Toronto's Johnson and Davis coming up big
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Aside from Chris Bosh, there haven't been many Toronto Raptors big men with fantasy relevance in the team's history.

There was a young Marcus Camby, Antonio Davis ... and that's about it. I'm not including former No. 1 overall pick Andrea Bargnani as a "big man" since he spends less time in the paint than most guards.

But since Bargnani and Jonas Valanciunas went down with major injuries, the power forward and center spots have opened up for two, yes two, quality big men, Amir Johnson and Ed Davis.

Johnson has dominated since becoming the team's starting center four games ago, averaging 18.3 points, 10.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.5 steals and 2.0 blocks with a .604 shooting percentage.

The tough-as-nails Johnson sprained his ankle in the first half Sunday against the Bucks but came back out and finished the game with his best performance yet -- 22 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks in 44 minutes.

Davis also had a double-double in the game with 20 points and 12 rebounds in 36 minutes. It was Davis' seventh double-digit scoring effort in his last eight games.

The former North Carolina Tar Heel is averaging 14.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 0.8 blocks during that time. He only played 19 minutes per game in his first 29 games this season, not enough to make him worthy of a fantasy roster spot.

Both players are currently underowned -- Johnson is available in 60 percent of Yahoo! leagues and Davis can still be added in 68 percent.

Those numbers will certainly rise after Sunday's game, as they should. Bargnani is out at least until the end of January with an elbow injury, and Raptors coach Dwane Casey recently admitted that it would be "very hard" to take playing time away from Davis, according to Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail.

Bargnani is also a candidate to be traded once he's healthy. A deal may already have been completed if the power forward didn't hurt his elbow. The Raptors have gone 10-5 without the brick-laying Bargnani, compared to 4-18 with him.

Valanciunas will also miss at least two more weeks after breaking his right ring finger in late December. That timetable could stretch an additional two weeks and leave Valanciunas out until mid-February.

That means Johnson and Davis are the only two Raptors big men getting meaningful minutes right now. The next two guys in line are rookie Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray, who are both averaging less than 10 minutes per game and have combined to play just 28 games this season.




Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Thomas J. Harrigan at tharrigan@sportsnetwork.com.

STAR64 WSTR-TV Cincinnati :: Advertise with us!