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Gotta hand it to that Daryl Morey character.

Somehow, someway, the Houston Rockets’ GM has made it possible to like Dwight Howard again, simply by bringing him to the Houston Rockets.

Dwight was insufferable with the Magic, always whining about calls with blabber coming out of that head that was always too small for his hulking frame. And then, of course, he was even worse with the Lakers, thinking he could just come in and take the throne from Kobe Bryant.

In Houston, there wasn’t gonna be any of that disrespectin’ going on. The Rockets had Dwight working with The Dream. Kevin Freaking McHale was the coach. And Kobe might be Kobe, but James Harden’s beard is a whole other can of worms. Would you mess with that beard?

Then Morey went the extra yard and kept Omer Asik around to basically look like Omer Asik – i.e., a mega a-hole. His curiously pouty ways and passive-aggressive trade demands have made Howard look like an NBA Citizenship Award candidate.

Overall, the result has been great for the real-world Rockets, as they’re winning because of Howard and not in spite of him and his free-throw shooting, which is actually halfway decent these days.

In fantasy land, this means that it’s starting to become OK to view Howard as a studly fantasy center. Yes, even in leagues that count FT percentage.

Houston should continue to push toward the top of the Western Conference as the year goes on, and I expect Howard to rise to the occasion with guys like Coach Herman Munster breathing down his back.

Last year it looked like Nikola Vucevic was the new Dwight Howard, but this year it appears that Dwight Howard is still the Dwight Howard. Got that?

Anyway, Howard is constantly dissed in fantasy circles, so if you can swindle him in a deal now, go for it.

Here’s what else I saw around that perforated half circle over the course of the last week.

Larry Sanders – Blurred vision seems to be a real problem in Milwaukee. Sanders got it Saturday when he was poked in the eye and he could be out for a game or two next week. As we all know from his rotations, Larry Drew has had it all year, and now it also seems the front office in Milwaukee could also benefit from a visit to the eye doc. The team is reportedly getting offers for Sanders, as in, yes, we’d love to have this major head case, and sure we’ll take his giant mistake of a contract. But the Bucks are turning everyone down, maybe seeing the glass half-full after Larry’s recent decent run and the 25-15-1 he put up against Denver last week. If someone offered you anything even remotely decent for Larry in fantasy would you do it? Yep, thought so.

Ersan Ilyasova – Never mind the lingering back issues. When he boards he doesn’t score, and when he scores he doesn’t board, and he doesn’t block at all. And he’s 6-10. This guy still 74 percent owned in Yahoo? What the Buck?

John Henson – With both Sanders and Ilyasova out, Henson got the start and brought home a 14-10-4 line (and 50 percent shooting) in 40 minutes of work. If you’re fighting for your life, you just can’t hold the Muppet Man. If you can afford to stash him, and you want to gamble that Sanders will indeed get dealt, by all means, stash away.

Derrick Williams – Never fails to disappoint. Yeah, he had a double-double of 11-12-1 gobbling up minutes while Rudy Gay was out, but he shot just 2-11 in a losing cause on Friday. That was sandwiched by two real stink bombs, including last night where he all but vanished.

Jared Sullinger – Nice, Nice, baby. In his three games since earning Boards-N-Blocks headlining status last week Sully averaged 20.3 ppg, 12.6 rpg and 1.6 bpg, including his 31-16-1 bust out Friday in Sacramento. Get him if you still can.

Ronny Turiaf – It wasn’t a block … it was a block monster! He’s been swatting mad while filling in for Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic, averaging 3.4 per game over the last five including a solid 8-13-3 Saturday against the Blazers’ tough front line.

Jonas Valanciunas – Hurting in the guts department, but Raptors fans knew that already. Might miss some time after putting up two straight double-doubles. He’s playing like Spencer Hawes from a few years ago, and if you want to know what that was like ask a 76ers fan, then get ready to unload the Weezer song.

Nikola Vucevic – Had his best game production-wise since returning from the concussion, contributing 19 points, 13 rebounds, 2 steals and a block in yesterday’s big win at home against the Pacers. I’ll say it again: He just seems shaky this year for some reason. Look for a deal.

Luke Babbitt – Deep league special! I don’t want to go too overboard here, but we might be watching “The Luke Babbitt Story” unfold before our eyes. Stellar college career? Check. Draft day joy turned to stinging banishment to the D-League? Check. Dubious breaking of a contract with a Russian basketball team? Check. Now the story of redemption, as the Pelicans have brought in Babbitt to shoot some three’s and maybe get some boards and blocks in 20 minutes per night or so. OK, maybe I did go a little too overboard …

Kyle O’Quinn – Is this dude’s beard big and bushy like Santa Claus or does he have an abnormally huge jaw? More importantly, was his six-block game last Wednesday for real? Not sure he can do that again, but Jamaica, New York, is a tough place, and O’Quinn’s a big body, and he gets a lot of boards in a very short amount of time. Keep an eye on this guy.

DeAndre Jordan – Ho-hum, 10-20-4 in a 45-point decimation of the Sixers last night, all while making the Philly frontline look like little boys. So beastly.

Rudy Gobert – Was pumped to see my man get a whopping 31 minutes in last Monday’s blowout loss to the Raptors, in which he had 8 rebounds and 3 blocks. Was bummed when reality kicked me in the Goberts and Rudy went back down to six minutes in his next game Friday.

Little Big Man of the Week: Randy Foye. As surprising as it has been to see the three-point specialist put up 20-point games at will, it’s been even more mind-boggling to see a 6-4 shooting guard blocking a crap load of shots. He’s averaging almost 2 bpg over his last four, including four last Wednesday against the Bucks.

  1. moez says:
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    hey man good read

    Send Kyrie Irving,
    Send Courtney Lee,
    Send Shawn Marion,
    Send Nikola Vucevic,
    Send Glen Davis,

    Receive Arron Afflalo,
    Receive Carlos Boozer,
    Receive Marc Gasol,
    Receive Chandler Parsons,
    Receive Kemba Walker,
    Receive Jrue Holiday

    I got this offer on the weekend.. Its a rebound keeper league with DD”s (13 cat)
    I have Love/A.Davis/Ricky R/Kawhi Leonard/Bosh/West/ John Henson/DeRozan….
    Should I do this?? Im kinda worried i actually might be lowering my rebounds.. depending how shawnM/bigbaby play…
    yet this is just a big trade.. for me .. maybe I should take the Hit? for the sake of winning now?
    I like Ricky Anyway as keeper along side Davis… Love the Steal/block combo and Marc/Big V is actually not bad at all.. Marc is still hurting, once back to 100P.. d00d gives out a lot of blocks/Ass and can rebound.. he’s been a DD beast before so…

    anyway ive been debating this like crazy… Should I do this trade? piss ppl off?
    Im already in first but the top 3/4 teams are good.. ny no means is it a for sure win this season even tho i am in first now…
    with this trade tho.. might top it off..
    is it that good? Thanks guys

    • moez says:
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      @moez: he told me i’d be crazy not to take it. that only reason it might get the votes now is because all those guys( im getting) are kinda playing like #$%^ if all those guys were playing half decent it prob wouldnt work
      I like Big V for the DD”s and stuff.. but he has looked alittle shaky.. magic are not going to be in the playoffs if anything else happens to him i could see him shutting it down
      HMM! ive been going back and forth ont his alllll weewkend

      • Pete Nice

        Pete Nice says:
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        @moez: “He” being your trade partner? Of course he’s gonna say that! The Magic will want to play Vuc, not shut him down, right?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @moez: So much going on here! I can crunch the numbers for you and have them by, say, 2015, or just tell you what my gut says looking at it with Right Now in mind.

      Send Kyrie Irving – I like him a lot ROS
      Send Courtney Lee – Give or take
      Send Shawn Marion – Not a fan
      Send Nikola Vucevic – Good sell high, could potentially get better and be a stud though
      Send Glen Davis – Waiver fodder

      Receive Arron Afflalo – Trending down and headed that way more as Victor gets more minutes
      Receive Carlos Boozer – Could be playing a smaller role on a contender after the trade deadline
      Receive Marc Gasol – Production since return is more than a bit concerning
      Receive Chandler Parsons – Good get
      Receive Kemba Walker – Solid get
      Receive Jrue Holiday – Not sure he’ll be the same this year, if/when he gets back

      When you clear this out you’re basically trading Irving and Vucevic for Gasol, Parsons and Walker, plus Afflalo and Boozer as potential key but not major contributors to your team. I’d say go for it, but it’s not as good as it looks on paper.

      • Moes says:
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        @Pete Nice: thanks a lot! Damn.. Hmm .. You don’t think im taking a hit in boards? All the stuff I’m getting back puts it pretty close I guess and if chandler boards like he can I’m good .. Hmm lol thanks man

  2. Rich says:
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    Would you trade away Kevin Love to get Anthony Davis?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Rich: Feels risky. Love is at his ceiling but it’s way high. Don’t know what AD’s ceiling is or when he hits it. but if you’re feelin lucky…

  3. steve says:
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    Middlebrook is hot but Boston’s D is good. Play him tonight or sit?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @steve: ha I tried to reply yes to this earlier, hope I didn’t or if I did you didn’t see it. Laaaaaarrrrrryyyyy!

  4. Bren says:
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    I’m confused about your opinion about sanders. I got an offer of Hayward for my sanders and pierce. As far as value should I pull it?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Bren: Yeah maybe that one got away from me a little bit. What I was trying to say was the Bucks are nuts to not deal Sanders, and you are the same if you don’t deal him as well. If Hayward was still playing the way he was earlier in the year I’d say yup, do that straight up. Gordon has been struggling mightily lately however. Depending on needs I might still do that (straight up, that is)

    • Lasandro says:
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      @Bren: Pretty sure Pete meant that Sanders is not worth the trouble. Dude can get blocks here and there and 8-10 brds on occasion but getting a solid scoring, multi-cat player and major contributor on that Utah team (not to mention he plays big minutes too) for PP and Colonel would be a great get for you, in my opinion. He also gets nice defensive stats at the SF position

      • Pete Nice

        Pete Nice says:
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        @Lasandro: yea if he throws in PP why not I’m just saying look at the deal based on need. at least with Hayward going haywire right now

        • Lasandro says:
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          @Pete Nice: True that

  5. Lasandro says:
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    Whats good, Nice! My sentiments exactly, re: JV. He was getting me nice pts and brds, but absolutely nothing in between. So I recently picked up Henson and he had himself a nice line. Helped that Ily was out and how knows how long the Colonel will be eye-less. Should I stick with him for now or revert back to JV, who will once again be available later today? Same deal with K Middleton and D Carroll; I picked up the former the other day and he had a great outing. Plus, with all these trade talks involving Carroll, not sure how well defined his role will be in the next two weeks. But boy do I like him. I took Khris instead because he has a higher propensity of scoring than Demarre. And C Butler is still out with that ankle sprain, which gives Larry Screw no other option at the SF spot. Unless he decides to start Wolters or Ridnour there.. dick.

    • Lasandro says:
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      Just read that Sanders is still out, as well as Ily. I’ll take a 30min Henson over a full game JV any day!

      • Pete Nice

        Pete Nice says:
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        @Lasandro: And a good day to you to sir! Yea Henson has big time upside. That’s how screwy Drew is. Go back and you’ll see JB and others calling him a must own. Now in Larry’s world we’re wondering if he’s even rosterable. Ridonc

        • Li says:
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          @Pete Nice:
          PS. Henson goes down with ankle injury. Bucks front court decimated. Larry’s poked eye turned to be a broken eye socket. Illasova still ‘dtd’…Zaza getting run soon And I’ m so happy i added Middleton on a couple teams.

      • Pete Nice

        Pete Nice says:
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        @Lasandro: p.s. I love Demare too and would be bummed if he got dealt unless it was to, say, the Sixers!

        • Lasandro says:
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          @Pete Nice: Mate, JB and I have been back and forth praising Henson since way back in November, when I picked him up out of intrigue and dude was going Diet AD on everyone’s badonks. Love him and the only reason I dropped him early this year was because of the one that shall not be named (not Voldermort – although, HE’D prob be a much better coach).

          On the topic of my SF rotations; once I’m done with middleton, leading up to teh all star break, should I look to add Kawhi? I had him on my team right up until his injury. He’s obviously not the high scorer Middleton can be, but he is as multicat as they come. Thing is, I’m lacking in pts these days, with players like Parsons (inconsistent scorer), T Jones (same), Oladipo and nene (mid teens, usually) and J Green (the definition of inconsistency) not giving me high powered offense. My pts are almost exclusively coming from AD, W Chandler and the now injured Ty. Interested in your thoughts

        • Lasandro says:
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          @Pete Nice: PS. dont think anyone else in Australia knows much about Muppet Man, which is why it’s all the more sweeter following this dude

          • Pete Nice

            Pete Nice says:
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            @Lasandro: I’d take Kawhi over Middleton for sure

  6. SteveV says:
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    Middleton’s hot play him tonight vs Boston’s D or sit him?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @SteveV: yep

      • SteveV says:
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        Yep play or Yep sit?

        • Lasandro says:
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          @SteveV: DEF play him! No Caron Butler and Ily means a whole more shots for the talented scorer

          • Pete Nice

            Pete Nice says:
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            @Lasandro: @SteveV: hope you read me wrong there, I was saying play em

    • Lasandro says:
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      @SteveV @Pete Nice: Haha Drew playing him for only 9mins the first half – Giannis with 15min off the bench. Oh Drew..

      • SteveV says:
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        Yeah 2-6 shooting with 8 points. Yeah!!!

        • Lasandro says:
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          @SteveV: Ha, we suffered the same fate today, mate! Seems like they werent really going to him today. 6 attempts following two really solid games is a little inexcusable.My other Buck, Henson, had an ok game (weak boards) but of course got injured, again. Buck these guys!

          • Pete Nice

            Pete Nice says:
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            @Lasandro: @SteveV: I guess the lesson here is that anyone on the Bucks not named Brandon Knight cannot be trusted for an extended period of time because Drew just won’t stick with him.

  7. Sneaky Pete says:
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    Great read as always!

    Moving forward, come fantasy playoffs, who do you see holding more value? John Henson or Marcin Gortat?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Sneaky Pete: As you’ll see I just now came to a conclusion: I’m not trusting anyone long term on Milwaukee other than Knight. So I’d stay with The Polish Hammer.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Sneaky Pete: also – yep, Henson down with an ankle injury, and yo – thanks for the kind words Sneaky!

  8. Li says:
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    Pete,
    I recently made a trade where I gave up two for one. So when the trade (The fading Evan Turner and future 25 minute Reggie Jackson for Isaiah Thomas) goes though tomorrow night I will have an empty roster spot to play with. I’m in a deep league: the bottom of my lineup & Bench are Tony Wroten, Ryan Kelly, Asik (recently moved from IR -forcing a drop of Danny Green) Chase Buddinger-just added 3 minutes ago after seeing his minutes and points potential (dropped PBev. I was gonna wait and target buddinger after the trade coears at 11 pm tomorrow, but he might be gone. SO. now that you read all that stff u don’t care about, my QUESTION is who should I add when I get that open spot?
    *Note: My ‘DTD’ Illasova could be one more missed game away from ‘OUT’ status
    opening up the potential for TWO wire-adds after some IR management.
    (Possibilites) PBev, Mike Scott (had and dropped for Danny Green), Sessions, Danny Green-might be injured, MKG, Omri Casspi, Olynyk, Calethas & Turiaf (soon to return to obscurity),

    i
    I like Pbev on minutes alone (recent scoring is nice plus), Mike Scott is most likely my first Pete,
    I recently made a trade where I gave up two for one. So when the trade (The fading Evan Turner and future 25 minute Reggie Jackson for Isaiah Thomas) goes though tomorrow night I will have an empty roster spot to play with. I’m in a deep league: the bottom of my lineup & Bench are Tony Wroten, Ryan Kelly, Asik (recently moved from IR -forcing a drop of Danny Green) Chase Buddinger-just added 3 minutes ago after seeing his minutes and points potential (dropped PBev. I was gonna wait and target buddinger after the trade clears at 11 pm tomorrow, but he might be gone. SO. now that you read all that stff u don’t care about, my QUESTION is who should I add when I get that open spot? Note: Illasova (dtd) maybe be (out) maybe making two wire addds possible
    (Possibilites) PBev on minutes alone. (if he can sink 2 treys a night he’s golden) I love Mike Scott despite playing 19-23 min/game. He has had one bad game in his last 15. I like Sessions just with his 11 or 12 ppg avg. This is an ESPN Points league and buckets go a LONG way to a solid night. Danny Green (two straight ugly nights and poss. injury) Omri Cassp, MKG, Olynyk,
    And who the heck is this Luke Babbit?

    Any advice I would appreciate it. I prefer talking about the guys low on the totem pole. Thhey make the season fun for me. Wroten is heating up and there is talk of eventual MCW shut-down. (this accounted for my uneasy Mike Scott dropping) Thanks.

    -Li

  9. Li says:
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    Sorry guys, I thought i had lost a bunch of what i wrote- accounting for a few redundancies
    My Bad.

    -Li.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Li: No problem! First off I love that trade where you got IT2. Nice one! Also, out of all those you mentioned I’d go with either Calethes or stay with Scott just a little bit longer. I’m on the cusp of dumping him after that return to bad form, but JB loves him and if he gets minutes he’ll produce.

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