Games Played Week 22
4 Games: BOS, BRK, CHA, GSW, HOU, IND, LAL, MIA, MEM, MIN, NYK, OKC, PHI, POR, SAS, UTA, WAS
3 Games: ATL, CHI, CLE, DAL, DEN, DET, LAC, MIL, NOP, PHX, SAC, TOR
2 Games: ORL
Goodbye, Steve Nash
Steve Nash announced his retirement on Saturday and there’s a Twitter storm a brewin’ about whether he’s a Hall of Famer or not. Stop it. He is. His Lakers tenure was disappointing, to say the least, but his years in Dallas and Phoenix were somewhat magical, and he did things none of us thought he could do. And yes, one of his MVP awards was pretty controversial, but I don’t care. The man was a stud, and also one of the most Indie Rock guys in the NBA. Rock on, Steve Nash.
Aaron Brooks Bulls 38 percent owned in Yahoo! Leagues - Brooks has been playing at a torrid pace over his last eight games, averaging 18.3 points, 3.9 assists, 3.0 boards and 1.5 3-pointers over that span. Derrick Rose isn’t walking through that door any time soon, meaning Brooks should be locked in as a must-own player for the final stretch.
Jordan Clarkson Lakers 34% – Head coach Byron Scott reportedly wants to get Jeremy Lin another look in the starting lineup which could dampen Clarkson’s value a bit, but the Lakers will likely still give the rookie big minutes. Clarkson is averaging 11.2 points, 5.4 boards and 5.2 assists over his last five games, and even though Lin’s presence is a buzzkill, Clarkson is still kind of fun to own most of the time.
Dennis Schroder Hawks 20% – The Hawks are going to rest guys as they get closer to clinching in the East and Schroder has been effective, even when coming off the bench. He is averaging an impressive 14.8 points, 5.6 assists, 2.8 boards and 1.0-pointer in 27.6 minutes over his last five, and there’s a good chance his role continues to grow as the season draws to a close.
Jameer Nelson Nuggets 33% – Nelson missed Friday’s game vs. the Heat due to a minor hip issue, but it’s hard to not notice how good he was before going down. Nelson averaged 18.0 points, 4.0 assists, 3.5 boards and 3.3 3-pointers in his previous four performances, and he could continue to surprise if the Nuggets randomly rest their key players in an effort to improve their draft position.
Shaun Livingston Warriors 9% – The Warriors are going to rest their guys down the stretch and Klay Thompson’s return date from his ankle issue is still unclear. Livingston won’t blow you away in any one category, but his averages of 6.4 points, 5.4 assists, 2.6 boards and 1.0 steal while shooting 54 percent from the field over his last five will keep him relevant in deeper leagues.
Bojan Bogdanovic Nets 4% –He is arguably one of the hottest shooting guards in the league at the moment, and his role has grown substantially over his last four games. During that span he is posting ridiculous averages of 17.8 points, 3.5 boards, 2.0 assists and 2.0 3-pointers in 35.3 minutes per game, all while shooting just shy of 64 percent from the field. Head coach Lionel Hollins doesn’t trust rookie Markel Brown right now, and Bogdanovic should continue to see big minutes as long as Brooklyn stays in the playoff hunt.
Randy Foye Nuggets 42% – Foye’s season got off to a rough start due to injury, but the dude has been on fire lately. He has scored 16 or more points in each of his last four games, hitting 3.8 3-pointers per game during that stretch. The Nuggets may opt to rest him again for a game or two, but he is a must-own player for anyone in need of 3-pointers.
Tony Allen Grizzlies 18% – Allen had a fantastic game on Saturday vs. the Blazers, racking up 10 points, 11 boards and a whopping six steals. He will get even more playing time if Courtney Lee is forced to miss any more action, and he is pretty much a must-own player if you are targeting steals. The defensive specialist is averaging 11.0 points, 7.0 boards, 1.0 assist and 3.2 steals in 33.0 minutes per game over in his last five outings.
Rodney Hood Jazz 13% – After two lackluster performances in which the rookie scored a combined 10 points, Hood bounced back on Saturday to the tune of 19 points and one 3-pointer in 32 minutes. His role moving forward is certainly intriguing considering his competition for playing time consists of Elijah Millsap and Joe Ingles, and as long as he can stay healthy he should be able to make some noise in the fantasy playoffs.
C.J. McCollum Blazers 1% – If Nicolas Batum is going to miss time with his sore back, McCollum could get hot. He had 13 points, six boards, a steal and two 3-pointers on Saturday, and also dropped 15 points with a couple of 3-pointers vs. the Magic on Friday. Portland has never really given McCollum a chance to play extended minutes, but he is definitely worth monitoring in the coming week.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 34% – MKG has always been a decent source of points and boards, but his recent production of steals and blocks have been an added bonus. He is now averaging a respectable 13.2 points, 6.4 boards, 1.4 blocks and 1.0 steal per game over his last five, and after playing 30 or more minutes in 14 straight games, he is worth a look in most leagues.
P.J. Tucker Suns 47% – Tucker continues to produce for the Suns and is playing huge minutes, averaging 11.6 points, 8.0 boards, 2.6 assists and 1.6 3-pointers in 36.8 minutes over his last five. He still isn’t helping out in blocks (0.2) and steals (0.4), but he is doing enough to stay in the standard league conversation. The Suns might be inclined to give T.J. Warren more minutes if they fall out of the playoff hunt, but Tucker’s role looks safe for now.
Solomon Hill Pacers 13% – Hill was pegged as a sleeper before the season due to the void that was left by Paul George, and while he hasn’t lived up to the hype, he has actually played pretty well recently. He is averaging 8.6 points, 4.8 boards and 3.0 assists in just over 30 minutes per game in his last five, and as long as the minutes are there, he is still a viable asset in deeper leagues.
Andre Iguodala Warriors 60% – The Warriors will likely be cautious with Klay Thompson moving forward which means more minutes for Iguodala, and he should be able to put up some nice lines in the coming week. He is averaging 11.8 points with 3.4 assists, 1.6 boards and 1.4 steals over his last five, and those numbers could rise. Harrison Barnes is also a nice play right now with Thompson on the shelf, but he should have already been owned.
Kent Bazemore Hawks 3% – The Hawks are coasting in the Eastern Conference and have already started resting guys on the regular, making Bazemore even more appealing. He is averaging 10.0 points, 4.6 boards, 2.0 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.2 3-pointers over his last five, and even though Kyle Korver is back on Sunday, Bazemore is worth holding onto in deeper leagues.
Marcus Morris Suns 20% – The kid has been nice since starting for the Suns, averaging 13.0 points, 8.4 boards, 3.4 assists and 1.8 3-pointers during those five games. Maybe Brandon Knight will come back and rain on his parade, but if not, Morris should continue to roll.
Jae Crowder Celtics 15% – I liked him more as a Celtics starter, but Crowder is still finding ways to stay relevant. He is averaging 11.4 points, 6.6 boards, 2.2 assists, 1.0 steal and 1.0 3-pointer over his last five games, and it looks like he can get close to 28 minutes off the bench every game.
Luis Scola Pacers 8% – David West and Roy Hibbert are healthy, but that hasn’t stopped Scola from producing. Scola has now scored in double digits in three straight games and is rebounding at a respectable rate as well, averaging 7.7 boards in that span. Just don’t look for him to block a shot. Ever.
Anthony Tolliver Pistons 3% – Greg Monroe needs to continue to sit for Tolliver to be worth a look, but if Monroe is out, Tolliver has some potential for his 3-point shooting. He has averaged 8.8 points, 4.6 boards and 1.6 3-pointers in his last five, and any owner in need of 3-pointers should give him a look.
Dorell Wright Blazers 1% – LaMarcus Aldridge’s hand is pretty swollen after Saturday’s game, so Wright may see a big role going forward. Add in the fact that Nicolas Batum also left Saturday’s game with a sore back, and Wright could see a ton of minutes this week. He had 10 points, six boards, two assists, two steals, a block and two 3-pointers on Saturday night, and could be better than that going forward. That being said, with head coach Terry Stotts at the helm, anything can happen.
Steven Adams Thunder 33% – The Thunder will have to heavily rely on Adams and Enes Kanter following the news that Serge Ibaka and Kevin Durant are out indefinitely. Adams has double-doubled in three out of his last four games and he will be a must-own player for his contribution in points, boards and blocks.
Kelly Olynyk Celtics 45% – To be quite honest, Olynyk has been pretty poor since returning from his ankle injury and was held scoreless in 16 minutes vs. the Spurs on Friday. Having said that, the Celtics have invested a lot in Olynyk and his ankle should be strong enough for him to shoulder a larger workload soon. The Celtics play four times this week, so hopefully Olynyk can get hot.
Brandan Wright Suns 38% – Yes, Alex Len is back, but the Suns will be cautious with his minutes and Wright is still going to put up numbers. Wright is averaging 11.4 points, 8.2 boards and 2.2 blocks over his last five games, making him a must-own player in standard leagues.
Justin Hamilton Wolves 14% – He’s fighting through migraines, but he is currently off the injury report and is expected to play on Sunday. The Wolves are still extremely shorthanded and Hamilton played 33 or more minutes in his last three outings, posting averages of 13.7 points, 8.7 boards, 3.7 assists, 1.7 blocks and 1.7 steals over that span. Unless you believe in Nikola Pekovic’s ankles and Kevin Garnett’s aging body, Hamilton is worth a flier in most leagues.
Zaza Pachulia Bucks 18% – Pachulia was unconscious vs. the Nets on Friday, scoring 22 points with 21 boards and seven assists. He’s not flashy and he’s really not even that good, but he’s starting, getting heavy minutes and can help you in boards and points. Just don’t look for him to block shots. John Henson may knock on the door again at some point, but Pachulia is the center to own in Milwaukee at the moment.