Humphries worth a look in Jersey

January, 28, 2010

The New Jersey Nets finally got their fourth win Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Clippers, in large part due to some major contributions off the bench from power forward Kris Humphries. We've all known for a while that Humphries is talented, but lately he's getting the chance to prove it. He finished with 25 points and eight rebounds on Wednesday night, and is now averaging 14.8 points and 6.4 rebounds in just 25.6 minutes in his past five games.

He doesn't do much else in terms of fantasy; he doesn't block many shots and probably won't pick up many steals, either. On the putrid Nets, who have little to play for if not the exploration of young talent, Humphries is worth keeping an eye on anyway if his minutes keep creeping up. If Yi Jianlian can slide over to small forward on occasion, and Humphries continues his good play, the Nets could find themselves with a pretty interesting frontcourt to explore for the rest of the season. Either way, if you're looking for points and rebounds, Humphries is a guy to put on your watch list in the coming weeks.

Looking Back

Andrew Bynum, Lakers: 27 points (12-14 FG), 12 rebounds against the Pacers.
Tim Duncan, Spurs: 21 points (11-11 FT), 27 rebounds, 6 assists versus the Hawks.
Chris Paul, Hornets: 38 points (14-19 FG, 9-9 FT), 6 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 steals against the Warriors.
Ron Artest, Lakers: 2 points (1-6 FG), 2 rebounds against the Pacers.
Shane Battier, Rockets: 2 points (1-7 FG), 5 rebounds versus the Nuggets.
Mike Bibby, Hawks: No points (0-7 FG), 1 rebound, 1 assist in 27 minutes against the Spurs.
Marcus Thornton has looked quite good in his first two starts since replacing Devin Brown (traded to the Bulls) in the New Orleans Hornets' starting lineup. As long as he's logging heavy minutes, he'll be a good source of 3s and probably a decent source of scoring and steals (he's also shooting 94 percent from the line for the month of January). … J.J. Hickson had a nice night for the Cleveland Cavaliers, finishing with 23 points and eight rebounds, but he wasn't facing an elite frontcourt defense, and you don't need to worry about picking him up unless he starts doing some damage in the steals and blocks categories. … Brandon Rush has now played more than 33 minutes in four straight games. He's shooting 50 percent during that stretch, knocking down 3s, scoring in double figures, and hardly ever turning the ball over. I had high hopes for Rush coming into this season, and it would appear he may be ready to start delivering. … Michael Beasley hyperextended his knee and played just eight minutes for the Miami Heat against the Toronto Raptors, and though he seems to be optimistic that he'll be fine, take note of the fact that Udonis Haslem had a really nice night (16 points and 11 rebounds) in his absence. … Rip Hamilton had 16 points and 10 assists for the Detroit Pistons in their loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. Hamilton's been great in his past four games, averaging 20.0 points and 7.5 assists. … Marcus Camby left the game against the Nets because of bruised ribs; he played seven minutes and didn't return. When Camby gets hurt, one should probably pay attention. It bears mentioning that Camby's on an expiring contract and probably won't put himself into the line of fire and risk getting more seriously hurt with a big payday possibly looming at season's end. Keep an eye on Craig Smith (18 points and eight rebounds in Camby's absence) should Camby miss significant time. … Strangely, in what may have been Elton Brand's best performance of the season, he blew a game-tying layup with just under 10 seconds left in the Philadelphia 76ers' loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. Still, Brand put up 26 points and 10 rebounds against a decent defense, and that has to be a good sign going forward. … Without Carmelo Anthony, the Denver Nuggets won a game against the Rockets in which they recorded only seven assists. I'm not sure what to make of that, but somehow it seems relevant that J.R. Smith led the team in scoring with 22 points.

Looking Ahead

The game between the Raptors and the New York Knicks on Thursday night should feature plenty of offense and little resistance. The last time the two teams met, they combined for 216 points, the Raptors put six guys in double figures, and the Knicks had three players score at least 25. If you own someone mediocre on one of these teams, now is the time to get him into the lineup. … On the other hand, the game between the Boston Celtics and the Orlando Magic should be quite the opposite. Neither team has broken 86 points in either of their two meetings this season. You may want to go ahead and bench Kendrick Perkins, who will have all he can handle in defending Dwight Howard. I might also think about benching Jameer Nelson if I have a better option or are watching your games played; Rajon Rondo is a pest, and Nelson struggled mightily against a much worse Grizzlies defense on Monday. … Finally, Grant Hill is questionable for the Phoenix Suns' contest against the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday, and fantasy teams should consider this an opportunity to get the underrated Jared Dudley into their lineups, at least for one more night.

Seth Landman is a fantasy basketball analyst for



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