The Pistons said they benched former star(ter) Richard Hamilton on Wednesday so as not to risk injuring him before they ship him off to a farm upstate. They didn’t tell Rip that’s why he wasn’t going to play. They just told him they wanted to save his energy for the really important games. The badder than bad news here is that if they held him on Wednesday, there’s no reason they won’t hold him over the weekend and into next week. Really, there’s no reason Detroit will ever play Hamilton again unless the trade deadline passes and the Pistons were unable to boot him off the bus. Any teams in shallow leagues still holding onto Hamilton kinda deserve whatever’s coming to them, but even medium-sized leagues can afford to drop him. He’s averaging 9/1/2 this month and doesn’t look like he’ll play for at least another week. And now with New York and Memphis forming an alliance against New Jersey and Detroit, who knows if Hamilton is even moving on to greener pastures? It’s entirely possible that Detroit started bad-mouthing your ex-girlfriend right before the two of you got back together. Awkward! If you can afford to stash the guy to see where he pops up, so be it. I’m dropping him for some production now and worrying about his usefulness when a change in scenario warrants it.In the meantime, Rodney Stuckey, Ben Gordon and Tracy McGrady will all see bumps in production.
Here’s what else I saw in fantasy basketball yesterday:
LeBron James – Missed Thursday’s drubbing with a sprained ankle. Karma! Will likely return on Saturday to play the Bulls. I don’t really believe James was even injured. He was passive-aggressively protesting the egregious trading circus Carmelo Anthony has created this season.
Dwyane Wade – Dwyane Wayne flipped his shades down over his reading glasses to protect from the glare of such nasty shooting (.368 from the field/.286 from the line). It’s a different world without LeBron. Wait, no it’s not. It’s nearly the same world for Wade as the 2009-10 season. Or the first three weeks of this season.
Mike Miller – Miller has completely forgotten how to put the biscuit in the basket (2-for-7 from the field), which is a shame because his eight rebounds and eight dimes suggests that his other tools are still intact. It’s always good when your tools are intact.
Willie Green - “As much as I like Marcus [Thornton's] scoring, he doesn’t have the size that you like at that position to start the game,” coach Monty Williams said. On a completely unrelated note, Marcus Thornton is 6’4″, 205 lbs. Willie Green is 6’3.5″, 201 lbs. Starter for most of the season so far: Marco Bellinelli (6’5″, 192 lbs.) Yeah That’s the last time Thornton makes a pass at the coach’s wife at a team party. Also, Monty Williams is several different degrees of bananas.
J.R. Smith -He’s played well in his last two, averaging 21.5 points including eight treys just last night, but both were blowouts. In close games, Smith never shows up like he does when no one’s watching. He’s the Sammy Sosa of the NBA.
Kenyon Martin -6/3.5/3 in 19 mpg in his last two. I like this approach. Get your opponent’s confidence up, make ‘em think he’s got nothing left, then come playoff time – boom! – He drops, like, 8/5 on them snitches!
Kevin Martin – Keeping the K-Martin blue lights special, Kevin should play tonight and says he doesn’t think his wrist injury should affect his shooting. No word on if he thinks it will affect his making shots.
Al Thornton – Started for the injured Andray Blatche, played like an injured Andray Blatche. A less-injured andray Blatche will likely return Saturday against Toronto. Even if he doesn’t, only owners in deep leagues should roster Thornton or Yi Jianlian for spot starts.
JaVale McGee -I just realized the guy with perhaps the nastiest hops in league history has a middle name of “Lindy.” That can’t be a coincidence, right? Anyway, LindyHops has grabbed seven or fewer rebounds in four of his last five games.
Gilbert Arenas – Speaking of people who used to play well for the Wizards: ol’ Gil is averaging 9/2/2 in 20 mpg this month. Also known as the Rip Hamilton Special.
Ryan Anderson – 15/5 in 23 minutes. He’s coming off the bench but outplaying Brandon Bass (8/4 in 20 minutes).
Nenad Krstic – 16/11 for his first dub-dub of the season. Nenad-nah-nah-nah-nah! Hey!
Wesley Johnson – Started and played 15 minutes, scoring six points in that time. It’s important to note that Martell Webster outplayed Johnson last night and has moderately outplayed him all month.
Luke Ridnour – He’s averaging 13/2.5/7.5 while shooting well over .900 from the free throw line. If you’d have known he’d average this, you’d have drafted him in the ninth round and been proud to do so. What I’m saying is, you ould do much worse than owning Ridnour. Illegally downloading the new Avril Lavigne single and playing it repeatedly through the speakers of your Android in public places is an example of you doing much worse.