Tuesday, December 14, 2004


When Derek Fisher went to the IL recently, I immediately grabbed Speedy Claxton and inserted him into my lineup. It may seem like a minor move, but then Claxton notched 7 steals in his first game without Fisher. While we can’t expect 7 every game, you can expect Claxton to rack them up, as he is 12th in the league in steals per 48 minutes. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at some other likely-available players who are among the leaders in categories per 48 minutes.

Bobby Jackson
Danny Fortson
Juan Dixon

As expected with this category, the entire top 20 is filled with top-flight superstars. Bobby Jackson and Juan Dixon were two of the only bench players on there last year (I believe Flip Murray was there, too), and now they are joined by Fortson. This serves as a reminder that should something happen to Mike Bibby or Doug Christie, Jackson will do some serious scoring. It’s hard to see the Wizards get to a point where Dixon will have a starting role.

Danny Fortson
Reggie Evans
Dan Gadzuric
Loren Woods
Alan Henderson

Fortson appears again, and he’s clearly someone who would be a very useful player if given the time. But it’s not totally Nate McMillian’s fault, as Fortson would easily lead the league in another category not listed here – fouls per 48 minutes. His teammate Reggie Evans is probably available, but it’s obvious that the two of them are canceling each other out. Were one of them to go down and the other would see 30 mpg, they could offer some serious board help. Dan Gadzuric is one to watch out for. Take out a stinker against Miami in which he got into early foul trouble, and he’s averaging 8.3 and 10.8 in his last four to go with 1.5 blocks. If he can somehow work his way into the 32-33 mpg range, he’d certainly be worth a look.

Fred Hoiberg
Brian Cook
Juan Dixon
Troy Hudson

Brian Cook has had some buzz over the past few weeks, mainly due to his out-of-nowhere long-distance game. If something were to happen to Caron Butler, he could be very worthwhile. Troy Hudson makes the first of his two appearances. If Sam Cassell were to miss some time and Hudson was able to take over all of his minutes, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Hudson have more value than Cassell.

Stephen Hunter
Dikembe Mutombo
David Harrison
Al Jefferson
Jerome James
Shawn Bradley
Dan Gadzuric
Chris Andersen
Franciso Elson

Lots of names here, but only a few worth remembering. Guys like Hutner and Mutombo just aren’t going to get the opportunity. Al Jefferson is one to remember for later in the year. If it looks like he’s going to become a regular part of the rotation, he could be helpful. Gadzuric shows up again. Remember, he had an extremely productive two-week stretch last year and might be ready to embark on another one soon. Chris Andersen might get a chance in New Orleans since they have no players. They actually had to turn to Lonny Baxter. Never a good sign.

Rick Brunson
Maurice Williams
Howard Eisley
Chris Duhon
Troy Hudson
Milt Palacio

Rick Brunson? Yeah, Rick Brunson. His rate stats are even more impressive than the surprising Marko Jaric, but even with Jaric slumping lately, it’s hard to see him having an impact. Maurice Williams has probably been floating on and off rosters all year, as he’ll follow a great game with a lousy one. If something happens to Mike James again, he’s a no-brainer pick up. Don’t even think about Chris Duhon. At the Bulls-Wizards game we were at a few weeks ago, I’ve never seen an NBA player so unwilling to shoot the ball.

Ruben Patterson
Devin Harris
Marquis Daniels
Rick Brunson
Andre Igoudala
Eddie Gill
Speedy Claxton

Keep an eye on those Mavs. Devin Harris is obviously done for now, but he could still have some value down the road. And certainly don’t forget about Marquis Daniels, especially as we enter the trading season. If he gets shipped out of the Big D, he will be one to look at.


Blogger Nels said...

It's funny how many people are surprised by Brian Cook's long range game. I was at Illinois when he was there and he definitely displayed the kind of shooting there he is showing the NBA now. Sure, the NBA 3-point line is farther back, but you could he was a pure shooter even then. If he were 6-11 and a little more powerful (ie: muscular), he could be a player along the lines of Stojakovic.

3:56 PM  
Blogger DM said...

Well, he ATTEMPTED a grand total of five 3s last year in 35 games. And he shot 30% from long-distance his senior year in college. So I think it's safe to it's a surprise, you know?

4:28 PM  

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