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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. 


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On a day in which a semi-, kinda-, a-little-bit-significant deal was made (more on this below), one was also taken away.  The Bulls acquired Brad Miller and John Salmons in a deal also involving Drew Gooden and Andres Nocioni.  Why?  Well I’m not sure.  Nobody really is.  I guess they think they can compete in the playoffs.  Ok, please stop chuckling.

Wednesday’s best:  Today is a tie.  I just can’t decide. Dwyane Wade had 37 points, 4 rebounds, and 12 assists to go along with four steals and a block.  Well that’s nice.  But so way Amar’e Stoudemire’s 42 points and 11 boards on 15-20 shooting and 12-13 from the line.  That’s the kind of line that allows you some wiggle room in the FG% department for the rest of the week.

Wednesday’s worst:  Tyson Chandler.  Dude, you failed a physical.  It’s the middle of the season.  Now nobody knows what’s wrong with you, and the Hornets have to lie to you to make you feel welcome again.  In the beginning, they were excited to have Joe Smith and Chris Wilcox, and now they must have been doing it just for financial reasons, right?  You wasted a game for yourself and a few other dudes, and made your GM look silly.  I’m sorry, it’s kinda funny.

Keep an eye on: Spencer Hawes. He gains a lot from the trade today, and had a good game tonight.  He could definitely end up being a guy you look at keeping in some deeper leagues if you don’t have a lot of keeper-quality dudes.

What to watch for tomorrow:  Only two games tomorrow, and we all know how much of a snoozefest Detroit and San Antonio can be, and Utah will probably lose to Boston.  Ho-hum.  But guess what’s the most exciting part of tomorrow on TNT?  The Round Mound of Rebound is back.  I’m sure we’ll get to hear how “It was a turrible mistake Ernie, I really am a knucklehead.”  Must-see TV.


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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.


Mike Dunleavy, Corey BrewerNearly forgotten swingman Mike Dunleavy Jr. may be close to making a start for the Indiana Pacers.

After being sidelined for the entire season thus far with a knee injury, Dunleavy has started practicing and is up to a reported 20 minute sessions.  The next step is obviously going to be five-on-five contact drills, ensuring that the knee is alright and that Dunleavy himself is up to par from a conditioning standpoint.

Not that I expect a complete fall-off of the other Pacers, but this obviously means not-so-good things for other scoring options like Danny Granger and Marquis Daniels.  Daniels owners may want to start sticking some trade feelers out as he’s in line to take the biggest hit from the pending Dunleavy return.


Matt Bonner: Chuck Norris


Over his past six games, San Antonio’s Matt Bonner is quietly averaging 12 points, eight rebounds, and two three-point field goals made.  Add in his 80 percent free throw stroke, and deeper league teams looking for some small ball help may want to ginger up their roster. 

Superman wears Matt Bonner pajamas.


Josh Smith After missing a dozen games with an ankle injury, Hawks forward and all-around fantasy stud Josh Smith will be back in uniform for tonight’s game against Memphis.  Though, if you have him on your roster and have other options given all of tonight’s games, you may want to think twice about starting him.

“That’s the big emphasis right now is to try not to overdo it because I’m so excited to be back,” Smith said. “That’s just a part of listening to your body and knowing how many minutes your body can take the first night back. And I won’t lie, my body will have to tell me because in my mind, I want it all back right now.”

Click to continue reading This Should Help Your Blocks and Steals


Monta Ellis
There’s a Monta Ellis sighting in the free agent pick-ups this week. Ron Chow grabbed him for our main league, which is a 12-team daily transaction head-to-head league. Meanwhile Ron and I continue to lead the way in the experts league. This week we take on Dennis Velasco, though I say “take on” to be polite. His roster still includes Stephon Marbury, for goodness sake.

After the jump, check out the latest add/drops in leagues of various sizes.

Click to continue reading Exchange Center: Week 6


Russell Westbrook LayupIn one of my deeper leagues, I’m the proud owner of Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook.  Though I can rarely find a spot for him on my active roster, I’ve been a big fan of what the kid has been able to do thus far.  And while he’s not putting up OJ Mayo-like scoring numbers, SLAMOnline gets dirty with the numbers behind the scenes.

Through his first 14 games (this excludes the Thunder most recent game vs. Phoenix), Westbrook has been on the floor for 52 percent of the total minutes Oklahoma City has played. When comparing the team’s production per 100 possessions when the rookie is on the floor as opposed to when he is off the floor, the Thunder scored 10 more points and allowed 16 less points. That means for everyone 100 possessions that Westbrook was on the floor for those games the Thunder were at +25.9 when compared to the time that he was on the bench.

Factor in the point that this team is dreadful and Earl Watson isn’t exactly the point guard of the future, and I think this kid is going to have a huge second half for fantasy owners.  We could be looking at about 16/5/6 with about two steals a game.  If he can somehow increase those assist numbers even more, you’re looking at a Rajon Rondo with higher scoring.  We could all use something like that at the end of our bench.

Russell Westbrook: Playing Like The ROY? [SLAMOnline]


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Ron Chow and I continue to watch our team roll in our Dropping Dimes experts league. We have held on to our first place ranking with a 28-8 record. As for the other Dime droppers, Dennis Velasco and Brandon Haraway sit in playoff position, 5th and 6th place, respectively. Sarge and his squad have struggled and rank 12th in a 14-team league. Who’s the caboose thus far? Jon Loomer from NBA.com and his “Loomer’s Losers” have been, well, losing. His team has averaged a 6-3 loss in league play thus far.

I have been checking out waiver wire articles from various sites, and more often than not, every player listed was drafted or was picked up many days ago. Hopefully by listing the pick-ups from 10-, 12- and 14-team leagues, you can get the sense of what is happening around the fantasy world, and land some of these blue chip waiver wire players.

Click to continue reading Exchange Center: Week 5


JaVale McGeeOkay, maybe not all, but if you can afford to stash a high-upside center on your bench…do it.

In a 12-team league where I have a considerably deep bench, last week, I added JaVale McGee with hopes of more double-double love.  I’m considering it in another league that is a bit more shallow, with the only hurdle being who to drop.  And now that we have the words Sports Illustrated and GMTR, it’s looking like the radar has officially received a new blip.  And that blip is a seven-foot tall kid with the wingspan of a pterodactyl. 

B-Ref shows his 36-minute numbers to provide a very solid 15 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks with 52.2 percent shooting.  Now, just like Nels mentioned, we can’t bank on 36 minutes.  However, once the Wiz brass gets restless, look for a lot more of McGee as the fans love him and (quite frankly!), what do they have to lose?  And why shouldn’t you benefit from that?


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