Blocks and Boards- Henson

John Henson returned from injury Monday night against the Toronto Raptors.

Analysis: Henson logged 17 minutes of playing time coming off the bench against the Raptors. He recorded 4 blocks, 5 rebounds and 8 points on 4 of 6 shooting. Henson is now averaging 7.9 rebounds per game and 2.3 blocks per game in 28 minutes of action per night. He currently ranks 4th in the NBA in blocks and 17th among power forwards in rebounds.

The former UNC product is available in 5-60% of fantasy leagues. He was dropped in quite a bit of leagues due to his ankle injury that kept him out for nearly three weeks.

We also have to mention Taj Gibson of the Bulls. Gibson is averaging 8.6 RPG, 1.6 BPG and 12.2 PPG over his last five games. He’s logging 32 minutes of floor time per night in that span which will equate into some very solid fantasy numbers going forward. Over the last two weeks Gibson is outperforming Derrick Favors, Glen Davis, Amir Johnson and JJ Hickson. Taj Gibson is available in 25-50% of fantasy leagues.

Deep League Help- Taj Gibson

Despite the lack of minutes, Taj Gibson is producing some very solid numbers as a fantasy power forward.

Analysis: Taj Gibson is averaging 1.6 blocks per game and 5.5 rebounds per game over his last eight contests. He’s putting these numbers up in about twenty minutes of floor time per night. Chances are his minutes will not improve drastically but he remains a solid deep league option. Gibson is available in over ninety percent of fantasy leagues and you really cannot ask for more from a lower tier power forward.

Taj Gibson is also shooting over fifty percent from the field this year. Tack on 0.5 steals per game and you have yourself a productive power forward. He does struggle at the line and some nights he can disappear in the points department but overall he is as consistent as he can be at twenty minutes per night. If guys like Amir Johnson, Zaza Pachulia and Kenneth Faried are long gone in your league, Taj Gibson may be a fine alternative. Going forward Derrick Favors will pull down more boards but Gibson should hold the edge in blocks.

NBA Final Four



We’ve finally reached the NBA’s Final Four as the marathon also known as the Association’s second season continues.

With the possible exception of Boston’s absence, the Eastern Conference Finals pitting the Miami Heat against the  Chicago Bulls, probably comes as no surprise.

We got a peak a night early (thanks  to Oprah) and the Bulls look like they are going to be a real handful. Chicago remains a shooting guard (that can create his own shot) away from being unbeatable. Defensively, Chicago stifled Dwayne Wade and Lebron James with Charles Barkley going as far to call them the finest defensive team he has ever seen. How about Taj Gibson? NBA Insiders are well aware of the value the Bulls received landing the former USC star late in the first round several seasons ago. His dunk over Wade and the put back slam now have him a You Tube sensation as well.

For now, Luol Deng has stepped up as a scoring option to Derek Rose, and his emergence has tempered Lebron’s impact. Its going to be a long series and Miami still needs only steal one at the United Center to gain home court advantage.

The Western Conference without the Lakers is a shocker. Losing Los Angeles as a media market is a crushing blow to advertisers as the ratings are certain to suffer, expecially if Oklahoma City outlasts Dallas.

The Lakers loss was shocking. Dallas had the depth, but the sweep was the biggest surprise in recent NBA playoff memory. What was the difference for the Mavericks? Tyson Chandler, pure and simple. Chandler, in a contract year, provided the rebounding, shot blocking, interior defense and overall toughness and enthusiasm the Mavs were lacking. The Mavs are on a mission. Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry are out to win the title that was so close several years ago with an eventual finals loss to Miami. Head Coach Rick Carlisle and Jason Kidd have both come close but seeking their first titles.

The Thunder are the media darling and the new fan favorite nationwide. The exciting combination of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook is excting and promises to keep Oklahoma City a player in the West for many years to come. The addition of Kendrick Perkins in the trade with Boston at the deadline gave the Thunder the interior physicality that they lacked. Shooting guard James Harden is getting close to giving Durant and Westbrook a full third option, their own version of  the Big Three.

The NBA finals don’t begin for two more weeks, over which time we will enjoy what should a pair of very exciting conference finals matchups.