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Sunday February 17, 2008 4:04 am

Beyond the Arc: Week 17

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Well, the week is over, so hopefully everyone won their matchups.  Short weeks can either be a good pick-me-up if you need some wins, or a very bad ordeal if you have a good team that lost to an inferior one due to games played.

Let me preface this All-Star edition by saying I truly hope The Big Easy pulls this off. It’s probably going to be a big factor in whether basketball stays in New Orleans. Sadly, with the attendance figures down there, it’s looking like a negative. But I think if they can pull off a great All-Star Weekend, that may change. One can only hope.

The Fig Cap: The hometown All-Star came up short in the three-point shootout, but didn’t the rest of the week.

Here’s the schedule for the upcoming week (2/18-2/24):

Four games: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trailblazers, Sacramento Kings, Seattle Supersonics
Three games:  Charlotte Bobcats, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Jersey Nets, New Orleans Hornets, Phoenix Suns, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards
Two games: Miami Heat

HOT

After he carried his team past a surprisingly pesky Cavaliers team with a 46-point effort on Wednesday, I think it’s safe to say Manu Ginobili had the best week. They were King-like numbers: 30.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 6.8 apg, 3 spg, and 5 threes made on 56% from the field. Oh yeah, and his Spurs are hot. Finally.

Another guy lit it up from “Beyond the Arc” this week: Peja Stojakovic.  He was my early season sleeper, and he’s been up and down, but at least he hasn’t been hurt much. How about 24 ppg including 5 threes made per game?  I bet you wish you had grabbed that in the latter third of your draft.

Jose Calderon is turning into an elite PG. Last week, he had 18.8 ppg and 10.5 apg. He’s obviously supplanted TJ Ford as the Raptors’ PG of the future. You have to sort of feel bad for Ford, but who can argue those numbers? Calderon also shot 71% from the field.

I guess we should mention LeBron James here, right? He went for 31 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 7.3 apg, and 1.8 spg on 51% shooting from the field and a very positive 81% from the line. Come on LeBron, let’s see that FT% in the 80s every week.

Let’s dig a bit deeper with Rafer Alston. Over the last week, Skip to my Lou recorded 6.3 apg to go along with 16.7 ppg.  A lot of people drafted him way back when with high hopes, and it’s looking good right now.  We’ll see if he can keep it up.

COLD

How is it that Josh Smith ends up in this column every week on one side or the other? This week, he was a very average 14 ppg and 5.5 rpg. You have to be able to count on him for more than that. The 1+ steals and blocks were nice, but you may want to deal him if you are looking for consistency.

In a weak class, our Rookie of the Year is falling on horrible times. Kevin Durant should be the biggest weapon in that offense, the go-to guy, the volume shooter. The volume part may be right, but he needs to start finding the bottom of the bucket.  He shot 31% last week for just 14 ppg.

Al Jefferson also had an off week. Much like the problems (they’ve definitely been rectified) that Dwight Howard was having, Jefferson’s rebound totals are way down lately. Over the last week, he averaged just 9.5 on poor shooting for a center.

Maybe it’s because of all the trade talk, but Richard Jefferson’s numbers were way down last week as well - including scoring.  He put up just 17.5 ppg with less than six boards on 39% shooting. We will have to see what happens with him and Vince Carter if this Jason Kidd deal does go down.

Randy Foye is back. Well, not really. That is, unless you like 10.3 ppg and 2.3 apg. He has been shooting horribly from the field, and in his eight games this year is averaging less than 22 minutes per game. With the great start by Sebastian Telfair, we may see Foye eventually moved to another team.

INJURY REPORT

Kobe Bryant is the big news with a sprained finger.  He opted for no surgery, but may miss some time.  Keep an eye out for any new news, as this just broke on Thursday.

The Mavs’ Josh Howard has a lower back contusion. Like with most day-to-day players, you can expect him back after the break (hopefully).

Gerald Wallace says his foot is feeling better, so it’s almost a given that he comes back for the very first game after the break.

Caron Butler is still out and won’t be playing in this weekend’s All-Star Game. You can expect him back soon after the break, most likely.

Enjoy the festivities!

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