Right now, I’m watching a replay of Game 6 of the 2006 NBA Finals between the Mavericks and the Heat.
Yep, the clincher.
This Heat team had Dwyane Wade, a slightly-older version of Shaq, old Gary Payton, older Alonzo Mourning, Antoine “you are a cancer to your team as well as our league” Walker and Shandon Anderson, among others.
D.J. Augustin, PG, Charlotte Bobcats
The Bobcats have gotten off to a less-than-stellar 2-6 start, but Augustin’s numbers have improved in his first season as the starting point guard.
The former Texas Longhorn is averaging 12.5 points, 6.5 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game thus far.
He’s also shooting a stellar 41.7 percent from the three-point line, and hasn’t missed a free throw yet.
For a guy that’s averaged just 3.1 assists throughout his career to this point, the jump to 6.5 is quite favorable.
Augustin just turned 23 on Wednesday, so there’s still plenty of room for him to grow as a true point guard.
Arron Afflalo, SG, Denver Nuggets
Afflalo, whose career scoring average is just six points per game, has ratcheted up his production this year.
He is averaging 13.6 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and is shooting 41.7 percent from deep.
He’s also shooting a ridiculous 57 percent from the field.
Afflalo seems to have usurped JR Smith’s spot as one of Denver’s secondary scoring options, and he’s doing it very efficiently.
Richard Jefferson, SF, San Antonio Spurs
After a miserable first season as a Spur in ’09, during which he averaged just 12.3 points per game, Jefferson suddenly looks like the player we always knew him to be.
He’s back up to 18.6 points per game this season, and is shooting 58.7 percent from the field and 53.3 percent from beyond-the-arc.
Jefferson’s numbers appear to have benefited from the slight dip in offensive production from Tim Duncan this season. There’s always a chance that the two could switch places as the year goes on.
Keep an eye on him, but for now, he’s been lights out.
Taj Gibson, PF, Chicago Bulls
Gibson is filling in for the injured Carlos Boozer, and he’s been producing at a very solid rate.
He’s averaging 15.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game thus far, and has scored in double-figures in six straight.
Gibson isn’t a guy that will be able to put up these kinds of numbers once Boozer returns. So, if you’re waiting on Boozer, Gibson is a nice handcuff type.
Samuel Dalembert, C, Sacramento Kings
Dalembert missed the beginning of the year with a groin injury, but he’s come back very well.
He’s been promoted into the starting lineup, but will still likely be splitting minutes with DeMarcus Cousins.
Dalembert is averaging 5.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in six games so far.
Ten of his 12 blocks on the season have come in the last three games, and he should certainly be owned.
George Hill, PG/SG, San Antonio Spurs
Hill has gotten off to a miserable start this year, and is averaging just seven points and three assists per game.
After a breakout season last year, his shooting has dropped off the face of the planet.
Hill is shooting 23 percent from three-point range, and his minutes are dwindling rapidly.
J.R. Smith, SG, Denver Nuggets
We mentioned Afflalo’s minutes going up, and Smith is the guy suffering as a result.
He’s capable of producing solid numbers across the board. But if he isn’t playing, he isn’t producing the way he can.
He had a nice game against the Mavericks over the weekend, scoring 11 points with six rebounds, five assists and five steals.
Until he can regain his prior rotation status, his stock is on the fall.
Thaddeus Young, SF, Philadelphia 76ers
The Sixers have had a ton of production coming out of the backcourt early in the season, and Young’s numbers have dipped as a result.
We’ve seen his versatility in the past, but this year he’s averaging just 8.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.
Young is still playing under 30 minutes per game. So he’s not getting the playing time he’s used to seeing.
He’s still only 22, so he can certainly improve.
Just don’t count on him in fantasy, for now.
Channing Frye, PF/C, Phoenix Suns
Frye randomly emerged last year as one of the league’s premier three-point shooters, but the touch hasn’t been there so far in 2010.
He’s shooting a paltry 24.1 percent from deep this year and is averaging just 4.9 points per game.
His 5.4 rebounds per game average is decent, especially considering he’s playing just 25 minutes a night.
However, until he starts hitting those threes again, his value is extremely limited.
Yao Ming, C, Houston Rockets
We know about Yao’s limited availability this season.
He left Wednesday’s loss to the Wizards with a leg injury.
Assuming he’ll be OK, there’s been talk that the Rockets have been discussing the possibility of lifting Yao’s 24-minute stipulation.
At 1-6, do the Rockets really have a choice? They need to see what the guy can give them.
The numbers aren’t too bad when you consider that he’s playing just 18 minutes per game. He’s averaging 10.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.
Centers aren’t exactly plentiful in fantasy basketball, so you can’t afford to drop the guy.
If the 24-minute limit is lifted, stick with him.
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