Friday, March 17, 2006

Head-to-Head's Up (3/20-3/26)

Sorry about the delay today, but the IT guy at work is cracking down on internet use, plus you know that tournament thing. Are your brackets already busted? Really? You must be pretty bad. Anyways here are some tips for NBA March Gladness: looking ahead to week 3/20-3/26.

Five Games: LAC
Four Games: Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Detroit, Houston, Indiana, LAL, Memphis, Milwaukee, Minnesota, New Orleans, New York, Orlando, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, Seattle, Toronto.
Three Games: Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Golden State, Miami, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Utah, Washington.

Plug ‘em in, Plug ‘em in:
Vladimir Radmanovic, PF – The Clippers are the only team in the league to hit the hardwood five times next week and RadMan can do some damage from long range with plenty of playing time off the bench. Vlad has grabbed a respectable 7 boards and drained over 3 rainmakers a game since Presidents’ Day. Los Angeles is 7-3 over that span and it appears Vlad Rad has the green light to shoot as much as he likes from downtown. You know he runs hot and cold, so now is as good a time as any to plug in the Bosnian sharpshooter. Take advantage.

Jumaine Jones, SF – Much like the Wizards’ Antawn Jamison, Jumaine Jones appears to have suddenly discovered his long range stroke this season… especially over the last few weeks. Jones was a great pickup while starter Gerald Wallace missed significant time, and he was playing so well that Coach Bernie Bickerstaff decided to keep JJ in the starting lineup even after Wallace returned. Now, wispy Wallace is out again and Jones is scorching hot (23/7/1, 49%FG, 88%FT with 4.2 treys and 1.4 thefts over last 5 games). At this pace, March ‘06 will go down as the best month of Jumaine’s not-so-illustrious NBA career.

Chucky Atkins, PG – Chucky may be Memphis’s starting point guard but the offense does not exactly run through him. Sure he may bring the ball up the court but he doesn’t orchestrate plays a la Steve Nash, thus keeping his assist numbers pretty low (compare Pau Gasol’s 43 dishes to Atkins’ 17 in March). Spark plug guard Bobby Jackson was really beginning to cut into Chucky’s minutes recently until he was forced out of action with a strained rib muscle. Now Atkins is assured the bulk of the minutes at point guard. However, even with the increased workload there’s still a ceiling on his fantasy production, so don’t expect any miracles. He’s averaging 14.1ppg and 2.3 treys this month, so he makes a decent play if you’re looking for three-pointers this week.

Luther Head, G – The rookie out of Illinois probably shouldn’t be starting for an NBA team with playoff aspirations, but he is. Yao Ming has played like an MVP since returning from his foot injury, but now brokeback T-Mac is probably out for the season. Somebody has to make up some of McGrady’s 25 ppg even if Yao is scoring 35 a night. Who are the other candidates to pick up the slack? Juwan Howard and Keith Bogans? Remember, Luther had that nice little run in November filling in for Alston, averaging 15/6/4 and 3.4 threes over a 5-game stretch. If you're feeling lucky go get some Head and put him in your lineup.

Jake Tsakalidis, C – The 7’2 giant from Georgia (no, not the dirty South) hasn’t amounted to much of anything six years in the NBA. Tsakalidis was actually averaging career lows before being inserted into Memphis’ starting lineup three weeks ago. His three double-doubles over his last four games won’t be a regular thing, but I don’t think you can call it a fluke either. If the big man can continue getting 25-30 minutes a night he can obviously be a decent fantasy contributor. With four matchups next week, why not give him try?


Anonymous rem said...

interesting pickups in ur "plug em in" column

i've been keeping an eye on Jake (wrote a brief post on him with some nice stats)

can't wait to see how Atkins turns out and if Head can step up in T-Mac's absence

1:48 PM  

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