In his weekly Fantasy Roundup, Kevin introduced the 2012-13 First and Second All-NBA Fantasy Teams. This is an extension of that piece and is as originally posted on DimeMag.com. Kevin writes as Dime Magazine’s Fantasy Doctor. For more extensive fantasy basketball advice, click here and follow him on Twitter at @DimeFantasyDoc.
PG – CHRIS PAUL, Los Angeles Clippers – 17.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, 9.6 assists, 1.1 threes, 2.4 steals, 48 percent FG, 89 percent FT
His best fantasy seasons are most likely behind him, but Paul is still the safest choice you can make at point guard. CP solidified his dominance by leading the league in steals per game for the fifth time in eight career seasons and currently trails only Greivis Vasquez for the league lead in assists. He’ll no doubt be the first point guard off the board in most drafts next year and deserves a top-five pick.
SG – KOBE BRYANT, Los Angeles Lakers – 27.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.7 threes, 1.4 steals, 0.3 blocks, 46 percent FG, 84 percent FT
Kobe’s torn Achilles tendon marks a disappointing end to a marvelous fantasy season. I wanted to hand James Harden the first team honors, but fantasy basketball is a numbers game, and Mamba averaged more points, rebounds and assists while shooting five percent better from the field. The injury will definitely lower his draft day price tag, but the only way I advise you to grab him is if he shows off some magical, Adrian Peterson-like healing powers over the offseason. No matter what, when Kobe returns next season he will be out to prove that he won’t go down as another superstar whose game was curtailed by injury at the end of their career.
SF – KEVIN DURANT, Oklahoma City – 28.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.7 threes, 1.4 steals, 1.3 blocks, 51 percent FG, 91 percent FT
I’ve been an advocate of taking LeBron over Durant first overall, but this summer I have a lot of thinking to do. Durant wound up shooting much better from the free throw line than James did, while averaging more blocks. Most importantly, he didn’t miss a single game. While Miami will be cruising to the first seed in the East for years to come, Oklahoma City will constantly be jockeying for playoff position year in and year out in the wild West. Though LeBron may be better statistically, you never have to worry about Durant missing games in the fantasy playoffs.
PF – LeBRON JAMES, Miami – 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 1.4 threes, 1.7 steals, 0.9 blocks, 57 percent FG, 75 percent FT
Thankfully LeBron qualifies as a power forward in both Yahoo! and ESPN leagues or else things would have gotten real hairy between him and Durant. The statistics say it all about his game. James is just as dominant in the fantasy game as he is in real life. The only way he isn’t drafted first overall next year is if you’re concerned about him missing games at the end of the season.
C – TIM DUNCAN, San Antonio – 17.8 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 0.7 steals, 2.7 blocks, 50 percent FG, 81 percent FT
If I’m willing to give Kobe the nod over Harden, then Duncan definitely earned first team honors over any up-and-coming stars. This season, Duncan shot a career-high 81 percent from the charity stripe while averaging the most blocks he’s had since 2002-03, the season that Michael Jordan announced his third and final retirement. This might be a last hoorah for Duncan as far as the fantasy game is concerned, but as long as he is healthy and on the court, he is efficient enough to always be fantasy relevant.
PG – RUSSELL WESTBROOK, Oklahoma City – 23.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 7.5 assists, 1.2 threes, 1.8 steals, 0.3 blocks, 44 percent FG, 80 percent FT
Westbrook is emerging as the biggest threat to Chris Paul’s fantasy point guard throne. It’s hard to call this season a breakout campaign for him, but he averaged a career-high in treys and rebounds while proving that last year’s 5.5 assists per game appear to be an aberration. All Westbrook has left to do to be considered a top-five pick is clean up his field goal percentage a bit.
SG – JAMES HARDEN, Houston – 26.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 2.3 threes, 1.8 steals, 0.5 blocks, 44 percent FG, 86 percent FT
Those who drafted Harden at his Oklahoma City value were more than rewarded for their trust in his game. To say that he broke out would be a vast understatement. Harden will finish the season ranking fifth in the league in scoring in his first year with the reigns of an entire offense. All the gameplanning in the world can’t keep him from getting to the basket and with his team running one of the most uptempo offenses in the league, Harden will find himself off the board quickly in most drafts next year.
SF – CARMELO ANTHONY, New York – 28.7 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.3 threes, 0.8 steals, 0.5 blocks, 45 percent FG, 83 percent FT
Despite all of the talent on their roster, the Knicks heavily leaned on Anthony for offense all year long and he proved to be up for the task. ‘Melo has a legitimate chance to put up his career-high in points, needing to up his average by only 0.2 points in the Knicks last two games. He’s also tied for fifth in threes per game and most importantly for fantasy owners, finished the season as strong as any other player in the league. In the month of April, Melo is averaging 36.9 points on 54 percent shooting with 9.9 rebounds and 2.6 treys. He’ll surely be off the board late in the first round next season.
PF – JOAKIM NOAH, Chicago – 12.2 points, 11.4 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.2 steals, 2.2 blocks, 46 percent FG, 73 percent FT
Noah impressed me perhaps more than any other player in fantasy this season. WithDerrick Rose absent the whole year, a lot of the Bulls workload was placed of his shoulders and Noah responded by averaging a career-high in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. I love players with his scrappy style of play on my fantasy teams because their hustle alone is good for plenty of stats even if their offense goes missing on a given night. Unfortunately, players like this are rather injury prone and Noah was no stranger to the trainer’s room himself, missing 15 games to date. Still, Noah proved enough to me throughout the year to earn his spot on the All-Fantasy roster.
C – SERGE IBAKA, Oklahoma City – 13.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 0.3 steals, 3.1 blocks, 57 percent FG, 75 percent FT
Ibaka could average 5.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game and still have plenty of relevance in fantasy because of the blocked shot. He dominates a category perhaps more than anyone else in the league and his 239 blocks this season more than doubles all but 12 players in the league. A big core built around Serge alone is enough to keep you in contention for winning blocks consistently. This season, he also showed off an improved offensive game, averaging a career-high in points and field goal percentage (and rebounds for that matter). Another offseason of improvement means Ibaka should be off draft boards very early next season.