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NBA Barometer: NBA Barometer-Week 15

Charlie Zegers

Charlie has covered the NBA, NFL and MLB for RotoWire for the better part of 15 years. His work has also appeared on,, the New York Times, ESPN, Fox Sports and Yahoo. He embraces his East Coast bias and is Smush Parker's last remaining fan.

The Barometer
By Charlie Zegers
RotoWire Staff Writer

You Can Go Home Again

ESPN is reporting that Chris Webber to the Warriors is "a done deal."

On paper, this sounds great. One of the best passing big men of his generation returns to the place where his career began, a team with perhaps the thinnest frontcourt in the league, to help ignite the break. This is the sort of move that could put the Warriors in the same class as Western Conference contenders like Dallas, San Antonio, the Lakers, the Hornets and the Jazz.

If they were getting Chris Webber circa 2001. Y'know... when C'Webb still had knees.

This is not to say that Webber won't help the Warriors. He still has a ton of skill, and he may very well thrive by setting up in the high post and passing out to one of Golden State's many proficient shooters. He may even help the Warriors establish some continuity in the halfcourt offense, which will be badly needed in the playoffs.

But he's old. And slow. He may wind up doing more than helping the Warriors establish a halfcourt offense – he may force them to play in the halfcourt when he's on the floor. And that's just not Golden State's strength.

How will Webber's arrival impact fantasy values in Oakland? At this point, your guess is as good as mine. Knowing Don Nelson, he might use Webber to spell Baron Davis at the point. Our take: Webber is worth a roster spot if you have one to spare, but don't drop anyone good to grab him.

Around the League:

Every week, we'll use this space to track players whose fantasy value is improving, declining, or uncertain. We're not particularly concerned with hot or cold streaks - all players toss up a 2-for-10 every now and again - unless they are extreme or seem to indicate an underlying problem or injury. Instead, we'll be looking at changes in playing time or role or skill level. Comments and questions are always welcome - just post 'em on the message board at the bottom of this page.

Stock Up

Drew Gooden (CLE): Gooden logged heavy minutes – and put up heavy numbers – before Anderson Varejao came back into the fold. Given the news that Varejao will miss some time (see below), it looks like Gooden will have the opportunity to replicate his early-season productivity. Zydrunas Ilgauskas should see a production boost as well.

Jason Terry (DAL): With Devin Harris (see below) out, Terry will need to pick up some of the backcourt scoring load. Same goes for Jerry Stackhouse.

Andris Biedrins (GS): Some are interpreting the Warriors' discussions with Chris Webber as a means of lighting a fire under Biedrins. Mission accomplished. Biedrins has grabbed double-figures in boards in four straight games, including a career-high 26 rebounds against the Knicks on Sunday.

Tyrus Thomas (CHI): With Joe Smith playing through a knee injury, Thomas is getting an opportunity to work his way back into the rotation. His performance on Sunday, scoring 10 points and grabbing 11 boards while also posting two steals and blocks in 32 minutes, is certainly a step in the right direction.

Hidayet Turkoglu (ORL): Gotta give Hedo some love, and not just for that buzzer-beater against the Celtics. He's been red-hot over his last five games, averaging 24.4 points per game and shooting 50.6 percent from the field over that stretch. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Charlie Bell (MIL): Bell figures to be the prime beneficiary of Michael Redd's absence (see below). Bell scored 22 points on 7-of-16 shooting, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range, with six rebounds, six assists and one steal in 41 minutes off the bench Sunday in Milwaukee's victory over Washington. Royal Ivey actually started in Redd's spot and also played well (17 points, six assists, three steals) but we're inclined to think that was an aberration.

Check Status

Carmelo Anthony (DEN): 'Melo tested his sprained ankle before Monday's game but wasn't able to go. It sounds like he'll be a game-time decision for the Nuggets' next contest, on Wednesday against the Grizzlies.

Damon Stoudamire (?): Stoudamire and the Grizzlies have reached agreement on a buyout, and Mighty Mouse will be a free agent when he clears waivers. He could be an excellent pickup, depending on where he lands – Boston, Denver and Toronto seem like reasonable options.

Mike Bibby (SAC): Just back from an extended absence due to thumb surgery, Bibby is playing with a sprained pinky finger on his right hand. He says it won't affect his play, but it's worth watching.

Yao Ming (HOU): Yao missed Sunday's game due to a respiratory infection, and could be out on Tuesday as well. Luis Scola started in his place Sunday.

Grant Hill (PHO): Back spasms forced Hill to miss Sunday's game, but he was expected to practice Monday and return to the lineup for Tuesday's game.

Jameer Nelson (ORL): Nelson missed his fifth straight game on Sunday due to a foot injury. He's shooting for a return on Wednesday. Carlos Arroyo hasn't played particularly well in Nelson's absence; odds are Nelson will regain his starting spot right away.

Stock Down

Kevin Durant (SEA): It could be the dreaded "rookie wall." Or it could be a nasty thigh bruise. Either way, Durant is ice cold this January, shooting under 40 percent for the month. The thigh is a likely culprit… robbing Durant of his explosiveness on drives and forcing him to settle for lower-percentage shots.

Kevin Garnett (BOS): KG sat out Sunday's game with an abdominal strain and may miss another game or two. The injury isn't considered serious; Boston is just being cautious with its MVP candidate.

Anderson Varejao (CLE): Varejao is out indefinitely with a sprained ankle.

Michael Redd (MIL): Redd will be sidelined for at least the rest of this week with a knee injury suffered in Friday night's game. He's hoping to be back in action by Saturday, but an injury to the same knee caused him to miss 20 games last year.

Devin Harris (DAL): Harris suffered a bone bruise to his left ankle and is expected to be sidelined for two-to-three weeks.

Ben Gordon (CHI): Gordon has missed three straight games with a sprained right wrist; no word yet on when he'll be back in uniform.

Article first appeared on 1/28/08