Scola coming on strong

March, 8, 2010

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.

Looking back

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.
Antawn Jamison is finding his place in Cleveland, as he scored 47 points with 15 rebounds combined in Friday's and Saturday's contests. He'll have trouble averaging the 20 and 9 he did in Washington, but he'll still score, rebound and provide great 3s and steals for a big man, with low turnovers. If you thought his value was shot when he was shipped to Cleveland and put up a clunker in his first game, take a look at Jamison's past five and your worries should be alleviated. … On Saturday, Courtney Lee bounced back nicely from an ankle injury that had kept him sidelined for three games, with 25 points on five 3-pointers. He was playing well before his injury, averaging nearly 20 points per game in the four contests leading up to him missing time. He's developed a nice rapport with Devin Harris, and now that Harris is firing on all cylinders after an injury-plagued first half of the season, Lee is benefiting from the fact that the New Jersey Nets have at least one player who would start for other NBA teams. … Jason Terry is set to miss 10-14 days while his face heals, and Rodrigue Beaubois is clearly the primary beneficiary of "Jet" missing time. He started in the backcourt alongside Jason Kidd on Saturday and scored 24 points with five rebounds, five assists, one 3, one steal and one block in 35 minutes in a win over the Bulls. This was after a 22-point outburst Friday night. Even when Terry returns, Beaubois should continue to get run, but his primary value will be in these next few weeks, making him a fantastic short-term pickup. … Darren Collison just won't stop, as he dropped 32 points 14-for-19 shooting from the floor on Friday night. It's going to be interesting to see what happens to his value once Chris Paul is back in the picture, as Collison has clearly played well enough in Paul's absence to warrant serious minutes in some way or another. Don't be worried about Collison losing all value when Paul returns, although he will take a significant hit, so ride it while you can. … Anthony Tolliver has turned heads with his strong play in the Bay, but his most impressive trait is his long-range ability from the center position. He nailed four treys Friday night, has 11 in his past five games, along with 13.2 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. With that unique statistical combination, Tolliver is worth owning in all formats if you need 3s, as he'll allow you to accrue them from an atypical roster spot.

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



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