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Happy St. Patty’s Day!  I really wish I was a Thunder fan.  They really impress me.  They played really well without Kevin Durant, showing great ball movement and some of the best teamwork we’ve seen in the NBA this year.  Then tonight, they beat the Spurs.  They’ve now beat San Antonio, Dallas, Utah, Portland, and Detroit this year.  That’s not too shabby when early on, some people though they might break the all-time loss record.

Monday’s best:  It was a pretty slow night, and our award goes to Chris Paul.  His Hornets lost at home, but he ended up with 29 points, 6 rebounds, 11 assists, and 6 steals.  His 11-11 from the line wasn’t to bad either.

Monday’s worst:  Tyson Chandler. He played 38 minutes!  How you play that many minutes as the second best player on your team and score 4 points is beyond me.  Only 7 boards too.  I didn’t watch the game or anything, but maybe this is why they lost?

Keep an eye on:  The Hornets and a possible bad end-of-season scenario.  They’re clearly playing bad ball, losing 3 of 5, including losses at Atlanta and Chicago.  The rest of March is a cakewalk for them besides Denver, but in April they get Utah, Phoenix, and Dallas at home, and Miami, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio on the road.  They’re only a game and a half ahead of the 8 seed, and while I don’t think they’ll miss the playoffs at all, a couple more losses in March could severely hurt their seed and put them dangerously close to the lottery…

What to watch for Tuesday: Magic at Cavaliers is a good game on NBATV.  Pistons at Mavs should be a good one too, and is a big game for Dallas as things suddenly got interesting again at the bottom of the Western playoff picture this weekend.


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Not much surprising Thursday, as the Lakers and Cavs both won on the road.  For a while, it looked like the Suns might be able to pull a win but no.  I think the coffin has been nailed shut, wheeled out, and thrown into the Grand Canyon now.

Thursday’s best: Nobody else but LeBron James.  It’s his third triple-double in as many games, as he went for 34 points, 10 boards, and 13 dimes with 3 steals and 3 blocks.  Is there any real question who the MVP is right now?

Thursday’s worst:
The Phoenix Suns.  It’s a sad time in Phoenix, let me tell you.  It’s over.  Gone.  Done for.  And maybe now I’ll stop talking about the Suns for the rest of the season.  I want to.

Keep an eye on: The Suns bench.  Now that it’s obvious they’re toast, we may see some Robin Lopez and Goran Dragic action.  Just sayin’.

What to watch for Friday:  A pretty large docket Friday, with some pretty crappy games.  The best is probably Dallas at Golden State.  Hey, what else do you want me to say when there are gems like Knicks-Timberwolves and Bulls-76ers?  Pacers-Hawks might be worth watching.  Maybe.


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Wednesday was somewhat eventful, at least in terms of real basketball.  Utah had their 12-game winning streak snapped in Atlanta, Miami upset the Celtics, and the Knicks took down the Pistons on the road in overtime.  It’s worth noting that Dwyane Wade had a poor shooting night, but still willed his team to a big win over the Celtics, something that I said yesterday he’d need to do before I seriously put him in my personal MVP race.  Well, in my books, he’s number two right now right behind LeBron James.  Sorry Kobe.

Wednesday’s best:  Chris Paul for sure.  He had a triple-double, posting 30 points, 10 rebounds, and 13 assists, along with 4 steals in a comeback win over the Wizards.  If only the Hornets could get their you-know-what together, Paul would be right in the thick of the MVP race.

Wednesday’s worst:  Oh Ben Gordon, why must you tease us?  After posting 43 points Monday, he shoots 1-10 for 4 big points in a big loss at Orlando.  How you go from 8-11 from three point range Monday to 0-1 Wednesday blows my mind.  Explain it to me Bulls fans.  I dare you to try.

Keep an eye on:  Never thought I’d say this, but… JJ Redick? He’s been getting some minutes in the last two games (30 Monday and 21 Wednesday) and has averaged 11 in those two.  But where you might find use for him is while streaming in the playoffs.  He could be good for an assured three a gamewith the right minutes if you’re in a deep league or the wire is thin.

What to watch for Thursday:
  TNT Thursday features Lakers at Spurs followed by Cavaliers at Suns (a game I wish I was going to).  The first will be typical Lakers/Spurs, and the second will be… a blowout.  I’m poredicting a big game for A) Mo Williams, B) LeBron James, or C) both of them.


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On Tuesday, the Pistons kept their hot streak going, as Chauncey Billups returned to The Palace, dropped 34, and still lost.  Don’t look now…

Tuesday’s best:  Not a whole lot of overly-impressive lines Tuesday night, but Troy Murphy takes home today’s award.  His line: 23 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 threes, 2 steals, 2 blocks as he led the Pacers to a win over the Kings.

Tuesday’s worst:  John Salmons.  Dude, Luol Deng is hurt.  You’re supposed to go back to being that fantasy stud you used to be.  This scrub played 33 minutes in the Bulls’ loss to Charlotte and scored 9 points on 4-13 shooting.  SCRUB!!

Keep an eye on:  The East playoff race.  The 15th team (Toronto) is only 5.5 games back, and two teams (Indiana and Charlotte) look awfully good right now and keep climbing the standings.  It’s gonna be a fun month.

What to watch for Wednesday: Cleveland hosts Milwaukee (remember what LeBron James did to the Deer the last time they played), Dwyane Wade lights up Phoenix (like every other team, just bigger), San Antonio plays Dallas on ESPN (and probably runs them out of the arena), and last but NOT least… the Grizzlies play the Clippers!


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Friday night was something special.  We saw an epic battle between the Lakers and Hornets, in which Chris Paul fouling out might have cost the Hornets a big upset, yet another 140-point outburst by the Suns, and one of the truly amazing single performances in recent years by none other than LeBron James.  I really hope you got to see at least part of one of these games.

Friday’s best:  LeBron takes the cake here, and it’s not close.  The man scored 16 points in less than three minutes at the beginning of the third quarter.  He finished with 55 points, 5 rebounds, 9 assists, and 8 threes.  About half of those threes were at least a couple feet behind the line.  Truly amazing.  But let’s not look past Paul’s 21 points, 5 rebounds, 16 dimes, and 4 steals and Leandro Barbosa’s career-high 41 points (on 16-21 shooting!), 7 rebounds, 7 assists, and 6 steals.  Two extremely outstanding lines that would easily top most other nights.  Oh, and Randy Foye had 36 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 4 steals too.

Friday’s worst:  Peja Stojakovic.  He had 5 points on 2-11 shooting (1-8 beyond the arc) in 29 minutes.  If he had connected on just a couple more shots, the short-handed Hornets would have taken down the mighty Lakers in Hollywood… oh well.  He’s just so inconsistent, it has to be maddening for his owners.

Keep an eye on:  The Chicago Bulls.  Big win tonight at home against the Nuggets, in the first game after acquiring Brad Miller and John Salmons... and they didn’t even play.  Maybe it was a big chemistry booster.  Maybe they can make noise in the playoffs.  Maybe they should try to climb a few spots and get out of facing the Celtics or Cavs in the first round.

What to watch for tomorrow: The best game on the docket tomorrow is easily New Orleans at Utah.  One team coming off a pretty tough loss tonight in OT traveling to play a team in an emotional turbulent time, toppling the defending champs Thursday and losing their owner and influential Utah man Larry H. Miller.  Should be a pretty interesting game, and definitely an emotional one for the Jazz and their fans.  I wish Miller’s family and the community to best as they recover from this tough loss.


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Only two games tonight, and of course one was the lovely snoozefest the NBA calls Spurs/Pistons.  It was actually a good game, but I was happy enough watching the last two minutes, as I’m sure most people would be.  The Celtics/Jazz game was pretty good too, pretty close throughout.  Let me say, the Jazz look good.  They stayed composed and when they get healthy, they’ll be scary.  If I’m the Lakers or Spurs, I’m hoping they climb the standings.

Thursday’s best: Not a whole lot of impressive lines.  Could have gone with Timmy Duncan’s 18 points and 18 boards, but it was on some pretty shotty shooting (7-19).  Instead, we’ll give it to Allen Iverson, who went for 31 points, 3 boards, 7 dimes, a steal, and a block on 13-28 shooting.  Not too shabby on an otherwise unimpressive night around the league.

Thursday’s worst:  Gotta be Rip Hamilton.  He got 34 minutes off the bench in which he scored 4 points on 2-10 shooting.  Combined with Rodney Stuckey’s 2 points (although he did have 8 assists), a bad night from Rip did the Pistons in.

Keep an eye on:  Kevin Garnett’s injury and Gabe Pruitt. KG went down just before halftime with a “sprained knee.”  At the time of writing this, it’s pretty cloudy just how bad it is, but if he misses any time on this road trip, the Cavs could find themselves on top in the East.  With Tony Allen’s injury, Pruitt will get some extra burn.  He wasn’t extremely effective Thursday, but keep an eye out.

What to watch for tomorrow: Toronto at New York could be pretty exciting and high scoring.  The new-look Bulls take on a good Nuggets team in Chicago, so we’ll see if they’re really any good with Brad Miller and John Salmons.  And on national TV, the Hornets visit the Lakers.  Should be a doozy.


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Thursday actually turned out to be a real good basketball day.  In the three games, a last second Shawn Marion dunk pushed the Heat past the Bulls, the Celts had to outscore the Mavericks by 13 to win in the 4th, and the Warriors just about threw away a game that should have been locked up halfway through the 4th.  Let me say this.  Jamal Crawford’s shot selection is awful.  Oh, and Monta Ellis can ball.  Dude is legit.

Thursday’s best: Easy one here.  Rajon Rondo baby.  His line: 19 points, 15 rebounds, 14 assists, and a steal on 9-14 shooting.  That’s right kiddies, his second career trip-doub.  Good enough for me.  At the same time, I’m inclined to drive down to US Airways Center first thing Friday morning and slap Robert Sarver upside his greedy little face.

Thursday’s worst: Luol Deng.  Who can figure this guy out?  He’s really struggling overall this year, with some really good streaks and some really awful streaks.  Stuff like this makes me really believe that the Bulls are cursed.  This is the guy John Paxson refused to trade for KOBE BRYANT.  His line? A studly 6 points, 3 boards, 1 dime.  Nice, dude.  Nice.

Keep an eye on: Golden State.  Something tells me they’ve got a trade up their sleeve.  And a good deal can really let them make some noise.  I know, they’re 12 games out of the playoffs.  But if Phoenix blows things up, they’re sitting in 9th.  It’s not too crazy to imagine, and they look like they might be heating up.

What to watch for tomorrow: The Rookie Challenge!  What an awful game this usually is (besides the two LeBron James/Dwyane Wade/Carmelo Anthony years).  But hey, it’s a basketball game with no defense.  Sort of like watching the Knicks play themselves in scrimmage.  Except there’s a little bit of talent in the rookie/sophomore game.

I’ll still bringing you this column all weekend, taking a look into the All-Star festivities.  Aren’t you just lucky.


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A flurry of trade rumors have surfaced recently with the deadline now just less than two weeks away.  That being said, let’s take a look at some of the newer and more credible rumors and what they may mean to your fantasy team.

Amar’e Stoudemire
Oh boy, where do we start here?  He’s rumored to be going anywhere from New York to Detroit to Toronto to Portland to Chicago.  Various outlets have reported GM Steve Kerr’s willingness to deal anyone on the team not born in Canada.  Besides STAT, Shaquille O’Neal is also rumored to be on the block (along with the whole team), but chances are even his All-Star season can’t make up for the contract he’s carrying around.  While possible, that seems a little less likely.

The Fig Cap: What jersey will he be wearing on Opening Day?

Click to continue reading Trade Winds Blow, Are Your Teams Ready?


Dropping Dimes is trying out a new feature. Fantasy 30 intends to rank all of the NBA teams in terms of fantasy power. A list like this tends to lead to a lot of disagreement and discussion, but the hope is that these rankings will be fluid and updated as the year goes on. Thanks to Ron Chow for the assist. In addition to publishing updates on the Fantasy 30, once in a while we hope to produce sister articles that focus on a specific team and its roster.

#1: Los Angeles Lakers: Kobe Bryant ranks as a top four fantasy player this year. The Lakers employ two fantasy-worthy starters for center in Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. Lamar Odom has played well coming off the bench. Jordan Farmar has sleeper point guard potential, and the team also employs three-point threats like Derek Fisher and Vlad Radmanovic. All of this adds up to the Lakers being top dog early in the year.

Click to continue reading Fantasy 30, Version 1


Baron Davis and his beard taking a jumperMost of us fantasy fanatics are in some sort of consolation play this week. After all, only two teams in each league can vie for the championship. How are things over in the “real” NBA? Well, the Golden State Warriors are playing almost .600 ball and are still trying to claw into playoff position. How’s that for a tough break?

In my league with family and friends, the teams in the consolation bracket battle for draft position next year. The winner of the consolation playoffs gets the first overall pick, the runner-up gets second pick and so on. It’s enough incentive for everyone to continue setting their lineups, and it’s enough of a prize that people take it seriously enough to put forth the effort. If you have a league with little GM turnover year to year, this is something you can do so that everyone can enjoy fantasy hoops right to the very last day, not just the finalists.

Perhaps the NBA should adopt a consolation playoff format and the winner gets first pick in the draft. This certainly would guard against bad teams tanking it at the end of the season.

Click to continue reading Consolation Playoffs in the NBA?


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