Scola coming on strong
One of the most intriguing stories of the past week is the emergence of Luis Scola, who has basically replicated last season's numbers up to this point. This has disappointed fantasy owners looking for a breakout campaign, as many predicted he'd average a double-double and see statistical increases across the board. Carl Landry was the breakout frontcourt player for the Houston Rockets this season, and when the Rockets flipped him to the Sacramento Kings, little attention was paid to how the trade would impact Scola's value. Well, Scola has been playing better during the past month but exploded recently, posting an insane 21.3 points and 18.0 boards per game in his past three contests. This weekend, he had 25 and 13 on Saturday and 20 and 15 Sunday, and he's suddenly giving the Rockets reason to be optimistic about his future. He's played more than 40 minutes in each of those three games, and even though 21 and 18 is a bit lofty to expect for the rest of the season, Scola is playing his best basketball of the season and should continue to rebound and score at a torrid rate.
Mehmet Okur, Jazz: 27 points, 7 rebounds, 3 3-pointers, 3 steals, 2 blocks Saturday versus the Clippers.|
Al Thornton, Wizards: 24 points, 11 rebounds, 3 steals Sunday against the Celtics.
Dwyane Wade, Heat: 38 points, 10 assists, 4 3-pointers Saturday versus the Hawks.
Andrea Bargnani, Raptors: 9 points (4-15 FG), 4 rebounds, 2 assists Friday versus the Knicks.|
Paul Pierce, Celtics: 7 points (1-9 FG), 5 rebounds, 2 assists Friday against the 76ers.
Brandon Roy, Trail Blazers: 12 points (3-14 FG), 5 rebounds, 5 assists Sunday versus the Nuggets.
What you might have missed
Thaddeus Young dropped a career-high 32 points on 13-for-18 shooting with three 3s and four steals to boot Sunday. This was a relief for his owners, as Young was coming off scoring five and nine points in his previous two games, and his numbers this season are slightly down across the board. What I do like about Young is that he's a potent scorer who doesn't turn the ball over much, although the fact that he didn't take a step forward in any secondary category and lowered his scoring average this season leads me to believe we've seen his ceiling, and it was Sunday night. J.R. Smith dropped four 3s on Sunday, giving him 15 shots made from long range in his past four contests. We know Smith's MO: He's one of the streakiest scorers in the league, but when he's on he's also one of the best. Well, he's on one of his streaks, so make sure to get him in your starting lineup and ride the hot hand. Loved to see Francisco Garcia score 14 points off the bench Sunday, and especially loved to see him play 27 minutes. Grab him now in deep leagues, as he's primed to be a major factor for the Kings off the bench down the stretch, and should post respectable across-the-board fantasy numbers.
Josh Whitling is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.