This series is dedicated to those NBA players who have emerged or have played especially well over the last week. I’ll try to avoid discussing players from the previous week or two in order to shine the spotlight on as many different players as possible.
I’ll also include Adjusted Fantasy Points Scored (using the DraftDay scoring system) in parenthesis. The numbers are adjusted for the player’s Strength of Schedule and Home/Away for that week so that we can be sure we’re making an “apples to apples” comparison.
Kris Humphries, Nets (38.6)
Deron Williams’s injury has opened up a lot of shots in New Jersey and Humphries has been one of the main beneficiaries. Over the past two games he has averaged 23.5 points, 19.5 rebounds, 3.0 blocks and 2.5 steals against the Bucks and the Raptors. In fact, he has posted a double-double in five of seven games in March and has become the team’s go-to post player with Brook Lopez sidelined.
Evan Turner, Sixers (37.2)
After an inauspicious 1-for-12 shooting night in his first start on March 5, Turner has averaged 21.8 points (on 64% shooting), 10.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.3 steals over his last four starts. Doug Collins seems committed to giving Turner big minutes, and the second-year player has responded well. His rebounding numbers are especially eye-popping for a wing.
Nikola Pekovic, Timberwolves (33.1)
After a great start to February, Pekovic went through a little swoon at the end of the month that spilled into early March. But in his last four games, he looks like his “old” self, averaging 22.5 points and 10.3 rebounds. Moreover, he hasn’t been hurt by the loss of Ricky Rubio, which is a bit surprising.
Mike Dunleavy, Bucks (29.0)
The Bucks are one of the tougher rotations to nail down thanks to head coach Scott Skiles, but Dunleavy has been solid in a big role off the bench. He averaged 20.0 points, 5.5 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 threes in his last four games. However, he’s bound to see a reduction in minutes with the addition of Monta Ellis.
Goran Dragic, Rockets (28.9)
Kyle Lowry has been sidelined with a bacterial infection, so Dragic has taken over as the starting point guard. In those four starts, he averaged 17.3 points, 8.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 2.5 threes. He has been one of the better backups in the league over the last few years, so his recent play is no surprise.
Jameer Nelson, Magic (28.3)
With the way that Nelson has struggled this season, it’s hard to believe he was an All-Star in 2009. But he has scored 25 points in each of his last two games and seems to have found his three-point stroke, hitting 51% of his treys in March. Maybe he’ll be able to continue his fine play now that the Dwight Howard drama is over, at least for the time being.
Channing Frye, Suns (27.6)
Frye is suddenly hot from long range, hitting 13 of his last 22 three-pointers (59%) en route to an 18.7 PPG average over the last three games. He’s also contributing in rebounds (6.7) and blocks (2.7). He can be a high-risk play since his game is so dependent on the long ball, but when he’s hitting his threes, he’s a great player to have.
Chris Kaman, Hornets (27.1)
What trade rumors? If Kaman was bothered by the rumor mill, he hasn’t shown it. In the last four games leading up to the trade deadline, Kaman averaged 18.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks. He is the Hornets’ best offensive player and should produce as long as Emeka Okafor remains sidelined.
Alonzo Gee, Cavs (25.7)
Gee has started seven straight games at small forward, and has filled the stat sheet with 14.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.6 steals in a consistent 30-35 minutes per game. He’ll also contribute a few assists (2.0), threes (1.1) and the occasional block. The Cavs are in the midst of a youth movement, so don’t be surprised if the 24-year-old Gee starts the rest of the season.
Chandler Parsons, Rockets (25.5)
Parsons has started at small forward for most of the season, but he’s had an up-and-down year, even for a rookie. He seems to have settled in of late, averaging 14.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.0 threes over the last five games. He doesn’t always score in double digits, but contributes enough in other areas to make him a relatively safe play night in and night out.
Nate Robinson (26.8), Dorell Wright (25.0) & Klay Thompson (21.3)
With Stephen Curry sidelined and Monta Ellis no longer with the team, the Golden State rotation has busted wide open, and that means opportunity for Robinson, Thompson and Wright. Robinson has posted 37 points, 14 assists and six steals in two straight starts, while Thompson has scored 40 points and tallied nine assists in the same span. Wright is suddenly getting starter’s minutes again, and has averaged 16.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.3 made threes in the last three games, getting 30+ minutes in each contest. All three players are worth a long look at their current price levels (or on the waiver wire in season-long leagues).