Cleveland’s PF J.J. Hickson looks deathly sick really. Matter fact, the 7.1 points he averaged over the last eight games and one lonely double-digit rebound game he had in that span is enough for me to officially call his time of death: November 30. 25 minutes, 0-for-4 shooting. During the preseason, it appeared as if even with Hickson’s seemingly limited skill set, the loss of LeBron would open the floodgates for every Cav with at least a modicum of offensive talent. But this season? Hickson’s offensive talents seem to have skipped town right alongside ol’ no. 23. His PER is over 1.5 points lower than last season. His ORtg is lower, his DRtg is higher and when he’s on the floor he’s involved in over a quarter of the plays. In short, dude’s confused and freaking out. His mind is exploding and it has appropriately fragmented his stats. The problem here is that Cleveland can fall back on Antawn Jamison instead of working on Hickson. Even if the franchise cared to focus on Hickson’s improvement, the staff has never shown that it has such a capacity. Ilgauskas, Shaq, Ben Wallace, Jamison. This team doesn’t want projects, they want proven producers. And if they don’t produce, they’re gone. If Hickson improves this season, it’ll be after Cleveland tells J.J. to hit the bricks, son.

Here’s what else happened around the league in fantasy basketball:

Anderson Varejao – 16/12/3 in only his third dub-dub of the season. Varejao has improved neither his scoring nor his shooting efficiency this season. Either it will come, or the Cavs just won’t be a very good basketball team. Or both.

Marquis Daniels – Shot 70 percent from the floor on his way to 16 points. He had to do that or else payroll would forget he still played for the Celtics.

Stephen Jackson – Suspended from Wednesday’s game for mouthin’ off, or as Jackson refers to it, “talking.”

Andre Iguodala – Played 42 minutes and only shot the ball four times, which is remarkable when you consider the alternative scoring options on his team. He doesn’t want us calling him Iggy. Cool. I’ll call him Icky.

Evan Turner – Seems to be sucking lately. /checks last few Sixers box scores, nods in the affirmative, fixes bowl of Coco Pebbles, watches last night’s episode of “The Colbert Report,” feels like there was something he forgot to do, remembers what he was doing, returns to the computer\ Yeah. Evan Turner is sucking lately. He’s averaging 4.3/2/2.2 in his last six games.

Brandon Roy – 10/2/0 in 33 minutes. You were worried about him when you thought he might miss months with his recent spate of injuries. Well, he didn’t miss much time, but you should probably be more worried about him now than back then.

Wesley Matthews – 19.3/4.1 along with 2.4 threes in his last seven games. Roy’s down, Batum’s down and Matthews is a sniper from downtown. That’s what Wesley does. Wesley snipes.

Vince Carter – 13/4/1 with a pair of steals in his return from an extended Thanksgiving holiday. I’m unconVINCEd he cares anymore than I do.

Jordan FarmarDevin Harris left the game with a knee injury. If you can afford to speculate, feast! Feast, you jackals!

Troy Murphy – 0/5/2 in 17 minutes. He’s rusty, he’s uncomfortable, he’s still injured. Whatever. There’s something we aren’t being told about Troy Murphy. I’m suspicious of Kris Humphries. Murphy Brown knocked knees with Harris last night and took Murphy’s job for much of this season, I might suggest Lo-Jacking dude’s gym bag just in case he decides to mysteriously skip town in the near future.

Brook Lopez – 36+ points, five rebounds. Golf clap. If I wanted an Eric Gordon game, I’d have drafted Eric Gordon.

Amar’e Stoudemire – 35/9 on the same night that Wilson Chandler went 27/11 and Raymond Felton went 21/7. I was told this couldn’t happen; that it was akin to crossing the streams. Total plutonic reversal.

Solomon Jones – He’s averaging 10.5/5.5 in about 15 mpg in the last two games. If he does it again tonight, jump on it, all ye deep leaguers.

Carl LandryBeno Udrih was removed from the starting lineup. Boom! 24 points last night. DeMarcus Cousins was removed from practice. Boom! 20 points last night. Carl Landry sent to a backup role. Boom! Eight points. Uh … oh. C’mon Carl. You’re like the last guy in Flip Cup who just watched everyone sip in flip in under 10 seconds and your cup fell underneath the table and forced you to dip your knees in beer-slicked tile to retrieve it.

Tony Parker – Frozen Tony continues his decent back to Earth (10-for-31 from the floor, .323 in the last three). If you’re into selling, do what it do.

Andris Biedrins – In the last four games, Biedrins has grabbed 61 boards. Neat. Just 400 more rebounds and we’ll be square from last season.

David Lee – 10/6/4 in his first game back on Saturday. 18/7/5 last night. Next game I’m predicting 26/8/6. I figured that out mathematicLee!

Pau Gasol – Never scored fewer than 16 points through his first 14 games, has failed to reach 16 points in three of his last four. No, I don’t think you should “see what you can get” for him. I was just making smalltalk, discussing a trade would be crazytalk.

Mike ConleyDerek Fisher‘s old-ass bones had no answer for the Memphis PG who sank four treys on his way to the second-highest single-game point total of his career (28). Call him “The Long Con(ley)”

Rudy Gay – A mediocre night, but he did block a shocking six shots (the last of which may have won the game for the Grizz). The blocks, much like my estranged father, are great when they’re there, but don’t count on seeing ’em often.

  1. Quintero says:

    Someone offer me Pau Gasol/Augustin for my LaMarcus/Felton in my 12-team keep-all Dynasty H2H and I’m confused. Besides Pau is older, I can’t figure why he wants this. Felton could be a late 2nd-rounder next year but DJ is not bad either. Could someone shade some light for me please?

    My team:(currently leading)

    PG Russell Westbrook (OKC – PG)
    SG Raymond Felton (NY – PG,SG)
    G Arron Afflalo (Den – SG)
    G Rodney Stuckey (Det – PG,SG)
    SF Andrei Kirilenko (Uta – SF,PF)
    PF Josh Smith (Atl – PF)
    F Al Harrington (Den – PF,C)
    F Richard Jefferson (SA – SF)
    C Amar’e Stoudemire (NY – PF,C)
    C LaMarcus Aldridge (Por – PF,C)
    Util Ron Artest (LAL – SG,SF)
    Util DeJuan Blair (SA – PF,C)
    BN Kirk Hinrich (Was – PG,SG)
    BN Jonny Flynn (Min – PG)INJ
    BN Carlos Boozer (Chi – PF,C)INJ
    BN Linas Kleiza (Tor – SG,SF)

  2. d2bnz says:

    Hey ,I know us old guys get overlooked at times and I know a triple double is usually the realm of the young and flashy guard, BUT way to go Timmy!!….Ok it was against Golden State……I’ll calm down in a minute , but I was just reading a blog about Riley’s options in Miami #4 is to hire Don Nelson …OMG

  3. Tony says:

    just when i start talking bad about demarcus yesterday he goes for 20 and 8.

    now he just needs to play basketball and shut up

  4. Cleveland’s PF J.J. Hickson – where was the sickness in pre-season

  5. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Quintero: Maybe they don’t buy Augustin’s current output (can’t blame ’em) or they fear they prefer the younger LMA and feel that with Portland’s injury history and Bynum’s imminent return, Gasol’s stock is going to plummet.

    @d2bnz: Yeah. His first since March 14, 2003. I was wrong not to have mentioned that in today’s notes. RE: Nelson – what’s the difference between Spoelstra, Nelson or no one coaching the team? It all appears about the same to me.

    @Tony: Hey, do me a favor. Start talking crap about Darren Collison. I own him, in like, three leagues.

  6. Adam

    Adam says:

    @mr basketball: He really didn’t show much during the preseason. It just appeared as if he had the skills to make one giant leap forward with this season. The stars seemed aligned. And although they still might be at some point, I wouldn’t bet on it.

  7. Tony says:

    @Adam: darren collison sucks….

    ha good luck

  8. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Tony: Gracias! … C’mon triple-double against Utah!

  9. Gerald says:

    Hi dude, need some advice on a trade.

    I was offered stephen curry + david west for my amare + jason richardson

    I am thinking of countering with amare + arenas.

    What do you think of the trade? Which side gains?

    One more thing, do you think baron davis is woth the no. 1 waiver?


  10. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Gerald: I think whoever gets Amar’e and Richardson wins that trade. However, I think if Richardson is replaced by Arenas, the guy getting Curry and West profits a bit more from the trade.

    Re: Baron – how deep is your league. The deeper the league the more worthwhile burning your no.1 on Baron.

  11. Gerald says:

    Thanks for the prompt reply Adam, appreciate it.

    12-team 9-CAT daily H2H, we go 15 deep. 2 players for each position and 5 bench.

    Talent wise, I think I should use the waiver. But so many things point to LAC tanking the season.. Tough decision.

  12. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Gerald: Well, think of it this way. Your league rosters 180 players at a time. Even in his limited time this season Davis averaged 9/2.5/5 and 1.5 spg. His FT% was good, his FG% was bad. For Baron Davis, this was an awful start. Really, it can’t get much worse than this and probably won’t when he returns.

    This line is on the cusp of being in the top 180 and dollars to donuts says he improves at least a little, even if L.A. DOES tank. He may not be worth a no.1 waiver priority, but one of the teams in your league should absolutely roster him.

    It just depends on whether you think Baron will be the best waiver pickup of the season.

  13. Gerald says:

    Points to ponder… Thanks again.

    Props to you having having such a great blog, really like the way you write.

    To me, both your site and FBD are the best around in providing good and concise information.

  14. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Gerald: Hey thanks, Gerald. Really nice of you to say.

  15. Bryan Showalter says:

    Question…this was just proposed to me:
    I give Gordon and Horford for Wade and Lee.
    Should I pull the trigger? I am leading my roto league right now so dont want to change whats working, but I feel I am selling Gordon high and buying both Wade and Lee on the low.
    Also, had this proposed to me:
    I give Gordon, Deng and M. Gasol for Wall and J. Smith.

    Do you like this more? Which should I take, if either.


  16. Howie Met Your Mother says:


    Good morning Adam! I need your advice if you dont mind….Wall/Boozer vs. Griffin/Stuckey, which side do you prefer?

  17. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Bryan Showalter: First off: Eric Gordon, right? ‘Cause offering you Dwyane Wade for Gordon Hayward probably means that you’re in league with a psychopath.

    Assuming we are talking about Eric, I like the deal involving Wall and Smith more. Mostly because I’m just not sure how low you’d be buying Wade and Lee and, as you said, it ain’t like your team is hurting. Gordon is having a career-year. And even if he doesn’t let up, you’d be getting back two guys who (when healthy) have played better than he has. Deng and Gasol? Meh. Unless you’ve been leaning heavily on their production, neither have blown me away this season.

    @Howie Met Your Mother: Today? The latter. A month from now? Almost certainly the former.

  18. Bryan Showalter says:

    yah it’s Eric Gordon…I agree I like Wall/Smith trade a lot, only thing about it, is it gives me no SG (well Weems but I never play him)…I am trying to make the deal work but want to see how Wall performs tonite. Thanks for help I agree Deng and Gasol have been avg at best…Deng is fools gold IMO, he almost hurts me more than helps me some games.

  19. Is Batum droppable, or should he be benched to see if he figures things out?

  20. peter says:

    The Return of the Baron or Collison?

  21. I’ve been having an internal debatum about whether to drop him.

  22. Howie Met Your Mother says:


    Thank you for the advice. Injury concern is certainly the thing holding me back from pulling the trigger right now. Do you think I have enough now to stay competitive until Wall and Boozer are at full strength? This is just a blow-off league I joined with 10 random Yahoo users (hence a team I like to think is fairly stacked), but I’d still like to win, ya know. (ROTO league btw)

    PG: Holliday
    SG: Curry
    G: Stuckey
    PF: Horford
    SF: Durant
    F: Griffin
    C: Hibbert
    C: Gasol
    UTIL: Ibaka
    UTIL2: Calderon/Batum/Frye

  23. Howie Met Your Mother says:

    * Marc Gasol, not Pau.

  24. got a lineup question: Currently down 3-4 in categories. my numbers first. pts 154-151, blk 7-15, stl 10-14, ast 27-21, reb 55-69, 3pm 10-5, fg% .46-.56.

    I’m thinking i have to maintain in pts ast and treys and my best grab would probably be steals.

    current lineup:
    pg: Deron Williams opp IND
    sg: Wes Matthews [email protected]
    sf: Ersan Ilyasova [email protected]
    pf: Gerald Wallace [email protected]
    pf/c: Tyson Chandler opp MIN
    Util: Brook Lopez opp OKC
    Util: Darko Milicic [email protected]

    Bench: Nene opp MIL, Rashard Lewis [email protected], Jameer Nelson [email protected], Ibaka [email protected], Richard Jefferson [email protected], John Salmons [email protected]

    I’m thinking i might need to get lewis and nelson in there for threes assists and steals but i don’t like that they’re playing chicago’s D after a long rest at home and orl on the second night of a back to back, and I’m not sure who i should take out. Any input is greatly appreciated

  25. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Bryan Showalter: Yeah, Deng’s FG% cancels out his scoring and he’ll have one great game that evens out three previous duds. Those are the worst players to own in fantasy. you can’t drop ’em, can’t trade ’em and on most days, can’t play ’em.

    @ChrisV82: Ha. +1. I’d hang on to him for a few more games if you can afford to bench him. Something tells me the Roy/Wes Matthews saga isn’t settled.

    @peter: I firmly believe both will see better games than they have so far this season. That’s not saying much in Baron’s case. In DarCo’s case, I no longer think he’ll set the league on fire this season, but his shot is off and he’s missing a ton of shots close to the rim. He’s averaging 14/4.5 now. If he becomes just a little more comfortable and O’Brien gives him 30+ mpg at some point, we’re looking at 17/6. I can live with that.

    @Howie Met Your Mother: Both Boozer and Wall are supposed to play tonight. So you probably won’t have to wait too long. If you can, watch ’em both play tonight (or read about it later or whatever) to see how they return from injury.

    @Jeremy: I definitely think you should replace Ilyasova with Lewis, especially against Boozer’s defense. And since you’re punting blocks and rebounds, removing either of UTIL for Nelson is the way to go. Good luck.

  26. I do really like the way that Ilyasova’s been playing lately (aka the last 3 games), I know he’s not a bonafide superstar but he has been averaging 2.0 steals the last 7 games and denver doesn’t have the most stout defense in the league. I agree that chicago is turnover prone and i should get those guys in there, maybe shifting brook into the pf/c spot and putting lewis and nelson in for darko and tyson? or do you think i need to keep darko or tyson in there for the points battle?

  27. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Jeremy: You make a fair point about Ilyasova. It’s hard to trust him, but he has been playing well. You have to figure that Tyson won’t score as many points as your other options. He also steals less than everyone else. He’s probably your best odd-man out. I’d shift Lopez, bench Chandler and Darko and insert Nelson and Lewis.

  28. Travis says:

    What players see a significant increase in value when punting ft’s? Have Dwight Howard and looking to trade/pick up players that would fit my strategy. Already have some potential candidates on my roster such as Griffin, A.I., J-Rich.

  29. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Travis: What about Odom, McGee, Camby, Rondo, Scola … ?

  30. Jeremy says:

    boy ilyasova really made me eat my words on that one. 2 steals for nene, 3 for salmons. sheesh

  31. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Jeremy: Yeah, there’s that trust thing I was talking about. Did you bench Darko and Tyson? If you put in both Orlando players and benched the other two, you still came out better than if you hadn’t.

  32. yeah definitely had a solid night all around, came out one up on steals. dropped ersan with a vengence for george hill, boy’s seein more tic and picked up three steals last night along with points and such but this matchup is comin down to steals for sure

  33. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Jeremy: Nice. A win is a win, whether by 1 or 100.

  34. Jeremy says:

    yes of course, but haven’t won yet got til sunday. tonight i got j rich he’s got jamison so not a lot of decisions to be made there. tomorrow will be a day full of lineup questions so I think that time I may actually use your advice then rather than opting for the guy thats had three good games and nothing else. gotta go with ur gut sometimes i guess

  35. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Jeremy: I hear you. Fantasy sports wouldn’t be any damn fun if you knew the right move every single time.

  36. alright so j rich zero steals and antawn 2 steals last night, back to be bein down by a steal, i also closed the gap in fg %.

    Here’s the breakdown my numbers first: Pts 316-252, Blk 11-22, Stl 18-19, Ast 61-51, Reb 91-118, 3pm 27-12, Fg% .4954-.5025

    So I’ve gotta maintain assists while grabbing stelas or percentage or both, my lead in pts and treys is comfortable.

    Current lineup:
    pg: Deron Williams opp Dal
    sg: Wesley Matthews [email protected]
    sf: Gerald Wallace opp NJ
    pf: Nene opp Lac
    pf/c: Brook Lopez [email protected]
    util: Jason Richardson opp Ind
    util: Jameer Nelso [email protected]

    Bench: Rashard Lewis [email protected], Serge Ibaka [email protected], Richard Jefferson opp Min, Tyson Chandler [email protected], Darko Milicic [email protected], George Hill opp Min.

    I gotta keep dwill and jameer in there for assists. I wanna get shard in there but I’m hesitant because of the injury. I wanna get George Hill in but i don’t know for who, maybe the stealless jrich but he’s almost playing too well to sit. Brook could really screw my percentage so I’m considering sitting him. With an emphasis on assists steals and %, let me know what you think. much appreciated

  37. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Jeremy: Lopez is the guy you should really be benching, but you can’t plug in either Hill or Jefferson into your lineup. I might consider going with Darko instead of Lopez, as Darko earns more steals and assists, but his FG% is even lower than Brook.

    Other than that, there’s no one on your bench more likely to play better than your starters. A straight Hill-for-Lopez swap would be best, but I’m assuming the position categories are too strict to allow that.

  38. Jeremy says:

    man i tell you what though I really don’t feel good about not putting in Hill with the amount of steals he’s been getting and the amount of steals minnesota has been giving up on the road. But yeah i could really only swap him for J rich which is a pretty questionable move. I just need one of these guys to pop off with like 5 steals. Put Darko in there, he’s been puttin up donuts in steals for the last four games so he’s due.

  39. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Jeremy: You just can’t tell exactly what a player will do in any given game. Hill’s had nine steals and 11 assists and in the last five games. Richardson’s had four and seven. If you focus on steals and assists, it makes sense to go with Hill, though you’d be ignoring most other categories. It’s only one day, so I’d hate for you to focus on two categories and leave another 25-point game from Richardson sitting on your bench and all of a sudden, you’re down on points.

  40. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Adam: Keep an eye out before the Orlando game, as Jameer if 50/50 to play with the stomach flu.

    Even if he does play, you might not want him in your lineup.

  41. okay I’ll keep j rich in. Now that Lewis is playing do you suggest putting him in there for either darko or nene? I’m leaning towards a swap for darko.

  42. @Adam: yeah hill might get in for jameer then, lewis looks good to go though.

  43. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Jeremy: Good call if you made that Jameer/Hill swap last night.

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