With only two games on Thursday’s docket, I thought it was going to be somewhat of a vacation from my nightly nailbiting and bedwetting. Man, was I wrong. Sorry about the sheets honey.
No sooner did I turn on my computer did I find that oft-injured big man Andrew Bynum contributed to my oft-psychosis by bending his elbow the wrong way on the last play of El Lay’s overtime victory over the dancing Rockettes on Wednesday. We’ll see if this latest setback lingers into the next decade.
Doesn’t it seem as if there is an inordinate amount of injuries and illnesses to key players thus far? First it’s Blake Griffin‘s knee, then Devin Harris‘ groin, then Pau Gasol‘s hammy, then Vince Carter‘s ankle, then Kevin Martin‘s wrist, then Tyrus Thomas‘ immune system and now Elton Brand‘s game.
Last night, I figured the Bulls would give the Cavs a run for their money, but I fully expected LeBron and Company to pull it out. We’re only 10 days in, but something is rotten in Cleveland. It could be because Mo Williams isn’t himself or that Zydrunas Ilgauskas looks like a 7’3″ drunk sailor out there, but it’s more because Shaq is a poor fit. They could have gotten great intangibles guy Richard Jefferson for a song last year but declined, and then could have gone after him in the offseason but again decided against it.
From a fantasy standpoint, Shaq’s 14 points, 10 boards and five blocks last night look terrific, and what’s even better is that the first place team in our league has him on his bench this week. Anderson Varejao has kept up the good work as a member of the starting lineup, posting 12 points and 13 caroms in 35 minutes and would be a nice addition to teams looking for FG% and boards.
Derrick Rose, my fourth round pick who I thought could elevate himself into the first round of drafts next season, had been putrid until last night’s 14-point, 11-assist outing. In all fairness, he has struggled with a bum ankle since the beginning of preseason. Fresh off a 20-20 performance, Italian League great Louie Deng contributed 15 points and seven rebounds in 39 minutes and looks to have resurrected himself.
It will be interesting to see what happens with Thomas, who returned from his own case of the flu last night, but played sparingly off the bench. Rookie Taj Gibson got the start and registered 11 points, seven boards, a steal and a block in 34 minutes.
In Thursday’s nightcap there was a Carlos Boozer sighting as he led the way with 27 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks as a hungry Utah squad comfortably defeated San Antonio in a game I literally slept through. Deron Williams (27, 7 and 9) controlled the offense but didn’t attempt a three all night, an alarming sight for his owners.
I’m going to keep my good eye on this Wesley Matthews character who tallied 12 points in 25 minutes off the Jazz bench. The son of the fleet-footed Wes Matthews (the talented chucker for the Bullets, Sixers and Lakers) seems to have some serious ability.
DeJuan Blair put up a 14 and 9 in 21 minutes off the Spurs bench last night, as “Dinner Bell” Mel Turpin looked on in disgust. Tim Duncan is wearing a brace on his knee the size of an Escalade and if his minutes are to be limited, Blair is in line for some gaudy rebounding numbers.
Hmm, full slate of games tonight. Here’s hoping I see at least one of my players in a box score.