by Dave Fuller
I'ts about time to try something new in these fantasy basketball articles to keep things fresh. You know how long this season can be, especially around the All-Star break. So, in this first ever installment of "The Rundown", I'll go over whatever's making noise around the NBA (and throw in some analysis when it pertains to the fantasy game). Oh, and by the way, that's supposed to read "foiled" but with Foye in it. Like, Randy Foye? Combo guard for the Timberwolves? Yeah, I always forget about them too.
Sophomore combo guard Randy Foye made his long-awaited season debut Tuesday in the first game of a home-and-home against the Chicago Bulls. As expected, Foye only received limited minutes (17:43) as he works himself back into game shape. Why an NBA player ever needs to get more into "shape" I'll never know, but Foye should be back up to game speed soon after the break. If it takes Foye a few weeks to get back into shape, I don't know how long it would take me. I probably don't even want to know.
When that occurs (Foye, not me), expect numbers in the area of 42-44% from the floor, a 3 per game, above 80% shooting form the line, about 1 combined steal and/or block per game, and a respectable 11-12 points and 3-3.5 rebounds and assists each. Foye is likely to take over Marko Jaric's spot at the 2 with Sebastian Telfair continuing to play around 30 minutes a game. Jaric's numbers will obviously take a hit while Telfair's should stay reasonably similar. Foye has the potential to improve his all-around game at any point this season, so don't think it's out of the question for him to make up for lost time and give your team a boost at the guard position. Just don't expect much past what he did as a rookie last season.
PF/C Anderson Varejao is out for about four weeks, so PF Drew Gooden will see a spike in production while the Brazilian is sidelined. Looking at the respectable points and rebounding totals he put up while Varejao was out, you can expect him to at least come close to those numbers again. At least for the next few weeks.
Also, watch out for the flu bug. It's been spreading like wildfire, and is completely unpredictable. Just make sure you have ample back-up at your weaker positions so you never miss a step if your players are unfortunate enough to catch it this season.
Mike Bibby's name hasn't come up in any serious talks yet, but as the trade deadline looms and various factors make Bibby expendable, it's safe to assume he'll be shipped somewhere. Yahoo's "NBA Rumors" page lists a few possible locations for Bibby, but let's take a look at how they'd impact your fantasy squad.
First off, Bibby to the Houston Rockets would be very beneficial for both sides. Kings former head coach Rick Adelman is running the show in Houston, so Bibby would become very comfortable with Adelman's scheme very quickly. This is likely the best possible fit for the long-time King, but likely wouldn't increase his numbers past his career averages. The Cavaliers are also pursuing Bibby, according to Yahoo!, but neither of the aforementioned teams have the assets to acquire a floor general of Bibby's caliber without gutting their trade chips. Would that be worth half a season of Bibby? He can terminate his contract early and enter free agency following the season, so any team attempting to acquire him will be bidding against themselves if they go after Mike.
Both the Cavs and the Rockets, however, realize that they must upgrade their current point guards (Larry Hughes and Rafer Alston, respectively) if they are to have any shot of going far in the playoffs (Cleveland) or even making the post-season (Houston). This is especially true now that LeBron James is starting to get hit with the injury bug. Neither deal (or staying put) would do much of anything for his fantasy value, though. Perhaps a slight scoring increase in Cleveland or a slight increase in dimes in Houston.
Since the All-Star break begins in the middle of February (only a couple weeks away), I'll leave you with this tidbit from Rudy Gay to Dwight Howard (both Slam Dunk Contest participants):
"You have that idea about moving the goal to 12 feet? If you want to do it, go ahead and do it. I'm pretty confident in my jumping ability. If you go before me, I'll leave it up there and do my dunk."
If you're going to challenge the Man-Child, you better back it with a pretty solid performance. I don't know if taking a fan's YouTube submission will be enough to out-freak the freak, so let's hope Rudy Gay gives us (and Dwight) a performance to remember.