I have spent a lot of time telling you about how scarce the point guard position is in fantasy basketball. It is hard to find a player that will consistently supply a good amount of assists. When looking at short-term statistics you cannot look at an aging veteran and make your own assumptions. If he is playing well over a two-week stretch, take a chance. Aging veterans have been through it all. If they are active, they have to be looked at and judged on an equal level to those rising stars. This week's beast report features a mix of point guards and veterans that have experienced major success lately.
Eric Bledsoe, guard, Los Angeles Clippers: While the Clippers have been hurting in the last month, you would not be able to tell because they have been able to beat competitive teams. Bledsoe has done a great job filling in while Chris Paul sat a few games. He has been a big part of the Clippers transition game on offense. He has scored 9.8 points and has stolen the ball 1.6 times this season. In the last two weeks, Bledsoe's statistics have improved as he has scored 14.6 points and has contributed 2.3 steals.
During this two-week stretch Bledsoe has also dished 6.1 assists and has even swatted 1.6 blocks per game. It is always good seeing a guard commit blocks because it shows their discipline and commitment on defense. For fantasy basketball players, this all translates into more playing time. This season Bledsoe has been playing over 22 minutes per contest. In the last few weeks he has played over 32 minutes per game.
Shawn Marion, forward, Dallas Mavericks: Marion has been the main bright spot for the Mavericks this season. For fantasy owners, he has been just as effective as he was when he was playing alongside Steve Nash and Amar'e Stoudemire. Marion has scored 11.5 points while shooting 49.8 percent from the floor. Marion also contributes a steal in just about every game and has been playing less than 20 minutes per game. He has also grabbed 8.3 rebounds a game this season.
He has been scorching hot - although slightly inconsistent - on the shooting front in his last few games, scoring 16.6 points a night while shooting 54.9 percent from the hardwood. The interesting thing is that his playing time has not seen much of an increase during this stretch. Marion has also swiped the ball 1.3 times and blocked a shot in his last few games. At the free-throw line he has shot 83.6 percent this season. His consistency has made him a top combo-forward in fantasy basketball this season.
Jose Calderon, guard, Detroit Pistons: I never understood why the Raptors traded for Kyle Lowry. Calderon is perfectly capable of running the point and is able to play most of the game. The Pistons received a major point guard upgrade in Calderon, and he will be able to feature the Pistons big men. He has adjusted to the change in scenery just fine. His statistics have stayed consistent. Since going to Detroit, Calderon has scored 13.2 points while shooting 58.3 percent from the field. He has made two three-pointers per contest during this time.
The most important statistic of Calderon and any point guard is his assist total: Calderon has been dishing 7.8 a game. While Toronto is filled with lanky, quick small forwards, the Pistons are full on inside players and that will benefit Calderon. Calderon has stolen the ball 1.8 times per game. The quick adjustment that he has made has been impressive, and I now see why the Raptors' asking price for Calderon was high.
Isaiah Thomas, guard, Sacramento Kings: I have been low on this guy since the beginning of the season, but I must give credit where credit is due. Thomas improved play as of late has given him a bit more life on the guard heavy team. For the season, he has scored 12.1 points while shooting 43.4 percent from the field. Since Feb. 1, Thomas has scored 18.0 points per night and has been able to keep his shooting percentage at 43.0 percent. He has also swiped the ball 1.5 times and dished 4.3 assists per game throughout this stretch.
Thomas has averaged 33.7 minutes per game in February. He has been playing over 24 minutes per game this season. The difference in playing time must be from his improved shot selection. Thomas is known for chucking up shots with terrible looks at the basket. He might be shooting a tad lower of a percentage from the first two months of the year, but the improved scoring and playing time has been a positive for fantasy owners.
Samuel Dalembert, center, Milwaukee Bucks: When a player's name is brought up in trade talks, it might motivate him to play better. The Bucks have made it perfectly clear that Dalembert is on the trading block. I cannot blame them because he has been grabbing only 5.7 rebounds per game this season. He has also blocked 1.5 shots per night.
Dalembert's statistics have risen in the last two weeks. He has grabbed 8.8 rebounds and blocked 2.3 shots per game. He has also scored 12.1 points shooting 60.9 percent from the field. He is owned in only 46 percent of leagues polled. He is a good short-term pickup. During this stretch, Dalembert has also contributed a steal in just about every game. He has done all of this playing just 20 minutes per game. He has definitely been one of the most productive centers in the league over the last two weeks.