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Thursday, March 1, 2012
Trevor Booker helpful in multiple categories


Trevor Booker played 40 minutes for the Wizards against the Magic on Wednesday night after playing 31 on Tuesday night, and while the Wizards were without Andray Blatche and Rashard Lewis, Booker's been playing well enough lately that the big minutes might be a sign of things to come. He's been really good in limited minutes all season, and is a decent source of both steals and blocks (in addition to the usual points and rebounds).

In his past five games, Booker is averaging 10.0 points and 8.4 rebounds to go along with 0.8 blocks and 1.6 steals. Those are certainly solid numbers, especially considering he's averaged just 27.8 minutes during that stretch. In addition, most nights it feels like Booker is one of the only players on the Wizards who actually understands the intricacies of how to play basketball. That's important, and it is what's earning him more minutes in the two games since the break. Right now, he's definitely worth picking up, which is good, because he's currently available in more than 90 percent of ESPN.com fantasy leagues.

Looking back

J.J. Redick continues to put up some really good numbers under the radar for the Magic. He had 15 points on 5-for-8 shooting from the floor against the Wizards on Wednesday night, and is now averaging 13.6 points, 3.0 3s, and 52.2 percent shooting from the floor in his past five games. Add to that the fact that he almost never misses free throws, and he's a good guy to look at if you need 3-point help. He's available in more than half of ESPN.com fantasy leagues.

JaVale McGee came off the bench for the first time this season for the Wizards and played just 16 minutes after playing just 17 minutes on Tuesday night. This is clearly a bad sign for McGee's fantasy owners. The Wizards just keep on losing, so it's hard to point to any change as a sign for the future, but the good news is that McGee was productive with nine points and six rebounds in his limited playing time. This is definitely something we'll have to watch in the coming weeks to see whether he can work his way back into the starting unit.

Stephen Curry didn't play again for the Warriors, and the guy who replaced him in the starting lineup, Dominic McGuire, had one of the weirder lines you'll ever see from a shooting guard with zero points and 15 rebounds in 36 minutes. The Warriors won a close game against the Hawks, so this situation certainly bears watching, especially considering Klay Thompson and Nate Robinson -- the guys I would have imagined would be filling in for Curry -- each played fewer than 20 minutes. McGuire is not worth adding in fantasy leagues, and the 15 rebounds were an aberration unlikely to be seen again.

Brandon Bass had another 16 points and seven rebounds in the starting lineup for the Celtics, and given the minutes he's been playing, he should be good for that kind of production just about every night. He doesn't do much else, and had an uncharacteristically poor performance from the foul line (4-for-7), but he could be worth picking up if you need a guy with center eligibility who normally will be good in that area (82 percent from the line for his career).

• The Mavericks lost the game to the Grizzlies and lost Dirk Nowitzki to a lower back injury. Obviously, this bears watching, as Dirk has already missed games occasionally this season while trying to get himself back into game shape. The Mavs went small against the Grizzlies, so Jason Terry and Rodrigue Beaubois played big minutes off the bench, but if Dirk misses significant time, the guy to watch is definitely Brandan Wright (eight points, seven rebounds, two blocks and two steals in 21 minutes).

Looking ahead

• The Timberwolves play their third game in three nights against the Suns on Thursday night, and Kevin Love missed Wednesday night's game with flu symptoms, so it's a question whether he'll be in the lineup. The Wolves' blowout loss to the Lakers on Wednesday night didn't really provide much intelligence, but it's clear that Derrick Williams and Michael Beasley will both get significant minutes any time Love misses a game, and both should be able to provide good numbers against the Suns.

• Look for Caron Butler to get back on track for the Clippers against the Kings. The Kings do a decent job defending the 3-point shot, but they are allowing teams to shoot 47 percent from the floor overall, and Butler in particular should have a size advantage against whichever of the three guards in the Kings' starting lineup ends up on him.