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Friday December 15, 2006 11:17 pm

Stat’s All Folks: HIBACHI!!!

Gilbert ArenasStat’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.  I’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 through December 7th – December 13th.

POINTS

BULLISH

Gilbert Arenas, PG, Washington Wizards
Last Week’s Numbers of Note: 3 G; 35.7 PPG; 47.9 FG%; 78.1 FT%

What does Benihana and Arenas have in common?  HIBACHI!!!  Apparently, whenever Agent Zero takes a shot, he’s saying the word “hibachi” with each stroke.  This is just another example of Arenas’ quirky ways, but there’s no questioning it’s working, is there?  Arenas is scoring a little more than six points more in the month of December than he did in November, thanks to slicing to the basket and getting to the charity stripe almost ten times a game.  There hasn’t been this much success being off-kilter since Pee Wee Herman.  Arenas’ stock is high, so keep your hands on him.

Other Blue-Chippers for the Week
Vince Carter, SG/SF, New Jersey Nets: 4 G; 29.0 PPG
Dwyane Wade, PG/SG, Miami Heat: 3 G; 30.0 PPG
Kobe Bryant, SG, Los Angeles Lakers: 4 G; 30.0 PPG

Keep An Eye On
Caron Butler, SF, Washington Wizards: 3 G; 21.0 PPG
Josh Howard, SG/SF, Dallas Mavericks: 4 G; 20.0 PPG
Manu Ginobili, SG, San Antonio Spurs: 4 G; 18.8 PPG

BEARISH

Jameer Nelson, PG, Orlando Magic
Last Week’s Numbers of Note: 3 G; 8.0 PPG; 32.3 FG%; 100.0 FT%

In three games last week, Nelson did not score in double digits once.  Not once!  It’s like he suddenly lost his mojo out of nowhere the same way Austin Powers did while he was with Felicity Shagwell.  Nelson started all three games in the past week, but back-up Carlos Arroyo was arguably better in that time span.  Now Nelson is suffering a groin injury and missed the Magic’s last game against the Toronto Raptors, in which Arroyo started and scored 22 points in only 28 minutes.  For Nelson’s sake, I think someone better check Arroyo’s locker for some stolen shwing.  Anyway, grab Arroyo for a quick fix while Nelson is down and out.

Other Duds for the Week
Speedy Claxton, PG, Atlanta Hawks: 4 G; 3.3 PPG
Adam Morrison, SF/PF, Charlotte Bobcats: 3 G; 7.0 PPG
Gerald Wallace, SG/SF/PF, Charlotte Bobcats: 3 G; 7.3 PPG

Buyer Beware
Matt Barnes, SF, Golden State Warriors: 3 G; 19.7 PPG
Ruben Patterson, SG/SF, Milwaukee Bucks: 3 G; 18.3 PPG
Anderson Varejao, PF, Cleveland Cavaliers: 3 G; 15.3 PPG

ASSISTS

BULLISH

Jason KiddJason Kidd, PG, New Jersey Nets
Last Week’s Numbers of Note: 4 G; 10.8 APG; 2.8 TO

Last week, Kidd averaged a triple-double (16.3 ppg/10.8 rpg/10.8 apg) and moved past Wilt Chamberlain for third place all-time in trey-deuces behind Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson.  Vince Carter is flying high right now and scoring at an amazing rate and a lot of it has to do with the connecting flight of a J-Kidd pass to its eventual through the rim destination.  Add in the talents of Nenad Krstic scoring points in the box and Jefferson doing his thing on the perimeter and slashing to the basket, Kidd should continue to drop dimes at a prolific rate.

Other Blue-Chippers For The Week
Steve Nash, PG, Phoenix Suns: 5 G; 12.6 APG
Baron Davis, PG, Golden State Warriors: 3 G; 12.0 APG
Deron Williams, PG, Utah Jazz: 3 G; 10.7 APG

Keep An Eye On
Tony Parker, PG, San Antonio Spurs: 4 G; 8.5 APG
Mo Williams, PG, Milwaukee Bucks: 4 G; 7.3 APG
Shaun Livingston, PG, Los Angeles Clippers: 4 G; 7.0 APG

BEARISH

Mike James, PG, Minnesota Timberwolves
Last Week’s Numbers of Note: 3 G; 3.3 APG; 2.3 TO

James was in slight danger of losing his starting spot a couple of weeks ago when he hit a slump, not being able to score or get assists.  It didn’t help that rookie Randy Foye was doing well off the pine for the T-Wolves, either.  However, since then James has found his stroke raising his scoring average almost seven points in the month of December from November (17.2 from 10.8 ppg).  However, James isn’t getting it done in the assists category as much as you’d like from a lead guard, so if you need assists, trade James and his scoring punch for a dime dropper.

Other Duds For The Week
Mike Bibby, PG, Sacramento Kings: 3 G; 3.7 APG
Rafer Alston, PG, Houston Rockets: 3 G; 2.3 APG
Smush Parker, PG, Los Angeles Lakers: 4 G; 1.8 APG

Buyer Beware
Vince Carter, SG/SF, New Jersey Nets: 4 G; 6.5 APG
Randy Foye, PG/SG, Minnesota Timberwolves: 3 G; 4.0 APG
Damien Wilkins, SG/SF, Seattle Supersonics: 4 G; 3.8 APG

REBOUNDS

BULLISH

Ben Wallace, C, Chicago BullsBen Wallace
Last Week’s Numbers of Note: 4 G; 13.8 RPG

In his four games last week, Wallace reached double digit boards in every single one of his games.  Is the power of the ‘Fro back?  Strong games of 11, 11, 13, and then 20 rebounds certainly indicate that Wallace is bouncing back stronger than that ball made of rubberbands in your cubicle.  Best of all, Big Ben is getting consistent minutes again and he’s producing when he’s on the floor.  If someone hasn’t been paying attention in your league or thinks this string of glass cleanings is a fluke, acquire!  For those of you that think this is a good time to sell high, take your chances, but I’d hold and have faith in the ‘Fro.

Other Blue-Chippers For The Week
Carlos Boozer, PF/C, Utah Jazz: 3 G; 13.0 RPG
Kevin Garnett, SF/PF, Minnesota Timberwolves: 3 G; 12.3 RPG
Al Jefferson, PF, Boston Celtics: 4 G; 11.5 RPG

Keep An Eye On
David Lee, SF/PF, New York Knicks: 3 G; 11.3 RPG
Chris Webber, PF, Philadelphia 76ers: 4 G; 9.8 RPG
Sean May, PF, Charlotte Bobcats: 3 G; 9.7 RPG

BEARISH

Mehmut Okur, PF/C, Utah Jazz
Last Week’s Numbers of Note: 3 G; 4.3 RPG

Last season, Okur averaged a career-best 9.1 boards a contest, but finds that average falling to 7.9 rebounds per game this season.  In the past week, it falls even more as he only grabbed five, four, and four boards in his three games.  While Okur can put together a string of double digit board production, in his last nine games, including five games in December, Okur has only done so once.  Looking at last season’s game log, Okur can be considered streaky and while he’s in a Bootsy Collins sort of funk now, he should be able to get out of it soon and do his best L.L. Cool J impersonation telling fantasy basketball enthusiasts, “Don’t call it a comeback!”  Hold and wait for the strong streak of rebounding games to come.

Other Duds For The Week
Al Harrington, PF/C, Indiana Pacers: 3 G; 4.0 RPG
Elton Brand, PF, Los Angeles Clippers: 4 G; 5.5 RPG
Rasheed Wallace, PF, Detroit Pistons: 3 G; 6.3 RPG

Buyer Beware
Quentin Richardson, SG/SF, New York Knicks: 3 G; 9.0 RPG
Baron Davis, PG, Golden State Warriors: 3 G; 8.0 RPG
Jannero Pargo, PG, New Orleans Hornets: 3 G; 7.7 RPG

THREE POINTERS

BULLISH

Luther Head, PG/SG, Houston Rockets
Last Week’s Numbers of Note: 3 G; 3.0 3PTM

If Fergie is Fergalicious, then Head is Luthalicious as he be out on the floor just working on his finesse.  His defender is a witness, as he shoots the rock, rock, and he be bombing from behind the line, just showing what he’s got.  Luthalilcious.  Do I need to say anymore?  How about the fact that Tracy McGrady is out indefinitely with back spasms that was a constant bother last season?  Oh, and Head scored 21 points, hitting four of eight three attempts in his first start for McGrady against the Los Angles Lakers recently?  Luthalicious, indeed.

Keep An Eye On
Mickael Pietrus, SG/SF, Golden State Warriors: 3 G; 3.7 3PTM
Brent Barry, PG/SG, San Antonio Spurs: 4 G; 2.8 3PTM
Danny Granger, SF/PF, Indiana Pacers: 4 G; 2.3 3PTM

BEARISH

Dirk Nowitzki, PF, Dallas Mavericks
Last Week’s Numbers of Note: 4 G; 0.5 3PTM

Yes, Nowitzki is having another MVP-type season, but there seems to be a little something missing.  And since he’s in this category, obviously it’s hitting from long range.  While the Diggler is hitting 0.9 treys a game, which is very good for a power forward, it’s still less than his 1.4 makes from last season.  In fact, he’s taking even less shots from beyond the arch this season, which is benefiting his percentage from the floor (49.6%).  However, it’s not benefiting his Dirkness’ fantasy owners who were expecting more triples.  But, really, are you going to complain about a trifecta a night?  Just a bad week.

Buyer Beware
Matt Barnes, SF, Golden State Warriors: 3 G; 3.7 3PTM
Jason Kapono, SF, Miami Heat: 4 G; 1.8 3PTM
Ime Udoka, SF, Portland Trailblazers: 4 G; 1.8 3PTM

STEALS

BULLISH

Jamaal Tinsley, PG, Indiana Pacers
Last Week’s Numbers of Note: 4 G; 2.8 SPG

With all the trouble that Tinsley gets into, as well as his less than stellar reputation of durability, it’s easy to forget that Tinsley is an outstanding rock ripper.  He has an outstanding 1.7 steals per game career average and can be counted on to swipe about one and a half balls per game if he stays healthy, which he has been thus far this season, playing in every Pacers game.  I’m not sure we can expect that trend to continue, so if Tinsley is expendable and you need help somewhere else, sell high on Tinsley now before he makes his yearly trip to Disabledland.

Other Blue-Chippers For The Week
Shawn Marion, SF/PF, Phoenix Suns: 4 G; 2.8 SPG
Dwyane Wade, PG/SG, Miami Heat: 3 G; 2.7 SPG
Gilbert Arenas, PG, Washington Wizards: 3 G; 2.7 SPG

Keep An Eye On
Ruben Patterson, SF, Milwaukee Bucks: 4 G; 2.0 SPG
Speedy Claxton, PG, Atlanta Hawks: 4 G; 2.0 SPG
Luol Deng, SG/SF, Chicago Bulls: 4 G; 1.8 SPG

BEARISH

Andrei Kirilenko, SF/PF, Utah Jazz
Last Week’s Numbers of Note: 3 G; 0.3 SPG

Which has been more of a disappointment this year?  The fact that Eva Longoria is no longer on the market or the play of Kirilenko?  Across the board, AK47 is producing significantly less than the second rounder we all thought he would be.  Sure he didn’t disappoint us when he missed time due to injury, we all expected that, right?  However, we did not expect the inconsistent flashes of the greatness we all know Kirilenko has.  The allure of AK47 has always been the defensive production he gives; the blocks are still there, but the steals are disappearing like Michael Richards’ career.

Buyer Beware
Matt Barnes, SF, Golden State Warriors: 3 G; 2.0 SPG
Jared Jeffries, SG/SF, New York Knicks; 2 G; 2.0 SPG
Dwight Howard, PF/C, Orlando Magic: 4 G; 1.8 SPG

BLOCKS

BULLISH

Josh Smith, SG/SF, Atlanta Hawks
Last Week’s Numbers of Note: 4 G; 3.0 BPG

Smith is the Big Daddy of blocks amongst the two and three positions.  Biff!  Hayum!  Koof!  J-Smooth attacks opposing shooters shots with intensity and has become a versatile defender, much the same way Merv Griffin was a versatile performer.  While ripping rocks is something Smith does well, rejecting shots will always be his claim to fame, sort like the Mr. Goodbar to his Snickers.  As Yoda might say, “Good it all is.”  Don’t even think of moving Smith in any sort of deal as you’d only be getting dog biscuits back for him to your dollars.  Besides, think about this – Smith is notorious for being a slow starter, but gets in the zone during the second half.  If you like what J-Smooth is doing now, it’s only going to get better.

Other Blue-Chippers For The Week
Yao Ming, C, Houston Rockets: 3 G; 3.0 BPG
Alonzo Mourning, C, Miami Heat: 3 G; 2.5 BPG
Samuel Dalembert, C, Philadelphia 76ers: 4 G; 2.5

Keep An Eye On
Ben Wallace, C, Chicago Bulls: 4 G; 2.5 BPG
Al Jefferson, PF, Boston Celtics: 4 G; 2.3 BPG
Eddy Curry, C, New York Knicks: 3 G; 2.0 BPG

BEARISH

Zydrunas Ilgauskas, C, Cleveland Cavaliers
Last Week’s Numbers of Note: 3 G; 0.3 BPG

One block in three games?  How much lower can Ilgauskas get as far as putting “Spalding” across opposing shooters’ foreheads?  The Big Z’s current 1.2 blocks per contest average this season is his career low and he’s averaging less time on the floor because of Anderson Varejao and Donyell Marshall’s performances.  Ilgauskas has become the equivalent of Alonzo Mourning – high single digit averages in points and rebounds – but without the crazy block numbers.  That’s not a good thing.

Buyer Beware
Travis Outlaw, SF/PF, Portland Trailblazers: 4 G; 2.3 BPG
Francisco Garcia, SG/SF, Sacramento Kings: 2 G; 2.0 BPG
Boris Diaw, PF/C, Phoenix Suns: 4 G; 1.4 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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