Matt Stroup

Roundball Stew

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Stew: DeAndre Dilemma

Thursday, March 10, 2011


More on DeAndre Jordan's wildly unpredictable value in a minute. Also, more to come on Tyler Hansbrough's recent run, and why I might appreciate Trevor Ariza more than you. But first, we begin this Stew, as we begin every Stew, with a sizable platter of…

TRENDSPOTTING

Three on the Rise:

Tracy McGrady: T-Mac is back (again). No telling exactly why John Kuester decided to bench Rodney Stuckey in the midst of a hot streak, or if he'll stick with McGrady as his starter, but T-Mac's 15-7-9 line from Wednesday can't be overlooked. My hopes aren't extraordinarily high and I hate trusting the Pistons this late in the season, but I'm in support of adding McGrady if you have an open roster spot.

Gerald Henderson: Yes, Stephen Jackson has been sidelined, but Henderson's last three games still warrant a close look: 18.7 ppg and 4.0 apg on 56.5 percent shooting. The scoring and assists will likely dip upon Jackson's return, but there should still be enough basketball available in Charlotte for Henderson to continue to produce.

Tony Allen: Those of us who wrote off Allen after Shane Battier's arrival in Memphis did so prematurely. Though his scoring hasn't been there every game, Allen has hit for 20-plus in three of his last five, posting 14.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.4 spg and 0.8 bpg in 29 minutes per game thus far in March.

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Three on the Plummet:

DeAndre Jordan: Wait a second – is he rising, is he plummeting? What's he doing? More accurately, he's fluctuating, going from a hideous scoreless effort on Monday to a season-high 21 points on Wednesday. And despite the presence of Chris Kaman, waiting it out with DeAndre for at least a few more games may not be a terrible idea – combining good games and bad, the Clippers' starting center has posted 9.8 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 0.8 spg and 2.0 bpg through his first four games in March.

James Johnson: Jay Triano, you disappoint me. As good as Johnson's stats were beginning to look in a starting role with the Raptors, he has now played 20 minutes or less in three straight games, averaging just 4.3 ppg during that stretch. He still has significant upside if Triano decides to turn him loose (or if there's an injury to Sonny Weems), but for now – and much to my disappointment – Toronto's starting SF belongs on waivers.

Wes Johnson: I was willing to give him (and Kurt Rambis) a pass after that 14-minute outing in his first game back from the flu (which also happened to be Martell Webster's first game back from injury). But after Johnson only got 12 minutes one game later, it's pretty clear that any semblance of fantasy value is going to be tough to for the rookie to maintain as long as Webster is healthy.

THREE RANDOM BUT HOPEFULLY USEFUL OBSERVATIONS

1. Trevor Ariza is not as useless as we might think. Yes, it's fun and kind of therapeutic to talk about what a bad shooter Ariza is – and I've done it plenty of times myself this season – but for a while now, he really hasn't been that bad. His numbers since Jan. 1 (27 games): 11.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.6 spg, 0.6 bpg and 1.3 threes on 41.2 percent from the field and 70.8 percent from the line. Yes, you'll have to deal with some frustrating nights like Wednesday's 0-for-10, but even while failing to hit a field goal he had six points, nine rebounds, two steals and a block. As bad games go, that's actually pretty good.

2. On the lookout for a hot streak from Lou Williams. After averaging just 10.4 ppg over his previous seven games, Williams broke out with 22 points on Wednesday, his most in exactly a month. The bad news here is that he has still played 21 minutes or less in six of his last eight games, but he's worth watching closely to see if Wednesday's double-deuce was the beginning of a hot streak.

3. Speaking of players who come off the bench, owners outside of shallow leagues could definitely do worse than adding Darrell Arthur. Minutes aren't always there for the backup big man, but he's been producing respectable stats for well-nigh a month: 13.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg and 1.6 bpg in 23 minutes per game over his last 12 games. You'll have to be willing to live with inconsistency if you add him, but there's some value to be found here if you're the reasonably patient type (which I'm not).

FIVE QUICK-HITTING STATEMENTS OF FACT AND/OR OPINION

1) I wish Tyler Hansbrough blocked more shots, but I can't argue with adding him given his recent run (15.2 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.0 spg and 0.6 bpg in his last nine games, numbers that could get a boost with his promotion to the starting five).

2) Yes, I noticed Daniel Gibson's 13 points, seven assists and three treys on Wednesday, but any enthusiasm I have is tempered by the fact that he only got 24 minutes even with Baron Davis away from the team.

3) Greatly disappointed to see Leandro Barbosa score just seven points after his 22-point outing in London. As much as I don't want to admit it, he doesn't look like he's about to establish consistency any time soon.

4) Landry Fields' stats aren't that exciting, but he's improbably still relevant despite the addition of Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks: 11.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.8 apg, 0.7 spg, 1.5 threes through six games in March.

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5) Dorell Wright in March (six games): 10.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.7 spg, 0.8 bpg and 0.7 threes (shooting just 4-for-23 from three-point range). Hopefully it's just a shooting slump, but there's no ignoring the fact that he has blitzed past his previous career-high in total minutes by almost 1,000.


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