Stats We LikeOk Kobe, we get it. You're still one of the league's best and I don't think anyone's talking about those sore wrists or whatever anymore, but how about the battle for Los Angeles? Clippers showing some feistiness with Chris Paul going off big time! Paul, Bryant and Durant were the top 3 in yahoo standard per-game scoring this past week, but a nice couple additions to the top ten this week. We had Greg Monroe posting his first career 30 point effort and Kyle Lowry coming back from injury in a big way. If you're looking for some key players to watch or just for some general stat-facts, Stat-Grabber's got the answers for you:
- That Kobe guy can score. With 40 or over in 4 straight now, Bryant has tallied a whopping 172 points in a blink of an eye. Coming off his lowest points per game total since 2004 last season, there were a lot of doubters out there, but Kobe's loving the opportunity to prove them all wrong.
- 21, 8
- Thank you Rick Adelman. I sincerely thank you on behalf of all the owners of the rookie Spaniard - who finally made it over to the Americas to brandish his quick and clever game of basketball - for finally installing PG Ricky Rubio into your starting 5. In his first two NBA starts, Rubio has totaled 21 assists and 8 steals. I don't care if you're in a small 4 team pool or a 5 player roster league or whatever, but for some reason Rubio is owned in only 84% of yahoo leagues right now. Do yourself a favor and if you're in part of the 16%, go and get yourself one of the league's most promising point guards as quickly as the sneaky point guard can throw an oop to fellow rookie Derrick Williams - and that means quick! Run! Seriously.
- 43, 9
- Total rebounds and blocks from Rockets C Samuel Dalembert in his last 4 games (3 of which were Houston victories). Owned in 61% of yahoo leagues, Dalembert looks to be the man in the middle for the Rockets. With Scola's weak rebounding in the PF spot, look for the solid big man numbers to continue for Sammy, but don't count on too many 20+ scoring outings like the other night against his former team, Sacramento.
- Since being inserted in the starting lineup for injured G Rodney Stuckey, Pistons G Brandon Knight has been the go-to-guy in Lawrence Frank's backcourt. He's played at least 35 minutes in all 7 of his starts, hitting 16 threes across that span. The assists and steals aren't quite where we want them to be, but with more and more exposure they are sure to get there. The Pistons are all about the future and if your team is in need of a point guard, Knight is a solid option out there, surely to get the bulk of the minutes in the Pistons backcourt from here on out. He fills up the stat sheet like no one else can on that team, but expect turnovers in bunches along the way.
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Stats We Don't Like
- Boris, you started the season off so strong. You were racking up big rebounds and even more importantly, big assists. Then you had a rough 0-5 night, but it was okay because you bounced back the next night with 27 points against New York - but what's going on now? You've hit a total of 6 shots in your last 4 games, and have forced Coach Silas to look elsewhere for the starting 5. Diaw is a unique fantasy talent that can really reward you if you stay devoted, but it's hard to know what's up in Charlotte-ville this year and if C BJ Mullens continues his strong play, Diaw's big near-triple-double outbursts might be even more rare a commodity.
- 35.4, 39.7
- Field Goal percentages from Knicks F/C Amare Stoudemire and Rockets F/C Luis Scola, respectively, this past week. For two players who have lived around the 50% clip throughout their careers, you have to wonder what the effects of the clustered schedule is having on some of the NBA's big men. Keep faith in both of them if they're on your squad, but it will be interesting to monitor the shooting of some of the league's usually efficient big men down the stretch this year, and see if weeks under 40% become more consistent.
- It's safe to say that Hawks F Josh Smith has one of the most bizarre offensive repertoires throughout the league. Never a great free throw shooter - career 67% - Smith is hitting only 48.5% of his free throws this year and has missed 16 of his last 26 from the strike. The blocks and steals that put Smith in an elite class are still there, but we'd like to see the now veteran Smith try and refine his all-around game a bit more not only for the sake of his fantasy value, but for the sake of the Atlanta franchise.
- Points per game drop off so far for Celtics G/F Paul Pierce. His career low points per game is 16.5 from his rookie year, when he shot 43.9% from the field. Last year he proved to be the same old productive Pierce even with 18.9 points per game at 49.7% field goals. But the struggling Celtics would greatly appreciate Pierce to find his stroke once again as he's currently averaging 14.6 points per game at 37.2% field goals. Don't sell on the veteran quite yet if someone's trying to pry him away too cheap. But it's hard to see the long, condensed season being any easier on the veteran and we could very well be seeing Pierce's lowest points per game output of his career this season.