Friday, December 02, 2005

Weekend Preview: 12/2 – 12/4

Before we get started, I just wanted to remind everybody about the mailbag feature that we very sneakily put up on the sidebar here. If it seems like we’ve been a little quieter in the comments section, it’s because we’re going to respond in the mailbag column, which is going to happen at some point next week. Anyhow, if there’s anything that you’ve been curious about, now’s the time to ask!

Here comes the Cavalry
This past week saw the return of a couple of pretty significant fantasy players from injury. This weekend, each should be back to 100%, so we’re going to be watching all of them very closely:

Andrei Kirilenko, F, Utah
Kirilenko has had a pretty rough go of it in his 2 games back from injury, but what’s really concerning are his pre-injury numbers. Sure he’s been dominant in blocks, but his FG% and FT% have been Baron-esque, his steals are closer to one a game than two like earlier in his career, and his points are down as well. This Sunday at Portland we should get a better idea of what to expect over the course of the season.

Tracy McGrady, GF, Hou
McGrady returned from his bad back on Tuesday against Atlanta, and will have had three days to rest and recover before Saturday’s game against Memphis. The schedule is actually pretty favorable for T-Mac, as he doesn’t have a back-to-back to deal with until December 14-15, so even though a back injury is pretty scary from a fantasy perspective, he’ll have plenty of time to ease back into playing shape. Further, it doesn’t look like the injury is affecting his game – his 25/9/5 was very impressive last Tuesday. Let’s see if he can continue the trend on Saturday.

Samuel Dalembert, C, Phi
Sammy seems to be back in near-full force for the Sixers, with an 11-board, 5-block game Wednesday against Boston. Hopefully he’ll complete the package and find his shot (7-22 so far) Friday and NO/OKC and Saturday at San Antonio.

Eddy Curry, C, NYK
Curry was supposed to make his return Wednesday against Chicago, but instead it looks like he will return to the lineup this weekend, either tonight against Detroit or Sunday against Boston. We’re not so much concerned with how Curry will play, but rather how his return will affect Channing Frye’s minutes. We know that Curry will mostly cut into Antonio Davis’s time, but Davis will still probably see 15-20 mpg, meaning Frye might sit a little more than usual.

Game of the Week(end)
Memphis Grizzlies
at Houston Rockets, Sat 8:30 PM EST
This is a great opportunity for the Rockets to announce that they’re “back.” After a cupcake game against Atlanta, now they host the upstart Grizzlies. We’ll be curious to see if Luther Head maintains his PT with T-Mac back, and as always we’ll be watching the Stromile Swift/Juwan Howard positional battle. Meanwhile, for Memphis, how about that Shane Battier? He’s contributing everywhere except FT% and assists, but his lack of a particularly strong showing in any category means he might still be on your waiver wires. He plays 35 mpg so you’ll get a good look at him, as well.

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