It always bugged me that in ‘Do-Re-Mi,’ the hyper-catchy song from The Sound of Music, the ‘La’ portion of the musical scales was just a note to follow ‘So.’ That’s some bullshizz. ‘Do’ is an animal, ‘Re’ is the sunlight, “Me” is you. ‘La?’ Oh, that’s just some note we stuck in there to bridge the gap between ‘So’ and ‘Te’ (which is a delightful English drink that earmarks every leisurely moment taken in the U.K.). But ‘La?’ ‘La’ ain’t nothin’. Go ahead and ignore ‘La.’ It really has always bugged me. For years. Ever since my mom packed me into shortpants, handed me my flute and whisked me off to the Swiss Alps. Anyway, it’s time we stop ignoring LA. Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge hit a career-high 40 points last night in the win against the Spurs. After the game, there was simultanous chatter that this guy is a bonafide all-star, as well as speculation that if the team’s health wasn’t so depleted his stats wouldn’t be this inflated. To those groups I say, shouldn’t he be considered an all-star, if for no other reason, than because he’s lasted more than half the year without snapping a knee? Last season, the knock on the guy was that he was a good player who didn’t do enough of anything – especially on defense with his blocks and steals. So what happens? He doubles his bpgs (from 0.6 to 1.2) and improves his steals (from 0.9 to 1.1). He also added an additional 3.5 ppg and one extra rpg, while maintaining his percentages and only playing two fewer minutes per game. It’s not like he’s out there 45 minutes a game with Oden and Camby out. He’s improved his defense, become more efficient. He’s done everything his critics have said he’d have to in order to be an elite forward. Now he’s an elite forward, not just some note to follow Oden or Roy. It’s time to acknowledge that he’s a top 10 forward.
Here’s what else deserves some acknowledgment in fantasy basketball:
Tony Parker – Tonee zhot 3-for-11, and zeemed cold all night. Eet iz zee worst performanze from zee Frenchman seence Dezember 1 againzt zee Clipperz, where he went 1-for-6 and ended weez a 2/2/4 line.
DeJuan Blair – Earned his 10th double-double of the season last night (14/12), four of which have all come in the last seven games. For medium-sized leagues looking for a solid big man to replace, say, Emeka Okafor, Blair has maintained an 11.9/9.6, with 2.7 steals+blocks per game average. Jump on it, Tonto.
Jason Smith – Kaboom! 20/5, 2 steals. 9-for-11 in 25 minutes in place of Emeka Okafor. I picked him up in my deepest league because I had a spot left open, but this was probably the best game he’s going to play all season. And I don’t think the second-best game is going to be close to this. Still, Emeka Okafor is under the impression that he’ll be injured through the All-Star Break, which makes Smith, then David Andersen, and then Aaron Gray an empty roster spot the way to vulture Okafor’s minutes.
John Wall – 4/6/7 as he’s shot sub-.400 10 times in his last 15 games. Brandon Jennings 2009 = John Wall 2010. They both started the season as ROY favorites. In the deep winter months, they both shot field-goal percentages that made most owners yak a bit in their own mouths, and eventually ended somewhere between 2-4 on the ROY voting.
Rashard Lewis – 2-for-6 from the field, as he earned four points and then fouled out. He’s quietly having the mediocre season I knew he would.
JaVale McGee – 9/3, with a block in 19 minutes off the bench. He’s still flu’d up, which explains his poor last two games. The Wiz don’t play again until Friday, so he should be fully-charged by then. Just in time to earn five fouls in 17 minutes guarding Dwight Howard.
Rodney Stuckey – Confirmed that he won’t be playing tonight, as his shoulder’s still barking at him. Ben Gordon is averaging five threes and 28 points in the two games starting in place of Stuckey. Just sayin’.
Nate Robinson – 4/4/2, with five steals in 21 minutes of a game no one involved looked like they wanted to be a part of. Yup. That’s when Sugar Nate shines!
Samuel Dalembert – Started for the first time in a month, but like I said 1/8 of an inch above, no one wanted to play this game. Dalembert didn’t and ended with a 4/7/1 line. No one else did either, which is why he was allowed to grab two steals and five blocks.
Lamar Odom – Started in place of the injured Andrew Bynum and ended with 20/20/4. It sounds as if Bynum will miss a few games. And considering Gasol also went 26/15 in Bynum’s absence, it sounds like the boys are back, Thin Lizzy!
Jordan Hill – Left with an ankle injury and will likely miss some games. I wouldn’t even mention it, but Chuck Hayes stands to grab up most of that 17 mpg/6 pts/4 rbd that Hill was contributing.
Kevin Martin – 30/4/4, and went 10-for-11 from the line. He leads the NBA in free throws made (363) and is third in the NBA in free throws attempted. Speed Racer rarely gets credit for how important his free throw shooting is to fantasy owners. He’s the second-most potent free throw shooter behind Durant. Jrue story.
Aaron Brooks – 16/1/8, while Kyle Lowry ended with 4/5/6. Brooks has averaged 24.4/11.9/3.7 in the last month as compared to Lowry’s 32.6 mpg/12.4/4.8. If you even their playing time by using per36, Brooks is averaging 17.6/5.5, while Lowry is stuck on 13.7/5.3. Neither player shot over .420 and both defended and shot from the arc about the same. This is why you can’t drop Brooks. It’s also why you can’t play him.