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Selecting The 2019-20 All-NBA Fantasy Teams

Selecting The 2019-20 All-NBA Fantasy Teams

As we remain in quarantine waiting for the return of the NBA Playoffs, we’ve been dissecting the stats from the action we did have this season. And this most certainly includes giving out our own All-NBA Fantasy Team awards!

When host Ryan McKee of NBA Odds Pod on The SGP Network invited me on as a guest toward the beginning of this quarantine to exchange our All-NBA Fantasy Teams, I initially felt like we had the likelihood of echoing each other with most of our picks, considering we have worked on NBA content together for the better part of two seasons now.

However, the picks created a surprisingly fun debate, and I’ll recap all three teams from each of us to break it all down!

All-NBA Fantasy 1st Team

McKee

PG: Damian Lillard
28.9 PPG (3rd PG), 3.9 3PTM (2nd PG), 7.8 AST (5th PG)

SG: James Harden
34.4 PPG (1st SG), 4.4 3PTM (1st SG), 7.4 AST (3rd SG)

SF: LeBron James
25.7 PPG (2nd SF), 7.9 REB (1st SF), 10.6 AST (1st SF)

PF: Anthony Davis
26.7 PPG (2nd PF), 9.4 REB (7th PF), 2.4 BLK (1st PF)

C: Hassan Whiteside
3.1 BLK (1st C), 14.2 REB (2nd C), 6.9 FGM (8th C)

Giordani

PG: Trae Young
29.6 PPG (1st PG), 9.3 AST (1st PG), 3.4 3PTM (3rd PG)

SG: James Harden
34.4 PPG (1st SG), 4.4 3PTM (1st SG), 7.4 AST (3rd SG)

SF: LeBron James
25.7 PPG (2nd SF), 7.9 REB (1st SF), 10.6 AST (1st SF)

PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo
29.6 PPG (1st PF), 13.7 REB (1st PF), 5.8 AST (1st PF)

C: Nikola Jokic
20.2 PPG (3rd C), 6.9 AST (1st C), 1.2 STL (3rd C)

Harden and LeBron made both 1st team units for both McKee and myself. The debate between the lines was discovered heavily on the airwaves at Point Guard, Power Forward, and Center.

This is when the kaleidoscopes began to shift early, and with statistical support from both sides of the ‘argument’ (using the term quite loosely). Admittedly, I was softer in some areas with more of an overall gauge for player value, whereas McKee stayed on point with the fantasy-first focus in his selections (as we were intended).

A prime example would be our different stances at Power Forward and Center. I felt a bit of the Most Valuable Player weighing into my equation for Giannis’ sake, yet Ryan outlined a concrete fantasy argument on behalf of Anthony Davis’s Laker debut.

In regards to Whiteside and Jokic, I was stuck on the Top 3 position of three major categories for Jokic, where McKee was adamant about Whiteside leading in blocks nearly 30 more than 2nd place, leading rebounds, and carrying a preseason rank of 81.

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All-NBA Fantasy 2nd Team

McKee

PG: Chris Paul
17.7 PPG, .489 FG%, .90 FT%, 6.8 AST, 1.6 STL

SG: Bradley Beal
30.5 PPG (2nd SG), 3.0 3PTM (5th SG), 6.1 AST (7th SG)

SF: Kawhi Leonard
26.9 PPG (1st SF), 7.3 REB (3rd SF), 5.0 AST (3rd SF)

PF: Jayson Tatum
23.6 PPG (4th SF), 7.1 REB (4th SF), 8.5 FGM (3rd SF)

C: Nikola Jokic
20.2 PPG (3rd C), 6.9 AST (1st C), 1.2 STL (3rd C)

Giordani

PG: Damian Lillard
28.9 PPG (3rd PG), 3.9 3PTM (2nd PG), 7.8 AST (5th PG)

SG: Bradley Beal
30.5 PPG (2nd SG), 3.0 3PTM (5th SG), 6.1 AST (7th SG)

SF: Kawhi Leonard
26.9 PPG (1st SF), 7.3 REB (3rd SF), 5.0 AST (3rd SF)

PF: Anthony Davis
26.7 PPG (2nd PF), 9.4 REB (7th PF), 2.4 BLK (1st PF)

C: Hassan Whiteside
3.1 BLK (1st C), 14.2 REB (2nd C), 6.9 FGM (8th C)

The argumentative angles were exactly in my difference with Lillard, Whiteside, and Anthony Davis bumped down into my second team, where McKee thought I was pulling my stance from another planet. The fact of the matter is it’s extremely difficult for me to do anything but put the MVP-favorite Giannis in the First-Team context, which led to the inevitable slide for AD to Second-Team by default.

McKee didn’t let the narrative of award entitlement get in the way of a fantasy-first thought process behind deeming which players are in fact valuable within the realm of season-long leagues, which saw Giannis get snubbed from both of McKee’s First and Second-Teams, which was a shock to say the least.

We were both split on our Second-Team shooting guard and small forward designations to Beal and Kawhi, respectively. However, the discovery of Chris Paul being worthy of McKee’s Second-Team (or any team for that matter) did make me second guess myself entirely as a person, but you must stand firm during these difficult times.

Luka was my differential, which also led to some reactions from McKee indicating a silent question of my existence, which is worth another listen.

All-NBA Fantasy 3rd Team

McKee

PG: Trae Young
29.6 PPG (1st PG), 9.3 AST (1st PG), 3.4 3PTM (3rd PG)

SG: Devin Booker
26.1 PPG, .487 FG%, .916 FT%, 6.6 AST, 2.0 3PTM

SF: Giannis Antetokounmpo
29.6 PPG (1st PF), 13.7 REB (1st PF), 5.8 AST (1st PF)

PF: Bam Adebayo
39 DD2 (4th PF), 10.5 REB (5th PF)

C: Rudy Gobert
13.7 REB (4th C), 2.0 BLK (6th C), 45 DD2 (4th C)

Giordani

PG: Luka Doncic
28.7 PPG (3rd PG), 9.3 REB (1st PG), 8.7 AST (3rd PG)

SG: Jimmy Butler
20.2 PPG (9th SG), 6.6 REB (1st SG), 1.7 STL (5th SG)

SF: Jayson Tatum
23.6 PPG (4th SF), 7.1 REB (4th SF), 8.5 FGM (3rd SF)

PF: Pascal Siakam
23.6 PPG (3rd PF), 8.7 FGM (4th PF), 7.5 REB (9th PF)

C: Joel Embiid
23.4 PPG (2nd C), .827 FT%, 11.8 REB (6th C)

Finally, the lists were rounded out at Third-Team All Fantasy, with seismic differentials abundant, and glaring differences became most vast. While there was some parity among our first two teams, with essentially most picks either flip-flopped between teams or shared verbatim, the final team unveilings was an award fiesta consisting of zero similarities from top to bottom.

As McKee caught up to me in the inclusions of both Trae Young and Giannis, my team failed to salvage any homage paid to the likes of Adebayo, Paul, Gobert, and Booker. While I understand Booker’s improved season was one worth recognizing, I didn’t feel it was parallel to that of a Jimmy Butler or especially Luka Doncic.

It’s clearly quite debatable in either direction, but as I mentioned, it’s all about where your values rest when divvying out such individually claimed “team” awards. The same was very much debated about my snub to Rudy Gobert (who had actually prematurely made my Bust List until I had flipped some pages to realize the clown I would sound like if I did so); particularly at the trade-off of a once injury-lapsed Joel Embiid.

While the debate of these picks could still very well go unsettled in the sake of any of our stated All-NBA Fantasy Teams, reliving it a month later is very much as entertaining as it was doing them initially…while that much more tearful to know we’re still every bit as unknowing about the future of this NBA season as we were when McKee and I recorded this one month ago.

Stay healthy and stay safe.

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Chris "Topher" Giordani is a sports gambling nerd who derives his passion for such from a number of avenues, particularly the ilk of fantasy sports. Currently working and residing in Orange County, California, daily fantasy sports consume a vast majority of his attention span on any given day. Reviving his sports rant podcast in 2019. #FadeTheChalk

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