Monday, January 26, 2009

Josh Smith Posters Steve Nash

To all our devout readers:

Us here at DoubleDribbling apologize for failing to keep up with regular entries since the turn of the new year; we realize we've been radically inconsistent in providing material. 

Thus, DoubleDribbling is looking for new contributors. If you've got something quality to say about the NBA/fantasy basketball/college hoops, shoot us a message or e-mail and we'll try to get you on our team...

In other news, this clip was just too good to not post about. Make sure to check it out.

To Stevie: ...damn man

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Quick Hits: Sat 1/3

  • Looks like Kevin Martin is back. After scoring 20 in his first two games back from a major ankle injury, he put up 45 pts on only 24 shots, including 7 treys in a loss against the Pacers.
  • Jarrett Jack is continuing to get the starts at PG for Indiana, despite T.J. Ford being healthy. Keep an eye on this.
  • The Atlanta backcourt continues to impress. They scored a huge upset win against the Rockets on Mike Bibby's 3 in the final seconds. Joe Johnson had a season high 14 assists.
  • Boris Diaw continues to get it done. 21pts, 6 reb, 7 ast in a win against the Bucks.
  • Both Yi Jianlian and Michael Beasley were effective in 35 mins + tonight; looks like the coaches took my advice to let them play.
  • Additionally, Tyrus Thomas was given 33 mins to play, and responded with 15 pts, 8 reb, and an astounding 8 blocked shots!!
  • Kevin Love posted a respectable double-double (18-12) off the bench.
  • Dwyane Wade was once again an absolute fantasy beast: 29 pts, 8 reb, 6 ast, 3 stl, 4 blk.
  • Keyon Dooling filled in quite nicely for Devin Harris with 23 pts and 7 ast.
  • Samuel Dalembert's disappointing season continues, as he only picked up 2 pts and 3 reb in 16 minutes. With Elton Brand on the shelf, this is incredibly puzzling.
  • Tony Parker gives the Spurs another buzzer beater victory.
  • Peja Stojakovic is getting quality outside looks, knocking down 4 triples now on consecutive nights. If this becomes a trend, the Hornets can be deadly with an inside-outside game with Paul, West, and Peja.

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year's Resolutions: COACH LET EM PLAY!

Its 2009, a chance to start over for all NBA teams, with still about 45-50 games left to play in the season, there are many changes that coaches can still make to energize their teams. Recently there has been an alarming trend for coaches to play their young players less and less, hindering their development and causing them to force the issue in their limited playing time.

Here then are the names of 10 players that are currently outside the top 150 in minutes played so far this season (30 teams x 5 starters = 150 players with "starters minutes"), that deserve more playing time. C'mon coach, let them play!

10) Yi Jianlian, F - NJN
Yi has started every game this season, but has been pulled out of games early as a result of his continued struggles with his shot. After a few quick fouls or missed shots, Nets coach Lawrence Frank loses confidence in his young forward and pulls him. For Yi to have confidence to improve as a playmaker, he needs to be able to continue to shoot without the added pressure of losing playing time. Here's to Frank playing Yi more than just 25 minutes a game, and Yi shooting greater than his miserable 39.0% clip.

9) Andres Nocioni, F - CHI
Its a tall order for anyone not named Rose to garner consistent playing time in the Chicago Bulls rotation, but if anyone is deserving of a playing time increase its Nocioni. This feisty Argentine has been forced into more time due to injuries as of late, and has responded with double-digit scoring in his last 8 contests. Nocioni creates many mismatches at the forward position, especially with his penchant for knocking down treys in the clutch. Although the Bulls have a lot of young players they would like to develop, they won't be much better if they prevent Nocioni from playing more than a measly 24 minutes a game.

8) Trevor Ariza, F - LAL
The Lakers have a logjam at the forward position, which has even forced all-star Lamar Odom out of the starting lineup. However, even in limited minutes, Ariza has found a way to shine. The 5th year man out of UCLA has earned a reputation for being a scrappy player who leads the league in hustle. Ariza is averaging an incredible 3.5 steals per 48 minutes, and almost 10 ppg despite being on the floor only 24 minutes a game. As the Lakers look for more energy off their bench, look for Ariza to earn more playing time by making big hustle plays similar to the outstanding saves he made during the Christmas day game against the Celtics.

7) Kyle Lowry, G - MEM
Lowry, a 3rd year PG out of Villanova has clearly outplayed 1st round pick from a year ago Mike Conley, while coming off the bench for the Grizzlies. Lowry has found himself in the starting lineup all December and has responded, averaging 9 points and 5 assists, including a career high 12 assists last week at Minnesota. With rookie OJ Mayo and star Rudy Gay looking for scoring opportunities, Lowry is a perfect fit to control the offense on this young Grizzlies team and deserves to play more than his season average of 23 minutes per game.

6) Andray Blatche, C - WAS
This one is just puzzling. With the Wizards experimenting with different starters such as JaVale McGee and Dominic McGuire, there should be no reason for Blatche not to see more time on the court. This Wizards team is struggling through injuries to stars Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler, so there are minutes for the taking. Interim coach Ed Tapscott and his 6-24 club have nothing to lose by developing Andray, especially when he is averaging 12 pts, 7 reb, and a blocked shot in his 10 starts. Get this guy on the court!

5) Russell Westbrook, PG - OKC
The only reason Westbrook is not higher on this list is because he has already been inserted as a starter and is starting to see much more playing time than earlier in the season when he was sharing time with Earl Watson. This rookie, the 4th pick in the draft has had a very inconsistent rookie year, laden with shooting woes and turnovers, but has clearly shown flashes of brilliance. So far this season, Westbrook has twice exceeded 30 pts, twice handed out 11 assists, grabbed 10 rebounds in a game, and also has 2 games with 5 steals. Westbrook has given the Thunder reason for optimism, and with only 3 wins, there is no reason not to play him at least 40 minutes a game. Yet his season average is still under 30.

4) Kevin Love, PF - MIN
As the 5th pick in the draft, Love has made a solid contribution of 8 points and 8 rebounds per game despite only starting 1 game and averaging just 22 minutes. Love continues to fight Craig Smith, Ryan Gomes, and Rodney Carney for playing time, and has been inconsistent over the last few months. However, as the 5th pick in the draft on a struggling club, the Wolves must make Love's development their priority. Minnesota's resolution for the new year, should be to insert Love into the starting lineup.

3) Tyrus Thomas, F - CHI
Tyrus Thomas is probably the most tantalizing, yet frustrating fantasy player that is always available on the waiver wire. Many thought that in his 3rd season in the league, this former 4th pick of the draft would finally realize his full potential. Thomas, at his best is capable of a double double with 2 steals and 2 blocks - in short, monster fantasy stats. However, rookie coach Vinny Del Negro does not tolerate Thomas' ill-advised shots and mental mistakes that lead to inopportune turnovers. Still, Thomas needs to play through these issues, and needs some more experience before he is classified as a bust. Tyrus did not even get off the bench in 3 games in December! That is no way to bring along, what could be in my opinion, the breakout player of the 2nd half of this season. Here's a plea to coach Del Negro: LET HIM PLAY!

2) Michael Beasley, F - MIA
Michael Beasley was absolutely dominant as a freshman at Kansas State last year, posting double double after double double, impressing everyone across the country with his moves around the basket as well as his strong rebounding skills, which earned him the #2 pick in the draft. I'm pretty sure that those skills are still there, and the bench is not the best place to showcase them. The Miami Heat are letting Joel Anthony, Udonis Haslem, and an aging Shawn Marion, take away playing time from Beasley, who must learn to hone his craft against NBA-level forwards. Although Beasley started the year as a starter, he has since been pulled from the lineup and averaged only 19 minutes per game in December. Here's to more playing time for Beasley, so that he can show us why he was the #2 pick overall.

1) Greg Oden, C - POR
This was supposed to be his year. This season was supposed to be when Greg Oden showed us how he was the next David Robinson, how he would stake his claim as the next dominant big man in the NBA. However, injuries again were his downfall. But when it appeared he was recovered, turnovers and foul trouble were his problems. Now he shows an inability to mesh with the rest of the team and is overshadowed by the highly efficient Joel Przybilla. Through 26 games played this year, Oden is averaging only 8 points and 7 rebounds, which are not even average for an NBA center. Its about time Oden gets on the court and becomes the dominant player that we all know he can be. With a supporting cast of rising stars Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge and playing for a team that is in the hunt, there is less pressure on Oden to perform, but that does not mean lower expectations. Greg Oden needs to find more than 23 minutes a game, and that starts with staying healthy and not picking up cheap fouls early in games.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Fantasy Market - New Years Day Edition

With New Years festivities just out the way, it's time to get back to some fantasy basketball business. If your team is at the bottom of the ranks and not currently on it's way up, look to make some significant changes before it's too late to catch back up with the rest of the pack.

Sell High (or just sell in general)

Elton Brand -
It's no secret that Brand has been a complete letdown this season. If you're team is anywhere other than the top, it's time to move Brand anyway you can. News of his recent dislocated shoulder and its recovery sounds
uncertain at best. Since he wishes to continue playing this season, he's chosen to forgo surgery, thus increasing the chances of re-injuring the shoulder. Remember Dwayne Wade a couple of seasons ago when he tried to play with a dislocated shoulder? wasn't pretty.

Carlos Boozer - Another big-name big-man who's been sidelined by injury. Again, if you're in a position to have a deadweight on your team, then keep him in hopes of gaining a boost come fantasy playoffs. If you're duking it out with the rest of the pack, time to trade him away. From 2004-2006, Boozer was out was injured for a significant amount of time, while somehow maintaining the idea he would return midseason. That didn't happen and fantasy owners got duped. Boozer has also already announced that he will test the waters of free agency this summer, so it doesn't seem like he's in any hurry to return to Utah's line-up.

Yao Ming - Looks like the bigs are gettin no love tonight. The Rockets have played 30ish games thusfar. The most games Yao's ever played in one season since the 2004-2005 season is 57. Based on the past, this means you have about 15-20 more games of healthy Yao before his foot breaks or something like that. Start floating some offers around and see if you can get rid of him around the end of January/early February.

Buy Low

Kevin Martin -
I mentioned him in my last edition of Fantasy Market, and it may already be too late to buy low, but he's still worth a shot. Martin returned to Sacremento's line-up on Dec 30 and dropped 20 pts, 5 rebounds, and two 3pters while shooting 8-8 from the free throw line. Kmart2 is going to light it in 2009.

Rip Hamilton - Currently out with a torn groin (sounds bad right?), but close to returning. The Pistons are starting to figure out how AI is going to fit in with everything, so expect Hamilton's number to go up a bit from his current averages.

Samuel Dalembert - Other than his wack last game, Dalembert's numbers have bounced back up a bit with Brand out of the picture. He block shots and rebounds and a good rate. Other than that, point production is still very low and inconsistent. However, he's a great backup center that can get you those perepherial stats.