Adam Levitan

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Timmy in Trouble

Tuesday, February 08, 2011




LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS
PG Baron Davis
SG Randy Foye
SF Ryan Gomes
PF Blake Griffin
C DeAndre Jordan

Randy Foye has performed much better as a starter than I thought he would. After failed stints while starting in both Minnesota and Washington, he is showing an improved 3-point stroke since Eric Gordon (wrist) went down. In seven starts, Foye is playing 35.6 minutes per game while averaging 16.1 points on 35.9 percent 3-point shooting. Note, however, that the Clippers are 2-5 with Foye starting. In the 17 games before that, the Clips were 12-5. It’s not a coincidence. Foye will be droppable once Gordon returns -- likely right after the All-Star break.

DeAndre Jordan is dealing with a touch of the flu, which may partially explain his limited minutes of late. His job still should be safe with Chris Kaman (ankle) still lacking a timetable for his return. Note that Jordan is blocking 2.5 shots per 36 minutes. He's impossible to sit.

LOS ANGELES LAKERS
PG Derek Fisher
SG Kobe Bryant
SF Ron Artest
PF Pau Gasol
C Andrew Bynum

Ron Artest's trade request is laughable. He, of course, thinks he should have a bigger role. The truth is that his current 28.2 minutes are too many. Artest is incapable of getting his own shot off and is a mediocre 3-point shooter at best. The Lakers figure to marginalize his role even more once Matt Barnes gets healthy.

Meanwhile, Andrew Bynum's latest knee issue proved to be a mere scare. But we saw how much his presence affects Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol. In the one game Bynum missed, Odom had 20/20/4 and Gasol had 26/16/0. For the third straight edition of this column, I am recommending a sell on Odom.

Kobe Bryant is playing just 33.8 minutes this year after playing 38.8 a year ago. He should be much fresher for the stretch run this time around.

MEMPHIS
PG Mike Conley
SG Sam Young
SF Rudy Gay
PF Zach Randolph
C Marc Gasol

The most interesting part of the O.J. Mayo is suspension is that Sam Young has solidified the starting SG job over Tony Allen. Always a solid glue guy, defender and leader, Young is showing significant offensive skills. Over his last seven games, Young is averaging 14.0 points. The lack of treys (.04) and rebounds (2.0) over that span makes him extremely low-end, but deep leaguers could do worse. Young projects to keep the job for the rest of the season.

MINNESOTA
PG Jonny Flynn
SG Corey Brewer
SF Michael Beasley
PF Kevin Love
C Darko Milicic

Luke Ridnour's wife delivered twins and one has had some complications. Not that it matters in the grand scheme of life, but Jonny Flynn has not played well enough to steal Ridnour’s job during the starter's four-game absence. Heading into Monday, Flynn was averaging 10.0 points, 5.3 assists and 2.0 rebounds in his three starts. Hip injury aside, the Wolves should be concerned that Ridnour is simply the better player. Look for Ridnour to regain his starting gig and play around 30 minutes once he is ready. Flynn is only deserving of 18-20 per night.

The Wes Johnson/Corey Brewer split has the look of a dreaded even timeshare. Whoever gets hot with their shot is going to play more and each has the chance to throw up a clunker nightly. The only hope here is that Brewer ends up traded away at the deadline, paving the way for Johnson to log big minutes. Deep leaguers can stash Johnson and wait. UPDATE: Michael Beasley went down with another ankle injury Monday night. Look for Johnson and Brewer to now start together, making both decent spot-stars. Beasley was attempting 17.3 shots per night that will now be spread around.

Darko Milicic is so soft it's embarrassing. On Monday night, he got nicked on the hand and grimaced for a few minutes. He got a shot in the face and looked like a little boy that got his lunch money stolen. In between there, he played defense with his hands, picked up two fouls as he usually does and went to the bench. Then the Wolves announced that he was done for the night with a hip injury. It's just a familiar, frustrating script for Darko. Still, the Wolves are committed to him financially and will give him a chance to play 30 minutes nightly. Owners should be willing to deal with the headaches thanks to the blocks.

NEW ORLEANS
PG Chris Paul
SG Marco Belinelli
SF Quincy Pondexter
PF David West
C Aaron Gray

It's rare that significant injuries to two starters yield no fantasy excitement. Somehow, Trevor Ariza (ankle) and Emeka Okafor (oblique) fall into that rare instance. Marcus Thornton barely got off the bench when Marco Belinelli got hurt a couple weeks back and is not seeing a bump in minutes with Ariza out. The duo of Aaron Gray and Jason Smith simply is not good enough for either one to play starter's minutes or put up usable numbers.

OKLAHOMA CITY
PG Russell Westbrook
SG Thabo Sefolosha
SF Kevin Durant
PF Jeff Green
C Nenad Krstic

Coach Scott Brooks was once again pressed this weekend about possibly inserting Serge Ibaka into his starting five over Nenad Krstic. His answer was simply that it is not happening. He's a huge believer in roles and the Thunder are 33-17 with everyone knowing exactly what the rotation will look like. So Krstic will stay a starter and play his 20 minutes, while Ibaka will come off the bench for his 26.

Furthermore, owners should not be alarmed at some strangely low minute totals for Ibaka over the last couple weeks. Some of that had to do with matchups, and other times it had to do with Ibaka showing a lack of energy. He has gotten the message and is back to his usual role.

Here are James Harden's numbers from his three starts last week: 6.6 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.0 apg. I'm still not sold on him as an average NBA starter and he is no threat to Thabo Sefolosha. Even deep league owners can do better.


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Adam Levitan is in his sixth season covering football and basketball for Rotoworld. He won the Fantasy Sports Writers Association award for Best Series in 2011 and 2009, and ESPN's overall fantasy football title in 2000. Find him on Twitter.
Email :Adam Levitan



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