Bismack Biyombo enjoys big night
The Charlotte Bobcats are awful in pretty much every way you can think of. They have no discernible star on their roster, their only legitimate scorer (Corey Maggette) is old and has missed most of the season, and the rest of their team is filled with young and unproven players. It's no wonder they entered Tuesday's game with just four wins on the season.
With such a mess of a team, it's hard to do anything newsworthy, but the Bobs managed to make some news Tuesday night. To begin with, they earned their fifth victory of the season by taking down the Orlando Magic 100-84. That still leaves them securely at the bottom of the standings, with a great shot at the top pick in this summer's draft.
The bigger news in Fantasyland, though, revolved around Boris Diaw and Bismack Biyombo. Diaw informed the Bobs Tuesday that he would like to be traded or bought out so he can go to another team. Diaw has had trouble staying in the good graces of head coach Paul Silas this season and took a DNP-CD Tuesday as the club tries to sort things out. That's newsworthy in itself because Diaw had the second-longest iron-man streak in the NBA; he had played in 384 consecutive games prior to Tuesday evening. Whether he'll be traded, released or benched, it looks like Diaw's not in the Bobcats' plans going forward.
That should open up more game time for the rookie Biyombo, who played 32 minutes Tuesday and piled up 10 points, 15 rebounds and 7 blocks against Dwight Howard. Prior to Tuesday, he had missed two games with a shoulder injury, but if he can stay healthy and get big minutes down the stretch, Biyombo has the natural skills to block a ton of shots and hit the glass. Don't expect him to score, but Biyombo should be lifted off all waiver wires immediately.
• On the heels of Sunday's 17-point, 12-board, 3-block performance, Samuel Dalembert came back with another big double-double Tuesday: 11 points and 17 boards. We know that Dalembert is fully capable of averaging a double-double with some blocks when the effort is there. Unfortunately, we also know the effort isn't there often enough, which is why he's regularly in his coach's doghouse. Ride him while he's hot, before coach Kevin McHale puts him back in his doghouse.
• Unlike Dalembert, you never have to wonder whether Dwyane Wade is going to give it his all. However, with a 30-point lead Tuesday evening, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra opted to rest Wade for the rest of the game after Wade tweaked his ankle in the first half. Spoelstra said afterward that Wade could have returned and is expected to play Wednesday evening. The Heat were helped by the return of Chris Bosh, who had missed three games due to a death in his family. He hit nine of his 14 field goal attempts to finish with 20 points and two boards in 24 minutes during the blowout win over the New Jersey Nets.
• Carmelo Anthony has had a rough season, but it got particularly ugly Tuesday night, when he hit just two of his 12 shot attempts for six points and was benched by coach Mike D'Antoni for a 12-minute stretch during the second half. Clearly he's having difficulty getting used to having the rock go through Jeremy Lin and not himself, but he still makes for a quality trade target in Fantasyland. He's healthy now and too good of a scorer to not figure out how to get the ball in the bucket in any offensive system.
• The Atlanta Hawks finally threw in the towel on Al Horford's regular season. On Tuesday, they announced that he won't be back until at least the postseason. That means that Josh Smith should continue his hot play the rest of the season; he had 27 points (12-19 FG, 2-4 3s), 9 boards, a block and a swipe Tuesday. Meanwhile, Joe Johnson skipped another game Tuesday and will sit out Wednesday's tilt with the Heat. It's unclear when he'll return from his sore knee.
• The Denver Nuggets play the Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday night, and coach George Karl plans to keep the court action for Danilo Gallinari and Nene limited again. They both returned from injuries Monday and were limited to about 15 minutes of action. Both should be solid plays once they build their stamina, but for now we can ride rookie Kenneth Faried.