Matt Stroup

Roundball Stew

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Stew: Delfino Manifesto

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Yes, we're beginning to enter that time of year when late-season injuries and rotation changes begin to cause odd occurrences in box scores. Take, for example, Sundiata Gaines dropping a career-high 18 points on Monday night. Or the fact that Jordan Crawford – who couldn't get anything resembling consistent run with the Hawks earlier this year – is now posting big lines on a nightly basis for the dreadful Wizards (more on Crawford in a minute).

Another phenomenon we see at this time of year is the random statistical explosion from an already established player, who for whatever reason has waited until now to validate the draft pick many of us (myself included) used way back in October. Which brings us to the headline player in this column…

TRENDSPOTTING

Three on the Rise:

Carlos Delfino: Even though he's already long gone off the waiver wire in most leagues, this recent scoring binge needs to be discussed in more detail. Especially considering that Delfino completely disappeared for two and a half months earlier this season while dealing with the aftereffects of a concussion, and is now single-handedly helping boosting fantasy owners through the playoffs with an obscene (and out of nowhere) 28.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.3 spg and 6.3 threes in his last three games. Obviously there's no way he keeps this up, but Delfino was very good down the stretch last season and is reprising that productivity once more.

Gerald Henderson: First, the bad: He's been a bit maddening with inconsistency and doesn't hit enough threes (just 3-for-21 on the season). However, with a Stephen Jackson hamstring shutdown reportedly looming, Henderson could be on the verge of a consistent spike in scoring. Henderson's output in the four games that Jackson has already missed this month: 18.8 ppg.

Sasha Vujacic: He's not Avery Johnson's preferred choice at small forward, but with Damion James (foot) sidelined on Wednesday, Vujacic dropped 18 points with four threes and two steals, and could have some short-term value in threes, steals and points for as long as James remains out.

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Three on the Plummet:

Kendrick Perkins: Though he's starting at center for the Thunder, the results through his first five games in Oklahoma City fall very far short of inspiring: 4.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg and 0.8 bpg in an average of 24 minutes. Perkins will have his moments as far as rebounds and blocks are concerned, but his lack of involvement in the offense is a significant concern right now.

Ryan Anderson: After playing an average of 28 minutes per game between Feb. 27 and March 16, Anderson has averaged just 17 minutes (and 8.0 points) in his last three games. I would expect him to reemerge as a consistent factor in Stan Van Gundy's rotation, but his numbers this month (9.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 0.8 bpg, 1.9 threes) leave him slightly short of must-own territory.

Landry Fields: I know better than to fully write Fields off given his tendency to mix good games with bad, but there's no ignoring the fact that his last seven outings have been pretty uninspired: 8.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.0 apg, 0.4 spg and 1.4 threes on 38.2 percent from the field, including single-digit scoring in four of his last five. Like Anderson, he has the potential to heat back up quickly, but I won't argue with sending Fields to waivers if you've had enough.

FIVE QUICK-HITTING STATEMENTS OF FACT AND/OR OPINION

1) Jordan Crawford's last eight games: 20.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 4.3 apg, 1.8 spg and 0.9 threes (on 40.3 percent shooting). I know they're hollow stats on a bad team, but as a Hawks fan I'm wishing Crawford got more of a look before being dealt away.

2) Warriors starting center Ekpe Udoh has averaged 12.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg and 2.0 bpg in his last two games, and though his offensive repertoire is still very much under construction, the potential for blocks makes him worth a look in many leagues.

3) Even though we shouldn't expect consistency, it's worth noting that Al Harrington (27 points on Wednesday) has posted 21.0 ppg, 1.5 spg and 3.5 threes in his last two games.

4) The fun appears to be over for Francisco Garcia, who has averaged just 6.8 ppg in his last four games and now has to deal with the impending return of Tyreke Evans.

Editor's note: For exclusive articles, chats, projections and more, check out the Rotoworld NBA Season Pass.

5) Deeper league alert: Gordon Hayward shot just 1-for-10 on Wednesday, but still posted a 7-4-3 line with two steals and a three and could produce some intriguing numbers if Andrei Kirilenko (knee) misses significant time.


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