fBasketballBlog

Fantasy Basketball Christmas Day Wish List

by on Dec.24, 2011, under Other

Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups

Yep, this will be fun. (Noah Graham/NBAE/Getty Images)

The 2011-12 NBA season is finally within reach, ready to be ripped open by the childishly eager fingers of ravenous fans. For fantasy basketball owners, the joy comes with a bit of business. Once they cut through the excitement of seeing the first tip-off of the season, they’ll immediately wonder how their draft picks will pay off, what clues they can pick up in the early going and which players sitting in the free-agent pool might be worth a pickup.

While making heavy-handed conclusions after just the first day of games isn’t recommended, it doesn’t hurt to have a list of things to watch and hope for during the first official day of this unique NBA season. Below is a Christmas Day wish list for fantasy basketball owners who have players participating in the first day’s games.

Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks (12 p.m. EST):

  • Healing for Paul Pierce’s bone bruise in his heel and a memorable Christmas Day performance
  • Confidence and some form of a shooting touch for Rajon Rondo
  • Protection for Jermaine O’Neal’s body, which will be heavily relied upon this season
  • Extra rebounding opportunities for Amar’e Stoudemire, who will have to fight to maintain his rebounding average from last season now that Tyson Chandler’s on board
  • A place for Landry Fields in the Knicks’ offense
  • A place for Iman Shumpert in the Knicks’ offense
  • A huge start to the season for Toney Douglas

 

Miami Heat vs. Dallas Mavericks (2:30 p.m. EST):

  • A triple-double and a pristine touch from the free-throw line for LeBron James
  • Minutes for Norris Cole
  • Plenty of open looks from three-point territory for Shane Battier
  • A significant place for Udonis Haslem in the Heat’s rotation
  • A glimmer of hope from Rodrigue Beaubois
  • A performance to serve as an accurate indicator of Vince Carter’s value this season
  • Enough minutes for Lamar Odom

 

Chicago Bulls vs. Los Angeles Lakers (5 p.m. EST):

  • A high field-goal percentage from Derrick Rose
  • Seamless integration into the Bulls’ offense for Richard Hamilton
  • A more comfortable, productive role for Carlos Boozer
  • Healing and protection for Kobe Bryant’s bum shooting wrist
  • Confidence and a huge role for Pau Gasol, especially with Kobe’s injury and Andrew Bynum’s four-game suspension
  • Across-the-board production from Josh McRoberts
  • Something from Troy Murphy

 

Orlando Magic vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (8 p.m. EST):

  • A miraculously improved touch from the free-throw line for Dwight Howard
  • Plenty of minutes for both Glen Davis and Ryan Anderson
  • Sufficient minutes for J.J. Redick
  • For the impressive weight loss to benefit Kendrick Perkins’ on-court production
  • Even more signs of progress from Serge Ibaka
  • A starting gig for James Harden
  • An improved shooting touch for Russell Westbrook
  • More assists than turnovers from Kevin Durant

 

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State Warriors (10:30 p.m. EST):

  • A stupid number of assists from Chris Paul
  • Fifty-percent shooting from the floor and plenty of threes for Chauncey Billups
  • A pair of blocks and immaculate free-throw shooting from Blake Griffin
  • A comfortable spot in the rotation for Mo Williams
  • A coming-out party for DeAndre Jordan, with plenty of blocks and boards to go around
  • An accurate indication of what Caron Butler will do this season
  • Healing and protection for Stephen Curry’s ankle
  • A focused Monta Ellis
  • A strong sequel for Dorell Wright’s breakout 2010-11 campaign
  • No tooth incident for David Lee, and a strong reminder of his fantasy appeal
  • Minutes for Ekpe Udoh and Klay Thompson
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