Mike Gallagher's Ball Street Journal is right here! Check it out!
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder: KD is starting to make Greg Oden look like Sam Bowie. Durant is the hottest player on the planet by averaging 25.6 points, (50-percent from the floor) 10 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.7 treys, 1.2 blocks, and one steal. It appears that Durant has finally turned the corner along with his young teammates Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green by his side. Durant mostly likely wonʼt get rid of his field goal percentage bugaboo this year, but he has been more aggressive getting to the basket for high percentage shots and doesnʽt settle for jump shots as much. Heʼll still have his weeks were he shoots below 40-percent, but KD should keep his field goal percentage above 45 for the season (currently at 47.0-percent).
Kevin Martin, Sacramento Kings: Welcome back Kid Mart! Martin returned to the court on December 30th and has been scoring over 20 each night and has averaged 30 since. Martin has looked rejuvenated since his return and has played over 37 minutes in his last three games. Martin is the unquestioned number one scoring option in Sacramento and should continue to fill it up from distance and from the charity stripe.
The downside of Martinʼs return has been the impact on his teammate John Salmons. Salmons has only averaged 12.8 points since Martin returned. Salmons owners shouldnʼt expect the 19.7 PPG he has prior to Martin hitting the hardwood again, but he should be able to put in 16 with other goodies.
Paul Pierce: The Celtics losing has been working wonders for The Truthʼs fantasy value. The Cʼs have lost three of their last four but in those games Pierce has led the team in scoring in each by dropping 28.3 PPG (on 60-percent shooting) and has made 2.5 triples per game. Pierce did have a huge game last Friday against Washington by hitting five triples on 90-percent from the floor, so those numbers are slightly skewed. Boston has a stretch of tough games coming in January and that should help prevent garbage time for the Boston studs. The other encouraging news for owners of Boston players is that Cleveland and Orlando are within striking distance and thus making it less likely that Doc Rivers rests his players down the stretch. Pierce wonʼt continue his recently offensive onslaught and his value couldnʼt get much higher, so shipping him would be advisable.
Andre Iguodala: Where was this all year? Iggy Hop has thrived in Philly since Brand suffered a shoulder injury. AI2 scored just four points in Brandʼs last game, but since he has averaged 22.4 points in those nine games and has shot over 40-percent in each of those contests. Brand will be returning in about two weeks and it remains to be seen if the can coexist. Brandʼs shoulder injury shouldnʼt linger, but thereʼs a possibility he could suffer another injury in his Achilles. Brand has played in 23 games this year and Iggy certainly hasnʼt looked like the top-25 player he was expected to be. When Brand returns Iguodala should be better than he was before the shoulder injury, but donʼt expect these numbers.
Troy Murphy: Troy Murphy has been sick recently! I mean sick as in great and not sick as the flu he has a couple weeks ago. In his last five Murphy has averaged 13.6 points, 14.6 boards, two triples, and 1.8 steals. Coach OʼBrien canʼt seem to find the third piece of the front court puzzle with Murphy and Granger. In the meantime Granger (30.4PPG in his last five) and Murph havenʼt needed any help on the offensive end.
On the other hand, it appears the Mike Dunleavy will be back very soon and some values might changing in Indy. Obviously, Marquis Daniels stands the most to lose and should be cut in shallow leagues. Troy Murphy shouldnʼt be affected much in the rebounding and triples categories, but his scoring average should drop to around 10.5. Grangerʼs numbers arenʼt in danger at all.
Eric Gordon: Gordon has been making a push for Rookie of the Year along with Mayo and Rose recently. Gordon has put up better numbers than any rookie as the Clippers continue to struggle. In his last five he has scored 25.8 PPG. Gordon might have played the full 48 minutes last night in Dallas, but he drew his fifth foul early in the fourth quarter forcing Dunleavy to put him on the bench for a couple minutes. The Clippers are extremely banged up with Baron Davis, Zach Randolph, Chris Kaman, Jason Hart, and Ricky Davis all missing time. The Clippers started Mardy Collins at the point (yes, the same Mardy Collins that couldnʽt find playing time on the short-handed Knicks). There is no way Gordon can score more than 20 each night when Baron, Z-Bo, and Kaman return and Gordonʼs value couldnʼt be higher. Sell!
Amare Stoudemire: Standing Tall and Talented (Stat) hasnʼt been putting up many stats for his fantasy team recently and struggled handily in Terryʼs (please donʼt turn that into an acronym) system. The Big Cactus has found the fountain of youth in Phoenix and has played 36 MPG and hasnʼt skipped a game since December 12. Amare looked spectacular once Shaq was brought in last year, but Terry Porter has utilized the Diesel more than anyone could have predicted. Shaq will most likely become worn down by March at this rate, but either way donʼt worry about Amare. Thereʼs no question in my mind that Stoudemire will turn it around and Iʼd rather own him over studs like Yao, Bosh, Al Jefferson, or Tim Duncan.
Lamar Odom: LO hyper extended his knee last night against the Hornet and he is out tonight against Golden State. Odom should be cut in shallow leagues, but deeper leagues should wait for MRI results. Trevor Ariza should get a nice boost while LO is on the mend. These injuries are getting out of control!