Weekly Games (Amount of times a team plays in a given week)
1 Game: LAC, NYK, ORL, PHO
2 Games: Everyone Else…
Sometimes in life, things just don’t work out the way you want. Instead, what usually happens is that everything gets mashed together into one giant problem and you’re caught in the middle. There are two NBA teams this year that have felt this pain more than anyone else in the league: the Milwaukee Bucks and the LA Lakers. For those of you who know me, just note that this isn’t my way of sobbing over the Laker’s amazing performance this year; they are just facts. In fact, I couldn’t be happier in seeing how well they are doing in the Tank Race. Okay, back to the lecture at hand… These two teams have gone through so much this year it is almost impossible to rely on players from their team or even decide between two or three of them. Which one do I pick up? Who’s healthy? Who gets more minutes? Don’t worry my Fantasy Sports Island goers; I’m here to help.
If I had to make one statement about this team, it would be that if basketball was a game in which each team takes turns playing one-on-one with different players from theirs squads, then this team would be dangerous. Luckily for the other 29 teams, you have to play with five players at the same time so they’re shit out of luck. This team has been beaten down to possibly the worst in the NBA, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not a fantasy gold mine! These players put up numbers regardless of the final score, but it’s tough to tell whom to choose. With Larry Sanders back, it is questionable who will produce between him, John Henson and even Ersan Illaysova. All three are impressive bigs and since Sanders has completely found his feet yet, they all play about the same as far as performance goes. In Yahoo leagues, they are “owned” listed as Sanders 85 percent, Henson 52percent and Illayasova 75 percent, so we can see whom everyone else likes. I think that is pretty funny since Henson leads all three of them in points, rebounds, assists, blocks, FG percentage and most importantly, games with these guys drifting in and out. So you make the call. My advice is not to follow the crowd.
Then we look at the guards. Not sure if everyone knows but The Bucks have OJ Mayo. Yeah, I thought that would raise an eyebrow. So who now? OJ, Brandon Knight or Khris Middleton? Khris has been hot lately scoring double digits in his last 10 games, including 25 in his start against Denver with his 44 minutes. Plus, he has added lots of threes and even some rebounds and assists. He is definitely the hottest fantasy player right now as his own percentage jumped by 15 percent yesterday, but he is still only at 37 percent. Mayo has been out for a while now and is expected to come back into the picture this week, but who knows what the former star player will do. He has a team that he can potentially put on his back, but his consistency is always a question. He is marked at 54 percent owned as of this point, so he is still waiting around. Brandon Knight is their points leader and floats around 75 percent owned, so he isn’t exactly on the map at this point. The fact that you are reading this blog probably means that you are in search of a hot streak. You need a player to carry you for a little bit until your injuries woes or over or maybe even till he dies out, so I would have to recommend Middleton. The way he has played recently shows that he is the only player with a license to drive this shit show of a team anywhere and the roads ahead looks like Lombard St in SF with jagged rocks paving the way. Give the kid some respect and let’s get his owned percentage up over 50.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers have battled injuries all of this year from star players to reserves, and even the reserves’ reserves. It has made their roster jump around to a trillion different places to where they have had three D-League players starting for this historic franchise. I would list all of the players that have been injured at some point on this team, but I’m pretty sure that I have a word limit for this blog. Instead, we’ll just get right down to business.
The guard situation for the LA is very tricky. The Mamba is out and has been nearly the entirety of the season, but his return is imminent and if he’s in top form, we all know how dangerous he can be. It’s still his team, so he will be shooting, but this is somewhat irrelevant since he is hardly available in any of your leagues at this point. Really, it will just affect the others. Farmar, Nash, Meeks, Blake and Marshall… someone has to be the new leading scorer with “Swaggy P” going down the other night with a knee injury. Farmar and Meeks both got injured as well and won’t be back until after the break at least. That definitely isn’t a long time, but Farmar has been unable to stay on the floor and Meeks has lost the spark he had early this season. Your fantasy season is going to be over sooner than you think, so long term players aren’t you’re best bet. Marshall was the easy choice when he was the starter and ran the team like Showtime and was the leader in assists, but now the Steves are back. Nash had a couple of decent games, but got reinjured and is sitting for a day or two. This is by no means a long rest but this has become a pattern with this old vet and he really isn’t worth a roster spot at this point. Hats off to an amazing career, but eventually everyone starts to decline. Marshall may be losing some minutes to Nash, but he is still getting his numbers so don’t take your eye off him. The man I would take over both of them is Steve Blake. Blake is by far D’antoni ‘s favorite player and he has shown this by giving Blake around 40 minutes a game since his return to the lineup. He hasn’t shown exponential numbers, but they are solid including a Triple-Double the other night, his first ever. Although I personally think Marshall is a better starter for this team, the coach makes the calls and he is going to give Blake the minutes. He is still under 50 percent owned so open a new tab right now!
The bigs situation is easy. Pau Gasol is injured through the break and is 98 percent owned in fantasy leagues so if you have him, keep him and have a nice day. Jordan Hill gets hot every once in a while, but he is definitely a bigger help to the Lakers than to your fantasy team. Kaman, on the other hand, is on his hot streak and looks like he may even be consistent if he can stay away from dying on the bench. He scored 25 on Sunday night along with 10 boards, three assists and two blocks. I don’t need to spell this out for you, do I?
Need No Explanation
Sitting at 61 percent owned in Yahoo leagues is the man who I believe would have been the Finals MVP if the Spurs had won last year. Not Parker, Leonard, Duncan or Ginobili. I am talking about Danny Green who just came back from injury a little while, just as all of the other players decided to go on the IR. He is virtually the only experienced Spur on the floor and is still available. We all can use a guard with a sweet stroke from the arch.