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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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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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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


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.


Monta Ellis, walking Though still recovering from his moped-turned-busted ankle, Monta Ellis has been activated by the Golden State Warriors after serving his 30-game suspension for violating “team policy.”  If you remember correctly, Ellis signed a six-year deal that will ultimately pay him a hefty chunk of change; one that he can now start collecting on.

The guard can now begin taking part in team activities and will likely do so when the Warriors return from their road trip.  Expect Ellis to start running some time after the Christmas holiday, and perhaps earning some playing time near the beginning of January.  With that said, the dual-eligible guard deserves a roster spot in nearly every league at this point.  Low risk, high reward, if you will. 


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.


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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