In this special Valentine's Day Edition of the 2011 Fantasy Basketball Market Watch, Rosti discusses the rise of Kendrick Perkins of the Boston Celtics and Luis Scola of the Houston Rockets. Additionally, he looks into O.J. Mayo's off the court issues with "energy drinks".
Kendrick Perkins, C Boston Celtics
Big Perk is back and manning the middle for the Celtics once again. After missing the first half of the season, Perkins has finally returned from his ACL injury. In the first eight games since his return, he has seen his minutes steadily increase to a high of 35 against Charlotte on Feb. 7th.
It took him a total of five games, but Perkins has once again cemented his status as the starter at center for the Celtics. He’s already put up double-digit rebounding totals in three games since his return. And, while Perkins is not known for his offensive prowess, he’s able drop a dozen or so points on any given night. Last season, Perkins averaged 10.1 PPG in 78 games.
In the ever-shallow pool of available centers, Perkins surely can hold his own. He will contribute in field goal percentage, averaging more than 60 percent twice in his career. Since his return, Perkins is shooting 58.3 percent from the field. And while it’s only eight games into his ’11 season, he is averaging a career high 8.4 rebounds per game.
With the aging and oft-injured Shaq as the only other capable big man in Beantown, Perkins is sure to receive the lion’s share of playing time at center going forward. Currently, Perkins is owned in about half of all CBS leagues, so jump on him now!
Luis Scola, PF Houston Rockets
Here’s another NBA big man in the spotlight…one who has come up HUGE this season for the Rockets. In what can be deemed a relative bargain by today’s NBA contract standards, Scola is more than earning his $7.75 million this season.
The Argentine has quietly put together a monster season, averaging 19.4 PPG, 8.4 rebounds per game, along with 2.4 assists and shooting 50 percent from the field. He’s redefining what it means to be a consistent scorer on a nightly basis with double-digit totals in all but two of his team’s games this season.
And speaking of consistency, Scola played 82 games in each of his first three seasons for the Rockets and is on pace to hit that mark once again. Along with Kevin Martin, he’s kept the Rockets afloat in the post-Yao era, which arrived earlier than most expected in Houston.
O.J. Mayo, SG Memphis Grizzlies
Where has the juice gone from Mayo’s game? It’s been a rough ride in his third season for the former third overall pick of the Timberwolves. After a stellar couple of seasons, Mayo’s shooting has regressed.
O.J. averaged 18.5 PPG in '08-'09 and 17.5 PPG last season. This season, Mayo has seen his scoring average drop by more than five points. In addition, his assists and rebounds are down, as is his FG, FT and 3-PT percentage.
Overall, it’s fair to say that it’s been a crummy season for Mayo.
And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, Mayo earned himself a 10 game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance—dehydroepiandrosterone (a.k.a DHEA). Of course, Mayo didn’t knowingly ingest this banned substance. He has a story, claiming it came from an energy drink he purchased at a gas station.
Regardless, the end result is the same—he’s gone for 10 games.
At this point, Mayo has earned a spot on the fantasy pine while riding out his suspension. He’s currently still owned in 76 percent of CBS leagues, as owners don’t seem to be in a rush to give up on Mayo, anxiously awaiting a return to prominence.
It doesn’t seem likely to happen this season, however, so it may be time to cut your losses.
This edition of the Stock Watch’s Goat Award goes out to the Brazilian star Tiago Splitter.
In a much ballyhooed arrival from the Euroleague in the offseason, Splitter was thought to be one of the biggest additions by any team in the NBA. It hasn’t exactly worked out as planned for the Spurs and Splitter.
Originally, Splitter was drafted by the Spurs with the 28th pick in the first round of the 2007 draft. He promptly re-upped with Saski Baskonia of the Spanish ACB League on a two year deal. This contract allowed him to earn eight times more than the NBA rookie scale salary cap would have allowed (makes sense).
After he finished off his 2010 campaign in Spain, Splitter agreed to a three year deal worth $11 million to finally come stateside.
His season got off to a rocky start, earning the dreaded “DNP-Coach’s Decision” four times in his team’s first 11 games. It hasn’t gotten much better since then, as Splitter has racked up 11 DNPs on the season.
Amazingly, playing on a team with a 6’7” starting center, the 6’11” Splitter cannot seem to find the court.
Tiago has only five games of double-digit points on the season, with his best game coming on Feb. 4th—16 points and nine rebounds on 27 minutes played while filling in for the injured Matt Bonner. His season averages are currently at 4.1 PPG and 2.6 rebounds.
He’s currently owned in only 10 percent of CBS leagues and actually being started in 2 percent of those. Tiago Splitter has been a non-factor for the Spurs and in fantasy-land. But hey, it’s hard to complain when the Spurs are sitting pretty in first place with a 42-8 record, best in the league.
Written By Rosti Satanovsky exclusively for http://www.thefantasyfix.com.
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