J.J. Hickson finally shooting straight
If there's a bright spot for the Cavaliers in their recent (and ongoing) struggles, it has to be the play of J.J. Hickson, who is really starting to look like a keeper. After averaging a double-double in January, he's putting up 19.2 points and 10.2 rebounds in his past five games while shooting 52 percent from the floor.
Hickson certainly has his problems, but given his struggles with his shooting percentage at the start of this season, it's nice to see him approaching (in bigger minutes so far this month) the high percentages he's posted the past two seasons. He's a good athlete and a great finisher, which bodes well for his future numbers once the Cavs finally figure out how to win the occasional game.
For now, the nearly 20-and-10 he's been putting up this past week should be good enough to get him into your lineups down the stretch this season. If he keeps it up (and can boost his defensive stats a bit with more playing time), he'll be a player you'll need to pay a lot of attention to heading into drafts next season.
DeJuan Blair had 28 points and 11 rebounds for the Spurs in their win over the Raptors on Wednesday night to push his consecutive double-double streak to three (and four of his past five). What seems to be most impressive about Blair, though, is the steals he racks up. He's fifth among qualified players in steals per minute, and is the only power forward in the top 25. John Salmons has now played 35 and 36 minutes in his past two games for the Bucks, and if that trend keeps up, he'll belong in your lineup going forward. JaVale McGee seems to have rediscovered his mojo for the Wizards; he had 16 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks against the Bucks and can definitely be in your lineup every night again. After some major struggles in the month of January, Roy Hibbert is back to playing some extremely good basketball so far in February; after putting up 29 points and 10 boards in the Pacers' win over the Bobcats, he's averaging 17.6 points and 7.8 rebounds in his past five games. Rodney Stuckey seemed to get his legs back in the Pistons' win over the Cavs, finishing with 22 points in 30 minutes. He seems to be recovered from his shoulder injury and can regain his spot in your lineup now.
The Lakers and Celtics have their rematch on Thursday night, and it's worth noting that last time the two teams met, the Lakers' bigs had serious trouble against the Celtics' size. Depending on how desperate you are, it might be worth sitting Andrew Bynum if you don't need him. On the Celtics' side, Paul Pierce is listed as probable with an illness, and I'd be surprised if he didn't go. It is always exciting in fantasy when the Suns and Warriors match up. Amazingly, when the teams met on Monday night, they combined for just 196 points. I would expect at least 20 more than that on Thursday night, and I'd have every fantasy player I owned on either team in my lineup. The Mavs and the Nuggets haven't faced off since the second week of the season, but it's worth noting that Ty Lawson averaged nearly 10 points and seven assists off the bench in their two meetings at the beginning of November, and he'll get the start on Thursday night.