Quick-paced season makes for quick changes in NBA lineups
With Baron Davis' return uncertain, Jeremy Lin likely to hold onto starting PG job
Nikola Pekovic has posted double-digit points and rebounds over last few weeks
Greivis Vasquez playing well enough to remain starter after Jarrett Jack's return
Is this fantasy basketball or a reality show? Sometimes it feels like starters and their backups are on a 2-on-1 date, and at the end of the night one of them is not going to get a rose. Someone that you thought couldn't sew suddenly pulls out a couture dress that even Heidi Klum would wear. Jeremy Lin, you are in. And I'm sorry, Iman Shumpert, that means, you are out. Auf Wiedersehen. The tribe has spoken.
Let's take a look at some players whose cuisine reign supreme and others who have been evicted from the Big Brother house.
In: Jeremy Lin (PG, SG, NYK): After a breakout game, Lin has been slotted as the Knicks starting PG. At least until Baron Davis returns. That seemed like more of a threat last week when Davis was practicing, but now it seems he's not quite there, which means that Lin has a couple more weeks to show what he can do. Steve Nash used to be coached by Mike D'Antoni, so don't discount that when you consider Lin's potential.
Out: Iman Shumpert (PG, SG, NYK): Shumpert had an awesome run, but despite the stats he put up, D'Antoni evidently doesn't think he's ready to be the starting PG for the Knicks. Unfortunately for Shumpert, Landry Fields is scoring in double digits again and rebounding well for a shooting guard. Maybe D'Antoni is just biased toward players from California (or from really expensive schools), but it looks like Lin and Fields are the guys going forward.
In: Nikola Pekovic (C, MIN): One of the biggest pickups so far this season, if Pekovic is still available in your league, you should probably go pick him up and come back and read the rest of this when you're done. His double-digit points and nearly double-digit rebounds over the past two weeks are as good as or better than anything you can find on the waiver wire these days. He's not likely to block 7 shots in a game like the man he's replaced, but he's shooting better from the field and the free throw line and is not completely devoid of the defensive stats.
Out: Darko Milicic (C, MIN): There is a reason that no one has been able to free Darko. He's tall and he can block shots, but his overall game is just not that great. Timberwolves President David Kahn once claimed he was a very underrated passer, but with a career average of 0.9 assists per game, I think we all know he's just an overpaid player.
In: Greivis Vasquez (G, NOH): With Eric Gordon's timetable for return just keeps getting pushed out further and further. With New Orleans at the bottom of the Western Conference, there's no real rush to get Gordon back on the court. He's the future of the franchise, so in the meantime, Vasquez has been given the chance to show what he can do. He's responded to his starting role and 30-plus minutes per game with double-digit scoring, big assists and pretty decent rebounding for a guard. It doesn't hurt that he's also making almost a three a game while getting more than one steal. Perhaps he has four arms like his nickname-sake, General Grievous.
Out: Jarrett Jack (G, NOH), Marco Belinelli (SG, NOH): Jack is injured, so that's obvious. He'll be back in the starting lineup when he comes back (currently day-to-day), but Vasquez is playing well enough that he might be able to fill Gordon's vacation SG position. Marco Belinelli surely doesn't have much claim to stake to the position after being displaced by DaJuan Summers, (who averaged a mere 9 minutes per game last season with Detroit). Even though Summers is still playing bench minutes, the Hornets clearly don't have a lot of faith in him to help them win (and perhaps rightly so, if you go by their record).
In: Kyle Korver (GF, CHI): Richard Hamilton can't seem to stay healthy (and who knows how long Luol Deng will be around), so with Korver competing for minutes in that kind of situation, it's probably time that people in fantasy leagues start picking him up. If nothing else, he'll give you a few threes, the corresponding points, and even a couple rebounds and assists.
Out: Richard Hamilton (GF, CHI): He's injured, and with the Bulls atop the Eastern Conference (and the NBA for that matter), there is no rush to force him back into the lineup. Coach Tom Thibodeau said the Bulls are "going to be very patient with it." Tough luck for anyone who drafted Hamilton hoping for him to regain his former Pistons glory. That said, his former glory wasn't much more than a bunch of points and good free throw shooting.