M. Williams continues breakout

November, 21, 2007
I just acquired Michael Redd and Marvin Williams in my primary fantasy hoops league. While it's not like I went Grand Theft Roto on anyone -- I gave up Daniel Gibson and some guy named Paul Pierce -- one day after the deal, I'm pleased by what I've done.

Redd's 34 points led Milwaukee past Cleveland on Tuesday. Even better for Redd owners like me, he filled the stat sheet with three 3-pointers, seven boards, six assists, three steals, two blocks and just one turnover.

Williams had a nice game himself (albeit in a Hawks loss to San Antonio): 16 points, six rebounds, four steals, two blocks and, again, just one turnover. Well, maybe two turnovers if you count the goings-on in the lad's intestinal system. Apparently Williams almost missed the game due to a bout of food poisoning. He told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he received two bags of intravenous fluids prior to the Spurs game after eating something on Monday night that didn't agree with him.

I think Williams' numbers are agreeing with those from Josh Howard's breakout 2006-07 campaign. Marvin doesn't hit 3's, of course, but the two seem to line up otherwise. Howard last season: averages of 18.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 0.8 blocks. Williams so far this season: 16.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 0.7 blocks. Yeah, it's early, but I believe Williams is coming into his own.

Marvin is a good guy to trade for, but so is the aforementioned Gibson, who's shooting an astonishing 56 percent from beyond the arc. On Tuesday, Boobie drained five 3's and put up 26 points on the Bucks. It's the third time that Gibson has gone for at least 20 points already this season -- he also had 24 against New York on Nov. 2 and 22 at Golden State on Nov. 6. One thing the Knicks, Warriors and Bucks have in common is that they all allow more than seven 3-pointers a night. And in these three games, Gibson is a combined 16-for-26 from downtown. It's not like he has been terrible against everyone else -- he has 13 3's in Cleveland's other eight games -- but when the competition is especially yielding, Boobie thrives. Thus, I expect another nice outing tonight in Minnesota.

One reason I felt I could part with Gibson (and yes, it's about me today) is because I had previously added some point guard depth in Jordan Farmar. The UCLA product had a career-best 18 points as the Lakers crushed the Pacers. In addition to shooting 51.3 from the field, Farmar is averaging 1.2 3-pointers and 1.3 steals in only 21 minutes this season. Granted, he has padded his stats during a couple of one-sided L.A. wins, and Derek Fisher remains the starter, but I think Farmar -- who turns 21 on Nov. 30 -- will get more and more meaningful minutes at the point. Add him if you still can.

Shawne Williams had 24 points on 8-of-11 shooting for Indiana, and you should also check your free-agent wire for him. But the thing to keep in mind with the Pacers is that the 134 points they surrendered to the Lakers is no accident. Indiana was allowing 103.6 points per game in losing seven of eight before Tuesday's debacle. This team can't stop anybody, and you should get your players active anytime they face the Pacers.

How bad is Indiana defensively? The Pacers now allow more points per game than the Knicks, who turned in another brutal performance against the resurgent Warriors on Tuesday. I wonder if Isiah Thomas ever thinks about disappearing, a la Stephon Marbury? Marbury actually had a decent night, with 18 points. Plus, he committed only two of his team's 27 turnovers. Yes, New York had 27 turnovers.

If you're looking to buy low on Andrea Bargnani, that window is closing fast. Apparently Sam Mitchell made his point because last year's first overall pick was back in Toronto's starting lineup at Dallas, and filling it up from the outside -- five 3-pointers and 20 points in all. Take out those two bewildering games in which he went 1-for-12 in just 20 minutes total, and Bargnani's averages are 14.0 points, 2.3 3's and 45.3 percent from the floor.

If Bargnani can bounce back, perhaps all isn't lost for another early 2006 draft pick, Tyrus Thomas. But it doesn't look good -- not after 10 minutes, no points and four fouls in Denver. Thomas has 17 points total in his past five games.

That's a rather sad stat, but here's a shocking one: Did you know that Grant Hill is averaging 36 minutes a game in Phoenix? So much for coming off the bench and busting it for 20-24 minutes a night in the desert. I'm not sure Hill can keep up the ironman routine. I'm also not sure who's the second-best fantasy option in the Kings' backcourt. Point-guard-of-the-moment, Beno Udrih, was just 2-of-10 in 22 minutes against the Suns, while both John Salmons (nine points, eight rebounds) and Francisco Garcia (14 points, two 3-pointers) logged close to 30 minutes off the bench.

Finally, I'm wondering if I make too much of awesome hustle stats. Yes, Josh Smith averages 3.4 blocks and 2.2 steals, but after a 3-for-16 brick-laying against the Spurs, he's just 39.6 percent from the floor this season. And with his five turnovers in the game, Smith is up to 3.4 TOs a night.



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