Friday, December 03, 2004

Weekend Preview (12/3-12/5)

"He Ran Into My Elbow"

That was Bobcat's Tamar Slay's explanation of what caused teammate Gerald Wallace's grade II concussion that is keeping him out of tomorrow night's game against the Knicks. Sure, Tamar, whatever you say. Just like Ron Artest ran into that cup of beer. And it just so happens that Slay could get a little extra playing time in Wallace's absence. Not that we're insinuating anything. We're just brining this up because Wallace, one of the most popular Bobcats to pick this year in fantasy drafts, could be out indefinitely, and that means someone is going to get a chance to shine.

The best pick for player who will see increased action is probably Keith Bogans, the second-year man out of Kentucky. Bogans is already a borderline fantasy player, though he's probably still on your waiver wire. So far this year he's averaging 13.9/4.3/2.8 with a 3 and a steal in 28 minutes. If he can push that up to 16/6/4 with 1.5 3's, that's obviously a line that's worth of being on your team. see if he gets closer to 30-35 minutes, and increases his shots a bit. The other player worth watching is Eddie House, but his rebound and assist numbers are so terrible that he'd have to put up close to 20 ppg in order to really have value.

Que Sura Sura

Remember that time last year when Bob Sura absolutely exploded, and started getting crazy triple-doubles out of nowhere for the Hawks? After never averaging more than 13.8 points, 4.3 assists or 4.3 boards, last year in 27 games for the Hawks he put up 14.7/8.3/5.3, with a steal and .4 3's. Now Sura's on the Rockets, a team where he is defintiely no better than the 4th option, so you're not going to see those kind of numbers again unless T-Mac and Yao both go down with injuries. However, he can still have value for your fantasy team.

In three games since returning from back surgery, Sura has struggled to find his place in the offense (only 5 ppg), but has earned himself a starting spot and looks like he will get over 30 mpg while Tyronne Lue and Charlie Ward are on the IL. He's putting up nice rebound and assist numbers already, and with T-Mac starting to heat up, he could get plenty of open looks at the basket. If you've got an open spot on your roster, pick him up now, because in a week or so he'll be gone.

Game of the Week(end)

Memphis at Orlando, Saturday, 7 pm EST.

There are certainly more glamorous matchups this weekend (Minnesota at Phoenix tonight comes to mind), but fantasy players will keep a close eye on this game. Mike Fratello makes his debut as the Grizzlies coach, and you're going to want to pay attention to who gets the majority of the minutes on the floor. You've got to assume the dreaded 10-man rotation will be gone, so whoever consistently gets over 30 mpg will have their fantasy value go up pretty drastically.

On the other side of the court, see if Dwight Howard is able to keep his recent run of impressive performances going. Over his last 5 games, Howard has averaged 14 points, 11 boards, 1.6 blocks and 1.2 steals on 62.5% shooting, including a 24-point night against Atlanta last Friday and an incredible 20-rebound game against Toronto on Wednesday. Also take a look at Grant Hill, as the feel-good story of the year has taken a big hit in FG% (48 to 41) and rebounds (5.2 to 3.4) over his last 5 games.

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