If you’ve read Fantasy Basketball Pros this year, you know what I think about the NBA. I think it’s thriving. The level of competition is far superior to any other time in the league’s history, nearly every city has a team to cheer for, and there are so many great story lines.
Well, surprising as it is to say, the NBA is getting even better with the return of some of its top guns. On April 2, 2008 4 stars returned to their team’s. Pau Gasol returned from his ankle injury to lead the Lakers to a victory of Portland, Gilbert Arenas‘ knee troubles seem to have subsided, as the Wizard made a surprise return against Milwaukee and chipped in 17 points in 20 minutes in the losing effort, Dirk Nowitzki also made a surprise return from a high ankle sprain to help the Mavs rout a very tough Golden State team, and finally, Elton Brand surprised many by playing nearly the entire fourth quarter and leading the Clippers to a victory over the lowly Sonics.
With that being said, it’s probably WAY too late to think about it now, but if any of these guys by chance is available in one of your leagues, 1) thank god for the gift, and 2) pick him up immediately. If they are not, consider this pickup of the night:
This guy came over in the Pau Gasol deal and if there is anything that Lakers gave up in that deal, it’s Crittenton (I mean Kwame is garbage, so they actually benefited from unloading him). He hasn’t gotten a whole lot of playing time this season in his rookie campagain (especially when he was in LA), but since Memphis is out of the playoff picture, his minutes have steadily increased. And boy has he been producing with the extra time. Last night he put up a top-10 line of the night, with 23 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists and a steal on 7-11 shooting (2-3 from 3). I don’t expect him to cool off any time soon, so if you’re in need of point guard help, consider Javaris (I love that name).
Second Best: NICK COLLISON
Collison won’t be available in a lot of leagues, in fact ESPN says in about 50% of leagues he won’t be. But it’s worth a shot taking a look. The guy has been an absolute monster on the glass. Here are his rebounding stats alone the last five games (most recent first): 17, 8, 10, 21, 11. That’s an average of 13.4 the last 5 games. In addition to that he’s contributing around 10 points a game and a few assists. He plays a lot of minutes as a starter in Seattle, so I would definitely suggest picking him up if he is available.
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