Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
In past articles we have selected our fantasy award winners and losers at center, forward and guard. Now it's time to choose from among those players our TSN Fantasy Award winners and losers for the 2009 NBA season.
In a close battle between superstars, New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul edged out Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James for the 2009 Sports Network NBA Fantasy Most Valuable Player.
Paul, put up amazing numbers across the board to win the title. For a 6'0" guard, hauling in 5.5 rebounds-per-game was one of the keys to his beating James in our opinion. Although James pulled down 7.6 rebounds-per-game, two-a-game more than Paul, Paul's total was more than expected and Paul had a better field-goal percentage, free-throw percentage and three-point shooting percentage. He also led James in steals-per-game, assists-per-game and had fewer turnovers.
Since both were top-three selections in almost every draft, winning six of nine fantasy categories was enough to put Paul over the top.
The "2009 Best Bargain Award" was a much closer battle between three players, San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker, Indianapolis Pacers forward Troy Murphy and New York Knicks center David Lee. All three players were drafted in the eighth-or-later rounds making them all "steals." However, the winner of the 2009 Sports Network Best Bargain Award goes to Murphy.
While Lee led all NBA players in double doubles with 65 in 81 games, two more than Dwight Howard (63) and 15 more than Chris Paul (50) he benefited from Coach Mike D'Antoni's up tempo offense, increasing his statistics in points (10.8 to 16.0), rebounds (8.9 to 11.7), assists (1.2 to 2.2) and steals (0.7 to 1.0).
Murphy was picked a round or two after Lee yet put up numbers almost identical to the Knicks center. But Murphy won the award because of his stellar three- point shooting. Murphy shot a career-best 45.0% from beyond the arc while connecting on 161 shots. The 161 "threes" was third-best among forwards and 12th-best overall and the percentage was best among those who made at least 100 baskets.
It's not Shawn Marion fault that he was drafted too high, but it unfortunately makes Marion our 2009 Sports Network Most Disappointing Award winner. Marion owners must really miss the days when he and Steve Nash ran up and down the floor in Phoenix. With the Suns' running game, Marion would score 20 points- per-game and haul in double figure rebounds on a regular basis. Apparently, fantasy owners still expected him to post the same numbers with Dwayne Wade making the passes, but it didn't happen. Even with the mid-season trade to the up tempo Toronto Raptors, Marion couldn't live up to his ADP of 9.6 - putting up just 12.9 ppg, 8.5 rpg and 2.0 apg. That's just not enough production from a late-first round or early second round pick.
2009 NBA Fantasy Award Candidates Statistics