Serge Ibaka 'surging' after slow start

February, 24, 2012
Many of us already know how good Serge Ibaka can be as a fantasy option, but it seems worth pointing out that whatever fog he was in at the beginning of the season seems to have lifted.

Ibaka posted another double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds in the Thunder's win over the Lakers on Thursday night. In the month of February, he's averaging 9.2 points and 8.9 rebounds, which puts him right in line with last season's numbers (slightly fewer points, but more boards). He is still struggling at the free throw line, which is unfortunate, but he's making up for that by averaging 4.5 blocks per game for the month. To put that into perspective, no one has averaged better than four blocks per game for a season since Dikembe Mutombo in the mid-1990s. Clearly, Ibaka is back on track, and he could wind up in the top 25 on the Player Rater when it's all said and done.

Looking Back

DeJuan Blair had a dominant performance for the Spurs against the Nuggets, finishing with 28 points and 12 rebounds. Unfortunately, he doesn't get to play 35 minutes on a regular basis, so it's likely he'll keep putting up around 10 points and five rebounds (and not much else) for the foreseeable future.

Corey Brewer is still available in a number of leagues, and that's probably a mistake. He put up 23 points in the Nuggets loss Thursday night, and is averaging 16.6 points, 1.4 3-pointers and 1.2 steals over his past five games. He's never going to be an offensive superstar, but he has the potential to be a major contributor in steals (he's averaging 1.3 per game on the season) if you need help in that category. With Rudy Fernandez and Ty Lawson both hurt, Brewer should see more minutes going forward, given how well he has been playing.

• After all the hype, the Heat did, in fact, manage to shut down Jeremy Lin. The Knicks point guard saved his fantasy night by pitching in three steals, but beyond that, he was a disaster, with just eight points on 1-for-11 shooting, three assists and eight turnovers. Lin had a major problem trying to get around Mario Chalmers, who had a great game defensively. Even so, it's important to remember that there will be nights like this for Lin. Obviously he's a tough guy to play right now in leagues where turnovers count, but he should be fine going forward otherwise.

• Speaking of the Knicks, my favorite fantasy line of the night belonged to Steve Novak, who had 12 points on 4-for-5 shooting from the floor. As you may have guessed, all his shot attempts were 3-pointers. There's nothing else to report on his box score save two turnovers. The rest is a long series of zeroes. Even so, it was a pretty good fantasy game for Novak, even though he played only 19 minutes.



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