Andray Blatche does not pronounce his name like Andre. Or even Andrei. It looks like that’s the pronunciation his mother was going for there. Like Toney Douglas. Or Corey Maggette. But, no. This is a whole new proper noun. A hybrid proper noun. The “dray” is familiar, but to keep you on your toes ‘And’ leads the way. Then leads to “dray.” Anfernee, not Anthony. Timofey, not Timothy. And when you talk about Washington’s starting PF, you do so with respect and mashup Andy and Ray the same way Ms. Blatche mashed up her son’s funny last name with her son’s funny first name. I know it’s weird to be advocating for Blatche here, but someone has to. He’s on a bad team with little rhythm and he’s shooting like a man with a monocle in the wrong eye (.419). But believe it or not, that’s why you should buy low on him sooner than later. He’s a career .465 shooter on a team whose franchise player has yet to play 10 games in a row (or 11 games total). Blatche, like the rest of his team, is out of sync or Ot’Sync if you’re a ’90s boy band.  This isn’t surprising, what is surprising is how well Blatche is doing despite his team’s flux and his monocle shot. He’s vastly improved his per minute rebounding, free throw shooting and shots from behind the arc. These are the kinds of stats reliant upon effort and development of skills. Not every stat is there. He’s turning the ball over more and his defense is suffering, but this is a guy who has averaged more points, rebounds and assists in the second half of seasons than the first half throughout his career. It’s still midway through the first half and he’s matched or surpassed his season averages from last year. Catch a rising star. And let me be clear here – Blatche: A Rising Star.

Here’s what else went down in a quiet night in fantasy basketball:

Chris Douglas-Roberts – Compact Disc Rewritable dropped 19 points just two games after returning from the ol’ eye-claw. Any injury that sounds like it was a He-Man villain is bad enough that scoring 19 points shortly after suffering from such an injury deserves a pat on the back After you’re done patting him on the back, everyone but deep leaguers should go back to leaving him wading in the free agency pool.

Ersan Ilyasova – He’s played 34+ mpg in each of his last three games and is averaging 16/8.3 in the four games this season he’s amassed that many minutes. In the other 13 games, he’s averaged 5.3/4.3. As long as Maggette and Delfino are weak or shelved, you roll with Ilyasova, or Snare Yo Saliva, as he’s known among anagram enthusiasts.

Shawn Marion – 14/10 in 27 minutes. It reminds me of the good ol’ days when you were in short pants and I was in pigtails and Latrell Sprewell also sorta had pigtails.

Hilton Armstrong – Started, played almost 17 minutes and shot the ball once. And I’m pretty sure that one shot was an accident. He saw LeBron James coming to guard him and tossed the ball in the air like a cartoon damsel. Also, was ejected.

JaVale McGeeDragged his tender coccyx out onto the floor for 26 minutes and earned a 10/10 double-double along with two blocks. Thus ending the great, “JaVale McGee’s coccyx is soft” taunt.

Mario Chalmers – Had 6/4/0 and two blocks Monday to go along with his 8/1/3 performance on Saturday. That these were among Chalmers’ three best games this season should tell you all you need to know. That now’s the time to pick him up, ’cause he’s heating up? /sigh\ Apparently you need to know a lot more. I’m not going to tell it to you however, because you used the term “heating up” when referring to a Miami player. -3 pun points.

Russell Westbrook – 25/5/11 with five steals and two (count ’em, two!) treys. His turnovers and general lack of threes will keep him out of the tippy-top of the elites, but that’s just about the only club he ain’t in these days. But you already knew that.

Nenad Krstic – Returned to the roster, the starting lineup and to dropping sad little lines (3/7). And I know what you’re asking. “Should Idroppa Serge Ibaka?” Sure(ge) you should.

Jason Thompson – Replacing Carl Landry in the Kings’ starting lineup, ’cause, y’know … it’s Tuesday. Just wait until you see who’s going to start next week! Hint: rhymes with “Havin’ a goof.”

DeMarcus Cousins – Paul Westphal kicked Cousins out of practice. What’s next for this Sacramento roster? Westphal compliments Francisco Garcia‘s bracelet even though he actually thinks it’s ugly and talks about how ugly he thinks it is behind Garcia’s back? ‘Cause that’s not cool, Paul. Not cool! His best friend from dance camp made him that bracelet! And if you’ve got something to say, you should really say it to Garcia’s face.

Carlos Boozer – If his hand doesn’t swell up Monday night, he may make his first appearance of the season Wednesday night. I’ll miss typing “when Boozer comes back.” We had some good times me and that sentence fragment. I’d let him ride your bench for at least that first game. 1) Because it’s against the Magic, 2) because he hasn’t played basketball in months, 3) if he blows, then you made the right call and if he’s awesome, then congratulations you just inherited a top 30 player and you really have nothing to be angry about and 4) Good things come in threes you greedy bastard.


    Would you trade J-Rich for Blatche? I probably could get a little more, but I know the owner is a big Blatche fan. Am I still giving up too much?

  2. matthole says:

    Is trading MY Hibbert and either deng/mayo/afflalo for Blatche and Joe Johnson a good deal for me? Thanks

  3. Tony says:

    @matthole: if you can do that i would, hibb/afflalo would be best….

    is anyone else thinking Demarcus Cousins is going to be a pain in the ass his whole career? whats with the chip on this guys shoulder? in my deep keeper league i just wanna move him, i honestly HATE players like him, seems like something new with him each week….

  4. Jeremy says:

    yo adam, i’m gettin real tired tired of salmons playing like a salmon, seriously considering dropping dude for a player to play today. I’m thinking Barnes, Rush, or CDR. considering CDR dropped three treys last night and Delfino is still out? im leaning that way. as always your input is greatly appreciated

  5. Jif & The Choosy Mothers says:

    Adam: Love your blog. Truly, it’s a must-read each morning.

    Wanted to ask if there’s a good place on the site to recruit a great owner as a replacement for a dynasty league I run. So, is there?

    I run three hoops (and three baseball) dynasties (some of the same cast of characters in many of them). Had heavily recruited so we rarely have an opening – but we have one now.

    Just curious. I hate posting things like this to the ESPN boards but figured I could get a much better owner through here perhaps.

    Thanks in advance,

    – d

  6. Adam

    Adam says:

    @RASHEED WALLACE!: Well, if you think you can get a little more you should try. But I think getting Jason Richardson for Blatche would be an upgrade.

    @matthole: Hibbert/Deng for Johnson/Blatche ain’t bad (depending on need). Deng is the best of those alternating three, if you can pull it off for one of those other ones while keeping Deng, all the better.

    @Tony: I’m not quite as quick to demerit DeMarcus as you might be. Sacramento’s a hot mess (cold mess?) and it’s not as if he’s the only one bristling on this team. Until I hear why exactly he was tossed out of practice, I’m leaning toward blaming Westphal more than Cousins. At least for now.

    @Jeremy: Rush or CDR might be better options now (like, the next few games) but I’m telling you – Salmons does this. He sucks until February and then catches fire. It’s happened in each of the last two seasons. So if you drop him, understand that February Jeremy might want to slap November Jeremy for doing so.

  7. Tony says:

    @Adam: ya im not tossing the guy aside but he’s already come into the league with that “i’ve got an attitude problem tag” on him… so i doubt its all the coach. If I could get a decent trade outta him or couple him with another guy for an upgrade i’d do it.

  8. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Tony: I hear you. There’s much to be said about doing away with upside in favor of reliable guys that don’t drive you nuts.

    As a fan of the Kings’ potential, I hope you (and those who tagged him as having an attitude problem) are wrong. I’d love to see this kid explode some day … in a good way.

  9. Alex says:

    I’m in a very shallow (read: 8 team) h2h 10 cat (which for some reason includes triple doubles). I’ve been trying to build my accidentally autodrafted team into a small-ball powerhouse because I think it gives me the best chance to take 5 cats reliably.
    Jrue Holliday
    Chris Paul
    Stephen Curry
    Wes Matthews
    Trevor Ariza
    Dorell Wright
    Nicholas Batum
    Troy Murphy
    David Lee
    Andrew Bogut

    I can’t score enough points and can’t get enough assists.
    I chalk this up to injuries and having too many players on the same teams (no gp limit so I’ve been really hampered simply by minutes).
    I am falling behind so any help would be welcome.

  10. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Alex: You probably don’t need Batum, Murphy or Ariza (at least until they start playing up to their projections). Try dropping that trio and focusing on free agents with the most pts, asts still available in your league. I can’t really tell you who that would be, as I’m not sure who’s still available in your league.

  11. Alex says:

    Thanks. Im thinking Darko, JaVale, Tayshaun in that order. On Murphy, is it not worth trying to wait it out and trade him for something? Also, any thoughts on breaking up my GS trio or Denver duo? If not, Afflalo may be worth a glance.

  12. Alex says:

    Sorry, left out my idea to hopefully trade a healthy Bogut. He doesn’t make much sense for my team plan as much as I like him as a player.

  13. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Alex: Murphy might be worth hanging on to, but I wouldn’t imagine in a league as shallow as yours he’s worth it, especially given your strategy of ignoring big man stats. It seems like if other owners were interested in Murphy (healthy or otherwise) they would have already grabbed McGee and Milicic.

  14. agarthered says:

    I own Ben Gordon (currently on my bench), would you drop him for wesley matthews?

  15. d2bnz says:

    @Jif & The Choosy Mothers:

    I’d be keen , will be looking for another league after the 20 teamer I was in fell over this year.

  16. Adam

    Adam says:

    @agarthered: I would, yeah.

  17. Jif & The Choosy Mothers says:

    Adam: Sorry for the delay. I appreciate that offer. I was going to take you up on that and then a new owner fell into my lap (no, not literally). Perhaps I’ll take you up on that if another comes up. (I run three deep leagues.) Thanks again.

    d2bnz: Thanks. I missed you this time but maybe something will work out later if you’re still interested. I run three leagues with roughly 45 different owners. At some point, we’ll surely have another opening. Feel free to send me a note: [email protected]. Thanks.

  18. Benny says:

    Adam need some advice – been offered blatche and crawford for okafor and mayo. im good for boards and blocks (also have camby, smith, odom and scola) but need points.

    Whatcha think?

  19. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Benny: I like it. Do the deal, especially if you don’t need boards and blocks.

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