The Build or Die Problem in the NBA

Not sure if you have noticed, but there is rarely change in the NBA finals scene.

Every five or so years NBA fans finally get a new group of teams in the championship scene. We have seen a total of 10 teams win an NBA title since 1990, but we are currently in the middle of one of the rare changes of the guard. We are seeing teams like the Warriors and Cavs pick up where the Celtics,Lakers,Spurs and Heat left off. This change is the perfect time to start the dreaded rebuild.

In 2011 who thought that we would see the Warriors win a NBA title and be a perennial contender? The answer is none of you. That team was stacked with studs like Kwame Brown, Monta Ellis and a young Steph Curry. They also finished 11th in the Western Conference. In five short years they have become NBA champions and a “super team.”

How did this happen? Well besides getting rid of Kwame Brown the Warriors built the right way! All they had to do was make smart decisions with a few picks and they scored in drafting Curry, Thompson, Green and Barnes. This was from 2009-2012 and they obviously missed on a few picks in the time before their title as well. They also traded some picks in 2013, but every rebuild will have some mistakes. The Warriors noticed that they weren’t contenders and began to build in 2009. After years of doing so they finally got that title and landed Durant (who saw the potential) to help continue their roll.

Now we have another stretch of years coming up where the Warriors and Cavs will likely dominate in the playoffs just as well as they do in the regular season. Other NBA teams should be looking at this time to build for when those teams age out.

The Celtics are well on their way to rejoining the elite. They have had some good drafts and pieced together valuable pieces to acquire that superstar once they are ready to strike. The Celtics are just one of the many teams that could end up in the “Elite” group once the NBA’s championship scene changes again.

Let us know on twitter @PWTBLCAST who you think might be part of the next Elite in the NBA!

 

Five Under the Radar Fantasy Baseball Game Changers for 2017

By this time most people are ready for their draft, but the most important time in all fantasy baseball years comes soon after most drafts. Your “dream team” isn’t going to last and the choices you make to fill those holes will make or break your season. Here’s five players to possibly make filing those holes easier.

5. Nate Jones

Jones will likely be drafted in some leagues if the Nationals get off their ass and get a closer, but if he’s not you have to keep an eye on him. One of the most underrated relievers in baseball had a great season in 2016. He posted an ERA in the low twos and a strikeout rate around 10, but where his upside lies is in his ridiculous pitch selection. He has sinker that averages 97 mph, a Greyson Allen dirty slider and a change up/curve combo that can buckle hitters. Imagine that as a closer and then you can start imagining what he can do for your fantasy team.

4. Josh Hader

Another pitcher on this list, but in a completely different role. Hader threw just nine innings last year in the big leagues and he may not start the year with the big league club. Lets be honest the Brewers aren’t going to compete this year let the kids get a chance. Hader is young and has control issues at times, but there is no doubt he could be special if he can pound the strike zone. By June or July his great strikeout rate may be worth a look to fill some sort of hole on your team if the Brewers give him a opportunity.

3. Ryan Zimmerman

Okay, before you laugh Zimm still has a chance to be a big league contributor. He needs to stay health, but if he can get a little more lift on his swing that 94.1 mph average exit velocity will result in more home runs. He won’t likely be drafted to start the year and will have to prove that he can stay health to earn a spot on most fantasy teams. With that being said if he’s batting .270 with 10 home runs entering June I am sure he wont still be on the waiver wire by the time you get around to take a look.

2. Robert Gsellman

This guy will require an injury or trade to make any sort of real impact this year, but it’s the Mets. One of those mustachioed pitching studs is going to have some sort of weird arm problem and Zach Wheeler may be starting that train early. Gsellman has a strong four pitch arsenal and ended last year with 2.42 ERA in eight appearances with the Mets.He could be a solid piece to fill in for a bit if you need that extra pitcher. I wouldn’t keep him on my team for long, but the Mets haven’t had a bad pitcher in a while.

1. Manny Margot

This may be a Roto specific add or he could be the 2017 Trea Turner for the whole year. Hes got 65 grade speed and has never stolen less than 30 bags in a year and in 2014 and 2015 he had 39 bases per year across levels. If he does nothing but steal he will be a valuable piece for Roto, but he can hit too. A solid bat, plus speed and a clear opportunity points to future fantasy star. This year will be the last year that you may find him on  a waiver wire and you can do MUCH worse than Margot to fill a hole on your team.

Some of these players may get drafted in some leagues, but these guys could easily keep your team stable if you end up fucking your draft up or if injures do the job.

* Pitch speed stats from Brooks Baseball and other stats from Fangraphs.