#13- Dirk Nowitzki
45.7% FG, 87.8% FT, 1.3 3PG, 6.8 RPG, 2.2 APG, 1.9 TO, 0.7 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 21.7 PPG
This season Nowitzki saw his numbers drop even more from last season. Always heralded for having a great all-around game, I had to take Nowitzki out my top ten this season because of his continually diminishing minutes. Drop-offs in FG% this season have shown how stagnant the Mavericks offense had become and that Nowtizki often had to force up shots to keep his team in the game.
Without a full steal or block per game it’s a good thing Nowitzki shot the three-ball well and still rebounded well. His free throw shooting is still one of huge strengths and should be something that you take advantage of when building your team. Nowitzki still keeps his turnovers low and throws in a couple of assists too.
Look forward to Dallas making some big off-season moves to surround Nowtzki with another championship caliber supporting cast. Nowitzki, Shawn Marion, Brendan Haywood (amnesty candidate?), Rodrigue Beaubois, and Dominique Jones are the only members of the team who are locked in for the next season. A handful have team options but even if they were to excercise all their player options they still have around 35 million to play around with in the upcoming off-season.
If any team is going to have a BIG season, it’s the Dallas Mavericks.
#14- Pau Gasol
50.1% FG, 78.2% FT, 0.1 3PG, 10.4 RPG, 3.7 APG, 2.2 TO. 0.6 SPG, 1.4 BPG, 17.4 PPG
People think that Pau Gasol is falling off the the charts and that he is starting to become “old”. His season averages don’t suggest that though. Although he suffered a minor drop in FG%, FT%, and points per game, he managed to improve his rebounding and assisting rate.
What really puts me off about Gasol is his disappearance in the playoffs, if you were to examine his numbers throughout two series you’d be shocked at how horrendous they are. Throughout 12 games he only scored more than 20 points once and shot 43.4% as a whole.
Trade rumors involving Gasol’s name have been running rampant since the trade deadline last season so expect him to be on his way out. Gasol has always been a safe bet, usually going in the top-ten. I think this year is the year you’ll have to be careful though. Another season and another year for the 32 year old Spaniard can spell further digression
#15- Josh Smith
45.7% FG, 63.0% FT. 0.4 3PG, 9.6 RPG, 3.9 APG, 2.5 TO, 1.4 SPG, 1.7 BPG, 18.8 PPG
Josh Smith had an up and down season this year, maybe it’s because he was snubbed again from the all-star game?
Drop-offs in blocks and field goal percentage are supplanted by increases in rebounding, assists, and overall scoring. It would be nice for Smith to return to averaging over 2 blocks (2.9 per game in his third season) a game but everything else Smith gives you is absolute gold.
Yeah, his free-throw shooting isn’t amazing and he shoots too many jumpers and threes but he absolutely kills it in everything else. An ideal candidate to pair with Dwight Howard, but odds are you aren’t going to get both of them together through the draft.
Pay attention to how the owner of Howard/Smith is drafting and trade towards getting the other half of your stacked team.
#16- Paul Millsap
49.5% FG, 79.2% FT, 0.1 3PG, 8.8 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.8 TO, 1.8 SPG, 0.8 BPG, 16.6 PPG
The other half to the Utah Jazz, Paul Millsap has been an under-rated gem for a while now. Don’t expect that to last much longer.
WIth a truly efficient game that chips in at every category (except three’s) Millsap has really started to shine in Utah.
Will he still be in Utah though? Time will tell, but his fundamental style of basketball will fit in on any team. Really not much to say here… that’s just Millsap’s style.