Monday, March 21, 2005

Weekend Review

Down goes Duncan! Down goes Allen!

Boy, this sure was Ankle Sunday, huh? First, two minutes into a nationally televised game on Sunday afternoon, Tim Duncan rolled his ankle and was carried off the court, and was being wheelchaired around the locker room minutes later. Then later in the day, Ray Allen left in the first quarter of the Sonics game vs. the Lakers with a sprained ankle of his own. Now, there is not much word on the severity of either ankle injury, but you can expect Duncan to be out a few games at least. We know much less about Allen’s ankle, but the fact that he didn’t return to a close game against a playoff opponent does not bode well for his immediate future.

What really amazes me about Tim Duncan is that even though he’s definitely going to miss some time, there’s not really much you can do to take advantage of an injury to this top-10 fantasy player. If Nazr Mohammed is available, by all means grab him, but hope that he gets more than the 21 minutes he got yesterday. Devin Brown also might be worth grabbing at this point, as he seems to be sliding into the Stephen Jackson circa ’02 role. But with Ginobili playing his way back into game shape, and Bruce Bowen only getting 19 minutes, yesterday was someone’s time to shine on the Spurs, and it just didn’t happen.

However, if Allen misses much time, Flip Murray could be a huge pickup. When Allen missed 2 games at the end of January, Murray averaged 18/4.5/2.5 with 2.5 3’s and 1.5 steals. And last night, he scored 25 points once he took over for Allen. Murray is a great play for however long Allen is out. And with the Sonics playing 4 games this week, Murray should be picked up immediately.

James, KG Continue to Make Their Case
Quite a Sunday for LeBron: 56 points, 10 boards, 5 assists, 6 3’s, 2 steals, 18-36 from the field, 14-15 from the line. Is that the best fantasy line of the year? Possibly. But what about Kevin Garnett? 30/17/6 with a steal, 3 blocks, a three, 9-19 from the field, 11-12 from the line. For the first time in a couple of years, there is some serious doubt about who is going to be the first pick in next year’s draft. Right now, I’m shading towards LeBron … but that could change at any moment. If he maintains his ridiculous PG status next year, that could put him over the top.

Standings Watch
The biggest movement happened out west, as the Nuggets continued to win this weekend, and look like they aren’t far off from wrapping up the 8 seed. They’re 9-1 in their last 10, and their remaining schedule isn’t too tough (only 9 of their 17 games will be against playoff teams). Meanwhile, the Lakers are fading fast, losing their last 5 games, and with Lamar Odom out last night and probably tomorrow night, they could be essentially out of the race by the end of the week. That might mean that Odom (shoulder) and Chris Mihm (ankle) could take longer than expected to come back, meaning extra minutes for Stanislav "The Manislav" Medvedenko and Jumaine Jones.

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