We’re at that time of year where enough games have been played for roles to solidify, but not quite enough to completely cut bait on players we thought would perform better. Sure, most owners have given up on guys like Anthony Randolph and Marcus Thornton, as they should have, but what about a Beno Udrih?
Tom Lorenzo and I own Beno in the Yahoo! Friends and Family League and are debating jettisoning him into the ether. He’s killing us, and this is a pretty deep league (we start 13 and have a three-player bench). I’m loathe to cut him because of the real chance Tyreke Evans could shut it down due to his plantar fasciitis. And then there’s Paul Westphal, who has tinkered with his lineups to the point where it’s time to check him for OCD. Udrih and Evans play well together, and there’s a real chance that lineup will win out in time. What the hell do we do? I’m saying “hold” for now, as our team is in second place with a 29-15-1 record, just a half game out of first. With a 35-minute-per-game Udrih, we’d be cruising!
Anyways, many strange happenings continue to disturb me; maybe not as much as Westphal’s whims have, but enough to fire up the synapses for another installment of I’ll Be Damned.
This week, I’ll be damned that…
…Kevin Love is so dominant when he gets major playing time.
Okay, not really. This is just another chance to take a swipe at Kurt Rambis, who played Love more than 30 minutes in a game just once in the first seven contests (and that was for 31 minutes on Nov. 3). Let’s take a quick look at Love’s numbers when he plays 35 minutes or more: 25.3 PPG, 21.0 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.4 3FG. I’ll definitely be damned at those Wiltesque digits. By the way, Love is shooting 89.7 percent from the line this year as well. By the way again, Love has played over 35 minutes just seven times in 17 games. Yeah Rambis, that’s a swipe.
…Brandon Roy is still balling.
For a while there we all feared Roy would have to team up with Greg Oden to form the best wheelchair basketball duo in history. How could Roy play a game this physical and demanding with, essentially, no knees? He missed three games, but returned to the Blazers lineup last week and promptly poured in 27 points in 34 minutes. He followed that up with 21 points on Sunday in 35 minutes. We clearly have a warrior on our hands, but also a messy fantasy situation. If Roy continues to play 35 minutes a game, he stunts the value of both Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum (who was benched for Matthews on Sunday). If Roy can’t play, say, the second night of back-to-backs a la Yao Ming earlier this season, we won’t know what to do. As a Matthews and Batum owner myself, I salute Roy’s return but curse the repurcussions.
…Shaq is a fantasy option again.
The big fella is shooting 75.5 percent in his last seven games, averaging 14.9 points and 8.6 boards in that span. His free throw shooting hurts you, but in most formats you should find this type of production useful. I’m as surprised as you are, although to think that Jermaine O’Neal was going to see the floor much based on his injury history was madness. Jermaine should just give his body to science at this point; the Celtics are fine with Shaq and Big Baby eating up the paint, hopefully not literally.
…the Pacers beat the Lakers, in L.A.
Go Pacers. Maybe Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom are tiring, but more likely this Indiana team is coming into its own. Roy Hibbert is making the leap like we thought he would, but outside of that we just have to give Jim O’Brien credit for getting this group to play hard and with some defensive intensity. Of course, I burned a fourth-round pick on Darren Collison, who is barely startable in shallow leagues, and every mention of the Pacers makes my blood pressure rise. Unless, of course, we’re talking about a win over the Lakers. In L.A. Go Pacers.
…the Dwight Howard needle has tilted toward “hurting” more than “helping” so far.
How can this be with Howard averaging what would be a career-best 22.6 points? Here’s how: 53.8 percent free throw shooting on a whopping 13.0 attempts per game. His previous season-best: 10.9 attempts. Ouch. Howard’s rebounds and blocks are also down a bit from last year in the same amount of minutes. We suspect his numbers will correct to the norms (it feels weird to label 12.0 boards and 2.4 blocks a disappointment, but hey, it’s what I do).
…these guys are so available in so many Yahoo! leagues:
Darko Milicic (72%), Jose Calderon (70%), Grant Hill (58%), Landry Fields (56%), Amir Johnson (47%), Wesley Matthews (36%)
…Leslie Nielsen has passed.
Unlike LeBron’s Decision, Nielsen’s decision to become a comedic actor was one of the best ever made. The original Police Squad! show is still my favorite of all his work, but he never failed to deliver laughs in anything he did in his prime. He was a truly wonderful actor. And as you can see from these clips, he was truly Tony Da Wonderful. R.I.P. sir.
I’ll Be Damned is a weekly column that appears every Tuesday morning, like trash pickup. Jeff Andriesse, when not cleaning out his brain of pressing NBA thoughts, is up for dispensing advise via the Contact Us form at the top of this site or on his Twitter account. Follow him.