With Agent Zero's original target date for return of March 2 come and gone, the Wizards guard has increased the intensity of his workouts in an effort to return at some point during Washington's final 16 games. An MRI showed that the injured knee has healed well and doctors cleared Arenas to return to strenuous practice.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Many fantasy owners have been burned by Arenas this season and while this news provides some hope he will return in time for the fantasy playoffs I wouldn't count on him too heavily. Arenas hasn't played since November 16th and with only 16 games returning I doubt he will have time to return to form. I found the following quote by Gilbert very telling:
"When I come back, it's just an assist game. They don't want me jumping and being acrobatic." He continued "This year, don't go back trying to be me - just come back and be an assist man and stay out of the hole and just to be careful."
If this quote is any indication of the Arenas we will see if and when he returns, it appears he will strictly be a ball distributor and perimeter shooter. The fact he will shy away from getting to the rim and more importantly to the foul line will severely limit his offensive production. Arenas' drive is the facet of his offensive game that makes him special as he has averaged nearly 10 foul shots a game over the last 3 seasons.
At this point an Arenas's return would likely occur in the final two weeks of the season and the best fantasy owners can expect is contributions in the assist department and point totals in the mid teens.
With Arenas still on the sidelines, the trio of Antonio Daniels, Roger Mason Jr. and DeShawn Stevenson aka "The Lebron Stopper" will continue to see ample playing time. Stevenson and Mason can help in points and three pointers while Daniels represents the best all-around option with the ability to get 5-6 assists and score in the low teens.