There’s hardly enough time to follow all the televised hoops going on this week (let alone complete normal everyday tasks like bathing or eating meals), so this edition of the Stew will consist of a lot of shorter thoughts so you can speed through it quickly and get back to yelling at the nearest screen. Here we go:
Random Thoughts, Part 1: P.J. Tucker went on a nice run at the beginning of March (11.7 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.6 spg, 0.9 3s, 35 minutes per game in his first seven games this month), but has posted just 8.0 ppg and 4.5 rpg in his last two. That’s frustrating if you started him this week, but I’d stick with him through the weekend to see if he can snap out of his latest drought quickly. Tucker has been hit-or-miss all season, but could still be worth using for the Suns’ four games next week. … Speaking of Suns, the return of Eric Bledsoe has basically reduced Gerald Green from fantasy dynamo to two-dimensional fantasy option (points/3s). In the last 15 games before Bledsoe returned, Green averaged 22.2 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.1 spg and 3.0 3s. In five games since Bledsoe came back, Green has posted 14.2 ppg and 2.4 3s (along with 2.2 rpg, 0.8 apg and 1.0 spg). Green still has value, but his updated role puts him in the same statistical ballpark as Terrence Ross. … Paul George shot 47.1 percent through his first 30 games this season, but just 40.4 percent in 38 games since.
Random Thoughts, Part 2: A lot of people had high hopes for Enes Kanter coming into the season, and 12.1 ppg/6.9 rpg is pretty strong for a 21-year-old, but his limited defensive stats this year (0.5 spg, 0.4 bpg in 26 minutes per game) are cause for concern. … Ricky Rubio has just three 20-point games all season, but his third was a very noisy one (22-10-15 against Dallas on Wednesday). I expected more from Rubio this season (especially more than 9.0 ppg), but I’ll still be targeting him aggressively next year. With career-highs so far in assists (8.6), rebounds (4.5) and steals (2.4, equaling his mark from last year), Rubio just needs to score a little bit more to be a truly beastly fantasy point guard. And remember, he’s still just 23 years old. … Speaking of still only 23, I won’t be in a big rush to draft Greg Monroe next year. His FT percentage has gradually declined from 73.9 in 2011-12 to 66.1 this year, and the arrival of Josh Smith has contributed to Monroe’s assists dropping as well (3.5 last year, 2.0 so far this season).
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $95,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Friday night's games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $10,000. Starts at 7pm ET on Friday. Here's the FanDuel link.
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Random Thoughts, Part 3: As far as I’m concerned, DeMar DeRozan’s emergence as more than just a scorer – career-highs in rebounds (4.4), assists (3.9), steals (1.2) and 3s (0.9) – is one of the most pleasant surprises of the season. Before this year, everything about his resume suggested he was just a one-dimensional fantasy player. … Courtney Lee in March (10 games): 9.3 ppg in 26.3 minutes per game, down from 12.4 ppg in 35 minutes per game in February. He didn’t have much margin for error in the first place, and is now essentially useless with Tony Allen back in the rotation. … Moe Harkless’ line on Wednesday (one point, two rebounds, a steal and a block in 32 minutes) is about as gross as it gets, but I still see him as an exciting prospect for next year. Harkless’ last 11 games (including that one-point stink grenade): 11.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.5 spg, 1.0 bpg, 1.4 3s. And in a recurring theme from this week’s column, Harkless – who has shown signs of an emerging all-around repertoire – is still just 20 years old.
Random Thoughts, Part 4: Tim Duncan has played in 12 straight games, and only sat out twice in his last 41 games. I’m not that superstitious, but I think it’s better if we don’t discuss this. … Just when it looked like Kendall Marshall might get another shot at extended run thanks to Jordan Farmar’s injury, the Lakers are cryogenically un-freezing Steve Nash once again for Friday night’s game. In fairness, I do enjoy seeing Nash kick old age in the face for as long as he can, but I would still hang onto Marshall through Sunday night’s game in the hope that he can show something before the Lakers’ four games next week. … Assuming he leaves school early, I’m eager to see where Louisville sophomore Montrezl Harrell ends up in the NBA. The big man could put up some monster shot-blocking numbers if he lands in a good situation.
In a matchup that has only slightly less viewers and relevance than the NCAA Tournament, I’m up against Rotoworld’s Mike Gallagher this week in the semifinals of the 30-team fantasy league known as 30-Deep. The starting lineups look like this:
PG Stephen Curry
SG Lance Stephenson
G Terrence Ross
SF Rudy Gay
PF Tobias Harris
F Channing Frye
C Samuel Dalembert
Util Aaron Brooks
PG Eric Bledsoe
SG Alec Burks
G Jimmy Butler
SF Kyle Korver
PF Jared Sullinger
F Byron Mullens
C Spencer Hawes
Util Al Jefferson
One of the great joys of a 30-team league is the occasional necessity to start a backup point guard to pick up some extra assists, then have that backup PG (Aaron Brooks) randomly unload 27 points and 17 assists on your opponent. Despite that absurd line, I still trail 5-4 heading into the weekend, but the matchup is very close in most categories. If I lose, I will go into seclusion for several weeks.
Historical Matchup of the Week
In this new Roundball Stew retrospective feature, we will pit two historical stat lines against one another, then arbitrarily choose a winner. This week: Hakeem Olajuwon (1989-90 season) vs. David Robinson (1993-94). The stats please:
Olajuwon: 24.3 ppg, 14.0 rpg, 2.9 apg, 2.1 spg and 4.6 bpg
Robinson: 29.8 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 4.8 apg, 1.7 spg and 3.3 bpg
As you can see, this is a very close call. It’s hard to pass up nearly five assists per game from The Admiral, but you can make up those five assists per game by drafting Mookie Blaylock. Meanwhile, you can’t get 4.6 blocks per game anywhere, not even by combining Serge Ibaka (2.6) and Dwight Howard (1.8).
Next week: Shawn Bradley vs. Dennis Scott?
Enjoy the weekend of hoops, everyone.
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- Eric Bledsoe
- Gerald Green