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Tuesday, October 21, 2003
Out of the Box: FHL and FBA


By Graham Hays
ESPN Fantasy Games

Out of the Box will appear each morning, Monday-Friday, throughout the NBA and NHL seasons. The goal? To give you the inside dirt on yesterday's box scores.

MONDAY'S NEWSMAKER

Baron Davis
PG

Profile
Hornets Clubhouse

Monday's Line
PTS
REB
AST
STL
3PT
24
3
8
1
2
The bar is set so low for Baron Davis after last season's statistical flop that even teammate Robert Traylor could Fosbury over it. Seemingly poised for a breakthrough fantasy season, Davis instead battled injuries and generally lousy play all year. As a result, he's just the seventh point guard off the board in an average fantasy draft this fall. But owners who invested in Gilbert Arenas or Gary Payton may end up kicking themselves if Davis' preseason show is no mirage. Monday's line of 24 points, eight assists and two 3-pointers is just the latest in a string of statistical gems for a player whose only real weakness when he's on his game is free-throw percentage.

SURFIN' THE SCOREBOARD
Not Mark: Not to say Marc Jackson is the next Mike Giminski, but at least it looks like he's more than the next Tim Perry. Buried by his own poor play in Minnesota, Jackson gets a fresh start with a Philadelphia team eager to avoid the prospect of Derrick Coleman playing center for 82 games. Jackson totaled 16 points and 12 rebounds in Monday's game against New Orleans, playing 42 minutes. His fantasy value is limited by the fact that he blocks about as many shots as Todd MacCulloch in street clothes, but he's capable of averaging within sniffing distance of a double-double.

More Numbers

  • NHL Scoreboard:
    All the box scores

  • NBA Scoreboard:
    All the box scores
  • Aging Process: Holding on to a hockey palace like Maple Leaf Gardens for too long was one thing, the place breathed history, but the Maple Leafs don't need nostalgia in net. Ed Belfour took another beating on Monday, allowing four goals on nine shots before getting yanked in favor of Mikael Tellqvist. That makes two awful starts in five tries for Belfour, with only one truly outstanding effort against the Devils to show for his troubles. The problem for the Leafs -- and the good news for fantasy owners counting on Belfour to play his way out of this slump -- is that Tellqvist isn't ready for a share of the job and Belfour is too established for the team to go after a veteran like -- dare we say -- former Leaf Curtis Joseph.

    Great Expectations: The good news is playing the heart of their rotation for much of Monday's game, Portland got 27 points and 18 rebounds out of Zach Randolph and 11 assists and three steals out of Damon Stoudamire. The bad news is they lost to Denver. In other words, it could be a long season at the Rose Garden. But win or lose, Randolph looks like a fantasy keeper. After averaging 20.5 points and 11 rebounds in the final four games against Dallas in last season's playoffs, Randolph has come out in the preseason like a guy determined to rise above the team's glut of forwards. There may not always be 39 shots to split between Randolph and Rasheed Wallace -- not if Bonzi Wells has anything to say about it -- but Randolph is no longer a fantasy project.

    MONDAY'S BEST LINES

    Czerkawski
    G
    A
    +/-
    SOG
    PIM
    2
    0
    0
    2
    0
    Anthony
    Pts
    Reb
    Ast
    Stl
    3PT
    20
    5
    3
    1
    1
    Hayes
    Pts
    Reb
    Ast
    Stl
    3PT
    29
    6
    1
    2
    3

    Mariusz Czerkawski: That's five goals in five games.

    Carmelo Anthony: Not a bad line for a rookie ...

    Jarvis Hayes: But not as good as this rookie's line.

    BETWEEN THE LINES
  • There are some restaurants in Paris that can do amazing things with crow. Just as yesterday's Out of the Box wailed about Earl Boykins stealing minutes from Andre Miller in Denver, Miller went out and scored 24 points playing next to Boykins for 39 minutes. Still, in the last two games, Miller has 0 assists in 64 minutes and Boykins has 15 assists in 66 minutes.

  • It helped that Minnesota's lineup featured a guy named Brandon Kurtz for eight minutes, but Erick Strickland's line of 12 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and four steals could be bad news for fantasy owners counting on T.J. Ford. Strickland is really a shooting guard with ball-handling skills, but Michael Redd and Desmond Mason ensure that most of his minutes in Milwaukee will come at point guard.

  • Minnesota did play their starters long enough for fantasy owners to get a glimpse of Sam Cassell looking like Mark Jackson. Latrell Sprewell, Troy Hudson and Kevin Garnett combined for 44 field goal attempts, while Cassell took just six shots in 34 minutes. And Wally Szczerbiak didn't even play.

    MONDAY'S BOTTOM LINE

    Joe Smith
    PF

    Profile
    Bucks Clubhouse

    Monday's Line
    PTS
    REB
    AST
    STL
    BLK
    4
    6
    0
    0
    1
    Are the Dallas Stars a little too dominant on defense? The Stars limited Minnesota to 11 shots on goal in Sunday's win, making it easy for Marty Turco to pick up a win. But Turco doesn't have margin for error in save percentage when he sees fewer shots than a bar in Salt Lake City. Already this season, Turco has faced 15 or fewer shots on three occasions. And while there's nothing wrong with his .908 save percentage, it's not the gaudy .932 mark that earned him such fantasy acclaim last season.