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Thursday, February 16, 2012
Rodney Stuckey starting to heat up


Rodney Stuckey is really coming alive of late for the Detroit Pistons. After leading his team to a 10-point road win over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday, Stuckey is now averaging 18.0 points, 5.2 assists, 1.4 steals and 81.6 percent shooting from the line over his past five games and should continue putting up big numbers for the foreseeable future after struggling quite a bit to start the season.

Stuckey, remember, finished 86th on the Player Rater last season and is currently well outside the top 100 this season. His minutes are down, but he's actually improved as a 3-point shooter and is still getting to the line a lot and making a ton of free throws. He could be a nice second-half performer if he can keep getting minutes, so it will be interesting to see if any changes to the Pistons' rotation happen with the trade deadline fast approaching.

Looking Back

Kevin Garnett missed the game for the Celtics with a strained right hip flexor. You'll want to keep an eye on that injury, because the team might choose to be extra cautious with Garnett in the interest of keeping him fresh for the playoffs.

• Without Danny Granger (out with a sprained left ankle) the Indiana Pacers started Dahntay Jones, but even if Granger misses significant time Jones is not someone you need to pay attention to in fantasy leagues. He was just 1-for-8 in 37 minutes on Wednesday and traditionally is a poor offensive player.

Kyrie Irving had a nice night for the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Pacers in his return from a concussion; he finished with 22 points on 8-for-12 shooting from the floor and chipped in five assists and three 3-pointers. Obviously, he should be in your lineup going forward.

Marreese Speights has certainly been erratic of late, but after posting 20 points and 18 rebounds in the Memphis Grizzlies' win over the New Jersey Nets he's now averaging 12.0 points, 11.6 rebounds and 51.9 percent shooting from the floor over his past five games. He's always been capable of producing big numbers given big minutes, and if you've stuck with him through the bad games over the past week or so it has certainly paid off.

Jeremy Lin eased up a bit on the scoring and played some traditional point guard in the New York Knicks' win over the Sacramento Kings. Lin finished with 13 assists in just 26 minutes, and after playing 36 or more minutes in each of his past six games an easy night is probably going to be good for him going forward.

Gustavo Ayon is getting more minutes for the New Orleans Hornets with Emeka Okafor out of the lineup with a sore knee and might be worth a pickup in fantasy. He put up his first double-double with 12 points, 12 rebounds and three steals in a win over the Milwaukee Bucks and is now averaging 7.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.2 blocks over his past five games.

Looking Ahead

MarShon Brooks isn't quite back to the level he was at before he missed nine of 10 games for the Nets because of injury, but he played 30 minutes on Wednesday night and managed 12 points on 5-for-9 shooting. I'd be tempted to get him back into the lineup Thursday against a Pacers team that could possibly be without Danny Granger.

Chris Wilcox could be a good play for the Celtics against the Chicago Bulls. The Celtics will most likely be without Garnett, and even if Garnett plays, Wilcox put up 11 points (5-for-6 shooting from the floor) and nine rebounds alongside Garnett against the Bulls on Sunday. He also had 17 points and nine rebounds against the Pistons on Wednesday, so his recent good play might not be a fluke.

Marcus Camby has had two straight double-doubles, and that trend should continue against the Los Angeles Clippers, who have been good defensively for the most part but have struggled to contain opposing centers (JaVale McGee managed 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting from the floor against them on Wednesday).