Terrible news for Chicago Bulls and NBA fans in general with the news of Derrick Rose needing surgery to repair the meniscus in his knee. To go along with that, Eric Bledsoe is still out and now James Harden has been ruled out for two games with the foot issue that has been bothering him all year. There are a number of other injury issues to consider which I will cover in each games breakdown, but unfortunately, so far this year, the injuries are overshadowing the play in the NBA.
Saturday 23rd NOVEMBER 2013
THE BEST PLAYER EVER, TONIGHT
Roy Hibbert, C, Indiana Pacers:
27 points (7/12 FG, 13/16 FT), 0 threes, 13 rebounds, 1 assist, 0 steals, 6 blocks, 2 turnovers
The blocks seem to be there in every game, but what is most impressive is the offensive explosion and the massive free throw performance, which is not something you count on from Hibbert. He is extremely focused this season and even though he is in career beast form, I don’t see him as being a sell high option.
Honourable Mentions: LaMarcus Aldridge, Aaron Brooks
WAIVER WIRE LINE OF THE NIGHT
Aaron Brooks, PG, Houston Rockets (0.1% owned):
26 points (10/14 FG, 0/0 FT), 6 threes, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 0 blocks, 4 turnovers
This is probably the deepest WWLOTN we’ve had all season, and I don’t think there’s anyway this is repeated all year long. He obviously benefitted from getting hot from three point land and from James Harden’s absence, but even so, this is not a sustainable performance, but an uptick in minutes could be on the cards the next couple of games. Pick him up only in deep, deep leagues.
O.J. Mayo, SG, Milwaukee Bucks:
4 points (2/7 FG, 0/0 FT), 0 threes, 0 rebounds, 1 assist, 0 steals, 0 blocks, 1 turnover
The Bucks are a trainwreck for fantasy basketball and Mayo is supposed to be the best player, but this is a dreadful outing by anyones standards. This is his third horrific game in a row, and honestly, I wouldn’t have issue with him being dropped as he is only currently ranked 126 in nine category leagues.
Sacramento Kings @ Los Angeles Clippers
DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas are the best players on this Kings team and it’s not even close. Cousins beasted tonight with 23 points, 19 rebounds and seven assists and is having a tremendous year, whilst Thomas has been a fantastic bench scorer and probably an early season favourite for Sixth Man Of The Year. The other rosterable player, Greivis Vasquez, played only 15 minutes for two points and two assists and has been up and down. He is ranked above 150 on the year, so can easily be dropped for a player off the wire if you are in need, but I’d still hold on for at least a little bit more. Patrick Patterson played well off the bench and I think he’s the best PF on the roster. He played 31 minutes and had 21 points and seven rebounds. He took 16 shots and he could be someone to watch for going forward because if he can get 30 minuets either starting or off the bench, he will be productive as a stretch 4.
Chris Paul ended his double double streak ONLY getting 22 points, six rebounds and nine assists, whereas DeAndre Jordan continued his monster season, where he is top 5 ranked in a punt FT% team. He had a pair of blocks, 17 points and 12 rebounds, shooting a perfect 6-of-6 from the field. Jared Dudley continues to start and actually looked decent, hitting three threes on 5-of-7 shooting and is worth owning whilst Matt Barnes is out, particularly in 12-14 team leagues. Blake Griffin didn’t quite get to 20/10 status, but did still double double, He also had six turnovers and shot 9-of-13 from the stripe.
New York Knicks @ Washington Wizards
Iman Shumpert continued his aim to be the non-scoring fantasy MVP with another decent line without scoring in double figures. He had four assists and three steals and is great at providing these peripheral stats. Carmelo Anthony had a double double with 23 points and 12 rebounds and is the Knicks only real scoring option. Kenyon Martin got the start and split minutes with Amar’e Stoudemire, but both guys are only desperation plays. J.R. Smith shot himself out of our hearts with 43% from the field and then missing all four of his free throw attempts. If he can string some good games together, I’d be getting him off my team as quick as I could. Beno Udrih got another start with Raymond Felton still hurting, but failed to deliver. If you’re looking for short term assists, he could be of use, getting five in this game. Andrea Bargnani is cooling off and once Tyson Chandler returns, he will be droppable, so I’d be trying to get something of value for him in a trade right now. He had only 11 points and four rebounds and shot poorly.
John Wall took full advantage of going up against Udrih, scoring 31 points, with seven assists, two steals and a block. He did have an unsightly seven turnovers, but he is having a top 20 season so far, and only projects to get better as the season progresses and he gets used to playing with Marcin Gortat. Gortat blew up and took full advantage of having no one in the paint against him. He had 16 points and 17 rebounds with two blocks and is performing well above his draft slot. Nene cooled off from his recent form, with only eight points, but it was just an off night for him. Still no sign of Trevor Ariza, so Martell Webster played 40 minutes and hit five threes in his 19 points. He will continue to excel whilst Ariza is out, but once Ariza returns, and it will be soon, he should be dropped. I dropped him today in one of my leagues for Harrison Barnes as Barnes’ injury induced minute increase is just starting whilst Webster’s is coming to a close. Bradley Beal had another solid, well-rounded game, but I think a lot of people would be surprised to know he is only the 61st ranked player, so you may be able to get a lot of value for him in a trade, particularly from people who are blinded by points.
Philadelphia 76ers @ Indiana Pacers
The Sixers were without Spencer Hawes (knee soreness) and Thaddeus Young (personal) meaning their remaining starters were due for massive games. Daniel Orton and Lavoy Allen started and were okay, both getting two blocks and almost ten rebounds a piece, but they only have value whilst they get starters minutes, which doesn’t sound like it will be for long. Michael Carter-Williams is back in a big way. He had seven steals, 29 points, a block and three assists in a fantastic performance, although he only hit 6-of-11 free throws. What a surprise he has been. Quietly since his 36 point explosion, James Anderson has been very good. He is actually ranked 92nd on the entire season, and had another 13 points with three steals in this one. He should be owned in all formats at this stage. Even though Evan Turner had a double double of 21 points and 11 rebounds, he shot it 26 times for a 30% conversion and had 6 turnovers which is a killer combo.
Fresh off his second triple double of the season, Lance Stephenson scored 18 points with five rebounds. I’ll keep saying it, Stephenson won’t lose value when Danny Granger returns, no need to panic and sell now. Paul George was decent but not spectacular, whereas George Hill and David West are improving every game after slow starts and hopefully you held onto them. Granger looks like he will be returning soon, but he isn’t worth a preemptive pickup.
Orlando Magic @ Miami Heat
Tobias Harris isn’t quite back yet, but he is practising fully and if he is still on your wire, grab him and stash him now. Glen Davis, however, did return in this game and promptly put up 20 points in 26 minutes off the bench. The player who will suffer the most from Davis and Harris returning will be Maurice Harkless. He hasn’t been good with them out and his minutes will be squeezed sooner rather than later, and if I had the option, I would drop him for Harris now. Victor Oladipo started again and excelled again and seems to enjoy the starting role. Arron Afflalo cooled down to the tune of 18 points with two threes and seven rebounds, which is barely cooling down. Continue to ride him.
LeBron James is that good that when he almost triple doulbes it’s considered a ho hum game. He had 22 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and three steals but it’s what we’ve come to expect. Mario Chalmers played only 21 minutes in the start for a disappointing output. Norris Cole played 26 minutes and it’s something to monitor, but not panic on. Ray Allen has cooled down from his hot start and had only five points and two assists. He is borderline ownable in 10 team leagues. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were both solid.
Boston Celtics @ Atlanta Hawks
With Kelly Olynyk out for two weeks with an ankle sprain, Jared Sullinger will be the main beneficiary, with Brandon Bass and Vitor Faverani getting decent minutes that vary depending on the matchup. Sullinger had 15 points and nine rebounds with two blocks, whilst Bass had 17 points, seven rebounds and a pair of blocks of his own. Jeff Green scored an empty 16 points and Jordan Crawford had 10 assists. Crawford’s playmaking has been one of the surprises of the year, averaging 4.8 assists for the year and if he is still on your waiver wire, he should be owned, at least until Rajon Rondo returns, if he does at all.
Jeff Teague continued his elite assist season, getting another 10. Paul Millsap, Al Horford and Kyle Korver were all about average in their performaces and the only starter to flounder was DeMarre Carrol, who only scored five points and grabbed four rebounds. They are the only five players to own at this stage, with Lou Williams being put on your watchlist.
Minnesota Timberwolves @ Houston Rockets
Minnesota is another of these teams where five clear starters and five clear fantasy performers. Kevin Love had 27 points and 15 rebounds in a line which is becoming the norm. Ricky Rubio had an odd night, with seven points, but five rebounds, eight assists and four steals. His scoring and shooting is poor, but he makes up for it with upper echelon assists and steals. Corey Brewer added five steals to his 22 points and he should be owned in all formats. Kevin Martin shot poorly for 19 points in 19 shots but still added three threes.
With Harden sitting out, Patrick Beverley and Jeremy Lin both started and both played well and both should be owned in all leagues. They had seven threes and eight assists between them and are good sources of threes, assists and steals all season. Terrence Jones has grabbed hold of the PF job and is a must own player. He had 18 points and 10 rebounds with two more blocks. It took a while for him to get the minutes, but now he is playing so well that McHale can’t take them away from him. Omer Asik grabbed eight rebounds in 13 minutes off the bench, but only hold onto him in deep leagues, hopeful of a trade. In good news, Dwight Howard had only two free throw attempts, hitting one of them. He had 13 rebounds and four blocks as well.
Charlotte Bobcats @ Milwaukee Bucks
Josh McRoberts is having a very very good season, which is going unnoticed by a lot of folks. He is still starting with Al Jefferson back, and hit two threes in his 12 points with nine rebounds. He’s providing good assists numbers as well and nontraditional category performance is a great help in fantasy. Jefferson top scored with 19 and grabbed seven boards and will keep getting better. Don’t panic, even though it’s been a rough start for his owners. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has dropped right off and you can do the same and drop him off your roster. A guy to possibly take his place is Gerald Henderson. He has been dropped in a few leagues and is scoring at a fantastic rate lately, getting another 17 points in this game with a three and four rebounds. Due to the blowout nature of this game, no one played over 30 minutes.
In a Bucks-Bobcats blowout, it’s quite disturbing that the Bucks are on the wrong side of the result. They are an absolute mess, even with everyone bar Larry Sanders back from injury. After scoring 38 points on Friday, Caron Butler had five points, but you may hold him for a few more games to see what happens as this game was hard to read anything from. The Bucks best two players were Khris Middleton and John Henson, and of those two, Henson has borderline standard league value and is must own while Sanders is out.
Cleveland Cavaliers @ San Antonio Spurs
A lot of people picked the Cavs to sneak into the playoffs, but the way they are playing, they are a better chance at getting another number one pick than playing meaningful basketball in May. To highlight the Cavs woes, their best fantasy performer was an undrafted rookie from Australia, Matthew Dellavedova. Delly had 14 points and four steals, shooting 75% from the field. He has now started two straight, but isn’t worth owning, except in a streaming scenario. C.J. Miles was out again and Alonzo Gee started in his place and went all zeros apart from one steal. Kyrie Irving was putrid again with 15 points and four assists as was Tristan Thompson. The minutes were all over the place as they got thrashed by the Spurs, but the pleasing thing was Andrew Bynum playing 20 minutes and getting 12 points and six rebounds. Things can only get better for all Cavs.
Blowout basketball plagues the Spurs players as well, really cutting down the value of all Spurs except Danny Green who hit five threes for 17 points with two steals. There is really nothing to glean from this except that the Spurs are that good that this sort of thing is a chance to happen regularly, so if you have an even trade to give away one of your Spurs, you have to consider it.
Dallas Mavericks @ Denver Nuggets
After exploding on Friday, Samuel Dalembert deferred to DeJuan Blair in this game. Blair had eight points, 10 rebounds, two steals and a block. The big Haitian only had three points and three rebounds, but he will bounce back. Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis carried the load again and are both elite players. Dirk is actually the eight ranked player so far this season, which I’m sure is surprising to a lot of people. Vince Carter is a good player to look at if you need points. Points are usually scarce on the wire, so if you’re lacking in that area, make sure you consider Vince as he is playing very good basketball in only 25 minutes game. He had 16 points with four threes in this game.
J.J. Hickson had been playing very well since JaVale McGee‘s injury, but was quiet here. He had only six points and five rebounds, but I’d expect him to play better in the next tilt. The other big man, Kenneth Faried, blew up for 18 points and 14 rebounds with two blocks. He hit all seven of his shots to really boost his value. Wilson Chandler has cooled off since his hot start in his return from injury. He had 10 points with four boards and three dimes. Hang onto him as he is clearly the most talented wing. Nate Robinson had been getting some more minutes recently and scored 10 with two steals here. That makes it two games in a row with over 10 points and 24 minutes. Randy Foye hit five threes and although he has the potential to do this every night, he usually won’t, so is not worth having on your roster.
Portland Trailblazers @ Golden State Warriors
Can anybody stop the Blazers? This starting five is absolutely tearing up real life and fantasy teams this year. LaMarcus Aldridge had 30 points with 21 rebounds, three assists, three steals and three blocks in a monster performance. His frontcourt mate, Robin Lopez, added five blocks. Wesley Matthews is one of the fantasy performers of the year. He hit five threes for 23 points and is currently sitting in the top 20 fantasy players, which is remarkable. Damian Lillard shot poorly for his 20 points, but he is still a top player to have on your team.
Stephen Curry returned from injury, whereas Andre Iguodala sat out with his. Curry had 22 points and 11 assists taking over the playmaking duties in full. Harrison Barnes started in Iggy’s place and hit two threes, had five assists and grabbed four boards. He is must own while Iggy is out, and probably must own regardless of Iggy’s status. Klay Thompson paced the Warriors with 30 points and is still going strong as a top notch SG. A guy who needs to be noted is big Aussie, Andrew Bogut. He has been giving us great defensive numbers with double digit rebounds in the last five games as well as 11 blocks over that same time period.
Fingers crossed that in the five game we have tomorrow, we are spared from injuries and that some of the stars of the game can return. There’s nothing fun about fantasy basketball and the NBA if the best players aren’t playing. Best of luck and best of luck in recovering from injuries.