Can you replace Amare Stoudemire?

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Be careful while prospecting. The waiver wire quest to replace the indefinitely injured Amare Stoudemire at this juncture of the season could leave you in your computer chair so long that you'll begin to suffer from a balky back just like him.

It's slim pickings out there.

But fear not. Get up, stretch out that back and relax. I'm here to help you get through the news that Stoudemire may miss the rest of the season with a bulging disk.

First of all, it's not like you'll have to replace the production Stoudemire provided last season, when he averaged 25 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two blocks per game while shooting 50 percent from the field.

This is the 2011-12 version of Stoudemire, who has put up nearly eight less points, 1.5 less assists and one less block per game compared to 2010-11. He's averaged 17.6 points and eight rebounds. Still solid production, but not totally irreplaceable.

Here are five guys readily available in most leagues who can provide you with some points, rebounds and blocks from the forward and center positions:

Zaza Pachulia, Atlanta Hawks - Pachulia has averaged 11 points and 11 rebounds over the past nine games, shooting 49 percent from the field. In Atlanta's four-overtime victory over Utah on Sunday, Pachulia tallied 15 points, 20 rebounds and three blocks. He should be a consistent source of points and boards the rest of the season.

Jason Thompson, Sacramento Kings - Thompson would likely be more highly owned if he hadn't rolled his ankle against Utah on March 22. Up to that point, he had produced five straight double-doubles, averaging 17.6 points and 13.6 rebounds per game in that span. If he's there, pick him up and stash him on your bench, as he's expected to return later this week.

Derrick Favors, Utah Jazz - The former No. 3 overall pick has been living up to his potential recently. Favors scored 23 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in a spot start on March 17, but he also has scored in double figures in six of his last nine games. He has averaged 9.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game in that span.

Patrick Patterson, Houston Rockets - Patterson came through with a career-high 24 points on Monday in the Rockets' overtime win. While he's still inconsistent, as his zero-point effort on March 24 proves, Patterson is putting up 11 ppg in his last eight. Give him a go and see if he can help with the points deficit created in your lineup.

Kevin Seraphin, Washington Wizards - Seraphin's value hinges on Nene's health, but not entirely. The 6-foot-9 center played with Nene on March 21 at New Jersey and on Monday versus Detroit, scoring 12 points each time. Nene isn't exactly the picture of health, so add Seraphin and hope Nene's back continues to bother him. Serephin has averaged 10.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in his last eight games.

Bonus: Greg Stiemsma, Boston Celtics - Stiemsma won't fill categories for you, but he performs at an elite level in one particular hard-to-find area, shot- blocking. Stiemsma has emerged as a shot-rejecting wizard for Boston, sending back 30 shots in the past 12 games. He also has 15 steals in that span. If you feel like you won't be able to replace Stoudemire's points and boards, go in a different direction and try to control blocks and steals from one of your center spots.

It's not going to be pretty, but with a little creativity and a little luck, you could piece together something resembling Stoudemire from one or two players from the barren wasteland that is the March waiver wire.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Thomas J. Harrigan at

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