Your leagues should be in the fantasy playoffs one way or another this week. I know many leagues are just starting the playoffs this week and we have a mess on our hands ladies and gentlemen. Big name players with BIG question marks headline this week of Leave ‘Em or Leave ‘Em alone. Tough decisions for owners this week with money/bragging rights on the line. No guts no glory or calculated caution? Which will be your poison in this oh so important week?
Baron Davis: To his credit he seems motivated to finish out the season and give the Cavs a glimpse of their immediate future with him at the helm. B Diddy is always a bit of a risk but Byron Scott seems determined to have him as the leader of this inexperienced bunch. Love ‘Em.
Jared Dudley: Phoenix is struggling and the sun is definitely about to set on their season and dimming playoff hopes. Desperation has kicked in for Alvin Gentry after deciding to replace Vince Carter in the starting lineup with Jared Dudley. Honestly what is an owner to do with this bit of news? You would have to have quite a set on you to plug Dudley in your lineup or just be flat out desperate. Pick him up for protection against your competition but I can’t confidently recommend a Love ‘Em here.
Tim Duncan: There is a possibility he could return from his ankle injury this week. However I am not betting on the Spurs risking their title hopes and bringing Duncan back unless he is 100%. The Spurs are on cruise control and remain pretty much unchallenged for the number one seed. I don’t see Timmy returning this week…do you? Leave ‘Em alone.
Tyreke Evans: First of all let me say that I like Tyreke Evans. Why he has come back for this lottery bound team is a mystery. More so it complicates the madness in Sacramento that had finally seemed to gain some consistency. Paul Westphal with options should scare any fantasy owner in possession of a Sacramento King. Name value alone will make owners want to plug Evans back into the lineup and I can’t blame any owner who does so. The fact is Marcus Thornton has become the scoring leader of this bunch and Evans is coming off the bench. Maybe Evans joins the starting lineup for Udrih, or Franciso Garcia. Maybe he doesn’t. What Evans has done in the two games since returning does not live up to his name or the expectations associated. Leave ‘Em alone.
Manu Ginobili/George Hill: As I write this Ginobili injured his leg tonight against Memphis. Can any other big name players get hurt to cause us more grief? George Hill should be added immediately and Gary Neal can also be given a look. As for Manu it is too early to tell but I think he should be ok.
Devin Harris: One of the most fragile players in the NBA is again hurt. Harris has missed 3 straight games due to a lingering hamstring injury. I am not a fan of Harris and will admit my bias against him but the schedule should be favorable for his return at the end of the week. Utah plays Monday then get 3 days off before games on Friday and Sunday. If you trust him or need to trust him then good luck! As for my recommendation, Leave ‘Em alone.
Joe Johnson: JJ has been less than impressive in recent weeks. Now he is banged up with some mysterious infection on his head and a sprained right thumb. Just in time for the fantasy playoffs, how exciting! I genuinely think Johnson will tough things out and play this week although he is taking Sunday night off. Love ‘Em but watch for updates.
Chris Kaman: It is officially Kaman’s job to loose in Clipperland. Well for the last 10 games anyway. DeAndre Jordan had pneumonia and that allowed Kaman to retake the starting center job. 17.6pts, 10.3rebs, and 2.3 blks in three games last week. Even with Jordan back from his illness Kaman should be started with confidence. Love ‘Em.
Kevin Love: Surprisingly Love is already practicing despite suffering a groin injury last week. He almost returned on Sunday but decided to take a few extra days of rest. It would be hard for an owner who has rode the double double machine this far to sit him in the playoffs. I don’t have the heart to tell you to do so either. A slight bias on my behalf as I do have a man crush on Love but I don’t think he will disappoint. Love ‘Em. Pun intended.
Carl Landry: By now the word has reached even the most deaf of owners that David West will miss the remainder of the season. Landry is the next in line for the minutes West would have received. He can score but sometimes acts as if he allergic to rebounds. Nonetheless, he is decent start despite the lack of boards. Love ‘Em.
Anthony Morrow: He is a shooter who is finishing the season strong and with confidence. Brook Lopez is ailing slightly and that might be the reason for Morrow’s recent spike. Deron Williams also missed the week with his various ailments clearing the way for a few extra shots. If Morrow did a little more than score and shoot 3’s I would be more confident. Knowing his shot or minutes could go missing at any moment makes me uneasy. Leave ‘Em alone.
Jameer Nelson/Gilbert Arenas: Nelson suffered a mild knee strain and is rumored to be out on Monday. His availability after that is in question. Arenas should start in place of Nelson on Monday and would be a good play in daily leagues especially with JJ Redick also being out. I don’t trust either one of them for the week and would leave ‘em both alone if I could. I do think Nelson will be back though if you have to run him out there.
Rajon Rondo: He missed Sunday’s game after aggravating his finger injury on Saturday. The Celtics are in an absolute tailspin and need him to get his act together…so do fantasy owners. I have a feeling Boston took Minnesota lightly and figured they could rest Rondo without incident. With big games against Atlanta and San Antonio this week I don’t know if they will be as confident to not play Rondo. Love ‘Em.
Deron Williams/Jordan Farmar: This situation is causing owners fits. Williams says he wants to give it one more try on Wednesday. He could play the whole game and then shut it down, he could play a quarter, or he could play every game of the week. If he plays he kills the value of Farmar on all levels. This has disaster written all over it and I am quite confident no matter what you decide to do as an owner it will be the wrong decision. Don’t mean to be so grim but if you have enough depth to avoid them both that would be the best course of action.
Nick Young: After starting the year with more luck than the Irish, Young’s good streak has come to a screeching halt. A knee injury has slowed him down the stretch and he left Sunday’s game with what appears to be an aggravation of that injury. Who knows if he will attempt to come back given the trouble he has had. Leave ‘Em alone and hello Jordan Crawford who is now…well the next Nick Young.
Some quick hitters before I go. Chase Budinger returned and can be given a look. Sam Young was helped off the court on Sunday making Shane Battier and O.J. Mayo worth a look as well. That will wrap up one frustrating edition of Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em alone. Good luck in the playoffs everybody.
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