Manu Ginobili working to return to form

March, 5, 2012

Manu Ginobili returned to the Spurs' lineup earlier than was projected Sunday night, scoring eight points (shooting 2-for-5) with two 3-pointers, five assists and four rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench. It's been a rough season for Ginobili, as he's averaged just 11.7 points in 10 games, five of them in the starting lineup. He's performed drastically better when starting, averaging 17.4 points with 2.8 3s in 23.0 minutes versus 6.0 points with 0.6 3s in 20.8 minutes coming off the bench, so it appears that as soon as he's ready to reclaim his starting gig his numbers should resemble last season's effort. He didn't score more than 11 points in any of the four games that he played in February between injuries, so feel free to hold off putting him back in your starting lineup until he proves he's ready to put up his normal Manu numbers. Although as long as he doesn't reinjure his oblique, he should be back to normal in the next couple of weeks.

Looking Back

Lamar Odom returned to the Mavs on Saturday after missing four games with a personal matter, scoring nine points with five boards and three assists in 18 minutes off the bench. He isn't worth owning in anything but the absolute deepest of formats, but there's always the outside chance that he will be late in the season, so don't completely ignore Odom's numbers when checking box scores.

* Channing Frye has been spectacular for the past month after a slow start to the season, although he struggled with his shot this weekend, going a combined 5-for-30 in Friday's and Sunday's contests. Still, he snared 24 boards and had three blocks in those games, and has been consistently seeing minutes in the upper 20s for the past month. He's ranked 35th on the Player Rater over the past 30 days and is especially valuable in leagues that count turnovers; he's averaging just 0.9 per game this season. In February, he averaged a ridiculous 1.9 3s, 1.4 blocks and 1.0 steals compared to 0.6 turnovers in 28.3 minutes per game, which gives him top-20 type value in turnover leagues. Despite his poor shooting this weekend, Frye shows no signs of slowing down; he went from waiver-wire fodder to unquestioned fantasy starter during the course of the past month.

* Baron Davis played 21 minutes Sunday, scoring eight points with two 3s and seven assists. In his previous game (Wednesday), he had eight assists in 15 minutes of play. He's establishing some value in deeper formats for assists only, as any player getting five or more dimes on a regular basis is worth notice. He should only get better as he rounds into game shape, and although the days when he put up dynamic all-around stats are long gone, Davis appears primed to be a key part of the Knicks' rotation down the stretch.

Looking Ahead

Chris Bosh missed Sunday's game to attend to personal matters, but will be back with the team Tuesday against the Nets, so keep him in your lineup going forward and don't expect him to miss any more time. … Andray Blatche returned from an extended absence on Saturday, grabbing nine boards with five assists and a block in 21 minutes of action. It's hard to tell how many minutes he'll get when at full strength, although the fact that Chris Singleton and Jan Vesely are seeing significant playing time in the Wizards' frontcourt indicates that there are minutes for Blatche to claim if he can get his act together. As soon as he looks ready to see minutes in the upper 20s to low 30s again, get him back in your starting lineup.



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