Scoping the Players

By Bryan Jeon

Now that NBA All-Star weekend is a couple of weeks behind us, here’s a brief look at those that have stepped up their game since the break:

  • LeBron James – Boy, I feel sorry for you fantasy owners who gave up on King James and sold him cheap pre-All Star break. I mean, how can you give up on The King? (I gave up on him too, but fortunately I had no takers because he lost all of that top draft pick value he began the season with). If you rode out the wave or are a new owner, you finally get blessed from his performances, as he is averaging 32.5ppg in 11 games played since the break (compared to 26.5ppg before) while maintaining his 6.1rpg and 5.9apg. He also improved his accuracy, ascending from a .472FG% to a .531FG% as well as from behind the arc, making 2 three-pointers a game (.328% to .449%).
  • Sean May – I know he’s only played three games since being back from what seemed like a couple of eternities and then some, and you might be questioning how long he’ll last this time. But I think this power forward is finally ready to help the Charlotte Bobcats the rest of the season, already starting consecutive games with an increase in minutes accordingly. He is averaging a solid 15.7ppg and 6.3rpg on .571FG% in this short return, up from 11.5ppg and 6.7rpg on .492FG%. Check your waiver wire, he might still be loitering around as an undeserving free agent.
  • Corey Maggette – This everyday starter has improved his fantasy line since Shaun Livingston went down on February 26, despite the Los Angeles Clippers losing six of the eight games. Maggette is enjoying his best month this season in March and has posted averages of 18.5ppg on .504FG%, 5.1rpg, 3.6apg and 1.7stpg in almost 36 minutes as opposed to 14.8ppg on .425FG%, 5.8rpg, 2.0apg and 0.7stpg in 27 minutes of play.
  • Stephon Marbury – This street-style baller from Brooklyn is currently averaging 16.0ppg, his lowest finish since his rookie year twelve years and three teams ago as a 19 year old kid with the Minnesota Timberwolves, to go with career-lows of 2.7rpg and 5.5apg. While the latter two numbers have stayed relatively stagnant post-All Star break, Marbury is on a scoring tear in the eleven games since. He has improved his scoring average from 14.1ppg on .411FG% before the break to 25.1ppg on .470FG%. He has also skyrocketed dramatically from behind the arc, making 1.2 threes per game on .339% to making 3.7 threes per game on .471%.
  • Brandon Roy – Is it mere coincidence that Brandon’s last name is ROY? This guard from Washington will do what Chris Paul just missed by one vote (to Utah’s Deron Williams), win the rookie of the year unanimously. What’s even scarier is that Roy has improved his game every month with March averages of 17.5ppg on .507FG% and a .550 3pt.%, 4.7rpg and 5.8apg.
  • Andrei Kirilenko – This Russian freak has hit rock bottom in his role with the Utah Jazz. For the second straight game, AK-47 failed to notch one point in the first half before an ankle sprain took him out in the third quarter against the Orlando Magic last night. Kirilenko’s season-high in FG attempts is 14 and is scoring 5.5ppg since the All-Star break. He has scored over 12 points in a game just five times all year, with a season-high of 18 points. It’s always tough to bench AK because of his all-around performance, especially with his ability to give you a good dose of blocks, but I’d go one step further and say that it’s time to cut ties with Kirilenko for the year and see how his role is next season.

May image courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images.
Roy image courtesy of AP Photo.

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