Injuries can shake things up considerably on the fantasy basketball scene and a lot of good players are hurt right now, giving some others a chance. As well, some players given up for dead (hello Tracy McGrady) actually are showing signs that they are worth adding to your roster.
n Shawn Marion returns to a starting role in Dallas thanks to Caron Butler’s misfortune. For a few years in Phoenix, Marion was the No. 1 overall fantasy player. He’s nowhere close nowadays, but still solid. Rodrigue Beaubois and rookie Dominique Jones will get opportunities to give Dallas some scoring punch off of the bench. Beaubois has missed the whole season but if he’s around, pick him up, you won’t regret it.
n We’ve talked about Brad Miller, who is playing a lot in Houston now that Yao Ming is done for the year, but with Chuck Hayes sidelined too, Miller is really getting time, with rookie Patrick Patterson and sophomore Jordan Hill have also been thrown into the mix. Patterson and Hill have bright futures as an offensive talent and defensive presence, respectively.
n After an awful slump, No. 2 overal pick Evan Turner is starting to show at least some flashes of the talent that earned him NCAA player of the year status last season. With Andre Iguodala sidelined due to an Achilles injury, Turner will be featured far more often. Iguodala and Turner never seemed like a good fit together, given that they have similar strengths. Grab Turner on the waiver wire if he is there.
n Glen “Big Baby” Davis has filled in admirably for Kevin Garnett. Davis does things that don’t always stand out in the fantasy realm (rotates well to take charges, good help defender), but also can score and rebound.
n With David Lee and Andris Biedrins out of action, rookie Ekpe Udoh is getting a chance for the Warriors. The team is getting near all-star level play out of ultimate fantasy surprise Dorell Wright, who the Heat let go to clear the decks for their big three.
n Big men DeAndre Jordan and Kurt Thomas (see waiver wire) have also flourished with established starters Chris Kaman and Joakim Noah on the sidelines.
n Expect a slip from Ed Davis and Joey Dorsey of the Raptors since Andrea Bargnani and his 35 minutes a night are coming back. Dorsey put up some nice numbers and the rookie Davis showed flashes, but will not get as many opportunities to play — though they remain in the rotation.
n Finally, Hedo Turkoglu and McGrady have seemingly returned to glory. McGrady is looking healthier than he has in a couple of years and almost notched a triple double the other day. Meanwhile, Turkoglu, reunited with Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson and Stan Van Gundy, did get a triple double and appears to be back in form after horrific stints in Toronto and Phoenix.
Turkoglu gets his “ball” and is happy in Orlando, after taking his “ball” and going home with it elsewhere.
HOT AND NOT
Surprises and disappointments (over the past two weeks)
6 GP, 25.0 PPG, 5.5 APG, 1.3 SPG, .589 FG%,
LaMarcus Aldridge, PF/C, POR
6 GP, 23.3 PPG,
10.2 RPG, 2.2 BPG, 1.7 SPG, .504 FG%
Dorell Wright, F, GS
7 GP, 21.3 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.9 SPG, 3.3 3PM
Luke Ridnour, PG, MIN
6 GP, 15.0 PPG, 7.0 APG, 1.3 SPG, 1.7 3PM
Stephen Curry, G, GS
13.8 PPG, 8.0 APG,
400 FG%, 2.2 TPG
Danny Granger, F, IND
6 GP, 21.5 PPG,
388 FG%, 2.7 TPG, 0.8 BPG
7 GP, 17.1 PPG, 5.6 APG, .385 FG%, 3.3 TPG
Several players finished 2010 with arguably their best fantasy weeks of the year. These include:
Chris Paul — 5.3 SPG, 18.8 PPG, 10.5 APG, 50 FG%
Jason Kidd — 3.0 SPG, 10.6 PPG, 8.8 APG, 7.2 RPG
Dwyane Wade — 36.7 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 2.0 SPG, 52.9 FG%
Blake Griffin — 28.3 PPG, 13.7 RPG, 3.0 APG, 57.9 FG%
Dorell Wright — 26.8 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 4.5 3PM, 1.8 SPG
P P P
Danilo Gallinari will miss 2-3 weeks and maybe longer so it looks like New York’s forgotten bundle of talent might get another chance. Can contribute across the board when he gets minutes.
P P P
Thriving next to Blake Griffin. Barely misses from the field because he dunks everything and is doing well on the boards. Starting to emerge as a significant shot-blocking threat. Grab him if you can, even if Chris Kaman is coming back soon.
P P P
It looked like Keyon Dooling would most benefit from Brandon Jennings’ absence, but the NBA’s smallest player has gone on a scoring surge of late, averaging 20.0 points per game over the past two weeks.
Taking away some of Roy Hibbert’s minutes now that he’s healthy. Won’t score much, but shoots a good percentage, blocks shots, rebounds and can get a few steals (had three in one game last week).
With Joakim Noah out, the veteran Thomas has stepped up and played well. He has averaged 7.9 rebounds, 1.9 blocks and 1.3 steals per game over the last two weeks.