It was a mere two weeks ago that we were here, in this very space, talking about the living embodiment of a game of “Q*bert,” Nene Hilario.
We knew it was coming. Nene’s gone all screwy on us again, deciding that his foot hurt and that he would need to “step away.” Wouldn’t it be great to be able to do that at work whenever crap went bad? Eh, hey, sorry I messed up that TPS report boss, I think I’m just gonna “step away.”
The chief beneficiary to this mess is Trevor Booker. Prior to Nene’s latest hiatus, which began three games ago, Booker wasn’t even listed on the Wizards depth chart.
Yet when Nene did his Nene thing coach Randy Wittman reached to the end of his bench and grabbed the beefy Booker. One of the geekiest-looking players in NBA history was rewarded: In the three games that Nene’s been out, Booker has averaged 16-11-1, including a monstrous 24-12-1 in a near-win against the Atlanta Hawks.
You’d think starting center Marcin Gortat would stand to benefit, but so far he hasn’t done much to pick up the slack. There’s also been some time off the pine for flying Frenchman Kevin Seraphin, who deposited 16 points and three boards in a blowout to the Clips and is capable of getting gobs of rebounds and blocks.
But Booker is the guy to watch. At least while Nene’s out, and then whenever Nene is out again, and then when he’s out again, etc.
More things I saw last week:
John Henson – Is he a man? Or is he a Muppet? He’s a Muppet of a man who’s averaging 16 ppg, 10 rpg and 2.6 bpg in his last five.
Kevin Love – One of fantasy’s best capped off a beastly week by showing he could block shots, too, erasing three shots in a 30-9 performance last night in Memphis.
Dwight Howard – Don’t like him in real life. He’s OK in standard fantasy formats. But he’s gotta be a load in a 5×5 league where percentages don’t count. Wish he wasn’t such a DB.
Joakim Noah – He’s all healed up and back to his double-doubling self, the one who also gets hustle stats like blocks and steals. This is bad for Taj Gibson owners and, oddly enough, bad for the Bulls who seem to play better when Gibson gets minutes.
Robin Lopez – Rasta-haired R-Lo continues to tell the preseason naysayer to put it in their bong and smoke it with a barrage of double-doubles, which continued last night with 12 points and 13 rebounds against the Pistons surprisingly porous frontcourt. Nothing flashy, just super-reliable.
LaMarcus Aldridge – Have you seen those Toyota ads with the lady who looks like Flo from the Progressive commercials who just sits behind a desk and talks to some of the dumbest customers on the planet? If you were watching the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Cincinnati Bengals on “Sunday Night Football” last night, you saw one installment of the commercial 400 times. The same one, 400 times. I’m pretty sure that’s a low-ball number. In this one specific unconvincing spot the Flo clone tells a customer that Toyotas are great, and the dimwit lady says it sounds like she hit the jackpot “again.” “Again?” Fake Flo asks. Just then, the customer is joined by her beefcake boyfriend who brings her a mochachino and a cute little puppy he rescued. Without saying a word, the Flo clone closes her eyes and makes this little mini-moan of ecstasy. It’s the exact sound I made when I saw Aldridge’s line of 31 points, 25 rebounds and 2 blocks on Dec. 12 against Houston. Oh, and he’s averaging 26-17-2 over his last three. Mmmmm.
Andray Blatche – There should be a sign taped to Blatche’s back that reads “In case of Brook Lopez injury throw on court.” He got a head start with a 21-9 against the Clippers and then popped a 20-12-1 in the Pistons aise when BroLo sat out on Friday.
Glen Davis – Ran into the hoop stanchion and hurt his shoulder last night. It’d be a shame if Big Baby went down as he’s been a nice source of rebounds, blocks and some scoring. It’ll also be a shame for Tobias Harris owners who will finally find out about the guy who has been eating up a space on their roster all year (answer: it won’t be good news).
The Rudy Gay trade – Never has a deal had such a small Board-N-Block impact as the trade that sent Gay and some garbage to Sacramento and Greivis Vasquez and some junk to Toronto. It’s noteworthy for being so unnoteworthy on that score (or any score, really) except that Patrick Patterson had three blocks in two games for the Raptors, and Aaron Gray (who I so wish was Erin Gray) had 7 points and 9 boards Friday at Phoenix. Gray might actually be deep league relevant. Like, real deep. Like, as deep as this year’s REL.
Jeremy Evans – Has pulled down 11 rebounds in each of his last two games despite getting only about 20 minutes per game coming off the bench behind 382-year-old Richard Jefferson. Yes, that Richard Jefferson. And, yes, Tyrone Corbin wants to get fired badly.
Steven Adams – I don’t have Scottie Brooks in my contacts but I’m thinking he’s had more than one conversation with Thunder management about how they would have loved for Steve Adams to take Kendrick Perkins’ job. Didn’t happen and probably won’t as the rookie has been relegated to the netherworld of the edge of the bench. If you thought you had a late-draft steal, you thought wrong.
Miles Plumlee – The former Boards-N-Blocks Playmate faded toward the edges of the radar since his headlining turn, but he’s back and owners who hung onto him or paid attention and got him on the rebound are real happy today: In his last two games he’s put up a 12-9-3 against Sacramento and a 6-10-3 last night in a win against Golden State.
Little Big Man of the Week: P.J. Tucker. Here’s one of the weirder fantasy players since Reggie Evans first burst on the scene. Tucker is a 6-6 swingman (SG/SF in Yahoo) who plays like a 6-10 power forward – he’s averaging 9 boards over his last five. What makes Tucker even more of an oddball is that he doesn’t block shots but gets steals, averaging 2.2 in his last five. He starts for the Suns, so he’s worth a look.