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2006-07 Preseason Notes - week 1:

The following Preseason Notes were sent out to subscribers (via email) during the first week of the preseason.  They are now shown here for other potential future subscribers to view sample content.
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October 7th Preseason Notes

While I have not located a complete box score for the Clippers first game against a Russian team, I do have a report that Shaun Livingston had 19 points, 5 assists, and 3 steals in this game.  While this game is certainly no indication of how he will do during the regular season it brings up again in my mind the issue of who kind of a role Livingston will have for the Clippers next season.  I certainly feel he has top 100 fantasy potential however concerns with him include a lack of offensive output and a past injury history.  The Clippers preseason will be watched to determine how minutes will be split between Cassell and Livingston. 

I do have access to a box score for the Clippers second game against the same team however it seems peculiar in that the Clippers had 21 TOs and 2 ast according to the box.http://www.nba.com/games/20061007/LACMOS/boxscore.html
In this game Livingston played 29 minutes and took only 4 shots.  This is consistent with how he played last season.  If he does not become more aggressive offensively he may not end up being the sleeper those who draft him hope for.


October 5th Preseason Notes 

Isaiah Thomas appears committed to playing Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis in the backcourt for the Knicks.  While Jamal Crawford is coming off a good season under Larry Brown, it appears that as a reserve and competing for minutes with Quentin Richardson and Nate Robinson will give his fantasy potential a big hit. I will lower his minute projections. 

Quentin Richardson's (and Jalen Rose's) prospects in New York look bleak as well particularly since Jared Jeffries is now a Knick.  This will limit the amount of time they would have otherwise been able to play at the SF position.  Richardson is also on bad terms with the team PG Marbury - something that could contribute to him not seeing the ball as much even when he is on the floor. 

On the other hand, Thomas' commitment to Marbury and Francis could result in them performing higher than current projections have for them.  Marbury certainly suffered with Larry Brown and he could be poised to bounce back now. 

Dwayne Wade has been experiencing pain in his hand although an MRI could not find anything wrong.  He is quoted as saying that he may need to ''shut it down for a little while'' if therapy doesn't improve his hand.   Hearing this news gives me some concern but I am holding off on any major changes to his projections. 

October 4th Preseason Notes

It appears that Earl Watson and Luke Ridnour may split time at the point.  This will be a demotion for Ridnour and gives Watson some upside if he can win a starting role in training camp. 

Francisco Elson is one of the more mobile centers in the league and can have some upside if he can firmly secure a starting role with the Spurs. At this time his main competition is Fabricio Oberto  Note that other centers who joined the Spurs saw their shot blocking improve playing with Duncan.  This gives Elson added upside. 

Darius Miles will be miss at least more two weeks of practices because of his knee, which was operated on last December.  It is estimated his knee is 80% recovered.  

Amare Stoudemire experienced stiffness in his knee after an intrasquad scrimmage.  It may be several months yet before he is fully recovered and there is a chance that after his microfracture surgery he is not able to fully get back to where he once was.  

Grant Hill, coming off a sports hernia injury, has looked good in practice early on.  The plan is for the Magic to start him at shooting guard.  At this time, Darko Milcic is projected to not start but get decent playing time anyway.  We will see how Hill does after multiple practices and preseason games.  

Chris Mihm ran for the first time in the Lakers practice since undergoing ankle surgery in the offseason. Mihm will be sidelined at least two more weeks and can be expected to start the season slowly. 

While Speedy Claxton recovers from a broken finger, Tyronn Lue will start at PG for the Hawks. 

Darius Songaila, who hurt his back while playing with the Lithuanian national team this summer, went through a few light drills but will otherwise stay away from contact until he is fully healthy.  

Jarvis Hayes has showed no signs of favoring his surgically repaired right knee and could be a late round sleeper if truly healthy this season.


October 3 Preseason Notes 

In addition to seeing whether players are healthy, preseason is an important time to observe how rookies perform.  Projections for rookies are more prone to error since they have not developed a track record (other than some summer league games).  It is very typical for see 3-4 rookies sprinkled throughout the top 100 fantasy rankings at the end of the year.  What Chris Paul did last year was not typical. 

For the current projections for this upcoming season, most league scoring systems have 3 rookies projected in the top 100.  They are Randy Foye, Brandon Roy, and Adam Morrison.  Both Foye and Roy had four years of college experience and Morrison had three years.  In my mind, this makes their transition to the NBA a little easier and gives them and better chance for fantasy success. 

Foye has the potential to play point guard which gives him an edge fantasy wise.  Last season Chris Paul's fantasy value was powered by his assist totals.  Foye had a tremendous summer league (http://www.vegassummerleague.com/) and an injury to Rashad McCants should serve to open up some playing time for him early on.  Foye is the oldest of the three top 100 rookies and is 2 years older than the number 1 overall pick Andre Bargnani. 

I have noticed Brandon Roy getting considerable respect in some Expert Drafts I have reviewed.  However I would like to see some good preseason performances before I rank him where I see him going now.  One reason is that he is primarily a shooting guard who sometimes do not have a very complete game early on.  However he should be able to get a decent amount of playing time in Portland. 

Adam Morrison concerns me some in that of the three top rookies I can see his chances of dropping in projections in the preseason are greater than the others.  The reason is that he has a reputation as primarily an offensive player.  If he does not get some contributions in other categories such as rebounds, steals, and blocks he will struggle to have fantasy value.  We also need to see how he can handle NBA defenses.  For these reasons, Morrison and the other rookies will be watched closely in the preseason so projection adjustments can be made.


October 2 Preseason Notes 

It is that time of year where you can see positive articles regarding the health of players who had some questions surrounding them last season.  You can read things like they are in "great shape", in "no pain", and "lost weight".  Examples of players who had injuries last season who we should monitor in the preseason are Tim Duncan, Tracy McGrady, Jermaine O'Neal, and Baron Davis. 

Reading positive articles is nice but what is better is seeing them playing in a preseason game.  It is not uncommon for established players to not play in every preseason game but when a player coming off an injury misses the first preseason game it makes me suspicious despite any positive information previously published. 

Of particular interest in the preseason are Amare Stoudamire and Grant Hill.  Hill is allegedly recovered from his most recent medical issue but for me to believe it I need to see him in a preseason game.  Fantasy drafts that occur before preseason games or before a player plays in a preseason game have an added element of unknown regarding the injury issue. 

In the player commentaries I have made an effort to report when a player had a surgery in the offseason.  Some who did include Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce, and Al Jefferson.  As players who have health questions perform well (or just perform) I may increase their projections and conversely do the same for those with health questions who do not play. 

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