Blowout loss bad for Mavs players
Two nationally televised blowouts will lead to many a disappointed fantasy owner, as was the case last night when both the Dallas Mavericks and Portland Trail Blazers lost by 15-plus points. The biggest egg-layers were in Dallas, where Jason Kidd, Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and Shawn Marion all were held to single-digit scoring. Kidd, of course, can usually provide without the scoring but dished out just two assists; Butler went 0-of-4 from the field, Haywood had only one block and Marion didn't have a block or a steal.
It's Butler's stat line that may be the most disappointing, since the trade to Dallas was supposed to jump-start his season and make him the No. 2 scoring option behind Dirk Nowitzki. But instead, Butler has continued to settle for midrange jumpers, even when his poor percentages (43.9 percent from the field) indicate he's better slashing. With many a free agent out there in the final games of the season, Butler is suddenly expendable. He's owned in 100 percent of leagues, oddly enough, but he probably shouldn't be -- now that his free throw percentage has regressed, steals are the only category in which he's much above average.
LaMarcus Aldridge, Trail Blazers: 16 points, 7 rebounds, 4 blocks, 2 steals against the Nuggets.|
Chauncey Billups, Nuggets: 21 points (7-8 FT), 6 assists, 2 3-pointers, 2 steals versus the Trail Blazers.
Dwight Howard, Magic: 17 points, 20 rebounds, 5 blocks against the Mavericks.
Jason Kidd, Mavericks: 7 points (2-8 FG), 5 rebounds, 2 assists versus the Magic.|
Rashard Lewis, Magic: 6 points (2-6 FG), 3 rebounds against the Mavericks.
Brandon Roy, Trail Blazers: 14 points (3-13 FG), 3 rebounds, 3 assists versus Nuggets.
A similar case could be made for the $118 million man, Rashard Lewis. Lewis scored six points Thursday, putting his average during the past four games at a measly 8.0 per game. He's hitting 3-pointers, but that's about it. Rasual Butler, for example, does all that and more and is widely available. Chauncey Billups went 6-of-13 from the field versus the Blazers, marking the second time in three games he's shot better than 45 percent from the field, so maybe his shooting woes are coming to an end. Mickael Pietrus caught fire off the bench for the Orlando Magic, going 6-of-6 from beyond the arc en route to 24 points in 18 minutes. But it's doubtful he'll grab the starting assignment from Matt Barnes barring a couple of repeat performances, so don't extrapolate too much based off one great night.
Joakim Noah (foot) finally got extensive playing time versus the Phoenix Suns, logging 27 minutes, and looks like he can be reinserted into lineups for Friday's run against the Washington Wizards. Marc Gasol (neck) is confirmed out for the season, so expect Hasheem Thabeet to go off in the waning days of the season. He averaged 1.8 blocks in 19.2 minutes in March, and while he fouls too much to project a ton of playing time, he has the potential to singlehandedly carry you in blocks the final week of the season.
Adam Madison is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.