The fact that Ricky Rubio still isn’t the starting point guard of the Minnesota Timberwolves is only batshizz crazy until you dump water over your head and remind yourself that this is the Minnesota squadron that couldn’t find a regular spot in the starting rotation for Kevin Love in his first two seasons, despite him never having a PER under 18 at any point during that time. Those were Damien Wilkins‘ minutes, dawg! Kurt Rambis had a plan! Just like Rick Adelman has a plan for Rubio [gulp]. An eighth of the way into the season, Rubio’s had a minimum of 10 points and 10 assists in three games this season, tied for the most in the league with Jose Calderon, Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo. What separates Rubio from the other three is that Calderon averaged 34 mpg in those double-doubles, Rose and Rondo 40 minutes each, while Rubio did all his chopping in a scant 31 minutes. He’s not even playing more minutes than current starter Luke Ridnour. Right now though, this kid is electrifying. The fans love him, he’s got my vote for Rookie of the Year after the first two weeks and Adelman has shown that Rubio’s the guy he wants on the floor in crunch time. That says a lot. It says that Rubio’s fantasy value has easily made the biggest jump of this young season. Act accordingly. See Ricky for who he is and who he’s likely to become. Here are some more (mostly injury-related) fantasy basketball news bits from the weekend.
Wayne Ellington – First game as a starter this season, second game over 30 minutes, too. The NBA’s greatest jazz trombonist (probably) has averaged .476/.500/1.5 3ptm/ 12 pts/ 2.5 rbd/ 1.5 ast/ 3 stl/ 0 blk/ 1 tov in those two 30+ mpg contests this season. I wouldn’t recommend adding him in any leagues with fewer than 14 teams, but his 3pt and stl stats have been solid enough for a stream or two.
Wesley Johnson – He’s out. That shift you’re feeling is either the fart tremors from your buddy sitting next to you on the sofa, or the no. 4 pick in last season’s draft becoming a forgotten man on this team. There’s a big three in Minnesota and he ain’t one of them. He’s starting, but playing fewer than 21 minutes. Derrick Williams played 30 yesterday and ended with 14/7. Depending on which way Michael Beasley‘s 280th-ranked PER swings when he returns from injury next weekend will determine how far down the totem pole Johnson falls. But I’d guess neither Johnson, nor Beasley are on this team in two seasons. This is just the start of that movement.
Trevor Booker – After averaging just 11 mpg in the first five contests of the season, he’s averaged 23 in his last three – including 29 last night. Might be a smart add based solely on the playing time he’s sure to rack up based on garbage time minutes alone.
Eric Maynor – Out for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL. In cases like Maynor’s, the injury looked a helluva lot worse than a tear. The medical community owes it to the people who suffer from these injuries to come up with a better description for such occurrences. Something like “snapquash” or “shreddison.” Anyway, Maynor wasn’t a huge fantasy asset even in deep leagues unless Russell Westbrook went down. Now Reggie Jackson (11/4/2, with a three and two turnovers in 23 mostly garbage minutes last night) is the add in the same situation.
Jason Kidd – Out for the next two games and won’t return until Friday. In the meantime, be just as nice to Delonte West as you would be to a dude you’re pretty sure is crazy, but on whom you’re still relying to give you a ride home.
Dwight Howard – 5/4/1, with a block and played just under 20 minutes in this one. Foul trouble begat minutes trouble begat stats trouble. Beget it? “I got this!” – Glen Davis, being cute.
Jameer Nelson – I can think of a lot of reasons not to want to own Jameer Nelson (career lows in per game points, steals, field goal percentage and three-point averages, to name a few), but I think my friend Zak articulated anyone’s understandable tendency to roster Nelson at this point when he texted, “When they’re in their defensive stances, I can’t tell the difference between Nelson (6’0,” 190 lbs.) and Davis (6’9,” 290 lbs.). Shapely bunch, these Magics.”
J.J. Redick – He’s averaging 0.5 3ptm/ 7.3 pts/ 1.8 rbd/ 2.3 ast over the last four games. Let’s hold off naming your turtle after J.J. until we see if he returns to the form of his first five games.
J.J. Hickson – Bonus J.J. coverage! Three starts in the last four games, three double-digit rebound totals in the last four games, four blocks in the last four games, and his first 40-minute, double-double of the season. Most of you gave up on Hickson already, some of you might want to give, er, down?
Tyreke Evans – Looked like he absolutely demolished his ankle in the second quarter, but returned in the third apparently just having tweaked it. Considering he played 41 minutes and had the best game of his season, we’re calling this a ‘Reke Tweak™ and hoping for more!
Richard Jefferson – He’s hit 29 treys in his first nine games. Last year (the best three-point shooting season of his career), it took him 18 games to sink his 29th three-pointer. The way the Spurs are falling apart, ride Jefferson’s production until his arms dislocate in six or seven incongruous places.
Tony Parker – Left the game in the third quarter citing general soreness. At least that’s what Duncan heard as Parker mumbled over his shoulder on his way to the locker room. In hindsight, he probably said “general boredness.”
DeJuan Blair – The injury wheel stopped on Blair last night, and he seems to have won a night away from having to play tortured, awful, have-not basketball against the Thunder – one of the few clear haves of the league.
Gary Neal – Danny Green put together a decent 6/5/4, with 2 3ptm and a steal in 21 garbage time minutes. Neal, on the other hand, dropped 18/2/3, with a pair of threes and a steal in 18 starter’s minutes, (or just another set of garbage time minutes, as the case may be). Surprisingly to me, Neal is the starter and the better fantasy option for now, but coach Poppovich is well known to fiddle (technical term) with the roster until something pops (Popps?). So far, bones and ligaments are the only things popping in San Antonio at the moment.
Stephen Jackson – 8/0/1, on 3-for-7 shooting last night to pile onto the bucket o’ yuck that is his 2011-12 campaign. He’s shooting .320 from the floor this season and averaging 12.6 points a game. Between Jax, Beasley and Corey Maggette, the crash ‘n’ burn club could not have included a nicer, more classy bunch of bros. Deep leaguers should hang onto him, but bench him, shallow leaguers should have dropped him a week ago.
Antawn Jamison – Had a rough go of it last night, shooting 1-for-8 and scoring fewer than 12 points for the first time this season. Oddly enough, it was also the first time all season he grabbed more than seven boards. IYACYOC!
Raymond Felton – RayRay’s shooting a salty .348 on the season. This is terrible even for ol’ sausage arms, so you have to figure an improvement is coming. Still, an improvement in this instance means he shoots 3-for-8 instead of 1-for-8, but what’s to be gained by getting all negative?
Marreese Speights – After playing six minutes in his Memphis debut and dropping a bunch of nothing, played 29 minutes and ended with 17/7/2, with a pair of steals in 29 minutes. Starter Dante Cunningham? His resembled Speights’ first game.
Marc Gasol – 0-for-9. NO ONE IN THE LEAGUE CAN SHOOT. The league average FG% is currently .441. Last season? .459. The three seasons before it? .461, .459 and .457.
Follow Razzball on Twitter where I occasionally type funny crap, or retweet injury reports of your players three minutes after it’s too late for you to remove them from your lineup. Hey, what do you want from me? A guy’s occasionally got to go to the bathroom and I have too much respect for you to tweet from the toilet. Anyway, tweet it up!