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Thursday February 8, 2007 3:30 pm

Wire to Wire: 2-8-07

Randy Wittman to the RescueWire to Wire aims to be your waiver wire resource for all of your fantasy basketball needs.  It will dive into playing time trends, injury replacements, and even an occasional category specialist – all of which can be found on a typical waiver wire within your fantasy league at any given time.

All-Star week is coming up, and that means one or two game weeks for all of the Association.  Looking a bit forward, the Hawks, Bulls, Knicks and Kings all have schedules that max out their games played for a three-week stretch; two games next week, and back-to-back weeks of four games following.  While shallow leagues do not have a lot of recommendations from me this week, owners would be wise to add any fringe players of those four teams if they’d like a bit of an advantage in the short-run.

This week will be hit or miss with a lot of players, as they simply do not have the full week to give you production.  Here’s to a productive All-Star week for all involved. 

On to this week’s recommendations…

(Statistics as of February 8th)

Shallow Leagues:

Tim Thomas

Tim Thomas, SF/PF, Los Angeles Clippers
46 G; 26.1 MPG; 10.4 PPG; 4.9 RPG; 2.1 APG; 1.6 3PM; 41.4 FG%; 69.4 FT%; 0.7 SPG; 0.4 BPG; 1.2 TO

You can call it flu-like symptoms or you can call it a coach’s decision.  Either way, the result is a significant drop in Corey Maggette’s playing time.  If Maggette’s in street clothes, this leaves Tim Thomas as the main beneficiary of extra playing time – recently creeping into the low 30s.  He won’t rescue your percentages any night of the week, but his scoring, rebounding and threes can help a team in any format.  Monitor the Maggette trade rumors, but add Thomas in the meantime.

Smush Parker, PG, Los Angeles Lakers
49 G; 31.0 MPG; 11.7 PPG; 2.5 RPG; 2.4 APG; 1.4 3PM; 44.1 FG%; 65.2 FT%; 1.6 SPG; 0.2 BPG; 1.8 TO

While the point guard position is undeniably deep this season, its borderline ridiculous to leave a guy that plays 31 minutes a game and has averaged over two steals a game over the last month on the free agent list.  He may as well not even be considered a scoring option for the Lakers, but his value to three pointers and steals can help any team.  Don’t expect a smooth ride from Parker, as he’s as inconsistent as ever, but when he produces, it’s usually very nice.  Check out his 13 steals over the last three games. 

Standard Leagues:

No one ever said fantasy hoops was good lookin'!

Chris Duhon, PG, Chicago Bulls
45 G; 24.5 MPG; 7.0 PPG; 2.4 RPG; 4.1 APG; 1.0 3PM; 41.2 FG%; 73.4 FT%; 0.8 SPG; 0.1 BPG; 1.3 TO

Couple the favorable schedule with a recent increase in minutes, and Duhon is having mini-resurgence in his fantasy production.  Some nights, he’ll murder your field goal percentage, but he’s a solid source of threes, assists, and steals for the minutes that he receives.  If he can keep his PT in the high 20s, Duhon could be one of the better additions for your fantasy teams over the next few weeks.

Mark Blount, PF/C, Minnesota Timberwolves
49 G; 32 MPG; 13.3 PPG; 6.4 RPG; 0.8 APG; 0.1 3PM; 53.2 FG%; 77.9 FT%; 0.5 SPG; 0.9 BPG; 2.0 TO

It seems like I have mentioned someone from Minnesota almost every week this year as a waiver recommendation.  This week, it’s Blount’s turn as he’s turned up the scoring big time.  He’s seen double-digit point totals in nine of the last ten games, and has even been blocking a few shots.  Rarely will you find a big man that puts up percentages like Blount.  So, if you can stomach only five or six boards a game from your big man, you may be able to find this big man on the wire, as I recently did in the Dropping Dimes expert roto league. 

Jorge Garbajosa, SF/PF/C, Toronto Raptors
46 G; 28.5 MPG; 8.5 PPG; 5.3 RPG; 2.1 APG; 0.7 3PM; 41.6 FG%; 77.8 FT%; 1.2 SPG; 0.3 BPG; 1.0 TO

Toronto has won seven of their last eight games, and Garbajosa has (yet again) pushed his playing time into the 30s.  As long as it’s at this level, The Garbage Man has plenty of opportunity to put up nice statistics – and has center eligibility.  Any center that can hit five long balls in his last two games has a nice warm spot waiting for him on my roster.  Keep it up, big guy!

Deep Leagues:

Stro Show could be coming to a town near you

Stromile Swift, PF/C, Memphis Grizzlies
30 G; 22.2 MPG; 9.2 PPG; 4.8 RPG; 0.4 APG; 0 3PM; 46.4 FG%; 66.7 FT%; 0.7 SPG; 1.1 BPG; 1.6 TO

While he’s experiencing some injuries right now, Stromile Swift could be in a nice position to provide for fantasy owners.  No player in the NBA is as rumored to be dealt more than Grizzlies big man Pau Gasol.  In the even that the Grizz aren’t given any significant size in return, Swift could be in line for a nice boost in playing time.  As owners know, Swift’s per minute figures are very solid – it’s just a matter of getting him to produce when given extended PT.  Definitely one to keep an eye on.

Sasha Pavlovic, SG/SF, Cleveland Cavaliers
36 G; 16.1 MPG; 6.1 PPG; 1.8 RPG; 1.0 APG; 0.5 3PM; 42.0 FG%; 80.8 FT%; 0.6 SPG; 0.3 BPG; 1.3 TO

Given the opportunity to produce when LeBron James went down for a couple games with a toe injury, it seems as if Pavlovic has earned the trust of his teammates and coach.  No longer is he the Sasha that just dances around the three point line and launches rainmakers.  The Yugoslavian wingman now slices to the hoop, runs on fast breaks, and has increased his field goal percentage for the season with four of his last five games being over 45% from the floor.  There’s no guarantee that he’ll see the high 20s all season long, but he looks like he could be the real deal.

Eddie House, SG, New Jersey Nets
35 G; 15.3 MPG; 7.2 PPG; 1.3 RPG; 1.1 APG; 1.1 3PM; 40.3 FG%; 90.0 FT%; 0.4 SPG; 0 BPG; 0.4 TO

By draining 13 long balls in his last six games, Eddie House has evolved into a productive fantasy player for deep league participants.  In the rotation of players that has replaced Richard Jefferson, House has emerged as a long-range threat for about 23 minutes a game.  Five of the last six contests have seen Eddie attempt double-digit field goals, and as long as that keeps up, he should be a solid short-term addition for fantasy squads.




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