Fratello’s Fantasy Pick: Carl Landry

Fourth-year PF Carl Landry turned out to be a critical pickup for the New Orleans Hornets, and he may also be valuable to Fantasy owners down the final stretch of the regular season. Landry’s acquisition from Sacramento in February added depth to the Hornets’ roster, and now that insurance policy is paying off.

Starting forward David West went down with a season-ending knee injury in the Hornets’ 121-117 overtime win at Utah last Thursday. With the loss of the team’s leading scorer (West averaged 18.9 ppg this season), Landry has landed in the starting lineup as the Hornets continue their playoff push.

Landry averaged 21.5 points and 8 rebounds in his first two starts. He contributed 19 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals in Friday’s 106-100 win over Phoenix. And though the Hornets will finish the regular season winless against Los Angeles, Landry followed up with another huge performance in Sunday’s 104-82 loss to the Lakers, cashing in a season-high 24 chips in the contest on 8 of 16 shooting from the field. He also added 10 rebounds, 1 block and 1 assist in 44 minutes.

Carl Landry is a hardnosed competitor who has a steel mill mentality. He’s a terrific team player who works hard and sets a great example for young players in the league. Landry’s midrange jump shot has improved over the last couple years, bolstering his offensive game. After he was traded to Sacramento last season, Landry averaged 18 points over their final 28 games.

NOLA teammates and fans are counting on Landry to come through with another big finish and to continue to produce over the remaining eight games in order to fulfill their postseason quest. New Orleans (42-32) currently sits seventh in the West, just ahead of Memphis (41-33). The Hornets will be helped out by a five-game home stretch and are slated to play three games this week beginning with a matchup against their Western Conference foes – the sixth-seeded Trail Blazers on Wednesday.

From the Booth

Mike Fratello and Ryan Ruocco talk about the Nets’ 98-87 loss against the Hawks on Saturday night.

On the Road with Mike: Philips Arena for Nets vs. Hawks

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Thanks to Moses Robinson of OPM Photography for sharing his photos. Photos © 2011 Moses Robinson.

From the Booth

Mike Fratello and Ryan Ruocco break down the Nets’ hard fought 95-85 loss to the Magic in Orlando on Friday night.

Fratello Fundamentals

When you miss a shot, don’t waste your time trying to bring a missed foul call to the referee’s attention. Hustle down the court and get set on defense immediately, or you could wind up giving away an uncontested basket to your opponent.

Jordan Crawford’s freshman season is drawing to a close as the Wizards will sit out the playoffs for the third year in a row. But since his arrival in D.C. at the end of February, Crawford has already gained valuable experience and made significant contributions while filling in at the two spot for Nick Young, who’s been sidelined with a knee injury for the past five games. Crawford has averaged 16.3 ppg during March, scoring an NBA career-high 27 points in Washington’s recent loss to Chicago.

Though his pro career is off to an impressive start, Crawford did make a rookie mistake in the Wiz’s 98-92 W over the Nets last week. After Crawford shot and missed a jumper against the Nets in the second quarter, he proceeded to explain to the official that he’d been fouled. Meanwhile, Humphries grabbed the rebound; the Nets pushed the ball down the floor; and Vujacic sank a deuce. You don’t have time to have a discussion with the ref after a missed shot. Your opponents are not going to wait for you. You have to sprint back to the other end and get set on defense right away.