So here's your bizarre news story involving an NBA player of the week: Kwame Brown was leaving a nightclub this past Saturday morning (as in, 2 a.m.) after celebrating Ronny Turiaf's birthday when he happened upon a man standing outside of the club, ironically holding his own birthday cake. Brown allegedly grabbed the cake from the man, threw it at him, and then left in a limousine. Lakers coach Phil Jackson chalked it up to "poor choices" but also joked that the cake may have actually slipped from his fingers, since that type of thing happens regularly. Either way, I can't think of a more bizarre thing to do in that situation. Can you?
Some Random Observations
Speedy Claxton (PG, Atlanta)
The report that Claxton received from a specialist who examined his sore left knee was good and bad. While he won't need surgery (good), he will need an unspecified amount of time to heal (bad). Claxton was informed that he suffers from chondromalacia, which is the abnormal softening or degeneration of knee cartilage. "I just have to do rehab," said Claxton. "I have to strengthen it the best I can, and when I do come back I have to kind of limit myself."
Tyronn Lue (PG, Atlanta)
Hawks coach Mike Woodson said that Lue would certainly not be available at all through the weekend and "maybe – and that's maybe" he would be able to meet a target return date of January 27.
Wally Szczerbiak (GF, Boston)
According to the Boston Herald, Szczerbiak had "limited success" getting through the team's Thursday practice, and he's questionable for Friday with continued ankle issues.
Delonte West (G, Boston)
West went through a second good day of practice on Thursday, and should be back in the lineup on Friday, according to the Boston Herald. "He looked good," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "I'm gonna clear him myself for this game."
Gerald Wallace (GF, Charlotte)
According to The Charlotte Observer, Wallace practiced on Thursday, but it's still "up in the air" as to when he's going to be able to return to the lineup.
Brevin Knight (PG, Charlotte)
According to The Gaston Gazette, Knight is hoping to return to practice by the end of next week and return to the court sometime in early February.
Mickael Pietrus (GF, Golden State)
According to the Contra Costa Times, Pietrus is set to practice with the team on Friday and is aiming to return to the lineup on Saturday.
Shaun Livingston (PG, LA Clippers)
Livingston missed Wednesday's game with an ankle sprain, and is considered day-to-day.
Kwame Brown (FC, LA Lakers); Lamar Odom (F, LA Lakers)
According to the Los Angeles Times, Brown is expected to return to the lineup as early as Monday, and Odom could also return from his sprained knee ligament sometime next week.
Charlie Villanueva (F, Milwaukee)
Villanueva received a second cortisone shot in his right shoulder this past Monday and is scheduled to be re-evaluated by the end of next week, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
David West (PF, New Orleans/Oklahoma City)
West's elbow has progressed to the point where he is "a 50-50 shot" for Friday and Saturday's games, according to Hornets coach Byron Scott. According to The Oklahoman, West participated in a full practice on Thursday, but his status would not be determined until Friday's shootaround.
Kurt Thomas (FC, Phoenix)
Thomas suffered a hyperextended left elbow on Monday, and he is expected to miss between four and six weeks as a result. The Suns do not plan to make any roster moves in the interim. "I think we can weather the storm," said Suns coach Mike D'Antoni.
Stat of the Week
Were you one of the fantasy owners who, like me, was scared off by the "sharp pain" that Amare Stoudemire was experiencing in his knees in the weeks leading up to the start of the regular season? Well, don't we look silly now? Amare's season-high 42 points (1/15 at Memphis) was just another in a long string of solid performances, and his injury concerns are all but a memory at this point. His monthly splits tell the story – in 13 November games, Amare averaged 15.7 points, 8.2 boards, and 1.1 blocks in 27 minutes per game; in 15 December games, he averaged 20.5 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks in 32 minutes per game; and in nine January games thus far, Stoudemire has averaged 19.3 points, 10.8 boards, and 1.9 blocks in 34 minutes per game. Any questions?
Line of the Week
Ray Allen (1/12 vs Utah)
54 points (17-32 FG, 12-12 FT), 8 3PTM, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 0 blocks, 2 turnovers
Allen scored a career-high 54 points in the 122-114 overtime win over the Jazz, ending a six-game losing streak that the Sonics were mired in entering the game. Allen has upped his production since Rashard Lewis suffered a torn tendon in his right hand, averaging 26.3 points, 3.3 threes, 4.3 boards, and 5.0 assists – all above his current season averages – in the 12 games since. With Lewis expected to miss, at minimum, another month, Allen will remain the singular go-to guy for the Sonics, and should continue to put up great lines for his fantasy owners.
Others with consideration: Tracy McGrady (1/16), Dirk Nowitzki (1/14, 1/12), Gilbert Arenas (1/15), Amare Stoudemire (1/15), Carlos Boozer (1/12), Elton Brand (1/17)
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