Andray Blatche does not pronounce his name like Andre. Or even Andrei. It looks like that’s the pronunciation his mother was going for there. Like Toney Douglas. Or Corey Maggette. But, no. This is a whole new proper noun. A hybrid proper noun. The “dray” is familiar, but to keep you on your toes ‘And’ leads the way. Then leads to “dray.” Anfernee, not Anthony. Timofey, not Timothy. And when you talk about Washington’s starting PF, you do so with respect and mashup Andy and Ray the same way Ms. Blatche mashed up her son’s funny last name with her son’s funny first name. I know it’s weird to be advocating for Blatche here, but someone has to. He’s on a bad team with little rhythm and he’s shooting like a man with a monocle in the wrong eye (.419). But believe it or not, that’s why you should buy low on him sooner than later. He’s a career .465 shooter on a team whose franchise player has yet to play 10 games in a row (or 11 games total). Blatche, like the rest of his team, is out of sync or Ot’Sync if you’re a ’90s boy band. This isn’t surprising, what is surprising is how well Blatche is doing despite his team’s flux and his monocle shot. He’s vastly improved his per minute rebounding, free throw shooting and shots from behind the arc. These are the kinds of stats reliant upon effort and development of skills. Not every stat is there. He’s turning the ball over more and his defense is suffering, but this is a guy who has averaged more points, rebounds and assists in the second half of seasons than the first half throughout his career. It’s still midway through the first half and he’s matched or surpassed his season averages from last year. Catch a rising star. And let me be clear here – Blatche: A Rising Star.
Here’s what else went down in a quiet night in fantasy basketball:
Chris Douglas-Roberts – Compact Disc Rewritable dropped 19 points just two games after returning from the ol’ eye-claw. Any injury that sounds like it was a He-Man villain is bad enough that scoring 19 points shortly after suffering from such an injury deserves a pat on the back After you’re done patting him on the back, everyone but deep leaguers should go back to leaving him wading in the free agency pool.
Ersan Ilyasova – He’s played 34+ mpg in each of his last three games and is averaging 16/8.3 in the four games this season he’s amassed that many minutes. In the other 13 games, he’s averaged 5.3/4.3. As long as Maggette and Delfino are weak or shelved, you roll with Ilyasova, or Snare Yo Saliva, as he’s known among anagram enthusiasts.
Shawn Marion – 14/10 in 27 minutes. It reminds me of the good ol’ days when you were in short pants and I was in pigtails and Latrell Sprewell also sorta had pigtails.
Hilton Armstrong – Started, played almost 17 minutes and shot the ball once. And I’m pretty sure that one shot was an accident. He saw LeBron James coming to guard him and tossed the ball in the air like a cartoon damsel. Also, was ejected.
JaVale McGee – Dragged his tender coccyx out onto the floor for 26 minutes and earned a 10/10 double-double along with two blocks. Thus ending the great, “JaVale McGee’s coccyx is soft” taunt.
Mario Chalmers – Had 6/4/0 and two blocks Monday to go along with his 8/1/3 performance on Saturday. That these were among Chalmers’ three best games this season should tell you all you need to know. That now’s the time to pick him up, ’cause he’s heating up? /sigh\ Apparently you need to know a lot more. I’m not going to tell it to you however, because you used the term “heating up” when referring to a Miami player. -3 pun points.
Russell Westbrook – 25/5/11 with five steals and two (count ‘em, two!) treys. His turnovers and general lack of threes will keep him out of the tippy-top of the elites, but that’s just about the only club he ain’t in these days. But you already knew that.
Nenad Krstic - Returned to the roster, the starting lineup and to dropping sad little lines (3/7). And I know what you’re asking. “Should Idroppa Serge Ibaka?” Sure(ge) you should.
Jason Thompson – Replacing Carl Landry in the Kings’ starting lineup, ’cause, y’know … it’s Tuesday. Just wait until you see who’s going to start next week! Hint: rhymes with “Havin’ a goof.”
DeMarcus Cousins – Paul Westphal kicked Cousins out of practice. What’s next for this Sacramento roster? Westphal compliments Francisco Garcia‘s bracelet even though he actually thinks it’s ugly and talks about how ugly he thinks it is behind Garcia’s back? ‘Cause that’s not cool, Paul. Not cool! His best friend from dance camp made him that bracelet! And if you’ve got something to say, you should really say it to Garcia’s face.
Carlos Boozer – If his hand doesn’t swell up Monday night, he may make his first appearance of the season Wednesday night. I’ll miss typing “when Boozer comes back.” We had some good times me and that sentence fragment. I’d let him ride your bench for at least that first game. 1) Because it’s against the Magic, 2) because he hasn’t played basketball in months, 3) if he blows, then you made the right call and if he’s awesome, then congratulations you just inherited a top 30 player and you really have nothing to be angry about and 4) Good things come in threes you greedy bastard.