Trevor Booker continues strong play
The Wizards managed to beat the Lakers on Wednesday night in part because Kobe Bryant had a horrendous game, shooting 9-for-31 from the floor, but also because Trevor Booker put up 18 points and 17 rebounds. Booker has been great lately for the Wizards, averaging 13.6 points and 10.2 rebounds, 1.0 blocks and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 54.7 percent from the floor over his past five games.
Booker has shown flashes of this sort of game all season. He has a solid PER and is averaging nearly a double-double per 40 minutes of action. On a Wizards team that is desperate for players who have a good sense for the game, Booker is even more invaluable, which is why his minutes seem to keep going up. It's easy to imagine him averaging nearly a double-double for the rest of the season, and given his high shooting percentage, that makes him extremely valuable in fantasy leagues. He's still available in most, and should be picked up in just about all of them.
• Thaddeus Young missed Wednesday night's big win for the 76ers against the Celtics with an illness, which meant more minutes than usual for Nikola Vucevic. Vucevic had 14 points and 12 rebounds, but he's not going to play 30 minutes most nights, and since he isn't much of a shot-blocker he's probably still not quite worth owning in most fantasy leagues, even if he is one of the most promising rookies in the NBA.
• If you're looking for blocks and steals, you should really check out Chandler Parsons. The Rockets rookie played 42 minutes in a loss to the Raptors and had three steals and a block (he also managed 19 points, which was just one off his career high). He's available in nearly every league, and there aren't too many other guys capable of averaging better than one steal and one block per game in the long term.
• If you need help from the free throw line, you really need to look at Corey Maggette. The Bobcats lost on Wednesday night to the Jazz, but Maggette went 13-for-14 from the stripe, which bumped him up to 86 percent in his past five games. More importantly, he's attempting an amazing 11.4 free throws per game during that stretch. He's basically living at the line, so if you own Dwight Howard or Blake Griffin and want to make one last-ditch effort to make up ground in the free throw category, Maggette is definitely your best bet.
• It's hard to say how much time Knicks' center Tyson Chandler will miss with a strained hamstring, but there are no backup centers on the Knicks worth owning in fantasy. Rookie Josh Harrelson got the start against the Spurs, but finished with just eight points and eight rebounds, and while those are solid numbers in 22 minutes, they're not really enough to make him an exciting fantasy player.
• Manu Ginobili looked great off the bench for the Spurs, finishing with 17 points, six assists, four rebounds, three 3-pointers, and 7-for-10 shooting from the floor. Clearly, you should have him in your lineup going forward, at least as long as he's healthy, of course.
• With Brendan Haywood questionable for the Mavericks for Thursday night's game against the Suns, you may want to look at Ian Mahinmi. Mahinmi had nine points, six rebounds, three steals and two blocks against the Knicks on Tuesday night, and that followed up a 13-point, 5-rebound performance against the Thunder the night before. He's a good bet to help you in blocks and field goal percentage, especially against a Suns team that tends to give up pretty good numbers to opposing big men.
• The Magic have faced the Bulls only once this season, but it's worth noting that last time, the Bulls dominated the Magic and Carlos Boozer finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds. So, if you were thinking about sitting Boozer against the Magic this time around, that would definitely be a mistake.