The Wire Troll: All-Star Break Edition
Roy Hibbert, Indiana Pacers: The Georgetown alum hasn’t exactly set the league on fire during his inaugural campaign, but he is averaging 8.4 points and 3.8 rebounds per game in five February tilts – both of which are monthly bests. The Pacers (4 1/2 games out of the eighth seed) aren’t going anywhere and may be more inclined to give the rookie some additional run in the final months. Chalk him up as a second-half sleeper in deeper leagues, especially since none of the other centre options on the Pacers have exactly grabbed the job and run with it.
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While the Wizards have been exiled to hoops purgatory this season, JaVale McGee was a bit of a bright spot heading into the All-Star break. The University of Nevada product has averaged 11.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game over his last seven contests, though his propensity to rack up the whistles (28 fouls in that stretch) is limiting his minutes…Those in very deep leagues might want to sneak a peek at Sean Marks if Tyson Chandler’s ankle injury lingers…The situation is a bit murkier for constant Troll resident Joakim Noah this week as Amare Stoudemire could be headed to the Windy City. If Noah stays his minutes could be cut, if he goes who knows what his role will be in Phoenix? He’s still a solid addition, but don’t view him as a season-long option just yet.
Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves: The loss of Al Jefferson (knee) will almost certainly push Love into a more prominent role offensively for the Wolves. In his first game without Big Al, Love played a career-high 38 minutes and launched 14 shots (his second-highest total), finishing with 15 points and 11 rebounds. If for any reason he remains available in your league, add him immediately.
Travis Outlaw, Portland Trail Blazers: He has already been a pretty steady performer this season, but Outlaw has ramped up his play in February, totaling 16.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. He’s absolutely deserving of a roster spot in all but the shallowest of leagues.
Ryan Gomes, Minnesota Timberwolves: Love doesn’t figure to be the only statistical beneficiary from Jefferson’s injury as Gomes should carry a larger offensive load going forward. He’s averaging 14.3 points and north of 36 minutes a night this month and is a capable three-point shooter to boot. Gomes’ peripheral numbers are modest at best, but those looking for a scoring boost needn’t look any further.
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Wilson Chandler is back in the starting lineup after a six-game hiatus and hung 27 points on the Clippers on Wednesday. If someone discarded him when he went to the bench feel free to snatch him off the waiver wire…The Lakers recently shipped Vladimir Radmanovic to the Bobcats, where the veteran figures to see a lot more playing time. He has scored 34 points and gone 8-for-15 from downtown in two games since the move and could be worth a flier for his scoring potential…Marreese Speights poured in 49 points in Philly’s final three games before the break – put him on your radar…With Andris Biedrins out with an ankle injury, Ronny Turiaf is putting up 10.7 points and 7.0 boards a night. He’s worth a look in deep leagues, but Biedrins is expected to return immediately after the All-Star break…Jason Kapono has tallied 51 points in his last three contests and is a great natural shooter. However, he hasn’t produced with any consistency this year. Proceed with caution.
Mike Conley, Memphis Grizzlies: Everyone that was ready to write off the former fourth overall pick needs to take a step back and re-evaluate what’s going on in Memphis under the stewardship of Lionel Hollins. Conley has started the team’s last 13 games and over the last eight he’s averaging 14.5 points, 6.3 assists and 4.8 rebounds per contest. Those aren’t ideal assist totals for a point guard, but he has huge talent and is a great second-half sleeper.
Best of the Rest
Charlie Bell dropped 21 and 20 points, respectively, in Milwaukee’s last two games and knocked down 17 of his 26 shots in the process. He figures to see plenty of time at least until Luke Ridnour returns, making him a solid addition…A pair of injured players (Cleveland’s Delonte West and Dallas’ Jerry Stackhouse) should be returning soon and could immediately step into prominent roles. Those hurting for backcourt depth can consider either man as a possible flier…Kyle Weaver has started the last seven games for the Thunder. His numbers haven’t impressed thus far, though the fact that he’s averaging nearly 31 minutes a night makes him worthy of watch-list status in deep leagues.