We're down to thirteen calendar days remaining in the NBA season, with every team in the league having between six and eight games remaining. This week's installment is a final injury update for those of you still in need of a roster tweak or two, a look back at some of the best numbers from the past season, and, of course, updated Eddy Curry Line standings. Those of you in roto leagues should be sure to maximize your games played for each position, and good luck to those of you who make the finals in head-to-head leagues. Thanks to everyone for checking out the Big Picture this season, and enjoy the offseason (one dedicated to preparing for the 2007-08 season, of course).
Josh Childress (GF, Atlanta)
Childress is out for the rest of the season due to a stress fracture in his right foot. Although his minutes will be spread out a bit, Salim Stoudamire will be the biggest beneficiary of extra playing time from a fantasy perspective.
Paul Pierce (GF, Boston)
According to the Boston Herald, Pierce has been ruled out for both Friday and Saturday. Celtics coach Doc Rivers said that Pierce is still intent on returning at some point this season, even though the team's medical staff is advising him to shut it down for the season. Gerald Green has started the past three games in Pierce's place, averaging 15.0 points in 30 minutes per game.
Al Jefferson (FC, Boston)
Jefferson missed Wednesday's game with a bruised left knee, and according to the Boston Herald, is being listed as out of both Friday and Saturday's game. Ryan Gomes will continue to start at least as long as Jefferson is sidelined.
Delonte West (G, Boston)
West has been dealing with a left ankle injury, but there is "a chance" that he will be in the lineup on Friday, according to the Boston Herald.
Ben Wallace (C, Chicago)
Wallace did not play on Wednesday and is questionable for Friday because of sinus inflammation. Thabo Sefolosha was in the starting lineup on Wednesday, with Luol Deng moving to power forward and P.J. Brown shifting to center.
Dirk Nowitzki (PF, Dallas)
Nowitzki, dealing with a recent ankle injury and an even more recent case of food poisoning, should be back in the lineup on Friday "barring any unforeseen setbacks", according to the Star-Telegram.
Tracy McGrady (GF, Houston)
McGrady received treatment for his stiff lower back on Thursday, but remains questionable for Friday's game, according to the Houston Chronicle. Luther Head figures to start if McGrady can't go.
Mike Miller (GF, Memphis)
Miller remains out indefinitely with tendinitis in both of his knees. Tarence Kinsey has started six games in Miller's stead, averaging 17.8 points on 48 percent shooting, 1.2 threes, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.5 steals in 41 minutes per game.
Dwyane Wade (G, Miami)
Wade appears to be a bit closer to playing, although it would likely be in a limited capacity. According to The Miami Herald, Wade could return as early as next week – the Heat have six games remaining, not including Friday's game. Heat coach Pat Riley said that Wade will "probably" come off of the bench and play limited minutes when he does return, at least in the final stages of the regular season, a sentiment that Wade agrees with. "I just want to get into a flow a little bit so I can hit my stride when we get into the playoffs," said Wade.
Michael Redd (GF, Milwaukee); Mo Williams (PG, Mil)
Redd and Williams both figure to be game-time decisions on Friday. Both players missed Wednesday's game due to left knee pain. Earl Boykins and Ruben Patterson were in the starting lineup in their places on Wednesday, and would be again on Friday if they can't go.
Chris Paul (PG, NO); Tyson Chandler (C, NO); Desmond Mason (GF, NO); Peja Stojakovic (GF, NO)
Paul, Chandler, Mason, and Stojakovic all figure to be out of the lineup on Friday. Paul and Chandler are listed as doubtful – Paul's lingering foot injury is finally catching up with him, and Chandler was limited to seven minutes on Wednesday after aggravating a bruised left big toe. Mason is out for the remainder of the season with a fractured cheek bone and nose, and Peja continues to be sidelined while recovering from back surgery. Look for Jannero Pargo, Rasual Butler, and Marc Jackson to see their roles expand with the absence of regular starters for the Hornets.
Steve Francis (PG, New York)
Francis, who has missed the past three games with a sprained right ankle, has been ruled out for Friday, but there is a chance he will be back in the lineup on Sunday, according to the New York Post. Nate Robinson and Mardy Collins have been seeing the majority of the team's minutes at shooting guard in Francis' absence.
LaMarcus Aldridge (FC, Portland)
Aldridge is out indefinitely until tests reveal what caused him to experience dizziness and an accelerated heartbeat this past Saturday. Blazers coach Nate McMillan said that Raef LaFrentz is "likely" to be the team's starting power forward for the rest of the season.
Gilbert Arenas (PG, Washington)
Arenas had arthroscopic surgery on Thursday to repair a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee, and his season is over. Arenas suffered the injury in the opening minutes of Wednesday's game when Gerald Wallace inadvertently fell into his leg. The typical timeframe for recovery from this type of procedure is two to three months. Fantasy owners looking for point guard help the rest of the way can look to Arenas' replacement, Antonio Daniels. Daniels played 44 minutes on Wednesday, scoring 18 points and dishing a career-high 17 assists. On the season, Daniels' per-35 minute averages are 11.4 points, 5.5 assists, and 0.9 steals.
Stat of the Week
Kevin Martin' 20.6 points per game has exceeded even the most generous of projections, and is a good part of the reason why he is the run-away leader of the "Keys to Success" leaderboard for both rotisserie and head-to-head leagues this season. Martin averaged 13.7 points in his 41 starts last season, but was drafted very late (ADP of 117.5) or not at all (drafted in just 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues) this season, likely in part to some speculation that John Salmons' signing could mean inconsistent playing time. Martin exploded out of the gate, averaging 23.3 points on 53 percent shooting and 1.9 threes in 13 November games, but was fairly consistent over the course of the season. In 73 games thus far, Martin has averaged 20.6 points on 48 percent shooting, 1.6 threes, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.3 steals, while making 84 percent of 7.3 free throws per game.
Line of the Week
Kobe Bryant (3/16 vs Portland)
65 points (23-39 FG, 11-12 FT), 8 3PTM, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 0 blocks, 2 turnovers
Kobe's insane performance versus the Blazers kicked off a stretch in which he scored at least 50 points in five of seven games and at least 43 in six of the seven. Let's revisit his averages from those seven games: 49.1 points on 48 percent shooting, 3.9 threes, 5.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.4 steals, while making 88 percent of 13.4 free throws per game. That's just Kobe being Kobe. In 70 games thus far, Bryant has averaged 31.1 points on 46 percent shooting, 1.8 threes, 5.7 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.4 turnovers, and 0.5 blocks, while making 87 percent of 9.9 free throws per game.
Others with consideration: Gilbert Arenas (12/17), Allen Iverson (3/17), Ray Allen (1/12), Amare Stoudemire (2/25), Bryant (12/15, 12/17, 3/22), Steve Nash (12/7), Jason Kidd (12/7), Dirk Nowitzki (2/7)
Eddy Curry Line Update
The Eddy Curry Line was originally established to put a spotlight on how truly anemic Curry's overall fantasy line is. The standard: a player must average more turnovers than assists, steals, and blocks combined – in order to qualify, a player must have appeared in at least half of his team's games and averaged at least 25 minutes of playing time.
|EDDY CURRY LINE – BEST AND WORST|
|TOP 5 (Worst)||GP||MPG||POS||NEG||RATIO|
|BOTTOM 5 (Best)||GP||MPG||POS||NEG||RATIO|
GP = games played
MPG = minutes played per game
POS = positive stats accumulated to-date (assists + steals + blocks)
NEG = turnovers to-date
RATIO = amount of positive stats per turnover