Tag Archives: Al Harrington

Damn Lies Fantasy Preview: Denver Nuggets

We should probably wait a little longer before publishing a Denver Nuggets preview, like maybe right before the season. Or January. Or before next season. Carmelo Anthony is holding us all hostage, and the real danger – everyone associated with the NBA throughout the globe is aware of it – is he could render this blog post meaningless. Until then, we’ll proceed as if Anthony is going to grace the Nuggets with his presence and Denver management realizes they can’t trade ‘Melo and risk Bubbly scolding us in the Comments section.

 

Who's t-shirt will he be wearing when Carmelo rips open his warmups on opening night?

 

LIES
It’s a shame Carmelo is thinking of breaking this group up. He was rather terrific last year, fantasy-wise, and could lead Denver deep into the playoffs if he is indeed the player he thinks he is. Fantasy owners taking him in the second round are signing up for something similar to the 28.2 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 1.3 SPG and 83.0 FT% on 8.9 FTA/game he delivered last year. If he takes a step back we’ll be disappointed. Anthony has also played in less than 70 games in three of the last four years. I don’t doubt he’ll take his time coming back from any injuries this season as he prepares for potential free agency.

DAMN LIES
Chauncey Billups continues to defy age and he poured in a career-best 19.5 points last year. Should Anthony be traded, Billups will flirt with 20+ points and six assists per game. Where he helps the most is from the three-point line (2.2 per game as a Nugget in the last two years) and at the free throw line (89.2 percent career FT shooter). Billups is a sturdy No. 1 point guard and late-second round/early third-round fantasy selection. Denver’s other solid roto option is center Nene Hilario. While his rebounding isn’t as productive as the top fantasy centers, he averages better than a block and steal per game and shoots near 60 percent from the floor. You can get away with him as a No. 1 center and are golden if he’s your No. 2.

STATISTICS
Denver head coach George Karl is a two-time cancer survivor, the latest a bout with neck and throat variety and the first a recurring case of J.R. Smith. Smith’s off-court antics hold him back from being the player his talents tell us he could be, and he is always in Karl’s doghouse. What kind of effort will Smith give this year? He’s always capable of being a fantasy stud, but the question marks are too myriad to count on him as a fantasy starter. Nevertheless, if he has his head on straight, and Anthony is traded, look out. The rest of Denver’s lineup is wacky as both Kenyon Martin and Chris Andersen are hurt to start the season and the PF position could come down to Shelden Williams, whose lasting impression with this writer was of a pitch-perfect Shoeless Joe Jackson impression in the 2010 Finals. Williams won’t be a fantasy factor even if he starts, as Denver signed Al Harrington in the offseason for precisely this sort of scenario, as a multiple-position injury replacement and insurance in case Anthony bolts. If chuckers Anthony, Smith and Harrington are all on the floor at the same time security is going to have to evacuate the arena for safety reasons. Denver is better off giving minutes to team guys Arron Afflalo and Ty Lawson. Afflalo will start and provide no fantasy value. Lawson is a must-have handcuff for Billups if you play in a league with a deep bench.

DEPTH CHART
PG – Chauncey Billups, Ty Lawson
SG – Arron Afflalo, J.R. Smith
SF – Carmelo Anthony, Al Harrington
PF – Kenyon Martin (injured), Shelden Williams
C – Nene Hilario, Chris Andersen (injured)

Up Next: Orlando Magic

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Daily Lies & Statistics: It’s April, fools

It’s Thursday, April 1st, 2010, otherwise known as April Fool’s Day. As a fantasy basketball junkie, this is usually the time of year where I’m in no mood for jokes or surprises. It’s bad enough just looking at box scores and yelping “You gotta be kidding me!” with each click. So we’re handling today’s post with the utmost seriousness. Among last night’s stat lines, I’m not kidding about any of them.They really happened. And during the fantasy playoff season, no less.

The following are not, I repeat NOT April Fool’s jokes:

Do NOT anger the fantasy gods.

*After Brandon Jennings dropped a 29-8-7 Sunday followed by a 17-6-5 Tuesday, the fantasy gods (yes, Scott Skiles is one of them) decided that the fun was fin. Jennings played just 19 minutes last night at Cleveland and finished with five points on 2-of-9 shooting, one rebound, one assist and 2,396 ruined fantasy playoff matchups.

*Drew Gooden has five straight double-doubles after his 17-points, 10-board performance last night. He averaged a 15 and 10 in March in 30 minutes per game. On second thought, maybe this is a joke. Let me double-check and get back to you.

*The Celtics had the worst record in the NBA three years ago yet ended up with the fifth pick in the draft. Had Boston gotten the first or second pick their lineup right now would be Rajon Rondo, Kevin Durant, Paul Pierce, Al Jefferson, and Kendrick Perkins. And they wouldn’t be overpaying Rasheed Wallace to hoist awful threes. Yes, I was at the game last night and saw Durant pour in 37 without breaking much of a sweat, and yes, I’m a little bitter right now. But we did win a title, no? (I’m telling myself ‘yes’ over and over and over).

*The Lakers lost at Atlanta, 109-92, which is nothing to be ashamed of, but L.A. has now dropped three of four. Chinks in the armor? They are still the best team on paper but looking a little vulnerable right now. Andrew Bynum returning would solve some things, perhaps, but I get the feeling the one guy the Lakers would love to have is Trevor Ariza.

*Dwyane Wade had 10 points, 3 rebounds and one assist – and Miami won by 17 at Detroit. Huh? Well, for one: Detroit is an abomination and was missing Richard Hamilton (hamstring) and Charlie Villanueva (DNP CD LOL). But Miami played minus Jermaine O’Neal (knee), who was at the courthouse having his name legally changed to Jermaine O’Neal (knee). Luckily Michael Beasley went off for 28 and nine, and Dorell Wright added 17 in 22 minutes off the bench. A weird game, for sure.

*Now that the Nets won’t be the worst team ever in the record books, they can get back to tanking for John Wall. Jersey actually led Phoenix at halftime, but the Suns pulled away for their ninth-straight win. Steve Nash was magical, finishing with a 24-7-14 on 9-16 shooting (3-4 threes). Despite scoring 116 points, Amare’ Stoudemire finished with a sorry 15 and 4, and his owners have to be swearing under their breath this morning at him.

*If I had told you at the beginning of the season that the Wizards would be led by Mike Miller, Andray Blatche and Shaun Livingston in late March/April, you would have looked at me funny before thinking that Gilbert Arenas must have gotten hurt or done something crazy. So this isn’t that weird at all. The Livingston part is kind of a curveball, as the guy has lived the last few years without working knees. He’s the starting point guard now in Washington with Randy Foye out for the year, and he had 18 points and eight dimes as the Wiz snapped a 16-game losing streak with a 96-91 win at New Orleans. Miller had 27 and seven and Blatche had 23 and three steals (but just one rebound? Really?).

*Al Jefferson and Darko Milicic combined for 10 blocks last night in a 108-99 Minny (mini?) win over Sacramento. Both guys also double-doubled, as did Kevin Love (12 & 11). Sacramento was led by Tyreke Evans (20-7-13, 3 steals), who is playing really well despite coming off a concussion last week and subsequently claiming to have owned a penguin.

*George Hill offered up a candidate for Stat Line of the Year last night against Houston. Hill, who has been a fantasy savior this second half, finished with 30 points, seven assists, five steals and two threes and shot 11-15 from the floor and 6-6 from the line. Does anyone want to play San Antonio in the West this postseason? I didn’t think so.

*Speaking of teams in the West playing well, Dallas nipped Memphis in overtime last night, 106-102, improving to 50-25. That’s good for the No. 2 seed right now if the season ended today. Dallas has weapons, and when Jason Terry (29 points, six assists, four steals) is doing his thing they are formidable.

*Al Harrington took Greg’s post hinting that Al is selfish to heart, taking just six shots last night as the Knicks lost big at Portland, 118-90. Did anyone out there start Tracy McGrady (2-0-1) last night? You can type with a straightjacket on? Cool.

*The West’s current #3 seed, Utah, is performing at a really high level these days. Who knows if winning big over the Warriors of the National Rec League will help or hurt them, but they rolled last night, 128-104. Carlos Boozer was beastly with 25 & 13 on 12-14 shooting. Deron Williams had 19 assists. I wouldn’t want to play them, either.

Luckily I’m not on an NBA team, so I don’t have to. Although the Warriors have been calling.


Daily Lies & Statistics: Passers Need Not Apply

The final few weeks of an NBA regular season is simply a feeding frenzy for those given the green light to hoist shots at will. Case in point: Al Harrington. I think Harrington was the kid in school who started the ol’ ‘one for you, one for me… two for you, one-two for me’ routine at the corner candy store. But he is also the guy who is leading many a fantasy team to a championship.

Al Harrington has installed a Pop-a-Shot in his backyard to simulate his ideal game conditions.

Last night he erupted for 26 points (3-9 3-pt fg) and 17 rebounds in New York’s 103-98 loss at Utah and has averaged 24.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.0 3-pointers per contest over his last three. And the best thing about Big Al is that his owners never have to worry about him deferring to a teammate.

Harrington was not alone in the monster game department last night. Let’s take a look-see.

Carlos Boozer: For some reason, Boozer never gets talked about as being an elite power forward. When healthy, he not only dominates the glass, he is also a force offensively in the interior. Last night he was healthy enough to dismantle the Knicks with 26 points (11-16 fg) and 14 rebounds. A free agent at season’s end, he could find himself with a max contract in July.

Deron Williams: Boozer’s partner in crime posted a cool 23 points (5-8 3-pt fg) and 14 assists against the defensively challenged ‘bockers last night. The Jazz are fighting for playoff position and have a leader in Jerry Sloan, who coaches every game as if it were Game Seven.

Andrea Bargnani: Oh those big men who shoot threes and block shots. Bargnani is in elite company with the Anthony Tollivers of the world. Last night he racked up 16 points, nine boards and added three 3-pointers and a block as the Raptors scored an all-important 103-101 win in Charlotte.

Ray Felton: I can always count on Felton to post huge lines when I don’t have him in my lineup. Last night he tortured me with 18 points, five rebounds and seven assists while knocking down a season-high four 3-pointers.

Brook Lopez: Led the Nets to their third win in four tries with 22 points and 12 boards over a stunned San Antonio team. To be fair, the Spurs were playing without Manu Ginobili in this one and fell asleep in the calming environs of Izod Center during the six-minute timeout of the third quarter.

Courtney Lee: It’s not every day that a smoking hot Asian woman can tally 19 points and six rebounds in an NBA game, but the proof is in the pudding.

DeJuan Blair: The rookie dominated the backboards to the tune of 11 points and 11 caroms in only 17 minutes of work. The question is, why did he only clock in for 17 minutes, Gregg Popovich?

Pau Gasol: Gasol took his life in his own hands by registering 26 points, 22 rebounds and two blocks in a 108-100 loss to the stumbling Hornets last night. Kobe will not put up with any teammate of his posting those kinds of numbers and promises to freeze the big Spaniard out of the next three games.

Chris Paul: The Chris Paul we drafted with a top 2 pick finally gave a Chris Paul performance with 15 points, four boards and 13 assists in the win over the Lakers. Paul could win many fantasy championships over the course of the next two weeks.

Dirk Nowitzki: Nowitzki’s night was a thing of beauty as he finished with 34 points (4-5 3-pt fg, 16-17 ft), 10 rebounds and 10 assists as the Mavs defeated the Nuggets 109-93 and have flown past them into the #2 spot in the Western Conference.

Shawn Marion: Marion, a first round pick by many as little as three seasons ago, is kind of a forgotten man. He has been playing well of late and last night finished with 21 points (9-13 fg) and two steals. He and Andrei Kirilenko should go bowling together and talk about the good old days.

J.R. Smith: While Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups combined on a foul 6-for-30 from the floor, Smith gave the Nuggets a puncher’s chance with 27 points (10-16 fg), a steal and a block. Smith, not known for his court vision, could help teams in need of threes down the stretch.


Daily Lies & Statistics: Everybody can change!

This is going to be a rough weekend. The NBA All-Star break is here and all we have to look forward to is opening weekend at the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Can there be any less enthusiasm about this once other-worldly event? When I was a kid, I remember Eric and Beth Heiden being big deals as was Dorothy Hamill’s haircut. My favorite winter Olympian was Franz Klammer simply because I loved the name Franz. And who doesn’t love the luge event? I’m still trying to figure what the skill for this sport is other than having a set on you the size of Pittsburgh to even attempt it. Does one practice by going for a closed MRI?

It's the All-Star Game Sunday; Damn Lies & Statistics must break you.

Remember how the country came together after the U.S. hockey team defeated the powerhouse Soviet Union in the ’80 semifinals? It was one of the most bone-chilling sporting events in the history of this nation, but it wasn’t until Balboa knocked out an overconfident Drago that we took control of the Cold War.

Point being, prepare to muddle through the next five days without any pro basketball. For those of you, who unlike me, have a shot to win your league, you have plenty to look forward to. Several big name players will possibly be returning from injury on Tuesday (Kobe, Andrew Bynum, Monta Ellis, Corey Maggette, Derrick Rose, Tony Parker, Kenyon Martin) and trade rumors are swirling.

There’s a scenario that has the Knicks taking on Tracy McGrady‘s cool but expiring $23 million and then shipping Al Harrington and his selfish game to Washington. The Wiz would then send the underachieving Caron Butler and the overachieving Brendan Haywood to Houston to finalize it. As a Knicks fan, I would do anything to get rid of the ever-selfish Harrington and I would literally eat at least half of Larry Hughes‘ absurd $13 million contract to exorcise him from the team.

Addition by subtraction alone, the Knicks would win a few extra games. Lord knows I’m no fan of McGrady, but I’d rather see him in control of the ball in the fourth quarter than anyone else on the current roster.

The Cavs are in the market for a spot-up shooting big man, namely Antawn Jamison or the oft-injured Troy Murphy. They have also been rumored to be involved in a three-team soiree with Detroit and Houston that would land them Richard Hamilton.

The Celts have joined the fracas with an offer of Ray Allen, Brian Scalabrine and J.R. Giddens for Jamison and Butler. Apparently, there is some legitimacy to this. Would we be looking at a Rondo, Pierce, Jamison, Garnett, Perkins starting lineup with Butler and Rasheed Wallace off the bench? That’s a host of big names in there, but it’s tough to throw a team together like that and expect big results.

I’ll stop blathering, but I do so because there were only two games on last night’s slate.

Cleveland  115,  Orlando 106

LeBron‘s stat lines are starting to look silly. When 32, 8 and 13 barely gets any attention we’re talking Big O territory. The Cavs are now 43-11 and cruising towards home court advantage in the East. Solid youngster J.J. Hickson started, shot 9-of-14 from the floor and finished with 20 points in 28 minutes. He plays hard and if his minutes remain consistent he will be someone to consider. With Mo Williams still on the mend, Boobie Gibson started and contributed 11 points, five assists and knocked down three 3-pointers. There is not a better source of the long ball in the NBA than Gibson and you have about two weeks left to reap the rewards. Vince Carter was back to his post-30-year old self again, recording 14 points on 5-of-16 from the field.

San Antonio 111,  Denver 92

The Nuggets were uncharacteristically steamrolled at home in this one as DeJuan Blair led seven Spurs in double figures with 17 points and nine rebounds. With Tony Parker a late scratch, George Hill moved back to point guard and added 17 points, six rebounds and four assists. Parker will return soon after the break, but Hill should remain in the starting unit and be a decent source of across the boards statistics. Nene led Denver with 20 points on 8-of-9 from the floor and grabbed nine boards. Malik Allen started in place of the injured Kenyon Martin, but only tallied six points in 24 minutes… stay away.

It’s going to be a rough three days for Jeff, Tom and me, but I guess that’s better than 20 million.


Daily Lies & Statistics: Trade winds blowing, as is my team

I’m not going to win any sympathy from my colleagues Greg and Tom, but I’m going to lead things off by bitching about my Damn Lies League first-place team. It’s not okay to bitch when you have a great team and are cruising, but I have an AWFUL team and I’ve been in first place by myself for several weeks. So it feels like I’m in last.

While Greg may put up a fight in defense of his own squad when I say this, I must opine that, once again, I lead the league in injuries. Just this week, Kobe Bryant is finally sitting and Corey Maggette has succumbed to his innate hypochondria. Thinking myself the genius, I shrewdly removed Maggette from my lineup on Monday only to replace him with Martell Webster, whose early Valentine’s Day gift to me was a 3-0-0 in 17 minutes last night. He was great last week on my bench, as well. I also started Ben Wallace this week, who was practically invisible against the Bucks on Tuesday. On my bench for this seemingly short and innocuous week: Mike Miller, Lou Williams and Troy Murphy.

$23 million buys a lot of suits, thankfully.

I fully expect Greg and Tom to offer their condolences in the Comments section, but I’ve already moved on to this juicy trade rumor reported by Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski: Tracy McGrady to the Knicks, Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood to the Rockets, and Al Harrington and a few other pieces to the Wizards. Are the Knicks not aware that there’s a maximum they can offer LeBron James? Are they going after Wade, Bosh, Amare and Drew Brees as well? They’ll have some salary to spend this summer, that’s for sure. As for the Rockets, for them to pull Butler and Haywood for McGrady’s expiring carcass should turn downtown Houston into a carbon copy of New Orleans these past few nights. The Wizards’ role in this is unsure but it certainly signals a desire to blow things up. If Antawn Jamison is also dealt before the deadline, Harrington could be the last man shooting in the nation’s capitol. Is a 30-30 (30.0 PPG and 30.0 FG%) out of the question this March and April? Values for Mike Miller and Andray Blatche continue to hypothetically rise.

Lots o’ other trade rumors swirling, but I prefer to deal in reality. From Tuesday’s 11-game slate last night, here’s what stood out:

* The Nets hung relatively tight with the Cavs in Cleveland despite Devin Harris not playing. Hmm. I’m sure LeBron and Co. were about as up for this game as if they were on a team field trip to a knitting museum, but still. The Nets aren’t as bad as their record. If they can trade Harris, luck into John Wall and sign a big name in the offseason we could be talking about a dangerous team next year. Courtney Lee went for 24-7-4 last night and should be a strong second-half fantasy option.

* The Rockets must have been daydreaming about a McGrady-less working environment as they got trounced at Miami, 99-66. Trevor Ariza did not play with a hip pointer, and the remaining guys were never competitive in this one. Chalk it up to pre-All Star Break malaise.

* There were plenty of fantasy goodies in the Kings-Knicks overtime game, a 118-114 win for visiting Sacramento. Wilson Chandler went bananas for 35 points on 15-of-23 shooting. Egads. Donte Greene is making a serious case for fantasy consideration after his 24-point, eight-board, 4-5 3FG performance. He’s averaged a 20.0-5.8 with 2.5 threes in his last four. Kevin Martin came off the bench in this one because of a migraine, but finished with 17 points nonetheless. Spencer Hawes and Beno Udrih played just six minutes apiece, and owners of both have to be gnashing their teeth this morning. The Kings continue to have an unpredictable rotation at best.

* Andrew Bogut shot just 8-21 from the field against Detroit, but he still finished with a 17-18 and three blocks. His average stats over the last month make him the 21st-ranked player in Yahoo (16.6-10.9-2.4 blocks-57.0 FG%) but his propensity for nagging injuries make him a nice ‘sell high’ guy. Me, I’d hang on to him as I forsee this Milwaukee team putting up a ton of meaningless empty calorie numbers over the last couple of months, led by Bogut, chucker Brandon Jennings and the surprising Carlos Delfino.

* Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups both returned to the Denver lineup last night and the Nuggets crushed Dallas, 127-91. Neither were needed for big minutes but both were effective and should be good to go from a health standpoint.

Finally, Monta Ellis’ knee injury is just a sprain, so Don Nelson is free to play him 46 minutes tonight vs. the Clippers. Games of intrigue on the schedule tonight: Lakers at Utah (will Kobe play?), Miami at Atlanta (Josh SmithDwyane Wade meetings at the rim), and Charlotte at Minnesota (just kidding).

Now go play in the snow, kiddies.


Daily Lies & Statistics: Post players need not apply

Thursday was a slow night in the NBA, but it was certainly eventful. I’ve been trying to wrap my head around The Knicks/Bulls game for more than 12 hours. I actually watched most of the first quarter in this one and saw the New Yorkers take a 33-16 lead as Al Harrington, Chris Duhon and Danilo Gallinari were all dialed in pretty early on.

I came home to a 98-89 loss in which my heroes launched a preposterous 47 threes and more or less played a six-man rotation. Larry Hughes was injured and did not play last night yet Mike D’Antoni still didn’t request the services of sparkplug Nate Robinson. Despite what the coach says publicly, Li’l Him is clearly in D’Antoni’s puppy palace and it will be interesting to see if he sees any daylight tonight at home against the Clips in the second of a back-to-back.

If Al Harrington played baseball, he'd swing at everything

Harrington, an extraordinary chucker, was 3 for his first 3 from beyond the arc and went 1-for-10 after that. The man, who I drafted in the Damn Lies league in the ninth round, has absolutely no conscience. He recorded a 42-point game earlier in the season by consistently driving the basketball, but is more comfortable dry heaving against smaller defenders.

Gallinari, who possesses the same proclivity as Harrington, came off the bench to fire up 15 threes in just 27 minutes and connected on six. At least he has pretty good touch.

The Bulls only played seven guys yesterday, one of them being Derrick Rose who I think suited up with a punctured lung. Luol Deng (24 pts, 13 reb) and Taj Gibson (12 pts, 10 reb) hurt the Knicks and their puny interior and both double-doubled.

Knicks defensive stopper Jared Jeffries produced his 400th consecutive triple-single with 6 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists. In all fairness, Jeffries has been playing big minutes of late and delivering surprising blocks and steals totals.

Kirk Hinrich played 39 minutes off the Chicago bench and is worth keeping an eye on, particularly if John Salmons continues to smell.

Jeff touched upon him yesterday, and I will reiterate, on the chance that Chauncey Billups will miss some time, pounce on Ty Lawson. Billups strained his groin the other day, and as we saw with Devin Harris and Chris Douglas-Roberts, groin injuries tend to linger. Lawson is a controlled dynamo, capable of stupid numbers if given 30+ minutes in Denver’s high-octane offense.

Thursday’s Notable Performances:

Rashard Lewis: Inconsistency continues to mar Lewis’ season as he finished with just 9 points and 3 rebounds in the Magic’s blowout loss in Miami. Lewis should right the ship, but Orlando has too many weapons, including the ever-selfish Vince Carter, for him to maintain anything better than sixth-round value.

Michael Beasley: Beasley’s debutante season continued last night as he notched 22 points (8-15 fg) and 8 boards in the Heat’s win. His shot selection has improved immensely from his rookie year and he is proving that his collegiate rebounding numbers weren’t flukish.

Carlos Arroyo: Arroyo remained in the starting lineup and did not turn the ball over in 26 minutes. His numbers last night were a bit pedestrian (5 pts, 4 reb, 7 ast), but as long as the Heat keep winning, weekly leaguers should give Arroyo consideration during four-game weeks.

Grant Hill: It does my heart good to see Hill post 20 points and 3 steals as he did in last night’s 105-102 loss in Portland. Not enough credit is given to the now 37-year old legend, who was on his way to being an all-time great before ankle injuries derailed his studliness. Here’s a random Hill season for you: In ’96-97 for Detroit, he averaged 21.4 points, 9.0 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.6 blocks and shot 50 percent from the field. First pick in a fantasy draft numbers, no doubt.

Jerryd Bayless: Bayless led all scorers in the Phoenix/Portland game with 29 points on 9-of-15 from the field, including a pair of 3-pointers and 4 assists in 29 minutes. Will he continue to receive this kind of playing time? Probably not on a consistent basis, but the Blazers are trying to move Andre Miller, and if that happens, Bayless will be the man to scoop up.

Allen Iverson is sitting out tonight with a case of "I don't want to get embarrassed by Rajon Rondo"

Channing Frye: Frye drained five more threes last night on the way to a 17-point, 6-rebound, 1-block outing. He’s averaging a not-so-spectacular 12 and 6 this season, but he blocks just under a shot a game and his 2.6 threes per contest are among the league leaders.

There are 11 games tonight, including Sixers/Celtics, but no Allen Iverson, Andrew Toney, Mo Cheeks, Moses Malone, Julius Erving, Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish and Dennis Johnson.


Daily Lies & Statistics: Back to School

There were 12 games on last night’s slate and two major upsets. There were actually three upsets if you count the effect of the pastrami reuben I inhaled while watching the Mavs/Spurs game.

Greg's an Earth sign, Larry Hughes is a water sign; together they make mud.

First, the Knickerbockers came back from 19 down to defeat the white-hot Pacers in Indiana last night, 110-103. I surprisingly made the right call so far this week on Al Harrington, who totaled 26 points on 8-of-13 shooting and four threes, but I failed to start Larry Hughes, who admonished me by serving up a 22, 10 and 7 with three steals and three 3-pointers.  Danny Granger was firing on all cylinders (33 pts, 12-18 fg, 5 3-pt fg) and Roy Hibbert added 14 and 12 with a pair of blocks. I think my esteemed colleague Mr. Lorenzo is purposely not starting the 7’2″ double-double machine just to sadistically rub in my face the fact that he stole him from me in the 10th round of the Damn Lies draft and doesn’t even need him.

This marks the second one-game winning streak this season for the Knicks and the 27th such streak over the past two seasons. Now if only they’d sign ‘Son of Iver’ they’d put themselves in a perfect position to charm grocery stand thieves, Ponzi schemers and other petty criminals back to the Garden.

The other surprising win came out of our nation’s capitol as the Wizards knocked off the Cavs, 108-91, despite 34 points and nine assists out of tight end LeBron James. The big story in this one was the return of Antawn Jamison, who in his first appearance of the season, erupted for 34 points on 12-of-22 shooting and added 10 caroms. Will Jamison stop doing this when he’s in his 50s? I’d swear he played on the Perkins/Daugherty teams at UNC in the mid-1980s.

Mike Miller, much to Jeff’s chagrin, added 17, 8 and 6 and Jamison’s hot shooting did nothing to stop Agent Zero, Gilbert Arenas, from hoisting an alarming amount of shots as he finished with 18, 6 and 8 on 6-of-22 from the floor. The Cavs were manhandled on the boards (49-35) and Mo Williams knocked down just 2-of-13 from the field. It just goes to prove that nobody beats the Wiz.

Elton Brand earned a Governor’s Reprieve before midnight with one of the top fantasy performances of the year (19 pts, 11 reb, 6 blk, 3 st) as the Sixers snuck by Stephen Jackson‘s Bobcats, 86-84. Captain Jack got his owners high last night to the tune of 26, 5 and 5, and his 9-of-21 from the field was the equivalent of a typical shooting night for Marc Gasol.  Andre Iguodala finished with 25, 5 and 3 with three steals and the sneaky Lou Williams registered 19 points and six assists.

Golden State continues to hang around with only eight players and on the road against strong teams. Last night, the Warriors were defeated by Boston, 109-95 after hanging with the Cadavers in Cleveland the night before. Corey Maggette led the way with 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting, but annoyingly played only 32 minutes. Equally annoyed are Anthony Randolph owners as their favorite ectomorph tallied only 11 points and eight boards with no blocks or steals in a measley 24 minutes.

Thornton Melon in Back to School

After last night's games, Greg feels like he just gave birth... to an accountant.

The White Chocolate era began on a positive note as the Magic rolled over the Thunder, 108-94. Rashard Lewis owners must have the look that Rodney Dangerfield had after Sam Kinison appreciated his Korean Conflict comments in Back to School as he posted 17 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in his second game of the season. Lewis will pretty much bottle up any effectiveness that Ryan Anderson had the first few weeks and will in effect crush Matt Barnes‘ hopes and dreams.

As for the Mavs/Spurs, that loveable starker Dirk Nowitzki poured in a season-best 41 points, 12 of which came in OT as Dallas pulled out a five-point win. The Spurs were again without Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili re-injured himself and saw only seven minutes of court time. Things are going so poorly on the injury front for San Antonio that my long lost brother, Malik Hairston, got six minutes of daylight.

Time to practice the Triple Lindy.


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