Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
It's getting late in the season and while some players are coasting to the finish line, others are stepping up their game to a new level which just might be of value to a fantasy owner.
Jeff Green, F, Oklahoma City - Since the All-Star break, Green has increased his numbers dramatically. His points production is up from 16.7 to 21.0 ppg and he has also become a rebounding terror going from a pedestrian 6.6 rpg to a stunning 11.2 rpg. He's also taken over after Kevin Durant got hurt (sprained ankle) and posted 27.5 ppg and 11 rpg in his absence.
Ronnie Brewer, G, Utah - The Utah Jazz are getting a lot of their injured players healthy again (Andrei Kirilenko, Carlos Boozer in particular), but it's the improvement of guard Ronnie Brewer which might be the most significant difference for Jerry Sloan's Jazz club down the stretch. For the season Brewer is averaging 13.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg and 2.1 apg, but since the All-Star game his stats have climbed to 19.6 ppg and 5.4 rpg. Over the last two games he's even better averaging 23.5 ppg, 8.0 rpg and 4.0 apg.
Matt Barnes, G/F, Phoenix - With Steve Nash in street clothes, the Phoenix Suns have gone to a smaller lineup by putting Barnes at forward and moving Jason Richardson to the shooting guard role alongside Leandro Barbosa. Barnes has rewarded those who were paying attention and picked him up by averaging 22.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg and 6.5 apg. Obviously he won't be able to continue this pace when Nash returns and his playing time drops, but you might as well "ride the wave" while it lasts.
David West, F, New Orleans - Before the break, West was a little bit disappointing, posting averages of 19.5 ppg and 7.5 rpg versus 20.6 ppg and 8.9 rpg in 2007-08. He's picked it up since then and 24.9 ppg (90 points in his last three games) and 10.5 rpg is just what we were expecting of him all along.
Jarrett Jack, G, Indiana - Jack has now scored 20+ points in three of his last four games and with both Danny Granger and Mike Dunleavy sidelined for an extended period of time, he should continue to put up the points. Pre All-Star break he was averaging 10.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.7 apg, barely fantasy-worthy, now his stats look pretty good - 19.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 4.8 apg.
Luis Scola, F, Houston - Scola like the rest of the players mentioned above, has become a viable fantasy option. Since the February break he is averaging 18.5 ppg and 9.5 rpg. Scola has scored a double-double in his seven of his last eight games and out-rebounded Yao Ming during that span.