Steve Alexander

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Wired: The Fantasy Awards

Monday, April 11, 2011

Here are the Fantasy Hoops Awards for the year. Aaron Bruski and I combined our thoughts on this one and chances are, if you're still reading about fantasy hoops, you won your league, or had a nice year, and many of your players will be listed below. Enjoy.

Fantasy MVP

Alexander: LeBron James
Bruski: LeBron James

Honorable Mention: Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, Amare Stoudemire & Monta Ellis.

Dr. A: LeBron overcame playing with two very skilled offensive players in Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to have another huge fantasy season. Whether or not the Heat can advance to the Finals remains to be seen, but in terms of fantasy, LeBron was better to own than Kevin Durant and Chris Paul. We had Durant as our preseason favorite to take this crown, but the strong play of Russell Westbrook derailed that train.

Bruski: Ironically, the choice comes down to James, Kevin Durant, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, and though Durant didn't win a positional award by my accord, he was probably James' closest competition. And the two were very close statistically, with James carrying advantages in field goal percentage, assists, and steals, and Durant carrying advantages is free throw shooting, blocks, and threes. Add it up and James has a slight edge in a per-game valuation, and with two extra games under his belt the advantage gets more pronounced cumulatively. My guess is that these two are going to do battle for these honors for the next five years.

Best Point Guard

Alexander: Chris Paul
Bruski: Derrick Rose

Honorable Mention: Russell Westbrook & Stephen Curry.

Dr. A: Paul was somewhat quiet, but still had a huge season and stayed pretty healthy, despite concerns about his knee. I could have gone with Rose here, like Bruski did, but Paul's owners were in good shape all season and he led teams to a lot of titles. However, that zero-point game on Sunday was painful.

Bruski: Yes, you read that right, I listed Rose. To clarify, Chris Paul was the most valuable PG on the year, but since I'd venture to say the majority of leagues have some form of playoffs, I have to give the nod to Rose. Over the last month, Rose scored 26.6 points with 1.9 threes, 3.2 rebounds, 7.1 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.6 blocks while shooting 46.5% from the field and 90.8% from the foul line. Paul's numbers were just behind, as he scored 16.5 points with 0.6 threes, 5.2 rebounds, 10.9 assists, 2.3 steals, 0.1 blocks while shooting 46.2% from the field and 79.7% from the foul line. And while Paul was giving owners fits with the early signs of Brandon Roy syndrome, Rose was hanging in TV land with Katy Perry. Advantage, Rose.

Best Shooting Guard

Alexander: Monta Ellis
Bruski: Dwyane Wade

Honorable Mention: Kobe Bryant, Manu Ginobili & Kevin Martin.

Dr. A: It was tough to pass on Wade here, but Ellis got the minutes from Keith Smart and had a monster fantasy season, playing in five more games than Wade up to this point. Yes, he crumbled in the fantasy playoffs, but based on his draft position (outside of Round 1), I'm giving Ellis the nod over Wade – who might be the best player in the league when healthy. Ellis is probably done for the season after going to the hospital on Sunday with a head injury.

Bruski: Wade falls down a million times, milks it, and gets right back up. And while he was one hangnail away from sitting out seemingly all year long, he stayed healthy and played in 75 games to date. His closest statistical comparison is Monta Ellis, who only creeps closely when you look at cumulative values. As you'll see with the SF discussion, Miami proved to be a more fertile fantasy ground than we thought it would be entering the year.

Best Small Forward

Alexander: LeBron
Bruski: LeBron

Honorable Mention: Kevin Durant

We covered this in the MVP section.

Best Power Forward

Alexander: Kevin Love
Bruski: Amare Stoudemire

Honorable Mention: LaMarcus Aldridge, Josh Smith, Dirk Nowitzki, Paul Millsap & Kevin Garnett.

Dr. A: Bruski and I failed to talk about position played before putting this together, so we're stuck. I had Amare as my No. 1 center, but I can't argue with Bruski having Amare as a PF. Love was a fantasy beast all season, but a groin injury sidelined him down the stretch, when it really mattered to his owners. Maybe I should have gone with Aldridge or Smith, but it's hard to argue with what Love did before going down with the injury.

Bruski: Amare pooped out at the end, and if anybody with his body of work had started to top the charts late I'd give this a second look, but that didn't happen so Amare gets my nod. And while Kevin Love put up some monster numbers this season, his lack of steals and blocks and low field goal percentage kept him from taking the next step into elite territory. As for Love's potential for improvement in those areas? It's not going to happen when he's pinning down his guy well before a shot is released to get rebounding position, and otherwise jacking up a bunch of threes.

Best Center

Alexander: Amare Stoudemire
Bruski: Dwight Howard

Honorable Mention: Pau Gasol

Dr. A: Amare had a huge year and rewarded owners who took him with a first-round pick. His minutes were ridiculous and while he has been sitting recently in preparation for the playoffs, he came through in a big way for owners. I almost went with Dwight Howard as well, but it's still no secret that his free throws and turnovers remain a problem. I'll let Bruski handle the love for Dwight.

Bruski: Even in 8-cat leagues that count his awful 59.2% free throw percentage, Howard was still able to rank as the best true center of the bunch with high second round value (cumulative). He added a few new post moves and started to get a little bit meaner, which comes when the weight of expectations start to get a little heavier.

Keep reading for the rest of the awards.

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Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for and a contributor to The 2014-15 NBA season marks his 13th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.
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