Diaw gives owners reason to believe
On Thursday night, we got a glimpse of it, and while you may call me loony, I'll just come out and say it: I still believe the Boris Diaw we saw last season is still alive.
Diaw, who probably tops the list of players you just hate to own right now, had his first solid game in what seems like forever. Heck, if you judge solid games just off points scored, it was forever -- this was his first game scoring in double digits in more than three weeks!
Players who tend to contribute in categories other than scoring often end up undervalued, and in Diaw's case, 17.4 percent of owners have already decided to cut bait with the Frenchman. But I still see much to like with the way he can still stuff those stats, like the six assists and two 3-pointers he attached to the 12 points and six boards he posted. And sure, it was just the Knicks, and he needed 43 minutes to do so, but he'll also come at a discount if you mention his name to a frustrated owner. We know he has the talent, but we also know he's a bit of an enigma and takes a bit of warming up to really get him going.
Fortunately, the Bobcats really don't have many other options. Diaw is, for better or for worse, their only true low-post threat, and an old-school coach like Larry Brown is going to keep going back to the post. So whether he likes it or not, Diaw is what he has to work with, and it worked well enough last year to lead to a career season. Chances are his mojo will return, and since even at his worst he hardly hurts you -- he contributes at least somewhat everywhere except the charity stripe -- you don't have much to risk by hanging on to him, or picking up his carcass from the waiver wire, or sending a buy low offer to his owner.
While Larry Hughes complains about losing his job due to injury, Wilson Chandler continues to light it up, dropping 27 on the No. 3-ranked defense of the Bobcats. It was an efficient 27, too, as he shot 11-for-21 from the field and handed out six assists to just one turnover. It was his third consecutive 20-plus point affair; if Al Harrington (calf) misses much time, Chandler could see all the shots he can handle in the near future. ... Hopefully you didn't trip over yourself rushing to grab Nate Robinson from the waiver wire after his 41-point outburst, like 11.5 percent of you in ESPN leagues did. He's combined for 16 points and nine turnovers since. Coach Mike D'Antoni likes his rotations short, and with Chandler balling, that leaves little room for Li'l Nate to be much more than a lottery ticket. What does it say when Jared Jeffries logs 42 minutes in Al Harrington's stead?
Looking AheadI'm sure you know all about Randy Foye by now, but a name to stash away? Mike Miller, who would turn into the best playmaker the Wizards have if Caron Butler ends up, as expected, traded away in the near future; Miller could return from injury as soon as Friday. ... Andrei Kirilenko has performed well in two consecutive games off the bench and could be a sneaky play against the Grizzlies since Deron Williams is still questionable. ... Omri Casspi against the Warriors? Sounds like another 20-point game could be in the cards. ... No team is remotely close to the 76ers' mark for opponents' 3-point percentage allowed (NBA-worst 41.9 percent), so all systems go for Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva on Saturday.