The injury picture in the NBA hasn’t changed much, but the fallout is still in full swing. Some coaches are busy revamping their rotations, and others aren’t, but really should be. Every week Pick n’ Roll will be hitting you up with a list of what’s new, puzzling, or downright exciting in the wide world of fantasy hoops. This week we’ll look at some headline news from around the association and maybe do a little finger pointing.
I’ll apologize in advance if this edition seems a little scattered – it was written to come out on Saturday, but we had some scheduling issues.
The Warriors finally found a sucker in Charlotte willing to take S-Jax’s massive contract off their hands, and anyone who has anything to do with the Warriors financials just breathed a huge sigh of relief. Vlad Rad and Raja Bell are headed back to the Bay area in exchange.
Fallout you ask? I don’t think Jackson’s line changes all that much – he’ll take and make less threes, but he’ll still be handling the rock a lot, and a small bump in efficiency will balance the fall in threes. Both guys headed to G-State are borderline fantasy producers at best. I might give Vlad a shot in a deeper league where I was a little desperate for talent (or had a lot of bench to work with). I don’t see Bell getting a lot of tick.
In related news it looks like Kelenna Azubuike is done for the year, which is a shame. Morrow is the obvious add in his absence, although I’m sure there are a lot of managers out there hoping against hope that the Jackson trade added to the Azubuike injury equals more playing time for Anthony Randolph. Nellie uses the new math though, so I’m not holding my breath.
Our very own Matt Buser took Eddie Jordan to school in a recent article, and had some piquant things to say about his use of Elton Brand. Personally, I think good ol’ Eddie is the leading candidate for the I-Can’t-Coach of the Year award so far. Marreese Speights is now out for 6-8 weeks with a undisclosed knee injury, so Elton should get a chance to play a little more. It’s about bloody time.
People seem to be losing their minds about the suggestion that Brand might be headed to the bench too, and I call that premature. Speights was coming off the bench and killing it, so if that’s the PT and touches that Brand steps into it won’t matter that he’s coming off the bench. It’s all about perspective kids.
Just as he was starting to pick up some steam, T.J. Ford goes with back spasms. At this point I think TJ owners are ready to put him in a sack and toss him off a bridge. Earl Watson should be a very solid short term option if TJ can’t go, and despite the season-long frustration-fest I’d hold on to TJ a little longer before you give him the unwanted puppy treatment.
*Update* TJ’s back on the court, but didn’t start. I’d say keep the caution flag up for now.
The Hornets played pin the blame on the donkey this week and fired Byron Scott as head coach. Chris Paul isn’t pleased, and in a completely unrelated incident has gone down with an ankle sprain. Cue conspiracy theories. Julian Wright was in complete freefall prior to the firing, and I still wouldn’t roster him even in the deepest and darkest of leagues (playing a whole 55 seconds in the new coach’s first game isn’t a good sign). I think the Devin Brown joyride is coming to an end too, even though he continued to start, and Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton seem to be the Hornets on the rise
Arts and Entertainment
It’s been all Bogut and Jennings lately for the Bucks, who just had their win streak broken in an overtime thriller loss in Dallas. Despite his gaudy stats I’m no Bogut fan, and I think owners may want to consider selling high in a week or two if he’s still killing it.
In other news we’ve had verified Moute sightings two games in a row now. Scott Skiles has finally seen fit to get him back on the court and Prince has responded with a near double-double. Moute has been dropped like mad so far this season (only 4% Y! owned), so guys in deeper leagues should keep an eye on the box scores to see whether his minutes continue. Ilyasova is in a very similar boat, and both guys are solid upside adds in deeper formats, with standard formats coming into play after another handful of solid outings.
Chris Duhon has been terrible in New York lately. He’s shooting an awful .226 from the floor on the season, and stupendously poor .100 over his last 5 games. That kind of shooting can eradicate a whole category in roto, so if you haven’t benched or dropped him yet, then do so now. Nate Robinson is back from injury, and Toney Douglas has been pretty solid, and those are the two guys who look to siphon off the bulk of Duhon’s minutes. It’s against my religion to suggest adding Larry Hughes, but if you already have him rostered he may hold on to enough minutes to warrant keeping him for now.
I also hear that there’s a whiff of Iverson in the air over Broadway. Until I see something concrete I’m not holding my breath.
Sleepless in Sacramento
Did anyone see Sacramento at 5-4 after losing Kevin Martin? I know I didn’t. Can anyone picture Beno Udrih filling in as Meg Ryan to Tyreke’s Tom Hanks? I’m not sure I want to. Beno might make an ugly woman, but he’s been a magnificent fill-in for Martin in the Kings backcourt. Beno’s gone for 17/3/4 with great percentages in his last three games, and he’s only 28% Y! owned. If you need PG help and he’s on the wire I’d pick him up. Over that same three game stretch Tyreke Evans has been white hot. He’s putting up a monster line of 23/5/6 with great peripherals, and even shooting the ball well. He’s 76% owned in Y! leagues, but if you’re in the lucky 24% you should grab him now.
Jared Dudley is quietly having a very nice fantasy season. If you need a bench guy for some across the board production then Jared’s 10/4 with good 3’s and steals could be just what the doctor ordered.
J.J. Hickson has had a couple of good games in a row for the Cavs. I wouldn’t run out and add him just yet, except in really deep leagues where desperation has set in already, but keep an eye on his minutes. Cleveland isn’t off to a great start, and if the team plays well with Hickson starting then Mike Brown may ride that and leave him in.
Erick Dampier has returned to earth. After doing best Dennis Rodman impression to start the season, Damp missed Dallas’s most recent game, and has averaged 0.5 points, 4.5 boards, and 1 block in the last 2 games he did play in. Time to think about an exit strategy.
Team Games by Week – Week Four
Teams with 4 Games: ATL, CHA, CLE, DET, HOU, IND, MIA, MIL, NO, OKC, ORL, POR, TOR
Teams with 3 Games: BOS, CHI, DAL, DEN, GS, LAC, LAL, MEM, NJ, NY, PHI, PHO, SAC, SA, UTA, WAS
Teams with a paltry 2 games: MIN
That’s all for now folks. Have fun storming the castle.
Adam Laforet is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Adam in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of Fenris-77.
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