Crashing the Boards
By Derek VanRiper
While the NBA has been sitting on the back burner during the Super Bowl shuffle for the past week or so, there are some key changes playing time and production around the league. The Bucks are beginning to get healthy, while Utah has lost Carlos Boozer for at least a month. Richard Jefferson is still on the shelf in New Jersey, and a former No. 2 pick is starting to get comfortable in Atlanta.
Take a look at some of these options if your roster hasn't been doing the victory dance recently:
Charlie Villanueva, F, Milwaukee: Villanueva was back in the starting lineup on Wednesday against Orlando, struggling from the field (2-of-11 for six points) but playing 35 minutes. He fits the bill of a big man capable of shooting treys, which enables him to score frequently when healthy. Michael Redd is still out of the lineup, so there are still plenty of shooting opportunities to go around right now.
Paul Millsap, F, Utah: The early beneficiary of Carlos Boozer's injury, Millsap has gone on a three-game tear, averaging 15.3 points, 12.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks over his last three games. Even with his limited minutes at times this year, Millsap has managed to average more than a block per game over the course of the entire season. He should be picked up immediately if you're looking for an upgrade in the frontcourt.
Marvin Williams, F, Atlanta: Williams has generated a nice scoring streak over the Hawks' last three games, with 15.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game during that stretch. He'll continue to get better as he gains valuable experience and he's getting enough playing time to be a solid contributor in the second half of the season.
Gerald Green, G/F, Boston: The Celtics aren't winning, but someone still has to take the floor and score some points each night. Green has been doing some damage from the perimeter over the last five games, hitting nine treys and averaging 15.0 points per game. He's just below four boards per game, which could improve given that he's 6-8. Paul Pierce is still a couple of weeks away from returning at best, so Green will continue to pile up plenty of scoring attempts.
Vladimir Radmanovic, F, Los Angeles Lakers: Capitalizing on the absence of Luke Walton, Radmanovic has scored in double figures for three consecutive games. Walton may be back in the lineup on Monday, but jump on board for help in the treys department if needed. In his last three games, Radmanovic has averaged 14.7 points (2.3 treys) and 7.3 rebounds along with one steal per game.
James Posey, F, Miami: After being deactivated by the team for missing a conditioning goal last month, Posey has just recently returned to playing his typical 30 minutes per game. In the last two contests, he's gone off for eight triples while averaging 15.0 points per game for the Heat. With Eddie Jones potentially joining the Miami rotation, Posey is less likely than Dorrell Wright to lose minutes given his ability to play solid defense. He's a category specialist for threes in deeper leagues.
Bostjan Nachbar, F, New Jersey: Nachbar was playing very well before missing Monday's game against the Jazz due to the flu. Richard Jefferson could miss another two months, which will provide Nachbar with plenty of opportunities to contribute for needy fantasy owners. In the three games before Monday's absence, Nachbar was averaging 17.7 points (including three treys), and 7.0 rebounds per game.
Jarvis Hayes, F, Washington: Hayes dropped 13 points (4-of-5 FT, 3-of-3 on treys) Wednesday, playing just 19 minutes with Antwan Jamison sitting out. Jamison is expected to miss three-to-six weeks with a sprained knee, so Hayes is the most likely option to pick up some of the offensive slack in his absence. Calvin Booth (yeah, really…Calvin Booth) and Andray Blatche are the only real competition he's got for minutes and Blatche is unpolished while Booth is well….Booth.
Keith Bogans, G, Orlando: Bogans is another guy worth keeping an eye on, as he's shown ability to connect from three-point range and to rack up some steals. He's hit 8-of-15 treys over the Magic's last five games, while grabbing four steals in the last three contests. He's in a bit of a crunch for playing time right now (21.2 minutes per for his last five games), but keep him in mind if his role increases.
Rawle Marshall, G/F, Indiana: This isn't a ringing endorsement to go out and add Marshall to your roster, but his three blocks over the last two games have opened some eyes. He won't get much playing time when Marquis Daniels returns, but keep him in mind if the Pacers can find him some minutes down the line.
Article first appeared on 2/1/07