The biggest bust in the NBA that no one is talking about has got to be Tim Duncan. Well, no. Technically, Boris Diaw‘s bust is the biggest one no one is talking about, but that’s just because he’s sensitive about it. Maybe don’t eat so many bunt cakes next Christmas, Boris! Duncan played 29:28 last night and shot a sickly 1-for-7 from the field against the Lakers. Duncan isn’t hurt and, for the most part, he’s not even playing all that poorly. He just isn’t as much a part of the team’s offense as he had previously been. His career Usg% is 28. This season, it’s 23. Timmy be Timmy, just less often. And this is why ain’t no one talking about what a tremendous deficit Duncan has created for fantasy owners. He hasn’t gotten worse or more injury prone like Shaquille O’Neal or Yao Ming. He’s just being used sparingly. Which is what his owners (or prospective owners) need to keep in mind: Duncan is like a serpent in the sand. Blending, blending, blending; waiting for you to assume he’s not there. Then just as you’ve relaxed and kicked off your Tevas, he sinks two teeth into your ankle bone. Clearly this is a metaphor, as Duncan still hasn’t lost his baby teeth and cannot possibly sink them into anything harder than applesauce. But still … Duncan might be worth benching in standard leagues (he’s shooting .321 and averaging 6.3/6.3 in his last three games), but it’s reasonable to believe that it won’t get worse for Duncan. His worst games have all come when he plays fewer than 30 minutes and once the All-Star Break rolls around, so too will Duncan’s minutes increase. For those of you in need of a big man on the cheap, you might consider making trade offers now so that come March, it’ll be someone else’s ankle he’s sinking his teeth into.
Here’s what else I saw in fantasy basketball last night:
George Hill – Wasn’t a great scoring night, but nine boards, three dimes, a pair of steals, four blocks and no turnovers is enough to warrant a blurb. If George was an actual hill, I’d want to climb to the top and plant my flag in it. That sounded gross.
Dwight Howard – 12/6 with 7 tov. Dwight thought it’d be funny if he and J.J. Hickson swapped fantasy lines. Hickson forgot about the deal and just did his normal thing. That’s so Hickson!
Gilbert Arenas – Best game of Gil’s season: 5 3ptm/22/6/11. I’m as wary of trusting this line as I am of a church with insurance coverage against “Acts of God.” What kind of church fears God is going to strike it down? What’s up with that church? I want no part of it.
Brandon Bass – 6.5/3.5/1 in his last two games. Despite being against the mighty defensive powerhouses in Cleveland and New Jersey, I’m still concerned that Bass is on his way back to the shadows.
Daniel Gibson – After missing his last game with the flu, Boobie’s bouncing again. .500/.714/2/15/6/4/1/1/3
Mo Williams – Mo missed all but one of his six three-point attempts and dropped his 3p% to .276 after averaging around .430 the last two seasons. He’s not getting good looks and he’s rushing to get the crappy looks he’s getting.
Anderson Varejao – 14/9 with three blocks and a career-high five steals. So spray that in your hair and curl it.
Roy Hibbert – Scored 4/3/1 in the first half, finished with 8/8/2 as Hibbert seems like he’s totally in his own head. Somebody nudge O’Brien awake. He hasn’t actually looked at Hibbert since Halloween.
Tyrus Thomas – His wrist is feeling a little limp, so he’ll be out of tonight’s game.
Landry Fields – 3/7/1 in his worst game of the season, or the first game of the season in which he performed at the level expected of him back in June.
Wilson Chandler – 21/6 before fouling out against the Heat. He was 0-for-1 behind the arc, but I hadn’t realized that on the season, he’s making 1.2 more treys a game than he did last year despite playing 1.5 fewer minutes.
Mike Miller – DNP-CD again. C’mon Spoelstra, hasn’t it been three weeks yet? Maybe he should dress like a girl again and ask to be put into the game. Guys love giving girls what they want. It worked for Bugs Bunny.
John Salmons – He averaged 18 in the second half with the Bulls in 2009, 20 with the Bucks last season and has scored 18+ in five of his last six. He’s a month early on busting the slump, but bust it he seems to be doing.
Corey Maggette – 15/4/1 in his second game back after missing the previous three games. On a completely unrelated note: Chris Douglas-Roberts felt it necessary to download Angry Birds onto his iPhone. He said something about needing a way to pass the time during games now.
Shannon Brown – 1-for-11, but still grabbed 11 boards because bricks bounce far enough away from the basket that a 6’4″ guard can grab ’em easy.
Lamar Odom – Scary fact: Ron Artest was more efficient than Lamardashian last night (3-for-9, 9 points).
Wesley Matthews – What’s cooler than Wes Matthews? I said, what’s cooler than Wes Matthews? Ice Cold! 1-for-8 with six points.
LaMarcus Aldridge – Tuesday’s line: 18 pts/13 rbd/4 ast/3 stl/7 blk. Those blocks are a high in his career, which is different than former Blazer Rasheed Wallace, whose career sometimes blocked his high.
Kenyon Martin – Played last night, won’t play tonight. Just precautionary.
Dirk Nowitzki – Toronto beat Dallas by eight. Turns out Bargnani, Calderon, Weems, and Evans combined are worth less than one Dirk.
Ed Davis – 17/12/3 blk. Currency exchange joke alert! Meh. This would only have been 16.7/11.9/2.9 in the States.
Chris Andersen – 8/12/3 With all those tattoos, I bet he never looks naked, even when he’s not wearing any clothes.