Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Boston Celtic PG Delonte West is worth a look in deep leagues. The Celts' 24th overall pick in this past draft is so up and down... the guy can make you sea-sick. Over his past couple, D-West nailed 27 points, 12 'boards, 12 Assists, 3 swipes', 2 Blocks... and was called for 5 fouls and turned the ball over but twice. Be patient with West and start him judiciously. Trot him out against lesser competition. Any team that starts Ricky Davis and Paul Pierce... well, they remain 1 ball short. Plus, Big Al Jefferson has his big games as well. The team will gel over time.

Dallas Mav' SG Devin Harris is also worth taking a flyer upon. A 2nd year player, Harris drained 20 for the 3rd time this season... a feat he NEVER accomplished as a sushi-raw-rook' last year.
Over his last 6 games, Harris has posted 92 points, 22 Rebounds, 19 Assists, 4 steals and a pair of No-No's.
Any team that can throw sleeper-stud SF Josh Howard (though he's really nicked-up, Howard is averaging 15/7+/2 over a 20 game span), PG Jason Terry (solid distributor... always good for some 3's), G/F Marquis Daniels (when healthy, dude can be a force), and PF Dirk Nowitzki (playing out of his friggin' MIND Hoops, the Giant-German is throwing down 26+/9+/2+ per game, with with- 3 30+ point games in his past 6 games) out onto the hardwood is a serious contender.
Dallas rarely hits the floor as a complete and healthy team; F Jerry Stackhouse has yet to play a minute this season, Nowitzki's style and sore feet make him tuff' to rely upon (Nowitzi missed a frustrating number of games last season), and Marquis Daniels is currently out of action with a neck injury. However, when they DO field all of their working parts, the Mavs are a Championship caliber franchise. The team practices keen ball movement- the O goes thru "Dirk the Dominator" ... then Josh Howard... THEN everyone else.
Given the appropriate match-up, "D-Dog Harris" can been a VERY solid fantasy play.

The cellar-dweller Knicks, currently mired in a 2-8 swoon, have a knack for losing. But given their talent, payroll proven coach, and bottomless bankroll... Why? In short- they play 1 dimensional Basketball. They simply aren't a "Larry Brown" type of team.
Can the Knicks play Defense? I don't think so. You tell me, who the hell CAN play D on NY?
Center Eddy Curry, recently of the Bulls? Uh-uh, Curry is strictly an offensive player. Yes, at 6-11 the guy is a true "big-man" and can play with either his back to.. or facing the basket. However, Curry is somewhat fragile (he's missed his last 4 with an ankle sprain), he pulls down fewer than 6 'boards per game... and at almost 7-freaking-feet TALL, that is sad, and the guy's notched 18 blocks in 26 games. Worse yet, he'll disappear for GAMES at a stretch... not Quarters, GAMES. As for the rest of the Knicks, what... do you really expect PG Stephon "Me-Bury" to hustle back on D? How's about Jamal Crawford... the Bulls were positively thrilled to send him packing... Quentin Richardson you say? The "late of the Phoenix Suns Q?" Oddly enough, the team's exciting off-season Small Forward acquisition has turned into a modest defender. As the Sun's part-time 2-Guard Q' was an offensive powerhouse, capable of piling up the points with a sugar-sweet shot. Now, however, that Quentin Richardson has vanished... leaving in his place a Quentin Richardson that is averaging 7.4 PPG (down from 15 PPG as a Sun), 4.1 Rebounds per game (down from 6+ as a Sun), and a single 3-pointer per game (he averaged 3 per game as a Sun). In addition, Q's Steals, Blocks, and Shooting Accuracies have all taken the "Nestea Plunge."

If coach "LB" is to succeed in New York... then one of two things MUST happen;
1. The current Knicks will mature as players and adapt their individual games. They will learn to play as a team and they will learn to play D.

Or, more likely...

2. Coach Brown will oversee a "roster-purge." Rooks' G Nate Robinson and PF Channing Frye (the only Knick playing acceptable defense) will form the young corps, and perhaps MOST importantly) the savvy and cunning coach will convince PG Stephon Marbury to move to a Shooting Guard role.

either way.... these Knicks are a LONG way from being competitive in the eastern Conference.


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