Last night had a certain calm-before-the-storm quality to it as there were just four games on the slate. The big-time matchup between the Clippers and Warriors had some great moments, but it lacked a big-game feel because the Clips were (are) overmatched and their home fans haven’t really connected with the team. Blake Griffin made comments to that effect after the game but something has been off with this group all season long. Poster dunks are certainly down when it comes to Griffin himself. But one has to wonder what’s going on within the walls under new ownership and everybody from players to the coach acting irritated all season long.
Anyway, we’re staring at a 12-game Big Wednesday in what is either the last week or the penultimate week for playoff leagues, which I am growing to despise because it’s like using Week 17 of the NFL season to decide a six-month marathon.
Hopefully somebody in the fantasy space gets innovative this summer and hopefully all of your players cash in for you tonight.
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THE BIG NUMBERS
|Blake Griffin||40||0||12||5||1||3||3||64.0%||At least he's getting it done in fantasy leagues.|
|Kawhi Leonard||22||1||9||3||4||2||1||61.5%||Top 8-14 (9/8 cat) when on the floor this year.|
|Brook Lopez||24||0||11||2||0||2||0||64.7%||Who's going to overpay Lopez this summer?|
|George Hill||28||4||6||3||0||0||0||58.8%||Featured in the stock report of Fantasy Extra.|
|Chris Paul||27||1||2||9||1||0||2||41.2%||The torch was passed to Steph last night.|
|Stephen Curry||27||4||1||4||1||0||3||53.3%||He's nearing Bo Jackson on Tecmo Bowl levels.|
|CJ Watson||13||2||6||6||2||1||2||80.0%||See below, he could be picking up the slack.|
|Tim Duncan||12||0||11||1||1||3||0||50.0%||The Spurs Dynasty is an all-time great in sports.|
|Hassan Whiteside||10||0||6||1||2||2||0||71.4%||Looks good to go for fantasy owners (hand).|
|Deron Williams||11||1||6||8||2||0||0||66.7%||His ankles have answered the call post-AS break.|
|Joe Johnson||21||3||6||4||0||0||1||46.2%||Hopefully you held through this 4-game week.|
|Alan Anderson||20||3||2||1||0||0||0||63.6%||Also featured in the sleeper section of Extra.|
|Jeff Teague||9||1||1||4||1||0||2||57.1%||At least he played through his ankle injury.|
|Roy Hibbert||7||0||3||0||1||3||1||27.3%||Defensive numbers notwithstanding, this sucks.|
|Andrew Bogut||6||0||9||5||0||1||2||60.0%||Watch out for surprise DNPs this weekend.|
|DeAndre Jordan||5||0||15||0||0||3||0||20.0%||Didn't look like a DPOY candidate last night.|
|Goran Dragic||19||1||1||3||0||0||4||42.9%||Efficiency could waver if supporting cast does.|
|Paul Millsap||4||0||4||4||2||0||0||14.3%||Things could get weird in Atlanta.|
|DeMarre Carroll||10||0||4||0||0||0||2||71.4%||Only hope is that ATL needs to stop the slump.|
|Dwyane Wade||15||1||5||1||0||0||3||30.0%||Held together by duct tape at this point.|
|Danny Green||3||1||0||1||0||0||1||33.3%||Owners should know by now not to panic.|
Rudy Gay (concussion) is expected to miss the next 4-5 days and I haven’t checked to see how real the concussion is, and for Gay’s part he has expressed that he wants to play. This just gave everybody an easy call to make with regard to what is essentially a shutdown. If I had to guess, I’d say he tries to play in home games like DeMarcus, though it’s anybody’s guess who’s calling the shots right now in Sacramento. Pete D’Allesandro is on the ropes amidst internal frustration over front office leaks to the local and national media. If George Karl has his way, then Gay will play whenever he is cleared. If you can afford to hold him, he’ll put up big numbers if he gets back on the floor.
In Warriors-land they rested Draymond Green last night and still beat the Clippers, and I’m somewhat shocked we haven’t seen the plug pulled on Andrew Bogut. He’s having confidence problems offensively and that’s the only thing that I can figure is keeping him on the floor, because he’s the one guy the Warriors can’t afford to lose before the playoffs start.
Luol Deng and Dwyane Wade are both Grade-A injury risks and both are dealing with knee injuries, though Wade was able to go last night while Deng could not. Wade hit just 6-of-20 shots for 15 points, five rebounds and one assist in his 34 minutes, as the combo of a bad wheel and Kawhi Leonard’s defense had trouble written all over it.
James Ennis drew the start for Deng but managed just seven points with one three, four rebounds and one steal in his 27 minutes. He’s not going to get enough touches unless everybody gets hurt at the same time and he can be watched from the wire. And if that injury scenario happens, owners want to first look at Tyler Johnson (eight points, three rebounds, two assists, three steals, 25 minutes), who was in the game late last night and has some nice upside as a player. Mario Chalmers (10 points, two threes, three assists, one steal, 24 minutes) will also be worth a look for spot-action down the stretch if one or more big Heat pieces goes down.
C.J. Miles (six minutes) left last night’s game early due to a sprained ankle and Rodney Stuckey (wrist, calf) was able to gut out 25 minutes. Stuckey hit just 1-of-8 shots for four points, two rebounds and one assist and aside from the shooting regression we’ve talked about for a while, he could very well be on his last legs right now and the show is essentially over. C.J. Watson (13 points, six boards, six assists, two steals, one block, two threes, 28 minutes) won’t get the Nets’ lead-footed defenders every night, but he’ll be positioned to bring late-round value if Miles and Stuckey don’t magically get healthy.
Dennis Schroder’s X-rays and MRI revealed a sprained toe and the injury isn’t believed to be serious, but he’s still day-to-day at basically the worst time for owners. Jeff Teague played through his ankle injury to the tune of 24 minutes last night and the starting lineup all played that same exact amount. The team needs to get some positive momentum back and that could keep key guys from getting nights off, but the opposite of that could just as easily be true and it’s going to be a real mess for owners.
Greg Monroe (knee) hopes to return for the Pistons’ last five games according to Stan Van Gundy, and that’s a pretty straight-forward position for owners to consider. If you can afford to stash him, you do, if not then you don’t. Until then Anthony Tolliver (13 points, three treys, 10 boards, zero steals/blocks) is worth owning for his treys and boards as another sleeper from the Fantasy Extra portion of my podcast.
Reggie Jackson struggled through an illness last night and still managed 12 points, two threes, four boards and 11 assists in his 22 minutes – in a win against the Hawks no less. Owners need to consider him questionable as the Pistons turn around and play the Hornets tonight, though I’ll say that if I had to guess Jackson is really enjoying being the man right now. As long as he can physically play, I think he’ll give it a go. It doesn’t hurt that Spencer Dinwiddie is also questionable with an ankle injury that he suffered last night.
Tayshaun Prince (nine points, one three, three boards, two assists, two steals, one block, 25 minutes) has three games of late-round value under his belt and he’s playing like a guy that wants to stick in the league next season. In fact, he was upset when he was treated as dead money during the trade deadline because he thinks he has more to give. With all these guys ailing and no real dominant players, it’s possible he’s experiencing a sustainable spike in usage, at least until Monroe returns. He’s a deep league asset at best but don’t be surprised if he keeps it up.
Terrence Jones (ribs, lung) was upgraded to questionable for tonight’s game against the Kings along with Dwight Howard, and it’s a great spot to get rest for Howard and it’s unclear if the team wants Jones on the floor to get his conditioning up in time for the playoffs. Either way, Josh Smith is locked and loaded into lineups and Kings fans just have to hope nobody in high places falls in love with Smith when he goes huge against Sac’s dearth of talent.
Everybody that is hurt in Minny is essentially doubtful to play tonight against the Raptors, though Kevin Martin (hamstring) is listed as questionable. The Wolves are not-so-covertly tanking and this could very
Ryan Anderson is questionable for tonight’s game against the Lakers and sources have said that he’ll certainly play in Friday’s game against the Kings. I think the Pelicans know they need to get both of those games so they’ll lean heavily toward getting him on the floor. I’m expecting rust and because he doesn’t typically do much besides score, hit threes and grab a handful of rebounds it’s hard to gamble on him on a busy night. Jrue Holiday is certainly worth a stash if your league goes down to the wire with the hope he gets on the floor in one of the three upcoming games. Following that, the Pelicans are one of eight teams with a four-game week.
For more injury news check out our injury page.
Hassan Whiteside (hand laceration) returned from a three-game absence and got right back on track with 10 points, six boards, two steals and two blocks in 23 minutes. As long as we don’t hear about any aggravation to his hand injury then owners should have him locked into lineups.
Chris Andersen (calf) also returned to action with four points, 10 boards, two steals and two blocks in 24 minutes and the good news here if you need boards or blocks is that the Heat are fighting for their playoff lives. If Andersen actually plays in a game, chances are he’s going to get you what you’re looking for.
Thaddeus Young surpassed even the most optimistic expectations by returning from a hyper-extended knee just days later and logging 39 minutes last night. He had a typically frustrating night with eight points on 4-of-11 shooting (no threes), seven boards, four assists and one steal, as he returns late-round value while being somewhat miscast next to Brook Lopez.
In this arrangement, he is often cast away into the corner to space the floor and with the bulky Lopez clogging the lane he doesn’t have as many opportunities to cut. The spotting up also keeps him off the boards. Still, in a four-game week this week he should have been in most lineups if you had time to switch him in after his news hit the wire yesterday afternoon.
A quick note on Brooklyn – not only are they helping owners by holding strong in the playoff chase, but Lionel Hollins went ham with comments about how he doesn’t manage minutes because it has no impact on players’ careers. Owners can be cautiously optimistic that their fantasy assets will be pushed to the max.
It’s going to be too late to maximize his value during this four-game week for the Nets, but Alan Anderson scored 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting with three treys last night. If you need help in those two categories he was a strong bet for late-round value this week and has every shot to keep it up going forward.
David Lee started for Draymond Green (rest) last night and scored 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting with seven boards and zero defensive stats in his 30 minutes. The question will be how many games of unfettered access to minutes he gets. He runs at a mid-round level when at his absolute peak, and owners should most certainly plan for him to be a late-round value and that’s no better than a coin flip at this point. Harrison Barnes (one point, 0-for-7 FGs, seven boards, two assists, 25 minutes) was terrible for owners last night but he probably has a better chance than Lee does for that same late-round value down the stretch.
Hawks you want to watch going forward as potential beneficiaries down the stretch include Dennis Schroder, Shelvin Mack (12 points, three boards, five assists, one steal, 24 minutes), Mike Muscala (six points, 2-of-9 FGs, 13 rebounds, one assist, no steals or blocks), Kent Bazemore (five points, three rebounds, three assists, one trey, 24 minutes) and Thabo Sefolosha (19 points, two threes, five boards, two assists, one steal). I like them in that order but none of them are must-add or must-own players.
As mentioned above, I don’t think owners can hold onto Rodney Stuckey in 12-team leagues.
Bojan Bogdanovic doesn’t produce enough to justify eight-minute stinkers so move on if you somehow had him on a roster.