Adam Levitan

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Rotations: Mike Bibby's shot

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mike Bibby was headed for a starting gig even before Mario Chalmers went down. His ability to knock down open jumpers is sure to open up the floor for the Heat's big three and his veteran presence should help their crunch time woes. But can Bibby help fantasy owners as much as he can help the Miami?

Coaches are constantly tinkering, toying and yanking around with rotations. Sometimes it has to do with injuries. In other instances, it's a result of ineffective play from a certain player. The effect this has on minutes played and thus statistical production is where we come in.

Each week in this space, I'll explore the rotations of half the league's teams while attempting to get inside coaches' heads. The idea is not to tell you what Kevin Durant and LeBron James are going to do --- it's to decipher how much production we can get out of fringe players. Last week, I hit the West and hit a home run with C.J. Miles. This week, we explore the East and start in Miami:

* Note that the lineups listed reflect the starters in the team's previous game. Stats are through Monday's games unless otherwise noted.

PG Mario Chalmers
SG Dwyane Wade
SF LeBron James
PF Chris Bosh
C Erick Dampier

Mario Chalmers is expected to miss about two weeks with a right knee sprain. Enter Mike Bibby, who now projects to hover around 30 minutes nightly and start the rest of the regular season plus the playoffs.

Before going any further, owners must understand that Bibby is a shell of the player we all remember from Sacramento. He turns 33 next month, is one of the worst perimeter defenders in all of basketball and can no longer get his own shot off. Bibby was playing nearly 30 minutes a game for the Hawks earlier this season, but averaged just 9.4 points and 3.6 assists.

Bibby has played just 10 games with the Heat so far, and here are his per-36 minute stats in those games: 10.0 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 0.2 steals. Yep, that bad.

But the stat I left out is 3-pointers made and attempted per game. Out of the 47 field goals Bibby has attempted with the Heat, 35 have been treys. He is jacking up 5.7 3-point attempts per-36 minutes in Miami and that is a sustainable number.

Now starting at about six wide open treys per game, Bibby is a good bet for two-plus 3-pointers made the rest of the way. He is the definition of a strict specialist, but a potentially difference-making one for those category hunting.

PG Kirk Hinrich
SG Joe Johnson
SF Marvin Williams
PF Josh Smith
C Al Horford

I repeatedly warned owners not to buy into Jeff Teague's 24-point outburst and subsequent promotion last week. This kid has had plenty of opportunities before and flubbed virtually all of them. In 10 career starts, Teague is averaging just 9.7 points and 4.5 assists while shooting 39.4 percent from the field. And that includes the fluky 24-point game last Saturday. Teague picked up a DNP-CD on Sunday and the Hawks should have legit concerns that he will never be an average NBA starter.

Teague's struggles have put Kirk Hinrich back on the fantasy map. He is most effective when playing point guard and should be locked into that role the rest of the way. Look for around 30 minutes of 3-point/steal/assist upside.

Here are Marvin Williams' numbers in 42 starts this year: 10.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists. Yawn.

PG Rajon Rondo
SG Ray Allen
SF Paul Pierce
PF Kevin Garnett
C Nenad Krstic

Perhaps Rajon Rondo's injuries are overblown. At this point in the season, every NBA player is banged up with sprained joints and sore knees. His aggressive 42.5 minutes on Monday night should put to rest any major concerns.

Nenad Krstic was playing way over his head when he recorded back-to-back double-doubles last week. With Shaq close to a return and no blocks upside, Krstic is not a real fantasy option.

Jeff Green is settling in to his 22-26 minute role off the bench. In his last 10 games prior to Monday, he was averaging 12.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 0.4 assists. Couple that with 0.7 blocks, 0.6 steals and 0.6 treys and we have an unappealing fantasy option. Glen Davis, meanwhile, is much more attractive. With his knee back at full strength, Davis is a lock to hover around 30 minutes and give owners points/rebounds nightly.

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PG D.J. Augustin
SG Gerald Henderson
SF Dante Cunningham
PF Boris Diaw
C Kwame Brown

Chalk Tyrus Thomas up as a swing and a miss. Since returning from that knee injury, he is averaging just 5.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 18.7 minutes per night. Even those desperate for blocks can move on while keeping an eye on the situation. Should Boris Diaw go back into his shell, Thomas would be worth an add.

Stephen Jackson's hamstring injury has become a major concern. He admits he is playing at 55 or 60 percent and the numbers show it. Captain Jack has missed four of the last eight games and is shooting 30.8 percent in his last six appearances. All owners can do is keep putting him out there when healthy, but be aware of the shutdown possibilities and likely ineffective play.

I am not a big Gerald Henderson, but he is a lock for huge minutes on a team void of scorers. The problem is that he’s averaging 0.1 treys, 2.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 0.4 blocks over his last 10 games despite playing nearly 34 minutes. The Bobcats need him more than fantasy owners do.

Editor's Note: For weekly projections, daily pickup advice, exclusive columns and much more, check out Rotoworld's Season Pass!

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Adam Levitan is in his seventh 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.
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