If you’re a regular reader, apologies for the late posting this week. I have been under the weather, as well as my two boys. What a mess, and I am still in recovery mode. Still, I’ve kept an eye on the goings on in the National Basketball Association. This will be an abbreviated version, however, given the short window until lineups lock.
Teams with four games (12): Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Indiana, L.A. Clippers, L.A. Lakers, Minnesota, Oklahoma City, Sacramento, San Antonio, Utah Teams with three games (12):Atlanta, Brooklyn, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Golden State, Houston, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, New Orleans, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Toronto, WashingtonTV TIME (national broadcasts in the upcoming week)
MONMinnesota-Boston (7:30pm NBATV)TUE Oklahoma City-Denver (9:00pm NBATV) WED Indiana-Miami (7:00pm ESPN), Chicago-Houston (9:30pm WGN, ESPN) THU Chicago-Oklahoma City (8:00pm TNT), San Antonio-Golden State (10:30pm TNT) FRI Houston-Indiana (8:00pm ESPN), Minnesota-L.A. Lakers (10:30pm ESPN) SAT Cleveland-Chicago (8:00pm NBATV), Denver-L.A. Clippers (10:30pm NBATV) * All Times Eastern (ET)
SCHEDULE ANALYSIS: Lately, the first thing to look at when analyzing the schedule is who plays the defensively challenged Philadelphia 76ers. The Brooklyn Nets are on tap for just three games this week, but they have a home and away game against the 76ers, who are allowing 110.4 points per game. In the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Lakers have the second-worst scoring defense in the NBA, allowing 103.5 ppg. The New Orleans Pelicans aren’t far behind with 102.1 points allowed per game. The Golden State Warriors will face both in the upcoming week. Despite just three games overall, all Warriors are strong Fantasy plays, especially since each of their three games are at home. The Sacramento Kings and Utah Jazz each have four games, but they’re all on the road. The Kings have a particularly challenging road with games at Charlotte (92.5 ppg), Atlanta (99.6 ppg), Miami (96.1 ppg) and Orlando (102.0 ppg). Sacramento’s top Fantasy options are still solid plays despite the good defense played by three of the four opponents, particularly F/C DeMarcus Cousins and F Rudy Gay.INJURIES Memphis Grizzlies G Mike Conley Jr. (quadriceps) suffered a bruised left quadriceps muscle in Sunday’s game. The good news is that Conley doesn’t plan to miss any playing time. However, if he has trouble accelerating or pushing off of the leg, it could affect his shooting. Since the Grizz are on the slate for just three games this week, MCJ is a slightly risky play. Orlando Magic F Glen Davis (shoulder) told the Orlando Sentinel that he expects to be fine after dislocating his left shoulder in Sunday’s game. He even returned to the game after receiving medical attention. Still, he is a risky Fantasy play heading into Monday’s contest in Chicago. With the Magic with just three games, and Davis still a question mark for Monday, it is best to reserve him in all Fantasy leagues just to be on the safe side. Brooklyn Lopez C Brook Lopez (ankle) was able to take part in Monday’s shootaround, and he said he is “pretty sure” he will play Monday against Philadelphia. With Lopez’s recent injury history, he is a big risk. However, since he worked out Monday morning, give him the green light in all but cumulative Fantasy formats. If Lopez misses time, C Andray Blatche will continue to score big. Even if Lopez is back, Blatche has played well enough to earn near-starter’s minutes. San Antonio Spurs C Tiago Splitter (calf) told the San Antonio Express-News that he is hopeful of returning Monday after working hard over the weekend. With the Spurs on tap for four games, and Splitter appearing close to return, he is a good play even in cumulative Fantasy formats.
CATEGORY HELP If you need help in specific categories in Rotisserie Fantasy play, you’ve come to the right place. Check out these guys, who should be available in your league, to help out in certain areas.
POINTS Jon Leuer, PF, Memphis (13.4 ppg over the past nine games) Marco Belinelli, SG, San Antonio (12.5 ppg over the past 10 games) Marcus Morris, PF, Phoenix (11.7 ppg over the past 10 games) Trevor Booker, PF, Washington (11.2 ppg over the past six games)
REBOUNDS Trevor Booker, PF, Washington (9.2 rpg over the past six games) Jeremy Evans, PF, Utah (7.5 rpg over the past 10 games) Jon Leuer, PF, Memphis (7.1 rpg over the past nine games) Patrick Patterson, PF, Sacramento/Toronto (6.9 rpg over the past seven games)
ASSISTS Andre Miller, PG, Denver (4.4 apg over the past 11 games) Pablo Prigioni, PG, New York (4.0 apg over the past 11 games) Shelvin Mack, PG, Atlanta (3.7 apg over the past nine games) Nate Wolters, PG, Milwaukee (3.3 apg over the past eight games)
STEALS Aaron Brooks, PG, Houston (1.6 spg over the past nine games) Pablo Prigioni, PG, New York (1.5 spg over the past 11 games) Jan Vesely, PF, Washington (1.3 spg over the past nine games) Ray Allen, SG, Miami (1.2 spg over the past 10 games)
BLOCKED SHOTS Chris Andersen, PF, Miami (1.7 bpg over the past nine games) Ekpe Udoh, PF, Milwaukee (1.5 bpg over the past 12 games) Francisco Garcia, SF, Houston (1.2 bpg over the past 11 games)
3-POINTERS Marco Belinelli, SG, San Antonio (21 3-pointers over the past 10 games) Francisco Garcia, SF, Houston (20 3-pointers over the past 11 games) Jordan Hamilton, SF, Denver (20 3-pointers over the past 11 games) Mirza Teletovic, PF, Brooklyn (17 3-pointers over the past nine games) Aaron Brooks, PG, Houston (17 3-pointers over the past nine games)
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