The NBA is on fire right now!
Sunday was one of the greatest NBA days I can remember, what with the Kobe-Wade/LeBron showdown, Rajon Rondo’s historic triple-double, and Deron Williams’ career-high 57 points. Amazingly, Kobe doubled-up Wade (33-16), Rondo dialed up 18-17-20, and Williams exploded after 24 total points in his previous two games.
We haven’t chopped up the waiver wire in a couple of weeks, so consider this a heads up about players who may — and I want to stress “may” — still be available.
Nick Young has been hampered by a knee injury and Crawford has taken full advantage, topping 20 points in five of his last eight games. Crawford peaked on Saturday with 31 points against the Cavaliers, reminding the fantasy world of what he did last year, when he averaged 19.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.2 threes in 18 starts.
I have my suspicions about playing time going forward, as Young is expected back soon. As such, I asked the great Dennis Scott about Washington’s 2 on Fantasy Insider and he said the guy to have is…drum roll please…Crawford.
Ilyasova demanded that the fantasy world recognize on Feb. 19 against the Nets when he exploded for 29 points and 25 rebounds. But that performance was NOT a gigantic aberration because he averaged 14.9 points and 10.9 rebounds in 30.4 minutes in February.
Obviously, I fully endorse picking up Ilyasova, who will put up solid numbers until/if Andrew Bogut returns from injury. That said, don’t expect a lot of fantasy gold because he averaged only 1.0 blocks, 0.5 steals, and 0.7 threes last month.
Don’t be mad at me for being bullish on this former Bull. He double-doubled on Sunday with a career-high 12 rebounds, and over the last five games he’s averaging 12.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, 1.4 steals with 46 and 81 shooting from the field and line, respectively.
Raptors coach Dwane Casey is on record being a fan of Johnson’s defense, which translates to the fantasy gold we’re all looking for. It’s rare to find a player averaging 1+ in both defensive categories, so double check waivers to make sure Johnson isn’t still available.
Metta World Peace
The artist formerly known as Ron Artest has been ballin like Ron-Ron over the last five games, averaging 10.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 0.8 blocks, 1.6 steals, and 1.6 threes with 50-82 field-line percentages in 28.6 minutes.
Is MWP back to All-Star form? Heck no! But World Peace is back in the good graces of fantasy leagues, and totally worthy of a pickup because the Lakers NEED him to play like this. Hopefully, he keeps getting his body into better shape, keeps listening to Kobe, and keeps delivering the fantasy goodies.
First of all, how does this jumping jack slip to No. 22 in the 2011 NBA Draft? Because he played for Morehead State? Because he’s “only” 6-8, 230? When I look back on that draft with 20-20 vision, Faried should have been a top 10 pick. I won’t bore you with a re-recap, but take a peak at the ’11 draft and judge for yourself.
In his last five games, Faried has been good for 11.2 points on 62 percent from the field with 8 rebounds, 1 block, and 1 steal in 24 minutes. I realize he’s starting because of Nene’s lingering lower leg issues, but I think Faried has played his way into the rotation because of his high motor and athleticism. And when you consider the fact that Nene has been in and out of the lineup all season, it makes even more sense to scoop up Faried.