Welcome to the first edition of our in-season coverage of the NBA and fantasy basketball. We're still working out the kinks, but we're going to try and make this column a quick source for all the info you need to know that will give your fantasy basketball team an edge. I'd also encourage all of you to follow me on Twitter MikeSGallagher since I'll be recommending players to add as the action happens. Plus you can ask me about players you want to cut for the hot free agent.
Let me just explain how the breakdown of the Waiver Wire Scoops will go. The players will be listed based on their value. Those players that are listed basically saw their value go up based on performance or an injury to one of their teammates. Just because a player isn't listed from a so-so night doesn't mean he's not worth grabbing. It probably means his value didn't increase. Got it? Cool.
There were quite a few blowouts in Tuesday's action so let's try to sift through the garbage time:
Line of the Night: Gerald Wallace whipped the Kings all night long to the tune of 25 points (on 8-of-11 from the field and 8-of-9 from the line), eight boards, five dimes, two blocks and a three in a monster seven-cat line. If you took him after the 30th pick, you're sitting pretty right now.
Daily Waiver Wire Scoops
1a. Norris Cole- It won't be often that we'll be talking about a player on Miami not named LeBron James, Chris Bosh or Dwyane Wade. Cole's enormous game of 20 points, four boards, four assists, and three steals in 29 minutes is worth it though. The Cole-blooded mammal made Mario Chalmers look about as useful as having Mario with no mushroom in the Bowser levels since Chalmers put up a poultry four points, three assists and six turnovers in 19 minutes (six steals though). It's only the second game of the year and it looks like the rookie has leapfrogged the incumbent. Of course this begs the question what kind of fantasy value does he have? Here's what I wrote about him on December 7th:
Cole does boast some impressive features to his game with a sterling 85.3 percent made from the line, 2.2 steals per night, 5.8 RPG and 5.3 APG in 35.7 minutes per game. Cole also converted on 34.2 percent of his attempts from downtown. Cole’s bread and butter for fantasy will be with steals and threes with some dimes mixed in as well.
The Cleveland State product won't have monster upside or anything with LeBron and Wade running the show. However, since he does shoot the three and has already shown the ability to earn steals with 2.0 per game in his first two, there is plenty of reason to consider adding him. He is kind of a middle-class man's version of Jeff Teague since the dimes won't be there too much. He's pretty close to a must-add guy for me.
The rest of Fantasy Basketball Recap after the jump:Follow @MikeSGallagher
1b. Brandon Bass- Bass should have probably been added in your league based on his tremendous 20-11 game vs. the Knicks on Christmas. B-Squared put up an anti-Berrian line on Tuesday too with 13 points, five boards and two blocks in 32 minutes. Bass should be a safe bet for 30 minutes and he's really another guy that should be owned in most leagues. If we compound his excellent start with how Kevin Garnett is unlikely to sustain the rigors of this condensed season, Bass could flirt with 35 MPG sans K.G. Bass should be owned in almost all leagues.
3. Marcus Camby- Camby was a bit of an afterthought in drafts because he's always hurt and is currently dealing with a minor knee ailment. He has been healthy enough to provide two very good games with his last outing on Tuesday producing two points, nine boards, five assists, a steal and two blocks in 24 minutes. Those are solid numbers and he's worth starting as log as he doesn't have the ol' DNP. Once he does, feel free to cut him with no regrets.
4. Chuck Hayes- Hayes, like Bass, also got off to a fast start in his debut and cooled off a bit with four points and 11 boards in 26 minutes. Hayes did most of his damage in the early going before this game got out of hand thanks to the gentleman that provided the Line of the Night (Wallace). Hayes, J.J. Hickson (28 minutes) and DeMarcus Cousins (27) look to be in front of Jason Thompson (14) for the frontcourt minutes right now. Hayes is an adept passer out of the post and even had a triple-double last year. He is worth owning in most 12-team leagues.
5. Udonis Haslem- Haslem might not be starting for the Heat since he doesn't quite fit with the first unit; his numbers do suggest that he's starting with 12.0 RPG in those games. Haslem took nine shots on offense (made just one) and looks like he'll flirt with a double-double frequently. He is a very unsexy guy to add since he doesn't bring much defense and is pretty much unheralded in South Beach. Hey, at least he's a career 50 percent shooter from the field and an admirable 76 percent shooter from the line. He's worth owning for owners that need boards.
6. Derrick Favors- Favors was almost a walking calamity on Tuesday and really looked lost out there against the Lakers. He had some foolish fouls and got put into some bad position on several occasions. His stats line wasn't that great with eight points, six boards and no D in 19 minutes. Why is he even on this list then? Well, he got the start and that does speak volumes since he had some flashes last year in a Utah uniform down the stretch. He has upside for points, boards and blocks, but it'll require some patience and a deeper roster. He's worth owning in most 12-team leagues.
7. Marshon Brooks- Allow me to provide a small disclaimer that I'm a huge fan of Brooks, so do take this recommendation with a grain of salt. Brooks was the only positive in the Nets' debut with 17 points, three boards, a block and a steal in 28 minutes. The Providence star also attempted four triples and missed all of them. He has legitimate range and would be a threat to be a contributor in that category once he's provided with a consistent role.
8. Gordon Hayward- It's really the same story with Hayward as it was with Favors. The fellow second-year player got the start and didn't have the stats to back it up with seven points, three boards, a block, no steals and no threes on only two attempts in 24 minutes. He got more minutes than C.J. Miles with 18 minutes and looks to be ahead of him. He'll have better games and has range as a stellar three-point shooter.
9. Marvin Williams- Here we go again with talking about Marvin Williams, right? The infamous former second pick (over D-Will and CP3) lit up the box score with 14 points, nine boards, three assists, two steals and two from distance just 22 minutes. Marvin is notorious for the one-and-done lines and this is probably nothing. Although in the early part of the season he gets the benefit of the doubt. It wouldn't be a bad idea to grab him for a player that just doesn't tickle your fancy.
10. Brandon Rush- Stephen Curry suffered an ankle sprain and is questionable for Wednesday's game with the Knicks. Based on Monday's game, Rush figures to be the primary beneficiary with his 27 minutes compared to Klay Thompson's 11. The Knicks and Warriors figure to score a ton of points and Rush could be a nice little spot-start guy for deep leagues on a busy Wednesday while Curry is on the mend.
11. Enes Kanter- The former Turkey had a jive game in his debut by setting the record for a Utah player for boards with 11. He also complemented those with a block and five points in 21 minutes. He showed his rookieness (that should be a word) by getting lost a bit under the basket and only made one of his seven shots (all from 12 feet or less). He's a huge project and it's pretty unlikely he'll be a consistent factor for the Jazz. He's pretty much a watch-list guy.
12. Jon Leuer- Leuer got off to a hot start on Tuesday to finish with 14 points, eight boards, two steals and two blocks in just 20 minutes. Of course the Bucks were without Drew Gooden and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. He looked very good in the preseason and is a fan favorite as a Wisconsin Badger. This is really just a deep-league special and is more of a guy to think about should something happen to Gooden or Andrew Bogut (which isn't uncommon).
Notes From Games
Jeff Teague had a solid debut with 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting, three assists and three treys in just 24 minutes. This game was out of hand and Teague did all he needed to prove he was worthy of a pick inside of the top 100 in eight- or nine-cat leagues. The stars on the Hawks all had bad games, so maybe owner should see if Joe Johnson, Josh Smith or Al Horford can be had at a discount with another bad game.
Mehmet Okur got the boo birds after missing his technical free throw and looked pretty bad yet again. He followed up his goose egg last night with three-point, two-board dud in 20 minutes. He should still be kept in most leagues because it's not like the Nets feel comfortable leaning on Johan Petro. Patience.
Ray Allen made it rain in Miami like he was Pacman Jones with his six triples on his way to 28 points. The Heat pushed the tempo which allowed Jesus Shuttlesworth to get some open looks. Ray is as durable as they come and should be one of the league leader in 3PM yet again. It has become abundantly clear that Rajon Rondo is Boston's best player with other gem of 22 points, eight boards, 12 dimes and a rare three. "Rondo a 3" was even trending on Twitter for a brief moment for the shock value.
Miami is really good. While the fact that they are basically doubling their fast-break points is nice, that plus is almost negated by how there will be a lot of garbage time for this team against weak opponents. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh (who made a three tonight and should continue to hit them on the small scale) are likely to be worth their ADP suggests.
Mike Dunleavy picked up some of the slack yet again with Carlos Delfino out with his five points, eight assists and two steals in 32 minutes. He wasn't mentioned in the waiver-wire section because Delfino should be back in the immediate future. He's just a short-term fix and chances are he's already owned in leagues that could use his services. Stephen Jackson and Andrew Bogut both struggled from the floor by each shooting 7-of-20 against what was the best team to face for fantasy value last year. Cap'n Jack should be a busy guy with Milwaukee and should be well worth where he was taken as long as you can stomach the poor shooting.
Kevin Love gets the honorable mention for Line of the Night with a gigantic 31 points, 20 boards and two assist in 40 minutes. He went to the line an astonishing 24 times and made 19 of them (which is only a slight help for fantasy value in head-to-head leagues). The reason why he wasn't the Line of the Night was because of the hideous 6-of-18 from the field including missing all of his four attempts from beyond the arc. Derrick Williams looks terrible in his two games and if I owned him (I don't) I'd try to deceptively shop him in the next couple days (I'm a fan of the transparent don't-offer-him-in-the-first-deal-then-offer-him-after-the-counter move). Ricky Rubio had another ho-hum game of six points, three boards, four assists and three steals in 27 minutes. Luke Ridnour played 34 minutes and the two of them looked like they had some rapport when they shared the backcourt. Both guys are worth owning in most leagues with Rubio obviously having the higher upside.
Portland Trailblazer 101, Sacramento Kings 79
Anyone that was able to take advantage of getting LaMarcus Aldridge on the cheap for his required treatment related to his Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndome made out nicely. LMA is a stud as evident by his most recent piece of work that included 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting with eight boards. Nicolas Batum is also worth mentioning since he got 29 minutes (although some was garbage time) and handed in a line of 15 points, five boards and a three. He's more of a sell-high guy with the surplus of wing guys in Portland. Wesley Matthews did hurt his hip, but it appears to be minor and he's likely a go since it wasn't his gimpy ankle. This team looks very good and should push the pace in as a productive fantasy offense.
Not a good game for Sacramento. They had absolutely no perimeter D in this game and they got worked by being out of position and not communicating. We covered most of the bigs in WWS, so let's address the backcourt really quick. Tyreke Evans' performance will probably raise some "is he out of shape" questions with an ugly four-point, three-dime game in 29 minutes. He made just 2-of-8 shots. He'll probably bounce back. Jimmer Fredette played 24 minutes and poured in 10 points including a three. Jimmer had a tough time getting easy looks with the defense playing him tight. He is one of those guys that has more hype than value and should probably be shopped after he has a big game. Marcus Thornton looks for real by following his 27-point debut with 14 points in a team-high 35 minutes. It seems like he's almost a lock for top-60 value at this point.
So much for that Gasol shoulder. The Spaniard had am Maximus-type line of 22 points, nine boards, two steals and a whopping five swats in a team-high 27 minutes. He has first-round value. Period. Kobe Bryant also went off to the tune of 26 points, eight boards, five assists, a steal, a block and three treys in 31 minutes. His wrist seems like a non-issue and some tool will probably say, "if there was a picture of for the word 'warrior' in the dictionary, you'd find Kobe's there." Ron Artest also had another decent game 14 points, five boards, a block and a steal in 29 minutes. If he wasn't added in your league on Monday night, he's probably not worth adding at this point. Josh McRoberts (six points and six boards) will continue to start while Bynum continues to serve his four-game suspension.
Al Jefferson stunk it up big time by connecting on only 2-of-16 from the floor to tally four points, 10 boards and two blocks in the loss. Paul Millsap had some nice value off the bench with 18 points and eight boards. He's fine and is pretty much a must-start PF. This game was such a nightmare for the Jazz, that owners really should just throw this one away outside of what I mentioned above.
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