The NBA: Should’ve Kept Bosh and Gay

One of the most competitive Fantasy NBA leagues of which I am a part is a keeper league. That means that before the start of every season, each team owner/manager declares three (3) players he wants to keep from his previous season’s lineup.

These players usually fall into two categories: the ones who did really well in the previous season, or the ones who are projected to do really well in the upcoming season. There are many players, of course, who can fit easily in both categories (read: Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Kevin Love, etc.).

Before the start of the current season, I narrowed down my keeper choices to the following six players: Rudy Gay, Chris Bosh, Danny Granger, Greg Monroe, Jrue Holiday, and DeMarcus Cousins. Gay, Granger, and Holiday were my keepers for the 2011-2012 season, and they didn’t exactly have eye-popping and stellar performances. Holiday, in particular, disappointed me. I had really high expectations of him, but he was more of a boom-bust guy. He was inconsistent. He was the first one I dropped from the six (why, yes, I’m scratching my head at that, too).

Bosh was the next to fall. I dropped him for two reasons: I felt he would continue to regress, and, well, he’s a Heat player, so there. The last one I dropped was Gay. I felt like it was really a toss up between him and Granger, since they offered similar things, but what swung me towards Granger was his three-point shooting. I kept Granger and dropped Rudy.

Chris Bosh is having a fine season -- to the detriment
of my Fantasy NBA performance!!!
(image by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Now it’s all coming back to haunt me. I feel I landed a gem in Monroe, and I think Cousins will be a borderline All-Star this season, but I feel really down on Granger. Nobody can really predict an injury, but I just feel really sad because he’s a personal favorite of mine and because I gave up Rudy Gay for him. RUDY GAY. Damn.

Now Gay isn’t exactly the best player on the planet, but at about 19 points, 6 rebounds, 2 dimes, and better than 1 three-pointer per game? Man. I missed out.

I missed out on Rudy Gay's great nightly production.
(image by Danny Johnston/AP)

I grossly miscalculated on Bosh, too. I never thought he had enough toughness in him to bounce back after two below-expectations seasons in Miami, but he’s proven me dead wrong. He’s scoring in the 20s again while grabbing 8 boards and blocking better than 1 shot per game. He’s also enjoying his best FG and FT shooting year ever at 56.2% and 87.1% respectively.

Here's the kicker, though – if I kept Bosh and Gay together with Granger, I believe I would still have been able to land Cousins in the first round, get Holiday in the second and maybe steal Monroe in the third.

Now I’m dead last in the standings with no reprieve in sight. Damn.

Game Recaps (courtesy of the Sports Network):
Portland 118, Cleveland 117 (2-OT)
Nicolas Batum's go-ahead 3-pointer with 0.2 seconds left in double overtime lifted the Portland Trail Blazers to a 118-117 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Portland trailed, 117-115, with 2.5 left and following a timeout, Damian Lillard passed to Batum along the right corner and he turned, fired, and nailed the triple in front of the Cleveland bench. The Cavs didn't get a shot off before time expired. Lillard tallied 24 points and Batum added 22 for Portland, which snapped its four-game losing streak. Anderson Varejao had 19 points and 17 rebounds for Cleveland, which has dropped 11 of its last 13 contests.

Miami 102, Brooklyn 89
Dwyane Wade scored a game-high 34 points and the Miami Heat used a strong second-half to defeat the Brooklyn Nets, 102-89, and take sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference. Both teams entered the contest winners of five straight, but the Heat outscored the Nets 52-30 over the final two quarters to notch their 12th win of the season and to keep their streak going. LeBron James followed with a strong performance as well, finishing with 21 points, nine rebounds and six assists in Miami's 12th straight victory over the Nets. Without starting center Brook Lopez, who sat for the second straight game with an injured foot, Andray Blatche stepped up for the Nets and tallied a team- high 20 points to go along with eight rebounds. Deron Williams finished with 10 points and 12 assists in the loss.

Chicago 93, Philadelphia 88
Luol Deng filled the stat sheet with 25 points, seven assists and six rebounds to lead the Chicago Bulls past the Philadelphia 76ers, 93-88, at the United Center. Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah each added a double-double for Chicago, which won its second straight game and earned a bit of payback for being eliminated in the first round of last season's playoffs by Philadelphia. Boozer finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds, while Noah had 12 points and 13 boards in the win. Jrue Holiday scored a team-high 23 points and Thaddeus Young followed with 22 for the 76ers, who had a three-game win streak snapped.

Luol Deng was all-around awesome as
the Bulls beat the Sixers.
(image by Nam Y. Huh/AP)

Houston 124, Utah 116
Patrick Patterson had 20 points and was one of seven Houston players to score in double-digits as the Rockets used a late run to take a 124-116 win over the Utah Jazz. Chandler Parsons and Jeremy Lin each had 19 points, James Harden added 18 points and seven assists while Omer Asik posted 14 points and 12 boards for the Rockets, who have won four of their last five. Greg Smith and Carlos Delfino each posted 13 points off the bench. Gordon Hayward scored 21 points while Al Jefferson and Randy Foye each gave 20 points for the Jazz, who have dropped their past two games.

Oklahoma City 100, New Orleans 79
Kevin Durant poured in 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds, despite sitting out the entire fourth quarter, to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 100-79 win over the New Orleans Hornets on Saturday. Russell Westbrook had 18 points, 10 assists, five rebounds and three steals and Kevin Martin added 19 points for the Thunder, who have won five straight. Nick Collison added 12 points and Kendrick Perkins chipped in with 10 points in the victory. Ryan Anderson had 21 points and 10 rebounds and Robin Lopez netted 12 for the Hornets, who have dropped nine of their last 10 overall.

Milwaukee 91, Boston 88
Brandon Jennings buried the go-ahead 3- pointer late in the fourth quarter and the Bucks overcame a rough start to defeat the Celtics, 91-88, on Saturday. Jennings finished with 13 points and six rebounds. Fresh off his first career triple-double, Larry Sanders scored a team-high 18 points, pulled down 16 boards and blocked five shots in the win for the Bucks, who won consecutive games against Boston for the first time since the 2006-07 season. Monta Ellis shot just 6-of-20, but tallied 17 points, seven assists and two steals in the victory. Ersan Ilyasova added 15 points and five rebounds off the bench. Without suspended point guard Rajon Rondo, Jason Terry filled his role with 15 points and 11 assists, but Terry and Paul Pierce both missed from downtown with a chance to tie the game on Boston's final possession. Pierce scored a game-high 19 points and also had six assists in the loss.

San Antonio 99, Memphis 95 (OT)
Tony Parker poured in eight of his game- high 30 points in overtime, as the San Antonio Spurs held off the Memphis Grizzlies, 99-95, on Friday at AT&T Center. Parker added six assists and knocked down a pair of free throws with under 10 seconds remaining in the extra session to seal the game for San Antonio, which has won six of its last seven. Tim Duncan registered a double-double with 27 points and 15 rebounds in the victory. Marc Gasol paced the Grizzlies with 20 points and eight boards, while Zach Randolph finished with 17 points and 15 rebounds for Memphis, which had its four-game winning streak snapped.

Dallas 92, Detroit 77
O.J. Mayo poured in 27 points and Elton Brand had 17 and 12 rebounds to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 92-77 win over the Detroit Pistons on Saturday. Vince Carter added 12 points and five assists and Chris Kaman had 10 points and nine boards for the Mavericks, who put the brakes on a three-game skid. Derek Fisher, who signed with Dallas on Thursday, made his debut with the Mavs. The 16-year veteran had two points and three assists in just under 25 minutes of play. Brandon Knight scored 20 points and Tayshaun Prince had 12 points and five rebounds for the Pistons, who have dropped two in a row. Jason Maxiell had 10 points and 12 rebounds, while Greg Monroe dropped in eight points to go along with a game-high 15 boards in the setback.

Golden State 103, Indiana 92
Klay Thompson poured in 22 points to lead five Warriors in double figures on Saturday night, as Golden State downed the Indiana Pacers, 103-92, at Oracle Arena. Stephen Curry recorded a double- double with 20 points and 11 assists, Jarrett Jack donated 18 points and Carl Landry netted 16 points for the Warriors, who have won three straight games. David Lee added 13 points and 12 boards in the victory. David West scored a game-high 23 points to go with eight rebounds and George Hill chipped in 19 points in the setback, Indiana's second in its last six games.

LA Clippers 116, Sacramento 81
Jamal Crawford netted 17 points to lead seven double-digit scorers for the Clippers as Los Angeles eased past the Sacramento Kings, 116-81, at Staples Center. Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and Eric Bledsoe followed with 14 points apiece, while DeAndre Jordan had 13, Matt Barnes netted 12 and Caron Butler finished with 11 for the Clippers, who have won two straight. Marcus Thornton paced the Kings with a game-high 20 points and Jason Thompson added 16 points and 12 rebounds for Sacramento, which has lost its last three.

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