Posted by Brandon Haraway Categories: Disses, Props, Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Atlanta Hawks, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Washington Wizards, New Orleans Hornets, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns
Wednesday was somewhat eventful, at least in terms of real basketball. Utah had their 12-game winning streak snapped in Atlanta, Miami upset the Celtics, and the Knicks took down the Pistons on the road in overtime. It’s worth noting that Dwyane Wade had a poor shooting night, but still willed his team to a big win over the Celtics, something that I said yesterday he’d need to do before I seriously put him in my personal MVP race. Well, in my books, he’s number two right now right behind LeBron James. Sorry Kobe.
Wednesday’s best: Chris Paul for sure. He had a triple-double, posting 30 points, 10 rebounds, and 13 assists, along with 4 steals in a comeback win over the Wizards. If only the Hornets could get their you-know-what together, Paul would be right in the thick of the MVP race.
Wednesday’s worst: Oh Ben Gordon, why must you tease us? After posting 43 points Monday, he shoots 1-10 for 4 big points in a big loss at Orlando. How you go from 8-11 from three point range Monday to 0-1 Wednesday blows my mind. Explain it to me Bulls fans. I dare you to try.
Keep an eye on: Never thought I’d say this, but… JJ Redick? He’s been getting some minutes in the last two games (30 Monday and 21 Wednesday) and has averaged 11 in those two. But where you might find use for him is while streaming in the playoffs. He could be good for an assured three a gamewith the right minutes if you’re in a deep league or the wire is thin.
What to watch for Thursday: TNT Thursday features Lakers at Spurs followed by Cavaliers at Suns (a game I wish I was going to). The first will be typical Lakers/Spurs, and the second will be… a blowout. I’m poredicting a big game for A) Mo Williams, B) LeBron James, or C) both of them.
Another ho-hum Thursday on TNT saw the streaking Hornets beat Dallas and keep the 8th spot insecure and Denver win at home against the (still) Greg Oden-less Trailblazers. Of course, pickens are always slim Thursdays, but one line stood out above all.
Thursday’s best: Gotta go with Chris Paul. He had 27 points, 4 rebounds, and 15 assists. More importantly, another win for the Hornets, their sixth in a row. This win gives them the four seed, and for now, home court in at least the first round.
Thursday’s worst: We’ll go with Josh Howard, for sitting out the second half. Certainly isn’t his fault, but that doesn’t mean it won’t hurt fantasy owners. He still managed to jack up 10 shots (missing 7) in 18 first half minutes. Not good news.
Keep an eye on: JR Smith, who started Thursday. This is one of those guys you always look at and say “wow, he got the short end of the straw being on his coach’s bad side.” If he starts, 3 threes per game are possible. But he likely won’t keep starting as long as George Karl is his coach.
What to watch for Friday: We’re at the point where about half or more of the games on a nightly basis are interesting for playoff implications. But one Friday night matchup stands above all else: Cleveland at Boston. Oh yeah baby.
Posted by Brandon Haraway Categories: Disses, Props, Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, New Orleans Hornets, San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets, Portland Trailblazers, Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns
Wednesday saw Shaquille O’Neal’s return to Miami, a battle of streaking Western playoff teams, a battle for Texas, and two teams clinch playoff spots. Yep, it’s March, and it’s exciting.
Wednesday’s best: Of course it was Dwyane Wade. I think his name is permanently in this spot now. Seriously, dude is unreal. It seems every team with a star guard torches the Suns like this. Wade had 35 points, 6 rebounds, 16 dimes, a steal, a block, and a couple threes. Nice. Oh yeah, the Heat won too.
Wednesday’s worst: Luke Ridnour. 0-7 from the field? That’s enough to land you in this section. No wonder the Bucks lost by 18.
Keep an eye on: Daequan Cook. He erupted for 27 points on 6 threes. Performances like this might earn him more minutes. He randomly got 36 in this game, and with more minutes, he might be worth looking at for some threes in deep leagues. Just not yet though.
What to watch for Thursday: It’s the worst day of the week for basketball, but at least it’s two decent games. The Hornets take on Dallas in Big D, and the Blazers travel to the Mile High City to face Denver. Of course, the best part of Thursday nights is the TNT show, we all know that.
Posted by Brandon Haraway Categories: Disses, Props, Boston Celtics, New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Indiana Pacers, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns
Looking over the box scores, something jumped out and screamed “HOLY MOTHER OF PEARL, IS THAT A TYPO?” Those Celtics who looked even better without Kevin Garnett lost to… the Clippers. Wow. The Clipper that lost by 40 a week ago. They beat the defending champs. Wow. Maybe Brian Scalabrine is the MVP of that team?
Wednesday’s best: Very tough to pick one, so we’ll pick two. Tony Parker had another great game, with 39 points, 5 rebounds, and 9 assists, with just one turnover. Devin Harris also had a great game (seriously, dude is on fire right now) with 42 points, 4 rebounds, and 6 assists. He also was 11-11 from the line and had 3 threes made. It would be unfair to also not to mention Dwight Howard’s 24 points, 21 rebounds, and 4 blocks.
Wednesday’s worst: Jared Jeffries. I’m a big D’Antoni guy, but seriously, why is he starting? What do the Knicks benefit by having him in there? I saw some of the Pacers game Tuesday, and this guy is a waste of a roster spot. Tonight he went off to the tune of… zero points, zero rebounds, zero ANYTHING besides his one block and five fouls. In 17 minutes.
Keep an eye on: Goran Dragic. Steve Nash is a game-time decision tomorrow, and if he misses some time, Dragic is your guy. He’s played well under new coach Alvin Gentry, and even if Nash does play, he should see increased minutes while Nash gets a little more rest than usual for that bum ankle.
What to watch for Thursday: It’s a TNT Thursday, which honestly kind of sucks. Cleveland and Houston might be a good game. Might be. The Lakers will likely stomp all over the Suns, especially if Nash doesn’t play. Oh well, what can we really expect from a two-game Thursday schedule?
Tuesday brought a few news items. Mikki Moore signed with the Celtics, making him an interesting guy to look at, especially if he’s out there in deeper leagues. Stephon Marbury was bought out in New York, which is a good thing for all parties involved. It looks like he may be headed to Boston as well. What remains to be seen is if he plays the Sam Cassell role, or a semi-significant role, as the main PG behind Rajon Rondo. Keep an eye on that.
Tuesday’s best: Dwyane Wade. We talk about this guy a lot don’t we? He went off for 31 points, 7 rebounds, and 16 assists. He made 8-9 from the line and 11-20 from the field too. The 6 turnovers kinda hurts, but oh well. I’ll take it.
Tuesday’s worst: OJ Mayo. Juice had just 7 points, 2 rebounds, and 6 assists. That’s not TOO bad but he did go 3-11 from the field (1-6 from three) and turned the ball over 4 times. Definitely not typical for the Juice Man.
Keep an eye on: Daniel Gibson. He broke out of his funk to the tune of 19 points, including 3 threes. That’s about it, but that’s all you’d need him for. He’s worth watching because if he gets hot, he’s got value for sure.
What to watch for Wednesday: Close to a full slate Wednesday. Watch Boston, and how they use Leon Powe against a team with an inside presence and with Brian Scalabrine’s sudden neck injury. I doubt Mikki Moore will be with the team, but who knows. San Antonio hosting Portland should be a good one as well.
Posted by Brandon Haraway Categories: Disses, Props, Rumors, Boston Celtics, New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets, Portland Trailblazers, Utah Jazz
Not much surprising Monday in terms of box score, but before you read on, please go watch this. You’ll see why in a second.
Monday’s best: Did you watch it? Wow. The line Devin Harris put up tonight: 39 points, 2 rebounds, 8 assists, 5 threes, 2 steals, a block, 11-22 from the field, and 12-14 from the line. Also worth mentioning was the line Nate Robinson was putting up at the same time across town. KryptoNate went off for 41 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 threes, 2 steals, 11-18 FG, and 15-19 from the line. Couple more points, rebounds instead of assists, one fewer three and block, but better FG%. Pretty close, but not much tops that shot from Harris.
Monday’s worst: Chauncey Billups. No wonder the Nuggets got bulldozed by the defending champs. In 34 minutes, Billups had 3 points, 5 assists, and 4 turnovers. He was 1-8 from the field and ended up a team low -38 at the end of it all.
Keep an eye on: The Utah Jazz. They got Carlos Boozer back tonight, and they’re playing good ball. Now they have a purpose, and with the West so tight, they could really climb that ladder. They are a scary team for sure.
What to watch for Tuesday: Two good games will be Mavericks/Spurs and Portland/Houston. No Greg Oden vs. Yao Ming, but oh well. Also, word has it that Mikki Moore is signing with the Celtics tomorrow. He’d be worth a pickup probably, at least if you have the spot to spare. Interestingly, Mike D’Antoni will miss practice Tuesday to attend an arbitration hearing for Stephon Marbury. Might the Celtics be interested in him as well if the meeting spurs a buyout? Hm…
Posted by Brandon Haraway Categories: Props, Talent, Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors, Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, Portland Trailblazers, Utah Jazz, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns
Three games on national TV today was nice. Delonte West was back and torched the Pistons, the Celtics figured out maybe Kevin Garnett isn’t all that important, and the Raptors got even with the Knicks. But without further adieu…
Sunday’s best: No disrespect to Dwyane Wade’s 50 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists, but I’m giving this to Rajon Rondo. What a player. He went for 32 points, 6 rebounds, and 10 dimes, on top of 3 steals, a three, and some stellar shooting in a road win against the streaking Suns. It’s pretty scary when someone outside the Big Three is playing this well. Oh yeah, and Steve Blake had 14 assists in one quarter. He only finished with 17 though. Only.
Sunday’s worst: Grant Hill. In 30 minutes, just 8 points on 2-7 shooting, and here’s the real dagger: 4-7 from the line. He’s shooting 82% on the season, and this probably lost somebody in fantasyland a win for the week. Extremely unimpressive line for that many minutes, and we have to wonder if that injury he suffered Friday is kind of a big deal.
Keep an eye on:DeAndre Jordan. Dude went for 15 and 12 with 3 blocks. He’s worth grabbing in deep leagues for sure.
What to watch for Monday: Monday is a fairly bland day around the league. Carlos Boozer is expected to play Monday, so plug him in for sure, just don’t expect too much. Keep your eyes peeled to that Clippers/Warriors box score to see if Jordan gets some minutes and continues to break out.
Good to see the Jazz win tonight, in what had to be a big emotional boost for that organization and city. I’m a Suns fan, you know I’m not exactly rooting for the Jazz, but I gotta say, it was good to see them win this game. Another note: Oklahoma City has a really bright future. I saw them in person Friday, and then in the second half of a back-to-back, they played really well. See: Saturday’s best.
Saturday’s best: Tie between Russel Westbrook and Jeff Green. Man what a great young team. Seriously. If they don’t land a big name free agent in 2010, it’ll be shame because they could go places with another superstar. Westbrook had 31 points, 5 rebounds, 11 assists, and a steal. Green went off for 27 points, 15 boards, and 6 dimes. He did have 7 turnovers, which prevented him from taking home the title all to himself for today.
Saturday’s worst: Mike James. After a few strong games, he fails to score in 26 minutes, missing all 6 shots. He’s got Javaris Crittenton breathing down his back, but even he had a bad game, scoreless in 18 minutes. No shocker that the Wiz got blown out by the Spurs.
Keep an eye on: James Singleton. Who? Yeah, I dunno. What I do know is that he scored 19 points and grabbed 12 boards with a couple steals and a block tonight. That’s something worth watching.
What to watch for tomorrow: Boston at Phoenix is the best game on the docket. Two teams without their best player, and we’ll see how the Suns adjust to not being able to score 140 on a weak team. Worth watching on national TV at least.
Posted by Brandon Haraway Categories: Disses, Props, Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, New Orleans Hornets, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Seattle Supersonics, Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns
Friday night was something special. We saw an epic battle between the Lakers and Hornets, in which Chris Paul fouling out might have cost the Hornets a big upset, yet another 140-point outburst by the Suns, and one of the truly amazing single performances in recent years by none other than LeBron James. I really hope you got to see at least part of one of these games.
Friday’s best: LeBron takes the cake here, and it’s not close. The man scored 16 points in less than three minutes at the beginning of the third quarter. He finished with 55 points, 5 rebounds, 9 assists, and 8 threes. About half of those threes were at least a couple feet behind the line. Truly amazing. But let’s not look past Paul’s 21 points, 5 rebounds, 16 dimes, and 4 steals and Leandro Barbosa’s career-high 41 points (on 16-21 shooting!), 7 rebounds, 7 assists, and 6 steals. Two extremely outstanding lines that would easily top most other nights. Oh, and Randy Foye had 36 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 4 steals too.
Friday’s worst: Peja Stojakovic. He had 5 points on 2-11 shooting (1-8 beyond the arc) in 29 minutes. If he had connected on just a couple more shots, the short-handed Hornets would have taken down the mighty Lakers in Hollywood… oh well. He’s just so inconsistent, it has to be maddening for his owners.
Keep an eye on: The Chicago Bulls. Big win tonight at home against the Nuggets, in the first game after acquiring Brad Miller and John Salmons... and they didn’t even play. Maybe it was a big chemistry booster. Maybe they can make noise in the playoffs. Maybe they should try to climb a few spots and get out of facing the Celtics or Cavs in the first round.
What to watch for tomorrow: The best game on the docket tomorrow is easily New Orleans at Utah. One team coming off a pretty tough loss tonight in OT traveling to play a team in an emotional turbulent time, toppling the defending champs Thursday and losing their owner and influential Utah man Larry H. Miller. Should be a pretty interesting game, and definitely an emotional one for the Jazz and their fans. I wish Miller’s family and the community to best as they recover from this tough loss.
In an awful turn of events, the biggest news on deadline day and it’s aftermath happened to be two massive injuries that are sure to handicap two teams and a lot more fantasy teams.
First of all, Kevin Garnett went down Thursday against the Jazz. He seemed to tweak his knee going up for an alley-oop and made sure not to land on it. After hobbling his way off the court, he went to the locker room, and later came out to warm up for the second half. According to Cheryl Miller at the game, he wanted to play, but was told not to. Now he has been sent back to Boston for an MRI and will miss the rest of the Celtics’ West Coast road trip. Stephen A. Smith reported the Celtics are estimating it could be four weeks, although no official word has been out. Expect Leon Powe to start and produce. This may also intensify the Celtics reported talks with recently-waived Mikki Moore.
The first team the Celtics will face without KG, the Suns, have taken what could end up being a bigger blow. Currently 9th in the West and out of the playoff picture, the Suns lost Amar’e Stoudemire for eight weeks or more with a detached retina suffered in Wednesday’s blowout against the Clippers. It’s an odd injury and could sideline him longer than eight weeks when all is said and done, which would probably put Phoenix in the lottery. For now, it appears Louis Amundson will start, and on Tuesday in the first blowout against the Clippers, Lou scored 13 and ripped 8 boards with a block in 20 minutes. Given the minutes, Amundson could be pretty valuable, so I suggest grabbing him. Matt Barnes could also start, but that’s probably unlikely, even with the new running style offense.
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