|Connelly’s Top Ten: Less Than a Week to Opening Day!||Why 2014 Should Make Red Sox Fans Smile||Former Bruins Player Carol Vadnais Dies||John Farrell’s Second Season Unlike his First|
The lesson for this week’s Fantasy Basketball Review is to always…ALWAYS set your rosters. There are a few ways to do it: you can set your roster for the week if you don’t plan on making any pickups, or you can set your roster everyday. Usually, I elect option B, but I missed on day this week for a variety of reasons. It cost me a category in the SoB league and a couple in another league of mine. Ugh. On to the important injury updates affecting a roster near you:
Tracy McGrady (SG, SF), Houston Rockets: Tracy McGrady has begun his annual stay on the sidelines, this time to rehabilitate his sore left knee. He has missed the last six games, and will miss at least three more weeks.
Gerald Wallace (SF, PF), Charlotte Bobcats: Gerald Wallace was absent from the Bobcats’ game Monday (Dec. 8) due to the death of his grandmother. The team doensn’t know when he will return. He has games Wednesday at New Orleans and Thursday at Dallas.
Elton Brand (PF, C), Philadelphia 76ers: Elton Brand has missed the last two games due to a strained right hamstring he suffered in a game against the Lakers. Brand hopes he’ll be back for Wednesday’s game against the Cavs.
Marcus Camby (PF, C), Los Angeles Clippers: The pride of UMass Amherst was a force last week, averaging 11 points (50.0% shooting, 88.9% FT), 13.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.5 steals, 4.5 blocks against just 1.75 turnovers per game. That, my friends, is a highly effecient fantasy box score.
Baron Davis (PG), Los Angeles Clippers: Davis continued to fill the stat sheet with the Clippers last week. He averaged 21.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, 8.0 assists, and 2.0 steals per game. Davis also included a helpful 3.7 threes per game.
Kevin Garnett (SF, PF), Boston Celtics: The reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year displayed some of his elite offensive skills last week. KG went for 18 points on 62.0% from the field, 13.5 rebounds, 1.75 steals, and 1.25 blocks in four games last week.
Dwayne Wade (PG, SG), Miami Heat: Wade has carried the Heat (and many fantasy teams) on his back all season, and last week was no different. He averaged 32.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 8.3 assists, 2.0 steals, 2.3 blocks. Wade’s shooting averages are all over the map and he turns the ball over a lot (3.9 TO per game this season), but he was so prolific in other categories last week that it helped him get on this list.
Dwight Howard (C), Orlando Magic: Dwight Howard and I share a birthday (Dec. 8), so I’ll offer a shoutout to the birthday boy. It also helps that Howard averaged 19.3 points, 17.3 rebounds, and 5.3 blocks per game. Howard is a monster in those categories, but kills fantasy owners with his poor turnover numbers and FT percentage.
Jason Kidd (PG), Dallas Mavericks: The Mavs are looking dumber by the minute for trading Devin Harris for Jason Kidd at the deadline last season. Kidd is still helpful to fantasy rosters in rebounds and asssits, but he really hurt owners last week. Kidd averaged 2.0 points on 2-15 from the field and 1-10 from three-point land. YUCK! I should mention that Kidd helped rosters with 8.0 assists and 4.0 steals, though.
Shaquille O’Neal (C), Phoenix Suns: Shaq was inconsistent over the last week, which can kill a fantasy team. He had a DNP on Dec. 3, and had just four points and five boards on a Suns loss Dec. 4. So after those two games, owners probably benched Shaq for Sunday fearing he could hurt more than help. Then, Shaq went for 15 points and 10 boards.
Kevin Martin (SG), Sacramento Kings: After missing 12 games, Martin returned for two games last week. He wasn’t very good in those games, shooting just 29.6% from the field and averaging 15.0 points, 2.0 rebounds, and one assist. Now, there’s word he’ll miss more time with the left ankle injury.
Lamar Odom (SF, PF), Los Angeles Lakers: Lamar Odom has almost become a fantasy afterthought due to reduced minutes in the Lakers’ rotation. In four games last week, Odom averaged just 5.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.8 assists. OK, he’s now completely irrelevant fantasy-wise.
Tyson Chandler (C), New Orleans Hornets: Chandler wasn’t helped by his team’s schedule (only two games last week), so I won’t hold it against him. But, he still didn’t play all that great, averaging 9.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 3.0 turnovers including his usual bad FT% (57.1%).
Paul Millsap (PF, C), Utah Jazz: If he’s somehow still available in leagues (which is possible), you should pick him up RIGHT AWAY. Millsap has become a very reliable fantasy performer. Last week, he averaged 17.5 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 2.5 steals.
Derek Fisher (PG), Los Angeles Lakers: Want a consistent source of three’s? Then this is your man! Fisher has had only three games this season without a three-pointer. He also averaged 11.5 points and 2.0 steals per game.
Rafer Alston (PG, SG), Houston Rockets: With Tracy McGrady out, it’s time to pick up Rafer Alston again. Last week, Alston averaged 18.3 points, 6.0 assists, and 4.0 threes per game.