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Heat GM Pat Riley was undoubtedly pursuing Erick Dampier ever since it was apparent than Joel Anthony was going to spend the season getting tossed around by the opposition like the losing rooster in a cock fight. I mean, this old man has been wooed harder than the 70-year-old billionaires with profiles on eHarmony. With the loss of Udonis Haslem until February, the Heat are throwing everything from money to multiple Kardashian sisters in Damp’s direction hoping he takes the bait. And who wouldn’t want a 35-year-old man averaging 6/7 over his last three seasons? For the Heat, that’s like gold or like participating in the Olympics at all if you’re the North Korean soccer team. Riley’s as desperate as any fantasy GM put in the same position. You drafted David Lee in your 20-team league. Then you drafted Troy Murphy and Haslem as back-ups. “Even if one of ‘em works out,” you said out loud to yourself on a crowded bus at some point in October, “I’ll be fine. And if they all work out, I’ll run away with the league.” So here you are with three different versions of the same problem and all of them lead to one solution: you need a starting center who isn’t Luke Harangody. First off, congratulations on identifying that Harangody is not for you. Second off, someone may have put a voodoo curse on your centers. Third off, Erick Dampier will not make up for what you’ve lost. Fourth off, I’ve never gone far enough to have a fourth off, but I’m doing all right. Fifth off, If you’re in a deep league and you need a center, he’ll do. He’ll enter a time share with Zydrunas Ilgauskas and they’ll both average somewhere around 6/6 with a block. One will have a big game and everyone will rush to pick him up, then he’ll flop for the next five, just in time for the other guy to string together a few solid games. You’ll own one of these guys no less than twice this season. Like the Animals said, it’s a hard world to get a break in, all the good centers have been taken.

Here’s what else went down in fantasy basketball on Monday:

Brandon Rush – Went 20/7/4 after replacing Mike Dunleavy in the starting lineup Monday. It might have been due to Rush’s defense or we might have the making’s of a time-share that peeves everybody.

Darren Collison – Returned after missing a week of games to play almost 22 starter’s minutes and produce a 4/2/3 line. T.J. Ford came off the bench, played more minutes and ended with 13/6/5. So, you know, everything is back to normal!

Dwyane Wade – Shot 1-for-13 from the floor and 1-for-5 from the line. Yeah. That wrist ain’t right. Say that 10 times fast with a mouth full of marshmallows. He probably should have taken that powder against the Pacers I mentioned yesterday. Instead, the Heat just got dusted.

Nate Robinson – Started for the second time in place of Rondo and dropped a 16/10 dub-dub on the Hawks in three quarters. It was his first double-double since February 17, 2009 and the most assists he’s had since a 33/9/15 performance on February 11, 2009. Or as Robinson referred to that week: The Nate Aggression.

Shaquille O’Neal – 13/11 in 21 minutes. He’s averaged just below 13/7 with a block in about 23 minutes in his last five and realistically, when he’s healthy, he ought to be owned in more than 30 percent of leagues. He’s healthy now. Do what it do.

DeMarcus Cousins – Scored a career-high 18 points along with nine boards and only earned three fouls. He’s only fouled out in one of his last five games. Progress!

C.J. Miles – 20/4/4 in 24 minutes. He’s averaged 22.5/4.5/2.5 in his last two games and I like this sixth man role Jerry Sloan is developing for him. He’s not starting, but he’s getting a ton of burn on a talented team. If you’re in a medium-sized league and he’s available – put an end to that right away.

John Wall – Removed from the inactive list, practiced on Monday, came out of practice with a sore foot. Depressing. Know what else is sore? My hand after slamming it in a car door just to feel something – anything – again.

Darko Milicic – Followed up Friday’s 23/16 performance with a 21/5 number. Hey, Milicic! I’m only going to say this once and I’m going to do it using hyper-annoying capitalized, one-word sentences. STOP. MAKING. ME. WRITE. NICE. THINGS. ABOUT. YOU.

Michael Beasley – 15/7/3 with five tovs. This seems more right than his last five games have.

Wesley Johnson – Despite averaging over 27 minutes per game, the crappier of the NBA Wesleys is averaging 5/1.8/2.3. Tiny Johnson!

Serge IbakaJeff Green returned to the starting rotation, played 39 minutes and left Serge with 19. He scored 10 points, blocked no shots and had a rebound and a block apiece. He won’t be this bad from now on, but he will be more Scourge Ibaka than Surge Ibaka.

Kevin Durant – 28/8/5 with three blocks and a steal. He still didn’t seem to be totally healthy because he missed one of his 17 free throw attempts.

Tim Duncan – 15/4/2 with three steals and a pair of blocks. I peeked at Friday Adam’s Add/Drop list. Tim’s on it. Then again, toothpaste and eggs were also on the list, so perhaps I wasn’t looking at what I thought I was looking at.

Matt Bonner – Has made 18 threes in his last six games, in addition to his 21 mpg/10.3 ppg averages. He’s like a tall, ginger, mild-mannered Eddie House. I’m not sure if that was a recommendation or not. It’s also worth noting that DeJuan Blair has averaged 19 mpg/7.7 ppg over that same period despite starting.

Vince Carter – Limped off the court with either an ankle injury or a case of the we’re-not-beating-these-Spurs-and-I-can-still-catch-the-end-of-’Skating with the Stars.’ More to come as Carter decides how he feels. Yeah, I said it!

Chuck Hayes – Started for the Rockets, played 24 minutes and ended with an 8/8/4 line. Waiver alert! Not so fast. Brad Miller played 21 minutes and dropped a 12/6/4 line. Oh, uh … okay. Waiver alert²! Well, now, wait a second, brah. Jordan Hill played 22 minutes and went 14/10. Rejectsplosion! Own Miller, Hayes, Hill in that order and expect little from all of them.

Jason Richardson – Was perfect from the line, shot 7-for-11 from the floor and ended with 26 points! Benchslapped! And what’s worse, I knew it was gonna happen.

Steve Nash – Returned and did his Nash thing. Which is way better than doing his nashing.

Al-Farouq Aminu – Admit it, you were so jazzed at halftime when Aminu had 16 points that you called your cousin, told him to forget the money he owes you; called your mom, told her you’d be happy to spend Thanksgiving helping her fix the stuffing; called your girlfriend and proposed to her. You lost your head, and when he went 0-for-4 and didn’t score a single point in the second half, well … hope you enjoy stuffing.

Ty Lawson – Started. Ended with 14/4/5. It’s better than Billups would have done.

Chris Andersen – Made his season debut, earning a 7/3/1 stl line in 18 minutes. If you grabbed him, you grabbed him for rebounds, blocks and FG%. Bird’s gotta jump before he can fly.

Reggie Williams – Scored 16 points relieving Dorrell Wright, who was non-existent due to foul trouble. Congratulations world, this is what you would look like if Williams was a starter in the Bay Area. It’s just like ‘It’s A Wonderful Life.’ The banks have ruined almost everyone’s life, Jimmy Stewart is in Heaven and it’s super bleak outside. Every time a bell rings, Monta Ellis misses another long two!

  1. clyde says:
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    Adam,

    I’ve had some bad luck with PG’s in my 12 team league.

    I’ve got Bledsoe and Baron is out there lurking. Do I drop Eric for for Davis?

    Also, Udrih is on my squad. You think he’s worth hanging on to or can I cut bait? Guys I’d consider grabbing are Cousins, Amidu & Lou Williams.

    My team is not great, but balanced, so I’m looking for best overall value. I can also cut Lowry, if you think Udrih is worth hanging on to.

    Thanks in advance,
    C

  2. Tony says:
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    cousins, evan turner, or david west……. choose one to keep, thanks

  3. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @clyde: I would drop Bledsoe for Davis, but not yet. I’d hang on to Udrih and would cut Lowry, but not until Brooks returns. Cousins is you best value among the other three you mentioned, but again, none of these are “today!” kind of moves.

    @Tony: Turner, assuming Iguodala isn’t a Sixer next year.

  4. Tony says:
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    @Adam: is iggys contract up? is there any word on whether the 6′ers want to keep him or if he wants out?

  5. brad says:
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    @Tony: 4 years on his contract. But he’s considered available. I’m sure the Raptors will be going after him with Peja’s expiring as bait, but I think the sixers are hoping for a fat expiring plus a cheap young guy.

  6. brad says:
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    As a Jazz fan I’d like to see maybe an AK47/Hayward for AI2/Kapono deal go down.

  7. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @brad: “Fat expiring guy plus a cheap young guy” sounds like a secret weekend getaway for the average U.S. Congressman.

  8. brad says:
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    @Adam: welcome District of Columbia google searchers.

  9. brad says:
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    @Adam: which side would you like here:

    Tyreke/Bosh – Granger/Frye

    16tm h2h pts

  10. Duff says:
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    1) How much faith you have in Darko?
    2) You see Amir Johnson breaking out sooner than later?
    3) Brandon Rush or Villanueva?

  11. Tony says:
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    @brad: thanks…

  12. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @brad: Ha!

    @brad: ‘Reke/Bosh. I love me some Granger but of all the top 10 players in the league, he has the largest ability to absolutely disappear once every few games.

    @Duff: 1) More now than a week ago, but not a ton. 2) He’s sorta breaking out now, depending on your definition of breaking out. 3) Villanueva.

  13. No JRich bench slap for me – however, that 26 pt line is about as shallow as they come… I have my 2 little wing friends from Portland on the pine this week (Nicky B and We$ley). We$ley is dying to get some run in my line-up, told him he will debut next week and has to watch Aminu and Afflalo’s game this wk.

    Was courtside at Clips/ Knicks on Saturday to see Griffin v. Amar’e. Grffin’s 2 jams were ridiculous and dare I say “electrified” a surging Clips crowd. If you haven’t seen them, please youtube them.

  14. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @El Burro: Oh, I saw it. The best moment of Griffin posterizing Mozgov was a minute later when Amar’e got fouled and in between shots he catches Griffin’s attention and gave him the “whew boy!” look.

  15. That was a priceless moment (saw that on-line), but “whem, boy” was more like “DAMN!, ninja”… Blake is freakish and I love his disposition; good kid – that redhead.

  16. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @El Burro: I like him a heckuva lot more outside of fantasy than inside it. He plays recklessly like Gerald Wallace, which is fun to watch, but nerve wracking. Every time he goes in the air, I half-expect to hear some hideous cracking sound when he lands.

  17. Tony says:
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    @Adam:

    20 owner league, keep 4, $200 salary to buy 8 players: Do you think a $44 Mayo/$32 David West/ and a $33 Demarcus Cousins are enough to get a $52 durant and i would take whatever 2 players/ JUNK the guy would throw in and keep us under the cap….

    or in this type of long term contract keeper league is any owner crazy for even considering dealing Durant and probably wouldnt?

    *** side note: the guy basically has durant and didn’t or hasn’t built around him so he’s wasting away…. Im thinking if i throw enough talent at him and talk up “rebuilding for the future” maybe i could pull this off? am i dreaming?

  18. Tony says:
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    i would never accept and would never dream that ben gordon $35 and Nazr Mohammed $10 could fetch me a $29 david lee, but it did…. so i guess i have some hope?

  19. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Tony: Yeah, you’re probably dreaming, but why not try anyway? If he hasn’t utilized Durant in the same fashion you would, the two of you clearly don’t think alike or necessarily value players similarly, so perhaps Mayo/West/Cousins is more valuable to this guy.

    That said, I wouldn’t count on it. But most of the big trades I’ve pulled off in deep leagues happened only after numerous rounds of negotiations. Consider this your first step in getting The Velvet Hoop.

  20. Cory says:
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    by what point in the season, if at all, do you think boom dizzle will get his stats up to par?

  21. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Cory: I really can’t see him ever averaging his stats from last season at any extended point in this one. If he remains healthy after this stint (and this stint isn’t supposed to end for another couple weeks, he’ll be fantasy-worthy again by mid-January.

  22. Tony says:
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    whats your thoughts on Jordan Hill HOU PF…. i dont much about the guy, rookie, double double the other night, needs some PT….?

    i’ve got a couple expendable guys….. looking for a pick up.

  23. brad says:
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    speights just got 29 productive minutes to Hawes’ unproductive 22.

    you like him or leandrinho?

  24. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Tony: I’m a bit ‘meh’ on all tall Rockets. There are too many of ‘em and none of ‘em stand out. If he comes close to another double-double next time out, I’d give it a shot. For now, skip it.

    @brad: Yeah, but Brand fouled out and Speights picked up the end of the fourth and OT. Until Speights’ production becomes a pattern, I like DroBo more now.

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