Posted by Brandon Haraway Categories: Disses, Props, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Atlanta Hawks, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, New Orleans Hornets, San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets, Portland Trailblazers, Seattle Supersonics, Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns
Happy St. Patty’s Day! I really wish I was a Thunder fan. They really impress me. They played really well without Kevin Durant, showing great ball movement and some of the best teamwork we’ve seen in the NBA this year. Then tonight, they beat the Spurs. They’ve now beat San Antonio, Dallas, Utah, Portland, and Detroit this year. That’s not too shabby when early on, some people though they might break the all-time loss record.
Monday’s best: It was a pretty slow night, and our award goes to Chris Paul. His Hornets lost at home, but he ended up with 29 points, 6 rebounds, 11 assists, and 6 steals. His 11-11 from the line wasn’t to bad either.
Monday’s worst: Tyson Chandler. He played 38 minutes! How you play that many minutes as the second best player on your team and score 4 points is beyond me. Only 7 boards too. I didn’t watch the game or anything, but maybe this is why they lost?
Keep an eye on: The Hornets and a possible bad end-of-season scenario. They’re clearly playing bad ball, losing 3 of 5, including losses at Atlanta and Chicago. The rest of March is a cakewalk for them besides Denver, but in April they get Utah, Phoenix, and Dallas at home, and Miami, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio on the road. They’re only a game and a half ahead of the 8 seed, and while I don’t think they’ll miss the playoffs at all, a couple more losses in March could severely hurt their seed and put them dangerously close to the lottery…
What to watch for Tuesday: Magic at Cavaliers is a good game on NBATV. Pistons at Mavs should be a good one too, and is a big game for Dallas as things suddenly got interesting again at the bottom of the Western playoff picture this weekend.
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.
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, Toronto Raptors, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks, Charlotte Bobcats, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Hornets, San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings
On Tuesday, the Pistons kept their hot streak going, as Chauncey Billups returned to The Palace, dropped 34, and still lost. Don’t look now…
Tuesday’s best: Not a whole lot of overly-impressive lines Tuesday night, but Troy Murphy takes home today’s award. His line: 23 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 threes, 2 steals, 2 blocks as he led the Pacers to a win over the Kings.
Tuesday’s worst: John Salmons. Dude, Luol Deng is hurt. You’re supposed to go back to being that fantasy stud you used to be. This scrub played 33 minutes in the Bulls’ loss to Charlotte and scored 9 points on 4-13 shooting. SCRUB!!
Keep an eye on: The East playoff race. The 15th team (Toronto) is only 5.5 games back, and two teams (Indiana and Charlotte) look awfully good right now and keep climbing the standings. It’s gonna be a fun month.
What to watch for Wednesday: Cleveland hosts Milwaukee (remember what LeBron James did to the Deer the last time they played), Dwyane Wade lights up Phoenix (like every other team, just bigger), San Antonio plays Dallas on ESPN (and probably runs them out of the arena), and last but NOT least… the Grizzlies play the Clippers!
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: 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.
In a deal expected to be finalized Friday afternoon, the Miami Heat traded Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks to the Toronto Raptors for Jermaine O’Neal and Jamario Moon.
Has a guy ever been traded hours after hitting a game-winner? Well he has now.
Anyways, this trade better suits the Heat’s system, and fulfills Pat Riley’s desire for a big. But for Toronto, it makes them a legitimate playoff team. At the moment, they are second-to-last in the East, but only four games out of a playoff spot. This gives them a trio of Jose Calderon, Marion, and Chris Bosh that might be capable of going on a tear and making some noise.
As far as fantasy goes, one has to assume Marion’s numbers go up. We’ll likely see Bosh play some center and Marion play at the four, because behind O’Neal, was Jake Voskuhl on the depth chart. Winners here are Marion, Jason Kapono, and Joey Graham. They’ll be picking up Moon’s minutes plus some of the minutes created by the shifting around of Bosh to center.
On the Miami side, not much should change. They basically had no center, so this helps there. Michael Beasley might get some more minutes, and it remains to be seen if Moon starts. If not, Beasley would likely get the nod. This effectively kills any value that Jamaal Magloire and Joel Anthony had in deep leagues.
I’m predicting some noise made by Toronto…
Posted by Brandon Haraway Categories: Disses, Props, Rookies, Talent, Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trailblazers, Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns
Thursday actually turned out to be a real good basketball day. In the three games, a last second Shawn Marion dunk pushed the Heat past the Bulls, the Celts had to outscore the Mavericks by 13 to win in the 4th, and the Warriors just about threw away a game that should have been locked up halfway through the 4th. Let me say this. Jamal Crawford’s shot selection is awful. Oh, and Monta Ellis can ball. Dude is legit.
Thursday’s best: Easy one here. Rajon Rondo baby. His line: 19 points, 15 rebounds, 14 assists, and a steal on 9-14 shooting. That’s right kiddies, his second career trip-doub. Good enough for me. At the same time, I’m inclined to drive down to US Airways Center first thing Friday morning and slap Robert Sarver upside his greedy little face.
Thursday’s worst: Luol Deng. Who can figure this guy out? He’s really struggling overall this year, with some really good streaks and some really awful streaks. Stuff like this makes me really believe that the Bulls are cursed. This is the guy John Paxson refused to trade for KOBE BRYANT. His line? A studly 6 points, 3 boards, 1 dime. Nice, dude. Nice.
Keep an eye on: Golden State. Something tells me they’ve got a trade up their sleeve. And a good deal can really let them make some noise. I know, they’re 12 games out of the playoffs. But if Phoenix blows things up, they’re sitting in 9th. It’s not too crazy to imagine, and they look like they might be heating up.
What to watch for tomorrow: The Rookie Challenge! What an awful game this usually is (besides the two LeBron James/Dwyane Wade/Carmelo Anthony years). But hey, it’s a basketball game with no defense. Sort of like watching the Knicks play themselves in scrimmage. Except there’s a little bit of talent in the rookie/sophomore game.
I’ll still bringing you this column all weekend, taking a look into the All-Star festivities. Aren’t you just lucky.
A flurry of trade rumors have surfaced recently with the deadline now just less than two weeks away. That being said, let’s take a look at some of the newer and more credible rumors and what they may mean to your fantasy team.
Oh boy, where do we start here? He’s rumored to be going anywhere from New York to Detroit to Toronto to Portland to Chicago. Various outlets have reported GM Steve Kerr’s willingness to deal anyone on the team not born in Canada. Besides STAT, Shaquille O’Neal is also rumored to be on the block (along with the whole team), but chances are even his All-Star season can’t make up for the contract he’s carrying around. While possible, that seems a little less likely.
The Fig Cap: What jersey will he be wearing on Opening Day?
Posted by Alvin Lai Categories: NBA Playoffs, Boston Celtics, New Jersey Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks, Atlanta Hawks, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, New Orleans Hornets, San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets, Portland Trailblazers, Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns
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.
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