The Perfect Storm

Stephen Curry's statistics figure to go higher over the next few years.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - There are two ways to find a fantasy superstar in your NBA fantasy league.

The first is to find the player who does everything for his team, like LeBron James did in Cleveland last season. James scored (29.7 ppg), rebounded (7.3 rpg), assisted (8.6 apg), stole the ball (1.6 spg), blocked shots (1.0 bpg) and shot over 50% from the field.

But how many players like James are there in the league? Two? Three?

The second way to find an NBA fantasy stud is to look for the perfect combination of up-tempo player with an up-tempo coach.

The theory is as simply as it is obvious. Teams which play an up-tempo game, give your player more opportunities to shot, rebound, assist, etc.

For example, compare the run-and-gun Golden State Warriors with a team like the Portland Trail Blazers. If you look at the 2009-10 final statistics, the Warriors took 7,094 shots last season while the Trail Blazers took just 6,453. That means that the Golden State roster took 641 more shots than Portland. More shots equal more points and assists, or if the shots don't go in, more rebound opportunities.

Below you will find the four best player-coach combinations. Together, they get 100% of the player's potential and that means 100% of his fantasy value.

Stephen Curry -- Don Nelson

Curry's overall rookie numbers were good, but they were particularly exciting if you look at the post All-Star break statistics when he had settled into his role. After the break Curry averaged 22.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 7.7 apg while shooting 44% from three-point range and over 90% from the line. Looking at an NBA statistics page, I can find no other players who put up a combination of numbers like that.

Kevin Durant scored more and rebounded a little better, but he didn't shoot the "three" as well or hand out assists at the rate Curry did. James exceeds Curry in points, rebound and assists, but isn't as good a shooter from the line or from the arc. Neither is Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade or Monta Ellis. In fact, Curry's second half numbers are probably most similar to Dirk Nowitzki's statistics. Each of the above players mentioned is a first-round pick.

And Curry was just a 22-year-old rookie. With run-and-gun coach Nelson still on the bench, Curry's statistics figure to go higher over the next few years.

Amare' Stoudemire -- Mike D'Antoni

D'Antoni coached the Phoenix Suns from 2003 through May of 2008 and during that time Stoudemire became a true fantasy stud. D'Antoni's "seven seconds-or- less" offense helped Stoudemire increase his statistics from a mediocre 13.5 ppg, 8.8 rpg guy to a fantasy stud who averaged more than 20 ppg and in two seasons more than 25 ppg. Assuming new point guard Ray Felton can get him the ball, Stoudemire could be in line to hit that magic 25 points-a-night plateau.

Carmelo Anthony -- George Karl

Anthony finished third in scoring last season (behind Kevin Durant and James) and heads into a contract year. With rumors that the Knicks would like to pair him with Stoudemire floating about, "Melo" should think long and hard before leaving the crisp mountain air of Colorado. In Denver, Anthony already plays for the third-highest scoring team in the league and unlike New York, they also win a lot of games. The Nuggets have two good point guards in Chauncey Billups and Ty Lawson and not much scoring on the front line which makes Anthony a consistent scoring machine. Despite that, if Anthony opts to play for D'Antoni in New York next season, it's unlikely that his numbers would take much of a hit.

Steve Nash -- Alvin Gentry

When Gentry, who was an assistant under D'Antoni, replaced Terry Porter as head coach of the Phoenix Suns, he returned the team to it's up-tempo ways. They finished with a 54-28 record and led the league in scoring at 110.23 ppg. The run-and-gun system wouldn't work without someone of Nash's caliber in control. Nash has led the league in assists in four of the last six seasons, including 2009, and has never averaged less than 15.7 ppg in a Suns uniform. He also shoots over 40% from three-point range and shoots over 90% from the free throw line. It's hard to imagine a system where Nash could be better than this one.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at

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