No need for patience with Trevor Ariza

January, 4, 2011

Even though he's in the NBA's top 15 in steals, it's hard to believe how many fantasy owners continue to put up with Trevor Ariza. Ariza scored a season-high 22 points on New Year's Day, but immediately reverted to his rim-clanking ways on Monday, going only 2-of-11 from the field (and 0-for-2 from the line) against the Philadelphia 76ers. At this point, the 25-year-old might be best served by doing a Josh Smith and de-emphasizing the 3-pointer for a good long while. Ariza's brutal .373 shooting percentage is largely explained by his atrocious .248 mark -- on 3.9 attempts per game -- from distance. (It's not too late for New Year's resolutions, after all.) After going 0-for-4 from beyond the arc against the Sixers, Ariza has made just five of his past 37 from downtown.

But back to my original point: Ariza is still rostered in about three-quarters of leagues, and he's shooting 37.3 percent.

Looking Back

• He's called Crash for a reason: Gerald Wallace sat out for the sixth time in eight games after reinjuring his left ankle in practice on Sunday. He's expected to miss several games. But even with G-Wall back on the sidelines and Paul Silas behind the bench, little has changed for perpetual fantasy tease Tyrus Thomas (eight points, five rebounds on only 4-of-14 shooting), who played only 22 minutes against the Miami Heat.

Hedo Turkoglu fits in Orlando like mouse ears. Even though he was just 3-of-9 from the floor against the Golden State Warriors, Turk had his best game yet in his second stint with the Orlando Magic: 10 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists and five steals. Meanwhile, Jason Richardson scored 20 points and swished four treys for the second time in three outings.

• Former lottery pick Jordan Hill is now starting in place of an injured Chuck Hayes for the Houston Rockets, but it's veteran Brad Miller who should be added in leagues of at least 12 teams. While the foul-plagued Hill lasted just 12 minutes against the Detroit Pistons, Miller (10 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, two 3-pointers and two blocks) had his second strong game out of three in Hayes' absence.

Andre Iguodala (Achilles) missed his fourth straight game on Monday and isn't expected to resume on-court activities for another week. Andres Nocioni (13 points, seven rebounds, two 3s) has been filling in admirably in his absence. Marreese Speights is another potential reach for deep-leaguers. He started for Spencer Hawes (back) on Monday and contributed 12 points and six rebounds in 24 minutes.

Looking Ahead

Making his third straight start, Tracy McGrady came just one rebound short of a triple-double, going for 11 points (on 5-of-11 shooting), 11 assists and 9 rebounds against the Utah Jazz. But with the Detroit Pistons visiting the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, we'll get a much better idea of McGrady's fantasy-relevance. The injury-ravaged 31-year-old hasn't really been tested in a back-to-back situation. The last time the Pistons played on consecutive days, T-Mac was limited to just 10 minutes against the Charlotte Bobcats on Dec. 27. McGrady's numbers could also be curtailed by Rodney Stuckey's return to health. After missing two games due to the flu, Stuckey played 14 minutes off the bench on Monday. McGrady is available in about 90 percent of leagues.

Neil Tardy is a fantasy basketball analyst for



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