Aaron Bruski

The Step-back 3

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SBT: Playoff Mock Draft

Saturday, April 28, 2012

  1.  Norof: Carmelo Anthony
  2.  Bruski: Dirk Nowitzki
  3.  Gleeman: Kevin Garnett
  4.  Shniderman: Kendrick Perkins
  5.  Doc: DeJuan Blair
  6.  Thundergod: David West
  7.  Stroup: Mario Chalmers
  8.  Levitan: Paul George
  9.  Knaus: Ty Lawson
  10.  Braine: DeAndre Jordan


Round 4 Notes:  Here’s where things start to jump around.  Norof made a Fitzgerald pick with Melo, but I’m not sold on the Knicks’ ability to win four games even if I like the matchup a little bit.  Looking back on my pick, I wish I had gone with Garnett but obviously this was where the whole ‘leaning toward the Mavs’ thing infected me.  Just to be clear, literally all of America has the Thunder to advance.  In the middle of the round we start to see the dirty work guys from favored teams start to go, with of course is Perkins, Blair, and Chalmers.  You’ll also notice that Shniderman has made a run on the Thunder, and when you consider that there are 5-6 contending teams that are out there – you’re giving yourself about a randomly estimated 20-40 percent chance of winning (at least) if your team hits out of that group.  I’m neither for nor against that strategy, but as with most draft strategies I wouldn’t advise passing on a higher value guy if the difference is substantial.  Braine obviously has the Clippers advancing and saw the center position get scarce quick (check your position eligibility, folks).    


  1.  Braine: Jeff Teague
  2.  Knaus: Paul Millsap
  3.  Levitan: Danny Green
  4.  Stroup: JaVale McGee
  5.  Thundergod: Taj Gibson
  6.  Doc: Kawhi Leonard
  7.  Shniderman: Richard Hamilton
  8.  Gleeman: Ray Allen
  9.  Bruski: Jason Terry
  10.  Norof: Al Jefferson


Round 5 Notes:  Rounds 5-7 will give a quarter of the owners a huge boost that they didn’t expect, a quarter of the owners will see a huge donut hole in their production in this group, and the rest will be somewhere in between.  It’s too early to start eyeballing Hail Mary prospects, but this is where you can uncover some huge values.  This is also where owners begin to diverge in their opinions, leaving some big-time opportunities to pass on a guy with the hopes that he will fall to you in a later round.  Here we saw a mixture of still solid grabs (Teague with a decent shot at two playoff series), and then role players on the favored teams like Green, Gibson, Kawhi, and Rip.  Stroup admittedly reached for McGee, as center eligibility issues kind of shocked us all on such short notice.  My immediate concern is that I went too heavy on Mavs in the draft.  Norof has now taken two big-time producers that aren’t favored to make it out of the first round of the playoffs, but if one of them hits he’ll be looking good.  Gleeman is all over the Celtics, and again, if he gets out of the first round with them he’ll have a solid foundation. 


  1.  Norof: Avery Bradley
  2.  Bruski: Tiago Splitter
  3.  Gleeman: Udonis Haslem
  4.  Shniderman: Amare Stoudemire
  5.  Doc: George Hill
  6.  Thundergod: Matt Barnes
  7.  Stroup: C.J. Watson
  8.  Levitan: Ryan Anderson
  9.  Knaus: Danilo Gallinari
  10.  Braine: Kyle Korver


Round 6 Notes:  Doc might have gotten the pick of the draft with Hill, who is all-but guaranteed to go to advance past the Magic.  I don’t know how much it factored here, but Hill’s numbers were artificially low in the draft software because it used season averages.  He obviously flew under everybody’s radars.  Go through your draft software’s player lists and projections and look for anomalies like those.  Here’s a good example of the two different schools of thought at work.    I chose to go for ‘games played’ here and grabbed Splitter, in part because I see some bigger teams in his future (starting with Utah).  Stroup, Gleeman, and Braine joined me in that approach with Watson, Haslem, and Korver, respectively.  Levitan and Shniderman took lottery tickets in Anderson and Stoudemire. 


  1.  Braine: O.J. Mayo
  2.  Knaus: Darren Collison
  3.  Levitan: Brandon Bass
  4.  Stroup: Gary Neal
  5.  Thundergod: Joel Anthony
  6.  Doc: Marvin Williams
  7.  Shniderman: Stephen Jackson
  8.  Gleeman: Boris Diaw
  9.  Bruski: Shawn Marion
  10.  Norof: Mike Miller


Round 7 Notes:  Now the pickings start to get slim, so seeing good players on teams with a chance to win a series or two is a sign of a good pick.  Braine and Levitan opened with solid pickups in Mayo and Bass, while the majority of owners grabbed guys from the Spurs and Heat.  Doc and I bucked the trend with picks from the Hawks and Mavs, and it was about this time that I had mentally given in to riding the Mavs in this particular draft. 


  1.  Norof: Jordan Hill
  2.  Bruski: Andre Iguodala
  3.  Gleeman: Shane Battier
  4.  Shniderman: Kenneth Faried
  5.  Doc: Al Horford
  6.  Thundergod: Metta World Peace
  7.  Stroup: Zaza Pachulia
  8.  Levitan: Omer Asik
  9.  Knaus: Mo Williams
  10.  Braine: Patrick Mills


Round 8 Notes:  Jordan Hill is another guy that might have fallen down the draft software’s default list, but regardless he’s an excellent pickup this late in the draft.  He’s the new first big off the bench and will get plenty of run, especially early on with Metta World Peace out.  I actually like the Sixers matchup-wise against the Bulls, but it’s anybody’s guess if they can execute.  I grabbed Iguodala and will be hoping for one solid series, but if it’s not a big-time effort then I’ll have been better off grinding with role players from favored teams. 


  1.  Braine: Matt Bonner
  2.  Knaus: Arron Afflalo
  3.  Levitan: Tyson Chandler
  4.  Stroup: Randy Foye
  5.  Thundergod: Greg Stiemsma
  6.  Doc: Kirk Hinrich
  7.  Shniderman: Ronnie Brewer
  8.  Gleeman: Kosta Koufos
  9.  Bruski: Tony Allen
  10.  Norof: Daequan Cook


Round 9 Notes:  I heard multiple guys in our various experts leagues agree that taking a guy that produces in their opening playoff series is preferable over taking a role player from of a favored team in the last round.  Levitan did that with Chandler, and everybody else went with grinders.  Ironically, if you go back and look at Knaus’ autodraft team things could have gone worse for him. 




Aaron Bruski has covered hoops for Rotoworld since 2008 and has competed in national fantasy sports competitions for nearly two decades. In 2015 he was named FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year. You can also find his work over at ProBasketballTalk, where he received critical acclaim for his in-depth reporting of the Kings' relocation saga. Hit him on Twitter at Aaronbruski.
Email :Aaron Bruski

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