With the NCAA Tournament finished, it's time to turn attention to the NBA...
Let's first look at some individual surprise performances for the season:
1) Derrick Rose, Chicago - The offseason workouts of him, Kevin Love, and Westbrook were not only legendary for being grueling... but proved to have instant results for all three! Derrick Rose (25.2 ppg, 7.9 assists, improved to 33% on 3-pointers (was averaging 24% previously)). Was pre-ranked at 42, currently ranked 9th).
2) Kevin Love, Minnesota - Pre-ranked 41, currently ranked 5th. 20.2 ppg, 15.2 rebs, 41% 3-point shooting (previously 33%). He put up huge numbers on a bad team. Granted, these weren't just big numbers, they were mind-blowing numbers! 15.2 rebs! Damn! I love the 3-point shot he's developed too. My guess is no other leading rebounder has made that many 3-pointers... or lost this many games.
3) Elton Brand, Philly - Pre-ranked 82, currently ranked 20th. 14.9 ppg, 8.4 rebs, 51% FG%, career-low 1.3 TOs, career-high 77% FT%. Amazing. I never thought Brand would return to do anything... and instead he's been very efficient in all aspects of his game in helping the 76ers make a surprising return to the playoffs.
4) Dorell Wright, Golden State - Pre-ranked 140, currently ranked 17th. 16.4 ppg (last year 7.1!), 5.3 rebs, 3.0 assists, 1.4 steals, 38.6% 3-pointers. I actually couldn't remember this guy. He was on the Heat last year, but his rights were renounced... he then signed with Golden State for $3.5 million. That is one of the steals of the off-season!
5) Al Jefferson, Utah - His team may have gone in the tank, but his numbers (19.9 ppg, 9.7 rebs, 1.9 blocks) still were better than expected (pre-ranked 25, currently 8th).
1) Joe Johnson, ATL - As almost expected, Joe Johnson signed his max-contract... and then promptly had large declines in his production this year. Pre-ranked 27, he is currently ranked 97. His numbers 18.5 ppg, which is his first non-20ppg season since 2005, 0.7 steals (lowest since his rookie year), and... a despicable 30.1% 3-point shooting percentage! Ouch.
2) Aaron Brooks, HOU/Phoenix - This just makes me sad. Just two years ago, he was creating havoc in the playoffs for the Rockets and almost helped them take down the Lakers. Now... he played himself out of the starting job and into a backup job on Phoenix. Pre-ranked 55, ranked 220 (based on his average stats). 11ppg, 3.8 assists, 30% 3-point land, 37% FG%. Last year, he was at 19.6 ppg, 5.3 assists, 39.8% 3-point land, 43% FG%. Damn. What a lousy year!
3) OJ Mayo, Memphis - Pre-ranked 70, ranked 154 now. Almost got traded at the deadline, but paperwork filed incorrectly. Not even joking. His scoring dipped from 17.5 ppg to 11.3 ppg, assists from 3.0 to 2.0, FG% from 45.8 to 41.3.
4) Corey Maggette, Milwaukee - Talk about a bad acquisition... his scoring has dipped from 19.8 to 12.5; rebs from 5.3 to 3.8; assists from 2.5 to 1.3; FG% from 51 to 45%. Minutes have decreased, but turnovers almost the same! Ouch. Pre-rank 93, now ranked 252.
5) Mo Williams, CLE/Clippers - It pains me to raise his name, but it's true. His production wasn't as good and then he got injured for most of the year (which severely impacted his shot %). Pre-raniked 43, now ranked 157. 14.1 ppg, 30.4% 3point% (career 38.5% shooter).
Tarrence Kinsey Award
Back in the 2006-2007 season, my fantasy basketball team was in trouble, and it was the end of the season. I ended up picking up a guy I never heard of but who had been playing well. His name? Tarence Kinsey from the Minnesota T-wolves. The 6'6" SG Kinsey ended up averaging 18.9 ppg, 4.1 rebs, and 2.23 steals per game between March 24th and April 18th of that season. This amazingly unexpected production powered my team to the finals of my fantasy basketball season. Thus, when any person I've never heard of before goes ballistic during the last month of the season, I decide to give them the "Tarence Kinsey award."
This year, the award goes to someone I've heard of... but many other people probably haven't heard of him... Congratulations to Kris Humphries!
From Feb. 26 to March 30, Kris Humphries, a PF on the NJ Nets, has been averaging 14.3 ppg, 14.6 rebs, and 1.7 blocks! Congratulations!