The playoffs are a-comin’, and around this time of year I like to go shopping for streamers.
Now I’m not going to grab any of these guys just yet. I’m just going to identify them for easy plucking when I’m in the heat of the battle in a couple weeks. My all-time playoff streamer is Reggie Evans, who won me more than a few leagues in the early-to-mid 2000s with his beastly and improbable rebounding runs.
Elton Brand could be the Reggie Evans of this year’s playoffs. Only he’ll be an über-streamer in the blocks category with some rebounds thrown in. He’s averaging 2.8 bpg over his last five games.
It’s also possible that Reggie Evans could be the Reggie Evans of the 2014 Fantasy Playoffs, but to a lesser degree. The only Amish black man on the planet is averaging almost 8 rpg since joining the Nets, including 9 boards in each of his last two games.
But my secret weapon streamer for this year could very well be Jeff Adrien, who is averaging 9 rpg since arriving in Milwaukee, including three 10-plus rebound games out of the four he’s played. That’s kind of sick, right?
I thought this guy deserved some time while he was in Charlotte, so go figure it’s Wacky Larry Drew who decides he likes Adrien and gives him around 20 minutes (double what the Bobcats gave him) per night. Maybe there’s something wrong there. In any event, like Brand and Reggie, I’m going to save Adrien for later when the playoffs come around. Actually, I’m not really sure why he is zero percent owned now.
Here’s what else I saw down in the paint last week:
Enes Kanter – He’s alive! Yeah, I blew it last week, or more accurately Ty Corbin blew it by not figuring out a way to use the thriving Kanter and Derrick Favors together in the starting lineup. Kanter didn’t start, but had 12 points and 7 rebounds in 30 minutes against the Pacers last night. I’m more encouraged by the 30 minutes than anything else. Excuse me while I go pick him up again …
Derrick Favors – OK, I’m back. Perfect timing, too, because Favors is the guy who sent Kanter back to the pine and on the verge of fantasy irrelevance upon his return from a hip injury. Up until tonight, he wasn’t showing us why, especially with his 8-3-2 turdpile against Cleveland on Friday. The 17-10-3 he posted last night in a tough loss to the Pacers, however, is more like it.
Henry Sims – Last Wednesday, Sixers coach Brett Brown called out Tony Wroten for being “AAU,” or Amateur Athletic Union, which means he’s playing like an amateur on defense (not a great joke if you have to explain it, really). Before that, he said Henry Sims needed to get in shape. Tell us what you’re really thinking Brett! In Sims’ defense, the guy’s been in cold storage in Cleveland all year. So what better way to get in shape than to play 20-plus minutes a night starting for Philadelphia. He’s had a block in each of his last three games, and also had 12 points and 7 boards (in 30 minutes) last night in yet another Sixers loss, this time to the Magic. Sims could surprise with a double-double with some blocks on any given night, so I could see streaming him on a short schedule day.
Byron Mullens – Mullens Mania gripped the fantasy world after the trade deadline, some of which might have been fueled by the fact that Sixers GM Sam Hinkie “likes” Mullens. Which is why he’s only playing 16 mpg and out-of-shape Sims is starting and getting more minutes. Tank you very much!
Anthony Davis – He’s playing hurt, so you gotta play hurt too. Suck it up!
J.J. Hickson – Can’t maintain fantasy relevance because he can’t play defense in the real world. He offered a glimmer of hope with his massive 25-rebound outing on Feb. 25, but it looks like he’ll be getting the crumbs from Brian Shaw the rest of the way.
Timofey Mozgov – Russian Moz moved in and took Hickson’s center slot without provocation. Current events! Per 36 the guy’s numbers are through the roof, but at only 20 minutes per game he can’t be expected to get more than 9 boards a game. To his credit, he has been providing some snuffs (1.6 bpg in his last three).
Nikola Vucevic – Looked like the Vuc of 2013 last night against the Sixers – the team that gave him away in the Andrew Bynum trade – with an 18-17-2 line. It’s the closest he’s been to 20 rebounds in a while, but when a dude is getting near a 20-10 every night, it’s hard to complain.
DeMarcus Cousins – Before the season started we imagined a scenario in which Cousins was Peter Gibbons from “Office Space,” and with new Coach Mike Malone taking over, Cousins would stop going nuts and have a monster year and the Kings would be decent. Well, at least one of those things happened. Cousins had an epic Cousins outing on Feb. 27, throwing a punch at Patrick Beverley (at Razzball favorite son PBev? Really?), earning an ejection and telling a ref to eff off on his way to the showers. The good news is he returned from the ensuing one-game suspension to rack up a 21-17-3 against the T-Wolves. The bad news is the next one of these is probably right around the corner, right in the middle of one of your playoff battles.
Pau Gasol – Been a little weak on the boards (only two double-digit efforts) in his last six games, but he has been snuffing dudes like mad, averaging 2 bpg over the same time span.
Jermaine O’Neal – Cher was playing for a few minutes there for O’Neal, as he racked up a few double-doubles and actually looked like the O’Neal of old. He missed last night’s game because he didn’t have a passport to play in Toronto (uh …) and I think that’s an omen. The next time he puts up a stinker, snip him and move on.
Little Big Man of the Week: Kyle Lowry. This dude is 6-feet tall. So someone please tell me how he managed to pull down 9 rebounds on Thursday against the Wizards in a game in which he also had 18 points, 10 assists and a block. He has also averaged 5.3 rpg in his last six games. Mad props to the former Villanova Wildcat!