by Adam Ronis
The recent torrid stretch of Bulls point guard D.J. Augustin has gained him recognition and attention. The injury to Kirk Hinrich has helped Augustin see bigger minutes over the last few games, but Augustin has been a good contributor for a while now.
Over the last five games, Augustin is on a roll, averaging 21.6 points, six assists, 3.8 rebounds, 3.8 three-pointers and one steal per game while shooting 57.6 percent from the field. Augustin has been more aggressive, taking at least double-digit shots from the field in seven consecutive games. He is playing more than 30 minutes per game in January and averaging 15.7 points, 6.4 assists, 2.4 three-pointers and 0.9 steals.The numbers were solid in December, too.
He averaged 10 points, 5.9 assists, 1.7 three-pointers and 1.6 steals in that month and played more than 29 minutes per game. The big difference is the uptick in scoring and the departure of Luol Deng could be the reason for the increase in shots from the field.
Keep an eye on the utilization of Raptors guard Greivis Vasquez. Over the last three games, Vasquez is averaging 14.3 points, eight assists, 4.7 rebounds, 2.3 three-pointers and 1.7 steals. There have been too many games in which Vasquez played fewer than 15 minutes since being traded from the Kings. He has played 20 minutes or more in three consecutive games, including a season high 33:31 as a Raptor on Wednesday.
There was talk Vasquez could see time at shooting guard next to point guard Kyle Lowry when the trade was made, and it might happen more frequently now. Don’t rush out to add Vasquez, but in deeper formats he’s not a bad option, especially if the minutes stay consistent.
Just when the Hawks were getting good production from center Pero Antic, he suffers a stress fracture in his ankle that will sideline him for two to four weeks. In eight games this month, Antic averaged 11.4 points and 5.9 rebounds, and he shot 43.2 percent from three-point range. Elton Brand and Gustavo Ayon will see more time for the Hawks, but they are not guys to add.
Josh McRoberts has provided glimpses of consistency this season, but for the most part, he has fizzled. McRoberts is going through his best stretch now and the versatility is appealing. McRoberts averaged 12.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 2.8 three-pointers per game over his last five.
All statistics entering Thursday January 23.
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