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18 December 2006 No Comment

Arenas makes history in LA

Well, that was quite a weekend in the NBA. As owners scramble to try and fill Carmelo Anthony’s spot – not to mention J.R. Smith’s – we wish to begin with a breakdown of Sunday’s late-night masterpiece. As always, we’ll later give you a few sleepers who may be able to give you a boost during these suspensions.

Ok. If you missed the Lakers-Wizards classic, here is a rundown of what went down:

Gilbert Arenas put up 60 points on Sunday.

Gilbert Arenas set a Washington franchise record with 60 points, with 43 coming after halftime in the Wizards’ scintillating 147-141 overtime win at LA. Arenas had 16 points in overtime, including 14 straight Wizards points.

— Arenas’ scoring total was the most against the Lakers in 40 years. He shot 17-of-32 from the field and 21-of-27 from the line, adding 8 rebounds and 8 assists.

— The Lakers rallied to tie the game at 126 at the end of regulation, outscoring the Wizards 77-67 in the second half and 46-36 in the fourth quarter.

Kobe Bryant, who had scored 53 points in his previous game, shot 15-for-24 and 7-of-11 from 3-point range for 45 points.

— The Lakers took a team-record 44 shots from downtown, making 19.

So, we had a 161-157 game on December 7th, then this memorable showcase matchup. December has rocked so far. Next up: LeBron will go off for 50 very soon.

Other observations from Week 7:
Raptors rookie F Andrea Bargnani is going to be a great player. He has not had a great season to this point, but watching him play is a different experience than seeing his box-score production. The youngster is very fluid and has nice form on his jumpers. He possesses major shooting range and, most importantly, he is 6-foot-10 and only 21 years old. So, hopefully, you have not already forgotten about him. Bargnani has had two solid games recently and over Toronto’s past four games, he’s averaged 14.3 points and 5.5 rebounds while making 7-for-19 from downtown. Against Golden State on Sunday, he had 18 points, 10 rebounds and 6 blocks. He may make a fantasy impact this season after all.

Pistons F Jason Maxiell made a big splash at home on Sunday in Detroit’s win over Seattle. Maxiell put up 17 points and 12 rebounds in 32 minutes. That is well more than his previous four games combined, and although Maxiell is not a good option right now, he’s worth putting on your radar.

That brings us to the Allen Iverson saga. There is not much anyone can do to be proactive, but it’s not a bad idea to try and deal Iverson. Just be very selective and do it soon. You’ll gain a usable player, but you need someone who is not too far below Iverson. If you’re in a keeper league, only deal him for a keeper-level player.

Feel free to ask me your fantasy questions, or to tell me what past NBA trades have broken your heart, at


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F Josh Smith, Hawks: He has had some Olajuwon-type lines of late and is this season’s version of Gerald Wallace. Smith’s 21 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 blocks and 4 steals on December 10. The last player to rack up 20-10-5-5-4 or more in a single game was Hakeem Olajuwon . . . in 1993! Smith is averaging 3.8 combined steals/blocks per game and has 15 blocks in his past 4 games. In that span, he’s shot 25-for-45 while averaging 15 points and 9 rebounds.

G Ray Allen, SuperSonics: I don’t think it’s a good idea to trade Allen, but don’t play him this week. He may be another week away from playing because of his bruised right ankle. Allen is having another great year (25-4-3 per game) and is typically durable.

F Caron Butler, Wizards: This may be the best stretch of his five-year career. Butler has averaged a scorching 27.7 points per game on 29-for-53 shooting over his past three games. For the season, Butler is 117-for-131 from the line.

G Dwyane Wade, Heat: He missed two games last week following dental surgery, but bounced back for 41 points (15-for-24 FG), 7 assists and 5 steals on Saturday against Memphis. It is safe to assume that he’s good to go. In Wade’s previous game before surgery, he had 37 points on 13-for-21 shooting.

F Dorell Wright, Heat: A few of you have inquired lately, but I would not take a flyer on Wright. He had 10 points, 16 rebounds and 2 blocks in the home win over Memphis, but his overall production remains minimal.

F Al Jefferson, Celtics: He is this week’s most picked-up player. Jefferson ended Week 7 with a bang, averaging 25 points and 10 rebounds in wins over Denver and Charlotte. He’s averaging 20 points and 12 rebounds over his past 5 games with 9 blocks. Now in his third season, Jefferson is playing more minutes than ever has.

F Gerald Wallace, Bobcats: He was the league’s most prominent sleeper just a few seasons ago before elevating himself to fantasy star status over the past two seasons. Wallace has a sluggish, injury-riddled start to this season but may be back in top form. He had 31 points (11-of-19 FG) and 3 blocks in Charlotte’s loss to Boston on Saturday and 6 steals in his previous game. If you dropped him, consider getting him back.

G Speedy Claxton, Hawks: As things stand, I cannot recommend inserting the Speedster. But he is heating up. Claxton has started every Atlanta game this season but has struggled mightily, shooting 30 percent and averaging 5.3 points per game. He’s shot 13-for-28 over his past two outings while amassing 29 points, 22 assists and 7 steals in 79 minutes. He’s always battled injuries and topped out as a 12-6-2 player, but Claxton may be worth intermittent use if he keeps it up.

C Mark Blount, Timberwolves: He does not excite me much, but Blount has played with more minutes in Minnesota’s past two games. He has averaged 17.5 points and 9 rebounds while shooting 16-for-25. He has started all 21 of the T-wolves’ games, so he may be an option as an emergency center. But don’t expect him to stay hot; he’s a 12-6 player.

Bobcats F Emeka Okafor had a huge game on Saturday, notching 12 points, 19 rebounds and 8 blocks in Charlotte’s loss to Boston. It was his third straight double-double. . .

Hornets star G Chris Paul went off for 30 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists in a 90-79 loss to Dallas last Saturday in 48 minutes.

Mystery Player of The Week: Alexander Johnson, Grizzlies: He is a 23-year-old rookie F from Florida State. Johnson has been getting major minutes of late and has averaged 12 points and 6.5 rebounds over his past two games. He is a very well-chiseled 6-9 and 230 pounds.

Brian Doolittle covers fantasy basketball for The Roto Times. His columns appear every week during the NBA season. 

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