Monday, March 07, 2005

As the Point Guard Turns

Helping figure out PG situations for the rest of the year, but thinking a bit about next year.

Gary Payton is back in Boston, and picked up right where he left off. He was a little rusty in his first game back, but was back to normal yesterday. Delonte West will still see increased minutes, but it’s very safe to drop him now. Certainly keep him in mind for down the road, though. All things equal, I’m not sure there’s another player I’d rather have for the last month or so than Allen Iverson. He’s gunning for the playoffs, gunning for an MVP, and has been the top fantasy player over the last month, anyway. Enjoy the ride, but don’t make a mistake and pick him in the first round next year. Jason Kidd has certainly slowed down since his vintage early-February, but is still #32 on the 15 Day Rater. As long as the Nets are still in the hunt – and with every team in the East falling apart, there’s no reason that shouldn’t be the case for at least a couple more weeks – he’ll continue to see big minutes and put up big numbers. The Nets will try to get him some off time during blowouts, like they did on Saturday. Another controversy-free week from Rafer Alston, but he’s averaging just 4.7 apg since the All-Star break, which is not getting it done. Probably just a blip. On the other hand, Stephon Marbury has had at least 12 assists in three of his last five. Hopefully you bought low during his rough stretch a few weeks back, because he’s going to be his studly self from here on out.

The Pistons PG situation is business as usual. It might be smart to knock Chauncey Billups down a notch or two for next year with Carlos Arroyo around, because there’s just no need for him to see much more than 35 mpg. The Cavs are a mess, and Jeff McInnis is suffering along with everyone else that isn’t LeBron or Big Z. He’s not been nearly the same player he was in November and December, so don’t expect a complete bounce back. Don’t worry about Kirk Hinrich seeing a combined 47 minutes in losses to the Rockets and Spurs. One was a 30-point blowout, and the other was the monthly “Scott Skiles sends a message to his starters” game. Hinrich responded nicely with 24/4/3, 3 3s and 3 steals the next night. Chris Duhon missed a good chance to put up some big numbers, averaging 36.7 mpg in the last three, but good for just 4.0/5.0/3.3 with 0 steals, but a solid 1.7 3s. Don’t act surprised; it is Chris Duhon. With Jermaine O’Neal hurt and Jamaal Tinsley still out, Rick Carlisle mercifully dumped Anthony Johnson from the starting lineup in favor of Fred Jones. He’s probably gone by now, but if not, get Jones right now. You remember some of those games he had post-brawl. He’ll be an excellent source of points, 3s, assists and steals, and might even help your percentages, too. The 7 Day Rater isn’t always reliable, but he’s #28 on there, and should be in all lineups “until Tinsley returns.” Post-deadline Mo Williams is looking like 17.6/4.2/8.8 with 1.8 steals and 0.6 3s on 54% and 89%. Yeah, that’s pretty nice. He’s #17 on the 15 Day Rater. That might be asking a bit much, but no reason he shouldn’t stay in the Top 50.

Right on cue, I trade for Damon Jones and he cools off big time. He’ll still put at up at least 4 3pg, and that’s probably why you have him, so just hope they go in. His back problem isn’t keeping him out of the lineup, so that’s good. The Wizards are depleted with injuries, meaning even with Larry Hughes’s return, Gilbert Arenas has seen 43.7 mpg in the last three. Word is that he’s fighting a knee problem of his own, which you can see in his FG% more than anything else, 38% in his last three. Doubtful that he’ll miss time, but get used to the possibility of him being a top-15 player rather than a top-5 player. Jameer Nelson is officially entrenched. 17.3/3.7/5.3 with 2.0 steals and 0.7 3s in 40.3 mpg in his last three, all Magic victories. He should be a top 10 PG the rest of the way with Doug Christie out of the way, the Magic fighting for the playoffs, and Nelson with relatively fresh legs. I told you to keep Jason Hart on speed dial. With Brevin Knight’s ankle acting up again, Hart’s back in the starting lineup and should see even more minutes with Kareem Rush out. He’ll rack up assists and steals, should throw in a few 3s and if he’s lucky will approach 15 ppg. Tyronn Lue is still the starter in Atlanta, but Boris Diaw of all people is showing signs of life and is eating into his time. Probably a situation to avoid.

If Tim Duncan is to miss a few games, then expect Tony Parker’s numbers to get a slight bump. He averaged 21 ppg in the two that Timmy missed last month. It was a pretty good week for Jason Terry, although we know that doesn’t mean much when it comes to how this week will be. Although with Dirk Nowitzki, Michael Finley and Erick Dampier all hobbled, his chances of being productive are much better. Mike James had his first not amazing game since coming over from Milwaukee yesterday. He won’t keep up the insane pace he was at, but those three game numbers (23.0/3.0/5.0 with 3.7 3s and 2 steals) were peak Gilbert Arenas numbers, so you know that. He’s still a great option until Bob Sura returns. It will be extremely interesting to see how Jeff Van Gundy handles the situation then. Same old thing in Memphis. If Earl Watson leaves Memphis in the offseason, it will be interesting to see if Jason Williams can become a more consistent game-to-game contributor. It’s been a rough couple games for Dan Dickau, but Speedy Claxton didn’t do much to distinguish himself either. Nobody except P.J. Brown or someone named Jackson Vroman has seen more than 31 minutes for New Orleans in the past four games. This is bad news for everyone involved. Except "Jackson Vroman," of course.

Luke Ridnour had a nice game against Detroit, but in the last four he’s at 8.0/1.8/4.8 with 1 steal and 0.8 3s. That’s good for #174 on the 15 Day Rater. Ouch. Antonio Daniels could be an interesting option if he gets a starting job next year. He could put up very similar numbers to Andre Miller. Speak of the devil, he’s back to sucking, with 3.5/2.5/7.0 in his last two. The Nuggets are winning, and at least he’s getting his assists and steals. Hope for the best, that’s all you can do. Someone somewhere (probably many people) has/had both Jamaal Tinsley and Sam Cassell. Sorry, folks. Sebastian Telfair looks to be a starter for the rest of the year, and put up a very nice 18 points, 7 assists and 3 steals on Saturday. He’s worth grabbing, but keep in mind the following: 1) That game was against the Suns, when the Blazers scored 116 points, 23 above their season average, 2) Zach Randolph was out, and when he’s back, Darius Miles could shift to SG sometimes with Damon Stoudamire at the point, 3) Telfair is unlikely to shoot much over 40%, 4) He won’t get too many 3s, 5) With Portland out of it, look for walk-year guys like Stoudamire and Shareef Abdur-Rahim to try and boost their own numbers. Temper expectations for Telfair and hope for healthy numbers in assists and steals. Keith McLeod had his good game for the week. Actually, this late in the season, if you’re down games at PG or just need assists, you may as well plug him in. That’s the best I can say for him.

Don’t be surprised to see Steve Nash see closer to 30 mpg than 35 mpg for the last month. That’ll still be more than enough time for him to rack up assists, but he’s certainly not a top-15 player. Oh, Mike Bibby. You’re such a dreamy fantasy player. He’s #7 in the past 15, up to #11 overall. Like I said, he might be worth that last first round pick next year. Chucky Atkins is #59 overall on the Rater, right ahead of Ben Wallace, Carlos Boozer and Antawn Jamison, just like you predicted it would be at the beginning of the season. He’s had a couple of off nights, but is still plenty reliable. Rick Brunson is now in the same league as Keith McLeod, maybe not even that good. If you need to make up games at PG and need assists, he’s probably the best that’s out there. Baron Davis is an explosive, exciting player, but the man cannot shoot. HE CANNOT SHOOT. He’s at 31% since getting to Golden State, in large part because 37 of his 61 attempts have been from behind the arc. It’s nice for his owners that he’s hitting 1.8 per game (and rising), but I saw him play against the Wizards on Friday and he took the ball to the hoop maybe twice. Derek Fisher is staying on the floor, seeing 38.8 mpg in his last four, but he’s had two very good games and two bad ones. It balances out to 12.8/3.3/5.8 with 1.8 3s and 1.3 steals, which is fine, just fine.


Anonymous Buster Samson said...

really enjoyed it. Thanks!

12:21 PM  

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