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Friday January 11, 2008 2:43 am

Beyond the Arc: Week 12

I dunno if anyone’s been following REAL basketball (I know, I know, we aren’t supposed to care about that) but maybe you should take a look at the standings.  Some weird stuff is going on.  Washington a four seed?  What?  Portland a three seed?  Utah and Houston out of the playoffs?  I know it’s early, but wow.  Nobody called that in September and October.  But good for those up and coming teams (although I’m not so sure you can call the Wizards that). 

Anyways, I’m done ranting, here’s the slate of games for next week: (1/14-1/20)

The Fig Cap: How old are you anyway?

Four games: Charlotte Bobcats, Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets, New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trailblazers, Sacramento Kings, Seattle Supersonics, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors
Three games: Milwaukee Bucks, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Orlando Magic, San Antonio Spurs, Washington Wizards, Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, Utah Jazz,
Two games: Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Hornets


Hold the presses.  What’s gotten into Joe Smith?  Here’s his line over the last week: 51% FG, 86% FT, 20.7 ppg, 10 rpg, 1.3 spg, 2.7 bpg.  Whoa.  Pick him up right now, especially with a four game week on the horizon.  New coaches love veteran players who can help them manage the team, and that’s what we’re seeing in Chicago.

Jose Calderon
is really taking advantage of a truly sad situation.  Last week he averaged over 16 ppg and almost 10 dimes.  Not to mention he’s a PG shooting almost 60% from the field in recent days with very few turnovers.  If he keeps up anywhere near this pace, he’s bound to be a 3rd or 4th round guy in drafts.

So much for an Andrew Bynum cool down.  Dude shot 68% from the field last week, putting in 17.3 ppg and 11.8 rpg.  Add 2.8 bpg and 2.8 apg, and folks, we have a stud.  Absolute beast.

Some people may think I hate Dwight Howard for the way he’s been neglected in this column.  Honestly, it’s the total opposite.  I absolutely love Dwight, especially after last week.  He actually shot a respectable 75% from the line.  His turnovers were bad and for the first time in a while so were his blocks.  Still, I’ll take 20 ppg and over 13 rpg any day of the week.

Our last shoutout goes to Brad Miller, who looks like the Brad Miller of old.  He went for 19.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg, and 6.3 apg last week.  Any time you get that kind of production from a center, you’re in great shape.


The Cavs aren’t looking good, and neither is Zydrunas Ilgauskas.  He failed to average double digits anywhere last week, going for 8.3 ppg and 9.3 rpg.  He only had 1 bpg and shot a dismal 28%.  Hopefully you dealt him when he was hot.

Making another appearance here is Jermaine O’Neal.  I own him in a very competitive league, and let me tell you, he’s really making me angry.  How angry?  11 ppg and 3.7 rpg angry.  How are you that horrible?

Yes, Ray Allen is now hurt, but did anyone see his last two box scores before that?  You can look it up on your own, but let’s just say he’s averaging 5.5 ppg over the last week, shooting less than 18% from the field.  Hopefully he gets right with this time off, Boston needs him if the Charlotte game is any indication.

Monta Ellis is another guy having just an awful week.  He had 9.7 ppg last week to go along with a whopping 3.7 rpg and 1.3 apg.  Nobody can make excuses for him either, he even had a 50 minutes game mixed in that period.

Injury Report

As mentioned above, Ray Allen missed Wednesday’s game with a pinched nerve in his neck.  He should be back Friday, so all should be well.

Grant Hill had an emergency appendectomy Wednesday and will miss two weeks.  Good thing it wasn’t a “real” injury.  We can deal with something like this.

Steve Nash left Wednesday’s game early with the flu and didn’t play Thursday in Utah.  He should be ok to go this weekend though.  Nash is the third Sun in less than a week to miss time with some sort of sickness, joining Raja Bell and Hill.

Michael Redd has a frustrating thigh injury that’s kept him out four games already.  He should be due back any day though, so keep starting him.

Luol Deng
is also nursing an Achilles injury, which has kept him out a few games.  He may return Friday, but Deng said he isn’t sure if he’ll be able to go.

Kevin Martin
is due back Monday, so in weekly leagues make sure you remember that.



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