You wouldn't know it by looking, but I had a brief tour as a lifeguard back in the day. I'm talking straight Hasselhoff. Used to lord over the kiddie races and randomly blow the whistle to justify my $4.00 an hour.
My Baywatch moment lasted only a summer -- and, thankfully, didn't lead to any drownings -- but I learned one thing by watching those races: A strong finishing kick can make all the difference. And even when it seems like there's nothing left to give, in the water or on the waiver wire, there's always a little something extra if you dig for it. You'd be surprised how much ground you can make up over these last few lengths of the season. How, and with whom? Check it out:
Peja Stojakovic, Hornets. Oh, he's brittle alright. And you might only get two or three weeks out of him before the season goes kaput. But Stojakovic might have recovered enough after back surgery to return to game action by the end of next week, according to coach Byron Scott. And despite those back issues, Peja averaged 17.8 points and 2.6 3s in 13 games before shutting it down in late November. Who couldn't use those numbers for 10 games -- especially if Stojakovic gets well in time for a four-game gumbo of New York, Milwaukee, Seattle and Phoenix.