Here are a few things we learned about fantasy hoops over the weekend, excluding the ones that are documented in this week’s Waiver Wired column. I am in pretty good spirits this morning as a Jamaal Charles owner, and will face Rotoworld hockey writer and No. 1 seed Kevin Brown in the finals of our football league next weekend. I also own a lot of Falcons, and could potentially play six of my nine players on Monday night, which is a little enticing and scary, especially since Atlanta is at San Francisco. And for those of you who own Jam Charles and lost, I’m really sorry. Hopefully you’ll have better luck on the hoops side of things.
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $40,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Monday night's games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $6,000. Starts at 7pm ET on Monday. Here's the FanDuel link. My early lineup is Jameer Nelson, Deron Williams, Rodney Stuckey, a struggling Alec Burks, LeBron James, Richard Jefferson (yikes), Kevin Love, Amare Stoudemire and Nikola Pekovic, but I can see it changing a few times before the games start.
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Games Played For Week 8
4 Games: BOS, CHA, CHI, DET, IND, LAC, LAL, MIN, OKC, SAS, SAC, UTA
3 Games: ATL, BRK, CLE, DAL, DEN, GSW, HOU, MEM, MIA, MIL, NOP, NYK, ORL, PHI, PHX, POR, TOR, WAS
Tim Duncan plays hide and seek with Gregg Popovich
I went on a preemptive strike against Gregg Popovich and the Spurs on Friday night, predicting that Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili were likely to sit out Saturday’s game against the Jazz, and posting it on Rotoworld as a headline. However, that turned out to be a bad move, as Pop once again juked fantasyland by playing his old guys, even though the Spurs were: A. Playing the Jazz, who have won just six games this season. B. Were playing on the second night of a back-to-back. C. Were playing for the fourth time in five nights. If there was a perfect time for Pop to ‘pop’ his guys, it was Saturday. My skepticism about the old dudes playing Saturday was apparently justified by Duncan’s comments the following day about hiding from Popovich so he couldn’t tell him he wasn't going to play Saturday. “I just don't look him in the eyes,” Duncan said. “Every time he starts walking towards me, I run away. As long as I can keep that up, he can't tell me I'm sitting out. I just hide from him, basically.” And in case you haven’t been paying attention, Duncan is rocking out right now, posting big double-doubles in three straight games.
Which leads us to Monday night, when the Spurs visit the Clippers. San Antonio is 19-4, meaning they’re not exactly desperate for a win, and Popovich could be ready to pull a fast one tonight, as he seems to enjoy sitting his guys against good teams. There’s no doubt that Duncan, Parker and Ginobili could use a break and the Spurs seem to win no matter who they throw out on the court. By benching his studs, Pop could get a huge mental victory against a top rival in the West, while not allowing Doc Rivers to see his team at full strength. I’m not going to go so far as to predict that Pop will start a D-League squad against the Clips tonight, but if it happens, I will just sit back and chuckle. It was a little over a year ago that he sent his stars home from Miami, ruining a Thursday night TNT bonanza, but at least that game was the second of a back-to-back and the fourth game in five nights for the Spurs. Go ahead and put your Spurs in your lineup for tonight’s big game, but do yourself a favor and keep an eye on the Rotoworld news feed throughout the day, just in case. (Shout out to Jed Jones for the inspiration for this Duncan rant).
Lou Williams can still play
Sweet Lou went off for 27 points and six 3-pointers on against the Knicks, who actually got a road win in Atlanta. Of course, it took the Hawks turning the ball over 27 times for it to happen, but a win is a win. As for Williams, it looks a bit fluky to me, although we can’t ignore the fact his minutes restriction has been lifted, his playing time is on the rise and he should have more confidence after Saturday’s explosion. I forgot to include him in Waiver Wired, but if there was ever a time to pick up Williams, now is that time.
Pablo Prigioni could be starting for a while
With Raymond Felton out for the Knicks for at least a couple more weeks due to a hamstring injury, point guard Pablo Prigioni should continue to start and log heavy minutes in New York. He hasn’t exactly been killing it thus far, but hit 4-of-8 shots for a season-high 11 points to go along with six assists, four steals and three 3-pointers against the Hawks. Prigioni isn't likely to score a lot of points for the Knicks, but he could be a sneaky point guard to add off waivers if you’re looking for one. There's also a new report on Monday morning that Prigioni could keep the job even when Felton returns, which takes him from a nice-add status, to nearly a must-add.