It's take-back time

December, 26, 2007
I hope everyone had a pleasant holiday. Of course, today is that special day in which receipt-clutching consumers stampede to the stores to bring back ill-fitting or otherwise undesired gifts.

Which has me thinking … I probably should make a couple of returns myself. But in my case, I need to take back what I said about certain NBA players' fantasy prospects.

First, there's Jason Williams. I heard J-Will came to training camp in great shape, and with good health and Dwyane Wade as his running mate, I figured he'd be a nice bargain this season. It's not happening. While Williams' assist numbers are fine, and his low turnover rate is, as always, appreciated, nine points per night on 39 percent shooting is as ugly as week-old cranberry sauce. Come to think of it, his performance on Christmas Day in Cleveland -- nine points, five assists, shoddy shooting -- nicely encapsulates his season. And you wonder why he's the subject of trade rumors.

I should also retract what I said about Boris Diaw. I thought Diaw would build on the momentum of his strong showing for France in this fall's FIBA World Championship and become another late-round find for my fantasy drafts. Instead, he appears to be playing his way out of Phoenix -- and that's when he does play. Diaw is averaging just 20 minutes in December, and he managed only 16 minutes (with eight points) yesterday against the Lakers. Even now as I look back at his 2005-06 performance (averages of more than six assists, almost seven boards, a block-plus and eligibilities all over the place), I'm still kind of awed (or Di-awed). But I've finally let go of the idea that Diaw still has fantasy relevance.

At least I was right about Daniel Gibson. Put that guy against a team that can't defend the 3-pointer, and he'll come up big almost every time. Gibson knocked down four more treys against Miami to help LeBron James and the Cavs to a win.

Though Christmas Day gave hoops fans a chance to catch James, Wade, Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash, my holiday highlight was seeing the blazing Trail Blazers roll past Seattle for their 11th straight win. Brandon Roy is terrific, of course, but Portland is getting different contributors every night. Tuesday against Seattle, when Roy was only 7-of-23 from the field and LaMarcus Aldridge was a putrid 1-for-10, Jarrett Jack and Channing Frye combined to shoot 12-for-17, while Joel Przybilla pulled down 16 boards.

You just never know what you're going to get from Jack (it was only the second time he'd topped 10 points since November), Przybilla (who had totaled six points and eight rebounds in his previous two games) or even Travis Outlaw (shooting 28 percent from the field in his past four games). Fun as it is watching the Blazers as a basketball fan, it's frustrating following them as a fantasy owner.



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