Ricky O'Donnell: February 2009 Archives

Just two games yesterday so lets make this quick...

Fantasy star of the Lakers-Suns game

F Lamar Odom - Lakers
Vs. Suns
23 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks

Fantasy star of the Cavs-Rockets game

C Yao Ming - Rockets
Vs. Cavs
28 points, 8 rebounds

It's pretty shocking with the Lakers and Cavs in action last night, neither Kobe or LeBron could grab one of our top slots. Kobster was in 'spread the wealth' mode, finishing with a modest (for him) 22-8-4 line. LeBron didn't fair so well. Not only did his Cavs lose a key rotation cog with Ben Wallace (ha!) breaking his foot, but LBJ also finished assist-less for the first time in his career.

Top Five Yankees

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Apply for our fantasy league

First and foremost, we're holding a live draft on Sunday, March 15 at 8 p.m. You can always auto-draft your team, but I'd advise you only sign up if you can be there.

- We're getting as many into in the league as we can - 20. That may sound like a lot but I'm playing in a 10 team AL-only league this year, so it's pretty much the same thing. It should be a fun challenge for everyone.

- It's a 5x5 rotisserie league. The categories are R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, W, SV, K, ERA, WHIP.

- Following fantasy baseball the entire season is a challenge, even for supposed experts. Please only sign up if you plan on playing the entire season.

- Get those emails into matthewolsen81@yahoo.com! It should be a sweet time all summer long.

Now onto business...

Player of the night

G Dwyane Wade - Heat
Vs. Magic
31 points, 16 assists, 7 rebounds

I feel like every time I do one of these posts, Wade's name tops the list. And sure, I do love me some D-Wade (and I have him in my big keeper league), but it's a testament to how awesome he has been all season. Detroit (hey, remember when they used to be good?) had no answer for him all night; Rodney Stuckey - often described as a poor man's Wade - had no chance in hell of slowing him down.

31 points is pretty much par for the course this season for Wade, but what really sticks out are the assists. 16 is a new career high. Throw in a healthy number of rebounds and an fairly efficient night shooting the ball (11-of-20 from the field, 8-of-9 from the line), and Tuesday was probably one of Wade's best all-around fantasy efforts of the season. And - hey! - his team even won. Good times all around.

First, a few quick facts on the league we set up yesterday.

- First and foremost, we're holding a live draft on Sunday, March 15 at 8 p.m. You can always auto-draft your team, but I'd advise you only sign up if you can be there.

- We're getting as many into in the league as we can - 20. That may sound like a lot but I'm playing in a 10 team AL-only league this year, so it's pretty much the same thing. It should be a fun challenge for everyone.

- It's a 5x5 rotisserie league. The categories are R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, W, SV, K, ERA, WHIP.

- Following fantasy baseball the entire season is a challenge, even for supposed experts. Please only sign up if you plan on playing the entire season.

- Get those emails into Matt! It should be a sweet time all summer long.

Now onto business...

*

5. SP Jesse Litsch

Litsch made a strong debut in 2007, and followed it up with an even better 2008. The 23-year old pitcher is set to take an even bigger role this year with the Blue Jays, with starter Dustin McGowan continuing to battle injuries. McGowan may not be ready until June, so Toronto will be counting on Litsch to to stabilize the rotation behind ace Roy Halladay. Litsch struck out only 99 batters in 176 innings last year, but at least he doesn't walk a ton of guys. Litsch posted a very solid 1.23 ERA last year in his first full season as a starter.

Player of the night

G Dwyane Wade - Heat
@ Orlando
50 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists

We had lots of worthy candidates for player of the night on an action-packed Sunday in the NBA, but D-Wade's career high takes the cake. Wade came up short in the Battle of Florida, but it's not his fault his teammates couldn't make a shot. Jermaine O'Neal finished 2-of-10, Mario Chalmers went 1-of-7, and our boy Michael Beasley missed nine shots.

The acquisition of O'Neal gives the Heat the post presence they've been sorely missing, but he's not going to help if he keeps missing shots. Still, JO was playing well in Toronto before being dealt so he still looks like a decent fantasy option. Wade, of course, is one of the three best fantasy players in the game today. Ride him as far as he can take you.

More, after the jump.

Today we bring you a special four pack of shining stars.

G Dwyane Wade - Heat
Vs. T-Wolves
37 points, 12 assists, 4 rebounds

G Chris Paul - Hornets
Vs. Magic
36 points, 10 assists, 6 rebounds

F Amar'e Stoudemire - Suns
@ Clippers
42 points, 11 rebounds

G Kobe Bean Bryant - Lakers
@ Golden State
30 points, 9 assists, 2 blocks

Superstars....they're pretty good! More groundbreaking analysis, after the jump.

Player of the night

G Rajon Rondo - Celtics
@ Mavericks
19 points, 15 rebounds, 14 assists

If you ever wanted to know how much Kevin Garnett means to the Celtics, look no further than the effect he's had on his coach and young point guard. Chicago's own Doc Rivers was seen as a punchline after leading Boston to one the worst records in the NBA two years ago without KG. Now? He's the ultimate player's coach, kind of like basketball's Dusty Baker, only affective.

And does anyone think Rondo would have turned into such a monster without Garnett? He's one of the three best points in the East right now (along with Derrick Rose and Devin Harris), and he's in a perfect position to make a bunch of easy plays and never worry about carrying his team. Rondo is a joy to watch and has been a stellar fantasy player all year.

Check out Thursday's other star (and an ultra shameless plug) after the jump...

Player of the night

F/C Emeka Okafor - Bobcats
Vs. Clippers
19 points, 16 rebounds, 3 blocks

What, exactly, has Charlotte been up to recently? I believe Fanhouse's Tom Ziller put it best after the Adam Morrison-for-Vlad Rad swap: (link)


For Charlotte ... well, I stopped trying to figure out Charlotte's basketball motives a long time ago. I suppose Radmanovic helps the perimeter play. But you'd think Morrison could have done that, or maybe Matt Carroll, a sharpshooter the 'Cats traded a couple weeks ago for a guy (DeSagana Diop) who has played a total of 130 minutes since arriving and is signed through 2013. Is there a big Serbian community in North Carolina?

Okafor has been the Bobcats' lone bright spot since the franchise's inception, but Monday's performance seems to be more an aberration than anything. His points and rebounds stats are the lowest they've been in three years, and he's stuck on a career low blocks per game.

Player of the night

G Deron Williams - Jazz
Vs. Dallas
34 points, 12 assists, 5 rebounds

His alma mater had a rough time on Thursday, but Deron Williams certainly did not. Williams absolutely abused Jason Kidd to the tune of a season-high 34 points, and mixed in enough assists and rebounds to finish with arguably his best game of the season.

Hey Mark Cuban, how's that Kidd-for-Devin Harris swap looking now?

Player of the night

G Kobe Bryant - Lakers
@ Knicks
61 points, 20-for-20 on free throws, three three-pointers, three assists

Funny how the sports' greatest players always save their best for Madison Square Garden. Kobe broke MJ's record for most points by a visiting player last night in what should be the first of many big time scoring performances now that center Andrew Bynum is out again, this year for a reported eight to 12 weeks.

While Kobe's still third in the league in scoring, his 27.4 points per game is his lowest total since 03-04. Expect a big increase in points, and probably a dip in shooting percentage and assists, over the next few months.

About the bloggers

Matt Wood is a web editor for suntimes.com and editor of CenterstageChicago.com. He is also a contributor for satirical sports publication The Heckler. Have a fantasy question? E-mail him.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by Ricky O'Donnell in February 2009.

Ricky O'Donnell: January 2009 is the previous archive.

Ricky O'Donnell: March 2009 is the next archive.

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