The stretch run is upon us. Can anything be found on the wire to help so late in the season? Let's find out.
Jrue Holiday, Sixers (22% owned in Yahoo! leagues): It's hard to deny how well the 19-year-old rookie is playing. Even in a situation like Friday night against the Cavs, he put up a modest line with 6 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals, but was out on the court for 41 minutes. Given that this starting point guard gig belongs to Holiday for the remainder of the season, you have to like the prospect of seeing him playing a 4-game week against the Knicks (twice), Nets, and Bulls. There's always some fear associated with a young rookie point guard, but this week I look at that schedule and don't see much worth fearing.
Jonas Jerebko, Pistons (22% owned): In seven games this month Jerebko is averaging nearly a double-double (12.4 points and 9.3 rebounds). Throw in 1.3 steals and nearly a block per game (0.7) and you have yourself the makings of a solid addition down the stretch.
Terrence Williams, Nets (16% owned): Not only is Williams plying some great basketball, but in Yahoo! leagues he is blessed with eligibility at three positions. How can you go wrong when you can slot a spark-plug guy like this in at any of three different positions. The numbers speak for themselves: 14 points, 50.7% FG, 6.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 0.6 3-pointers, and 0.4 steals over his last 7 games.
Julian Wright, Hornets (5% owned): No Peja Stojakovic, no problem. Wright has stepped in nicely as the starting small forward in Peja's absence. He's put up modest scoring numbers (12 points) and about 5.5 rebounds, but he's also stolen 6 balls in the two games since he moved to the staring lineup. Quietly, Wright can become one of the better steals guys in the league. Still young, his per 36 steals average over his career is at 1.5 per game. With that in mind, at the very least you can look to Wright this week if you are chasing the steals category in your playoff series.
Wesley Matthews, Jazz (5% owned): Over his last 12 games he's played no fewer than 24 minutes in a single contest. He's also hit double-digit scoring totals in nine of those 12 and picked up 14 steals along the way. With the Jazz possessing one of the more favorable schedules this week the appeal for a guy like Matthews in deeper leagues is clear.
Reggie Williams, Warriors (2% owned): It's not often you see a D-Leaguer get signed and have a major impact on his team. In seven games with the Warriors, Williams has done just that. There aren't many two percenters who are playing more than 23 minutes per game, averaging 12.2 points, 1.4 threes, and a 52.4% FG. He may be the best guy out there that nobody's heard about (And by nobody, I mean non-dedicated hoops fans. Not you guys, of course!).
James Johnson, Bulls (1% owned): With Luol Deng looking doubtful for the week, Johnson is an instant add. In his two starts since taking over for Deng, he's averaging 16.5 points, 1.5 blocks, 1.5 steals, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.5 threes. He may be trending toward a 12-team add if he can keep playing at a high level and if Deng continues to sit. So those of you in deep league should be jumping all over this guy!
Sam Young, Grizzlies (1% owned): While it's hard to get excited about any bench players on Memphis, I have to give the ultra-deepers a heads up on Young. He's hit double digits in three of his last four games and is seeing a steady stream of 20 minutes per game lately. Looking at the schedule, too, there's always a possibility that any one of the Chicago or Golden State games this week can get out of hand early (in the Grizzlies favor) and we could see them send in the recruits. Either way, you could do much worse than Young. Trust me.
DeAndre Jordan, Clippers (2% owned): Saturday night's 5-block performance is what you're looking for when you add Jordan. He's a high field-goal percentage guy who can block a ton of shots and pick up some boards along the way. Seeing as how the Clippers vets look like they've already checked out this season, you might be seeing more of Jordan down the stretch.
Amir Johnson, Raptors (2% owned): I know Johnson took a bit of a hit once Chris Bosh returned, but on Saturday he looked like a man who was looking to fight for more minutes. He had 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 blocks in 20 minutes against the Warriors. Again, I know it was the Warriors. But he has played in 20 minutes or more in two of his last three. Johnson is a young, athletic big who can finish at the hoop and pick up some nice defensive numbers. If that's what you're looking for, he's widely available and worth at least a look in ultra-deep leagues.
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