John Wall warming up after slow start

January, 19, 2012
Washington Wizards guard John Wall is beginning to turn things around in a big way after a slow start to the season. After the Wizards' unexpected win over the Thunder on Wednesday night, Wall is now averaging 27.3 points, 8.3 assists and 7.3 rebounds per game, with 47 percent shooting from the floor and 86 percent from the line, over his past three games. Put it all together and he's starting to look a lot more like the guy who was a consensus top-20 fantasy pick coming into this season.

On the other hand, Wall still has had just one game all season in which he has shot better than 50 percent from the floor. His turnover rate has risen while his assist rate has fallen, his steals have dropped off a bit, and he's still yet to make a 3-pointer. Actually, I would prefer it if Wall didn't take 3s at all, but you'd like to see him improve on some of his weaknesses rather than just riding on his talent. It remains to be seen whether he can turn all of that talent into some efficiency as a basketball player, and until he does, he's going to be a frustrating player to hold on to in fantasy.

Looking Back

Rajon Rondo left the Celtics' blowout win over the Raptors after falling extremely hard on his right wrist, courtesy of a flagrant foul by Linas Kleiza. It's supposedly just a sore wrist, but this is obviously bad news for Rondo owners. If he misses any significant time, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Brandon Bass are going to be affected as well. All three rely on Rondo quite a bit to get their open looks, and the former two have aged to the point that it'll be very difficult for them to create any sort of offense on their own. Rondo is officially day-to-day, so we'll have to keep an eye on his status; the Celtics' next game is against the Suns in Boston on Friday night.

Andre Miller had a great night for the Nuggets in their overtime win over the 76ers in Philly. Clearly he's not quite as good a player as Ty Lawson is at this point, but putting up 28 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists is a good reminder that he's still a good contributor in fantasy leagues, as long as you're expecting assists and steals and not much else. He should also continue to get plenty of playing time while Rudy Fernandez is out because of a strained Achilles'.

Evan Turner returned to the 76ers' lineup Wednesday and put up 20 points and 11 rebounds in 29 minutes. Yes, it was an overtime game, but he's a great rebounder for his position, and is averaging 12.5 points and 6.8 rebounds over his past four contests.

Looking Ahead

Mario Chalmers is quietly having the best season of his career, and more importantly for fantasy owners, he's showing once again that his game is perfectly suited to fantasy basketball. He makes a ton of 3s, racks up steals, and this year he's even shooting a high percentage from the floor. The Heat face the Lakers on Thursday night, and while the Lakers have held teams to just 30 percent shooting from behind the arc, they also have given up the third most 3-point attempts in the league. The Lakers also commit the sixth most turnovers in the league, so there should be plenty of opportunities for Chalmers to rack up steals and 3s.

Emeka Okafor has been struggling of late for the Hornets and is averaging less than 10 points per game for the first time in his career. However, he'll be facing the Rockets on Thursday night, and the Rockets have struggled against opposing centers this year. Okafor averaged 12.3 points on 69 percent shooting from the floor in four games against the Rockets last season, and I'm expecting him to have a big game Thursday.



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