Friday, March 04, 2005

Weekend Preview

So the trading deadline is over. Hopefully you’ve made all the little tweaks you needed to make to your roster (or big tweaks), and now it’s time to sit back and relax, and watch some basketball. Right? Pfft! As IF. There’s always plenty to keep your eye on, and this weekend will be no different. Whether it’s certain teams’ rotations like I discussed the other day, or certain players like DM mentioned yesterday, there’s all sorts of fun going on. In fact, there’s so much that we’re gonna pick a game from every day this weekend that you guys should be checking out.

Indiana at Portland, 10pm EST

Of course, in all the trade talks I’d had over the past few days, Jermaine O’Neal was my one untouchable player. Unfortunately, he was much more touchable on the court (don’t take that the wrong way). He sprained his shoulder on a drive to the basket and could be out for quite a while. So there goes 19.8 FGA per game for the Pacers, meaning Stephen Jackson, Freddie Jones and Reggie Miller will be counted on for more scoring. On the other side of the ball, keep a close eye on Sebastian Telfair, who has the most promise of all of their yougsters, and should get more playing time under new coach Kevin Pritchard. Also watch the minutes slip away for Stoudamire, Van Exel, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, and all the other ‘good’ players on the Blazers. They’re competing with the Raptors for being the worst-run team in the league.

Philadelphia at Atlanta, 7pm EST

So things haven’t gone smoothly for Webber so far in Philly. Trust me, this is no surprise. But this could be where things completely fall apart in Philly. His 29.8% field goal shooting aside, the Sixers are already concerned about his ability to play in back-to-back games. After his horrendous night against New Jersey after playing in Milwaukee the night before, you can’t blame them. Saturday, the Sixers head to Atlanta after hosting LeBron and the Cavs the night before. Webber’s ability to a) play in this game, and b) play WELL in this game will have a great effect on his numbers over the rest of the year. Atlanta, meanwhile, looks like they should hand the reigns back to Tyronn Lue after Boris Diaw nearly committed as many fouls (5) as points scored (6) in 32 minutes during Lue’s 1-game suspension.

Phoenix at Seattle, 9pm EST
OK, I guess one ‘fun’ game out of three is ok. If there was a run n’ gun in the NBA, this is the game that would feature it. Here’s something to consider, though, while watching. Are Jim Jackson and/or Walter McCarty really going to be able to provide that much help come crunch time in the playoffs? Because last night’s production against posisble Finals opponent Detroit (combined 25 minutes, 1-3 FG, 0-1 3P, 2 reb, 5 assists, 1 TO, 2 pts) does not bode well.


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