Growing up in Chicago, there are three teams I’m not allowed to like. There can be no rooting for the Pistons, the Knicks or the Pacers. This triumvirate were the biggest proponents of the Jordan Rules and basically were chok-full of a-holes and bird-like guys named Detlef during the ’80s and ’90s. Really, it’s all about Isiah Thomas. Yeah, Reggie Miller and John Starks are insufferable, but in the end, my beef is with ‘Zeke. If teams are like women, Thomas is the case of syphilis plaguing the attractive ones. I say this as a prelude to what I’m about to say: I like this Pacers team. They’ve vastly improved their team defense and have a very realistic chance at squeaking into the playoffs. /Adam leaves his computer, showers thrice, still feels dirty. Sits back down in front of his computer, rereads what he’s written so far, weeps a little, mans up, continues typing\ But the Pacers are far from perfect. And it starts with their starting shooting guards. Mike Dunleavy went 10/6/2 in just under 25 minutes Tuesday. Brandon Rush went 16/3/0 in 30 minutes from the bench. The problem is that these two have been see-sawing in minutes since Rush returned from an 8-game suspension and roster production just rotates from one player to the other and back again. ‘Round and ’round it goes. Reliable in its unreliableness. There’s a term for it: Rostisserie. Both Rush and Dunleavy are ownable in moderately deep leagues (in that order), but if you own one (or both), take an Advil on game days.
Here’s what else happened last night in fantasy basketball:
Darren Collison -18/6/7/0 tov, which loosely translates to “S.T.F.U.” Shut the f— up? No. ‘Stop T.J. Ford’s Uprising.’
Joey Graham – Got the start against the World-Beating Indiana Pacers and looks to be Cleveland’s starting SF for the time being. What’s he worth to your fantasy team? I’d say about as much as Jamario Moon.
Andre Iguodala – Returned after missing three games with a sore achilles and went 23/11/8 with a sprinklin’ of everything else. About 8 percent of you are super excited about this because he’s on your fantasy team, the other 92 percent of you thought I was playing around when I told you to buy low last Friday and now you’re in deep, deep shizz.
Andrew Bogut – Probably won’t play tonight. Hey fantasy owners! Haaaave you met Jon Brockman?
Charlie Villanueva – Two points on 1-for-6 shooting in almost 18 foul-plagued minutes. Detroit plays the Grizz, Bucks and Knicks next. I’ll bet Grey’s mustache he double-doubles in at least one of those games.
Dirk Nowitzki – ReDirkulous: 42/12/2 blks/3 3ptm. I’m in the process of rethinking my Dirk Minnifield-is-the-best-NBA-Dirk stance.
Shawn Marion – 4/4/0 in 15 minutes. The ’04 Matrix is to the ’10 Matrix what the first ‘Matrix’ movie was to the two sequels.
Shannon Brown – Had 21 points and five threes. Don’t be difficult. Just grab him before it’s too late. Oh, but before you go, it’s probably too late already.
Nazr Mohammed – He played four starter’s minutes and did nothing with them. He’s averaging 6.3/3.3 since his 22/20 game on November 13.
D.J. Augustin – 24/5/7 and increased the intrigue of everyone’s favorite game “Who’s Shocking Me More?” Where I constantly compare Augustin’s surprising season to Mike Conley‘s.
Toney Douglas – Scored 22 points, which is nice. He also had five treys and three steals. You have my attention, sir. Replicate it a couple more times and I’m heading to waivers (again).
Nick Young – He’s averaging 16.4 ppg over his last five games in just under 29 minutes per. He’s shooting poorly from the field and doesn’t fill any other part of the box score, but he’s been buckets lately. So there you go.
Al Thornton – Left the game early with an ankle sprain. Just nature’s way of reminding you that he started the first six games of the season a 16/6.3 forward averaging 33.7 minutes per game and has since regressed into a 6/3.4 forward averaging just 26 minutes. And Josh Howard ain’t even back yet.
John Wall – Returned from four days off with a foot injury to come off the bench in the first half and never score once. He started the second half and scored 25 points in an overtime win. The lesson here? No one puts Wall in the corner! (Technically, walls create the corner).
JaVale McGee – After going a career-best 20/16 with two blocks on Sunday, Epic Vale improved across the board to go a career-best 24/18 with four blocks in almost 46 minutes of action. He’ll level out eventually, but as the biggest “McGeek” out there this pre-season, I’m hoping he orbits the Earth a few more times before landing. Speaking of landing, Elton Brand gave McGee a foul shot that eventually got Brand ejected. Seconds after McGee fell on his tailbone, he was wriggling on the ground waving goodbye to Brand, while laughing in pain like the Joker at the end of ‘Dark Knight.’ Of course there’s no fantasy implication to this, but if I were wearing a top hat, I would have tipped it at McGee for that display.