Thursday, February 10, 2005

Please Please Play Me

Sort of in the same vein as my cohort’s post earlier this morning, I’d like to introduce a new feature to FBB: Please Please Play Me. It’s pretty self-explanatory – basically a weekly look at guys I’d like to see get more playing time, because I think they’d do good things with it. I won’t be picking people that are too outlandish, it will mostly be guys who are on the verge of being fantasy relevant, but just need that extra bit of love from their head coach. I mean, I’d like to see what Dorrell Wright can do, but I don’t expect the Heat to give him that chance this season. OK then, here we go, I bet you’ll never guess who heads up the initial list…

Mike James
YTD: 24.7 mpg, 11.3/2.7/3.8, 0.9 steals, 1.2 3s, 45%
Last 5: 27.6 mpg, 16.0/2.6/3.6, 0.8 steals, 2.2 3s, 52%
At this point I picture Mike James like Homer in the Flaming Moe’s episode of The Simpsons. Wandering the Bradley Center mumbling, “Mo … Mo … Mo.” What does he have to do to crack the starting lineup? But the tide might be turning. In the last three games, James has totaled 91 minutes; his backcourt nemesis, Mo Williams, has totaled just 69. In the last two games – both Bucks victories – the team has scored a whopping 231 points. James has been the one out there in the fourth quarter, and he made some big shots against the Raptors. In the lowly East, the Bucks are only 3.5 games out of a playoff spot, and it might be time for James to take the reigns and see if the Bucks can start simply outscoring their opponents. He’d be a great 3rd PG/Utility player if he can get those minutes.

Mike Sweetney
YTD: 17.3 mpg, 7.5/4.7/0.6, 0.6 blocks, 53%
Last 5: 19.8 mpg, 7.2/5.2/0.6, 0.4 blocks, 52%
I won’t speak for BV, but I’m not the biggest Nazr Mohammed fan. He was impressive early in the season, but check out his monthly splits and you’ll see a steady decline month by month. Now he’s got a bit of a groin strain, although it’s unclear if he’ll miss any time. I say sit him out for a few games, slide Kurt Thomas into the center slot, and give Sweetney minutes at PF. The next couple games are against Boston and Charlotte, whose big men, Mark Blount and Primo Brezec, aren’t exactly the most intimidating big men in the NBA. Thomas could match up with them. Sweetney has had four games this year in which he’s received 30+ minutes. His numbers in those games? 15.3/8.5/1.8 with 1.8 blocks on 50% shooting. I like those numbers. Don’t forget that the former Hoya was the 9th overall pick two years ago, and I’d like to see him get his chance to make an impression.

Jameer Nelson
YTD: 13.2 mpg, 5.8/1.7/2.2, 0.8 steals, 0.3 3s, 44%
Last 5: 14.6 mpg, 7.4/3.2/2.0, 1.0 steals, 0.6 3s, 47%
Remember all the talk about the Magic getting such a steal with Nelson as the 20th overall pick, since he was so NBA ready? Well, he’s not getting much of an opportunity with the Magic. But he’s another guy who’s done nothing but produce when given the chance, like his 12-point, 7-steal performance on Jan. 22 or his 19-point, 6-assist, 3-steal, 3-3s performance on Jan. 10. Jameer is 10th in the NBA in steals per minute, so if he got time, he’d obviously be an asset there. Admittedly there’s not a lot of room for him, but I wouldn’t be upset if the disappointing Doug Christie started to see his time reduced in favor of the rook. But with the Magic in the thick of the playoff race, it seems unlikely that this will happen. It will probably take the not-so-inevitable-anymore Grant Hill injury to even get him near 20 minutes.

Chris Andersen
YTD: 20.1 mpg, 6.9/5.4/0.9, 1.4 blocks, 51%
Last 5: 18.4 mpg, 6.0/4.0/1.6, 2.0 blocks, 42%
It’s surprising that Andersen hasn’t gotten more of an opportunity in Jamaal Magloire’s extended absence. P.J. Brown is always solid, but certainly isn’t a true center, and you’d think the team would like to give the 26 year old Andersen a chance instead of going with a starting frontcourt of George Lynch and Rodney Rogers along with P.J. Fantasy owners are aware of Andersen because of his blocks (12th in the league per 48), and if he could get 30 minutes, he’d be a must add. Look at his YTD numbers and then look at these: 23.6 mpg, 6.8/6.9/0.5, 1.7 blocks, 52%. Basically the same thing, right? That’s Samuel Dalembert. The Hornets don’t have much of an excuse for not seeing what they have in Andersen, but if he hasn’t gotten the chance by now, it’s hard to see it happening.

Chris Wilcox
22.8 mpg, 9.8/5.0/0.8, 0.5 steals, 0.6 blocks, 52%
Last 5: DNP-CD
Hey, I gotta look out for a former Terp, because it’s obvious that nobody else is. In 30 mpg all the way back in November, Wilcox averaged 13.7/6.8/1.3 with 0.7 steals and blocks on 53% shooting. Not bad, right? I know he’s prone to some bone-headed plays on defense, but his +/- is better than Chris Kaman’s. In the 19 games Wilcox has started, the Clippers are 11-8; in the 30 he hasn’t started, they are 12-18. I’m not saying he’s the reason, and I’m not saying he should replace Kaman, who’s been playing good ball and is fun to watch, but he doesn’t need to be ignored like he has been since coming back from his injury.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

D. Marshal,

If Sam mitchell would put him in the game, you would see a top 20 player.

5:59 PM  
Blogger DM said...

I felt Donyell's plight has already been covered plenty. He's obviously got the goods. You don't end up in the top 10 at the end of the season (like he did last year) by accident. The rare player who's a plus in steals, blocks and 3s given the chance.

6:33 PM  

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