HEAT Position: Point guard
Miami’s team is so unique that we can’t evaluate it normally. Mario Chalmers
has started every single game for a team that is fourth in the NBA at 104.4 points per night. He does two things (3-pointers, steals) at a very high level. Normally, the 26.0 minutes per night he gets is enough for fantasy owners.
But since Chalmers starts and plays most of his minutes with the Big Three, there just aren’t enough opportunities to go around. LeBron James
, Dwyane Wade
and Chris Bosh
combine to take 46.5 shots per game – 59.1 percent of the team’s total. Chalmers is nothing more than a specialist that will bust out for monster games roughly twice a month, allowing him to finish with something around 1.5 3-pointers and 1.5 steals. Good luck picking out when those monster games will happen. KNICKS Position: Power forward
Owners waiting for Amare Stoudemire
to join the Knicks’ starting lineup shouldn’t hold their breath. He’s still on a 30 minutes per game cap and the results of a Stoudemire/Carmelo Anthony
lineup have been mixed at best. Coach Mike Woodson
“At this particular moment in time, we’re happy with him coming off the bench and we’re benefitting from it,” Woodson said. “With him and J.R. (Smith) and Steve (Novak), that really gives our bench a super threat in terms of how we play.”
A bench role doesn’t mean there’s no value in owning Stoudemire. His frail knees and back have actually held up really well, a surprise after he missed the first 30 games of the season. Amare hasn’t sat out a game since and his offensive game has been impressive.
All it means is that our expectations need to be held in check. His averages of 16.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 24.2 minutes are reasonable – although sustaining those points in such meager playing time is asking a little too much. MAGIC Position: Shooting guard
It’s been an amazing ride for J.J. Redick
owners this season, but choppy waters could lie ahead.
First of all, Arron Afflalo
is back from a calf injury that cost him six games. Afflalo, who was signed to a five-year, $43 million contract in August, has started every game he’s been active for this year. There is no real competition here.
The only hope for Redick to retain a starting job is for the Magic to kick Afflalo to small forward and put enticing rookie Maurice Harkless on the bench. But with the team at 15-36 and in all-out rebuilding mode, that appears unlikely. Note that Redick came off the bench Sunday. OK, so here are the splits for Redick: Reserve:
15.0 points, 4.4 assists, 2.3 rebounds, 2.4 treys, 30.8 minutes. Very nice. Starter:
17.1 points, 4.9 assists, 2.7 rebounds, 2.5 treys, 35.8 minutes. Slightly nicer.
The five minute per game drop off is concerning, but Redick’s numbers haven’t really suffered as a bench player. The bigger concern is the Feb. 21 trade deadline.
I’ll have more on this in a Wednesday column about trade candidates, but Redick’s name is going to come up a lot. He has an expiring contract and as mentioned above, the Magic have made a monster commitment to Afflalo already. Contenders are going to come calling for Redick aggressively.
If Redick were to get traded, owners can expect a 50 percent decrease in statistical production. He’d go from a primary ball-handler, play-maker and shot-taker on one of the league’s worst rosters to a role player on a presumably strong roster. A trade isn’t a lock, but there’s a strong enough signs to make a sell-high move a strong play. SIXERS Position: Shooting guard
No, I do not think the recent tear that Nick Young
has been on is a fluke. With Jason Richardson
(knee) done for the year and Dorell Wright
in coach Doug Collins
’ doghouse for his lack of defense, the man known as “Swaggy” is here to stay.
Over the last 10 games, Young is playing 33.6 minutes a night. During that same span, Wright is at 15.3 minutes. Young is playing for a contract and is one of the better natural shooters in the entire league on a team desperate for scoring. It’s a perfect recipe for a monster end to the season.