Five pickups readily available in most leagues…
1. Greg Stiemsma-C-Celtics- Starting center Jermaine O’Neal left the Wizards game on New Year’s Day with a tight hammy and given his propensity towards injury, backup rookie center Greg Stiemsma not only has the opportunity to start in his absence, but could end up getting 20-25 minutes a game even when O’Neal returns. In his first start on Monday in the second home at home game vs the Wizards, Stiemsma played 21 minutes and put up 13 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 assists. O’Neal is in his 17th season in the NBA and in the last 4 years he has missed 123 games. Stiemsma, already a Celtic ‘fan favorite’ is available in 100% of Yahoo! leagues and should be rostered if you have the room.
Celtic rookie guard #54 Greg Stiemsma blocks one of his two vs the Wizards yesterday. Photo: upi.com
2. N0rris Cole-PG-Heat- This 1st round pick of the Bulls in last year’s draft has been sharing the point guard duties with Mario Chalmers but has outplayed him, scoring in double digits in four of the Heat’s six games; 20 vs the Celtics. He also turns the ball over decidedly less than Chalmers and drives in the paint more aggressively going to the line much more frequently than Chalmers. He’s available in 80% of Yahoo! leagues and is worth taking a flier on.
#30 Norris Cole is fouled by Charlotte Bobcat D.J. White. Photo: peninsulaismightier.com
3. MarShon Brooks-SG-Nets- Astoundingly, this rookie 1st round pick of the Celtics out of Providence, is still widely available in 70% of Yahoo! leagues. Coach Avery Johnson has already locked him up as the starter at the 2 playing in the same backcourt with Deron Williams. He is continuing where he left off at Providence where he was a lethal shooter. In his last five games, he’s averaging 15.2 points, 4 rebounds, 1 three, and just ONE turnover. There is a tremendous upside to this rookie and should be grabbed in all leagues as Brooks will only get better.
#9 MarShon Brooks drives the lane for a layup vs the Indiana Pacers. Photo: sports.yahoo.com
4. Alonzo Gee-SG/SF-Cavs-
Coach Byron Scott has been showcasing the 3rd year undrafted Gee over starter Omri Casspi and he’s gaining more & more confidence in him. At some point expect Scott to replace the Israeli first-rounder with Gee in the starting lineup as his numbers have been better. Gee has been averaging about 10 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1.5 steals and one 3 in almost 29 mpg. Casspi in just 20 mpg is at 5.4/2.4/1.8. Gee can play the 2 or the 3 and is available in over 90% of Yahoo! leagues. Act quickly as that will change as he continues to progress.
#33 Cavalier Alonzo Gee soars over Laker #16 Pau Gasol and should be a 'Slam Dunk' in most leagues. Photo: Zimbio.com
5. Luke Ridnour-PG-Timberwolves-
Although there is a bit of a logjam at the point guard position in Minnesota (J.J. Barea has been out with a strained hamstring), coach Rick Adelman likes the combo of Luke Ridnour and Ricky Rubio playing on the floor at the same time. The former 1st round pick of Seattle in the ’03 draft has averaged just under 27 minutes a game with 11 points, 4 assists, and 1.2 threes. When Rubio is on the floor, Ridnour has moved over to the two and could eventually gain dual position eligibility. He has started every game this year and seems to be getting stronger. In his last two games, he’s put up 30 points and 12 assists. Available in 88% of Yahoo! leagues.
#13 PG Luke Ridnour brings the ball up court vs the Miami Heat last March. He could prove to be a huge asset in your leagues. Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images North America