Last night didn’t have the massive fireworks that some Big Wednesdays are known for, but plodding through the night's events there were more fantasy storylines than I could fit in this Dose. And with less than 30 percent of the season left, there aren’t going to be too many opportunities like this to reshape one’s team.
Look for the Bruski Breakdown later today where I’ll clean everything up but for now let’s Dose.
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THE BIG NUMBERS
|Wesley Matthews||31||4||5||3||3||0||0||61.1%||Maybe we start calling his 3PMs 'Mockingjays'|
|PJ Tucker||12||0||8||1||5||1||1||33.3%||It looks like he's now a staple in Phoenix.|
|Ed Davis||12||0||9||3||1||3||0||75.0%||His consistency in B-Scott's rotation is no joke.|
|Jonas Jerebko||20||4||5||2||1||0||1||70.0%||Landed in a nice spot in Boston.|
|John Henson||21||0||9||2||2||3||3||75.0%||He's been a top-40 guy for the last month.|
|Pau Gasol||25||0||13||1||0||4||2||55.0%||Rose injury to aid an already insane season.|
|Will Barton||22||3||8||3||0||1||2||66.7%||We've seen these before. I discuss below.|
|Kevin Martin||28||2||2||1||2||0||3||66.7%||He's been outstanding since returning.|
|Kawhi Leonard||14||1||8||3||4||1||2||38.5%||Spurs relying on him heavily, efficiency hurting.|
|Nicolas Batum||15||3||4||9||2||1||5||75.0%||Better late than never, Nic.|
|Brook Lopez||15||0||7||0||1||4||0||50.0%||Standard fare for the big man.|
|Quincy Pondexter||25||4||5||2||0||0||3||69.2%||Injuries open up a window, but we need more.|
|Jordan Clarkson||22||1||4||3||2||0||2||62.5%||Sitting on a top-75 month and a strong outlook.|
|Kyle Korver||16||4||6||3||0||2||0||50.0%||Cold this past month, the heat about to turn on.|
|Tim Duncan||20||0||8||2||1||0||2||75.0%||The Spurs are sliding, Duncan is not.|
|Eric Bledsoe||18||1||6||6||2||1||6||46.7%||Can PHO make the playoffs? EB+BK fit well.|
|Joe Johnson||21||3||10||1||1||1||3||52.9%||Quietly returning top-50 value this month.|
|Victor Oladipo||13||0||13||4||0||0||4||30.8%||No money counting stats and four TOs hurt.|
|Nerlens Noel||8||0||8||1||1||1||5||22.2%||Top 12-14 value this month so all is well.|
|Tim Hardaway Jr||8||0||4||0||1||0||1||33.3%||Just can't get it going in NYK Bermuda Triangle|
|Eric Gordon||8||2||6||4||1||0||4||18.2%||Profiling as a mid-round value w/ Jrue out.|
|John Wall||5||1||3||10||1||0||4||20.0%||Wizards bad offensive scheme on display.|
|LaMarcus Aldridge||11||0||13||1||1||0||1||26.3%||Top-20 player this month despite bad thumbs.|
|Isaiah Canaan||11||1||2||6||1||0||5||30.0%||Hasn't paid off yet, but it's still early.|
|Josh Smith||9||1||9||4||0||2||1||22.2%||After slow week he's a buy low candidate.|
|Gordon Hayward||20||0||1||3||0||0||6||38.9%||Points aren't everything.|
|Manu Ginobili||2||0||1||2||0||1||1||20.0%||He and Tony Parker are sputtering.|
|Aaron Brooks||12||1||0||4||2||1||0||33.3%||Inefficient last night, still a good pickup.|
|Lance Stephenson||8||0||4||2||0||0||2||36.4%||Sad trombone sound.|
Derrick Rose is expected to have surgery on his torn medial meniscus “sooner rather than later” and it could happen as soon as Friday. Beat writer K.C. Johnson said that there is a growing belief that the tear isn’t as serious as the one Rose experienced in the same knee back in November 2013. There appears to be a chance that he could return before the end of the regular season, but fantasy owners in redraft leagues can’t mess around with that noise. Aaron Brooks (12 points, 4-of-12 FGs, one three, four assists, two steals, one block) is the pickup here.
Late last night Marc Spears reported that there isn’t much optimism that Darren Collison (hip) returns this season. A decision hasn’t been made but as mentioned in yesterday’s Dose the Kings really want to keep their draft pick and they’re not going to push him to return. Ray McCallum (10 points, 3-of-7 FGs, one three, one board, three assists, three steals, 23 minutes) is the only real fantasy beneficiary here, as Andre Miller (26 minutes, four points, six rebounds, seven assists) is a known quantity slated to play 20-26 mpg whether Collison is healthy or not. The timeshare probably kills any chance of McCallum making any real noise, and his upside is limited due to a poor fantasy stat set anyways.
Jrue Holiday (leg) will wear a protective boot for the next two weeks before being reevaluated. He said this year’s injury differs from prior ones because he doesn’t have a crack in his shin. When he tried to ramp up activities recently the pain started back up again and my sense is that the Pelicans will be watching the standings on this one. Aside from exercising relative caution, the only way he’s pushing it is if they have a legit shot at the playoffs in 2-3 weeks.
Right after delivering one of the best vines of the year, Jusuf Nurkic suffered a right lateral ankle sprain and had to be wheeled off the floor in a wheelchair. Some of that could be that the big man isn’t exactly easy to carry and trainers might have wanted to keep the ankle from taking on any unnecessary weight, but he was in a ton of pain and it looked like something we call a “monther” over here.
There is absolutely no timetable for his return as of closing time last night, so be ready for anything. With Darrell Arthur dealing with knee issues and Nurkic starting at a likely multi-game absence, Brian Shaw might be forced to play Kenneth Faried (thumb) if he’s healthy enough to go.
Beyond Faried, owners should be looking at both J.J. Hickson (eight points, three boards, one steal, one block, 22 minutes) and 6’11/240 PF/C Joffrey Lauvergne (11 points, nine boards, one steal, one block, 26 minutes) if everybody else is out. For my money I’d take a flier on Lauvergne over Hickson in any standard league and pray he can dig up some defensive stats.
James Harden rolled his ankle pretty good but played through it in a big win over the Clippers. The Rockets get the Nets on Friday and that’s as good of a spot as any to rest him, but they might look at this the other way and want to rack up as many wins as possible right now so they can buy some rest down the stretch.
Bradley Beal (leg) is hoping to play on Friday against the Sixers and has some buy low appeal, mostly because you’re simply betting he gets healthy and productive right away. I don’t like the odds on such a move.
Jose Calderon (five points, 1-of-7 FGs, seven assists, 36 minutes) left last night’s game with Achilles’ soreness and did not return. Apparently it has been bothering him for weeks and Derek Fisher can’t get enough of some gritty, veteran play so this has been allowed to go on unchecked. Who knows if this is the beginning of the end for Calderon, and right now it’s anybody’s guess what the Knicks are running out there so it’s hard to say who will step up.
Langston Galloway should already be owned in standard formats, but beyond that Fisher is running seven of his nine guys between 18-28 mpg. If I had to throw a dart right now I’d say Tim Hardaway Jr. (eight points, 4-of-12 FGs, four rebounds, one steal) is the pickup but he hasn’t been good at all and systemic limitations might end up doing everybody in. I’m not down on the triangle in general, I just think this younger group needs something a bit more junky and uptempo if they’re going to be productive. I’ll talk about the rest of the Knicks in the Breakdown later today.
Wilson Chandler (groin) did not play last night against the Suns, and this could be the beginning of the end for anybody that is slightly injured, pissed off at Brian Shaw, or otherwise disinterested in Denver’s dumpster fire season. To be clear I’m not saying that Chandler is a part of any of the drama because I simply don’t know if that’s the case, but I do know he has a history of mid-body injuries and that’s worth watching closely. Danilo Gallinari is a must-own player right now for his recent production and the fact he and the Nuggets could really use the end of this season to re-establish his game before the summer.
Kris Humphries (12 minutes) strained his left hamstring last night and there was no real beneficiary for his missed time. The Wizards aren’t going to run Nene (12 points, four boards) out there much more than the 25 minutes he played last night. If anything, in a DFS league or other deep daily format I might gamble that Drew Gooden (two points, four boards, 10 minutes) has a surprise popcorn number night.
Aaron Gordon was knocked out of last night’s game and did not return. The Magic aren’t playing anybody but Tobias Harris and Nikola Vucevic in their frontcourt right now, and on the perimeter they’re running out three guard lineups so there isn’t really a beneficiary for any time off.
For more injury news check out our injury page.
Michael Carter-Williams played 18 minutes in his Bucks debut last night, scoring seven points with eight assists, two steals and one turnover. He hit 3-of-5 shots and I love that he had such great per-minute assist numbers, but we still need to consider he was playing a bad Sixers team without, um, Michael-Carter Williams.
As mentioned a few times now, the likelihood is that his numbers flatten out with better percentages, less usage, and a drop in turnovers. In a best case scenario he keeps the usage from leaking too badly but gets all of the other benefits from playing with a real NBA squad. I’m not shutting the door on improved fantasy value and that’s mostly because of the zeal the Bucks have shown in getting him on the floor and on the ball. As we said in a podcast the other day, Jason Kidd obviously saw something in MCW and it'll be interesting to see how much that relationship will help out.
Jarrett Jack got back on the floor following a two-week hamstring issue and wasted no time getting on the board with 15 points, three rebounds, three assists and a trey in 28 minutes off the bench. Deron Williams started again and managed just 10 points and six assists on 4-of-14 shooting, and whatever the reasons may be (injuries, effectiveness) it looks like Williams is almost out of gas this season.
Jack is the player to own between the two and Williams is worth holding for a game or two before determining his fate. For a guy barely sticking in the top-300 when on the floor this past month, and just top 90-125 levels on the season, there is plenty of rationale to make the drop. I’d just want to see if the All Star break gave him any juice and Jack’s first game back isn’t the one I’d pick to go Old Yeller on.
Kevin Garnett returned to Minnesota in front of an adoring crowd and it was awesome to reminisce about the old days. KG was the freaky prototype for the future of NBA big men, and he helped carry the league through some of its dark post-Jordan years. The Nets won the trade by acquiring Thaddeus Young, but the Wolves won their future as the hybrid player-coach-future owner is going to work on the entire team right away.
Ersan Ilyasova wasn’t great but he didn’t totally fade after his big game on Monday, posting 11 points, six rebounds and one trey in 23 minutes. We’ve seen him post top 100-125 value in a low-minute role in the past, but that was before his big contract when he was actually a consistent player. If he can get in on some of Brandon Knight’s abandoned usage, perhaps he can be that guy once again. He’s still in extreme flier territory for 12-team leagues.
Donatas Motiejunas (18 points, nine boards, one block, three treys) hasn’t dipped out of late-round value over the past month, but he isn’t getting a ton of respect in fantasy leagues and might have been dropped. Pick him up.
P.J. Tucker scored 12 points with eight rebounds, one block and five steals in 32 minutes, and sitting on a solid month of early round value he’s a must-add player if he’s still available.
Ed Davis has moved into a nice and consistent phase for owners, scoring 12 points with nine rebounds, one steal and three blocks over 28 minutes as he builds on top 30-70 value this month (9/8 cat). He should be owned across the board right now. Teammates Wayne Ellington (15 points, 10 boards) isn’t going to have the upside that Davis has, but he has hovered around the top-100 for a while now and he’s one of Byron Scott’s guys. He’s also a must-own player in 12-team standard formats.
John Henson has been a top-40 player over the last month and there is no way he should have been dropped, but that’s been happening more times than I care to count lately. He hit a bit of a speed bump this past week but slapped the Sixers last night with 21 and nine to go with two steals and three blocks in 29 minutes. He has some challenges in terms of a somewhat fluid rotation but his 20-25 minutes per game seem to be locked in, and he’s a bona fide late-round value this year in just an 18 mpg role. That’s some pretty easy math to justify him as a must-own player in standard formats.
Hopefully my competitors in the National Fantasy Basketball Championship aren’t reading this because I really hope to snag this guy on the cheap, but it’s readers first around these parts and I love what I’m seeing right now out of Jae Crowder (18 points, six rebounds, four assists, one steal, three treys). Most folks are probably thinking they’ve seen this movie a few hundred times and who knows, maybe this one ends the same way. But he’s playing very well with Isaiah Thomas right now and I’ll write about that more in the Bruski Breakdown. I’m not going to call him a must-add player, and all of his recent damage comes against bad teams, but he’s worth a hard look in competitive 12-14 team leagues.
To that end, Jonas Jerebko (20 points, five boards, one steal, 21 minutes) might have found a home in Boston at least for the rest of this year, as Jared Sullinger’s injury has opened up a nice window here. Boston guy Chris Mannix was pumping him up in the TV coverage last night, and owners should have him on watch lists without a doubt. Be ready to move if he keeps it up.
Combo guard Marcus Smart has seen a lot of fantasy panic lately and he answered concerns with 16 points, two boards, four assists, one steal, one block and three treys in 30 minutes. The addition of Isaiah Thomas is actually going to help him keep his efficiency under control and he’ll get more open looks for three, continuing along the path of shooting guard production he has shown this year. If he was dropped run and pick him up.
We’ll just stay in Boston and wrap up the Evan Turner situation real quick. He scored 10 points with 12 boards and 10 assists in 34 minutes, and that’ll get a bunch of attention but it was against the terrible Knicks. What’s more noteworthy is how the ball is going to be taken out of his hands by Isaiah Thomas, and the result is going to take the shine off some late-round numbers over the past week.
Gerald Green has the look of a player that’s in the doghouse and he was benched for having gone to the bathroom when his number was called by Jeff Hornacek. His minutes are down and the organization appears committed to the Brandon Knight-Eric Bledsoe connection.
I’m not buying that the Suns are going to go away from Green for Archie Goodwin, but they may very well run their Kentucky guys into the ground if Green doesn’t get back on Hornacek’s good side. He put up 15 points, four rebounds, three assists, one block and three treys in 21 minutes, which was what I had pictured on a good night after the dust settled on deadline day. He can’t be a must-own guy under this circumstance, but a normally deployed Green would have experienced a round or two improvement after the deadline.
Will Barton turned on thrill-mode with a season-high 22 points, eight rebounds, three assists, one block and three treys in 34 minutes. We’ve long known he is capable of this when given the minutes, but the problems are obviously on the defensive end and in general as his game has not matured enough to be trusted. Brian Shaw isn’t big on stuff like that so along with the issue of players returning, I think this is a wait-and-see moment in 12-14 team leagues.
Omer Asik went for 12 and 13 with a block and has some mid-round value over his last four games. He has taken advantage of the window provided by Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson’s injuries, and he’ll have at least another week or so before Davis returns. His upside is never going to be too great because of his free throw shooting and lower defensive totals, but if injuries continue to mount he’ll be a viable backup big man for your squad.
Elijah Millsap got hot and scored a career-high 17 points with seven rebounds and a trey against the Lakers last night. He has been running pretty well for a guy that nobody put much stock in, but this has been his ceiling and it’s barely enough for 14-16 team leagues. If you’re in one of those formats give him a look but I’m not expecting much.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (18 points, 12 boards, one steal, 42 minutes) has been playing well enough for starting lineups over his past 5-10 games, but his season-long value in 27 mpg has been well below the cut line for 12-team formats. The Hornets are banged up but they won’t be for long and he won’t be called upon to play so many minutes. If you make the move to add him, do it with low expectations and keep him on a short leash.
Spencer Hawes hit just 1-of-9 shots for seven points, eight rebounds, one steal, one block and one three and he hasn’t done anything for owners that picked him up. Perhaps he gets things straightened out, but with a window that shuts in the next few weeks whenever Blake Griffin returns there’s not enough upside to deal with this stuff. Unless you’re desperate feel free to move on a hot free agent.
Mason Plumlee has played poorly enough to be dropped without a doubt, and last night’s zero-point, three-rebound effort over 14 minutes was probably enough for the staunchest supporter to tuck tail and run. I have him as a late-round guy with mid-round upside when he started to make his move a month or so back, but since then he hasn’t won over Lionel Hollins and he probably needs some injury help to get going again. Brook Lopez is a guy that can provide that in an instant, but the addition of Thaddeus Young didn’t help matters for Plumlee.