May 21, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) posts up against San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (right) in game two of the Western Conference finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at AT

Beale Street Fantasy Draft Part 2

Today, we’re going to go ahead and do the second part of the Beale Street Fantasy Draft that we started a couple of days ago.

A reminder of how this works: four of us are participating; Hal, Daniel, Kevin, and Andrew. We randomized the names and the resulting draft order was Daniel, Hal, Kevin, Andrew. The order “snakes,” meaning that Daniel picked first, but will pick last in the second round, and so on.

We’ll have a post for each round, with everyone listing their picks and their reasons for picking them. Each post will end in a summary of each writer’s team up to that point.

The success of the team is based off of real-life skill and construction, not the stats someone would use for actual fantasy basketball. So, for example, the floor spacing that Marc Gasol brings to the table would be relevant in picking him for this team, while it wouldn’t matter in real fantasy. In that sense, we’re trying to build teams that would really work.

At each step, let us know what you think of the teams! Do you agree with the picks? Disagree? What would you have done?

With my second pick, I’ll take Grizzlies’ Center Marc Gasol. Gasol is simply the best team center in the NBA: a ridiculous passer with a reliable midrange game, a tricky to defend post-up set, and — oh yeah — a DPOY-worthy defensive presence. Marc is everyone’s favorite teammate – he doesn’t need the spotlight to shine.

With the sixth pick in the draft, I’ll take a center as well: Dwight Howard. Last season was no fun with the Lakers (well, no fun for him–I loved it!), but a Dwight-CP3 pairing sounds too fun to turn down.

In terms of a pick-and-roll combination, it might not get better than those two. As well, Dwight getting some easy dunks through Paul’s assists might help him turn his recent slump around and get back to being the prime Dwight from the Orlando days that we all know and love; the one that won three consecutive Defensive Player of the Year awards.

You combine Dwight’s shot-blocking presence to Paul’s ability to create steals on the perimeter, and I have a nightmare of a defense just two players in to go with the natural fit between the two on offense. I’m living the Dallas Mavericks/Atlanta Hawks dream right now, baby.

With the seventh pick of the draft, I take Stephen Curry. Perhaps the best shooter in the league right now, Curry is unbelievable. He broke Ray Allen’s record for regular season threes made while hitting them at a 45% clip.

During the regular season, Curry was shooting over 50% on three pointers off of pick and rolls, and in the playoffs, he made 66.7% of his threes on pick and rolls, and over 50% off the dribble. Curry’s ability to hit difficult threes at that rate, in the limited space provided by a pick, is breaking traditional NBA defense schemes.

At the end of Warriors games, Curry has been playing shooting guard to Jarret Jack’s point, and that’s the role he would play on my team. Instead of an attack first PG, Im getting a slightly undersized SG who’s a phenomenal passer, and who’s passing ability and PnR shooting threat will mesh well with Durant’s experience in the Thunder as well as promote a system of ball movement and deception akin to the Warrior’s, Heat’s, or Spur’s.

There is probably no scarier potential shooting tandem in the NBA than Curry and Durant.

Daniel: With the eighth selection, I select Tim Duncan. He’s just flat out the greatest player of the last decade. He’s a four-time champion, two-time MVP, and he has the mental fortitude to carry my team through anything. He will be my captain and defensive anchor.

Teams so far:

Daniel: LeBron James, Tim Duncan

Hal: Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry

Kevin: Chris Paul, Dwight Howard

Andrew: Derrick Rose, Marc Gasol


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