Alonzo Gee will never be good enough for Cleveland. It doesn’t matter what he does. He could lead the NBA in scoring. He could win the MVP award. He could lead the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals. He could run a successful mayoral campaign and revive the city’s economy. He could even cure cancer, achieve world peace and get gas prices to fall back under $4 a gallon, all in the same week. It won’t matter: he’ll never be LeBron James.
But for fantasy owners, Gee is just fine and dandy the way he is. He’s averaged 14 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals per game since joining the starting lineup 10 days ago, adding nine three and four blocks in that span for good measure. His numbers won’t ever blow you away, but you might not be able to find a more balanced roto-line sitting for free on your league’s waiver wire.
Nate Robinson – Living as a 5-foot-9 man in a world of giants is a plight I wouldn’t wish upon my most hated enemies. Constantly being shoved into trash cans. Being forced to ride in an overhead compartment on the team plane. Having to sit at the kids table during team meals. It’s horrible. But even with his smallish stature, Nasty Nate is still nasty. The diminutive point guard is averaging 14/6 with two steals per game since Stephen Curry’s brittle ankle disintegrated. You want that on your fake team.
George Hill – Pacers’ coach Frank Vogel has decided to go with a “hot hand” approach at point guard, rotating between Darren Collison and George Hill. Which is interesting, because the hands of Collison and Hill are about as hot as an oiled-up Charles Barkley after a four day eating binge wearing nothing but a lime green Speedo. But Hill put together a nice five-game run of 12 points/4 assists/4 rebounds/2 threes before last night’s 0-point clunker in Washington and could be the guard to own in Indiana.
Courtney Lee – In his past eight games, Courtney Lee has notched 17, 5, 21, 9, 25, 2, 23 and 7 points while starter Kevin Martin stares at him menacingly from the bench. That’s the kind of inconsistency that makes you want to push him off the monkey bars and ruthlessly make fun of him for having a girl’s name. But Martin’s shoulder is ripped like Taylor Lautner in ever movie (so steamy!), so Lee should continue to get run for the Rockets.
Klay Thompson – Butterball Boris Diaw. I-played-in-two-games-all-season Eric Gordon. Khloe Kardashian’s husband. All players who are owned in more fantasy leagues that Klay Thompson, even though the Washington State rookie has posted a 19 point/3 assist/2 three average since Monta Ellis was exiled to Milwaukee. For shame, pretend basketballers. For shame.
Wilson Chandler – Now we know why Tom Hanks fell madly in love with Wilson in Castaway. Since escaping the Communist grasp of China, Wilson Chandler has hit the fantasy lottery. Starter Danilo Gallinari fractured his thumb and reserve Rudy Fernandez is having back surgery, giving Chandler all the minutes he can handle. He’s totaled 24 points, 14 boards, five assists, three steals, two blocks and two threes in his first two games with the Nuggets and should only improve as the season wears on. The fact that you don’t own him yet alarms me.
Jason Thompson – A double-double 18 points and 14 rebounds in his last five with three assists per game thrown in for good measure. The success won’t last because Sacramento is where basketball talent goes to die, but he’s clearly worth starting while he’s this hot.
Spencer Hawes – He’s only played in five of his team’s past 34 games. Clearly he goes to the same doctor as Stephen Curry and Eric Gordon. But he’s back now, averaging nine points, nine rebounds and a block in limited minutes since his return. If he can keep his Achilles healthy enough to stay on the court, those numbers should continue to rise into the fantasy playoffs.
Jerryd Bayless – For five blissful nights, Jerryd Bayless was the man. He averaged 22 points, eight assists and more than two threes per game in that stretch, and the world was his oyster. But he knew it couldn’t last. When Jose Calderon’s ankle finally healed, he walked into Raptors’ practice, whispered something clearly insulting into Bayless’ ear in Spanish then banished him to bench. One game later, Bayless suffered a hip pointer. Canada weeps.
Evan Turner – According to local authorities, Evan Turner was kidnapped from his Philadelphia-area home on March 7. The suspect reportedly hired somebody to impersonate Turner. Actually talented, the impostor averaged 20 points per game in five starts for the 76ers. After seeing “Turner’s” suspiciously-high production, police launched a full investigation, eventually unveiling the crime taking place. Order has clearly been restored, seeing as the real Turner is averaging less than five points per game in his last three and can probably be dropped.
Danilo Gallinari – A young boy sits alone in his bedroom, weeping silently while drying his tears with a crinkled up No. 8 Nuggets jersey. The people of Italy turn their TVs off, the thought of watching an NBA without their favorite son too horrible to bear. Pepsi Center fans cheer solemnly, knowing Danilo Gallinari’s four-week absence due to a fractured thumb will leave a hole in their hearts. Though it might feel sadder than burying your first-born child, it might be time to click “drop” on Gallo.
Marreese Speights – When Zach Randolph returned from his 37-game absence last week, he walked into the arena, gave Speights a long embrace. “Marreese,” Z-Bo said, “thanks for holding my spot on the court. However, I will now make it my business to make sure no one remembers you ever existed.” It was a fun ride while it lasted, but with Randolph moving back toward starter’s minutes in Memphis, it’s time to move on from what’s-his-face.
Andray Blatche – What do a middle-aged nerd, a pregnant woman and Andray Blatche have in common? They’re all horribly out of shape and have no business being on your fantasy team.