Time to deal Dwight Howard?

December, 14, 2012

The Knicks beat the Lakers 116-107 Thursday night, marking the Lakers' fourth consecutive loss and sixth in their past seven contests. Dwight Howard had 20 points and seven boards and once again put up decent enough stats to deflect the type of criticism Pau Gasol was receiving before he was sidelined with knee tendinitis. But looking at Howard's numbers closely, his 18.5 points per game and 11.9 rebounds per game are unimpressive compared to his 20.5 and 14.6 from last season, and he's shooting 49.2 percent from the stripe on a career-high 11 attempts per game.

I've never been a fan of his in the fantasy world and had him on my preseason bust list because of those crippling free throws. The fact they are more harmful than ever and that his points and boards are down is disappointing, and if you own him in a roto league I'd shop him if you can get a top-40 player for him. Even if he improves as he adjusts and Steve Nash returns, the damage he inflicts on your free throw percentage -- he currently has a minus-8.24 Player Rater ranking in the category -- simply isn't worth the positive contributions he provides.

Looking Back

Gerald Henderson is still coming off the bench for the Bobcats, but played a team-high 31 minutes and scored 17 points against the Hawks. The rub with Henderson is that he doesn't provide much other than semi-efficient scoring. He's owned in just 26.3 percent of leagues and is worth owning if you need the scoring, but he's not worth it if you're looking for all-around help.

Tyson Chandler continued his torrid December, scoring 18 points on a perfect 5 for 5 from the floor. His rebounding has picked up considerably this month, as he's averaging 12.7 boards compared to 8.7 per game in November, and he's the most helpful player on the Player Rater in field goal percentage. He's also ranked 27th overall on the Player Rater, although his terrific contributions have been overshadowed by the Knicks' insane 3-point shooting.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 22 points on 10-for-16 shooting and has improved his numbers recently, averaging 22.4 points, 10.2 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 1.6 steals on 53.8 percent shooting in his past five contests. He's 11th on the Player Rater over the past 15 days, justifying his average draft position of 14.4, and after a slow start in which he shot 44.2 percent from the floor in November, he's back to performing like the top-20 player we expected.

DeShawn Stevenson returned after missing Wednesday's game with a knee injury and dropped three 3-pointers in 19 minutes from the starting lineup. He's good for absolutely nothing else, but in deep leagues if you need 3s, Stevenson is capable of providing them, the same way the ATM in his kitchen is capable of providing some quick cash if you're strapped.

Looking Ahead

• With Andrea Bargnani sidelined indefinitely and Kyle Lowry out around 10 days with a triceps injury, Ed Davis should once again shoulder a bulk of the scoring load for the Raptors. He scored 24 points on 11-for-13 shooting with 12 boards on Wednesday and should be added in all leagues, as he's capable of providing efficient scoring, rebounds and blocks.

• Additionally, Jose Calderon once again has tremendous value with Lowry sidelined. In eight starts, he's averaging 12.5 points, 12.3 assists and 2.3 3s this season, and any time Lowry's out, Calderon should be owned and started in every format.

Brook Lopez is expected to return against the Pistons, so even though he'll likely be limited, be sure to get him back in your lineup as he's a focal point of the Nets' offensive attack.

Tyreke Evans returned Wednesday, scoring a team-high 17 points off the bench. He should be back in the starting lineup shortly, possibly Friday, and back in your fantasy lineup as well.

Gordon Hayward is shooting 52.4 percent from downtown this month and should see continued success against a Suns team allowing a league-worst 40.6 percent on 3-pointers this season.



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