Step right up folks! Come and see the freaks of the world! Right here we have the Hairy Hipster: Loves his Death Cab for Cutie, hates his razor. And next there’s Head Boy … just a head, that’s it. And then there’s Pretzel Man, can bend any which way and oh my Lord he’s doing it again. Let’s keep walking.
Finally, there’s our main attraction. Quite possibly the most amazing, befuddling, intriguing human you’ll ever see. He’s the eighth wonder of the world: A 7-2, 285-pound center on a defensive minded, title-contending team who cannot rebound. Ladies and gentlemen, The Roy Hibbert!
In the six games since a Feb. 27 home win against Milwaukee in which he scored 24 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked 2 shots, Hibbert is averaging 4 rebounds per game and 1.8 blocks per game. That is just absolutely unacceptable numbers out of your center, especially in real life when the Pacers have dropped four straight games.
Only in real life, the Pacers will keep on riding it out with Hibbert, having faith – and rightfully so – that he’ll be just fine come playoff time.
But for you, the fantasy owner who will be relying on Hibbert for a nice chunk of boards and blocks in this last crucial week and then on into the playoffs if you make it, this presents more of a quandary.
Let’s say that at the end of this week, or in the throes of your first-round playoff matchup, you find yourself down in a key category. You don’t need Hibbert’s power numbers to get by. It’s all about survival. Do you have the guts to chop him to pick up some schlub like James Anderson or Shaun Livingston to get you that one three-pointer or steal you need to live on? Well, do ya kid?
Hopefully you won’t need to make that call. If you do, there’s some guys below you might want to try instead, and some others to avoid.
Chris Andersen – Birdman flew out of his cage for 33 minutes Sunday in Chicago, swooping around long enough to grab 13 rebounds and reject 6 shots. I could see Spoelstra giving him more time toward the end of the regular season to prime him for the postseason, where he could be deployed in key spots. Keep him on your streamer speed dial.
J.J. Hickson – He’s coming off the bench these days, but his minutes are only down slightly. He gets enough time to get you a double-double, and he’s always capable of one of those 20-20 outbursts. Not a bad guy to snag and plug into your lineup if you need rebounds and someone gave up on him.
Kyle O’Quinn – When he plays he produces and grabs some boards, and he’s had a block in each of his last six games, including 3 against Houston last Wednesday.
Jeff Adrien – In a year of hits and plenty of misses, Boards-N-Blocks plucked a nice one last week. In the four games since his star turn right here, Adrien has averaged 12.7 ppg and 8.5 rpg, including a 20-10-3 last Friday in New Orleans. Seems like he is immune to Larry Drew’s maelstrom of nuts, so I’d hang onto him down the stretch.
Thomas Robinson – Played real well in place of LaMarcus Aldridge, then went down with a foot injury. He’s back now, but what he gets depends solely on his minutes. At the moment he’s a streamer, but in the later rounds of the fantasy playoffs, when the real-life NBA season is dwindling down, Robinson could be in line for more minutes as the Blazers rest their bigs.
DeMarcus Cousins – Since the trade deadline has passed in pretty much every league, I’m mostly focusing on guys you can actually get on your waiver wire. But I gotta give mad props to a 20-20 whenever it happens. Boogie had a line of 28-20-1 last night against the Nets in – what else – a losing cause.
Pero Antic – Pretty sure Antic stood over Randy Whittman and told him that he’s starting for the rest of season, and Whittman was so mesmerized with his beard that he couldn’t say no. He’s worth mentioning in this column because he’s a big, beefy, 6-11 dude, but also because he will give you nothing in terms of rebounds and blocked shots. Just know that.
Reggie Evans – Really good chance he’ll get close to 10 boards if you stream him.
Hasheem Thabeet – Had a nice run there where he had 6 blocks in three games, then nothing yesterday against the Lakers. Doesn’t get enough time to warrant a quick pick-up, unless you’re in a 30-team league. Do they have those?
Terrence Jones – Was on fire earlier in the week with three straight double-doubles, then Kevin McHale chopped his minutes in half. The result was 7 points, 4 rebounds against the Pacers; and 2 points, 2 rebounds against the Blazers. But here’s the thing: They were both wins, which means McHale don’t give a flip about your fantasy team. My advice is to not depend on Mr. Jones. He’s not uncuttable, if that makes any sense.
Kelly Olynyk – Playing real well in limited time, and although he’s not quite getting to the golden 10 rpg zone, he’s capable and you gotta think the C’s give him more minutes. Might be someone who helps you win a matchup in the playoffs.
Maurice Harkless – A preseason favorite of mine who didn’t pan out this year, Mo has five blocks in his last three and had 12 points, 10 rebounds and a block Saturday against the Spurs.
Little Big Man of the Week – Nicolas Batum: At 6-8 he’s not a little man, but he does qualify as a G/F in Yahoo, so we’re going with that. Batum is averaging 16.5 rpg over his last four, and has four blocks in his last two games. Indeed, it’s been pretty hard to master Batum over the past week.