Monday, February 07, 2005

As the Point Guard Turns

It’s Monday, time for the weekly trip around the league looking at point guard situations. Today we’ll do something a bit different and take a look at every team, division by division. Off we go!

Atlantic Division
Gary Payton has had a fantastic start to February, and even though his name keeps coming up in trade rumors, with the Celtics in first place, I just can’t buy it. You never know with Danny Ainge, but I really can’t see them putting Marcus Banks in control. Gary’s been solid all year, coming in at #60 on the rater and as long as he stays in Boston should continue to do the same. Allen Iverson continues to be a world beater when healthy. Even as PG I didn't think he'd top his 6.8 apg from last year, but he's up to 7.6. Jason Kidd is clearly benefiting from being one of just two legitimate NBA players on his team. As long as the knees hold up, he’ll be a stud. The assists are lower than usual, but that’s what happens when you have one person to pass to. Jacque Vaughn is not recommended, in any league. Forget about the Stephon Marbury/Jamal Crawford position switch. They’ll both put up their usual numbers. As predicted, Rafer Alston returned strong from his two-game suspension. He might have one more outburst in him this season, but he’s still a top 40/50 player. And if you picked up Milt Palacio for his one game as a starter without Alston, you got 13 points, 9 boards, 7 assists, a steal and a 3, so well done.

Central Divison
Chauncey Billups
is a very underappreciated fantasy player. He’s #22 on the Rater and always gets his minutes. A great stabilizing force at the most important position. That LeBron James guy is pretty good, but I wonder if the animators on The Simpsons have ever seen him? Eric Snow averaged 7.5 apg in his 4 starts, but he got at least 40 minutes in each of those games, so that’s not that great. Kirk Hinrich’s shooting woes continue. He still belongs in every lineup. I don’t expect Jamaal Tinsley back until Friday, but that’s just me. Don’t let Anthony Johnson’s 21-point, 7-for-7 night on Friday fool you. The 9/3/1 he put up on Saturday is more like it. And here’s the weekly plea for Mike James to get the starters job in Milwaukee. He’s so ready, it’s not even funny. But I worry even if he gets the starting nod, Mo Williams will still get 20+ minutes off the bench. James hasn’t had back-to-back 30 minute games all year. But once he does, grab him and don’t think twice about it. Make it happen, Terry Porter.

Southeast Division
Damon Jones is hanging on for dear life. #157 on the 30-Day Rater. Not pretty. Keyon Dooling is stealing his mojo. Might be time to let go, if you haven’t already, but Damon could go on a 3s binge at any time. Gilbert Arenas is my hero. He’s so much better than Steve Francis, there’s no question. The Bobcats dreaded two-headed monster is back. Jason Hart has averaged 24.7 minutes in the last three, compared to 30.7 for Brevin Knight. Knight’s obviously the one to use here, and he’ll be a fine source of assists, steals and shortness. What happens when a starting PG who wasn’t worth using gets hurt? Someone else becomes not worth using, and that’s what’s happening in Atlanta. With Ty Lue expected to miss a handful of games, Boris Diaw was removed from his hyperbaric chamber and saw 36 minutes. And he did what he usually does with 36 minutes: 4/4/5 with a steal. He’s a poor man’s Bruce Bowen. Yes, that’s an insult.

Southwest Division
Tony Parker
is a much better player in real life than in fantasy. As long as the offense runs through Timmy, though, his assists will never be too high. Jason Terry checks in at #29 on the 30-Day Rater. And tt was good to see him bounce back after a couple of rough games at New Orleans and Indiana. Let’s hope Nellie keeps giving him the time he deserves when he gets back. As my FBB cohort pointed out, Bob Sura is good. I could have had him for Kenny Thomas a month ago. Ugh. Yeah, he’s banged up, but who isn’t. The guy clearly enjoys being out there and should continue being a top 60 player. It’s been a good couple weeks for Jason Williams, checking in at #36 on the 15-Dayer. Earl Watson’s return from injury might hurt a bit, but J-Will is solid, if you can put up with the occasional clunker. Who knows when Baron Davis is coming back? You just can’t count on him for anything at this point. What’s the hurry? At least that’s what Dan Dickau owners are saying. He’s #21 in the past 15. Even if/when Baron comes back, Dickau has earned time. I can see him getting 30+ minutes off the bench, eating into J.R. Smith’s time. Ah, spoken like a man who just traded for Dickau earlier this morning.

Northwest Division
Luke Ridnour continues to see lots of clock, including 40 minutes on Saturday, and that was with Ray Allen back. His owners have to like that. We like him in the second half. It’s time for Sam Cassell to pick it up. I’m a lot more confident he can do it than Latrell Sprewell. His assists are there, but the 3s and steals really aren’t. It’s hard to know what to expect from him. He’s been so damn consistent over the past five years, that you almost expect him to go on some monster run for a month or so. He was breaking out right before he got hurt back in January, so maybe he’ll do it for real now. Andre Miller is durable and not flashy, but always solid. Except that year with the Clippers. His great FG% lets you go for a 3-point gunner with a crappy FG% as your other PG. What can you say about Damon Stoudamire? He’s playing for a contract, and he only likes the most primo hydroponics. He’s hit at least two 3s in every game over the past month. Gotta love the little guy. But Sebastian Telfair is going to be a good one. Him and Shaun Livingston are going to have some good battles in a few years. As for Utah, I told you that situation was one to avoid. Don’t trust Jerry Sloan, and don’t use Raul Lopez.

Pacific Division
Steve Nash is pretty good, but I’m with Sports Guy. He’s not the MVP. I don’t care that the Suns fell apart when he was out. To me, the MVP is the guy who takes over the game in the last five minutes, when everybody knows exactly what’s happening, but you still can’t stop him. Nash just isn’t that guy. Mike Bibby sure is on some kind of a roll. He’s finally putting up numbers that show what a good player he is. As much as I’ve hated the Kings through the years, it’s never been Bibby. He’s the only true baller on the team. There’s Chucky Atkins at #36 on the 30-Day Rater. Enjoy it. The 3s will still be there when Kobe gets back, but the assists and points will suffer. Marko Jaric is frustrating. A back-to-back of 17.5/2.5/9 with 3 3s and a steal, but he follows it with 30 scoreless and gets hurt. He needs to be fully healthy and productive when Livingston gets back, because Livingston is the future and the team’s best playmaker. Jaric can and will still see time at the 2 or even the 3, though. Speedy Claxton is back and the situation in Golden State is like the one in Charlotte. 27.5 mpg for Claxton in the last two, 25.5 for Derek Fisher. Claxton starts and is a fantastic thief, so he’s the better bet. He’s also the better bet to be injured again in a few weeks, so be ready to grab (the also banged-up) Fisher when that happens.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I am last in my league in FT%, so I am trading Shaq for Brad Miller. Is this a good idea?

6:07 PM  
Blogger bv said...

well, you have to look at how far back in FT% you are, and your other categories, obviously. But Brad Miller is a great pickup right now. The less that C-Webb plays, the better for Miller - and given Webber's history, Miller could be in for a great last few months. If it makes sense for you in the standings, then absolutely, go for it.

10:15 PM  
Blogger DM said...

I'd stick with Shaq. You've had him this long, you aren't going to get out of the cellar in FT%. Hopefully he's helped you into first place in FG% to balance it out. Over the past 30 days, Miller has been on fire, but he can't get much better than how he's been going. And as great as that is, Shaq is still clearly better than him in FG%, rebounds, blocks and points. Miller has a very slight edge in assists and is decisively better in steals, but I don't think that's enough. Accept your fate in FT%, stick with Shaq, win FG%, rebounds and blocks. That's the way to win with the Diesel.

9:19 AM  

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