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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

No Arenas, No Problem

The Wizards' star guard, Gilbert Arenas, has been out with injury since 11/17. The team went 3-5 with him, and has gone 6-5 in his absence. Two big reasons for the team's relative success without their top scorer are Caron Butler & Antawn Jamison. Both of these players have eluded the hobby's interest for years, but I think that it's about time for them to get their share of the limelight.

Butler averaged 22.5 ppg this season with Arenas on the court. Without Arenas, 24.7 ppg (excluding the game on 11/20 where he only played 26 min). I became a Butler fan when he played for the Lakers in the 04-05 season, watching him slash to the basket, despite multiple defenders hammering him, and just observing his hard work on the floor. Butler has 5 base Auto rookies from 02-03: Bowman Signature Auto/Jsy #'d 999, Finest Auto #'d 999, SP Authentic Auto #'d 1500, SPx Auto/Jsy #'d 999 & Ultimate Collection Auto #'d 250. All are selling for under BV, and all have at least one parallel (coolest one is the Ultimate Collection Auto/Patch #'d 25).

Jamison averaged 16.5 ppg this season with Arenas. Without him, 23.75 ppg & 10 double-double's in 12 games (4 out of 8 with Arenas there). From day one in the NBA, Jamison seems to have been overshadowed by classmate & fellow Tar Heel Vince Carter. He only has 2 #'d base rookies from 98-99: SP Authentic #'d 3500 & SPx Finite #'d 2500. There weren't any base Auto rookies that year, but he does have 7 insert Autos (including 3 Co-Signers, matched up with Michael Olowokandi, Mike Bibby & Vince Carter). Just like with Butler, all of Jamison's cards can be found for less than BV.

I can't say for sure that these guys will be hobby stars anytime soon (or ever for that matter), but they should be. I'm thinking that their only chance is if they can continue at this current level of production after Arenas returns, and the Wiz need to make a run at the Eastern Conference title. Then the trio could maybe have the hobby-star package deal going on, kind of like the Suns, with Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire & Leandro Barbosa (well, Phoenix almost has it).

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