Ibaka poised to finish strong

March, 25, 2010

Wednesday was yet another productive night for Oklahoma City Thunder big man Serge Ibaka, who finished with six points, eight rebounds and four blocks in 23 minutes. Ibaka continues to carve out minutes in the Thunder's rotation, and while he can be a bit of a wild card (four turnovers), his shot blocking, rebounding and field goal percentage have been stellar.

Perhaps more impressive, he's played more minutes than either Nick Collison or Nenad Krstic in two straight games. As the season goes on, it is becoming more clear that Ibaka is the best option the Thunder have at the center spot, and that's a good sign for his fantasy value in the remaining games on their schedule.

Basically, if you are considering adding a big man off the waiver wire down the stretch, Ibaka probably is one of your best options. He's available in almost every fantasy league, so there's a great chance he's on the waiver wire in yours.

Looking Back

Stephen Jackson, Bobcats: 37 points (15-24 FG), 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals against the Wolves.
LeBron James, Cavaliers: 38 points (15-22 FG), 6 rebounds, 9 assists versus the Hornets.
Rajon Rondo, Celtics: 11 points, 11 rebounds, 15 assists, 4 steals against the Nuggets.
Andrew Bogut, Bucks: 8 points (4-8 FG), 3 rebounds against the 76ers.
Rashard Lewis, Magic: 6 points (2-9 FG), 5 rebounds, 3 assists against the Hawks.
Hedo Turkoglu, Raptors: 4 points (1-3 FG), 2 rebounds, 2 assists against the Jazz.
Andray Blatche appears to have sorted out his issues with Flip Saunders, as the Washington Wizards big man played 39 minutes Wednesday, and finished with 21 points and six rebounds. Not an eye-popping performance, but it appears he's good to go down the stretch. … Josh McRoberts finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Indiana Pacers while filling in for Roy Hibbert and probably will continue to be productive if Hibbert misses extended time. Just be aware that when Hibbert returns from his sprained jaw, McRoberts will lose most of the little value he has. … James Singleton had a huge night for the Wizards, finishing with 19 points and 21 boards. He's been really great of late, but it's hard to imagine the Wizards continuing to give him major minutes on nights when JaVale McGee is productive at all. … Even with Zydrunas Ilgauskas back in the fold for the Cleveland Cavaliers, J.J. Hickson had another nice night. He finished with 20 points on 9-for-11 shooting along with nine rebounds. He remains a solid, if inconsistent, option most nights, at least in deeper leagues. … We all know Darren Collison will lose some playing time for the New Orleans Hornets once Chris Paul gets his legs back, but keep in mind that Collison has remained productive coming off the bench (17 points, seven assists against the Cavs on Wednesday night). With the Hornets almost entirely out of contention in the West, it's safe to assume Collison will be worth owning in all leagues for the rest of the season, even with slightly decreased playing time. … Reggie Williams had another great game for the Golden State Warriors, finishing with 23 points and five rebounds in 29 minutes against the Memphis Grizzlies. Until his hot streak shows some signs of slowing down, he's definitely worth grabbing off the waiver wire and starting.

Looking Ahead

The Chicago Bulls are going to be cautious with Joakim Noah during the next couple of weeks, but they're talking about playing him 20 minutes against the Miami Heat on Thursday night, and 20 minutes of production against the Heat's front line might be enough to make him worth starting in most leagues. He'll get you at least some rebounds and a block or two. … I'm expecting a big game out of Drew Gooden against the Houston Rockets. He already has faced the Rockets four times this season, and is averaging 8.0 points and 5.8 rebounds in just 20.5 minutes per game. Considering the way he's been playing lately and the fact that he's averaging 31.2 minutes in his past five games for the Los Angeles Clippers, it seems like a good bet that he'll throw up a double-double.

Seth Landman is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.



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