to make a significant impact this season, especially with Eric Gordon dealing with injuries again. Gordon has had a hard time staying on the court, so Rivers could find himself shouldering even more of the offensive load if Gordon misses significant time over the course of the season. Rivers isn't going to fly under most fantasy radars given his name value alone, but he should be a solid fantasy contributor in his rookie season.

Ben Gordon: Could Be Named A Starter -- Gordon is being considered for a starting role according to coach Mike Dunlap. Gordon started at times for the Pistons last season, but spent much of the season coming off of the bench. He still was able to average 12.5 points and 1.2 three-pointers a game, but he found himself shipped off to Charlotte in the offseason. The Bobcats struggled mightily to find offense last season, so Gordon is going to get a chance to be one of their main offensive weapons. He is not shy about hoisting up shots and has the ability to put up some impressive point totals if he gets hot. Even if he doesn't start, he would likely be Charlotte?s main offensive threat coming off the bench. He's not going to be a fantasy contributor in many categories, but he does hold value in deeper leagues and can likely be picked up in the late rounds of many drafts.


By: nayfel
On: 10/24/2012 5:00:00 AM
Why isn't anyone talking about Kobe's efficiency rising? People forget the Steve Nash affect and how he has helped make guys like Channing Frye very effective and Gortat into stars. Imagine his style and ability when coupled with Kobe? Kobe should benefit from Nash and Howard being on the floor with him.
Additionally, Kobe should also benefit from the reduced responsibility. Last year, he took a major step back and played considerably more minutes than in the prior year while also playing more of the initiator in the offense. That means that he many times was starting the offense from 30 feet away ala LeBron in his Cleveland days. That's what happens when you remove a great offense like the triangle and don't institute an offense.
So, Kobe will be able to wait on the wing and attack holes in the defense as it won't be able to sit and focus on him while Nash, Howard and Gasol are on the floor.
All this should result in a more efficient Kobe. Obviously he needs to buy in but I don't see that being an issue at this point of his career. And I can see him eliminating those long twos shot under duress and shots thrown up as the shot clock winds down and replaced by open jumpers and set shot 3s. A career high in FG% is in order. If anyone can shoot 48+% in this situation while scoring 23 PPG, its Kobe.
By: nayfel
On: 10/24/2012 5:00:00 AM
Meant Kobe's efficiency INCREASING, not rising.
By: nayfel
On: 10/24/2012 5:08:00 AM
Has it been too long for Gordon to salvage his career? After this many years, can he legitimately be able to score 18+ per night? With his teammates, I think he will find being the main scoring option very difficult. It's really too bad for his career that he ended up in Detroit as he was such a perfect weapon for a great team to have.
By: nayfel
On: 10/25/2012 5:11:00 AM
Melo at PF can resemble KD light? His production over last month or so last year was around top 5-7 value. Long term, can he sustain that level without playing more PF than less?

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