The Big Men Came to Play
We had a few impressive games from some big men who made it very difficult to choose who made the cut for my three up today and who didn’t. So in fairness to them all, they get their own section. The play of these three big men last night deserves some extra attention and here it is:
Ersan Ilyasova: The numbers keep on coming for Ilyasova who put up another strong line last night. The Bucks forward led the team with 32 points while grabbing 10 boards, blocking one shot and knocking down a pair of triples. Ilyasova has been one of fantasy basketball’s most under the radar stars for the last month now. Over the last month he is averaging 17.1 points, 11.1 rebounds, 1.0 blcoks, 0.5 steals and 0.9 threes per game. While he is now owned in virtually every league, I still don’t think people know just how good he has been.
Serge Ibaka: It had been four games in a row for Serge Ibaka rebounding in single digits. He made up for it last night by pulling down 20 boards against the Suns. Ibaka added to those rebounds with 18 points and also three blocked shots. Right now Ibaka is the king of the blocked shots in the NBA turning away more shots than anyone at over three per game. Over his last nine games he’s blocked 4.4 shots per game. The offensive game is still a work in progress, but after a slow start to the season Ibaka is looking like a top 50 player again.
Trevor Booker: The waiver wire special of this group of three is Trevor Booker, who despite his best efforts is still only owned in 14% of leagues. Last night Booker had 18 points, 17 rebounds, a block and a steal. Since taking over as a starter for the injured Andray Blatche Booker has 10 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game. Over the last five games he has 13.6 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. I know Blatche is coming back soon, but there is still room for Booker and there are still lots of Blatche trade rumors floating around as well. At this point you’re late to the party picking up Booker, but it’s still a move I would make.
Evan Turner: Game two of Evan Turner as the 76ers starting shooting guard went a lot better than game one did. Turner only scored two points in his first start on Monday night, but last night he torched a good Boston defense for 26 points on 11 – 19 shooting. Turner played a season high 37 minutes in the game and pulled down nine rebounds in the game as well. The Philadelphia backcourt is still crowded, but if Turner is going to start playing 30+ minutes per game he should become a player worthy of being owner in all league formats.
Raymond Felton: The Trail Blazers have reinstated Raymond Felton back in as the team’s starting point guard and he seems to be responding. Monday night he had a double-double with 11 points and 10 assists. Now last night he had 23 points, nine assists and four rebounds. I do believe a lot of Felton’s early success and subsequent hype last year was a product of being in the perfect system for him in New York. But I also believe that he is better than he has showed up to this point this season. I think he is going to prove that these last couple of months. He might not ever be all-star caliber again, but he is still a 12 – 14 point and 7 – 8 assist per night point guard in my opinion and fantasy owners as well as the Blazers would take that right now.
Alonzo Gee: There were certainly more impressive lines last night than that of Gee’s, maybe even on his own team. But Gee stuffed that stat sheet last night and deserves some credit for it. The Cavs swingman had 19 points, seven rebounds, three assists, four steals, one block and one three-pointer. Last night was the third game in a row for Gee to get 30 minutes or more of playing time and not so ironically also his third straight game in double figures points. This is the 12th time this season Gee has gotten 30+ minutes, in those 12 games he is averaging 13.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.7 three’s per game. That at least warrants a spot in all deep leagues if not more.
Kevin Martin: Tuesday night Kevin Martin watched from the bench for the last 18 minutes of an overtime loss by the Rockets. Last night Martin played only 19 minutes and had yet another poor shooting night going 1 – 9 in the time that he was on the court. And it was only one week ago that Martin played just 20 minutes during another night of poor shooting. It seems clear that Kevin McHale isn’t afraid to sit Martin down when he’s this cold and he has been cold a lot this season. This could be an interesting situation to monitor with the trade deadline looming.
DeAndre Jordan: For the second time in four games DeAndre Jordan failed to play 20 minutes in a game as the presence of Kenyon Martin continues eating into his playing time. Jordan has still been managing to get his rebounds and blocks in despite losing minutes, but last night he managed only two rebounds and blocked just one shot to go with his two points. So far in the five games played in March Jordan is averaging just 3.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. Like I said Jordan is still getting some rebounds and blocks, but those numbers are down too and right now his numbers aren’t much better than Kendrick Perkins who is floating around just about every waiver wire. I’m not saying you should drop him, but if you can still trade him for good value, I’d do that.
Landry Fields: Another guy taking a hit in minutes is Landry Fields in New York. Last night the Knicks went with Iman Shumpert as the starting two guard and Fields came off the bench to play 21 minutes. He didn’t play bad going 4 – 8 from the field, but eight points, three rebounds and two assists does not make for a quality fantasy night. Not only is Fields now competing with Shumpert for his starting job he has J.R. Smith and Baron Davis to compete with for minutes off the bench. In fact the 21 minutes last night was the most Fields has played in the last four games. If you own him in a standard league its time to send him packing, in deep leagues it at least has to be considered.