LeBron James, MIA, F — Continues to post video game numbers and now he’s hitting threes again.
Chris Paul, LAC, PG — Life as a Clipper appears to be enjoyable.
Kevin Durant, OKC, F — The turnovers are a bit high, but that is our only quibble with Durant.
Derrick Rose, CHI, PG — Even though he has fought through injuries, Rose has been solid. Not MVP solid like last year, but once he gets healthy, expect that Rose to return.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT MAN?
Dirk Nowitzki, DAL, F — Usually in the top 10, Dirk is down to 37th in Yahoo! Average, largely because his scoring has dipped five points along with his shooting percentage. Boards are down too and he’s nailing only 19% of his threes.
Russell Westbrook, OKC, G — His turnovers are actually down — barely — but what’s troubling is Westbrook is averaging three fewer assists per game and scoring less.
Danny Granger, IND, G-F — Something is up with Granger. He’s scoring five points fewer per game than last season and almost 10 fewer than at his career peak and his assists and boards are also way down.
Amare Stoudemire, NYK, F/C — Year 2 has been a disaster after Stoudemire was brilliant in his first season as a Knick. A career 53.4% shooter, Stoudemire is at 42% and his block and scoring numbers are troubling.
Deron Williams, NJ, PG — The experiment isn’t working. Williams is turning the ball over 4.3 times a night and hitting only 36.6% of his shots.
DIDN’T SEE THAT COMING
Kobe Bryant, LAL, SG — Sure, he’s an all-time great, but age and injuries were supposed to be catching up to the Black Mamba. Apparently not, as 30.8 points per game attests.
Kyle Lowry, HOU, PG — Had nice finish to last season, but Lowry is putting up LeBron-like numbers though not scoring-wise. Can he keep it up?
Ryan Anderson, ORL, F — Nailing 3.5 threes a game, grabs 6.9 boards and contributes elsewhere. Mr. Anderson has a lot of savvy fantasy owners gloating right about now.
Danilo Gallinari, DEN, F — Part of a very balanced Denver attack, Gallinari puts up numbers across the board.
Andrea Bargnani, TOR, F-C — Scoring is up, he’s making more free throws and grabbing more rebounds. Has not been the same three-point threat though.
Spencer Hawes, PHI, C — Perhaps the biggest early surprise. Shooting nearly 60%, a nightly double-double threat and putting up 1.7 blocks per game.
Greg Monroe, DET, C — Everyone knew he would be good — eventually. But Monroe has been excellent as a sophomore, which doesn’t happen very often for young big men.
Brandon Jennings, MIL, PG — Could always play but couldn’t shoot. Now that his accuracy has suddenly improved, Jennings has emerged as a fine fantasy player.
DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK
Richard Jefferson; Caron Butler; Jose Calderon; Samuel Dalembert; Hedo Turkoglu; Nate Robinson; Al Harrington.
(With fantasy rating out of 5)
*** (three stars)
Had a monster season debut (6-for-6 from three) which might have made people in your league take notice. He won’t keep that pace up, but he’s definitely worth a look if his injury woes are behind him.
Back from injury, Jerbeko has been solid. His shooting should come up as he gets more comfortable after a year off. As it is, he is scoring, rebounding (6.0 per game) and chipping in with steals, blocks and threes.
He looks like a bowling ball and has had some off-nights, but Diaw is a unique talent who contributes in a variety of categories. Surrounded by trade talk, his production might pick up.
Look past the poor field goal percentage and at Sessions’ other numbers. He hands out a lot of assists (4.8 per game) and gets to the line 3.7 times on average. He also grabs 3.4 rebounds and scores 9.4 points a night.
A lot of people might have given up on last season’s biggest fantasy surprise after he got off to a poor start. If he’s out there though, Landry is worth a look. His game should pick up and even this version of Landry accumulates steals, points, assists and rebounds.
Usually high assist numbers go hand-in-hand with high turnover totals (leaders Rajon Rondo and Steve Nash average 10.0 assists per game and 4.1 and 3.4 turnovers) but that’s not always the case:
Jose Calderon, TOR — 9.1 AST, 1.9 TO
Chris Paul, LAC — 8.4 AST, 2.2 TO
D.J. Augustin, CHA — 7.2 AST, 2.5 TO
Tony Parker, SA — 7.2 AST, 2.1 TO
Andre Miller, DEN — 6.1 AST, 1.9 TO
TRAINER’S ROOM TICKER/INJURY UPDATES
Washington’s Andray Blatche could be out long-term with a severely sprained shoulder … Spencer Hawes is nursing a strained Achilles which could slow down his surprising production … Andrea Bargnani and Jerry Bayless of the Raptors should return by Sunday … Utah’s Josh Howard could miss a week … Portland centre Marcus Camby is nearing a return … Rip Hamilton has returned to action for the Bulls, which should limit Ronnie Brewer’s productivity … Here’s a shock, Vince Carter is day-to-day with a foot injury … Clippers point guards Chris Paul and Mo Williams are both nursing minor issues, but shouldn’t be sidelined for too long. Randy Foye and Chauncey Billups become more valuable in their absence … Wolves swingman Martell Webster has been cleared to practise with the team and could return from a back problem soon … Jason Richardson has a sore ankle which could lower his value when he returns later this week.
HOT AND NOT
(Surprises and disappointments over the last two weeks)
Danilo Gallinari, F, DEN
8 GP, 18.1 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 3.4 APG, 1.6 SPG, .919 FT%
Kyle Lowry, PG, HOU
7 GP, 18.9 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 7.0 APG, 2.0 SPG
Paul Millsap, F, UTA
7 GP, 19.3 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 1.7 SPG, .602 FG%
Brandon Jennings, PG, MIL
8 GP, 19.4 PPG, 5.1 APG, 2.1 SPG, 2.2 3PM, .500 FG%
Dirk Nowitzki, F, DAL
8 GP, 14.5 PPG, 5.2 RPG, .449 FG%
Danny Granger, F, IND
6 GP, 13.8 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 0.7 SPG, .329 FG%
Joakim Noah, C, CHI
10 GP, 6.3 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 0.3 SPG, 2.0 TPG, .410 FG%