As the aughts draw to a close, I reflect on the decade in horror as I’ve been an abject failure as a friend, husband, confidant, brother, uncle, son and mammal, but at least I’ve done pretty well in fantasy hoops. Until this year that is. The 2009-10 season has been absolutely brutal as I languish in eighth place. As my broadcasting idol Marv Albert would say “not what the Unhappy Hairstons had in mind.”
Jeff has been saying it for years – after the first week of the season it is impossible to move up or down in the standings.
With the seventh pick in the Damn Lies draft, I stuck myself with Amar’e Stoudemire, who pretty much stands like a statue on both ends of the floor and waits for Steve Nash to work a miracle and lead him for a dunk. The one thing he has going for him is his athleticism, but he remains glued to the ground on the defensive end, hence his 1.0 blocks per game. He is beginning to resemble an aging Olden Polynice.
Owning Stoudemire and Devin Harris (my second round pick) this year is like having a case of rheumatoid arthritis. It’s a painful thing, but not bad enough to do something drastic. I think it takes great character to simply bitch and moan.
You know what else stinks? Owning players on Los Angeles, Miami, Oklahoma City and Denver who are not named Bryant, Wade, Durant or Anthony. No one else on those teams is allowed to shoot the ball in the fourth quarter. Rack up whatever points you can through three quarters fellas because it’s time to defer to the superstar.
After squeaking by a pathetic Golden State team at home to break their losing skid, the Bulls were housed by the Celtics the other night 106-80, but Vinny Del Negro still has a job.
The Sixers snapped their 12-game slide last night with a convincing 117-101 victory over the Warriors in front of a sparse crowd in Philly. The AI lovefest is screeching to a halt. Time to offer free tickets at the local Valero with every full tank of gas.
Hasheem Thabeet: The Grizzlies stayed in the game with the Celtics last night and Thabeet totaled 8 rebounds and 4 blocks in just 18 minutes of work. He recorded 5 points, 5 rebounds and 5 blocks in 21 minutes the other night at Miami and is worth keeping an eye on. His shot-blocking potential is staggering, but Marc Gasol has been too good for him to seize additional PT.
TJ Ford: Ford’s corpse was exhumed before gametime yesterday and he finished with modest totals (13 pts, 6 reb, 7 ast) in Indiana’s 106-98 loss at Orlando, but those are probably his most impressive numbers of the season. I had high hopes for the little man coming into ’09-10, but he has been a major disappointment. Maybe last night will get him going, but don’t give up draft picks for him just yet.
Mike Dunleavy: Dunleavy poured in 26 points in a starting role last night and his minutes limit must be a thing of the past as he played 33. He can help in several categories, especially 3-pointers, and would be a fine addition to any family looking for a very white 6’9″ man.
Thaddeus Young: Young has quietly been on a buttered roll the past few weeks and yesterday exploded for 26 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals in the win over Golden State. With Elton Brand harnessed to the Sixer bench for long periods, Young has been rebounding with authority and should be in starting lineups moving forward.
Jose Juan Barea: Even with the return of Josh Howard, Barea has been seeing consistent time the past two weeks and last night erupted for 23 points on 10-13 from the field in the Mavs 94-90 win over the Hornets. If Jason Kidd were to ever go down, scoop up Barea immediately.
Chris Andersen: The Birdman exploited Nene‘s foul trouble to the max in Denver’s 102-93 win over the Thunder. He notched 15 points, 11 rebounds, 3 blocks and 3 steals in 32 minutes for easily his best performance of the season. While Nene is healthy Andersen will be far too inconsistent to start, but games like these lead to a good night’s sleep for his owners.
Jonny Flynn: The rookie point guard torched the Jazz for a career-high 28 points, including the game-winning bucket, as he led the T’Wolves to a surprising 110-108 win. He nailed 4 threes and handed out 5 assists along the way, and is a Ramon Sessions trade away from being a weekly must-start. He did get his derriere handed to him by Deron Williams last night (38 pts, 13 ast), but the talented Flynn is rounding into form.
Caron Butler: Butler finally posted the monster line (20 pts, 7 reb, 5 ast, 5 st) that we expected to see regularly this season. What is not odd is that he did much of his damage while Gilbert Arenas was on the bench with foul trouble.
Eric Gordon: The second-year guard led a massive Clipper comeback win over the Wizards with 29 points (10-15 fg), 3 threes and 5 steals. He is back, he finally appears healthy and should be a staple in starting lineups.
Seven games tonight, including Knicks at Bobcats. Can’t wait to see the Nielson ratings on that one.