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Not much surprising Thursday, as the Lakers and Cavs both won on the road.  For a while, it looked like the Suns might be able to pull a win but no.  I think the coffin has been nailed shut, wheeled out, and thrown into the Grand Canyon now.

Thursday’s best: Nobody else but LeBron James.  It’s his third triple-double in as many games, as he went for 34 points, 10 boards, and 13 dimes with 3 steals and 3 blocks.  Is there any real question who the MVP is right now?

Thursday’s worst:
The Phoenix Suns.  It’s a sad time in Phoenix, let me tell you.  It’s over.  Gone.  Done for.  And maybe now I’ll stop talking about the Suns for the rest of the season.  I want to.

Keep an eye on: The Suns bench.  Now that it’s obvious they’re toast, we may see some Robin Lopez and Goran Dragic action.  Just sayin’.

What to watch for Friday:  A pretty large docket Friday, with some pretty crappy games.  The best is probably Dallas at Golden State.  Hey, what else do you want me to say when there are gems like Knicks-Timberwolves and Bulls-76ers?  Pacers-Hawks might be worth watching.  Maybe.


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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.


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Another Thursday, another crappy couple games.  The first game put me to sleep, and well, even my own team couldn’t wake me up in the second game.  With two games, there’s pretty slim pickens for the day’s best, but here it is…

Thursday’s best: Lamar Odom.  He had 23 points, 9 boards, and 4 assists with 3 blocks, but the impressive part was him going 11-12 from the field.  The Lakers shot 54%, the Suns played without Steve Nash, and the Lakers won by 26.  Go figure.

Thursday’s worst: You know what, this isn’t exactly a horrible line, but it’s a bad game for this guy.  And with two games on Thursday, he wins (or loses).  LeBron James.  Why?  I mean the guy had 21 points.  Well, he had zero assists and one rebound.  No wonder the Cavs looked awful.

Keep an eye on: Anderson Varejao.  Pretty nasty injury tonight to Ben Wallace, and he could miss some time.  Andy V will get those minutes and produce.  He might be worth a gamble in deep leagues.  Grab him now before people start to wake up.

What to watch for Friday: A few really good games worth watching if you can.  The Cavs take on the Spurs in Texas, and the Lakers travel to Denver for the second game of a back-to-back.  And… wait for it… a little bit longer… it’s coming… THE CLIPPERS AND THE KINGS!!  I mean, it’s an even matchup…


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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?


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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.


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Only two games tonight, and of course one was the lovely snoozefest the NBA calls Spurs/Pistons.  It was actually a good game, but I was happy enough watching the last two minutes, as I’m sure most people would be.  The Celtics/Jazz game was pretty good too, pretty close throughout.  Let me say, the Jazz look good.  They stayed composed and when they get healthy, they’ll be scary.  If I’m the Lakers or Spurs, I’m hoping they climb the standings.

Thursday’s best: Not a whole lot of impressive lines.  Could have gone with Timmy Duncan’s 18 points and 18 boards, but it was on some pretty shotty shooting (7-19).  Instead, we’ll give it to Allen Iverson, who went for 31 points, 3 boards, 7 dimes, a steal, and a block on 13-28 shooting.  Not too shabby on an otherwise unimpressive night around the league.

Thursday’s worst:  Gotta be Rip Hamilton.  He got 34 minutes off the bench in which he scored 4 points on 2-10 shooting.  Combined with Rodney Stuckey’s 2 points (although he did have 8 assists), a bad night from Rip did the Pistons in.

Keep an eye on:  Kevin Garnett’s injury and Gabe Pruitt. KG went down just before halftime with a “sprained knee.”  At the time of writing this, it’s pretty cloudy just how bad it is, but if he misses any time on this road trip, the Cavs could find themselves on top in the East.  With Tony Allen’s injury, Pruitt will get some extra burn.  He wasn’t extremely effective Thursday, but keep an eye out.

What to watch for tomorrow: Toronto at New York could be pretty exciting and high scoring.  The new-look Bulls take on a good Nuggets team in Chicago, so we’ll see if they’re really any good with Brad Miller and John Salmons.  And on national TV, the Hornets visit the Lakers.  Should be a doozy.


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What a day Tuesday was.  Let me tell you, there were some crazy lines.  One stood above the rest.  Way above.  One could say it was… super.  And there was no green substance anywhere to be found…

Tuesday’s best: Let me start off saying there was a triple-double Tuesday.  It was Pau Gasol (12 points, 13 rebounds, 12 assists).  However, it was CLEARLY the second-best line.  The winner?  Superman himself, Dwight Howard.  All he did was score a career-best 45 points to go along with 19 boards and 8 blocks.  Two blocks short of one of the more impressive triple-doubles I’ve ever seen in my life.  Not only that, he was an uncharacteristic 13-18 from the line (72%) and 16-23 (70%) from the field.  Sorry Pau, Dwight just blew your triple-double out of the water.

Tuesday’s worst: Zach Randolph.  The former Jail Blazer played under 12 minutes because he felt it necessary to throw a punch at Louis Amundson.  I mean seriously, I was there, and we went to a boxing match and a basketball game broke out.  The plus side for Zach?  His +/- was only -13, compared to Eric Gordon’s -45 and Ricky Davis’ -42.

Keep an eye on: Amundson.  Sure, it was a blowout.  But Lou was the first guy off the bench under new coach Alvin Gentry and played 20 solid minutes, scoring 13 and pulling down 8 boards with the team’s lone block.  If he gets 20 minutes a game, which he could easily under a new coach, he’s worth a look in 12-16 team leagues where you need a big.

What to watch for tomorrow: Shawn Marion plays his first game as the Cavaliers travel to take on the Raptors.  Keep an eye on how many points the Raptors score, especially if Chris Bosh plays.  Dwight could go off again against New Orleans, who traded their best defensive big today.  And Devin Harris comes back to Dallas, where Vince Carter trade rumors are abound.  Could be semi-interesting.


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Well, look at that.  A few upsets.  WE HAVE PARITY IN THE LEAGUE!  Toronto beat San Antonio, Utah beat the Lakers.  Denver also beat Orlando at home, and was up pretty big at one point.  And that battle of up-and-coming teams we alluded to yesterday?  The better team in the current won quite easily.  But let’s jump into some lines.

Wednesday’s best: Mo Williams: 44 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds, 4 steals, and 600 three-pointers made.  Ok, only 7.  Yeah, he must have heard some people STILL complaining about his All-Star credentials and decided he’d go nuts.  I saw this game, and he was making some incredible shots.  And this folks, is why the Cleveland Cavaliers will win the Larry O’Brien Trophy.  Did I just say that?  In February?  Yep.  You heard it here first.

Honorable mention to Ramon Sessions and his 17 dimes.  Wow.

Wednesday’s worst: Mike Bibby and his whopping 5 points and 4 dimes on top of 3 turnovers.  Somehow the Hawks still topple the Pistons.  Things are bad in Detroit.

Keep an eye on: The Phoenix Suns.  They lost to the Cavs tonight in their last game before their break, and probably their last game with this roster.  Keep an eye on things because here’s something scary: Steve Nash sat out.  It was various aches and pains, and whatever else.  Yeah, yeah.  What worries me is that he didn’t sit on the bench.  Apparently he was in the locker room.  Implosion pending…

What to watch for tomorrow: I wonder if anyone will actually try tomorrow.  What a tough day to be a coach, when half your team is double-checking its tee times or RSVPing for parties in Phoenix.  Good thing there’s only three games, but two are semi-interesting.  The Celtics stop in Dallas on their way to the All-Star Game, and Portland takes on Golden State.  That second game would be fun to watch, but somehow it’s not the TNT game.  Oh well.


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It’s that time of year again!  No, not Single’s Awareness Day.  No, not the All-Star Break.  It’s that magical time that inevitable occurs every year when seemingly every relevant baller gets hurt.  It’s here in full effect, and let me tell ya, it sucks.  Here we go again…

Elton Brand
This just broke this afternoon.  This morning, it was a day-to-day sprained shoulder.  Now, it’s season-ending surgery.  Sweeeeet.  Yesterday ESPN reported that an MRI showed it was healing, too.  So who steps up?  Reggie Evans baby.  He’s long been a favorite of mine in fantasy, and with even 25 minutes we could see double digit rebounds often.  Go grab him now before everyone else catches on.  Marreese Speights should get a little extra burn too, and could be worth a look if you’re desperate.  Brand is probably safe to cut, but it might be smart to wait another day or two to make sure this is all definite.

Catch the rest of the recent injuries after the jump!

The Fig Cap: Yeah… how’s that working out for ya?

Click to continue reading Injury Bug Bites, And It Hurts


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Happy belated new year! Yours truly is way overdue for a post. Drive safely if you leave in a snowy region today.

I took a peak at the standings in the paper today. The season has just passed the one-third mark and there are some intriguing playoff scenarios. Obviously a lot of ball still needs to be played, but check out the match-ups if the playoffs started today. Like last year, on paper the match-ups in the West sizzle, while the East still looks top-heavy.

Click to continue reading Current Playoff Scenarios


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