By Thomas J. Harrigan, Fantasy Sports Writer
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - As far as performances go, the Los Angeles Lakers deserve a Razzie award this season.
At 21-40, the Lakers are tied for the fifth worst winning percentage in the NBA.
But while every position except center has been a revolving door of no-names and castoffs, Mike D'Antoni's offensive system somehow has produced some fantasy intrigue.
Amid trade rumors and injuries, Pau Gasol has returned to All-Star form with averages of 20.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.8 blocks his last 23 games. He's been the one constant in the lineup.
Los Angeles' point guard position has been plagued by major injuries, as the team's first five options -- Steve Nash, Steve Blake, Jordan Farmar, Kobe Bryant and Xavier Henry -- have missed significant time.
D'Antoni once again proved he can make any point guard a fantasy option (Chris Duhon, anyone?) when he scooped Kendall Marshall from the scrap heap and got 11.6 points, 11.1 assists and 2.0 threes per game out of him from Jan. 3 to Feb. 19.
Blake returned from a torn elbow ligament in February and had a triple-double on Feb. 5 before being traded to the Golden State Warriors a week later, and Steve Nash's nerve issues in his back re-surfaced, leaving Marshall and Farmar to handle point-guard duties for the rest of the season.
Los Angeles have eased Farmar back into the lineup after multiple hamstring injuries, but he appears to be healthy now and has averaged 25.2 minutes, 18.8 points, 6.0 assists, 3.8 triples and 1.5 steals his last four games.
Farmar's productive stretch has come at a good time, because Marshall's offensive woes have re-emerged. Over his last seven games, he has shot just 6- of-34 (.176) from the field, though he has dished out double-digit assists in each of the last three.
The wings have yielded multiple options for fantasy owners.
Jodie Meeks has been a top-50 fantasy asset with averages of 14.9 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.2 threes, 1.7 assists and 1.4 steals per game.
Wesley Johnson hasn't done much scoring (9.4 ppg), but he's one of two players averaging 1.0 blocks, 1.0 steals and 1.0 threes per game this season (Paul Millsap is the other) and has grabbed 4.1 rebounds per game.
D'Antoni immediately became Nick Young's favorite coach of all time as he let him turn off his shooting conscience (Young was going to do that anyway, but it was nice to have the approval of his coach). He averaged 18.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.9 3pg and 1.6 apg from Nov. 27 to Feb. 4 before suffering a non-displaced knee fracture that has cost him 11 of the last 12 games.
Enter Kent Bazemore, acquired from the Warriors in the Steve Blake deal.
Bazemore shot 37.1 percent from the field in 105 games with Golden State the last two seasons, so of course D'Antoni saw him as starting material.
In his first game with Los Angeles, Bazemore immediately set a career high with 15 points. It didn't last long, as he set a new career high with 17 points the next game, and topped that with 23 points the following contest.
In seven games with the Lakers, Bazemore has averaged 32.8 minutes, 16.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.3 threes and 1.6 steals.
Even MarShon Brooks, a player three teams didn't want, had a mini-run of fantasy relevance when he averaged 13.8 ppg, 2.4 apg, 2.2 apg, 1.6 3pg and 1.2 spg from Feb. 21-28, though with Henry back from a two-month absence Brooks won't be playing much.
It just goes to show that even if in a Razzie-worthy production, there can be some redeeming qualities in the individuals making up the whole.
Except in "After Earth." That was an all-around disaster.
03/05 12:42:10 ET