Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Triple Threat: January 24th

Can we please get Howard more shots?


3 Players on Fire (not named Kobe Bryant)

1. Tracy McGrady, Houston
Do you guys remember Paul? He used to write for this website. He is a nice person. Well, back in the preseason he pegged McGrady as his 2005-06 MVP. Two weeks ago that prediction looked about as good as Britney Spears, with T-Mac leaving the court on a stretcher. But let me be the first to say, if McGrady keeps playing like he has over these last three games and somehow gets the Rockets into the Playoffs, he might just win after all. Oh yeah, in those three contests, 39.7 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 4.7 APG, & 50.0 FG%.

2. Dwight Howard, Orlando
In order to show you how poorly the Magic are using this kid, let’s take a look at some of the other big name power forwards and compare their shots per minute. Bosh (.40), Brand (.45), Randolph (.47), Webber (.47)….Howard (.29). Okay, in just his second year perhaps he shouldn’t be getting the same shot attempts as Brand or Webber. But there’s no reason he shouldn’t be up there with the Boshs and Randolphs of the league. In fact, DH is only attempting 10.6 shots per game, but somehow still leads the team in PPG. In his last five, Howard averaged 17.0 PPG, 15.6 RPG, 1.2 SPG, 2.0 BPG, & 55.2 FG%. How on earth can you not get him more touches shooting the ball with such accuracy?

3. Shawn Marion, Phoenix
Over his last three games, the Matrix has put up averages of 29.7 PPG, 14.3RPG, 2.7 SPG, 3.7 BPG, including 19-20 from the charity stripe. I can’t even imagine how good this team will be once (if) Amare returns…


3 Players in the Dumps

1. Tyson Chandler, Chicago
What a chump this guy is. Is he ever going to prove his worth? Kwame Brown, the #1 overall pick in the ’01 Draft, gets so much negativity thrown his way but somehow TC (the 2nd pick that year) avoids it. Get this, Chandler is averaging just 4.7 PPG this season—are you serious? But, is it really his fault that he’s only attempting 3.5 shots per game? Should we attribute that to his lack of aggression, poor guard play, or just putrid coaching? I’ll just blame him for now…

2. Joel Przybilla, Portland
This isn’t really Joel’s fault because for some unknown reason Nate McMillan has chosen to play JP for an average of just 21.0 minutes over his last five. Doesn’t he understand I have a fantasy league to win here? I need more a lot more 19 rebound, 8 block performances and a hell of a lot less Theo Ratliff. I’m praying that the team is merely showcasing Ratliff for a deadline deal.


3. Andre Iguodala, Philadelphia
I don’t know about your league, but the majority of the members in mine pegged Iggy to have a huge sophomore season. But thus far, all of his owners have been left with their hands in the air. Sure his PPG are up 3.0 and FG% up a smidgen, but in averaging 5.1 more minutes per game this season, I think we all expected a lot more. There’s still plenty of time for him to prove me wrong however…


3 Teams on Fire (besides the Pistons)

1. Dallas Mavericks-Won 5 straight, and 8 of 10-Did anyone expect the Spurs to be threatened for the Southwest title? Well here we are at the halfway point and both teams are deadlocked at 31-10. San Antonio needs to step it up…

2. Denver NuggetsWon 6 straight and 8 of 10—All this without Marcus Camby too…Fortunately for George Karl and co., the big man is expected to make his return sometime this week. Meanwhile, Carmelo Anthony continues to make a strong case for the Western All-Star team (right Curtis?).

3. Los Angeles LakersWon 7 of 10—Whooping the Raptors at home is no big deal, but wins over Miami, Golden State, Cleveland and the cross-town Clips are rather impressive. Is it any real surprise Phil Jackson has these guys in the thick Playoff race? Didn’t think so…


3 Teams in the Dumps

1. Charlotte BobcatsLost 7 straight—As the winner of the team with the worst luck, the ‘Cats have lost Okafor, Rush, Ely, and now Wallace for significant stretches this season. Oh yeah, and rookie Sean May is likely out for the year with a knee injury. Poor Charlotte, at least they get a boost in their cap number this summer…

2. Indiana PacersSitting on Ron Artest—Has any imminent deal ever taken this long to complete? It took the Lakers less than a month to trade Shaq, the most dominant player of our generation, but Bird and Walsh need 49 freakin’ days (and counting) to move Artest? Now the team sits at 21-20 and Coach Rick Carlisle was quoted after Tuesday's game as saying, "We're just not a good basketball team right now." Some executives he has…


3. Golden State WarriorsLost 7 of 10—Everyone’s bandwagon team this preseason isn’t playing so hot, huh? Oh, they’ll be just like the Suns from last year and put up 110 points every night, right? Funny that everyone forgot that they have Mike Montgomery as a coach, no frontcourt player even reminiscently close to Marion or Amare, and that Mike Dunleavy still hadn’t gotten his first period. It’s going to take a marvelous deadline deal to sneak this squad into the postseason.


3 Stars Bound to be Discussed in Trade Rumors

1. Allen Iverson, Philadelphia
With AI and C-Webb apparently at each other’s throats, the most logical rumor to surface will be the trading of Iverson. No one will be crazy enough to take on Webber’s contract and injury liability, so what choice will that leave the Sixers’ brass? If AI isn’t happy, management has to listen to his trade requests/demands, right? We’ll find out in the coming weeks…

2. Kevin Garnett, Minnesota
The last time I checked the Wolves were in 9th place in the West. And if I recall correctly, only 8 teams make the Playoffs. So say Minny drops back even further, say by losing 5 of their next 6? And one night when the team is down by 20 in the 4th and KG looks over at Kevin McHale laughing it up with some bimbo in the stands, what do you think happens next? Would anyone be remotely surprised if Garnett held Wally World hostage until the team agreed to trade him? Maybe it’s just me, but I really think the league would benefit greatly with the Big Ticket in the Playoffs every year. Doesn’t a move to Boston almost make too much sense? A team desperate to make it back to the Finals matched up with a player whom everyone wants to see there? A couple hasn’t made this much sense since Zack Morris and Kelly Kapowski.

3. Steve Francis, Orlando
It’s about freakin’ time that management gives up on Francis and Hill and hands the reigns over to Howard and Jameer Nelson. Tank the rest of the season, draft Rudy Gay, and build around those three studs. How does Otis Smith not see this? And who the hell thought it was a good idea to hire Otis Smith? There was no one better out there? Wouldn’t no one be better?


3 Tidbits from the NBDL

1. Potential stud Gerald Green has looked decent at best through his first five games. The rookie draft pick of the Boston Celtics is currently averaging 11.4 PPG, 4.6 RPG, while shooting just 41.8% from the field. While the numbers don’t appear too enticing, this this video should make Celtics’ fans smile for what’s to come.

2. Rookie PG Will Bynum (Georgia Tech) has stole the league scoring lead from G Bracey Wright. The free agent from the Roanoke Dazzle is currently averaging 22.9 PPG through 15 games of action. His teammate F Anthony Grundy (NC State) isn’t far behind with 22.2 PPG. Bynum was a free agent signee of the Celtics this summer, but the team released him just before the start of the regular season. He is free to be signed by any NBA team.

3. Portland Blazers’ guard Martell Webster was sent down to the Fort Worth Flyers last week. Through three games, the 3rd overall pick of last year’s Draft is putting up 10.3 PPG, 3.0 RPG, while shooting just 40.7%. As with Green, expect him to go through some early game struggles after rotting on an NBA bench for the last 2+ months.


3 Fantasy Buys

1. Kendrick Perkins, Boston
Not only has the big man started the last six games for the C’s, he’s also been playing with something to prove. After sitting behind both Mark Blount and Raef LaFrentz for the past two seasons, Coach Doc Rivers is finally giving Perk and second year stud Al Jefferson some run. The results? 10.3 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 1.8 BPG, and 62.0 FG%. Keep in mind that Blount is being dangled for three chalupas and a side of guacamole, and that once he’s dealt Perk should be solidifying 30+ minutes per night.

2. Jalen Rose, Toronto
If you haven’t noticed, Rose has started the Rap’s last three games and put up averages of 22.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 5.3 APG, 1.0 SPG, and 49.0 FG%. While JR’s certainly just being showcased for a looming trade to New York, he still may be a nice pick up for the next few weeks. If you need someone to help out long term, I’d look elsewhere…

3. Antonio Daniels, Washington
I know, he’s played about as well as the fat guy in Teen Wolf this season, but with Chucky Atkins moving to Memphis, I think a lot of the pressure will be alleviated. Remember that last season he was playing alongside a 2nd-year player with no one but Flip Murray pushing him for run. This season he’s in a new place, playing behind an elite PG, and up until recently, battling Atkins for minutes. If you don’t believe me, wait it out another week and see for yourself.


3 Fantasy Sells

1. Francisco Elson/Eduardo Najera, Denver
With Camby coming back shortly, these guys will take the biggest hit. Start searching for better options while you still can…

2. Kevin Martin/Francisco Garcia, Sacramento
With Bonzi due back sooner rather than later, and Peja apparently sticking around (for now), these two youngsters are out of luck. So are their owners…

3. Corey Maggette, LA Clippers
I wouldn’t be surprised if half of Maggette’s owners have elected to hold onto him thus far. Hell, you probably wasted a 3rd or 4th round pick on him and all you see in the free agent list are Quinton Ross and Jackson Vroman. But listen, the Artest-to-LA deal died for a legitimate reason. If Maggette was expected back anytime soon, don’t you think the Pacers would rather have him than Peja? Makes you wonder if Corey will be back at all this season.


3 Thoughts from the NFL Playoffs

1. In watching Ben Roethlisberger battle Jake Plummer this weekend, I feel it should be mandatory for players to grow Playoff beards. This especially holds true for the WNBA where we’d redefine the comedic scale watching Lisa Leslie and Tamecka Dixon go over a month without a waxing. Yeesh…

2. Does any team have worse luck with running backs than the Carolina Panthers? Better yet, does anyone have worse luck than DeShaun Foster? The season-ending injury he suffered in Chicago last week marked the third year in a row he failed to complete a full year. Good luck on the free agent market buddy.

3. What’s with all the hiring of the assistant coaches? I just heard that San Fran hired the Patriots’ urinal cleaner to be their offensive coordinator.


3 Thoughts from the NHL

1. It’s about time the New York Rangers turned things around. Isn’t it amazing how a roster filled with superstars fails to make the Playoffs for seven straight years, yet a team with only one legit player of that caliber can be just 3 points back of the division lead? Big game tonight vs. Buffalo (7PM).

2. No surprise that Mario Lemieux retired for the second time this afternoon. Why do these hockey players insist on holding onto their playing days? Are their wives and kids that terrible?

3. Penguins' center Sidney Crosby (1st overall 2005 Draft), at just 18 years of age, currently sits 14th in the league in total points. The player that went 1st overall last season, Washington forward Alexander Ovechkin, is 8th. Looks like the NBA isn’t the only breeding ground for teenagers…


3 Thoughts from Baseball

1. Doesn’t Barry Bonds realize that the only way for him to get all the critics off his back is to play in this year’s World Baseball Classic and bring home a title to the U.S.? Am I the only one who sees this? Is Felipe Alou that conniving?

2. As a Yankee fan, count me among those who are thrilled that most of my team’s players chose not to participate in the WBC. As cool as it would be to see the U.S. win this Classic, I’d much rather have the Yankee players at full strength come April. Bud Selig is going to face much scrutiny as soon as the first impact player goes down with a major injury.

3. Prediction: the Red Sox acquisitions of 2B Mark Loretta, and more importantly, OF Coco Crisp will go down as two of the more underrated moves of the offseason.

1 Comments:

At 6:49 PM, Blogger ET said...

Has any other team been screwed worse than the Pacers? And now Jermaine O'Neal gets hurt.

Philly's in a weird situation because they can go two ways. They have the youth to build around in Iguodala, Green (when he gets back), Louis Williams, Korver, and Dalembert, but they also have 2 aging stars that need to win now. Like you said Webber's contract makes him pretty much untradeable, but Philly fans have been calling to trade Iverson for his own sake, and for Philly's, for over a month. It's time to blow up the team and rebuild. I'd rather just let them play out their contracts, but if things don't get better ...

Perkins might solidify 30 minutes a night ... if he stops fouling every 3 minutes.

Just my 2 cents.

 

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