Friday, December 09, 2005

Weekend Preview: 12/9-12/11

With all of the snow and cold making it’s way across the country the past couple days, there’s no better way to spend your weekend holed up at home watching basketball. So for today’s weekend preview we’re gonna give you not one but THREE games of the week, one for each day of the weekend.

New Orleans/OKC Hornets at Portland Trailblazers, Friday, 10 pm EST

How about the Hornets as the most pleasant surprise over the first month of the NBA season? A team led by Chris Paul, PJ Brown and David West was 8-7 with wins over decent teams like Sacramento, Denver and Minnesota before dropping their last three. Now that they’re coming back to earth, you’ve got to wonder if the lineup might shuffle a bit – right now, Desmond Mason, JR Smith, and Speedy Claxton are all just short of playing 30-33 mpg – which is what the all need to have value. See if any of them are staking claim to those minutes.

For the Blazers, we discussed Darius Miles during the mailbag this week, and here’s a good chance to check out that rag-tag bunch of reserves who are going to be clamoring for his minutes. My money is still on Ruben Patterson to stand out above the crowd.

Boston Celtics at Dallas Mavericks, Saturday, 8:30 pm EST

Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve been loving watching the Celtics this year. The Paul Pierce/Ricky Davis combo is pretty exciting, and the frontcourt jumble has kept things interesting from a fantasy perspective. Right now the hot hand to be seems to be Al Jefferson, at least according to Sports Troopers, but that could always change in a week. Still, for those of you looking for big man help, keeping on top of this situation and guessing correctly could see some nice dividends.

Meanwhile, in Dallas, I’ll personally be looking for Jason Terry to come back to the court after I traded for him the day before he went down with a quad injury (thanks, Jason!). But I’ll also be watching Adonal Foyle part II, DeSagana Diop. 2.1 blocks and 4.8 boards in just 17 mpg? If he manages to start scoring, he’ll have a shot at taking away some time from Erick Dampier, and might actually have fantasy value this year. Repeat, MIGHT.

Detroit Pistons at LA Clippers, Sunday, 9 pm EST

We also talked about the Pistons in this week’s mailbag, and right now they’re playing some great basketball. They’re really a different team under Flip Saunders, much more offensive-minded. Plus, from a fantasy perspective, they’re pure gold – with all 5 starters getting between 33 and 38 mpg. But I’ll be watching the three top reserves – Maurice Evans, Antonio McDyess, and Carlos Arroyo. They’ve all got fantasy potential should any of the big 5 go down for an extended period of time, so it’ll be nice to know what to expect.

As for the Clippers, just enjoy it. Everything is clicking right now for them – Elton Brand is my pick for MVP right now, Sam Cassell and Cuttino Mobley are doing everything the could have hoped, and Chris Kaman is the ugliest man to play basketball in a long time, and is hilarious to watch.

So there you have it. Enjoy the weekend!


Blogger Rook said...

Thanks for the always excellent analysis and writing. I have a random suggestion (take it for what it's worth): how about a column on #2 fantasy centers? A lot of us are in 2 center leagues and have been relegated to scrapping among the likes of Ely, Gadzuric, Ratliff, and Diop for someone to fill the roster. Either way, keep up the good work.

1:12 PM  
Blogger DM said...

It's like you're reading my mind ... stay tuned this weekend...

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree, Bonzi is the ugliest player.

9:43 AM  

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