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Upon entrance into the 2010 season, the general consensus was that LeBron James was the NBA’s best player and Kevin Durant was fantasy basketball’s best option. It still appears to be that way by most accounts. It’s an opinion so common it feels like fact. Like Clooney being charismatic or the best Jell-O being lime flavored. But have you ever tasted lime Jell-O alongside orange Jell-O? Don’t ask me why I’ve got numerous bowls of Jell-O in front of me, that’s not the point. The point is, I’m unconvinced orange Jell-O is getting its due. Thunder PG Russell Westbrook has looked just as much the leader for Scotty Brooks’ team as Durant has this season. It doesn’t feel as if Westbrook is anywhere near the “best player in the league” conversation, which, as of the first 17 games of this season, is a crime. Durant has struggled with his shot, as has Westbrook. Both are shooting over .900 from the line, but Westbrook gets to the line more often. Durant blocks twice as many shots and sinks threes. Westbrook earns nearly three times as many assists and steals the ball at a heavier clip. Although they’re within one tov and 1.5 rebounds of one another, Durant has the edge in both and is averaging 3.6 more points per game than Westbrook. Advantage Durant. But not by much. And if Westbrook develops any type of mid-range jumper before the season’s end, perhaps not at all. There’s a new flavor in the discussion of fantasy’s best, and it should make the old guard shake like a bowl full of … well, you get it.

Here’s what else went on this weekend in fantasy basketball:

Josh Smith – Triple Doubled for the third time in his career. “Damn you, Josh!” – Marvin Williams, who double-doubled for the first time since March 19.

Joey Dorsey – Started in place of Reggie Evans, but more notably, started in place of Reggie Evans instead of Amir Johnson. The Razzball glossary needs a term for when a coach starts a clearly inferior player in favor of keeping the better of the two coming of the bench as an “energy guy.” Then again, the Raptors got blown out of the gym by only 18 instead of 30 or something, so perhaps Triano is on to something here!

Jerryd Bayless – 9.3/3.7/2.7 in three games as a Raptor. It’s Toronto. Literally anyone has a chance of having break out games on this team. Wouldn’t it be ironic if he played his way into a timeshare with Jose Calderon and all the Calderon owners in the league dropped arsenic into their eggnog? Hey, it’s almost December, guys. It’s officially eggnog season!

Tayshaun Prince – 31/8/7 … all season highs. Excited? Well, pump them brakes, kids. Remember how excited you were for Ben Gordon‘s resurgence back in September? Yeah, he had three points in 29 minutes last night. Or Austin Daye a month later? He’s played fewer than 17 minutes total since November 17. Or what about Charlie Villanueva last week? Yeah well he’s averaging 20.5 mpg and 8.5 ppg since then. The Detroit Pistons: where all hope goes to die.

Landry Fields – Fifth double-double of the season, second one in as many games. He’s averaging 14/9/2 in 2010 and has single-handedly made every fantasy basketball blogger question their inability to have effectively foreseen this kid coming.

Danilo Gallinari – 29/9/4 with a quartet of threes in just under 52 minutes. Now if he could only average 52 minutes every game, he’d be right where he should be.

Toney Douglas – Missed Sunday’s game with a bruised thigh, which is only slightly worse than a snooze-thigh, which I believe is what happens to players whose leg falls asleep from sitting on the bench at odd angles.

Carmelo Anthony – Played less than three minutes with a chest cold and shortness of breath. Denver’s altitude is awesome for players with breath shortness, I hear.

Tony Parker – Has shot 6-for-19 (.316) in his last two games. Clearly the match.com subscription fees are not sitting well with Monsieur Parker.

George Hill – Shooting over .500 from the floor, 1.000 from the line and averaging 17.4/3/2 over the weekend. He’s going through the backdoor to do it, but his stats are roughly where they should be, which isn’t news until one of San Antonio’s starting guards go down for a significant amount of time.

DeJuan Blair - Starting, but averaging about nine minutes per game in his last four. I have to give you this information, I don’t have to tell you what to do with it.

Marcus Thornton – Played 20:29 on Sunday, it was just the third time all season he’s cleared 18 minutes. He went 11/2/1, which is neither outstanding, nor awful. Don’t grab Thornton, but get ready to do so if these trends continue for another few games.

Blake Griffin – Earned his fifth straight double-double. Yeah, he’s averaging 29.6/14.2 over that span. Yeah, that’s extraordinary. And yeah he’s expanded his game to include 4.8 assists in that time. And yeah, he’s generally awesome. But … I forgot the point I was making.

Ryan Gomes - Was on the court for over 31 minutes and only attempted six shots. Even if he had made all six, he still wouldn’t be worth a look. He only made two, which deserves a pointed look-away, an upturned nose and a few passive-aggressive snickers in Gomes’ direction.

Paul Millsap – Are we more bothered by Millsap’s 6.5 rpg average in his last six games or Al Jefferson‘s occasional penchant to lay a 10/4/3 stinker without warning like he did Sunday?

Chuck Hayes – Started and ended with a 5/5/3 line. Brad Miller and Jordan Hill combined for 23/14/5. If only I could combin all three bigs and only use one roster spot, then we’d be on to something. Call him Jordaduck Hilleres.

Darren Collison – 14/1/3, most of which came in the third quarter. I’m all sorts of unsettled about DarCo. First of all, he’s only averaging about :54 more seconds per game this season than last, despite playing behind Chris Paul for 50 games last season. Second of all, his FG% is down despite his 3P% being up. For the half-dozen of you who’ve watched a Pacers game this season, you’ll note how many layups and shots close ot the basket he’s missing. Third of all, the only per36 statistic dreadfully off from last year is his assists, which strikes me as off because he has more options on this team to pass to than last year’s Hornets. All that said, these are all things he should be able to adjust and improve as he gets more comfortable. By God, buy low.

Troy Murphy – Hey, Murphy played! *relieved sigh* … 2:06 fewer minutes than Derrick Favors. *exasperated sigh*

Wesley Matthews – Sank a team-high 25 points on the strength of five treys, two of which came in the final eight seconds of Portland’s loss to the Nets. This is why he should be owned. His 4-point-game on Friday is why he probably should not be started in normal-sized leagues.

J.R. Smith – Dropped 30 points in just under 30 Carmelo-less minutes on Sunday. Although this will help Smith earn more minutes, the Caremelo-less portion of that last sentence is what you should be focusing on, not the poor sentence structure.

Jason Richardson – 39/10/3 along with seven threes. Now remember this game when he goes 7/1/1 in a few games and you think he was a horrible draft day mistake, just like you thought two weeks ago when he went – well, look at that – 7/1/1!

Josh Childress – 15/5 and played over 21 minutes on Sunday, or just long enough for my girlfriend to notice him and say, “dude looks like Bubbles from ‘The Wire.’ +1 for the girlfriend.

  1. barker says:
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    who to add to replace reggie evans in an 18 team league already added hill for today was thinking maybe some of these guys could have more upside maybe??

    livingston (as handcuff to augustin) larry sanders webster bogans??

  2. 24hourjack says:
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    Adam(and/or anyone else)….

    what do you think of this trade-12 team roto league….

    I give up Ellis and Augustin and get back Horford and Gay….I really need rebounds and still would have Paul,Gordon and Stuckey as my top G’s.

    anyway,what do y’think?

  3. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @barker: Sanders ain’t a bad bet, if you’re running on momentary upside. The others won’t give you more than Jordan Hill will.

    @24hourjack: it’s a fine trade. I wonder if you can get a cheaper rebounder than Horford. Someone like Camby, that won’t necessarily cost you Ellis.

  4. Fletch says:
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    @Adam: I’m slim at guard this week…do I roll with George Hill or Wes Matthews? They both have 4 games.

  5. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Fletch: If you need more threes and points, go for Matthews. If you’d prefer a more even distribution of stats, go for Hill.

  6. Quintero says:
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    @Adam: How about…Pulling a Gran Triano…if you are a Clint Eastwood fan off course. Or not. Feel free to fine-tuning it, or forget about it.

    But seriously, someone needs to tell Triano he can rotate Barg/Amir/Keliza at 4 and 5. 96/3=32. Easy math!

  7. 24hourjack says:
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    Adam….

    thnks for all of your advice….I mentioned before that even though I’ve been in FB and baseball leagues for a few yrs now, this is the first yr. I’ve attempted fantasy basketball,and your feedback has definitely helped plenty….I am in three leagues and am definitely happy w/ two of them so far,however….

    I was hoping you could size up my other team and give an overall assessment….I have Kobe and Melo’ and a lot of inconsistency.

    should I try to get someone to overpay for Melo’ or Kobe and look to get a few second tier types to fill out my roster?….or am I maybe overreacting?I AM in last place,but this league didnt start until wk. 4,so it’s a small sample size.

    Anyway,heres my roster,please help.

    12 team redraft H2H league

    Tyreke Evans
    Jrue Holiday
    Kobe Bryant
    Evan Turner
    John Salmons
    Sonny Weems
    CJ Miles
    Carmelo Anthony
    Taj Gibson
    Zach Randolph
    JJ Hickson
    Al Harrington
    Carlos Boozer

  8. Quintero says:
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    @24hourjack: I’m guessing you punted blocks but consequently hurt your boards. 3s, stl, ft% look very good, but you need at least one more PG to be able to win asts consistently. TO and Pts are depending on week performance, and FG% and Rebs are not good. I will looking to cut Salmons and Weems for players who can contribute in 3s,ft%,stl,ast and pts now and have upside for more. For example, Ty Lawson.

  9. paul says:
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    rofl @ the Josh Childress post. Now that I think about it, he really does look like Bubbles. Much obliged.

  10. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Quintero: Ooo, I like it. But your thoughts on Triano’s math are flawed. What about Joey Dorsey?! Joey Dorsey’s gotta get his minutes, or Joey Dorsey will not be happy!

    @24hourjack: @Quintero: Quintero’s assessment is fair. I might alternatively suggest selling high on Evans or flipping Randolph or Boozer for a similar shot-blocker (Hibbert?)

    @paul: I wish I could take credit for the observation. I can’t, but I WILL take credit for scooping up a gal who likes both basketball and ‘The Wire’ and can draw similarities between the two.

  11. peter says:
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    I’m in a 10 team and just dropped Landry Fields (wasn’t that a character in Almost Famous?) to re-aquire Tyson Chandler for today’s game. Maybe more. Should I be sticking with Fields?

    My thinking is that it’s a shallow enough league that it doesn’t make that much of a difference (tho I’m new to fantasy basketball)… and, it’s worth noting, that he played the same number of minutes as Gallinari last night in order to record that double-double. …and if he hadn’t notched another double double, would I even be considering staying in the Landry Bin?

  12. Quintero says:
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    @Adam: He already got a name it rhymes and he wants more? He of all people!

  13. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @peter: Hehe. Estrella Starr, Polexia Aphrodesia, Penny Lane, Landry Fields.

    He has talent, but he’s come out of relative obscurity, which can be both good and bad. Depends on if you’re feeling lucky for the rest of the season. Chandler is off to a career year and I’d be surprised if he keeps this going for another 60+ games. Really, it depends on need at the moment.

  14. brad says:
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    Eric Bledsoe and Reggie Williams on waivers in my 16 team league. Which do you want? I’d be dropping Speights who didn’t do ish even when Brand was out.

  15. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Quintero: I know, right? I guess players get all cocky when they make it to the big time … as a Raptor.

    @brad: Neither, really. But if I had to pick one, Bledsoe will probably have one more week as a starter.

  16. brad says:
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    re Razz glossary: to hump. transitive verb (reference to Kris Humphries getting minutes)

    can’t really decide if it’s the talented player who gets humped or the energy guy. Man, Triano really loves humping Joey Dorsey. Or, Jesus, Triano is really humping my man Amir.

    maybe humphed or humpsed. . .

  17. brad says:
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    @Adam: do you like turiaf, bass or knee-mac more than bledsoe? the pickings are slim. if i weren’t missing bogut and vince carter right now i’d probably be stashing okur or mike miller.

  18. Howie Met Your Mother says:
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    @Adam:

    Any way this trade gets done in a 12 team H2H: I give up Brook Lopez, T.Parker and Batum for Noah and Rondo?

  19. Fletch says:
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    @Adam: Do I take a gamble and roll Boozer out there hoping he gets one game in this week or play it safe and start Battier for the week? (average pts. based league)

  20. matthole says:
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    @Adam: hows it going…10 team h2h…I start Holiday, Kobe, Conley, LBJ, Aldridge, Deng, Bosh, Hibbert, Humphries, Calderon….Bench:Afflalo, Mike miller, Mayo, Ty Thomas, Amir Johnson

    Ive been offered Joe Johnson for my Hibbert….He also has beasley and Griffin…..would you force/counter hibbert and mayo or conley for johnson and one of them instead? what are your thoughts on that offer and prospective counter offer?

    Thanks

  21. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @brad: You might be onto something. Might I suggest “The Harumphries?”

    @brad: I like Bledsoe more than the others. Though if the pickings are slim, it still might be worthwhile to stash Okur or Miller. Their eventual production may be worth more later than minimal production now.

    @Howie Met Your Mother: Maybe. But the other guy would have to believe Tony Parker isn’t playing above his head and Brook Lopez is only in a slump.

    @Fletch: Play it safe. I really doubt Boozer will play this week and even if he does, chances are he’ll start with a little rust.

    @matthole: Unless the other guy is clueless, he’s not parting with Johnson AND Griffin for any combo of the guys you offered. A) Who are you most interested in? B) What stats are you looking for?

  22. Every time you tell me how great Blake Griffin is doing, I cry that I traded him away for a worthless Beno Udrih and some other crap. BOO!

  23. matthole says:
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    @Adam: A)just want to improve my team and maybe sell-high on hibbert
    B) h2h record wise Im doing horribly in several cats: TO, FG% — kobe and lbj are hugely to blame there tho so i could be screwed regardless until they improve. could also use another 3pt shooter, but have mike miller on the mends.

    howd you play it out? bc im doing well in the other cats even when i tank TOs and FG%……this guys been asking for hibbert for weeks now too

    thanks again

  24. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @ChrisV82: Woof. By “other crap” you don’t mean “Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook” do you?

    @matthole: Just my opinion here, but I’m not sure Hibbert digresses at any point this season. Still, if there’s someone out there willing to pay a ton for the pleasure of owning him, a Roy/Mayo for Johnson/Beasley is more likely than anything involving Griffin. It would certainly improve your 3ptm, but would hurt your TOVs more and have little effect on FG%.

  25. paul says:
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    @Adam: Now THAT’s a catch! A girl who enjoys both the NBA and The Wire…keeper alert. ‘Grats, I can only sit here and envy you.

    What I don’t envy is being a ‘Reke owner. It looks like the ankle injuries will bother him all year, so I guess now’s a better time than ever to sell him.

    Who should my trade targets be? I’m looking @ guys like Iggy, Gay, Bargs, LaMarcus, J Rich…?

    Also some trade scenarios I’ve tossed around:

    Reke/Beasley for Gay/Mayo
    Reke/Eric Gordon for Iggy/Felton

    Also would you flip McGee for Ariza? Thanks

  26. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @paul: I’ll hang onto m’girl, if you hang on to McGee, especially if all you’re getting in return in Ariza. RE: ‘Reke. I think he’ll be a bit of a disappointment this year, but not everyone feels this way. Find the guy who doesn’t and see what you can wring out of him. If you can get Iguodala for Evans, you’d have improved your team dramatically.

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