I couldn't help but notice Tayshaun Prince's 16 rebounds the other night. Where did that come from? This is a guy who has never averaged more than 5.3 rpg in any season of his career, but thanks to a great five-game run, he's up to 8.8 rpg this year. Is it a fluke, or is Michael Curry's new system in Motown somehow responsible? I couldn't tell you for sure, but I can't imagine that he's going to finish the year with such a high mark.
It got me thinking about other players who could be playing over their heads in one or more fantasy categories. Guys like Tony Parker, Chris Duhon, Nate Robinson, Stephen Jackson, Al Horford, Kendrick Perkins, and Rasheed Wallace.
Parker is third in the NBA at 27.4 ppg, and while that's skewed by the double-nickel on November 5, don't forget he only scored four points in the next game before he got hurt. Parker is also crushing his career-highs in field goals percentage (55.6) and free throw percentage (88.9), but those seem more sustainable than the scoring average. He's never averaged more than 19 ppg, and with Manu Ginobili coming back soon to take off the scoring load, the 55-point games will be a thing of the past.
Duhon and Robinson may be beneficiaries of the new sheriff in New York, but Duhon's 6.8 apg and Robinson's 2.4 spg are both well ahead of their career-highs. Robinson started the year with a six-game streak of at least two steals, and Duhon is chipping in about four rebounds a night as well.
With Baron Davis gone, Monta Ellis hurt, and Corey Maggette at less than 100%, Jackson has been the entire offense in Golden State. Not only is he averaging a career-high 22.3 ppg, but the alleged ballhog is averaging six dimes a night. He's stepped into Davis's shoes nicely, at least statistics-wise.
I've been a big Horford fan ever since I saw how he handled the aftermath of last season's flagrant foul on T.J. Ford. He was good enough as a rookie last year, and while most of his numbers look the same so far, he's turning into an elite shotblocker. Thanks to a two-game stretch in which he blocked 11 shots, he's averaging 2.3 bpg.
Speaking of block parties, Perkins went a little nuts recently as well, blocking 15 shots in three games last week. With all of the weapons in Boston right now, Perkins is free to take chances. He's averaging career-highs in blocks (2.2 bpg) and rebounds (7.4 rpg).
Last but not least is Wallace. Every year I think: this is the year 'Sheed finally shows his age. And every year Wallace proves me wrong. Like Perkins, he's averaging career-bests in blocks (2.3 bpg) and rebounds (8.9 rpg). The difference, of course, is that Wallace has been in the league for 14 years and could very well be going to the Hall of Fame. Maybe there is something to that Curry system theory.
Posted by Kenn Ruby at 11/14/2008 6:59:00 PM