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Da Masta
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Here are some thoughts for fantasy basketball now that the deadline is over:

Atlanta Hawks -- New addition Mike Bibby appears to be fitting in well. He's scored at least 17 points in three straight games and has had seven-plus assists in back-to-back games. He's another go-to option in the offense, though, and that could cause a bit of a leveling out in the scoring totals of Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, and Marvin Williams.

Boston Celtics (BOO!!! CELTICS SUCK!!!) -- The Boston Globe reports GM Danny Ainge is thinking about adding another player. Among the possibilities are Brent Barry, who is being looked at by up to five teams, Sam Cassell and Chris Andersen. Barry could be a decent source of outside shooting, but won't be much of a Fantasy option outside of really deep Rotisserie leagues. Cassell would need to be bought out by the Clippers by Friday or else it's not worth it because he would not be eligible for the playoffs. His presence would affect the Fantasy value of Rajon Rondo. Andersen would not see enough of a role to matter in Fantasy.

Charlotte Bobcats -- Gerald Wallace suffered a scary head injury that gave him a Grade-3 concussion -- the worst kind -- and even a mild case of amnesia. He was taken off the court in a stretcher Friday and will be out for "at least" two weeks. The 'Cats will likely slowly play him back into the lineup when he is ready. His absence should create a bigger role for Jared Dudley and possibly Nazr Mohamed off the bench.

Chicago Bulls -- The first game for the new-look Bulls was a bit troubling for Ben Gordon's owners. Seven players were in double figures, with Gordon not being one of them, and no player scored more than 18 points. Gordon had just five points, but that could be attributed to his 2-for-11 shooting performance. The more alarming figure is that he attempted just 11 shots, his lowest total since Jan. 15 at Orlando.

Cleveland Cavaliers -- The Cavs got significant production out of their new players on Sunday against Memphis. Ben Wallace had 12 points and 10 rebounds, Wally Szczerbach had 10 points and two 3-pointers and Joe Smith had 14 points and six rebounds. Delonte West started at the point, but he struggled from the field and shot just 2-for-11 for just five points. Be patient with West. Although he didn't produce much on Sunday, the fact he saw 11 shots is promising. He's not going to be replaced as the starting point guard anytime soon.

Dallas Mavericks --  Jason Kidd (snivel-snivel my former favorite player when he was on the Nets) finally had a good game on the offensive end for the first time since joining the Mavs in last week's much-heralded deal. He had 12 points Sunday, giving him double digits in scoring for the first time in three games with Dallas. More importantly, he had 17 assists after posting 15 in his previous game. The team appears content starting Jason Terry alongside Kidd for the time being, which could create a situation for a new scorer to emerge off the bench in a sixth man role. Jerry Stackhouse is the leading candidate, but Antoine Wright is a real sleeper down the line. Wright is not getting any playing time at the moment, but proved he can score 12-15 points with decent rebound numbers off the bench for the Nets earlier in the season.

Denver Nuggets -- J.R. Smith has looked promising off the bench for the Nuggets of late, shooting 31-for-63 (49.2 percent) from beyond the arc over his last six games. But head coach George Karl didn't exactly sound too proud of him when he took a shot at him while talking to the Denver Post. "He can be good for you, and he can be good for the opponent," said Karl. Karl was referring to a layup he missed Saturday against the Bucks that gave Milwaukee some momentum in a game that saw Denver blow a late lead. Smith can be productive, but it seems he'll never get out of Karl's doghouse.

Detroit Pistons -- About the only thing that went wrong for the Pistons in Sunday's rout at Phoenix was that Chauncey Billups took a shot to the head. According to the CBS.com, he had a "comically large" knot on his head after the game. Billups was able to laugh about it and thankfully avoided an injury that could have forced him to miss time.

Golden State Warriors -- Chris Webber hasn't done much since his return this season, but he's going to get a chance now that Andris Biendrins will be out until at least March 12 due to his appendectomy. Webber has only been playing around 20 minutes per game, but will have to provide the team with more minutes at the five along with Al Harrington. This could also provide a chance for rookie Brandon Wright to play significant minutes.

Houston Rockets -- The Houston papers praised the effort of new addition Bobby Jackson Sunday against Chicago. Jackson chipped in 14 points off the bench in 20 very efficient minutes while backing up starter Rafer Alston at the point. He's a Rick Adelman alum and knows the offense, so he could be in line for more games like Sunday. That could mean Alston will be in line for a slight decline.

Indiana Pacers -- Jamaal Tinsley who has been out since Feb. 5, has yet to return to practice. The same goes for Jermaine O' Neal, (is this guy like hurt all the time now?) who has been out since Jan. 19. Travis Diener continues to start at the point in Tinsley's place while Troy Murphy starts at power forward. Diener hasn't been particularly productive and Murphy is a low-end option.

Los Angeles Clippers -- The Los Angeles Times notes that rookie Al Thornton feels a lot more comfortable in the offense. "It's a little easier now," Thornton said. "I think I'm more patient and not so much in a hurry. ... Now I'm picking and choosing." He's averaging 20 points over his last seven games. His Fantasy value would stand to take a big hit upon the return of Elton Brand, but that may not happen for another two weeks. The solid play could continue next year if Brand lands elsewhere as expected.

Los Angeles Lakers -- Sasha Vujacic is averaging 11.9 ppg in 12 contests in February and is shooting 51.0 percent from beyond the arc. The Los Angeles Times reports that he has carved a niche for himself. "Now we see that he's got a definite role," Jackson said. "He's influential in ballgames, he's helped us win a couple ballgames this year. ... he is looking like he's going to be a deadly three-point shooter." The absence of Vladimir Radmanovich for possibly two weeks should help his cause for more minutes.

Memphis Grizzlies -- Defenses are starting to pay more attention to Ruday Gay with Pau Gasol out of town and Mike Miller out with a back injury. "I thought playing without Pau (Gasol) was tough," Gay said. "Without Mike (Miller), it's even worse. Other teams' first focus is to zero in on me. It makes it tough on me but as I get older as a player, I have to accept that and make my teammates better. I still feel like I can do more." Fortunately, he has remained fairly productive from a Fantasy standpoint. He's averaging 20.8 ppg and 5.4 rpg over his last five games. Miller should be able to return soon to lighten the load on the second-year breakout.

Miami Heat -- The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports rookie Daequan Cook could be headed for the NBDL. Having benched the first-round pick in four of the past five games, Heat coach Pat Riley said he's considering demoting the 20-year-old shooting guard to the Iowa Energy of the NBA Development League. "I think people feel the coherent thing to do would be to just play him now and let him get NBA experience," Riley said. "But I also think he has to earn that, really has to earn that and he's got to show some success somewhere." Riley continues to have little confidence in rookies.

Milwaukee Bucks -- Charlie Villanueva continues to start over rookie Yi Jianlian, making the once useful rook a poor start in Fantasy. In Saturday's win over Denver, Villanueva scored 14 points with seven rebounds despite a rough stretch in the first half that saw him get bench for Jianlian. Yi ended up playing just eight minutes in the game.

Minnesota Timberwolves -- Randy Foy took a step back Sunday when he scored just two points with four rebounds after he'd finally started to see some increased production. He had scored 13 or more points in three straight prior to the clunker Sunday. Shortly after his return from the stress fracture that kept him out for the first three months of the season, he said he didn't think he'd get back to 100 percent this season and it appears he may be right.

New Jersey Nets (yay my team) -- Marcus Williams has played well while taking over the starting point guard spot in New Jersey. He hasn't been very consistent on the offensive end, but did have 25 points on Feb. 20 against Chicago. He had 13 assists against the Pacers. Devin Harris is still at least another week away from returning and he may not be immediately inserted into the starting lineup. Williams is a very useful stopgap in deeper leagues.

New Orleans Hornets -- Morris Peterson has been given an ultimatum. Pick up your production, or move out of the starting lineup. The addition of Bonzi Wells practically started the clock on the end of Mo-Pete's days as a starter. Wells is nice pick up.

New York Knicks --  Eddy Curry is letting it be known that he is not happy with his lack of playing time. He's failed to play more than 15 minutes in three of his last four games, but did see 26 minutes Sunday at Toronto. He had just 12 points and five rebounds, though.  Curry is mainly being replaced by David Lee who has been filling in nicely.

Orlando Magic -- The Orlando Sentinel notes that Brian Cook is starting to get more playing time due to his improved play on the defensive end. "It doesn't take him long to heat up. He's as good a shooting big man as there is in the league," coach Stan Van Gundy said. "And he's improving defensively. Being where he is supposed to be isn't such a problem anymore." He's cracked double figures twice in his last five games, but is still not in a position where he can be used in Fantasy play. Just keep an eye on him for now.

Philadelphia 76ers -- Thaddeus Young may be starting to hit a bit of a rookie wall. Since scoring a career-high 20 points Wednesday, he's scored just 12 points combined in his last two games. The good news is the Sixers aren't moving him out of the lineup.

Phoenix Suns -- Amare Stoudamire had 31 points in Sunday's loss to Detroit, but he had just three rebounds and four assists. He's had just nine rebounds combined over his last two games. We were worried that the presence of Shaquille O' Neal would limit Stoudemire's rebounding output, and it has in two out of the three games. In the first game, Stoudemire had 15 rebounds. His scoring has been up, but there could be a dip in his rebounding figures. Rotisserie owners will notice the decline if it lasts.

Portland Trail Blazers -- Brandon Roy speculated that he could miss up to two weeks as a result of his ankle injury. Thankfully, an MRI taken Monday was negative. He will miss the team's next two road games and will be re-evaluated then. For now, it seems the Blazers -- and Roy's Fantasy owners -- have dodged a bullet.

Sacramento Kings -- Recently acquired Tyrron Lue said he expects to return from his calf injury in "a week or less," according to the Sacramento Bee. Lue strained his left calf during his first Kings practice after he was traded from Atlanta on Feb. 16 and has missed four games since. He could steal some minutes from Beno Udrih at some point.

San Antonio Spurs -- Spurs guard Manu Ginobli was named NBA Player of the Week on Monday. The Argentine averaged 30.7 points, 6.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds in helping the Spurs win all three of their games last week. Ginobili leads the Spurs in scoring at 20.7 points per game. In his last five games, he has two 40-point efforts and set career highs in rebounds (15) and assists (12).

Seattle SuperSonics -- Johan Petro had 10 rebounds and seven points in Sunday's loss to the Lakers while starting once again at center. He shot just 3-for-13 from the field, though. He continues to start for the Sonics now with the departure of Kurt Thomas via trade. That doesn't mean he's the player who benefits most, however. Nick Collison will see most of the minutes at the five, but there appears to be enough to go around for Petro to become a low-end No. 2 Fantasy center in larger formats. Keep an eye on him.

Toronto Raptors -- Andrea Bargnani scored 25 points Sunday against the Knicks to go with seven rebounds and 5-for-10 shooting from beyond the arc. He continues to be a frustrating Fantasy player, though. He had scored just under 10 points combined in his previous two games. He's obviously talented, but lacks consistency.

Utah Jazz -- Ronnie Price has climbed up the depth chart in Utah and is now backing up Deron Williams. That's not exactly a good place to be in considering Williams plays so many minutes, but he has cracked double figures in two of his last five games.

Washington Wizards -- For weeks, Gilbert Arenas had been targeting March 2 for his return from knee surgery. On Saturday night, he told reporters he was not ready. "If I wanted it to be, it can be realistic," Arenas said. "But, it's going to be longer to get into shape." The Wizards came into play this week with 27 games remaining and it is starting to look more and more like Arenas will be good for about 15-20 games tops.

 

I hope that you enjoyed this blog as in my opinion it is one of my best.  I have spent the last few days working on it and put a lot of effort in it. PS- All of the quotes have come from either ESPN.com, SI.com, CBS.com, or NBA.com

   -Da Masta

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