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Okay, I give up. I’m flabbergasted by what’s going on in New York. Just like the last rave I attended in which everyone wore furry animal suits, I don’t get it, it scares me, but here we are and I’m going to roll with it as best I can. With Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire out for various reasons last week and into this week, it seems like anyone and everyone wearing a Knicks uniform has turned into a viable fantasy option on the winningest ball club in the league. It’s like the last 30 minutes of Moneyball all of a sudden. Three weeks ago, Baron Davis was New York’s only hope for lurching into the playoffs on a .500 winning percentage. Hollywood montage-ahead three weeks and two of the three biggest performers in yesterday’s game against the defending world champs were Jeremy Lin and J.R. Smith, who were not even afterthoughts for this Knicks team just a short while ago. It’s weird, man. Two seasons ago, Jose Bautista started cracking home run after home run out of nowhere and very few people believed it was anything more than a blip in the averages. He’d eventually calm down. He ended up leading the league in home runs that year and the year after that. I kind of think that’s what we’re looking at in New York. Maybe this is just the first chapter in a long saga that we’ll be used to in a few years. Kind of like the hype surrounding the high school LeBron before he started his first game in Cleveland. Fair enough. Baron is likely going to see 10-20 minutes tonight, letting Lin play fewer than 40 (for once) and ‘Melo will return one of these days (maybe tonight). Not much more can be said about Lin. He’s owned in 100 percent of the leagues. What’s shocking about the Knicks is how guys like Steve Novak (14 points, 5 threes on Sunday) and Jared Jeffries (4/7/2, with a steal and a block) are suddenly fantasy options instead of punchlines. And J.R. Smith (15/3/2, with 3 threes)? Well, we knew he had this in him. He’ll do this. And January Adam really wants to tell you that he’ll fall on his face, get back up again, drink a whiskey drink, drink a vodka drink, get knocked down, then get up again for your fantasy team. But when it comes to New York, what do I know. Maybe Smith finishes the rest of this season like 2004 Ray Allen. Grab every last damn Knick and keep your eyes wide open. Anyway, here are some more explainable things elsewhere in fantasy basketball.

Iman Shumpert – 5 pts/2 rbd, with a steal and shot .222 from the field after  moving into the starting SF position with Bill Walker (and Carmelo) out with injury. Just awful, awful shot selection from the floor. All day. And all season. What can’t you be more like Jeremy, Shumpert? Bee tee dubya, “Why Can’t You Be More Like Jeremy, Shumpert” is the name of an after school special script I wrote in the ’80s that dealt with inner-city gentrification.

J.J. Redick – Understudied Jason Richardson, who was having chest pains before the game. Along with poo-pooing Richardson for eating a pair of French-dip sandwiches a half-hour before tip-off, Redick responded by knocking down five threes. Redick’s a should-add as long as Richardson is out (though it doesn’t look his arteries will be clogged too much longer).

Hedo Turkoglu – Turk often follows a five games on, five games off pattern. He just finished up averaging 1.6 3pt/13.6 pts/6 rbd/4.6 ast/1 stl in his last five. At this point, that counts as “good” for Turk. Yesterday, he went 1/0/3. So, one down, four to go!

Chris Wilcox – Stepped in again for Kevin Garnett, who is dealing with a family issue, and ended with 14/6/2. This is what he does when he gets minutes. And it looks like he’ll get minutes in Boston’s next game, too. He’s a good add, unlike 3+6=10. That’s a bad add.

Rodney Stuckey – Been playing well lately and ended yesterday’s game with 16 points, despite going 2-for-10 from the field. Yesterday was a keen example of Stuckey’s Plan B: foul-baiting, head-first blitzes into the paint.

Ben Gordon – In 24 minutes, Air Gordon only managed 4 points from seven shots. Until he shapes up, I’m calling him Error Gordon.

Bismack Biyombo – 0/8/2, with 2 steals and 2 blocks last night. He’s been good for about 8 rebounds and a pair of blocks every game this month. That’s a very specific set of skills that deserves nothing more than a golf clap, but it DOES deserve that golf clap.

Willie Green – 23.5 mpg/.600/1.000/2.3 3ptm/15 pts/1.8 rbd/1.3 ast/1 stl/0 blk/1.3 tov in his last four games. Deep leaguers might want go pounce and ride the boat ’til it starts taking in water. All other leagues should wait and see if he plays 23+ minutes in his next one or two games before adding him, as it’s worth noting that two of Green’s big-minute performances last week came in blowouts.

Isaiah Thomas – 23/8/11, with 3 threes and a block as he started at the two for the second game in a row. Until John Salmons stops sucking, Thomas is a must-own. Considering Salmons hasn’t stopped sucking in almost three seasons, Salmons is a must-drop.

Tristan Thompson – Getting minutes lately and workin’ ‘em. Last night he went 15/12, with three blocks. In his last five games he’s played 25+ minute in three of them. With Varejao out, it’s not nutty to predict this type of game keeps poppin’ up.

Jrue Holiday – Cold lately, but played hot last night 20 pts/5 ast. That means he’s gonna have cool steam coming off him. That might help make him more attractive when you try to trade him. Yes, you should be trying to trade him. He’s good, but he’s not translating his on-court game to fantasy.

Ersan Ilyasova – Grabbed 25 boards last night and now has 113 in 10 February games. No one told me Ersan Ilyasova translates to “wily whiteboy board-grabber” in Turkish. I feel like it would have been helpful to know this before today.

Mike Dunleavy – Scored a pair of points in 17 minutes as the rostisserie keep a-turning. His value is almost non-existent. He’s done. Leavy him in the free agent pool.

Brook Lopez – Unfurl the banner! Start up the band! Loosen the confetti! BroPez is BACK and … he was okay. Slightly clunky. 9/2/2, with a block. Actually, he looked like he was playing in shoes that hadn’t been broken in yet.

Gordon Hayward – 4/3/4. Gordon Wayward has been off all week.

Patrick Patterson – 8/7/1 and replaced Samuel Dalembert at center in the starting lineup, the same way most substitute teachers replace the regular teacher in the classroom. PaPa’s gonna show a movie for the next two days, maybe hand out a worksheet, nothing more.

Serge Ibaka – 14 pts/15 rbd/11 blk. I’ve renamed three of my goldfish Serge and I’ve written several letters strongly urging Kia to name its new sports utility vehicle Ibaka.

Corey Brewer – 33.5 mpg/1.5 3pt/15.8 pts/5.5 rbd/1.5 ast/2.3 stl in four as a starter leading up to last night’s barn-burner against OKC. He didn’t have one of the better games among the Nuggs, but he did have three steals, which is good enough for an add. C’mon don’t be uppity.

Markieff Morris – Get over the 5.5 rebounds-per-game ‘Kieff has averaged over his last six games. He’s a small big, which Phoenix has grown accustomed to these last couple seasons. The 1.3 3pt/13.5 pts/1.7 stl/1.8 blk in last six is more than your team deserves.

Kobe Bryant – Double-troubled last night (32 pts/10 tov). Kobe had no intention of being outdone by Jeremy Lin in ANY facet of the game. Your move, Lin!

From Around The Web

  1. Rob says:
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    I received a trade offer for Lin – Joe Johnson for Lin.

    This is a 12 team custom setting ESPN league with no Util slots only 2 each of PG,SG,SF,PF,C. My two starting PG are Conley, Parker with Chalmers also on Bench. SG is my weakest position with Thornton and Allen on bench. Is Johnson enough for Lin?

    • Adam

      Adam says:
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      @Rob, No, I wouldn’t say so. That said, I think we’re going to see a dip in Lin’s value this week. He won’t have to play so many minutes with Davis arriving and he won’t produce as many points with ‘Melo returning. I don’t think his value will plummet, but this would be the “sell high” point of the season for Lin. If you think your overall fantasy team value will improve with Johnson at the two instead of Lin in your UTIL spot, go ahead and make the deal.

  2. Rob says:
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    Adam: as far as helping my team it comes down to what is the greatest difference: (1) Lin – Conley or Johnson – Allen. Right now I would say Lin – Conley. Hmm the owner does seem needy for PG, maybe I counter with Conley for Johnson.

    • Rob says:
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      This is an ESPN points league, and looking at points for the year Conley is at 36 and Johnson at 38 so at first glance this looks fair..

      • Adam

        Adam says:
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        @Rob, Yeah. That’ll work. Good luck!

  3. rubes says:
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    ive held on to manu all year, and this news just made the wound deeper…should i drop him?

    if so, need 1 of these for short-term pick up: zaza, ayon, or morris

    • Adam

      Adam says:
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      @rubes, It’s a judgement call based on your particular team. He’s going to miss this week, then you’re going to have to give him another 4-5 games to see how he responds to the time off. That’s another week or two. Is the prospect of a healthy Manu for the final six weeks of the season more valuable than streaming Markieff Morris and whoever else for the next eight weeks? I’d say no. But I’d also make it clear that if you drop Manu, someone in your league WILL grab him quickly.

  4. Alex says:
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    Hey Adam,

    Randolph got dropped and I’m going to sign him but I’m curious who you would drop for him from this list:

    Felton, Gooden, Hawes

    I’ve got blocks in the bag so that shouldn’t affect anything.

    • Adam

      Adam says:
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      @Alex, Hawes. Then when (if?) Bogut returns, drop Gooden for the best big available at that time.

  5. Quintero says:
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    Error Gordon better than Eric Gordon!

  6. josh says:
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    hey adam, missed ya where were you and who was tht other post?! haha

    anyways, since i am stacked on reb and pts i just dropped gooden for isaiah thomas haha was that a bad move? and i dropped hayward for wilson chandler..

    and since its a short week, who do u trust more to play. jason kidd (LAL/BOS), or isaiah thomas(MIA/WASH)?

    • Adam

      Adam says:
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      @josh, Hehe. I’m getting old and my bones aren’t getting enough calcium. I can’t possibly blog more than thrice a week anymore. It’s a young man’s game.

      Anywhoodle, I think both moves make a lot of sense and come at a smart time. Also, I trust Thomas to play more. I also trust him to play better.

  7. Nick says:
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    Who should I drop for Isaiah Thomas? Kemba Walker, Greivis Vasquez, Mo Williams, Trevor Booker, James Johnson, J.R. Smith?

    • Adam

      Adam says:
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      @Nick, Probably Mo.

  8. HotRod says:
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    Is Beasley just complete junk at this point? Thinking I should just drop his dead weight…

    • Adam

      Adam says:
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      @HotRod, Yup. That’s a fine, fine thought.

  9. Lance says:
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    Tristan Thompson or Amir Johnson? Is TT’s FT% really as bad as it’s been?

    • Adam

      Adam says:
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      @Lance, I’d go Thompson. He had a terrible January at the line, but he’s almost doubled his efficiency so far in February. He’s not a good free-throw shooter, but he’s not sub-.500 bad.

  10. was up bro says:
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    add tristian thompson drop who out of booker,beasley or teague

    • Adam

      Adam says:
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      @was up bro, Beasley.

  11. Jeremy says:
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    Last second lineup advice, Frye or Vasquez?

    • Adam

      Adam says:
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      @Jeremy, Woulda said Frye. Hope you did too.

      • Jeremy says:
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        @Adam, I did! What was up with that Vazquez line? Didn’t catch any of the game so I don’t know what to make of it. Although they got pretty equal run, jack played the better game. You expect Monty to start going back to jack pretty soon?

        • Adam

          Adam says:
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          @Jeremy, Yeah. Jack actually played more minutes than I thought he would. It was a close game, which probably had something to do with it.

  12. Would you drop old Hedo Turkoglu for Isaiah Thomas? Just about to hit the button. This guy seems like a one hell of a hot chimado and I’m sick of Turkoglu, am I just being stupid?

    • Adam

      Adam says:
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      @Yarwood, HIT IT!

  13. Baijo says:
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    Not fantasy related, but in your estimation, what are the chances the Knicks get in the playoffs?

    Great blog

    • Adam

      Adam says:
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      @Baijo, Given that we’re talking about the Eastern Conference, I’d say pretty damn good. They’re tied for the seventh seed with a .500 record despite a) no ‘Melo, b) underwhelming STAT, c) no real development from any sophomores with the team last year

      And with the exception of Tyson Chandler, who has been a bright spot all season, most of New York’s good news is fairly recent. 1) That Lin kid, 2) having a contented Baron Davis backing up Lin is a huge boon that people will start to see as we get closer to the playoffs, 3) The Knicks were legitimate train wrecks entering February. .500 doesn’t sound great today, but they were 8-15 on February 4.

      THAT team was not going to the playoffs.

      Also, even if they let up to the Celtics for the 7th seed, who is going to sneak in to take the eighth seed from NY? The Bucks? The Cavs? I just don’t see it.

      I actually think the Knicks finish the season around where they were predicted to on Thanksgiving, at around the 6-7 seed.

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