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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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Another ho-hum Thursday on TNT saw the streaking Hornets beat Dallas and keep the 8th spot insecure and Denver win at home against the (still) Greg Oden-less Trailblazers.  Of course, pickens are always slim Thursdays, but one line stood out above all.

Thursday’s best:   Gotta go with Chris Paul.  He had 27 points, 4 rebounds, and 15 assists.  More importantly, another win for the Hornets, their sixth in a row.  This win gives them the four seed, and for now, home court in at least the first round.

Thursday’s worst: We’ll go with Josh Howard, for sitting out the second half.  Certainly isn’t his fault, but that doesn’t mean it won’t hurt fantasy owners.  He still managed to jack up 10 shots (missing 7) in 18 first half minutes.  Not good news.

Keep an eye on:  JR Smith, who started Thursday.  This is one of those guys you always look at and say “wow, he got the short end of the straw being on his coach’s bad side.”  If he starts, 3 threes per game are possible.  But he likely won’t keep starting as long as George Karl is his coach.

What to watch for Friday:  We’re at the point where about half or more of the games on a nightly basis are interesting for playoff implications.  But one Friday night matchup stands above all else: Cleveland at Boston.  Oh yeah baby.


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Wednesday saw Shaquille O’Neal’s return to Miami, a battle of streaking Western playoff teams, a battle for Texas, and two teams clinch playoff spots.  Yep, it’s March, and it’s exciting.

Wednesday’s best:  Of course it was Dwyane Wade.  I think his name is permanently in this spot now.  Seriously, dude is unreal.  It seems every team with a star guard torches the Suns like this.  Wade had 35 points, 6 rebounds, 16 dimes, a steal, a block, and a couple threes.  Nice.  Oh yeah, the Heat won too.

Wednesday’s worst:  Luke Ridnour.  0-7 from the field?  That’s enough to land you in this section.  No wonder the Bucks lost by 18.

Keep an eye on:  Daequan Cook.  He erupted for 27 points on 6 threes.  Performances like this might earn him more minutes.  He randomly got 36 in this game, and with more minutes, he might be worth looking at for some threes in deep leagues.  Just not yet though.

What to watch for Thursday:  It’s the worst day of the week for basketball, but at least it’s two decent games.  The Hornets take on Dallas in Big D, and the Blazers travel to the Mile High City to face Denver.  Of course, the best part of Thursday nights is the TNT show, we all know that.


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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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Not much surprising Monday in terms of box score, but before you read on, please go watch this.  You’ll see why in a second.

Monday’s best: Did you watch it?  Wow.  The line Devin Harris put up tonight: 39 points, 2 rebounds, 8 assists, 5 threes, 2 steals, a block, 11-22 from the field, and 12-14 from the line.  Also worth mentioning was the line Nate Robinson was putting up at the same time across town.  KryptoNate went off for 41 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 threes, 2 steals, 11-18 FG, and 15-19 from the line.  Couple more points, rebounds instead of assists, one fewer three and block, but better FG%.  Pretty close, but not much tops that shot from Harris.

Monday’s worst: Chauncey Billups.  No wonder the Nuggets got bulldozed by the defending champs.  In 34 minutes, Billups had 3 points, 5 assists, and 4 turnovers.  He was 1-8 from the field and ended up a team low -38 at the end of it all.

Keep an eye on: The Utah Jazz.  They got Carlos Boozer back tonight, and they’re playing good ball.  Now they have a purpose, and with the West so tight, they could really climb that ladder.  They are a scary team for sure.

What to watch for Tuesday:  Two good games will be Mavericks/Spurs and Portland/Houston.  No Greg Oden vs. Yao Ming, but oh well.  Also, word has it that Mikki Moore is signing with the Celtics tomorrow.  He’d be worth a pickup probably, at least if you have the spot to spare.  Interestingly, Mike D’Antoni will miss practice Tuesday to attend an arbitration hearing for Stephon Marbury.  Might the Celtics be interested in him as well if the meeting spurs a buyout?  Hm…


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Good to see the Jazz win tonight, in what had to be a big emotional boost for that organization and city.  I’m a Suns fan, you know I’m not exactly rooting for the Jazz, but I gotta say, it was good to see them win this game.  Another note: Oklahoma City has a really bright future.  I saw them in person Friday, and then in the second half of a back-to-back, they played really well.  See: Saturday’s best.

Saturday’s best: Tie between Russel Westbrook and Jeff Green. Man what a great young team.  Seriously.  If they don’t land a big name free agent in 2010, it’ll be shame because they could go places with another superstar.  Westbrook had 31 points, 5 rebounds, 11 assists, and a steal.  Green went off for 27 points, 15 boards, and 6 dimes.  He did have 7 turnovers, which prevented him from taking home the title all to himself for today.

Saturday’s worst: Mike James.  After a few strong games, he fails to score in 26 minutes, missing all 6 shots.  He’s got Javaris Crittenton breathing down his back, but even he had a bad game, scoreless in 18 minutes.  No shocker that the Wiz got blown out by the Spurs.

Keep an eye on: James Singleton. Who?  Yeah, I dunno.  What I do know is that he scored 19 points and grabbed 12 boards with a couple steals and a block tonight.  That’s something worth watching.

What to watch for tomorrow:  Boston at Phoenix is the best game on the docket.  Two teams without their best player, and we’ll see how the Suns adjust to not being able to score 140 on a weak team.  Worth watching on national TV at least.


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What a day Tuesday was.  Let me tell you, there were some crazy lines.  One stood above the rest.  Way above.  One could say it was… super.  And there was no green substance anywhere to be found…

Tuesday’s best: Let me start off saying there was a triple-double Tuesday.  It was Pau Gasol (12 points, 13 rebounds, 12 assists).  However, it was CLEARLY the second-best line.  The winner?  Superman himself, Dwight Howard.  All he did was score a career-best 45 points to go along with 19 boards and 8 blocks.  Two blocks short of one of the more impressive triple-doubles I’ve ever seen in my life.  Not only that, he was an uncharacteristic 13-18 from the line (72%) and 16-23 (70%) from the field.  Sorry Pau, Dwight just blew your triple-double out of the water.

Tuesday’s worst: Zach Randolph.  The former Jail Blazer played under 12 minutes because he felt it necessary to throw a punch at Louis Amundson.  I mean seriously, I was there, and we went to a boxing match and a basketball game broke out.  The plus side for Zach?  His +/- was only -13, compared to Eric Gordon’s -45 and Ricky Davis’ -42.

Keep an eye on: Amundson.  Sure, it was a blowout.  But Lou was the first guy off the bench under new coach Alvin Gentry and played 20 solid minutes, scoring 13 and pulling down 8 boards with the team’s lone block.  If he gets 20 minutes a game, which he could easily under a new coach, he’s worth a look in 12-16 team leagues where you need a big.

What to watch for tomorrow: Shawn Marion plays his first game as the Cavaliers travel to take on the Raptors.  Keep an eye on how many points the Raptors score, especially if Chris Bosh plays.  Dwight could go off again against New Orleans, who traded their best defensive big today.  And Devin Harris comes back to Dallas, where Vince Carter trade rumors are abound.  Could be semi-interesting.


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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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Seriously, when’s this gonna stop?

Last night, Jason Terry left the game in the first half with what turned out to be a broken left hand.  Ouchie.  Looks like Juan Jose Barea is the big winner here.  He’s worth a look if you’ve got the room for sure.

Then tonight, Al Jefferson left late in the game with a knee injury.  He had to be helped off the court, which of course makes us all cringe.  He’ll have test run tomorrow, so we’ll have to wait on his status.  Kevin Love should be getting a little more love as long as he’s out, but again, it’s too early to tell.
UPDATE: ESPN.com is reporting a torn ACL.  A surgery date has not been set, and neither has any sort of timetable.  But it can’t be good, and that’s for sure.  Ryan Gomes and Love are the big winners here.
UPDATE AGAIN: Looks like it’s for the year.  Oh my.

Also tonight, Mike Dunleavy Jr. re-injured that right knee that forced him to miss 34 games.  What rough luck.  We don’t know his status yet either, but we can go back to business as usual while he was out it looks like.


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