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Mock NBA Fantasy Basketball Draft 10.05.10 at 4:58 pm ET
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A breakdown of the first five rounds of a mock 10-team fantasy basketball draft, in addition to the top-10 late-round sleepers and the top-10 players to avoid. Full disclosure: I am unstoppable at fantasy basketball. I also consulted commissioner James Hough of our annual league, Mondo Rondo.

ROUND 1
(NOTE: Your season depends solely on the health of this pick.)

1. Kevin Durant: Team USA’s best player; absolute monster; fills every stat category.
2. LeBron James: Has a legit chance to average a triple-double.
3. Kobe Bryant: Even if not 100 percent, the game’s best player can’t slip past No. 3.
4. Chris Paul: Might be the No. 2 pick if not for the whole knee surgery thing.
5. Deron Williams: Averaged at least 18 points & 10 assists per game last 3 seasons.
6. Danny Granger: Most underrated player in the NBA on a bad team translates into numbers.
7. Dwight Howard: You’re giving up FT% with this pick … but likely winning FG%, blocks & boards.
8. Dwyane Wade: Stats will suffer beside LeBron, but still warrants first-round pick.
9. Dirk Nowitzki: The first-round guy I’d least like to have on my team still fills the statsheet.
10. Pau Gasol: He may look like a llama, but he’s the best offensive center in the game.

ROUND 2(NOTE: Either diversify your roster or lock categories down in your favor.)

11. Chris Bosh: He’ll still score, grab rebounds, block shots and make free throws.
12. Steve Nash: It’s a good thing defense isn’t really a category in fantasy hoops.
13. Amar’e Stoudemire: Last season under D’Antoni: 25.2 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 2.1 bpg, 59.0 FG%, 80.5 FT%.
14. Josh Smith: Draft him with Howard, and you win blocks & boards every week.
15. Stephen Curry: A first-round pick on most boards, I wouldn’t take him until now.
16. Brook Lopez: Never would’ve predicted he’d be a top-20 pick.
17. Carmelo Anthony: A top-10 player, but on a team he doesn’t want to play for.
18. Rajon Rondo: Points, assists, steals and FG% have gone up every year.
19. Derrick Rose: Is anybody else thinking he’s going to have a huge season?
20. David Lee: You can count the number of centers who have average 20 and 12 on one hand.

Read the rest of this entry »

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KG on his fine: ‘I could care less’ 04.03.10 at 12:26 am ET
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Kevin Garnett was fined $25,000 by the NBA for his comments about Kevin Durant after the Celtics lost to the Thunder Wednesday. Garnett rather memorably said, “I thought we were playing Michael [Bleeping] Jordan with the way he was getting the whistles.”

Durant shot 15 free throws in the game, while the Celtics shot 17 as a team.

Garnett found about the fine before Friday night’s game with the Rockets from an unlikely source: Rasheed Wallace. Or maybe it wasn’t so unlikely considering how often he has been fined himself.

“To be honest I didn’t even know I got fined until Rasheed told me a couple of minutes before we hit the floor,” Garnett said. “I could care less.”

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Celtics curse Kevin Durant 04.01.10 at 3:21 am ET
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You know you’re good when a pair of NBA veterans curse your performance after you lead your team to a win on their home court.

Kevin Durant is that good — and then some.

He scored from every spot on the court, including the free throw line — where he made all 15 attempts. When all was said and done, the Celtics watched him pour in 37 points in Oklahoma City’s 109-104 win over the Green on Wednesday at TD Garden.

“It’s a team job to help out, period,” Rasheed Wallace said. “No matter whether it’s him or any other type of NBA All-Star, it’s a team effort to help out. It was a [pain], honestly. Helping Paul [Pierce] and Ray [Allen] out, it’s just a team thing. Got to stay with him.”

As for those 15 free throws, compare that to the fact the Celtics as a team made just 13-of-17 attempts the entire game.

“I thought we were playing Michael [expletive] Jordan tonight the way he was getting the whistle,” Kevin Garnett added. “Durant damn near shot more free throws than our whole team.”

With Durant, Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook at the point, these are not your mother’s Oklahoma City Thunder — or even Seattle Supersonics, for that matter.

“We’ve grown, we’ve grown up,” Durant said. “We’ve added a lot of different pieces since our first year, me and Jeff. So it’s good to come in here and beat a team like Boston — a great team, a championship team like them. It’s all about moving on from here.

“It means a lot for us, and like you say gives us confidence. We’ve got eight more games left, so we’ve just got to keep plugging away and keep pushing. This is another step for us. We’re happy with this win, but tomorrow we’ve got to let it go and get ready for Dallas.”

Maybe most impressive is the fact the Thunder shot 50 percent, 10 percent less than their opponent — on their opponent’s home court — and still managed to win.

“If you want a tape about how to score the basketball, you’ve got to watch this game,” Durant said. “They scored it in a variety of ways and we scored in a variety of ways as well. Our point guard did a great job of starting us off early, getting to the rim and opening things up for everybody else. It was a great game as far as offensive is concerned. We’ve just got to work on our defense from here.”

Glen Davis was one of the last Celtics to give his take on Durant on Wednesday, and he didn’t even need any dirty words.

“He’s a problem because you’ve got to pay attention to him,” Davis said. “You’ve got to make sure he doesn’t beat you, and he had a big game tonight. We’ve got to get him out of his comfort zone and make sure he doesn’t have 37, but he did.”

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R-O-N-D-O to play H-O-R-S-E in D-A-L-L-A-S 02.08.10 at 4:44 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Celtics All-Star guard Rajon Rondo confirmed following Monday’s practice that he will be taking part in the HORSE competition at All-Star weekend in Dallas.

The guard said he will come up with some trick shots that only he can make in an effort to beat Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, the defending champion, and Sacramento’s Omri Casspi.

Last year, Durant beat Atlanta’s Joe Johnson and O.J. Mayo of Memphis for the title.

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