Sunday, January 6, 2008

Fantasy Baller On The Brink: It's A Boone Town

I think it is time to start calling Josh Boone a legitimate fantasy center. A month ago this did not seem like a tangible idea. The Nets were an inconsistent team, Boone was on the Nets' bench, and stuck behind Jason "Twin" Collins and Nenad Kristic for playing time, and rumors were swirling that Jason Kidd wanted out of New Jersey. The team seemed destined to implode. A funny thing happened on the way to implosion.

Nets head coach Lawrence Frank started to go with a more youthful line up. Kristic's surgically repaired knee still needed more time to heal and Frank benched Jason Collins and began to start Boone on a consistent basis. I can guess Frank realized what fantasy owners have know for years, Jason Collins is as useful as a lampshade. The move has not only meant more playing time for Boone, but it has also rejuvenated the Nets season.

He has been averaging a little under a double- double over the last 2 weeks, and I believe he will continue to get stronger as a player while he acclimates to the new starting gig. There are a bunch of things working for Boone to his advantage.
1) There is no pressure on him. With Vince Carter, Richard Jefferson, Jason Kidd and Bostjan Nachbar on the court at any time, there is going to be a lot of double teaming going on. Meaning that Boone could get a lot of open looks under the basket. Dare I say it, Boone will go under the radar of most teams, when preparing to face the Nets.
2) He plays along side Jason Kidd. Jason Kidd makes everyone he plays around better. It is that simple. Seriously think of the NJ Nets before Kidd got there. They were the Clippers East. Kenyon Martin, Keith Van Horn, Stephon Marbury, 0 results. Then, the trade of Marbury for Kidd changed everything, and turned the Nets from perennial losers, to a perennial power house in the East. Quiet simply; Josh Boone will continue to get better because Jason Kidd is too good to let him play poorly.
3) He is their starting center. This is important to remember, there is no one waiting in the wings to replace him if he plays poorly. Lawrence Frank has showed many times his insistence to sticking with his guys, to a near fault at times. In this case, going with the younger, more athletic Boone is the right choice. Believe me, Jason Collins is not going to get any more big minutes any time soon.

My suggestion is to grab Boone now. If you feel like you have a better option, stash Boone on your bench, and keep an eye on what he is doing. By the end of the season, as he becomes more experienced, and he gets more acclimated to his teammates and his increased minutes, I think Boone can become a 13point, 12 rebound, 1 block a night guy.

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