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So Russell Westbrook played yesterday… Ummm… What?

After hurting his knee in last year’s playoffs, then requiring a second surgery on October 1st, Westbrook was one of the biggest fantasy news stories early in preseason with an uncertain timetable.  Well that table has expired much earlier than anyone expected, and Westbrook was out there without a minutes restriction last night.  It’s like the first surgery was done in Hostel, then the next one at the X-Mansion.  Seriously, reports ranged from from early to mid-December as a target return date, but a little Adamantium in your bones goes a long way!  The good news is he’s back, but the bad (and frankly, not shocking) news is he was mighty rusty.  In nearly 33 minutes, Westbrook shot only 5-16 (0-2 3PTM 11-14 FT) for 21 points, with 4 Reb and 7 Ast and 4 TOs.  Besides shooting like Michael Chiklis, you’ll take that line any day.  Very encouraging to see Westbrook get to the line that frequently, and the minutes were indeed non-limited.  He looked pretty Westbrook-ish in highlights as well.  Even if Westbrook isn’t quite the player he was the past few seasons, all owners are looking at a steal for where they got him post-second surgery.  Here’s what else I saw over the weekend in fantasy hoops action:

Reggie Jackson – Should get solid minutes off the bench, but his value obviously takes a healthy hit.  Still played 28 minutes last night, 4 more than Thabo Sefolosha, and that was still with Derek Fisher getting 20 minutes as well.  I think the real hit is any upside for Jeremy Lamb, who scored 8 in 16 minutes last night.  Jackson and Westbrook are going to run together at times, with Fisher getting those 20ish minutes as well.  I’d hold Jackson in most 12-team leagues, but he’s expendable if you have a bevy of hurt guys already.

Serge Ibaka - Well… Not looking so good thus far for one of my breakout picks.  Hey, I’m biting the bullet with him on three of my teams including the REL dynasty, but I doubt that makes you feel any better.  He’s flirted with double-doubles every game, but hasn’t shot well, only has 2 blocks, and well, just plain hasn’t been good the first week.  But I still have big hopes, and Westbrook returning I don’t think will hurt.  It can’t get much worse right?  Right?!  I’ve seen two Thunder games this year and can say that he looks more confident on offense, they just aren’t falling.

Miles Plumlee - Part 1 of NBA’s Waiver-Wire’s Big Man Hoarders.  Two straight dub-dubs with three blocks in each to start the year, but then laid a clunker last night, going scoreless with 5 Rebs and a Blk after getting into early foul trouble and failed to get worked back in.  Alex Len didn’t even see the court last night, as Channing Frye played nearly 34 minutes going 7-14 for 19/5 with a Stl and 2 Blks.  If I need threes and a big rather than the boards from a big, I’d actually get Frye over Plumlee.  A little more experience and less prone to clunkers like Miles.

Vitor Faverani - Part 2.  I like him a shade more than Plumlee, but both showed why they’re never going to consistent this year with Faverani also getting benched most of the second half.  Slim was singing his praises last week, a day before his huge 12/18 game with 6 blocks.  Slim is the site’s Billy Zane when it comes to wire pickups.  “You should listen to your friend Billy Zane.  He’s a cool dude.  He’s trying to help you out!”  That said, Brad Stephens benched him late as mentioned, and you just don’t know what the playing time will be like on a team “Wiggin’ out for Wiggins.”  Dude totally trademarking that.

Jeff Green - Benched the whole 4th quarter in the close game as well.  Wiggin’ out for Wiggins!  Celtics beat writers calling it “defensive lapses” that lead to time on the pine.  Brad Stephens said he’d rather just bench everyone because they have “being good lapses”.

Goran Dragic - Hurt his ankle.  Or as Goran would say, his “gleženj”.  I didn’t see the injury and seeing injuries is one of my least favorite things about being a sports buff.  I had the Wolves game last week when Ronny Turiaf fractured his elbow.  I didn’t want to watch, but could hear it on replays.  Anyway, long winded way of saying I am not going to look at the injury and reports were it didn’t look good and he was in a lot of pain.  Prepare for the worst and keep your ears peeled for news throughout the day.

Gerald Green - Played a lot of the minutes left behind by Dragic last night.  Went 7-14 in 33+ with 5 3s for a 21/8/2 slash with 4 TOs.  Green is athletically awesome, but shot friggin’ 36% from the field last year!  Worth a look in deep leagues, especially if Dragic misses extended time.

Archie Goodwin - I think they have to give him minutes.  He’s only played 19 minutes in two games thus far (didn’t get on the court last night), and they’ve gotta give the kid some run if Dragic misses a lot of time.  Deep league owners (as in 16 or 20) should hold if they can and see how the guard situation in Phoenix plays out.  As his owner in dynasty, I still think he has a bright future.

Eric Bledsoe - One thing’s for sure, Bledsoe is straight ballin’.  26/7/14 with 3 steals last night, but did have 8 TOs.  Hit that huge game winner over the weekend.  Love this guy, and loved him coming into the season.  Yet he’s not on any of my teams… Sadface.  Strike that.  Scarface.  I want to dunk my head into narcotics.

Mike Scott - After a good preseason, got 22 minutes off the bench and went 13/5/1 and a steal and took 13 whopping shots.  Dem a lotta shots.  I thought he looked good in two games I saw him play in last year down the stretch when he got some run, and he was solid in college at Virginia.  The Hawks have only three interesting guys on their bench, so deep league owners take note of these guys (my FAAB bid of $9 was an easy winner in REL).

Cartier Martin - Hawks bench guy #2.  9/4/3 last night scoring all his points on three 3s in 28 minutes off the bench.  He reportedly started the second half over DeMarre Carroll as well.  I bid huge on him because I wanted to corner the Hawks minutes as best I could ($19) and maybe overspent.  Oh well.  Then there’s…

Dennis Schroeder - …to round out the Hawks bench guys.  Obviously he’s well behind Jeff Teague, but will get run.  He was more on the radar than the above two guys (already drafted in REL), but played well last night in his best NBA game going 10/3/4.

Xavier Henry - Wheels got moved into the Lakers starting line-up last night, and went 18/0/1 in 26 minutes.  Hit two 3s and shot pretty well (5-11) and is on track to get that FT% better hitting 6-8.  I bid $13 on him in REL, but knew I wasn’t getting him (went for a ginormous $61).  Too much uncertainty with Kobe Bryant returning at some point for me to invest that much FAAB.

Kevin Martin - Wait the Wolves are 3-0?!  I said way in the off-season I like them to make a playoff run and get in if everyone stays healthy, and so far so good.  The flip side is, I wasn’t big on Martin.  Put up 30 last night, hit 5-5 from deep and then not much else with 3 Rebs 2 Asts and 2 Stls.  No complaints if you’re a K-Mart owner though!

Corey Brewer - Still starting, but had his minutes at just over 24 to Derrick Williams‘ 21.  Given Brewer was inflated by being with the first unit, but he was +14 on the floor to Williams -15.  Still think Brewer will be useful as the last guy on your roster in 12-teamers.

Victor Oladipo - Scraight balla.  8-13 19/6/4 with 2 Stls in only 22 minutes off the bench in the Magic’s surprise rout of the Nets.  Jason Kidd better lay off the sauce after this one before driving home.  I know he wants to have no memory of this game!  Voice Over (initials VO always mean that to me) did have 7 TOs to sully the nice line.  Everyone’s least favorite starting line-up clogger Arron Afflalo went 5-14.  Alcoholics Anonymous (AA is always that) did flirt with the triple dub though, at 16/6/8.

Andrew Nicholson - Dan’s buying it, and so far so good for his favorite punner!  17/11 last night with a block.  He’s better than Jason Maxiell who is somehow starting, but I’m still not much of a believer.

Trevor Ariza - After a huge start to his season, went ice cold last night shooting 4-16.  Still managed a 13/7/0 with 2 Stl slash and played 31 minutes.  Worth owning in deeper leagues, streamer in under 14.

Bradley Beal - Wasn’t hot by any means, but took a good step towards warming up shooing 6-14 last night and 4-8 from deep for 19.  Ariza was like, “dammit Beal!”  after Beal pulled some Pedro Cerrano voodoo to transfer his shooting woes to him.  Hey, that sorta locker room stuff is a step up from what Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton were doing!

Brandon Jennings - Returned last night, and played the most minutes of any Pistons guard at 31.  5-12 (1-2 3 PTM 3-6 FT) 14/3/4 and 4 Stls.  Nothing huge except the steals, but good to see him out there.  Effectively cuts Kentavious Caldwell-Pope from any relevance, and he’s droppable in virtually all redraft leagues.  Which is a bummer because he looked good against the Grizzlies last week in a game I caught.  A Jennings KCP backcourt at some point would be ridiculous to watch.  Anyway, its a backcourt clogged with Gs and KCP needs injuries to get a role.  But if KCP indeed fills in capably when he can and has a good offseason, could be big in 2014-15.

Michael Carter-Williams - Cooled off in his second game, but then heated right back up against the Bulls on Saturday, going 26/4/10 with 3 Stls.  Shot 10-22 which you love, and only 4 TOs, which is more than acceptable.  Too early for ROY votes?

DeMarcus Cousins - Only played 18 minutes on Saturday going 8/7 with 3 Stls.  Why would they bench him he’s their best player?!  It’s like we’ve never seen this before… He is just too frustrating for me to own.

Next Games: I’ll be highlighting BOS @ MEM then HOU @ LAC tonight.  The main things I’ll be watching for is how Brad Stephens plays his best players, especially in what should be a pretty bad loss, then how Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan matchup.  Will be a dandy.  Notes from those and the other two games tomorrow and good luck in week 2!

  1. Slim

    Slim says:
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    I have no idea what to expect with the FAAB spending in the REL. I didn’t even put in for Wheels because I knew I would’t be close. I put in $8 for Cartier. The killer for me was that I put in $2 for Mike Harris and still missed him. Oh well it’s a marathon. I must say overall I was happy with my 1st week…

    Top 3 Lillard, Sanders, Hibbert. OK… I certainly expect more. (Sanders)
    Good Min. Jackson, Burks, Anderson, Tucker, Nicholson. Solid… I expect better. (Anderson)
    Bad Min. Jordan Crawford, Bayless, Ross, Bennett, Adams. What I expected but lots of room for more.
    Bayless got 30 minutes last time out, good sign. Crawford has been very good in limited minutes. I think both teams desperately need their scoring.
    Rudy Gay played some PF and Ross got 22 min last time out. An injury or trade and I think I’ve got a good one.
    Not much to say about Bennett. He’s 0/12. Can’t get much worse.
    Adams was solid in game 2. 8/8/1 in 23 min. Only 8 min last night but Phoenix played Frye at C so he wasn’t needed. I still think he overtakes Perkins as the starter at some point. 11 Off Reb in 50 total minutes is really good. Perkins has 2 in 60 min.
    DNP. Porter, Motiejunas, Joseph. Ugh. Not good. Motiejunas is gone for Daniel Orton. Orton is only getting 15 minutes but an injury almost anywhere to that team and he should get pretty solid minutes. I’m looking at you Thaddeus.

    I lost 2-7, Mostly due to Faverani and MC-dub. I think I will show improvement this week… I think. If you want to put me in dead last in the Power Rankings I won’t argue. Well that’s how I saw my 1st week. Thoughts?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Slim: Haha you’re in like 3rd to last. I’m 2nd to last. Wrapping up the recap now and it’ll post at 1:00. Yeah, Bennett can’t hit an NBA shot to save his life!

      FAAB was weird, people were shy. Especially with only 8-9 decent guys on the wire. I had a claim on Harris too, but my 3 guys I was getting rid of all passed on the other waivers. With people actually playing on my roster now, I will be patient. I was surprisingly closer to Wheels than I thought, minus the one huge bid. I originally had it at $23, but pulled way back as his long-term outlook is tough.

      I lost due to injuries and cutbacks in PT. Looks like I might be playing for the future. If Knight and Chandler can get healthy and Bynum can start paying 25-30/per, my team will be pretty good. Ibaka tanking, Leonard being inconsistent to start hurt as well.

      Hope you like the recap! It’s short per-team but it goes through all of them. Wanna write your own team’s recap in it the following weeks?

      • Slim

        Slim says:
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        @JB Gilpin: I could, it would only take a few minutes Sunday night. As you can see I have trouble keeping it short and it’s way too positive for a 2-7 loss.

        Trying to find the next Burks or Faverani is hard. I’m scouring through the 20 min/game players trying to find the next one to get to 30+. It’s not easy. I have a few ideas. I don’t need to be right about everyone, but don’t worry Razz-ballers, I will be your shot caller, with 20 inch blades on the impala, a caller getting laid tonight. Swisher rolled tight… OK I’ll stop.

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Slim: Haha yea it’s Slim Pickens out there! Another reason I was surprised REL had such low FAABing

  2. Connor says:
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    I love the analysis on this website. It’s great. Quick question.. I am in a 12 team h2h category league and was wondering if you had any advice. Danny green was just dropped and is available as is Gerald Henderson. This is my team
    Pg- Eric Bledsoe
    SG – Nicolas batum
    SF – Kevin Durant
    PF – Paul Millsap
    C – Larry Sanders
    G – Oj mayo
    F- Amir Johnson
    Utility – Raymond Felton
    Utility – Jonas Valacunas
    Utility – Miles Plumlee
    Bench – Patrick Beverly
    Bench – Vicor Faverani
    Bench – Brandon Knight

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Connor: Thanks man! I’d grab Henderson for Beverley and go for the upside. Slim loves PBev but with the injury and Lin playing pretty well, I think he had a rough break with the timing. I like Green too, but a brutal start both in minutes and production.

  3. Jac says:
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    Should I drop Henson for Frye? pretty much need everything in my 10 man roto league now

    thanks

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Jac: I’d probably still hold Henson there. Especially with Larry Sanders not getting love and Henson is off two decent-ish games

  4. booya says:
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    McRoberts or Kaman?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @booya: I’m shocked they haven’t given Kaman 20 minutes yet. McRoberts

  5. Steve Stevenson says:
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    H2H pts league, pick 2 F to start this week–we get big bonuses (15pts) for dbl-dbls, and stl/blk are worth 5 each:

    J. Thompson (Atl, @ Por, Por): scored 107 in 3G last week
    PJ Tucker (@ NO, @ SA, Den, NO): scored 112 in 3
    J. Smith (Phx, @ Mem, LAL, @ Phx): scored 82 in 3

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Steve Stevenson: I’d still go Tucker and Smith despite a good week 1 from Thompson

  6. Mopo says:
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    Is Tobias worth holding on to?
    12 team 12 player league.
    I have Rondo taking up one bench spot and Ryan Anderson and Tobias fighting over the other.
    Should I rough it out and hope Anderson’s 1-3 wks is closer to 1?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Mopo: Man… tough break to start… I have no problem dropping Tobias unfortunately in that scenario. You can always try to pick him back up later next week

  7. decaf says:
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    Finally dropped Cody Zeller for a speculative add of Gerald Green (roto). Hope it pays off!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @decaf: Nice! I think Green will definitely give you more production

  8. Prodders says:
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    Okay looking to stash two guys for upside potential. Probably not playing them this week so near-term prospects not that important. McLemore / Johnson / Burks / Jordan / Barnes / Beverley / Jackson / Greens, Danny or Gerarld. Quite balanced roster so position doesn’t matter much. What do you think? Thanks again.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Prodders: I like Burks a lot. I’d go him and Beverley and see if PBev gets that starting spot

      • Prodders says:
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        @JB Gilpin: Thanks, makes sense, I already got burks. Will start Jordan this wk (already have him) and maybe grab pbev as soon as he nears health.

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Prodders: Sounds like a plan!

  9. Jay says:
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    Might make this trade. My MCW and Jeff Green for his Howard, Favors and Oladipo while dropping Billups.

    You doing this deal?

    • Juice_0321 says:
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      @Jay: LOL

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Jay: I dont get the lol above. Seems like you need the big men, and if thats the case, no problem with it. Also if roto I wouldn’t with Dwight sinking FT%. H2H I probably do it, Jeff Green getting benched yesterday was sickening as a Green owner

  10. Ryan says:
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    I am in a 14 team h2h keeper league. We keep 5. This guy in my league wants cousins and lillard from me. He sent me an offer of anthony davis knight for lillard cousins. I think that’s a bit too steep but getting davis is huge. Any counter I should make. Some notable players on his team are: jennings brandon knight, evan turner and kemba walker.

    pg damian lillard
    g george hill
    sg james harden
    sf kevin durant
    f Alec burke
    pf cody zeller
    c al jefferson
    c demarcus cousins
    util jj redick
    util Jeff Teague
    bn john henson
    bn vitor fevarani
    bn channing frye

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Ryan: Yeah that is a bit steep but close, love Davis. Maybe counter it with Jennings instead of Knight. That evens it up pretty good. I think that should land you the Brow

      • Ryan says:
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        @JB Gilpin: so if the other owner prefers to deal knight instead, do I just stay put?

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Ryan: Man… since keeper, it’s tough to turn down Davis. A core of Durant Harden Davis should be 3 top 10 guys the next 5 years. I’d counter but say willing to haggle to make it work

          • Ryan says:
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            @JB Gilpin: I sent over the counter with jennings but he rejected. Should I consider the original offer?

            • JB Gilpin

              JB Gilpin says:
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              @Ryan: I’m guessing he didn’t send back a note or anything either.. Yeah I think I send it back and do it since it’s a keeper and will have you an elite core. You’ll love this trade heading into next year and I don’t think hurts you much if at all this yr

              • Ryan says:
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                @JB Gilpin: but will I be hurting at pg and assists this year?

                • JB Gilpin

                  JB Gilpin says:
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                  @Ryan: Not that much since Lillard is shoot first

  11. Juice_0321 says:
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    Would you trade Howard, Favors and Oladipo for MCW and Jeff Green?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Juice_0321: Hahahaha I get it now, it was offered to you. See comment above sorta depends on roster comp/league format

      • Juice_0321 says:
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        @JB Gilpin: Exactly! Sunuvabench been checking out my favorite sites while i’m away from my desk!

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Juice_0321: Haha that hooilgan!

  12. outlawbaker says:
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    Somebody offered me John Wall for Paul Pierce straight up in a trade in a Yahoo public money league. I accepted the offer. I did good, right?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @outlawbaker: Hah you got Wall? Wow. Steal

  13. Joe says:
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    I’m worried about Danny Green – he was a top-50 player on ESPN player rater last season and a slow start is one thing, but the number of minutes he’s playing and the presence of Belinelli makes me think this might be permanent. Should I ditch him for either Gerald Green or PJ Tucker? I also have Henson and McRoberts, would you drop either of them for one of Green/Tucker? 10-team, 9-cat, H2H. Thanks!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Joe: Yeah, Danny G has been brutal. I think he gets more run as the season wears on, but tough to pinpoint when so he’s cuttable. I think I would for Gerald G since he’s going to get big minutes with Dragic expected out a least few games and then readdress after a few games this week

  14. Liz says:
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    hey.

    jrue+TD for uncle drew + shawn marion.

    which side is better for H2H 12 teamer.

    thanks always@!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Liz: Hmmm, I think I take Irving side and get the most elite player. No prob!

  15. Liz says:
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    who whould u rather have.

    bogut or marion?

    marions stl blks are so tempting.

    thanks.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Liz: Yea I agree Marion is underrated with tempting stats, but I still rather have Bogut

      • Liz says:
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        @JB Gilpin: really? bogut sometimes only plays like 10minutes. but marion seems to be getting 30mins consistently.

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Liz: Yea Boguts per 48 is much better and I think he gets more minutes going forward. Marion will play a little more, but still think Bogut ends year with better #s

  16. Liz says:
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    should i cut bait on farmar?

    doesn look like nash is gonna break down soon lol.

    sohulda pick up xavier henry and drop farmer?

    thanks.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Liz: Yea I’d grab Henry. Nash will break down but Steve Blake will get a lot of minutes too

  17. Juice_0321 says:
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    Man! The people in my league are trading fools! I just got offered Jrue Holiday who has been traded twice in the last few days for Hawes. Should I do this?

    PG – Teague
    SG – Beal
    G – Lillard
    SF – LeBron
    PF – Millsap
    F – Favors
    C – Drummond
    C – Ibaka
    UT – Valnciunas
    UT – Calderon
    BN – Hawes
    BN – Stephenson
    BN – Butler

    Lost 5-4 first week, but my loss would have beat almost everyone in the league.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Juice_0321: Wow! Jrue is the village bicycle – everyone getting a ride! Yeah I’d take him for Hawes even as not a big Jrue fan

  18. itchy waiver finger – DeMarre Carroll and Farmar on the bench – have one waiver claim in dropping Carroll for Beverley, but Gerald Green is available now.. would you drop either of those for him? not sure about Green long term.

    Others on waivers – Cartier Martin / Richard Jefferson / or dare I say Ben Gordon

    while I’m rambling – what are your thoughts on Biyombo this year?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Sheriff McRawDawg: Yeah I’d drop either for Green for the upside. It may indeed only be temporary, but you can readdress when Dragic is back. Haha not rambling at all! I’m not huge on him, he’s just not a scorer and won’t get enough minutes unless Jefferson went down for a long time and/or McRoberts as well.

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