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Saturday March 3, 2007 1:12 am

Stat’s All Folks: He’s Playing Better Than The Quality Of His Shoes

Stat’s All Folks will be a week-to-week stock market look at the standard cumulative categories – points, assists, rebounds, three-pointers made, steals, and blocks. 
StarburyI’ll be calling out the “bulls” and “bears” in each category, in order to help you assess your portfolio of players on your fantasy basketball team(s) and whether you should sell, hold, and/or diversify your assets. 

Note that you won’t always see the superstar player written about in this column, otherwise it would be LeBron James or Steve Nash every week.  So, check out who’s bullish and who’s bearish coming into the week.

Statistics are from February 23rd – March 1st.

POINTS

BULLISH

Stephon Marbury, PG, New York Knicks
Last Week’s Numbers of Note: 4 G; 23.0 PPG; 46.8 FG%; 78.6 FT%

Marbury has been playing like the Starbury of old, the self-proclaimed “best point guard” in the NBA.  It’s funny how that was statement was associated with Steve Nash who then went on to back-to-back MVP awards.  However, this is not to bash Steph, but to praise him.  In his last four games he’s scored at least 22 points and with backcourt mate Jamal Crawford, the only consistent Knicks guard this season, possibly out for the season, you can expect Marbury’s value to keep rising, especially with the Knicks having a chance at the playoffs thanks to playing in the Leastern Conference.

Other Blue-Chippers for the Week
Kobe Bryant, SG, Los Angeles Lakers: 3 G; 33.0 PPG
Carmelo Anthony, SF, Denver Nuggets: 4 G; 31.5 PPG
Tracy McGrady, SG/SF, Houston Rockets: 3 G; 31.0 PPG

Keep An Eye On
Mo Williams, PG, Milwaukee Bucks: 3 G; 23.3 PPG
David West, PF, New Orleans Hornets: 3 G; 21.7 PPG
Shaquille O’Neal, C, Miami Heat: 4 G; 19.8 PPG

BEARISH

Nick Collison, PF/C, Seattle SuperSonics
Last Week’s Numbers of Note: 5 G; 7.4 PPG; 44.1 FG%; 87.5 FT%

As the jumpers from Rashard Lewis fall through the bottom of the net, so too does the scoring potential of Collison.  In January, with Lewis injured, Collison averaged a very healthy 15.0 points.  However, with the return of Lewis nine games ago, Collison has reached the double digit mark only four times, only once in the last five games.  That happened last night against the Clippers when he scored 11 points.  Before that it was 6, 8, 6, 6, respectively.  It’s safe to say that Collison’s scoring run is basically over. 

Other Duds for the Week
Manu Ginobili, SG, San Antonio Spurs: 2 G; 12.0 PPG
Rasheed Wallace, PF, Detroit Pistons: 2 G; 10.0 PPG
Morris Peterson, SG/SF, Toronto Raptors: 4 G; 5.3 PPG

Buyer Beware
Ron Artest, SF, Sacramento Kings: 3 G; 26.0 PPG
Tony Parker, PG, San Antonio Spurs: 2 G; 24.0 PPG
Matt Harpring, SG/SF, Utah Jazz: 4 G; 19.0 PPG

ASSISTS

BULLISH

Mo Williams, PG, Milwaukee Bucks
Last Week’s Numbers of Note: 3 G; 8.0 APG; 3.3 TO

Williams is the latest example of a good player stepping it up in a contract year to be an excellent player.  Since joining the Bucks in 2004, Mo has always shown that, given some burn on the floor, he could get the job done.  And since being a starter, he has.  Although Williams is a excellent scorer (18.7 ppg for the season), he has shown an ability to still drop dimes (6.3 apg), much like former Buck, Sam Cassell.  And once Michael Redd and Charlie Villanueva get back to form after missing an extensive time off the floor thanks to injury, the assists can come aplenty.

Other Blue-Chippers For The Week
Steve Nash, PG, Phoenix Suns: 4 G; 12.0 APG
Deron Williams, PG, Utah Jazz: 3 G; 11.3 APG
Jason Kidd, PG, New Jersey Nets: 3 G; 11.0 APG

Keep An Eye On
Lamar Odom, SF/PF, Los Angeles Lakers: 3 G; 6.7 APG
Randy Foye, PG/SG, Minnesota Timberwolves: 3 G; 6.3 APG
Monta Ellis, PG/SG, Golden State Warriors: 4 G; 6.0 APG

BEARISH

Steve Blake, PG, Denver Nuggets
Last Week’s Numbers of Note: 4 G; 4.3 APG; 1.0 TO

This past week saw Blake no longer starting for the Nuggets and finding his minutes on the hardwood decreasing significantly from when he was the starter.  This is not a good thing for Blake owners.  As a starter in 20 games this season, Blake was averaging a very good 7.5 assists per contest.  As a sub, earlier with the Bucks, the assists average takes a nosedive for Blake to the tune of 2.7 dimes a game.  And remember, this demotion happened with J.R. Smith getting hurt and on the injured list for the next couple of weeks.  So, while it was possible for Allen Iverson to stay at the two, the Answer was instead slid over to the one spot and rookie Yakhouba Diawara at the shooting guard position.  Blake owners need to face the fact they might need to drop him.

Other Duds For The Week
Brevin Knight, PG, Charlotte Hornets: 3 G; 4.0 APG
Jarrett Jack, PG, Portland Trailblazers: 2 G; 3.0 APG
Smush Parker, PG, Los Angles Lakers: 3 G; 1.7 APG

Buyer Beware
Jose Calderon, PG, Toronto Raptors: 4 G; 7.3 APG
Damon Stoudamire, PG, Memphis Grizzlies: 3 G; 5.7 APG
Mardy Collins, PG/SG, New York Knicks: 1 G; 5.0 APG

REBOUNDS

BULLISH

David West, PF, New Orleans Hornets
Last Week’s Numbers of Note: 3 G; 11.7 RPG

Despite Tyson Chandler seemingly grabbing every rebound in sight – 12.4 per game for the season, 14.0 in the past week – West is still getting his share of misses off the backboard.  West is averaging a career best 8.8 boards this season after last season’s breakout 7.4.  While being injured for the whole month of December, West still saw his board average increase each month he has played – 8.3 in November; 8.8 in January, and 9.1 for February.  West could be a great player to own down the stretch as he seems to be getting better, especially with the Hornets in contention for a playoff spot in the tough Western Conference.

Other Blue-Chippers For The Week
Kevin Garnett, SF/PF, Minnesota Timberwolves: 3 G; 16.3 RPG
Tim Duncan, PF/C, San Antonio Spurs: 2 G; 15.5 RPG
Amare Stoudemire, PF/C, Phoenix Suns: 4 G; 14.8 RPG

Keep An Eye On
Udonis Haslem, PF, Miami Heat: 3 G; 11.3 RPG
Nick Collison, PF/C, Seattle SuperSonics: 5 G; 10.0 RPG
Andrew Bogut, PF/C, Milwaukee Bucks: 3 G; 10.0 RPG

BEARISH

Mehmut Okur, PF/C, Utah Jazz
Last Week’s Numbers of Note: 2 G; 5.5 RPG

February ended with Okur averaging the least amount of rebounds in a month for this season – 6.6, which is a significant difference from his first and best month in November – 8.4.  And now with Carlos Boozer back, the elevated play of Paul Milsap, and the “still waiting to breakout” Andrei Kirilenko, who knows if Okur’s trend downwards isn’t a permanent thing?

Other Duds For The Week
Mark Blount, PF/C, Minnesota Timberwolves: 3 G; 5.0 RPG
Reggie Evans, PF, Denver Nuggets: 2 G; 4.0 RPG
Alonzo Mourning, C, Miami Heat: 3 G; 3.7 RPG

Buyer Beware
Jeff Foster, PF/C, Indiana Pacers: 3 G; 10.7 RPG
Paul Milsap, SF/PF, Utah Jazz: 4 G; 8.0 RPG
Jason Collins, PF/C, New Jersey Nets: 3 G; 7.0 RPG

THREE POINTERS

BULLISH

Jason Williams, PG, Miami Heat
Last Week’s Numbers of Note: 3 G; 3.0 3PTM

Williams has always been one of those players that was very good and made an impact on the floor, but needed to be on the floor and not the bench in dress clothes.  With the harsh reality of Dwyane Wade being the one dressed up in a suit, J-Will will need to up his game a notch if the Heat have any chance to make the playoffs and defend their title.  Williams is doing his best to do that and that means draining treys.  If you need three-pointers, Williams just might still be on the waiver wire for you as James Posey and Eddie Jones were other options when the news of Wade dislocating his shoulder hit.  In Williams’ last game versus the Wizards, he hit five triples on his way to 23 points.  The game before that against the Knicks, he hit four threes.  If he stays healthy, Williams is a great pickup.

Other Blue-Chippers For The Week
Leandro Barbosa, PG, Phoenix Suns: 4 G; 3.8 3PTM
Jason Kidd, PG, New Jersey Nets: 3 G; 3.7 3PTM
Mike Bibby, PG, Sacramento Kings: 4 G; 3.3 3PTM

Keep An Eye On
Smush Parker, PG, Los Angeles Lakers: 3 G; 3.0 3PTM
Rafer Alston, PG, Houston Rockets: 4 G; 2.8 3PTM
Andrea Bargnani, SF/PF, Toronto Raptors: 4 G; 2.5 3PTM

BEARISH

Lamar Odom, SF/PF, Los Angeles Lakers
Last Week’s Numbers of Note: 3 G; 0.3 3PTM

For the season, Odom is averaging 3.8 trey attempts per game and making 1.2 of them.  Both are career highs for Odom, but in the past week he only took six shots in total from beyond the arch and hit one.  But, consider even more that Odom averaged 3.2 attempts in February, the lowest average for the season and you would hope that Odom has decided to become more efficient.  But, he’s not, shooting a season-low 41.5% from the floor.  In fact, along with the aforementioned, Odom’s assists numbers are the lowest and his points are down.  If there is ever a time to trade for Odom, the time is ripe as I believe he will get better and help fantasy teams during the stretch run.

Buyer Beware
Robert Horry, PF, San Antonio Spurs: 2 G; 3.5 3PTM
Darrell Armstrong, PG, Indiana Pacers: 3 G; 3.3 3PTM
Roger Mason, PG, Washington Wizards: 4 G; 2.5 3PTM

STEALS

BULLISH

Jason Richardson, SG/SF, Golden State Warriors
Last Week’s Numbers of Note: 4 G; 1.8 SPG

Richardson is not only back on the court, but after coming off the pine his first two games, he’s now in the starting rotation and starting to get back into form, which includes being able to steal the ball.  A career 1.2 steals per game rock ripper, J-Rich is averaging a career low 0.9 in only 28 games this season.  However, he was never in peak health condition and the 22 games missed previous to his comeback last week can attest to that.  In five games in the month of February, he averaged 1.8 steals.  This could foreshadow a return to healthy J-Rich numbers the rest of the season.

Other Blue-Chippers For The Week
Chris Paul, PG, New Orleans Hornets: 3 G; 3.7 SPG
Kobe Bryant, SG, Los Angeles Lakers: 3 G; 3.3 SPG
Allen Iverson, PG/SG, Denver Nuggets: 4 G; 2.8 SPG

Keep An Eye On
Leandro Barbosa, PG, Phoenix Suns: 4 G; 2.8 SPG
Charlie Bell, PG/SG/SF, Milwaukee Bucks: 3 G; 2.0 SPG
Monta Ellis, PG/SG, Golden State Warriors: 4 G; 2.0 SPG

BEARISH

Gilbert Arenas, PG, Washington Wizards
Last Week’s Numbers of Note: 4 G; 0.3 SPG

Arenas had a bad week.  Not only was he inefficient shooting after a 11-for-20 shooting night to start the week versus the Bulls – 4-22 against the T-Wolves; 7-25 versus the Nets; and 3-18 against the Heat – but the usually reliable thief, Agent Zero only had one steal for the week.  It was a stark contrast to his season and career average of 1.8 rock rips per contest.  This shows that Gil is indeed a human.  Expect this bad week to be forgotten as both Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison are scheduled to return tonight against the Hawks.  Don’t worry Mr. Arenas, the burden and responsibility will lighten and you’ll be able to be you – one of the most dynamic ballers to lace them up in the NBA.  Arenas owners, don’t worry, the hair you pulled out will grow back.

Buyer Beware
Richard Hamilton, SG, Detroit Pistons: 2 G; 3.0 SPG
Marcus Camby, C, Denver Nuggets: 4 G; 2.8 SPG
Corey Maggette, SG/SF, Los Angeles Clippers: 4 G; 2.3 SPG

BLOCKS

BULLISH

Darko Milicic, PF/C, Orlando Magic
Last Week’s Numbers of Note: 4 G; 2.8 BPG

Milicic is finally a starter and as such, he’s averaging 2.4 blocks per game.  Who couldn’t use those numbers from their center spot?  Take that Detroit!!!  In any case, if he isn’t picked up, I’d grab Milicic off the waiver wire with the quickness!!! 

Other Blue-Chippers For The Week
Tim Duncan, PF/C, San Antonio Spurs: 2 G; 4.5 BPG
Jermaine O’Neal, PF/C, Indiana Pacers: 3 G; 4.3 BPG
Elton Brand, PF, Los Angeles Clippers: 4 G; 3.5 BPG

Keep An Eye On
DeSagana Diop, PF/C, Dallas Mavericks: 4 G; 2.0 BPG
Shaquille O’Neal, C, Miami Heat: 3 G; 1.7 BPG
LaMarcus Aldridge, SF/PF/C, Portland Trailblazers: 3 G; 1.7 BPG

BEARISH

Andrei Kirilenko, SF/PF, Utah Jazz
Last Week’s Numbers of Note: 3 G; 0.7 BPG

I’ve talked about Kirilenko a couple of times during the season and it’s been nothing but feeling burned by AK47.  Will he ever get it together?  Even the best part of Kirilenko’s game this season (blocks) has waned in the past month.  I’m not sure about you, but I think I’ve had enough of Kirilenko and vow not to write about him anymore until he’s on the “bullish” side.  Just like this column, I’m done with AK!

Buyer Beware
Jason Maxiell, SF/PF, Detroit Pistons: 1 G; 3.0 BPG
Tayshaun Prince, SF, Detroit Pistons: 2 G; 2.0 BPG
Andray Blatche, SF/PF, Washington Wizards: 4 G; 1.5 BPG

I’ll be here every week during the regular season, trying to become the Gordon Gekko of fantasy basketball.  Be my Bud Fox.

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