Kevin Seraphin continues strong April

April, 11, 2012

Kevin Seraphin's fantasy arrow has been pointing straight up ever since he made a series of spot starts last month. He was one rebound shy of having three double-doubles in those five March starts, during which he also averaged two blocks. With Nene and Trevor Booker injured, Seraphin has started the past seven games, and he continued his stellar play before exploding Tuesday evening for a career-high 24 points (11-16 FG) to go with 13 boards and four blocks versus the Dwight Howard-less Orlando Magic.

In his seven April starts, Seraphin has averaged 16.3 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.9 apg and 1.3 blocks. He also has hit 54.7 percent from the field. Perhaps most importantly, he's averaging 13.6 shots per game, which means coach Randy Wittman is happy to keep him heavily involved in the offense.

Nene said he hoped to return from his plantar fasciitis setback later this week, but there's no guarantee we'll see him back before the season ends. Booker aggravated his foot injury and isn't expected back soon. Until or unless they do return, Seraphin should be a rock-solid fantasy play. His only drawback next week is that the Wiz play just three games, but they make up for that by being one of just six teams to play three in the final week of the season.

Looking Back

Lester Hudson kept his improbably hot hand Tuesday evening, despite the return of Anthony Parker to the Cleveland Cavaliers' lineup. In fact, despite remaining a reserve, he played a season-high 36 minutes, hit half of his 18 shot attempts and topped 20 points for the third straight game. His final line Wednesday night was 25 points, 6 dimes, 8 boards, two 3s and a steal. He has taken double-digit shots in each of his past five games, including 40 in the past two contests. Ride him while he's hot -- the Cavs still have four games remaining this week.

• As for Parker, he returned from his bruised sternum, started and piled up 19 points (7-11 FG), four 3s and two swipes against the hapless Charlotte Bobcats. With two games against the Indiana Pacers followed by matchups with the Washington Wizards and the stumbling Orlando Magic the rest of this week, Parker is a solid fantasy play.

D.J. Augustin returned to action Tuesday after missing three games with a sore knee. He bumped Kemba Walker back to the bench, played nearly 40 minutes and finished with 16 points and 11 dimes. Walker, meanwhile, played just 24 minutes off the pine, but still mustered 20 points (9-13 FG), two assists and two 3s. It's hard to figure out exactly what coach Paul Silas is planning from game to game, but for now Augustin appears to be the starter at point guard, though both Augustin and Walker should be good fantasy plays. The Bobs still have three games left this week, though they won't be easy matchups; after facing the Detroit Pistons Thursday, they play the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics.

• The Dallas Mavericks got Jason Kidd back from his groin injury Tuesday. He played just 22 minutes, but still churned out his usual stats: 7 points, 7 assists, 4 turnovers, 6 boards, a steal and a 3-pointer. Use him if you need dimes, 3s and steals.

Marcus Thornton finally shook off his calf ailment to play Tuesday against the Mavs. He led the Sacramento Kings with nearly 38 minutes of game action, so it appears his calf is not an issue going forward. Besides scoring 16 points and hitting two 3s, he did little statistically, but we should expect bigger production going forward.

Philadelphia 76ers coach Doug Collins tweaked his starting lineup once again on Tuesday. This time he bumped Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner to the bench, replacing them with Nikola Vucevic and Jodie Meeks. Hawes actually responded well to the reserve role, as he scored 19 points (7-11 FG) to go with eight boards, two assists, a 3-pointer, a steal and three blocks. The same can't be said for Turner, who had a dubious "quadruple-deuce", if you will: 2 points, 2 assists, 2 boards and 2 turnovers. Vucevic and Meeks were equally useless. Of the foursome, Hawes is the only one with a legit shot at being a reliable fantasy option down the stretch, assuming he can keep out of Collins' doghouse.

Looking Ahead

Kobe Bryant was ruled out for Wednesday night's game on Tuesday afternoon. The fact that Bryant was ruled out so early for his third straight game doesn't bode well for his status the rest of the week. Any time Kobe misses any action, we know it's a fairly serious injury. At this point, all Kobe owners can do is cross their fingers and hope he can shake it off soon.

• The San Antonio Spurs face the Kobe-less Los Angeles Lakers tonight and the Memphis Grizzlies Thursday evening. It will be surprising if Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili play both games, so keep Kawhi Leonard, DeJuan Blair and maybe even Stephen Jackson ready as replacements.

Eric Gordon will be a game-time call tonight against the Sacramento Kings due to his sore back. If he can get it loose during pregame warm-ups, he'll probably be back in action.

• It sounded like Al Harrington's torn meniscus was going to keep him off the hardwood for the rest of the season, but he's actually listed as probable for Wednesday evening. Considering his age and health, he'll make for a risky play even if he does lace 'em up.



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