Baron Davis is on schedule to take the court for the New York Knicks this week, possibly making him a viable option in the world of fantasy basketball. According to the New York Post, Davis began practicing with the Knicks Monday (Jan. 23) and that he has shown no setbacks in his preparation to get game-ready.
If it continues to go well in practice for Davis, he will make his debut for the Knicks on Saturday (Jan. 28) against the Houston Rockets. This is a good thing, because he won't have the pressure to perform in front of the Madison Square Garden crowd (yet). It hasn't been revealed as to whether Davis will enter the starting lineup up right away, but with the troubles that the team has had in recent weeks, that wouldn't surprise any fans of the team.
I noted Sunday (Jan. 22) that center Josh Harrellson had fractured his wrist, leaving the Knicks further shorthanded on an already depth-challenged roster. This could mean that Davis has to put up some shots in addition to his role a chief distributor. Possible lineups include Davis at point guard and Iman Shumpert at shooting guard as the starters, or Shumpert getting bumped to the bench in order to keep Landry Fields as a starter. It's also possible that Davis gets eased into the role, beginning with him coming off the bench on Saturday (Jan. 28).
A lot of pressure is on Davis to turn around a Knicks team that has fallen to 6-10 this year. One thing to notice from his career statistics is that even as he has aged, that Davis is still very capable of having great assist numbers. That's where fantasy basketball owners should really take notice over the next few days. If Davis gets placed in the starting lineup and given 30-33 minutes per night, he will easily average around 7-8 assists and possible more if the tandem of Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony can start making shots.
Last year, Davis split time between the Los Angeles Clippers and Cleveland Cavaliers, averaging 13.1 points, 6.7 assists and 2.7 rebounds in limited action. He will post more than a steal per game, should hit a fair amount of three-pointers and could actually see an increase in assists playing with two All-Star forwards. I think that Davis is well worth picking up off the waiver wire for fantasy owners that need assists, because he could get quite a few this season.
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