In one of the only days during the NBA season with no games, it’s time to catch our breath from the hectic first month of the season. Obviously there are no games to assess, but I will be beginning previewing the games of the next day in my articles.
Thursday 28TH NOVEMBER 2013
THE BEST PLAYER EVER, TONIGHT
Rudy Gay, SF, Toronto Raptors:
0 points (0/0 FG, 0/0 FT), 0 threes, 0 rebounds, 0 assists, 0 steals, 0 blocks, 0 turnovers
Congratulations Rudy Gay owners. Tonight was one of the few nights where Gay didn’t murder your field goal percentage. I kid, I kid.
Games on Friday 29th November
Each day after looking back on the games of the day, I will spend a little time looking forward, prognosticating if you will, what to look for in the coming day’s games.
Matchups To Exploit
Jrue Holiday, PG, New Orleans Pelicans @ Philadelphia 76ers
The Sixers have been a goldmine this year, not just for their own players but for everyone playing against them, in particular point guards. Holiday has extra motivation, returning back to Philadelphia to play in his former home arena. If you were on the fence about starting him in this big slate, or any Pelicans for that matter, make sure you plug them in.
Nick Young, SG/SF, Los Angeles Lakers @ Detroit Pistons
Young has had a string of really solid performances over the last two weeks averaging 17.8 points in 28.8 minutes a game with 2.3 threes a game. He’s also coming up again a Detroit team that has been ceding a lot of value to opposing wings.
James Anderson, SG/SF, Philadelphia 76ers vs New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans give up a lot of threes and points, particularly to wings, and Anderson, along with Nick Young would make nice pickups if you need a quick source of points and especially threes. He had a run of five straight double digit scoring games before his last game and I’d bank on him getting it back up to those levels.
Andray Blatche, PF/C, Brooklyn Nets @ Houston Rockets
With Brook Lopez’s status still up in the air and unlikely to play on Friday, Blatche will draw another start, against the fast paced Rockets no less. Blatche has been a top 40 player without Lopez and should be in line for another nice night playing uptempo ball. Even though he’ll be matched up with Dwight Howard, big men are still able to have an above average fantasy impact against the Rockets and Blatche should be owned until that time that Lopez returns.
Al Jefferson, C, Charlotte Bobcats
Jeffersons return to the Bobcats has been inauspicious to say the least and if you wanted to bench him, I’d understand. But don’t, going up against the decimated Bucks, starting Zaza Pachulia at centre. He should be able to post a 20 point 10 rebound night with some really handy percentages and hopefully this kickstarts his season.
Players to pick up for spot start duty
If you need points: Brandon Bass, PF, Boston Celtics vs Cleveland Cavaliers
Bass has been averaging 11.8 points a game recently and big men have been getting an 8% boost in points scored playing the Cavs. Especially with Kelly Olynyk out, expect Bass to put up close to 15 points.
If you need threes: Jodie Meeks, SG, Los Angeles Lakers @ Detroit Pistons
As mentioned above, the Pistons aren’t great at defending wing players and they give up about 13% above average in terms of three pointers and Meeks is already averaging 2.3 a game.
If you need rebounds: Jared Sullinger, PF, Boston Celtics vs Cleveland Cavaliers
Sully has been on a tear recently but is still owned in less than 50% of leagues. He’s averaging nine rebounds a game over the last two weeks. Even though the Cavs don’t give a noticeable advantage for rebounding players, he is the best rebounder on the Celtics and someone has to grab all of Kyrie Irving’s missed shots, right?
If you need assists: Patrick Beverley, PG, Houston Rockets vs Brooklyn Nets
Beverley, my old friend. With Jeremy Lin and James Harden both hurting and in doubt for this game, the ball will be in Beverley’s hands a lot. Sure he’s only averaging 2.2 assists per game this season, but the Nets are giving up an extra 12% on top of average to point guards going up against them, in large part due to the fact that opposing point guards don’t have to exert themselves defensively with no Deron Williams.
If you need steals: Patrick Beverley, PG, Houston Rockets vs Brooklyn Nets
Beverley’s strength as a fantasy player is steals and opposing point guards have had a field day against the Nets, averaging an extra 14% above average on steals. Like with assists, Deron’s absence is key.
If you need blocks: John Henson, PF/C, Milwaukee Bucks @ Charlotte Bobcats
Henson is available in a lot of leagues and he’s been averaging 1.9 blocks a game this year. If you need a couple of sneaky blocks, Henson could be your guy.
Well, it’ll be great to have the NBA back tomorrow, particularly for us here in Australia as the day without games isn’t even an excuse to eat lots of turkey and have a day off work. As always, leave me any suggestions or comments below or on Twitter, @redrock_bball