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InsideHoops [Fantasy Basketball]

Fantasy Basketball Answers




/ Feb. 12, 2004

The Answerman is the first and only Fantasy Basketball & Romance advice columnist on the net. He is here at InsideHoops to answer all your questions (or at least the interesting ones).

We are taught by movies to always "go all out" and "give 100%" - we should "never give up, never surrender" and certainly never "leave a man behind."

I am here to tell you that those maxims are wrong. Sometimes you have give up a little, you occasionally must leave a man behind - if it serves the greater good.

It's called cutting your losses. Once you acknowledge that your team is going the wrong way, you have to figure where to cut in order to stop the bleeding and get to healing.

Here are some losses that have to get cut:

Nick Van Exel. I was a huge Van Exel fan going into this season. Hot scoring point guard going to an offensive-minded team without a primary scorer. I had visions of 18 points and 7 assists per game dancing through my head. Due to injuries, age and disinterest, it didn't happen. So now what?

If you want to replace the missing assists, you can go sign or trade for Tinsley. If you want to go big, Van Exel can probably get you Joe Smith. He is scoring less but doing a nice job on the boards and blocks.

Kobe Bryant. Kobe is still a top player, however, if we've learned something about him this year, he is a slow healer. This cut finger has him out for over a week already. I would guess that the Laker staff is being cautious. That is very nice for the Lakers and their playoff hopes, but for your fantasy playoffs, I foresee him missing intermittent games throughout the season, which will cost you. So now what?

Kobe's greatest contribution to your team is points and steals. If you are going to replace him, you have to find those categories. You can get Eddie Jones and a big-filler easily, Ron Artest can be an option from a foolish owner.

Dwayne Wade/Chris Bosh. Both of these guys looked so good. Bosh giving some nice rebounding and blocks and Wade going across the board. They are both in the midst of their secnd injuries of the season. That's a very bad sign. Wade did just come back and looked good doing it, but if he keeps getting hurt, it's a problem. Again, you want guys who you can rely on every day. Rookies missing two significant chunks of time cannot be counted on. So now what?

Replace Bosh with Kwame Brown. Everybody is sour on Kwame, but he is playing well and seems to be better with Arenas and Stackhouse back. There is a reason he was a number 1 pick. Watch for 16 & 9 for the rest of the season.

With Wade, it's harder. Wait to see if he stays healthy, and if he doesn't, it may be time to deal him. Darius Miles has had a small rebirth in Portland. He has potential to give you some numbers in a lot of categories and is widely available as a free agent or on trading blocks in leagues.

Karl Malone. Drop him. Just do it. I know it feels wrong. I know he got to a good start. He's not going to help you this season. Think like this, he never missed any games his whole career. How bad is his injury for him to be missing so much time? Pretty bad.

Go pick up anyone who is playing and its an improvement.

As a final note, "cutting your losses" does not mean giving up on a season. I know some of your teams are out of contention. I'm sorry I couldn't help. You have only two legitimate options right now:

1) Set a goal for your team and make an effort to achieve it by picking up hot players; or

2) Do nothing.

It is unacceptable to give players away. It trashes a good season for the rest of your league. It's like sitting at a blackjack table with a guy who doesn't know what he's doing. He always takes your card and you bust. In the end, the house beats both of you.

Don't be either guy.

Enjoy the all-star break and if you have any questions, be sure to write the

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