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Saturday, February 28, 2009
Marbury not bad in debut, but not fantasy worthy


Stephon Marbury saw only 12 minutes of action in his Celtics debut, but he was actually somewhat impressive despite the limited minutes with eight points, two assists and a steal in relief of Rajon Rondo. Marbury, who is owned in 9.2 percent of fantasy leagues, has been making his way up ESPN.com's Most Added list with a plus-two percentage change since his release from New York. Forgive me for the pessimism, but I'm not sure why owners are feeling the need to run out and acquire a backup point guard who will struggle to earn playing time as long as Rondo is healthy. Perhaps Marbury will have some value when April rolls around and Doc Rivers decides to rest his starters for the playoff run, but he's certainly not worth a pickup right now, especially not when better point guard options are readily available. Instead of jumping the gun on Steph, owners needing point guard stats should consider adding starters like Jarrett Jack (28.4 percent owned), Mike Conley (19.9 percent owned), Aaron Brooks (8.4 percent owned) and even Sebastian Telfair (3.6 percent owned).

Under the boards

FRIDAY, FEB. 27
HIGHLIGHTS
Al Horford, Hawks: 21 points, 22 rebounds and a block on 8-for-14 shooting from the floor in a victory over the Heat.
Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks: 41 points, 9 rebounds and a 3-pointer on 16-for-30 shooting from the floor and 8-for-10 shooting from the line.
Shaquille O'Neal, Suns: 45 points, 11 rebounds, 3 steals and a block on 20-for-25 shooting from the floor.
LOWLIGHTS
Mike Bibby, Hawks: 0 points, 2 assists on 0-for-7 shooting from the floor in just 18 minutes while battling flu-like symptoms.
Luol Deng, Bulls: 4 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal on 2-for-8 shooting from the floor in 30 minutes.
Sebastian Telfair, Timberwolves: 2 points, 2 assists and 3 turnovers on 0-for-5 shooting in 21 minutes of action.

In our obligatory injury news, Kevin Durant scored just six points before leaving in the first quarter with a sprained right ankle. He left the arena on crutches and there is still no word on a timetable for his return. This is obviously a devastating blow to his owners as Durant was averaging 33.1 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.9 3-pointers this month. Jeff Green (28 points), Russell Westbrook (33 points) and Thabo Sefolosha (12 points) stand to benefit the most if Durant is forced to miss more time. … John Salmons had his best game as a Bull with 25 points in 31 minutes and is suddenly starting to earn more playing time for Vinny Del Negro. It's looking like Salmons will actually be alright going forward, but he still won't have the same value he had in Sacramento. Chicago is just too deep now and the stats will be spread out. Take Luol Deng, for instance. Deng scored just four points despite logging 30 minutes. That's just not going to cut it. … Those in deeper leagues will want to keep an eye on Dominic McGuire in Washington. On Friday, McGuire had his third double-double in his past five games with 10 points, 11 rebounds, plus a steal and three blocks and is now averaging 9.0 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks over his past five. … The Pistons finally got back on the winning track and they did it without Allen Iverson thanks to big nights from Rodney Stuckey (22 points) and Richard Hamilton (31 points, 6 assists, 3 steals). Stuckey had been struggling mightily in recent action so his owners will have to hope that he can build on this success. Some folks have grown tired of his poor play, but I do not recommend dropping him just yet as he has enough talent to turn things around down the stretch. … Brandon Rush continued to show flashes of brilliance with 17 points and three 3-pointers against the Celtics on Friday night. Rush has a ton of upside so be sure to keep a close eye on Rush's development with both Mike Dunleavy and Danny Granger out. … Larry Hughes finally busted out in New York with 25 points, four steals and three 3-pointers in 33 minutes. Anyone has upside in Mike D'Antoni's offense, but I think we'd have to see this again before we start getting too excited about Hughes' potential. Remember, Nate Robinson and Wilson Chandler will still get their numbers in New York. … As Ramon Sessions (eight points, two assists in 23 minutes) and Luke Ridnour (14 points, three assists in 28 minutes) continue to duke it out in the backcourt, Charlie Bell (21 points, three assists, one steal and five 3-pointers) has quietly become a solid option averaging 15.6 points, 0.8 steals and 3.2 3-pointers over his past five games. He deserves a pickup for those that need a 3-point specialist. … The Timberwolves had a miserable night and their starters took a seat on the bench in the 102-82 loss to Portland. With that said, don't read too much into poor efforts of Randy Foye (13 points on 5-of-15 shooting), Ryan Gomes (six points in 29 minutes) and Kevin Love (two points, three rebounds in 28 minutes). … Greg Oden missed another game with his worrisome knee injury and Joel Przybilla again proved to be a solid addition for rebounds and blocks with eight boards and three blocks in 33 minutes in the victory over Minnesota. … The Suns had no problem scoring 133 points without Steve Nash as Shaquille O'Neal went off for 45 points, 11 rebounds, three steals and a block and Louis Amundson pitched in with a 20-point, 10-rebound, four-block effort. Shaq had been phenomenal since Amare Stoudemire's injury, but Amundson is worth keeping an eye on just in case Shaq's body breaks down toward the end of the season. … Nene's return (eight points, seven rebounds in 20 minutes) didn't hurt Chris Andersen one bit. Andersen had 11 points, 12 boards and seven blocks against the Lakers. His production in points and rebounds will likely fall off the table once Nene is back to speed, but he's still worth holding on to deep leagues if you need the blocks. … Anderson Varejao started in place of Ben Wallace but managed just six points, five rebounds, one steal and one block in 28 minutes. Varejao should see more minutes with Big Ben out and should be better than this on most nights. … Andris Biedrins had 18 points and 13 boards before leaving Friday's game in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury. It didn't look too bad so he shouldn't be out long but Ronny Turiaf will enjoy success if Biedrins misses time. … With Beno Udrih out, Bobby Jackson saw 36 minutes and scored 18 points with two steals and three 3-pointers in a victory over the Clippers. Jackson could be a decent short-term pickup option for those in deeper leagues. … Francisco Garcia and Andres Nocioni proved they can coexist in Sacramento as Garcia provided a versatile 15 points, six assists, two steals, one block and a 3-pointer while Nocioni pitched in with 17 points and three 3-pointers in the win.