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New Jersey’s stalwart Brook Lopez looks more like a stalled wart so far this season, and nothing improved in the 18+ minutes he played on Wednesday. After shooting .499 in ’09 from the floor, Lopez is writhing around with a .381 FG%. He’s rebounding two fewer balls a game and looks more fed up with being a Net now than when the Nets lost 18 games in a row last season. It’s always comforting to spend the first few weeks of the season letting every little negative pass because “the season is still young.” Well, this was New Jersey’s eighth game 0f 2010. If this season were a person, it would be nearly 10-years-old. Yeah, perhaps it’s too early to freak out about where he’s going to college or when he’s going to give us grandchildren, but comparing Lopez’s growth this season (growpez?) to his other season’s of growth, he went from reading at the fifth grade level to scribbling in coloring books. Regression, son. Regression. The situation seems to be that Avery Johnson doesn’t care to hold back from screaming at Lopez. Frankly, Johnson is treating Brook like Robin. Not cool. The Nets aren’t going to trade Lopez, but Johnson has taken the worst team in the Eastern conference last year and made them 3-5, so at this point, he’s not on the short list of coaches on unemployment-watch. Lopez is too good to trade at a loss just yet and he’s too good to bench unless your backups are stellar. You’re going to have to bear it until something gives. This is me telling you to bear it until something gives.

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy basketball yesterday:

Troy Murphy – Sat out yesterday’s game after I suggested Murphy stay on the bench until he starts producing. No, not you, real Troy Murphy. Fantasy Troy Murphy must sit on the bench! Sadly, his status remains inconclusive until Murphy figures out how fantasy basketball works.

Sonny Weems – 20/2/2 in 30 minutes. Expect lines like this as long as Leandro is laidlow. If your league is deep enough to own Barbosa, it’s deep enough to own Weems.

Amir Johnson – He’s averaging 26 mpg in his last four games. In that time he’s averaging 11.8 pts/9 rbd. Also, Reggie Evans left with an injured hip. Jrue story. You know what to do, deep leaguers.

Linas Kleiza – Four points in 17 minutes against the Bobcats defense. Kleiza’s played well against the Kings, Knicks, Cavs and Warriors. He’s not done well against the Jazz, Lakers and Blazers. Blockhead Linas is getting manhandled by teams who tend to manhandle other teams.

O.J. Mayo – 4/3/3 in 29 minutes after shooting 1-for-8 from the field. Call him No J Mayo.

Jrue Holiday – He’s averaging 18/9 in his last five games. Hey, Chauncey Billups! Is that you? No, it’s Jrue. Who? Jrue. Oh.

Carlos Delfino – Missed his second straight game with a strained neck last night. I’ve been there before. With me, my neck strain is usually caused by marathons and unending girls in jogging shorts. Hi-O! Anyway, he’ll have three more days until Milwaukee plays again.

Brandon Jennings – Has improved his FG% .055 since last season along with his rebound and assist numbers. Really, only his free throw shooting is notably down. Considering he looked like Oscar Robertson 12 months ago, I’m holding my breath until we’re through February.

Corey Maggette – For just the second time in nine games, Maggette played 30 minutes. Not coincidentally, for just the second time in nine games, he scored 20 points. Call him Corey MPG (pronounced ‘emPEEgee’). Still doesn’t explain how he managed no rebounds and an assist.

Andrew Bogut – Hasn’t cleared 26 minutes, 10 points, or seven rebounds in either of his last two games. Might be nothing. Might not be nothing, which would make it something. Monitor his next game as closely as the hobo monitors the Whole Foods dumpster.

Ersan Ilyasova – 17/10 in 27 minutes. If you weren’t convinced that the important fantasy players on this team are going to be the mpg leaders, this game should be all the proof you need.

Zaza Pachulia – Relieved Jason Collins of having to defend Bogutron. He scored a season-high 16 points in just under 23 minutes. Even a broken clock is right … when Jason Collins starts against Milwaukee.

Jameer Nelson – Returned Wednesday and dropped 19/5/7 with four threes and two steals That’s two games in a row in which he’s scored at least 19 points and dished out at least six assists. I picked him up in the same shallow league I dropped him in after he shot .250 and averaged seven points over a two game span. I expect to drop him 2-3 games from now.

John Wall – First career triple-double, just a week after missing a points-assists-steals triple-double by one steal. LeBron never triple-doubled his rookie year, and Tyreke Evans didn’t do it until March. Blake Griffin won’t do it this season because Blake Griffin doesn’t have a trio of fantasy skill sets.

Kevin Martin – There is one foolproof time to haul ass down a highway without fear of getting nabbed by the fuzz: right after you pass someone else getting pulled over. There won’t be another cop for at least 20 miles. Punch it, Chewie! Anyway, Martin just passed Aaron Brooks getting pulled over for the next 4-6 weeks and he hit the gas to the tune of 31/7/6 with a steal. Have a fun 20 miles, kids!

Yao Ming – The Rocket doctors (Roctors!) were considering lifting Yao’s restrictions on back-to-back games and perhaps his 24 minute limit. *Poof* Whoa, where’d you come from Karma Chameleon? I didn’t see you there. Yes, that’s the point. I blend in. So, uh, what’s the deal with Yao? He left with a sore leg because after a few games they already started discussing bending the strict limits. That’s cold, K.C. Hey, Adam and Eve weren’t allowed to lick the forbidden fruit, okay? Either stay away or don’t. There can be no bending … or licking. At this point, if you don’t already know to grab Brad Miller and Jordan Hill (in that order) it’s because you don’t care to know.

Ishmael Smith – Started in place of the injured Brooks and the recovering Kyle Lowry. He went 12/3/5 in 26 minutes. The fact that Lowry played this game suggests that this represents the peak of Ish’s season. He might start one more depending on how Lowry responds to yesterday’s game. Hey, it could be worse. A week ago, Smith thought the highlight of his season was going to be when Yao accidentally sneezed right on top of his head.

Wilson Chandler – Started at PF, moving Amar’e Stoudemire to the five and giving New York a front court averaging 14.4 combined rebounds per game, or the number of boards Amar’e should be averaging per 36 minutes. The shift suited him well as the Knicks and Warriors fired all of their guns at once and Wilson came out with 27 points.

Carl Landry – Coming off a 4/0/1 game, he dropped another 4/5/0 turd on all of Creation. If you have room on your bench, bump him. If you don’t, dump him.

Tyreke Evans – 5/3/9 with five turnovers before fouling out. Was this unforgivable because it was against the Timberwolves or completely understandable for the exact same reason?

Michael Beasley – Crushed his career-high in points (42). Notice how I clarified that I was talking about getting high on points? By now, he really should be owned across all leagues. Probably not started, but certainly owned.

Kevin Love – Sat out 12 minutes between the third and fourth in a tight one in Sacramento after posting a 0/6/0 line. He finished with 8/9/0. You knew it wasn’t going to be a good night when he showed up to practice yesterday still wheezing from the Laker game the night before. Here’s a fun game to play: “Who Hates Him More,” where we try to guess which coach hates which of their players more. Our contestants: George Karl and J.R. Smith, Avery Johnson and Brook Lopez and Rambis and Love. Karl and Smith go way back, there’s a lot of history there, Johnson and Lopez are still new and may become best frienemies soon enough. I’d like to go with Rambis, since this is technically Kevin Love’s blurb (though it hasn’t really been about Kevin Love for, like, 40 words now). No. I’m gonna hafta go with Karl and Smith. It’s like Mick and Keef with them two.

Rasual Butler – 18/5 in almost 40 minutes. If you think about it, this is a piss poor line for someone who played 40 minutes, but piss poor is about all you can hope for from the hobbled Clippers at this point. I’m sure you’re wondering if Aminu, Butler, Smith, Jordan and Gomes should be owned. In deep leagues that reward quantity over quality, go for them in the order they were listed. In shallow leagues just trying to make up for losses to Gordon, Kaman and Rick Ross, look elsewhere.

Tim Duncan – 6/6 in 22 minutes as Blake Griffin was also held to only 11/8. Remember the end of ‘Rocky 3′ when Rocky and Apollo are sparring and the film freezes on both heavyweights a split second before they knock each other out? Yeah, that’s what tonight was like. Only without the freeze frame.

  1. ThE sHiT says:
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    Any update on Tyreke’s status. I saw that he left the game, looks like he tweaked his ankle. Apparently, he came back to get more turnovers. Hope he isnt gonna b injury prone.

  2. Tony says:
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    we can only grab players on wed and sun nites, i’m wishing when i mentioned grabbing weems last week i woulda just dropped tmac on my speculation and snatched him up, now he’ll be on radars and if he puts up 1 more good game between now and sunday i’ll have to bid high to get him…. ughhh

  3. Jeremy says:
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    who’s a guy I can count on to give me solid steals all season long, preferably some treys and assists too, but most importantly steals. I ask this because my team pretty much sucks and i feel that if i’m gonna have a chance to win i gotta say fuck it to points and fg% and go for treys assists (which i’m confident i can get) blocks and steals (not so confident). So some players that might help me in these categories would be greatly appreciated.

  4. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @ThE sHiT: The ankle sounds like it’s not bead enough to force him to miss any time. I DO worry a little as he sprained both ankles at the same time this preseason. Not much you can do about it now.

    @Tony: C’est la vie. If it makes you feel any better, there’s only a 50/50 chance Weems puts up another good outing before Sunday. I mean, it’s Sonny Weems.

    @Jeremy: How deep is your league? Assuming it’s deeper than a 10-team and if you’re ditching points and FG%, why not go with Artest? He’s averaging 1.4 3ptm/2 stl a game and he’s widely available in a lot of leagues. Toney Douglas is averaging 1.6/2.1 and not everyone has jumped on him yet. The Blazers announced that Rudy Fernandez would be getting the lion’s share of Brandon Roy’s reduced minutes and Rudy’s already averaging 1.6/1.6 a game.

    Also, can you make a trade with other owners in your league? If you’re punting a stat, find a team that needs the stat you’re punting and make him an offer for one (or two or three) of his guys that also offer stl/ast/3pt.

  5. Rob says:
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    Was offered Rose for Billups. Do I bite? Am thinking yes because I have surplus in 3s and Free Throw and am a little fearful of the age factor with Billups.

  6. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Rob: Jump on it. There’s no downside for you.

  7. Tony says:
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    @Rob: ya billups is doing nothing but trending down… rose is going up.

    @Adam: ya i know its only sonny weems, but if tmac, speights, glen davis, robin lopez, etc are some of your bench players in a 20 man league if you can find a waiver wire gem you gotta go for it haha…. and im dying to drop tmac…

  8. Mike says:
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    Quick question: when you suggest to pick someone up in a “deep league” how many teams are you typically referring to?

  9. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Mike: Usually any league that rosters 160+ players.

  10. Adam says:
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    Couple of questions…

    Do you think somone would bit on a package of bosh, bledsoe and affalo/jack for dirk and udrich?

    Would you rank a brad miller pickup over a brandon rush (getting minutes and being productive).

  11. papafrog says:
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    @Adam: I have Tyrus in a competitive 14 team league and guys are pretty desperate for a blocking/stealing forward with decent percents. I’m in first in blocks thanks to Josh Smith and Boozer sitting on my reserves. Forgetting specific need, how do you rank Batum with Baron Davis at this point? I’d have to give Tyrus plus for either one. Would you move a Morrow with Tyrus for one of these guys? I’d prefer to hold Morrow and offer Sessions who could get decent run if Mo is out which isn’t out of the question. What type of second guy is fair here do you think? Also sitting with Landry whom I hate and Battier who is decent filler for a deep league. Thanks in advance!

  12. Jeremy says:
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    Yeah the league’s pretty deep, ten teams, 140 roster spots. both artest and douglas are taken. I’m gonna look into trade oppos. Avery’s gotta get things right with brook or it’s gonna be a long season

  13. Jeremy says:
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    think I should offer up Blopez for rondo? Seeing as b-lo is my only would be consistent (10ish) source of rebounds I’d be essentially punting that category as well. But a pg tandem of d-will, rondo, and jameer would be pretty sweet and an automatic assist win

  14. ETMcgee says:
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    @papafrog: Batum > BDavis. davis will give you somewhere between nothing and absolutely nothing, where batum will help in almost every category (he doesn’t get many assists, but will still chip in a couple of those). Batum is by far the best player that you mentioned. I’d try tyrus and sessions first for batum (who will still chip in about .7 blks per game to offset some of the loss of tyrus’ blks)

  15. ETMcgee says:
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    @Jeremy: i agree that rudy fernandez would likely be the best bet for your strategy. even with limited minutes, he will contribute steals and 3s, and chip in a couple assists as well. since you don’t care about fg/points/etc, he would fit perfectly and would still likely be available in your league.

    I doubt that the rondo owner is looking to trade him away for anything less than a CP3 type. blopez is a decent player, but right now he has about as much value as Bosh, which is to say that you won’t get anywhere near a return on your investment. you might be able to trade blopez for another wonky big guy (noah, love, scola, millsap, bargiani) but you won’t be able to get a rondo-level guy at this point.

  16. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Adam: Maybe. Depends on the other guy. I like Rush over Miller now – not by a lot, but Miller hasn’t played well and is moderately injured.

    @papafrog: @ETMcgee: Agreed.

    @Jeremy: If you’re willing to punt rebounds, yeah, go for it. Actually, right now, Rondo is only averaging 0.5 fewer rebounds a game than Lopez. You wouldn’t really be punting. And because of that, I’d be surprised if you can pull off such a trade.

  17. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @ETMcgee: Noah and Millsap, wonky?

  18. Quintero says:
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    One of my mate got Green, Brooks, Murphy, Bynum, and Yao in a 12-team/12-roster H2H league. I suggested him just go grab Oden and sit this month out. Jure Story.

    Too bad he doesn’t have Boozer.

  19. the real KG says:
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    do i trade: dirk/gasol & e.gordon for bosh & wade?

    or should i try to pry away l.aldridge instead of bosh? or is it a buy low on bosh period right now?

  20. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Quintero: Haha. Oh, that blows!

    @the real KG: Which Gasol? It’s both a buy low and sell high period on Bosh. He’ll be better than he has been so far, but not as good as he was projected to be back in August.

  21. the real KG says:
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    paul*

  22. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @the real KG: I’d prefer Aldridge over Bosh. What LMA is averaging now is what I think Bosh’s ceiling is this season. However, I think with Roy’s injury, Aldridge might not have hit his ceiling yet.

    So let’s say Pau and Wade are a wash (you can argue either way that they’re not, but for simplicity’s sake, let’s say it’s even) you’d be trading Dirk for Gordon and Aldridge, which statistically would be a huge improvement (Gordon is hurt, but it’s nothing serious) for your team. I’m never a fan of 1-for-2 or 2-for-3 trades unless I’m the smaller number. Do you have a spot on your roster in which Gordon is a better replacement than whomever you have now?

  23. the real KG says:
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    sorry i think i phrased my question wrong
    i would be trading dirk or pau along with gordon for his bosh & wade

    he’s making this trade based on just “not wanting” bosh & wade. talks about including aldridge haven’t been discussed, but it’s something that i figure could maybe happen.

    im continually losing the assists, A:T, and steals (i know its just week 3, but still :/). while i know this trade won’t improve those areas, i figure that maybe i could just improve my team as a whole and work on a deal later for those stats. my guard situation is westbrook/richardson/udrih/t.douglas/andre miller/ and injured a.brooks & e.gordon

    first time playing fantasy bball since i was 12 (now 21), so thanks for helping a boob with too many questions.

  24. papafrog says:
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    @Adam: @ETMcgee: How do you guys rate Sessions with Kleiza and Big Baby Davis? I’m being offered either Linus or Big Baby for Sessions or both Linus and Big Baby for Sessions and Al Thornton. I could use a center until Boozer is back but I’m thinking I want to make a deal based more on what is better for me long term. Forgetting need, which one for one would you guys do for Sessions or would you do the two for two Sessions/Thornton for Kleiza/Big Baby? I actually like Thornton to get solid minutes even after Howard is back. Do you guys agree with that?

  25. Jay says:
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    Why did DeAndre Jordan only play 14 minutes despite starting and never getting in foul trouble?

  26. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @the real KG: Oooooh. Haha, I see now. The most even trade would be Pau/Gordon for Wade/Bosh (assuming you look past name recognition). This isn’t a bad deal, though I’d prefer to get LMA instead of Bosh. I’d also prefer to get rid of Dirk instead of Pau.

    @papafrog: Kleiza, Sessions, Davis in that order. Hang on to Thornton. If you can swing Linas for Sessions, I’d take it. It seems like a short-sided offer. Even if Mo gets hurt and/or traded, Sessions still would have to compete with Gibson and Parker.

  27. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Jay: Because Vinny Del Negro is the Clippers’ head coach. He does inexplicable things. He probably liked the matchup of the rougher Craig Smith against McDyess.

    … Or he simply forgot that Jordan wasn’t out there. *shoulder shrug*

  28. papafrog says:
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    @Adam: Thanks, Ad, I’ll just pull the trigger on Kleiza and sit with him until he gets healthy. Good time to move Sessions along anyway.

  29. AnotherFalstaff says:
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    @Adam – What’s your opinion of Rush going forward? Seems like he will start before long. Worth picking up for RWilliams?

  30. papafrog says:
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    @Adam: I’m now being offered Baron for Tyrus Thomas straight up. I’m in first in blocks and could use a solid fourth guard behind Wall, Wade and SJax (currently it’s Morrow who I could move to Utility). In a 14 team auction league, if Baron can come back and play 60-65 games, this guard group could be exceptional. Still sitting with Boozer, Josh Smith, Beasley as my main bigs with other roll players like Thornton, Kleiza, Frye, Battier, Chris Anderson (hurt) to fill it out. The big question is, is Tyrus worth the gamble for Baron? Your advice is much appreciated and I thank you again in advance, Adam. Happy to hear other comments as well. Thanks!

  31. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @AnotherFalstaff: Really, I’m undecided. The fact that Paul George was removed from the wing rotation (leaving just Granger, Dunleavy and Rush) in addition to the relative health of both Warrior guards has me leaning toward Rush. Williams has more talent, I’m just not sold he’ll get the minutes to prove it.

    @papafrog: The upside for you if Davis spends even 40 games healthy this season is worth the generally limited downside of losing Thomas. I’d go for it.

  32. Jay says:
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    Adam, how long can I hold onto Taj Gibson and still trade him when he has any kind of value? Or should I keep him, since I’d have to sell low-ish anyway, and hope he gets traded in real life?

  33. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Jay: If you can’t get rid of him now, he’s probably not going to gain any more value. He won’t likely get traded this year, but it might be worth hanging onto Taj and see how his production shakes out with the roster fully healthy.

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