Matt Stroup

Roundball Stew

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Stew: Stojakovic Still Matters

Thursday, February 17, 2011

More on Peja Stojakovic's return to relevance in a minute, but first, we begin with some pressing thoughts on one of his Dallas teammates, the man who made his much-anticipated season debut this week: "Rowdy" Roddy Beaubois


Three on the Rise:

Roddy Beaubois: It pains me slightly to write this paragraph, because as I set out to begin this column, Monsieur Beaubois was somehow sitting on free agency in my main league. However, we have a limited number of transactions per week in that league and I ripped through all of them by Tuesday (as I have a tendency to do).

Assuming you're not facing a similar conundrum, I would advise adding Beaubois promptly. He showed truly dynamic quickness during his 21 minutes on Wednesday (13 points, six assists, three steals and a three) and should be starting over DeShawn Stevenson in no time. The 22-year-old (who turns 23 next week) will likely be inconsistent, but his 40-point, nine-three game from last March should be scalded into our brains as a constant reminder of his upside.

Tony Allen: My guess is that Sam Young is already gone in your league after averaging 14.6 ppg and 1.6 spg through his first eight games this month, but Allen also falls into the must-add category after Rudy Gay's left arm became detached (not literally) on Tuesday. Much like Young, Allen won't net you any threes, but the former Celtic has standout defensive potential, posting 16.0 ppg, 3.0 spg and 1.3 bpg in his last four games.

Kenyon Martin: Overall his recent numbers don't look great (7.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg and 1.2 bpg in eight games this month), but Kenyon is averaging a solid 26 minutes per game in February and had his breakout line of the year Wednesday with 11 points, nine boards, seven assists and five blocks in a season-high 35 minutes. That may end up being his best all-around line of the season, but the potential in steals and blocks makes him worth a look regardless.

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Three on the Plummet:

Leandro Barbosa: It has been relatively ugly for Barbosa since I placed him on the "cover" of Roundball Stew last week (just 7.3 ppg in his last three games), but I still see things getting a lot better for him after the break. The Leandroid has shot an uncharacteristically bad 2-for-17 on threes in his first five games back, but should see his scoring increase after that off shooting inevitably straightens itself out.

JaVale McGee: I'll give him a free pass for struggling against Dwight Howard with a sore back on Wednesday, but that doesn't make McGee's recent slump any more pleasant. Even with a huge 16-point, 17-rebound, three-block game last week boosting his numbers, he's averaging just 9.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg and 1.3 bpg this month. I still think he has a chance to post some big games down the stretch, but McGee clearly needs to be benched in fantasy leagues right now.

Mike Miller: Even before his recent head injuries, Miller (7.9 ppg, 1.7 threes per game this month) wasn't worth a roster spot in standard-sized leagues. Already trigger-shy and frequently an afterthought in the Miami offense, he has hit double figures in shot attempts just twice in 22 games this season, and on both occasions he only got more aggressive because Dwyane Wade was out.


1. I might be reversing course on Baron Davis. Last week I said in this space that "I'm planning on keeping Le Baron in my lineup until his limbs go cartwheeling off (which hopefully won't ever happen)." Though all of his limbs are still currently connected, have to admit I'm getting to be a bit concerned about that sore knee.

The good news on this front is that Davis now has five days off to ice his knee with frozen peas, but with the 21-35 Clippers currently 9.5 games out of a playoff spot, the concern over an eventual shutdown has to be considered. I am optimistic that Baron will come back playing well next week, but I'm also thinking that fantasy owners would be wise to float some sell-high offers when that happens.

2. Methinks Peja Stojakovic still has some petrol left in the tank. Don't get me wrong – I won't be remotely surprised to see his back or knees flare up in the next few weeks, but owners who are starved for threes can do far worse in the near future. After struggling to re-acclimate to actually playing basketball for his first few games with Dallas, Stojakovic has averaged 17.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.0 spg and 3.0 threes in his last two games (prior to a matchup with the Suns on Thursday night). And though he's 33 – and probably more like 38 in basketball years – Peja's still got one of the more buttery jump shots in the business.

3. John Salmons is your current leader in the Milwaukee swingman derby. With Corey Maggette (back) returning after essentially a two-game absence on Wednesday, the minute distribution went 42 for Salmons (along with 33 points), 29 for Delfino (with 12 points) and 25 for Maggette (with 16 points). Though it's crowded, I maintain that there's some value to be found from all three players going forward. Maggette can provide a relatively hollow 15-16 ppg, and Delfino is capable of posting 11-13 ppg with solid threes and steals. Salmons, meanwhile, is locked into the starting five regardless, and has the most current upside of the three given his averages of 17.8 ppg and 38 minutes in his last six games.


1) Jermaine Taylor looked pretty impressive on Wednesday en route to a 17-3-5 line with four steals, a block and three treys, and is well worth consideration if Tyreke Evans (foot) ends up missing extended time.

2) Willie Green does virtually nothing other than score and hit threes, but if you need help in either of those categories at the moment, he's averaging 16.3 ppg and 1.5 threes in his last six games.

3) Speaking of Hornets, Trevor Ariza is actually shooting a very respectable (for him) 42.1 percent from the field and 76.7 from the line in his last 11 games.

4) Joe Johnson has shown a perplexing refusal to shoot lately (10.5 ppg in his last four games), but he had posted 26.1 ppg in his last seven games before that, and I would expect him to get back to scoring 20-plus on a regular basis after the All-Star break.

5) Despite his struggles on Wednesday (three points on 1-for-10 shooting in 24 minutes), I still see Josh Howard as an intriguing waiver wire add, especially in slightly deeper leagues.

6) His recent numbers aren't sustainable, but Ed Davis is worth watching closely given his 9.0 ppg, 13.3 rpg, 1.3 spg and 1.0 bpg in his last three games.

7) Nice to see Pau Gasol going berserk with a 30-20 game going into the break. Now the next step is for him to get back to blocking shots – he's at just 0.8 bpg in his last eight games.

8) Deeper league alert: Will Bynum is averaging 12.0 ppg, 5.3 apg and 1.8 spg and 22 minutes in his last six.

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9) Daniel Gibson (7.9 ppg, 2.7 apg, 1.6 threes in his last nine games) has faded from must-own territory for the moment.

10) Mildly concerned that the fun could be nearing an end for Chuck Hayes (5.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg in his last two), but his gloriously unexpected run has bought him at least a few more games after the break before I truly consider cutting him loose.

Matt Stroup covers basketball, baseball and football for You can find him on Twitter here .
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