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Tag:Linas Kleiza
Posted on: September 29, 2010 12:33 pm
 

Fantasy NBA Q&A: Concerns Entering Training Camp

In this Fantasy NBA 2010 Edition, Brandon Ribak breaks down a few critical questions heading into training camp.

Last season Hedo Turkoglu turned out to be a complete bust playing for Toronto. Being surrounded by a new team in Phoenix, how early should Turk be drafted this season and will he return to his fantasy form?

Head-coach Alvin Gentry has discussed moving Steve Nash to the shooting-guard position (at certain times throughout the season) so that Turkoglu could lead the way for Phoenix.

Turkoglu has terrific court vision (standing 6’10″) and knows how to pass the ball (averaging 4.5 APG during the last three seasons).

Playing on a run-and-gun type of offense, everything seems to be in place for the Turkish forward to resurrect this season. Turkoglu could easily end up returning to his 07′-08′ form when he averaged 19.5 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and 5.0 APG and won the Most Improved Player Award.

Turkoglu should be drafted no later than the middle rounds of your draft as he could turn out to be one of the biggest bounce-back fantasy players this season.

First it was Jose Calderon that was expected to be traded to Charlotte, then it was Devin Harris who was supposed to join the team and start at the point-guard position. Although it seems like the Bobcats can’t make up their mind, is drafting D.J. Augustin a safe choice this season?

CBS is reporting that Charlotte’s starting point-guard position is Augustin’s to lose. Although it’s tough to say whether or not a trade will be made before the February trade deadline, Augustin could emerge as a solid fantasy contributor with Raymond Felton out of the picture.

Augustin averaged 11.8 PPG during his rookie season when he logged just 26.5 minutes per contest. The 22-year-old out of Texas is a dynamic scorer when given the opportunity and could turn into one of Charlotte’s secret weapons during the upcoming season.

The 6’0″ guard has shot an outstanding 42.0 percent from beyond the three-point line and 85.2 percent from the charity strike during his first two seasons in the league. In categorical leagues Augustin will be able to contribute in virtually every category aside form blocks and rebounds.

Augustin should be available during the late rounds of your draft, making him a safe selection with tons of fantasy upside (for now).

There has been some talk about Linas Kleiza and his fantasy potential playing for theToronto Raptors this season. Is it simply hype or is Kleiza really worth drafting?

Mentioned in my “Don’t Sleep On Em” Edition, Kleiza is a lock to enter the upcoming season as Toronto’s starting small-forward.

The Lithuanian impressed many during the FIBA World Championship, leading his team to an 8-1 record while posting 19 PPG on 57.8 percent shooting from the field.

During his four year NBA career, Kleiza never logged more than 24 MPG (as the back-up forCarmelo Anthony in Denver).

Being the sure-fire small-forward for Toronto, Kleiza could quickly emerge as a fantasy threat.

Kleiza has shown flashes of brilliance when given ample playing time throughout his career and is definitely worth drafting right before you begin to select your bench reserves.

With starters minutes the small-forward has potential to become one of the top fantasy sleepers for the 2010-11 season.

For more of Brandon’s content be sure to check out NBAPrimetime.com and follow him on twitter @_nbaprimetime

Posted on: September 8, 2010 9:33 pm
 

Fantasy NBA 2010: "Don't Sleep On Em" Edition

As training camp nears (less than three weeks to be exact) fantasy owners tend to get the occasional jitters as draft day approaches.

Instead of researching for the players that will improve based on their new surroundings or system of play, owners tend to base their draft around the top fantasy leaders of the league and those who are predicted to break out.

Forget those projections, and if you're not fortunate enough to obtain the first three picks in your draft, don't bank on selecting Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, or LeBron James.

With that out of the way, you can now focus your attention to the players that you shouldn't be sleeping on in Brandon Ribak's fantasy edition of "Don't Sleep On Em".

Linas Kleiza (SF, TOR)- Not Ranked in top 100 for SF position on CBS and Yahoo! 

Does this name ring a bell? Well, it definitely should. Kleiza was apart of the Denver Nuggets squad from the 05'-06' season up until the 08'-09' season. 

In that time Kleiza made quite a name for himself amongst the Nuggets organization and certainly the fans, averaging 8.3 PPG and 3.5 RPG in 19 MPG during his four years as Carmelo Anthony's back-up.

The Lithuanian joined the Olympiakos in Greece during last offseason and ended up leading the Euroleague in scoring, dropping just under 18 points per contest.

In six games played in the FIBA World Championship thus far, Kleiza is posting an impressive 19.5 PPG and 7.2 RPG on an efficient 55.2 percent shooting for Lithuania. 

Whether you're sold or not, Kleiza has vastly improved his overall game since parting ways with the Denver Nuggets and heads into training camp as the projected starting small —forward for Jay Triano and the Toronto Raptors. 

With starters minutes on a rather young roster, Kleiza will undoubtedly emerge as a top candidate for the Most Improved Player of the Year Award.

Quick Tip - Kleiza should be drafted during the mid-rounds of your draft, don't miss out on his fantasy upside. 

Roy Hibbert (C, IND)- Ranked 26th amongst centers on CBS, not ranked in top 100 for Yahoo! 

11.7 points and 5.7 boards per game doesn't seem all that impressive for a 7'2" center, but let me tell you why this guy is worthy of being selected on draft day.

Hibbert has spent the offseason working on his strength, conditioning, and overall game with Larry Bird's former teammate, the legend Bill Walton. In that time the seven-footer has reportedly dropped his body fat to a ridiculous 10 percent, according to the Indianapolis Star. 

The 23-year old has tons of potential to expand his game and emerge as a fantasy stud this season for two key reasons.

Firstly, the Pacers acquired point-guard Darren Collison via trade in which the young gun will assume the starting role for Indiana. With Collison—who averaged 5.7 APG in 27.8 MPG during his rookie season—being a traditional pass first type of PG, Hibbert will see a surplus of easy buckets around the rim (rising his scoring average).

Secondly, Indiana dealt rebounding machine Troy Murphy to the New Jersey Nets. With Murphy no longer around to snatch 10-12 boards per night Hibbert's rebounding will inevitably increase, giving the center an opportunity to bring down close to 10 rebounds per contest.

Quick Tip - With Collison around and Murphy gone, Hibbert's PPG, RPG, BPG, and FG% should shoot up during the upcoming season. If you decide to wait until the later rounds of your draft to select a center, Hibbert will be a sleeper in all fantasy formats.

J.J. Hickson (PF, CLE)- Ranked 99th out of 100 amongst forwards on CBS, not ranked in top 100 for Yahoo!

Fantasy owners got the opportunity to see glimpses of J.J. Hickson play at his best. Although he was never an option to pick up off of the waiver wire last season, the 22 year-old could become one of the biggest sleepers of the year this season. 

Hickson averaged 9.5 rebounds per 40 minutes last season and will have a chance to average around 8-10 boards per game this year, especially if head-coach Byron Scott decides to give Hickson the starting power-forward role (which he reportedly stated during an NBA Summer League game).

With LeBron James and Big Z out of the way, the ingredients are placed for Hickson to emerge as a perfect fantasy recipe for all fantasy owners. 

Last season Hickson averaged 14.3 PPG and 7.1 RPG in 13 games when he logged 30+ MPG. With virtually no consistent production on the Cavaliers roster outside of Mo Williams and Antawn Jamison (who could be dealt before the trade deadline), imagine what the forward could do for fantasy owners this season

Quick Tip- Draft Hickson in the mid to late rounds of your draft, you'll be happy you did so!

For more of Brandon's content be sure to check out NBAPrimetime and follow him on twitter @_nbaprimetime


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com