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Roundball Stew

Stew: Rubio Renaissance

by Matt Stroup
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Between the Boogie Cousins injury, the Blake Griffin trade and the rise of some thrilling waiver wire options (including Jarrett Allen, who I’ll discuss in a minute), it has been a wild recent stretch in the world of fantasy hoops. In accordance with that chaos, this week’s edition of the Stew is wall-to-wall random thoughts:

Random Thoughts, Part 1: Don’t look now, but the annual Ricky Rubio renaissance could soon be underway. After dropping 23 points on Tuesday (his second-highest total of the season), Rubio has now put up 13.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 6.5 apg, 1.2 spg and 1.2 3s in his last six games. It’s not yet the same monster level of his best stretch last season – 14.2 ppg,  4.1 rpg, 10.5 apg, 1.7 spg, 0.9 3s over his final 43 games – but it was around this same time last year that Rubio took off (for whatever that’s worth). This is all a long-winded way of saying I like Rubio as a trade target, assuming that the 23-point game hasn’t raised expectations too much. … We can’t always put a ton into percent owned numbers in fantasy leagues, but 29 percent for Jarrett Allen in Yahoo still strikes me as way too low. Allen has now hit double figures in scoring in five straight games, and though his numbers aren’t yet explosive (12.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 1.0 bpg during that stretch), he’s got the potential for a monstrous stretch run. Over his last five games, Allen has missed a total of five shots – hitting 83.3 percent from the floor. … We haven’t seen nearly enough of last year’s Markieff Morris this season, but lately he’s been trending in the right direction (last four games: 19.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.0 spg,  0.8 bpg, 2.0 3s). Furthermore, with John Wall out, he should remain heavily involved.

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Random Thoughts, Part 2: It seems like there has been a lot of Nicolas Batum-related frustration in fantasy leagues this season. Lately though, it’s been a somewhat different story. After a (very modest) triple-double on Wednesday (10-11-10), Batum has posted 14.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 5.1 apg, 1.3 spg and 1.8 3s over his last eight games – while shooting 45.6 percent from the field. … Not to be overlooked in the wake of James Harden’s 60-point triple-double is his impressive run as a shot-blocker. After getting just 0.4 bpg through his first 25 games, Harden has swatted 1.1 shots per game over his last 17 – including at least one block in nine straight (and 1.4 bpg over that nine-game stretch). Useful.


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Random Thoughts, Part 3: After a nine-trey game on Wednesday, Kemba Walker has hit three or more 3s in six straight, averaging 27.7 ppg and 4.8 3s during this hot streak. … Kyle Anderson has been putting up a fascinating stat line without much in the way of points. Even after a season-high 18 on Tuesday, he’s at 7.7 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 3.1 apg, 1.9 spg, 1.6 bpg and 0.6 3s over his last seven games. … Nikola Jokic’s last five games: 15.8 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 9.6 apg. … Dwight Howard was a rough option in 9-category leagues early on due to typically bad free throw shooting and high turnovers. His first 22 games: 48.3 FT, 3.8 TOs and a No. 409 ranking in 9-category leagues. Since then, however, the turnovers are down and the free throws are up, making his last 28 games look like this: 16.6 ppg, 13.0 rpg, 0.8 spg, 2.2 bpg, 2.4 TOs and 61.1 percent from the line. His 9-category ranking during that run? 73rd.

Random Thoughts, Part 4: Some good Andrew Wiggins news: He put up 1.1 spg, 0.8 bpg and 1.2 3s in January, along with 19.2 ppg. Some bad Andrew Wiggins news: His scoring is down this season (17.9 ppg), and his percentages are still killing his value (he’s No. 150 in 9-category leagues).Now back to the good news: He’s putting up career-best numbers in steals (1.2) and blocks (0.7) while tying last year’s career-high in 3s (1.3 per game). Just writing these few sentences has given me a headache – which is fitting in this case – but at least there are some encouraging signs for the 22-year-old overall. … It’s almost like Serge Ibaka is trying to put up the most boring useful numbers possible. His last six games more or less mirror his season: 12.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.2 bpg and 1.3 3s. It’s strange that this same guy averaged 3.7 bpg only six years ago. … Jaylen Brown started pretty strong this season (15.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.2 spg, 2.0 3s, 46.6 percent from the field through his first 20 games). Since then, in 27 games, his numbers look like this: 12.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.0 spg and 1.5 3s on 45.5 percent from the field. It’s not a complete disaster, but thanks in part to shaky free throw shooting (59.0 percent on the season), Brown is the No. 166 player – and arguably not worth starting unless you’re in a deeper league. … Lastly, a programming note: Due to some Winter Olympic responsibilities for my employer, this will be the one and only edition of the Stew this month. See you all in March.

Matt Stroup

Matt Stroup has covered basketball for NBC Sports Edge since 2008. You can find him on Twitter here .