Greetings everybody! This is the homestretch of the fantasy basketball season. Many of you might be entering your playoffs this week but for most it is still about final seeding. I apologize for being M.I.A. as I took some much needed vacation time, but who cares about that. Let’s go with Week 21 of Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em alone.
Carlos Boozer: The Chicago Bulls bigs can’t seem to stay healthy and play together. Last week Boozer tweaked his ankle and missed the last 2 games of the week. He could be ready to go on Tuesday but Booz is notorious for allowing injuries to linger. He isn’t exactly Wolverine but has been eager to fight through his injuries thus far this year. Couple that with the fact that the Bulls are fighting for the number one seed in the East and Boozer has all the incentive to come back this week. It’s a bit of risk but Love ‘Em.
Aaron Brooks: Steve Nash is ailing and this could allow Brooks to actually do something with his miserable season this week. As I write this Brooks is torching the Orlando Magic for 19pts and 7ast at half time. Guess you got to add him now. I doubt Nash misses more than one game but if Brooks keeps up this pace and Phoenix pulls out a win it might convince Nash to rest. I would leave Brooks alone unless you are in a daily league and can swap him out quickly if Nash decides he is going to gut out his injuries.
Kobe Bryant: Mamba turned his ankle on Saturday night against the Mavs but limped his way to 16pts, 5rebs, and 4ast on 6-20 shooting. The Lakers have been rolling and I doubt Bryant wants to mess with the chemistry by sitting out. He is as tough as they come in regards to playing through injuries. Love ‘Em.
Chase Budinger: Quite frankly I am a little disappointed in the production of Budinger. He has shown some real flashes of brilliance but still needs to crash the boards with more regularity. The minutes are there (30+ in 7 of his last so hang in there if you own him. Love ‘Em.
Baron Davis: The Baron is grieving the loss of his grandmother and the Cavs organization is showing some class by allowing Davis all the time he needs away from the team. This is one of those real life is more important than fantasy situations. Baron seemed to be embracing his fate in Cleveland before life got in the way. Leave ‘Em alone and hope that the loss of his grandmother doesn’t linger and affect his play going forward.
Ed Davis: Davis is benefiting from the ankle injury that is plaguing Amir Johnson giving Davis some extra minutes. Although Davis has played well when you take into account Johnson should be back this week and the one dimensional Reggie Evans is back to steal rebounds away from everybody I don’t like Davis in my fantasy lineup this week. Leave ‘Em alone.
Detroit Pistons: Every so often I feel the need to just tackle the fantasy situation from a team standpoint as opposed to individual players. This is one of those times. John Kuester has taken the title from Paul Westphal as the most ridiculous and frustrating coach for fantasy owners to deal with. Saturday night the Pistons started T-Mac, Rodney Stuckey, Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, and Greg Monroe. Stuckey had been coming off the bench the previous 2 games inexplicably and Hamilton hadn’t started since December. It is a complete mess in Detroit! T-Mac and Monroe look like must starts so love ‘em. Stuckey and Prince I am little less confident about but I like Stuckey head and shoulders above Prince. Hamilton should only be an option if you need scoring and a boost in fg% otherwise leave ‘em alone. As for any other Piston, stay tuned as this situation is like a bad novella.
Raymond Felton: What to do with Mr. Felton? I have seen him waived, benched, and started with confidence in a variety of leagues. He showed that he is going to be inconsistent coming off the bench but still can provide some useful lines. He has not dished out less than 5 assist in any game since the trade but his points have been roller coaster like. If I owned him I would play him especially with Aaron Afflalo ailing. Love ‘Em.
DeAndre Jordan: Back to life is Jordan who is trying to keep Chris Kaman from stealing his starting spot. Jordan had a semi resurgence averaging 9.7pts, 8.2rebs but just .5blks last week. He did most of that damage in two games which makes him suspect this week. If you are starting say a DeJuan Blair than I would prefer Jordan otherwise leave ‘em alone.
Nenad Kristic: I almost don’t believe how well he has played. 18pts and 12rebs averages this week at the time I am writing this article. Keep in mind Glen Davis has been out and is due back and the O’neals are still both due to return sometime. Still Kristic is blending in nicely and shooting the ball well making him an intriguing option this week. Love ‘Em.
Antonio McDyess: Only Gregg Popovich could get away with tinkering with a lineup that boasts the best record in the NBA. McDyess is now the starter in San Antonio leaving DeJuan Blair to fight for minutes off the bench. I am not at all impressed although McDyess doubled doubled on Saturday with 12pts and 12rebs. Leave ‘Em alone.
Chris Paul: So after scaring the life out of his owners (including me) last week by being carted off on a stretcher after suffering a concussion, Paul returned on Saturday night. The bump on Paul’s head seemed to serve as a re-awakening as he treated owners to a 33pt, 15ast, 7rebs, and 5stl outburst in his return. Um, yeah that guy is pretty good. Get him back in your lineups and boot Jarret Jack to the curb. Love ‘Em.
Kendrick Perkins: Apparently he is nearing his debut with his new team and is motivated. No need to throw him out there in your lineups though. Leave ‘Em alone.
Jeff Teague: It’s hard to ignore the 44 minute, 24pt, 5stl, 4reb, & 3ast explosion delivered by Teague on Saturday night. So I won’t ask you to ignore it but will ask that you proceed with caution. Kirk Hinrich has been awful but still is the starter in Atlanta. Teague had done nothing of note in his previous 5 games and got plenty of burn Saturday as the Hawks shifted their lineup to accommodate the loss of Al Horford. Teague is worth picking up but can’t be trusted as a starter in your fantasy lineup this week.
Deron Williams: The guy is completely banged up and missed the majority of the week due to the birth of a child. Williams wants to finish the season out strong and build a better rapport with his teammates as well as the management that traded for him. I think he is going to gut things out but at some point he might be a shut down candidate. Make Jordan Farmar your new best friend if you own Williams but Love Deron until something definitively negative comes out.
Good luck this week and stay alert as it injuries to players this late can really swing a championship your way if you pay attention the wire. As always I am available via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for any specific questions.
About the Author
Written by Warren Shaw
I am an avid Basketball fan who has worked for the New York Knicks, Alonzo Mourning Charities and various other sports organizations. Having covered many NBA and various professional sporting events has given me the opportunity to provide insight with an unbiased but flavor driven view. I look forward to providing NBA content and interacting with knowledgeable fans and readers. Follow me on Twitter @shawsports or Email your questions to me at Warrenshaw@prosportsblogging.com