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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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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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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.


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


Al Jeff vs Amare
The long weekend is in the rear view mirror, school has started, and our mock draft kicks off September with the first pick in the second round. Dwyane Wade is a fun pick even in the worst of times, but 22 players fly off the board before this team makes its third round selection. With Flash coming back from injury, it seems wise at this point to 1) go for a younger player who can log a bunch of games and 2) go for a big man so that even if Wade misses some time, this team can change up its strategy and remain competitive.

Make sure you check our master list for a recap and links to all the picks made thus far. The list should eventually feature some round by round commentary as well.

Click to continue reading Dropping Dimes Mock Draft: Round 2, Pick 1: Al Jefferson


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?


Kobe Bryant damn I'm good
The shoot-out in the wild Western Conference has been great to follow, has it not? The top nine teams are separated by only 6.5 games. Every day the standings shift. Right now Phoenix sits in sixth while Dallas ranks seventh! This bodes well for fantasy owners as the best teams in the West should all be playing meaningful games down the stretch. Here’s a rundown of each team’s fantasy playoff schedule.

Click to continue reading Playoff Primer 2008: Western Conference


LaMarcus Aldridge

Some people have all the luck. You probably know someone that seems to be in the right place at the right time. You hear stories about people on flights getting bumped to business class from economy class because the airline overbooked economy. Then there are people that walk into department stores and find an awesome sale on something you have been looking for for months. LaMarcus Aldridge is one of these lucky people. How else can you explain Zach Randolph getting traded in the offseason to the Knicks and treasured draft pick Greg Oden missing this season with micro-fracture knee surgery. Opportunity has the door wide open for LaMarcus Aldridge to have a monster season.

Round 5 Pick 9: LaMarcus Aldridge, PF/C, Portland Trail Blazers

Click to continue reading Dropping Dimes Mock Draft Blog 2007: Round 5, Pick 9-LaMarcus Aldridge


Ricky DavisOh Ricky, you’re so fine, you’re so fine you blow my mind, Hey Ricky!  Hey Ricky!

Oh Ricky, you’re so fine, you’re so fine you blow my mind, Hey Ricky!  Hey Ricky!

You shoot the other way, just to get another board
You rack up steals and points, there’s no doubting you can score
You’re sharing the backcourt, but not with TJ Ford, Ricky!

?????????????????????????

Oh Ricky, you’re so tricky, I can’t understand
They trade away Garnett, but you might not be the man

Oh Ricky, you’re so tricky, I can’t understand…

It’s guys like you, Ricky…

Round 5, Pick 8: Ricky Davis, SG/SF, Minnesota Timberwolves

Click to continue reading Dropping Dimes Mock Draft Blog 2007: Round 5, Pick 8 - Ricky Davis


Al JeffersonIn fantasy hoops, you can never have too many quality big men.  With Yao Ming and Pau Gasol already lacing them up for this team, I’m going to seal the deal on the front court and select on the biggest up-and-comers in the league:

3.12 Al Jefferson, PF/C
Minnesota Timberwolves

Click to continue reading Dropping Dimes Mock Draft Blog 2007: Round 3, Pick 12 - Al Jefferson


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