Monday, January 24, 2005

Weekend Review

Things are finally starting to get interesting in the NBA. We saw a trade go down late Friday, the return of a potential top-5 fantasy player from injury, and what could be the annual Chris Webber injury. Oh, and Marcus Camby had to be helped off the court Friday after spraining his ankle as well. Let’s try to put the pieces together here:

Jim Jackson to Phoenix

Well that didn’t take TOO long. After sitting out almost a month, Jim Jackson finally got his wish and was sent from New Orleans to the title-contending Phoenix Suns. In return, the Hornets got sharpshooter Casey Jacobsen, prospect Maciej Lampe, and filler (i.e. Jackson Vroman). Jackson, ever the mature individual, refused to play for the meddling Hornets, so this trade should come as a surprise to no one. Let’s take a look at how both teams are affected:

Phoenix Suns: When we looked at the bench of the Phoenix Suns a few weeks ago, nobody really stood out as that quality 6th man that the Suns needed to spell their starters. As such, their starting five (Stoudemire, Nash, Marion, Q, and Joe Johnson) all average between 34 and 39 minutes a night. So it was clear that they needed to find someone they could rely on to come in and take up some minutes. Jackson is a nice fit here, but he won’t have any real value unless they have an injury clear some space for him. Remember, in Houston he was decent, with 13.3/4.8/3.6 and over 2 3’s per game, but that was in 41 minutes. He’ll be lucky to see 25 minutes a game as the 6th man in Phoenix. There has been talk of a Joe Johnson/Samuel Dalembert trade, but don’t believe the rumors. Jackson is going to be the sixth man here – a role he flourished in with the Kings in 2002, and expect Johnson, Q, and Marion to each see reduced minutes, but nothing too drastic.

New Orleans Hornets: Going with the old quantity over quality approach, I really like this deal for the Hornets. Casey Jacobsen should be able to step right in and provide quality minutes at the 2 guard, while Lampe should have some space to grow, albeit for his third team in 1 1/2 years. Jacobsen could have some minor fantasy value over the rest of the year. Look for something like 13/4/3 with 2 3’s and maybe a steal. Actually, pretty close to what Jim Jackson was doing in Houston. Lampe is a fantasy basketblog favorite for down the line, but is certainly nowhere close to being a consistent contributor this year.

Wearing Down

Every year, it happens. Every year. You look like you’ve got a great fantasy team, and then all of a sudden, a game here, a game there, and the WHAM none of your players are even in the lineups! In an 82 game season, where the playoffs are far more important than the regular season, players are often more than happy to sit out a few games here and there over the second half of the season to rest some nagging injuries. This weekend some of the most notorious sit-outs were starting to show signs of their annual breakdown. Let’s take a look:

Chris Webber, F (SAC) – Webber hasn’t played 70 games since 2000, but this year he’s been on pace to cross that barrier, having missed only 3 games so far this year. Just when things were looking too good to be true, Webber turned his ankle and left the game on Sunday. There haven’t been any definitive signs yet out of Sacramento, but a bad ankle AND a bad knee could mean a poor second half for C-Webb.

Marcus Camby, F/C (DEN) – When he’s not busy waiting by the mailbox for his ESPN The Magazine, Camby spends his time injuring himself in just about every way possible. SO far this year, it’s been back pain, bronchitis, a hamstring, and a bruised tailbone. Now he’s sprained an ankle, and while he claims he’ll be ready for the Nuggets’ next game on Tuesday, this could be bad news for him, and great news for Nene.

Allen Iverson, G (PHI) – No one is going to question AI’s toughness, or his love for discussing practice. But he’s missed over 10 games in 6 of his last 7 seasons, and has already missed two this year. Now he’s a game-time decision for tonight after injuring his hip on Saturday in Orlando. Nonetheless, with the 76ers vying for the Atlantic Division title (if you can call it that), expect AI to miss minimal time, and be an effective player through the second half.

Baron Davis, PG (NOR) – Talk about a throwaway year for the Aquagreen Baron. He came out of the box on fire, then hurt himself and was out about 6 weeks, slowly worked his way back into the lineup, started 8 games, then reinjured himself and has sat out the last four. Anything – anything – that you can get out of him at this point is pure bonus.

Y’all Just Can’t Get Enough

So, you love reading fantasy basketblog, but wish you could find it in more places? Your problems are solved! Our friends over at Fantasy NBA Blog are posting an article of ours over on their site once a week. So go check out their page as well, because you just can’t get enough fantasy basketball analysis.


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