Fantasy Hoops Crunchtime: Meet the Punchables
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We've all had them—the guys on your fantasy team that lure you in like catnip, then absolutely crush your spirit with a devastating, week-demolishing performance that leaves you wishing for five minutes alone in a room with them.
They are The Punchables!
Weak backs, births of children, hip pointers, these are the hallmarks of these wimpy warriors, these beasts of the bench, these titans of the training room. Exploding for eight-cat excitement while on your bench, they beckon your weekly lineup with promises of categorical dominance, late-season prominence and statistical preeminence.
But once they get locked in there, it's nothing but meager production, gameplay reduction and percentage destruction. Oh, for a minute alone with these top five Punchables....
5. Trevor Ariza
Statistics show that this shot will probably miss.
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Steals. The rarest of beasts.
Usually the domain of studs like Rondo, Paul and Ellis. What if you could find that kind of steal production on your waiver wire?
Oh, wait, look at Ariza! Steals, threes, playing time and some points and rebounds as well! I'm picking him up and starting him! (Sound of lineup locking) Ooooh, a 16-percent shooting night, followed by a 3-2-1 line, then a hip pointer....oh, yeah, that's why he was on the waiver wire...
4. Darko Milicic
"You made it to the end of the game!"
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Hey, Darko, congratulations on the birth of your child! Really, this is great news.
Now could you please return to the lineup and start blocking shots? As a matter of fact, while you're in the hospital, could you have them take a look at your sore toe (which caused you to miss a week after two minutes of your game on Monday) and your hip pointer, too?
True fact: if you Google "Darko injuries" you get just over 4 million hits. Try it.
3. Carlos Delfino
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This is like the girl that you catch out of the corner of your eye, and think "Wow! She's hot!" Then, after you steal her from her boyfriend, you notice that he seems oddly happy.
You see Delfino's name in the box scores, and the five-steal games, the double-doubles, the threes. Then you pick him up/trade for him, and find yourself caught in a perfect storm of super-deep roster, whimsical coaching, on-court drifting and atrocious shooting.
Somewhere, the old boyfriend is smiling.
2. Jameer Nelson
Odds are this nice play is being made while Jameer is on your fantasy bench.
OK, I'll be honest: Jameer is the reason that I am writing this article today.
Before last night, Jameeracle averaged 17 and 6 over his last five games, earning him mention on several fantasy sites as a sleeper for this week. Start him! (Sound of my lineup locking).
Last night, he kicked off my week with 2 points, 4 assists and five turnovers on 14.3 percent shooting. I'm laughing as I write this. And crying.
1. Andrei Kirilenko
Meet the "Tsar of IR"
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Did you know that "Kirilenko" is Russian for "paper thin"? I can almost guarantee you that if you ask any fantasy player about the topic of this article, the first thing they will say is "AK".
He's like Jameeracle squared, and it has been going on for years. What makes AK No. 1 is that, when he plays, he is a flat-out stud. Points, steals, blocks, rebs, threes—he's got it all. Then he throws out his back ironing his hair and you're left kicking yourself around the room, saying "I knew it!"
Going. On. For. Years.