Roy Hibbert, Indiana Pacers – 11.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.6 blocks
The Knickerbockers have taken a two-game lead over Hibbert and the Pacers for the No. 2 seed in the East which means that a match-up with either Atlanta or Chicago is Indiana’s likely first-round draw. Last Saturday, Roy marked his return to Verizon Center with 25 points and 10 rebounds, but the Wizards (who would maybe be in the playoffs if John Wall had been healthy all year) beat down Indiana, 104-85. There are three games left in the regular season for the Pacers, including a huge trip to Madison Square Garden on Sunday. A win would put the Pacers a game back of New York with just a trip to Boston and a meeting with Philadelphia at home remaining. New York closes out in Charlotte and at home to Atlanta. It doesn’t really matter though, as nobody from the East will beat El Heat.
Greg Monroe, Detroit Pistons, 16.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists
At 27-52, the Pistons are tied for the fifth worst record in the league; however Monroe continues to perform well as the 22-year-old is one of the league’s most promising youngsters. With the help of an improved Andre Drummond, a lottery pick and a proven veteran free agent, I fully expect that Monroe could average 20 points and 12 boards within the next few seasons. Drummond had a career high 29 points and Monroe had 23 himself in Detroit’s 111-104 victory over Cleveland this past Wednesday. Surround these two post presences with some shooters and Detroit isn’t going to struggle to find offense. If you are a fan of NBA games that really don’t matter, the Pistons host the Bobcats tonight at 7:30.